Being a Star: Dec 12th - 18th

This Week & Beyond...

A couple quick notes this week!!

1)  Merry Christmas everyone!!  I pray that you're holiday season is a blessed one, filled with great family times, health, and encounters with the Lord!  May the Lord bless you as you take time to remember the gift of our saviour!
2) I'm preaching this week!!  If I come to your mind, please feel more than free to pray for me!!
3) Corinne and the team are leading us in musical worship.  Let's bring them before the Lord as well.
4) The Winter 2017 schedule has been posted.  Again, please take time to look it over and confirm at your earliest convenience.  If you need something changed, the earlier that happens the better! :)

Be blessed friends!!
Gregory

Devotional...

Being a Star
by Carlene Archer, Chatsworth, Georgia  

...so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. (Philippians 2:15)

Early December can be a heady time for those involved in music ministry. Much like a pregnancy, months of preparation come to term in sharing wonderful Christmas music through which people celebrate the joy of Christ's birth all over again -- year after year. Melodies form and go forth, chords and voices harmonize, and God creates the mystery that is the worship of Advent once more.

For me there's always a feeling of excitement just before the music begins. It is the anticipation that God is doing something wonderful through me and my gifts. For a few moments, I get to shine for God's people. The joy of knowing that I am helping shine God's light is exciting. I have the privilege of participating in shining the Light of the World through the music ministry of my church at Christmas.

But the bright glow of Christmas services is short-lived. Too soon the last note fades, the holiday music books are collected and stored for another year, and I'm back to normal life. After the Christmas music fades, I'm no longer the great musician on the platform. I'm just another mom, with typical kids and a schedule that's just as hectic and impossible as everyone else's. I'm thrown back into the "trenches" of real life. In the trenches it's not easy to feel like I'm shining the Light of the World.

I have realized that it is actually the mundane things I do, as I rush through the everyday routine of life, that truly shine His love and grace. So many times I hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me, during an ordinary day, of a need that God has placed, very carefully, right in front of me.

It could be something as simple as taking a crying baby from a frazzled young mother and calming them both. Sometimes it's listening for five minutes, that I really didn't think I had, to a friend speak of pain. Last night it meant digging 84 cents out of my purse for the person in front of me in the checkout line. All of these are small things that turn out to be huge when woven into God's incredible plan for each person's life. To be a part of His plan, even for just a moment, is true grace.

Every time I act on these "need nudges" from God, I shine His light just as brightly as the most perfect moment in that wonderful Christmas program. It is here, in the trenches of life, where things get dark for people so quickly, that I can shine on a moment's notice. That's the kind of star Christ needs us to be this season... much more than He needs another voice in the choir or another chord played on the piano.

This Christmas season let's pray that we will treat every one of those precious moments as a blessed opportunity to shine God's light. Let's remember the feeling of anticipation as the choir waits for those opening notes; as the soloist approaches that high "C"; as the shepherds slowly walk down the aisle toward Mary. Let's also develop an anticipation that even as we move in seemingly small acts of kindness, we are still vessels of God's love, grace and mercy. Let's act like and truly shine like stars in a darkened world.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Can you share a "need nudge" in which you were involved?
2. What could happen this Christmas season, if each member of the worship ministry chose to be more focused on ministering -- in whatever way is appropriate -- rather that just doing a musical gig?
3. Share a time when someone brought light into your life on a regular "trench" day.