Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

May be an image of indoor and door

Wednesday, December 5, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the fresh blanket of snow covering the ground, and let us be glad that the county and city crews have done a fine job of keeping most of the roads clear!  This morning dawned clear and cold, with the sun reflecting off the new-fallen snow, brightening the early morning and inviting us to enjoy this day that God has given us to continue our Advent preparations.

How are your preparations coming along?  Are at least some of the treasured decorations in place, and has a bit of the holiday shopping been taken care of?  Is the Christmas breakfast menu settled?  Have you reflected on what this season, and the season to follow, really means?  Yep, there we go again, being all “churchy” in the run-up to Christmas!  While it is most certainly a cliché of the first order, the reason for the season we’re in is being fully ready for the birth of our Lord and Savior, and the reason for the season that is to follow is the very same; Jesus.  Almost everyone delights in the sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays, but as Christians, we should all delight in the upcoming celebration of the birth of Christ far more than we delight in the cookies and tinsel and gifts.  That’s not to say that we shouldn’t revel in the more secular trappings of the holidays; it’s just that our primary focus should be on a newborn babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  Our joy is made complete in knowing that our Savior is born in Bethlehem, not in the latest cool gadget in our stocking hung on the mantle.  Let us rejoice at his birth, and be glad that we are free to celebrate with our loved ones!

Blessings,

Karen and Greg

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 

    

     From the Desk of

TOBY THE CHURCH DOG
      December 2021

Hello dear friends!

I love this season of the year; don’t you?!!  I love playing in the snow near Mary, Jesus, and Joseph.  I love those ornaments on the trees that shake and shimmy alluringly, but that I am NOT supposed to touch. I love the baked goods being prepared in my kitchen that sometimes fall to the floor. (Or get very close to the edge of the counter!) And, as always, I love being with my people.   

During Advent, we prepare for Christmas and to receive Christ into our lives, and we are mindful of how richly we have been blessed by God.  A great joy in my life comes in understanding that I can give to others from those very blessings I have received.  What joy I find in giving!  How close to God I feel when I am sharing love!

As you know, I treasure my time with my toy and best friend, Bob. We have such fun together; but I’ve learned that it is even more meaningful when I offer my beloved friend to others so they can enjoy him too.  I know you understand the depth of the sacrifice I am making with this gift, but in sharing I also share my love.   Like all things done with God, this gift of mine often becomes transformed into something greater in the process.  When I place my Bob at the feet of another, nine times out of ten that person will throw Bob for me to fetch.  Pretty soon, that person is not just enjoying Bob’s company, but mine too!  And, this togetherness blesses me as well!

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Many people think that a doggie like me doesn’t have much to offer.  My answer to them is that I may not have many things to give, but I always can give of myself.  Don’t underestimate how much comfort and joy can be created when one offers just his presence.  When I see someone in need, I will quietly slide in next to that person; just offering the presence of my body leaning into theirs. Often, an arm will reach out to hold me, or to stroke my fur.  And, my world improves with this ministry of presence too!  

Christmas is about God’s love being showered upon us in the form of that baby in a manger, Jesus Christ.  During advent, we prepare to meet Jesus when he comes again, and we practice loving others as Christ taught us to love.  There is no finer a gift to share this Christmas.  If this doggie can find something meaningful to share with others, anyone can!  Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!  

With love from your Church Dog,
TOBY

Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Luke 6:38

See the source image

Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

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