“We’re not here to give a sales pitch; we are sent by the Spirit to share how Jesus changes everything.” -Jeff Vanderstelt
And I’ve never been more grateful for the Golden Arches.
This gratitude is not due to a fervent love (or even appreciation) for McDonald’s particular strand of gourmet food or because of their recent commitment to all white-meat chicken in their nuggets, or even their quality black coffee which I consume with Gilmore-esque enthusiasm.
This newfound love for McDonald’s actually has nothing to do with McDonald’s and everything to do with whom I dine.
Two weeks ago my days were filled with one challenge after another and by Friday night I could feel myself going into an emotional lockdown, attempting to bury every feeling in a Fort Knox-type armory with hopes that they would never surface again.
Welcome to my default setting. I am a master wall-builder. I’m pretty sure that is due to the fact that I’m scared of feelings. Scared of loving people too much and then enduring their rejection or removal from my life. Scared that God will punish me for liking someone. Scared of letting people down (even though it’s inevitable). Scared of doing things wrong. Scared of being seen. Scared of a “yes” because it seems like I only know how to trust God for a “no.”
But, in a twist of God’s kind providence, my parents and I just got home from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas and, along with a sweet sun-poisoning rash, I brought back a few observations from our time sailing the Atlantic (as well as a few hundred photos).
Warning: I love palm trees. I may or may not have photographic evidence of pretty much every single one we saw. You’ve been warned.
He knew the moment TGC published this article would be the exact moment I needed to be reminded of the glorious truths of our Fear Fighter. I need this reality more than anything.
It is my prayer that through these words your heart would be energized by the love of the One who casts out every anxiety our mind could strum up.
The magazine I write for featured AP in the latest edition but the following snippet had to be (regrettably) trimmed, so here it is for your enjoyment and edification. It’s so good. Praise the Lord for His grace to us through Gospel-centered artists like Andrew Peterson.
“Do know what a stable smells like? You know what that family would have smelled like after the birth when they went out into the city? And if they were standing next to you, how would you have felt about them and regarded them?”
He is saying, I want you to see Christ in the neighbor you tend to despise—in the political party you despise, in the race you despise, in the class of people you despise.
Christmas is the end of thinking you are better than someone else, because Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you. It is telling you that people who are saved are not those who have arisen through their own ability to be what God wants them to be. Salvation comes to those who are willing to admit how weak they are.
I’m just so thankful for Andrew Peterson’s life and ministry.
It was February when we set down with Andrew Peterson in Franklin, Tenn., to interview him for the cover story of the current RTM Magazine. My vocabulary is too weak to string together a sentence that would fully convey how much I learned from him that day.
We laughed, we (I) cried, we talked about how much we love the Gospel.
It was my favorite interview.
Eternal, and yet born of a woman.
Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast.
Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms.
King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph.
Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.
Oh, the wonder of Christmas.