Merry Christmas from Art, Life & Faith!

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As you celebrate the joy of Christ at Christmas with family and friends, I hope you experience the fullness of God’s grace, peace and lavish love for you! My prayer for you is that God cultivates in you a deeper love for him and every person you encounter in the coming year.

“Let your prayer be that He, the living Vine, shall link you so close to himself that your heart will sing: He is my Vine and I am His branch–I want nothing more–now I have the everlasting Vine. You are my Vine and I am Your branch. It is enough, my soul is satisfied.” Andrew Murray

Merry Christmas,

Joey

This Easter, Tell Yourself “In Christ Alone!”

For Easter Week 2012, I want to share one of the most beautiful Good Friday and Easter songs I’ve ever heard–In Christ Alone. Written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, the lyrics of In Christ Alone are packed with amazing, life-changing Truth and deep theological thought.  Focused on the life of Jesus Christ from cradle to grave to resurrection, this song offers hope, comfort and perspective to the challenges of life. It offers so many wonderful insights into the benefits of walking with Christ every day. Tell yourself this Easter, “In Christ alone…” It just make all the difference in the world. Here are a few creative ways you can use In Christ Alone for your family and friends this week.

A Christmas Prayer

During Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays, I’m often “the guy” called upon to lead everyone in a prayer before the big meal. Praying with my family is a gift and a privilege, but I must confess, I’m often at a loss for words about what to say. How do you beat the Christmas story? (Not that God has any real competitors.) It’s pretty tough to surpass the eloquence of Isaiah and the simplicity found in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, or John. So instead, I offer you a prayer for this Christmas written long ago by a famous author…

Waiting for Christmas

In these final days leading up to Christmas, I spent a several hours in a hospital waiting room. It wasn’t the same maternity ward Joseph was searching for, dashing all over Bethlehem in the middle of the night with Mary in tow. Though my dad used to spend a lot of time in a waiting room a la seven kids, a waiting room was where he, my older sister Colleen and I were camped this week as we waited for my mom in surgery. My seventy-something mother, bless her soul, had a three hour rotator cuff surgery. Get this: she injured her shoulder at physical therapy. She’ll be going back to physical therapy for physical therapy on the shoulder she injured at physical therapy! You been in a waiting room lately?

Think about Good Friday

Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Today is Good Friday, 2011. A day to stop. Think. Remember. Examine our hearts. I’d like to share with you some simple Good Friday thoughts with you from the Book of Common Prayer.

I hope you will make these scriptures and reflections your prayer today as you remember God’s lavish love for you. Jesus Christ, going to the cross, for your sin and mine. Think about it.

Peter’s Never Never

Beginning with Peter the disciple, Jesus has heard it all. Never, never. Famous last words. I’ve had many “Never, Never” statements. Every time, God just shakes His head and chuckles. (I’m almost positive!) How many times have you and I said, “I will never do this or say that…?”

During this Holy Week, I’ve been reading through Matthew’s and John’s gospels about the Passion of Christ. I’m struck by all the human flailing and failing. It’s like one huge mirror that reflects all of humanity’s brokenness. Mine included.

Today, Maunday Thursday, is when we remember Jesus’ final meal with his friends. And the betrayal that followed. It’s worth remembering Jesus knew everything that would go down in the next few hours…

My Unfinished Life: Finding Completeness in Jesus Christ

[dc]A[/dc] couple years ago, I came to the realization that in my walk with Jesus Christ, I live in this constant place of unfinished space. Almost everywhere I look in the world around me, I see an unfinished life. My unfinished life. Oh, it’s not that things never get completed. I will complete a meal. A phone conversation or coffee with a friend. A workout at the gym.