Below is Pastor Brian’s Notes on this weeks Old Testament Scripture Readings and a presentation of his Sermon entitled “Plan the Work. Work the Plan.”
Oh, those four little words can be expressed in so many different ways! In acting class, I was taught to emphasize different words- What do you WANT?; phrases- What DO YOU want?; to deliver the line with no emotion- whatdoyouwant? or with great emotion WHAT. DO. YOU. WANT? Of course, there is a myriad of levels in between these extremes. It is a great theater game for actors.
Game or no game, what we want is often difficult to get. Frustration over people and circumstances could wear us out. But, sometimes- now stay with me- we are the problem. Sometimes we fight ourselves. Remember a guy named Ben Stein? He said something that grabbed my attention several years ago: “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.”
Sounds like a no-brainer? But oh, maybe not! Many, many people are so lost that they just react to life. Responding, reacting, accommodating, regrouping; these are all defensive. What is needed is a proactive offense. Clarity. You may want what other people have, but who are they? What “they” want keeps changing. How much is enough? The classic answer is “Just a little bit more.” Really?
What do you want? New Years Eve Resolutions are little more than a joke these days, so why not do it now? We are close to a new year, but why not now, whenever you are reading this? Oh, and “Losing twenty pounds” isn’t a goal. It may be a step to reaching your goal- better health, better self-image. Decide what you want. “Being popular” is not a goal, but it may point you to what you really want- feeling valued, appreciated.
Here’s a newsflash in case you need it: No, you cannot have it all. Personally, I live in a good part of the United States. God has clearly given me all of my needs, and a great many of my wants. I’m good. I have challenged my congregation to define what they want. How about you? Can you define what you are about?
I don’t care how young or old you are, the clock is ticking. Why wait? What do you want?
I greet you in the name of our Lord and my Savior, Jesus the Christ. It is indeed a joy to be able to wish you a Merry Christmas and not be stuck with just a Happy Holiday. From myself and all the staff here, we wish you a Merry Christmas!
Traditions play a vital role in holding us together in a world of constant change. Christmas traditions not only do that, but they do it near the end of the year, when we may feel a little beat up by
life. Plus, we are looking into the start of Winter, which promises cold wind blowing and unexpected ice. Now, I love a beautiful snow-covered scene with ice crystals and all that, but I’m appreciating them more from inside my house looking out rather than scraping snow and ice off my windshield. (Can I get a witness?)
That’s why I believe Christmas traditions are so cool! The cookies, the decorations, the lights, the anticipation, the fun of hiding presents, the family gatherings, the meals, the deals, the unexpected
great finds. I even like all those cool catalogues that only come around Christmas. There are some FUN gadgets out there!
At Glossbrenner, we don’t have gadget catalogues, but we have some fun traditions! This should get into your mailboxes for the First Sunday in Advent, when we will be Hanging the Greens. Emi has
agreed to plan it this year again, so you know it will go well. Caring Hands and Hearts is sponsoring the Cookie Walk this year, on the 11th. What a great way to load up on Christmas cookies for yourselves and as gifts! That evening, the Children’s Program will be coming back again. Isn’t it great remembering Children’s Programs from your past? We are creating new memories for our kids again. Yay God! And, there is going to be a “Cookie and Punch” Social afterwards. Fun! Jess is directing the program, and she could use some extra talent. C’mon – dust off your instrument and play something! Speaking of music, the bells are playing this
month and the Cantata is going to be in the evening. Please invite your friends and family to share this tradition and celebrate praises to God! There will be two Christmas Eve services. Communion is offered at the 3 p.m. service, and we will pull out “all the stops” for the 7 p.m. service. These are wonderful traditions that
warm our hearts and feed our souls. I hope you agree that it is wonderful to be able to celebrate Christmas in full force this year. Traditions have a crucial role in keeping us on track. They remind us of values that go
deeper and last long after the latest fad, gadget or world event. Traditions have great value. They hold us together when we feel pulled and tugged at by the world. I pray that the seasons of Advent and Christmas will feed your soul. I pray that our Glossbrenner fellowship will be able to nourish your soul. I pray
that we will be a part of your tradition for many years to come. Merry Christmas!