Dec 25, 2018
Uncluttered 4- Make room for Jesus
Series: Uncluttered
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  • Dec 25, 2018Uncluttered 4- Make room for Jesus
    Dec 25, 2018
    Uncluttered 4- Make room for Jesus
    Series: Uncluttered
  • Dec 23, 2018Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Dec 23, 2018
    Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Series: Uncluttered

    One of my favourite youth group traditions is our annual Secret Santa. Each year at our Christmas break up, we each purchase a present worth $5 and gift it to someone else in the group. Some years we’ve bought for a specific person, and others we’ve bought generic gifts to be used in a game where you get to pick gifts, trade them and steal them from others. It’s always a hilarious and chaotic time because most of us get competitive with our gift giving and receiving. Some kids are really into it and pick funny, thoughtful gifts. Others completely miss the point and buy something thoughtless or irrelevant (which is still funny most of the time). This time at youth is always fun, but it’s also a mini glimpse into the reality of Christmas.

    Obviously a big part of the Christmas season is giving. We exchange gifts with family, friends, co-workers and often we make an annual contribution toward our favourite charity. But sometimes our giving can get caught up in materialism, competition, or just become a thoughtless obligation. Our lives are so full that meaningful giving is often lost at this time of year because we just don’t have the space to make it happen. So how do we make sure we’re truly giving the way Jesus would want in this season?

    After the birth of Jesus, Magi came from afar to visit Jesus. Not only did they present him with gifts, but they bowed down and worshipped him. These men gave their time, valuable possessions and their worship to Jesus. Their gifts were not given out of obligation or competition; they were given to honour the king and reveal his value. These gifts expressed the joy of the wise men at the coming of the promised Messiah. One more sentence to tie this in.

  • Dec 23, 2018Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Dec 23, 2018
    Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Series: Uncluttered

    One of my favourite youth group traditions is our annual Secret Santa. Each year at our Christmas break up, we each purchase a present worth $5 and gift it to someone else in the group. Some years we’ve bought for a specific person, and others we’ve bought generic gifts to be used in a game where you get to pick gifts, trade them and steal them from others. It’s always a hilarious and chaotic time because most of us get competitive with our gift giving and receiving. Some kids are really into it and pick funny, thoughtful gifts. Others completely miss the point and buy something thoughtless or irrelevant (which is still funny most of the time). This time at youth is always fun, but it’s also a mini glimpse into the reality of Christmas.

    Obviously a big part of the Christmas season is giving. We exchange gifts with family, friends, co-workers and often we make an annual contribution toward our favourite charity. But sometimes our giving can get caught up in materialism, competition, or just become a thoughtless obligation. Our lives are so full that meaningful giving is often lost at this time of year because we just don’t have the space to make it happen. So how do we make sure we’re truly giving the way Jesus would want in this season?

    After the birth of Jesus, Magi came from afar to visit Jesus. Not only did they present him with gifts, but they bowed down and worshipped him. These men gave their time, valuable possessions and their worship to Jesus. Their gifts were not given out of obligation or competition; they were given to honour the king and reveal his value. These gifts expressed the joy of the wise men at the coming of the promised Messiah. One more sentence to tie this in.

  • Dec 16, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for serving
    Dec 16, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for serving
    Series: Uncluttered

    As an adult, I have moved house 9 times in 21 years. Prior to adulthood I lived in another 10 houses. In January, I will celebrate the longest time I’ve ever lived in one house in my whole life - over 5 years!

    While there are so many things I do not like about moving house fairly regularly, one thing I appreciate is the regular chance to de-clutter. I’m not a big fan of clutter. You see, every time I move, I have to make a decision about every item I own. Do I want an item enough to assemble a box, put the item inside the box, seal the box and move it to a place where the removalists will then take the box, put it on a truck, take it out of the truck at my new home, where I will then take the box, unpack the item, find somewhere to keep it, get rid of the box, all to do the same process a few years later? Do I need/want the item that much? Turns out, for most stuff, no, I do not.

    When you have to move, you start to prioritise what you really want, and what is clutter. There are lots of useful things you could keep, but few are really essential. In this crazy time of the year we can get overloaded, and unless we’re intentional, we tend to keep and get lost in the clutter.

    As we workout our Christmas schedule, it seems logical that our priorities should line up with Jesus’, the one whom we’re celebrating. As we look at his life, we discover very quickly that humbly serving was near the top of his list. In fact, the bible says that Jesus’ whole purpose in coming to earth was to serve. “The Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve. The Son of Man came to give his life to save many people.” (Mark 10:45)

    If we want to follow Jesus, we need to make room for serving this Christmas, and always.

  • Dec 9, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Dec 9, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Series: Uncluttered
      
    I think we all know someone who could be described as a hoarder. I have them in my extended family. You can easily tell if a person is a hoarder because they will have a lot (a real lot) of stuff. Now it's not that hoarders collect things, everyone collects things. It's that hoarders don't let things go. Things that most people would throw out, they keep. Things that most people would give away, they put in cupboards. Things that most people would sell on eBay, they store under the bed. Eventually cupboards, rooms and houses get really, really cluttered and important things get lost.

    I think that for many of us the Christmas season itself has become cluttered. Our credit cards are maxed out, our wallets are empty, our calendars are full of events, reminders and deadlines. But somewhere amidst the toys, and decorating, the wrapping paper and visits from Santa, there is a divine story about the birth of a baby boy. Somewhere amidst the fancy office parties, carolling engagements, gingerbread decorating and cinnamon spiced lattes there are important relationships, principles and blessings. All the clutter of Christmas puts us at risk of losing what really matters most.

    Perhaps the most obvious result of the clutter of Christmas is the strain that starts to form in relationships.

  • Dec 9, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Dec 9, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Series: Uncluttered
      
    I think we all know someone who could be described as a hoarder. I have them in my extended family. You can easily tell if a person is a hoarder because they will have a lot (a real lot) of stuff. Now it's not that hoarders collect things, everyone collects things. It's that hoarders don't let things go. Things that most people would throw out, they keep. Things that most people would give away, they put in cupboards. Things that most people would sell on eBay, they store under the bed. Eventually cupboards, rooms and houses get really, really cluttered and important things get lost.

    I think that for many of us the Christmas season itself has become cluttered. Our credit cards are maxed out, our wallets are empty, our calendars are full of events, reminders and deadlines. But somewhere amidst the toys, and decorating, the wrapping paper and visits from Santa, there is a divine story about the birth of a baby boy. Somewhere amidst the fancy office parties, carolling engagements, gingerbread decorating and cinnamon spiced lattes there are important relationships, principles and blessings. All the clutter of Christmas puts us at risk of losing what really matters most.

    Perhaps the most obvious result of the clutter of Christmas is the strain that starts to form in relationships.