Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

 

If you need a Christmas sermon to help you make it through the chaos of the coming days, this is the message for you.

My husband preached from Luke 1.  His sermon was called, “There’s been a change of plans!”

He told us we cannot let our plans get in the way of God’s purpose.  We have to plan for…

  1. Interruptions.  Sometimes the greatest miracles we will experience will come in the form of an interruption.
  2. Inconvenience.  God’s plans are often inconvenient.
  3. Imperfection.  Often our expectation of perfection stops our celebration of progress.
  4. Impossibility.  God wants to do impossible things in my life.

This Christmas season, we have to remember that just because the plan changes, doesn’t me His promise has.

I hope you will take the time to listen to this message.  I will really encourage you.  You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast. And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Tips for giving a good gift

Every year around this time, I like to do a post about gift giving.

There’s nothing like receiving a meaningful gift.  But giving a meaningful gift is even better.  I think sometimes people get lazy when it comes to Christmas shopping.  We have too many people to buy for so we just go out and buy stuff that will do.  But what if the goal of giving a Christmas gift was not to just give a present but to give a present that says, “I thought of you.” or “I know you.”  Sure every gift cannot be perfect but we all have at least one person on our list that we want to put our best effort towards.

Here are a few pointers in gift giving that I posted here on the blog last Christmas…

1.  Don’t make it about you.  I knew a woman who got a pool table for mother’s day one year.  She had never played pool a day in her life. When giving a gift to someone, start by thinking about the things that they love.  They love hunting?  Go to Bass Pro Shop and ask for help and get a gift receipt for everything you buy.  They love cooking?  Go to Sur La Table, make a gift basket and just remember to get a gift receipt.  Don’t let your likes and dislikes and opinions keep you from getting someone else what they really want.

2.  Replace something.  Maybe they lost a pocket knife that got taken by TSA  or a pair of favorite earrings that they left in a hotel.  It could be something they broke like a favorite mug or pair of shoes that got ruined.

3.  Give a blast from the past.  Find a t-shirt from a concert you attended years ago.  Or an old cd you used to love together.  Maybe a copy of a movie you saw together.

4.  Do something nostalgic.  Frame an old picture or an old letter.  One of my favorite gifts my mom ever gave me is in my kitchen.  It is a framed recipe card for my Grandma’s eye round roast (my favorite thing she cooked).  My mom saved it when she was cleaning out my Grandma’s house after she moved to an assisted living home.  It is not even in a nice frame but I don’t care, it’s special.  It reminds me that cooking is about expressing my love to my family (for me, no pressure if you hate cooking).

5.  Be a good listener.  If your wife goes on and on to her friend about how beautiful her new purse is, take notes!  If your husband talks about how he wishes he had a universal remote, pay attention!  If your daughter goes on and on about sparkly UGGS take the hint!

When you give a really thoughtful gift you take a big risk.  Maybe they won’t get it.  Maybe they won’t think it is as special as you do.  Maybe you tried really hard but just fell short.  But maybe you gave them a gift that says, “I know you,” or “I pay attention to you,” or “I remember the great times we have had together,” and that speaks volumes.  And listen, if you need to throw in a gift card with your framed recipe card, that’s icing on your, I-put-thought-into-this gift.

Here are 3 don’ts of gift giving…

Don’t equate gifts with need.  That’s why socks and underwear from your grandma never meant much.
Don’t believe the lie that it is all about money.  Resourcefulness after a tough financial year could be the best gift you ever gave your spouse.
Don’t give up.  Just because you gave a gift that bombed last year doesn’t mean you throw in the towel this year.  It means you try harder this year.

And finally, here are a few tips for searching on the internet for gift ideas…

-Try one Googling a list like, “best gifts for guys” or “best cooking gadgets”
-One of my favorite sites for unique gifts is uncommongoods.com
-Gift ideas on Etsy.com is also one of my go-to websites
-Go to Amazon.com and search best-selling lists (book, toys, tech etc…)
Only a few days left!  Happy Hunting!

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Monday Morning Commentary

We wrapped our series, Surround, today with the year end offering we have been building up to.  My husband preached on the classic Bible story, the feeding of the 5,000 found in Mark 6.  The message was called, “Don’t get stuck in the bubble.”

He  used the illustration of the bubbles when text messaging on the iPhone.  He told us that bubbles in this message can be defined as the time between when the message is received and when the actual response is given.

He talked about the 3 bubbles we can get stuck in as Christians…

  1. the bubble of comfort.  You will never see a miracle from inside of your comfort zone.
  2. the bubble of certainty.  Certainty is the opposite of faith.  God does not have to give me all the details.
  3. the bubble of calculation.  The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 came from an uncalculated source.
I love watching people worship through giving.  The worship experiences this weekend were so special at all of our campuses.  I cannot wait to hear the total of how much we have sacrificed together.

You can watch the message later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast. And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Monday Morning Commentary

We continued our series, Surround, this weekend with an inspiring message on generosity based on 2 Corinthians 8:1-13.  The message was called, “Bring it Full Circle.”

Here are a few of my favorite lines from the message…

  • A generous heart will always find a way while a greedy heart will always find an excuse.
  • My scarcity enables me to see God’s sufficiency.
  • Tough times are good ground for God’s provision.
  • The privilege of generosity is always greater than the price.
We learned that good intentions do not get the gospel out.  Personal initiative does.  God does not measure the size of my circle, He measures the size of my sacrifice.  I am excited for our end of year offering next weekend.  My husband and I have prayed over our gift and we are excited to bring it.   I sat down with our kids last night and helped them decide what they are going to give too.  It is never easy to give generously but we know that God takes our seed and He multiplies it.  And when I understand the potential of the harvest, I am happy to plant my seed.

You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast. And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Great resources… Fearless Mom

When I read a great book or stumble across a resource that has helped me, I love to share it.

My good friend Julie Richard launched an incredible ministry a few months ago.  I kept thinking that I wanted to watch her teaching because honestly, Julie is the best mom I know.  Yesterday I finally checked out her website, fearlessmom.com.  What an amazing resource for moms.

In Julie’s introductory message she says the worst thing you can do as a mom is isolate yourself.  She says isolation leads to shame which leads to depression.  She encourages moms to draw strength from each other.

The website has a place for you to subscribe to her weekly videos.  They also provide their entire curriculum free for you to download and go through with whatever group you are a part of.  Click below to visit their site!

 

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A peaceful heart during a hectic holiday

Isaiah 9:6 prophesied the birth of Jesus.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Have you ever felt like the Christmas season is anything but peaceful?  My holiday seasons often feel chaotic and hectic and busy, not peaceful.

The thing is, peacefulness is a state of mind, not necessarily present circumstance.  If I go into the Christmas season thinking I am supposed to feel like I am on a beach vacation, I am going to be sorely disappointed.  There are gifts to buy, parties to plan, cards to mail, dinners to attend.

As the woman of the house, I set the tone.  If I am stressed, everyone else will be.  I can choose to create a peaceful atmosphere. I have the power to ruin a dinner before it even starts if I am fussing and stressing in my preparation.

And while I cannot control the mood and the attitude of those around me, I can control my own.  I love how Romans puts it, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom 12:18).   I can let the Prince of Peace rule in my heart.  I can determine that I will keep my perspective straight when things get crazy.   Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

And the secret is found in that last verse… and be thankful.

When my house is dirty
When gifts need to be purchased
When my Christmas card needs to be mailed out
When presents need to be wrapped
When meals need to be prepared
When decorations need to be hung
When I feel overcommitted

I will be thankful for the people in my life.  I will be thankful for the resources I do have.  I will be thankful I can help others.  I will be thankful that I get to live in a country where I can worship freely.  I can be thankful for the heated home I get to decorate and the car I drive to run my errands.  I will be thankful for Jesus, my Prince of Peace who always pours out grace on my the moment I need Him the most.

I will choose to have a peaceful heart, even when my holiday is hectic.

 

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