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'Tis the Season

The Need to Be Right

The desire to prove ourselves right is one of the most dangerous temptations we face. Yes, there are times we truly have been wronged by someone or when we truly are innocent victims. Scripture talks seriously about that, offering guidance in both situations. But the desire to be SEEN as right is often something different.

Too often, it’s about a combination of pride and insecurity, really.…

Staying Hopeful

The advent season focuses us on hope. We joyfully anticipate celebrating Jesus’s birth and with His life, death, and resurrection a path for deliverance.

Hope is not easy to consistently feel. Maybe a lost job, lost relative, or lost friendship can bring us down. Or maybe we look at the world around us and wonder if it will ever get better.

The prophet Micah felt the same way. In…

Because I Am Not My Own

My only comfort in these dark days is that I am not my own. My life was given to me and I was created for the purpose of glorifying God in whatever way he chooses. I can’t control all my circumstances.

It is ironic that this reflection should comfort me if you believe the lie that human freedom and self-determination are the greatest good. Yes, they are good, but they are not the ultimate…

A different kind of Christmas…but kind of like the first Christmas

The 2020 Christmas Season will no doubt look and feel different.  It may not feel the way it normally feels.  It may be less than ideal, in several ways.  Family gatherings may be different (or not happen).  Shopping and gift-giving may be different.  At Kenwood, our choice to suspend indoor gatherings during the Advent season will certainly make our worship look and feel different.  But,…

Awkward Conversations

We are featuring some reflections from several of our mission partners. Kit Ripley serves at-risk tribal girls in Chiang Mai, Thailand with the New Life Center and is currently pursuing a counseling degree to become a licensed art therapist.

 

I wonder what went through her mind. After the angel Gabriel made his spectacular announcement that Mary…

What am I thankful for?

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3, NIV)

I’m thankful that I have all I need. The older I get, the more I realize my own sins and faults. So I am profoundly grateful that I have an inexhaustible resource for a God-pleasing life. I am not alone in my efforts to overcome…

Advent

Advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming, has been a strong focus at Kenwood ever since Betsy and I have been attending in the 90s. For me, it’s one of the strong antidotes to neutralize the toxic infestation of materialism that dominates the Christmas season. Advent returns…

Therefore We Do Not Lose Heart

There’s a little essay going around on social media that begins, “I would have pulled Joseph out.” It’s attributed to a woman named Kimberly Henderson, and I’m sure you can Google and find the entire piece. Using Joseph and other examples from the Bible, she reflects on the way that their pain and trials actually created a situation in which God used their lives to benefit many others. Precisely…

BIG, BOLD, and DISTURBING PRAYER

My wife gave me a book on prayer this year and as I read the last chapter something BIG and DISTURBING hit me. It was a BOLD prayer that I had never read before. It proclaimed how BIG God is and reminded me that too often I pray small and safe prayers.

I read and prayed through the prayer each day during a week and shared it with others close to me. It continues to shake me every time I…

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.