The Christmas holidays are such a joyful time to celebrate Jesus’ birth, family, friends and blessings! I am so grateful for this season and all that it represents.
But there are also people for whom this joyous season can be painful. Some people are grieving the loss of a loved one; some are facing financial difficulties; still others are dealing with divorce or broken relationships.
All of these circumstances, and countless others, can make the holidays seem like a painful reminder of what has been lost. And often those difficulties cause us to feel isolated and alone in our pain.
When I was 24 years old, my husband, Craig, and I lost our first baby to a miscarriage. We were devastated and grieving. I remember feeling like my body had failed our baby and we felt so alone in our loss.
In that moment, we reached out for help. We called Pastor Jonathan and Dawn, who had also lost a baby to a miscarriage, and they came alongside us. They brought us dinner, prayed for us, and encouraged us. I don’t know what we would have done without their love during that time.
Christmas is the reminder that when Jesus came, He was called Immanuel, which literally means “God with us”. He is with us in our pain, and He also works through people to minister hope and healing to us when we are hurting. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
Are you facing crisis or loss this Christmas?
Are you hurting and in need of someone to come alongside of you in your pain?
Our Guidance Ministry here at The Sanctuary is made up of people in our church family who want to pray with you, help remind you of God’s truth, and walk with you in the healing process. It is a safe place to process your areas of hurt or difficulty and be reminded that you are not alone and God still has good plans for your life.
If you are interested in more information about Guidance Ministry, please pick up a packet in the Hospitality Room or at the Welcome Center. I am praying for you this holiday season!
Recently, I was reading the scheduled Growth Journal verses in my Bible. It was the account of God telling Noah to build the ark in Genesis 6.
We were driving along the 5 Freeway on a rainy Tuesday when Bob remarked, “She won’t know who you are. Sometimes she doesn’t recognize her own children. She has moments when she is quiet and times when she’s more talkative. It all depends.”
One day the disciples asked Jesus how to pray—which is hilarious when you think about it: they were talking with Jesus (aka God) asking him, ‘How should we talk with you?’
Remarkably, Jesus gives them the lay of land, a characteristic of How Things Work.
Here’s how it works, fellas: be stubborn, mule-headed and unstoppable in pursuing what you want. Be SHAMELESSLY PERSISTENT.
What a great motto for living, huh?! I love this motto most days. Flexibility is a quality to be encouraged and championed.
Welcome to Advent! The term is from the Latin word meaning "the coming, or arrival." It is a season of holy anticipation and disciplined waiting... more of a contented peace while listening with prophetic hope for the nativity of Jesus.
Anyone who knows me know that I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!
In fact, 4 people posted memes on my Facebook wall, celebrating that November means it’s time to begin the Christmas fun!
I’m one of those. . . you know, one of those people who pulls out the Christmas music and movies the day after Halloween and likes my house to be fully decorated by Thanksgiving.
Today has been a day filled with mixed emotions. The most unwanted, and dare I even say it, the most “hated” president in history, will move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (the White House) in January. What are we supposed to do with
Lately I’ve been asking us to toss our political affiliations out the window!
Even if you’ve been a loyal Democrat your whole life, or dedicated to the Republican cause since you were able to vote, forget about it! Our political preferences are just not that important! …and Independent-Green-Tea isn’t the answer either!
Do you remember the first time you came to The Sanctuary or the first time you went to any church? You didn’t know anyone, you were nervous.
My husband Eric and I have had the privilege of helping several young adult couples prepare for marriage through pre-marriage counseling. Every couple has a different story to tell...