New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend
[Scroll down for a list of events.]
Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,
I have learned not to get as freaked out as I did in years past. The Advent Season (the four weeks leading up to Christmas) may be my busiest month of the year. Mercifully, there are fewer preaching responsibilities (thanks Doug!) because the Christmas activities press into every margin of my life. Honestly, I love it, kind of like I like riding roller-coasters. I have learned to hold on tight to a high-speed calendar that will press me forward. But I really love the way that we get to come together as a church FAMILY though the whole year, and especially at this time of year. Each one of us, despite our background can come together for time together and enjoy the presence of God with one another.
Like I said, it may be busy but I love it, I am looking forward to our church-wide Christmas banquet this Saturday (I hope you can come – doors open at 6 PM. Dinner starts at 6:30; the show starts at 7:15). We have a great day of worship and celebration set for Sunday (12/15) with morning worship and a children’s musical in the evening. On Monday(12/16) I am joining the Young Adults at the homeless shelter to sing Christmas carols. On Thursday (12/19) we have a Christmas party scheduled for the Young Adults. Next Sunday (12/22) is our wonderful cantata and then our Christmas Eve service the following Tuesday at 6 PM. Invite your family and friends to enjoy the celebration with us.
Personally the list goes on. Throw in two more Christmas parties, three family birthdays, mailing gifts to Colorado, hosting a neighborhood open house (pray for our outreach this Saturday … we are glad to have new neighbors Caleb and Hannah Reed helping us this year!), and getting Christmas cards out … well, you get the picture … we barely have time to breathe. What I’ve realized this year is that freaking out doesn’t help … eventually it will all get done … or it won’t, but that probably won’t kill me anyway. Again, and I need you to trust me here, I am not complaining. I thrive in this pace. I figure that I have a whole bunch of wonderful opportunities to celebrate and prepare for Christmas and I LOVE it.
And eventually … it all comes to a screeching halt on Christmas Day. All of our family is in Colorado so it is just my family of six for the day. Honestly I need that day just to settle down. It gives me a whole “Silent Day”. We quietly enjoy the day in the knowledge that our Savior has come. I love that rest.
“People like to say life is a marathon, not a sprint, but it’s actually more like a track workout. We run hard and then rest hard. We charge a hill and then chug some Gatorade. We do some stairs, then some 200s, and then a few 400s. In between we rest. Without it, we’d never finish the workout. If we want to keep going, we have to learn how to stop. Just like the Israelites had in their calendar, we need downtime each day, and a respite each week, and seasons of refreshment throughout the year. We can’t run incessantly and expect to run very well.” (page 93).
I’ve really focused on this fact this year. I’ve worked to get adequate sleep, I’ve fought to keep my personal Bible reading a priority, I’ve tried to have our family devotions consistently, and I’ve carved out Sunday as a critical day of rest. Still, I am crazy busy. But it will only be for a time and then Christmas will come and I will rest. I want to run well, so I need to rest well. The end is coming near and we shall enjoy Christ’s arrival.
Do you feel busy at this time of the year? How do you cope with it? I’d love to hear more about your own experiences.
Here is a note of correction from John Hinson concerning something he said in his Deacon’s Focus last Sunday. John, thanks for reminding us of God’s faithfulness.
“We have been in the new addition for two years, not one (although in my mind, it seems even longer than two years). This is exciting, especially for those who have been intimately involved with over the past 15 years and the many who consistently use the back-half of our Church. What is also exciting, after two years we have practically paid off $200k of the loan (currently, our loan balance is around $407,000). One third of our $600,000 loan has been relieved by the dedication of our Church. Even more exciting, if we able to maintain this pace, we’ll be close to paying off the mortgage in about the original 6-year forecast plan presented to the Congregation over 2 years ago.” – John Hinson, Treasurer NLIC
Youth Christmas Party (Junior High and Senior High) (meet at the church at 6 PM) – The youth group will be singing at a few homes through the congregation and ending with a White Elephant gift exchange. The Senior High will end at the Allison home. The Junior High will end at the Capitano home.
Women’s Cookie Exchange (7:30 PM) – Ladies, join us for a Christmas goodie/cookie exchange and some holiday fellowship. Make your favorite Christmas treat and package them in individual bags (3-4 items per bag). Bring as many bags as you want. You will leave with the same amount of bags of yummy Christmas treats! Bring some extra to snack on while we have a wonderful time of fellowship! No RSVP required, just bring treats if you want to exchange or just yourself and a friend if you just want to fellowship.
Men, trust me … you shouldn’t be too busy for this one! We want to invite you to the men’s breakfast this Saturday morning at 8 AM. It’s great food, great fellowship, and this month I’ll be sharing another chapter from Kevin DeYoung’s book CrazyBusy. We all need help in building that necessary margin into our lives.
I like to think of it as Christmas dinner with your church family. Join together with other New Life in Christ families for a “covered dish” supper, or what I like to call a “pot-providence”. Not only will we be enjoying dinner together, but also a live showing of the play “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol”. It will be a great time as a church family to enjoy fellowship with one another and a good, edifying show. Think about a friend or family member who might enjoy time together and invite them to come. We still need help with set-up for the banquet. Speak to Jonathan Allison (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are able to help.
- 6 PM – Doors Open
- 6:30 PM – Dinner Begins
- 7:15 PM – Show Begins
Food (by last name):
- A-L bring: Main Dish + Salad
- M-Z bring: Main Dish + Dessert
- Singles bring: Drink & Rolls
- Sunday School – 9 AM
- Worship Service – 10 AM – Pastor Doug Preaching
- Evening Service – 6 PM – Children’s Choirs Christmas Program
- Junior and Senior High Youth Groups – Sunday at 7 PM
- Come to Pray – Corporate Prayer at 7 PM.