Pastors, Sermon Illustrations, Uncategorized

Tribute to My Grandfather

My grandpa, Calvin Boswell, passed away on New Year’s Day 1994. Until I was six years old, I lived with my mom and grandparents, so my grandfather was my father-figure. He was a thoughtful person, informed about the world, and a man of faith.

After he passed away, I was angry for two years. I was mad at God, mad at death, mad at life, mad at pretty much everything. In time, however, I began to focus more on celebrating his life and the great gifts he gave to me. My anger faded into gratitude, and now, as I look back, I realize how blessed I was to have him in my life until I was 16.

Since he passed, I think of him everytime I hear this song. We’ve all heard it before, but maybe you haven’t seen this live version. It’s a song of both grief and hope but mostly of hope.

Here’s to hope in 2011!

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Pastors, Sermon Illustrations, Uncategorized

Top Ten 2011 Predictions

10. Apple will release a new iPhone and iPad.

9. Republians and Democrats will blame each other for gridlock.

8. Somewhere, travelers will be stuck in an airplane sitting on a runway for the better part of a day.

7. Terrorists will release new threats.

6. New air travel restrictions will be created.

5. New Mayan doomsday prophecies will be circulated.

4. The stock market will go up, then down, then up again, then…

3. Survivor will somehow continue to stay on air.

2. Winter will be cooler than summer.

1. And lastly… I will continue to monopolize everyone’s time by forcing them to look at numerous photos and videos of my new son, Graham.

Hope for 2011

Although, I think 2011 will be better than 2010, like the line in the U2 song, “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day”. We will continue to have the same problems in 2011 that will be sensationalized and inflated to signal the end of the world. There will be lots to worry about if we so choose.

Jesus is on to something in Matthew 6v25-34. After acknowledging how powerful our worries and fears can be, He says in 31-33, 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

It is so easy to be distracted by the mundane worries of life and to chase a false sense of security. When we live like this, however, we are robbed of hope and joy. Jesus invites us to lift our eyes to a higher way of life, a veiwpoint that transcends the everyday madness of our soundbyte culture.

God’s “kingdom” means God’s rule, God’s lifestyle. It is a lifestyle of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5v22-23). Seeking these qualities in 2011 will cause this next year to be much different, and better, than past ones.

My last prediction: Your life in 2011 can rise far above the events of 2010 and 2011.

Also see “Christmas Hope”.

Listen to “Christmas Hope”.

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