For those of you reading this in the United States, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
I know that for my family, and for many others that I know, we’ve entered into a season in which things can be very hard and very sweet at the same time.
We miss people and feel more stress than usual, but we also gather together more and, hopefully, focus on Jesus more.
It’s definitely a good season to show a little extra grace and love to the people around us, knowing that it’s hard for most people for different reasons.
I preached this past Sunday and wanted to share my notes this week (see the big idea below) and it’s all about how to love others with a self-giving love. And really, in this season of giving, let us all, like King Jesus, give our very selves first of all.
On a different subject, while I really don’t like the very idea of “Black Friday” because it’s such a fast switch between pausing to give thanks and speeding up again to consume.
Nevertheless, every year, I take advantage of a few deals myself and I pass some along to others. Not big screens or shoes named after a sports star, but tools and resources that make me a better communicator, writer, and leader.
I threw together a page sharing the Black Friday – Cyber Monday deals I’m recommending in one spot (they’re all online tools, not toys). They include:
- Siteground for Website Hosting
- Elegant Themes for WordPress Website Design
- Podia for Creating Online Courses and More
- ConvertKit for Email Marketing
- Qustodio to Protect My Family Online
And by the way, if you need to launch a website project of some kind and aren’t sure which tools you really need, feel free to reach out to me with questions. I create websites for churches, nonprofits, and businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Also, Advent sometimes kicks off right after Thanksgiving (in the US), but this year we get an extra Sunday in between. I’m going to share some ideas for Advent next week, but for this week, I hope you enjoy the opportunity to gather with God’s people and share the Word!
Enjoy this coming weekend!
PS – I recommend (and personally use) all the tools I mentioned above, but of them all, I can tell you that Qustodio has definitely been worth the expense. It has filtered and protected my family from harmful internet content, which has led to some pretty powerful conversations in our home. I can’t recommend it enough.
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
A sermon idea based on Luke 7:11-17 about how to cultivate a life of loving other people in intentional, sacrificial ways like Jesus.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
Advent invites us to celebrate more than the birth of Christ. It invites us to look back at history and remember God’s promises to us. During this time of reflection, we consider our own lives and how God uses life’s high and low moments to beckon us into a closer, more personal relationship with him. This four-week study looks at the ways God has moved throughout history to redeem and restore peace between humanity and him.
Links for Leaders
- DEALS: Again, my page listing my favorite Black Friday – Cyber Monday deals, particularly for building a better online presence.
- ARTICLE: From Brandon Kelly, a list of 5 Strategies for Preaching More Engaging Sermons.
- EXCERPT: From Scot McKnight’s book about nonviolence, a selection on how Peace Is Our Prophetic Burden.
Events for Church Leaders
February 26-28, 2024
San Antonio, Texas
Convening and recruiting people who repair local economies – Join us as we facilitate ongoing conversations across geographies that help people build the economic architecture so everyone will thrive.
March 4 – 7, 2024
Although making disciples is the clear mission of the Church, when asked, most churches say that making disciples who make disciples is still their biggest weakness.
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Photo by NEOM on Unsplash.