Christmas

The Reality of God's Favor

The Reality of God's Favor

What do we mean when we talk about the "favor of God"?

The house you've always wanted goes into foreclosure and you buy it for a steal. Your kids bring their report cards home and it's straight A's. You find out that a long lost relative left you a tidy sum of money.

Many people may think that God's favor is something like that. When life seems to break your way, it's easy to think, "God is really smiling down on me now. He must really love me."

What Are You Giving Jesus This Christmas?

What Are You Giving Jesus This Christmas?

Christmas is upon us, and right now, my wife and I find ourselves collecting gifts for those we love. Often the hardest part of gift-giving for us is figuring out the most appropriate gift for family members and friends. The goal—at least for us—is to give something meaningful to the recipient, but a gift that also reflects a bit of who we are. That combination makes the gift special and enjoyable for everyone involved, and sometimes unique enough to be memorable in some way.

Christmas: God's Means of Revitalization

Christmas: God's Means of Revitalization

As a church revitalizer, I’m beginning to see revitalization all throughout Scripture.  Nowhere is it more evident in than in the coming of the Messiah. Four hundred years of silence and sameness is suddenly broken when God interrupted the life of a has-been couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth. Then a young teenage girl and her espoused husband Joseph allowed their perfect wedding plans to be trashed.

The Most Wonderful (and Dangerous) Time of the Year

The Most Wonderful (and Dangerous) Time of the Year

While every season has its beautiful parts, the Christmas season seems to be more special than every other time of the year. Radio stations don’t switch format to celebrate Columbus Day. Hallmark doesn’t roll out 25 new made-for-TV movies every year for the fourth of July. There are special decorations, loads of food, giving and receiving. We’re intentional about scheduling time with special people. There are many things to love about this season, and I am a card-carrying member of the herd that loves them.

But if we were honest, couldn’t we all list off just as many reasons why this season isn’t so amazing?

The Hope of Advent

The Hope of Advent

A friend called today. The first words out of her mouth described the death by overdose of her close friend’s 23 year old son - a bright and capable college senior. 

Our conversation was interrupted by another call. It my friend’s own daughter, actively choosing rebellion against God and experiencing a great deal of stress because of it. She wanted counsel, but not godly counsel.

Historic Replant Makes Community Connections

Historic Replant Makes Community Connections

Last Saturday more than 300 people made their way to Legacy Church at First Baptist Church Sutton (MA) and warmed up with a drink at the hot chocolate bar or enjoyed complimentary sandwiches and baked goods during the Sutton Chain of Lights.

Legacy Church at FBC Sutton is the fourth oldest Baptist church in Massachusetts and has roots dating back to 1735. But in recent years the congregation has dwindled to only twelve members.

A Word from the Executive Director on International Missions

"…. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:1b-2, 6

When this scripture was written, the nation of Israel was at war -- and the war was not going well. In the midst of that time of anguish and despair, Isaiah prophesied that one day a baby would be born. That baby would be the promised Jewish Messiah, the Prince of Peace. We know Him by the name of Jesus, and the story of His birth is what makes the Christmas season so special to us all. But as is often true in Old Testaments prophecies, there is a second prophecy hidden within the first one.