God's Arms Around Us

Pastor Ken is sharing that we are carried in the arms of God. 

God supports us. 

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! 
For each day he carries us in his arms. Psalm 68:19

How many times have we as overeating individuals awoken to start a new day, and felt defeated before we ever put our feet on the floor. I have come to realize that I will never be perfect in my living out perfect health. It seems like every single day I am tempted to eat something I should not, and some days I do. 

But in looking at the above passage of clearly, we must realize that our God is Lord of the weak, the depressed and even the down and out. I must tell you that as someone who was born and raised in the United States I was raised to be strong and not show weakness. But read the passage above again, “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” We are not independent beings who stand on our own. We are dependent beings who depend upon our God.

Becoming Deep

Pastor Ken is sharing from Psalm 1 encouraging us to become rooted in God's Word. 

Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3

Notice we are encouraged to not walk out the advice offered by the wicked, nor stand around with the sinner, nor sit in participation with the mockers. Whether walking, standing or sitting we are not to do it in the company of evil. Now, we dwell in a fallen world, and while we will rub shoulders with a fallen world, we are not to grow comfortable in it. 

So how do we become like those trees in the Psalms? We all desire prosperity, and this Psalm points out that this means not doing what the wicked do; not joining in when people do wrong, and not standing with people as they sin. This Psalm is pretty clear - you and I get to make decisions every day that either leads us to poverty or lead to prosperity.

We are to be people of rooted character. That way we can cease to wither and instead prosper by setting our roots deep. How is it that we become rooted? By dwelling in God’s Word, we can live a better life. 

We need to recognize as overweight and obese people what rooted means for us. Just as with any area of life where we find ourselves fallen, our way of transforming is to be found in God’s Word. The greatest trees known to humanity are trees that set their roots deep in the earth for nourishment. We, too, must set our roots deep in God’s Word for deep, long-lasting transformation.

Christmas is a Time for Laughter

I shared in the very first blog of this series that I personally love Christmas. It is a remarkable time of year. Each Christmas my family has traditions that we enjoy - as you read through this blog series you will be able to conclude what is important to our family as we celebrate this season.

One of the things that makes our immediate and extended family a wonderful group is our laughter. Now I’m not suggesting that my family is funnier or laughs more effectively or even laughs more than most other families. What I am suggesting is that Christmas is a time for laughter.

One of my favorite Christmas films is one that makes me laugh hard every time I see it. Watch and enjoy Buddy! 

Most of my very best childhood memories come from the Christmas season. I could share with you story after story of our laughter and good times as a family. Some of those memories make me laugh and others bring a smile to my face because it was an event that touched my heart.  

I remember family Christmases where my Grandpa Andrews would dress up like Santa Clause and bring gifts to all the kids: I was so shocked to learn that Santa had a Texas drawl to his speech! Another time my cousin Scott who was probably about 9 years old walked into our home with his family carrying wrapped Christmas gifts. He handed me my wrapped gift and said, “Here’s your gloves!” I remember how much we laughed about that!

I’m sure that if we could sit down over a cup of coffee you could share some moments from your Christmas memories that would have us both laughing out loud.

Laughter is a sign of the season, and I know that even in the dark times we need to laugh. One of the greatest times of laughter was right around Christmas when my Grandmother Andrews had passed. We were at the dinner following the funeral. At first it was so sad, but people began to share stories about Grandma where she had been funny, or she had done something really special for someone. We laughed and laughed. It was a testament to her love for life.

Gather with your friends and family. Share your family stories and let your young ones laugh with you or watch one of your favorite Christmas movies and laugh. Laughter is good for you, your family and friends. Remember, laughter is highly underrated!

Christmas is a time for laughter.