How Does One Lose His Joy?

E - RoyalDear Friends and Family of LCC,

Merry almost Christmas …. It sure seems like it just kind of snuck up all of the sudden.

Who are you inviting to the Christmas Eve Service on Dec 24 at 7:00PM? It will be a candlelight service for the whole family with Christmas Carols, candles, special glow lights for kids, and the real Christmas story as told in the Gospel of Luke. We also have a baptism scheduled. It is going to be an awesome and classic night.

If you have missed the first three Advent Sundays here they are on video:

This Sunday is Advent Sunday Number Four … The topic this week is Joy. How are you doing in the joy department?

One night the shepherds were out in the country, on the side of a hill, watching their sheep. Suddenly a full blown radiantly glowing angel showed up. As you can imagine, it was frightening. The angel said to them;

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Luke 2:10-11

Joy … I mean that is what comes with being a Christian right. Joy, love, peace, hope, faith ….

Yes … Joy is a gift that comes with Jesus. Well look around. There are a lot of Christians running around who have lost their joy.

How does that happen? Well my friend. There are many ways.

My teaching on this Advent Sunday is called, “How to be Joy-Full?” But first we are going to talk about ten ways we can lose our joy. I thought of way more than ten, but I think we can all identify with these ten.  

I hope you to see you Sunday. Here are a few questions to think about before then.

  • What is joy?
  • Do I feel joy all the time, some of the time, not very often or I can’t remember the last time I felt joy?
  • Is it God’s desire for you to always be happy?
  • Is life fair? If not, should it be?
  • When do you feel the most joyful?
  • I did have joy … When did I lose it?

I am looking forward to Sunday and I hope to see you. If you have not been to church in awhile, I promise you will be blessed.
Bring a friend

May God Bless you more than you could ever imagine.
Your Brotha from anotha motha
Royal

Win By Making Love Your Highest Goal (Video/Notes)

 

Anticipation: An Advent Series

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

What is important is faith expressing itself in love. Gal 5:6b

Love God and love people. Just two rules.

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matt 22:36-40

Let love be your highest goal! 1 Cor 14:1

Don’t confuse love with feelings.

Love is a sacrificial attitude accompanied by action.
Believe and accept God’s love and start over.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 5:17

God’s love to us makes it possible to love.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first. 1 Jon 4:18-19

The Love Check List …..

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Cor 13:4-7

LEAP into love.

What does this kind of love look like in your life?
Time

Attitude – (With God and people)

Money

Spouse

Parenting

Employee on the job

Employer business owner

• In competition
• People in need
• People who annoy you
• People who make you angry
• People who don’t believe in Jesus

A Peace You Can’t Explain (Video/Notes)


A Peace You Can’t Explain
Anticipation: An Advent Series

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

OT Peace – Shalom Relational and internal
Peace…completeness, soundness,
peace and this is success

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Col 3:15

True shalom can only be achieved through Christ.

Peace with God has to happen before shalom.

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Rom 12:18

NT Peace – Greek eirene .. rest and tranquility

Don’t flinch …..

“Be still, and know that I am God!” Ps 46:10a

God commands us to seek peace.

God blesses those who work for peace (peacemakers) for they will be called the children of God. Matt 5:9

How To Choose Peace

1) Choose peace with God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6

2) Choose relational peace.

Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. Matt 1:19

3) Choose an attitude of trusting and obeying God.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
Luke 1:38

4) Choose forgiveness.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Col 3:13

5) Choose an attitude of gratitude.

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 5:20

How is that possible?

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Col 2:7

Pastor Royal Farris

A Small Act of Kindness Can Make Someone’s Day

E - RoyalI am a people watcher, and when I can I like to practice Acts of Kindness.  It’s a great way to be God’s love with skin.

As usual, the line for lunch at Chick-Fill-A yesterday was very long.  At the drive thru cars were lined up around the building and into the street.  Inside there were so many people it was hard to tell who had ordered and who was waiting for their order to be filled.

One lady was there before me and another guy who walked into the restaurant at the same time.  I saw her waiting there patiently and I noticed she looked a little distracted.  A spot at the counter opened up.  It was clearly her turn, but she did not notice the opening as quick as the guy who had entered with me.  She started to step forward, noticed he was heading for the counter, and she kindly stepped back, smiled, and let him go first.

I realized she deserved and act of kindness.  I only had a $10.00 bill so I ordered just a sandwich with no drink and hoped she was just ordering for herself.  Sure enough she ordered a sandwich and a drink.  I had enough so I stepped over and told Mary, the lady behind the counter, I was buying the lady’s lunch and gave her the cash.  (I would have pulled out the credit card if I had to because I had already made the commitment.)

So … It really was no more than a small act of kindness, but the result was a huge smile from the lady receiving the act.

She asked why I was doing that.  I told her I saw her let that man cut in line so I thought she deserved an act of kindness.

She thanked me and said, “You really made my day.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of kindness to make someone’s day.

And it feels so good to know you did.

How about you?  When was the last time you just did a random act of kindness?  Try it and let me know how it goes.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Col 3:12

Note To LCC – Communion and A Peace You Can’t Explain

E - RoyalDear Friends and Family of LCC,

If you are a lady, and you know who you are, we are having a ladies Christmas party on Thursday, Dec 11 at 6:30pm. This will be a fun get together and a great way to get to know some more of the ladies of LCC … Find out more details on Sunday or email Joy@lifeconnectionchurch.org if you are not going to be at church Sunday.

This Sunday is the second Sunday of the Christmas Advent Season. We will be having Communion, an awesome time of worship, and I will be teaching a message for Advent called, “A Peace You Can’t Explain”.

  • Here are some questions to ponder before Sunday’s message.
  • Did you know the Old Testament and the New Testament primarily use two different words for peace?
  • Do you know what Shalom means?
  • Did you ever play the game “Don’t Flinch” when you were a kid? Do you remember what happened when you flinched?
  • Does God just like the idea of peace or does He command us to seek it?

This Weeks LEAP verse is …. 

Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Thanks to all of you who adopted Angel Tree Angels and who are serving at the Mall this week. I served last night with an awesome group of LCCers and really had a blessed experience. I wrote about it in my blog.

See “God Loves a Cheerful Giver And Angel Tree Givers Are Truly Cheerful

If you missed the first Advent Message it is also on my blog …

See … “How To Beat Discouragment” It is a message on hope.

Who are you inviting to the Christmas Eve Service on Dec 24 at 7:00PM.  It will be a candlelight service with Christmas Carols and we have one baptism already scheduled. If you would like to be baptized on Christmas Eve, reply to this email and I will contact you. If you have any questions about baptism look here first, and then contact me.

May God Bless you more than you could ever imagine.
Your Brotha from anotha motha
Royal

God Loves A Cheerful Giver and Angel Tree Givers Are Truly Cheerful

Angel Tree VolunteersI served tonight with other LCCers at the Angel Tree booth in the NE Mall.  Our church has served for years as volunteers for the Salvation Army Angel tree campaign.

Locally, in Tarrant County, Angel Tree provides generous loving people a way to fulfill the Christmas wishes and needs for nearly 60,000 individuals.  By adopting and Angel to provide for  we are blessed to be able to make a difference for parents with children who need our help at this particular time in their lives.

We have our own Angel adoptions at the church.  We volunteer for several shifts at the mall.  And one year we served at the Salvation Army
Warehouse as the parents of the Angels came and picked up the gifts.

photo-5The kids never know the gifts are not paid for by their parents.  It’s brilliant.  What an opportunity to be God’s love with skin.  We bless the parents and the parents are able to bless their kids.

I really enjoy serving at the mall assisting people as they choose their angels.  They are in such a joyous mood as they compassionately look at the angels and wrestle with their emotions as they try to decide which one to take off the tree or if they are going to stretch the budget a little more and pick two or three.  Do I get an older one and a younger one?  Do I get a couple of siblings?  There are three kids in this family, can I do three?  Are there any senior adults left from which to choose?

You can see the emotion on their faces and the excitement spreads to the child whose mom picks a boy his age, his size, and sometimes even his name.  Some have been back year after year and you can tell they are really looking forward to giving with love and joy.

God loves a cheerful giver and Angel Tree givers are truly cheerful.

I got a little choked up as I talked with the adopters about the adoptees.  It’s not hard to imagine angel faces as you read their names, see their needs and their wishes.

One lady wanted a seven year old girl because her daughter was seven.  We found one and she decided to also adopt her older sister.  The smile on her face was infectious.  She came for one opportunity to love and provide for one child and she got a bonus.

photo-7I was helping her in her search and I came across a little girl named Winter.  What a cool name.  The head Mall Angel Tree volunteer told me that people look through the angels for an emotional attachment.  It might be a name, a certain aged girl or boy, or a gift the child wants or needs that is the emotional trigger.

Winter …..  Winter is an eight year old little girl.  Besides her clothes and shoe size I don’t know anything else about her.  Winter …. I felt an emotional attachment to that name.  She needs a coat.  That’s what her card says.  Need: COAT.

I adopted Winter.

Winter … I can’t wait to buy your gifts and I can imagine your joy when your parents give them to you.  Merry Christmas …

And yes … It’s true … Angel Tree givers are cheerful givers.  And I feel the love.

Thanks to The Salvation Army for making this cheerful giving opportunity possible.

How about you?  Angel Trees will be adopting out kids till the gifts are due on Dec 10.  That’s next Wednesday.

How To Beat Discouragement (Video/Notes)

If you continue to be discouraged, you will eventually lose hope.

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
Is 9:2

Wordly hope is wishful thinking.

Living hope in God creates a condition of rest.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” Ps 46:10a

25 King David said this about him:‘I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
26 No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. Acts 2:25-26
The opposite of hope is discouragement.

Living a Discouraged life leads to;

1. Anxiety
2. Emotional Negativity
3. Depression
4. Physical fatigue
5. Relational conflicts
6. A feeling of disconnect from God.

How To Live a Life Of Hope

1) Put trust in God above all.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Heb 11:1

2) Pray what you can and know the Holy Spirit is
praying for you

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Rom 8:26

3) Get quiet and listen to God.

And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 9:12

4) Get physically healthy.

5) Put your beliefs in action.

When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. John 15:10

6) Be a hope carrier all.

…all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:47

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13

http://www.lifeconnectionchurch.org Royal Farris