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Staying Focused This Christmas; The Inconvenience of Christ-December 2

Manger with Cross

Here is day #2 of Kif Anderson's "Staying Focused at Christmas" daily devotional.  I hope you are as blessed by this as I am every year I read it.   Again, feel free to comment and add your thoughts to the comments section below.


December 2nd
The Inconvenience of Christ


I believe it was comedian Gallagher who once joked, "And Christmas...it comes right in the middle of the holidays...so we don't have anytime to enjoy it." Have you ever felt that way? One can get so wrapped up in the activities this time of the year brings that they can struggle to find time for Jesus. But lets face it...we were not the first ones to be put upon by finding time for Jesus.


Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while
they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.


"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn."
  (Luke 2:4-7)


Have you ever noticed what an inconvenience Baby Jesus was? If it had been me, I can only imagine the questions that I would have been asking if I had been in Mary or Joseph's shoes. "Come on God, don’t we have enough to deal with? Why does this baby need to be born here in Bethlehem? Can’t you hold things off until we get back home to Nazareth? Or at the very least secure a motel room for us?"


Let's face it, our culture has done a great job of conditioning us to expect convenience. We’ve come to believe that it’s some sort of entitlement that each of us deserves. Everything is advertised as being more convenient, and therefore anything that poses an
"inconvenience to our lives" is by default negative. Enter Jesus. As the Christmas account shows, the Lord does not make life more convenient for us. In fact, as you read through the Bible you find that those who were closest to the Lord were those who were most
inconvenienced. Jesus is many things, but He isn’t always convenient.


We struggle with this because we want life to fit in with our own plans and expectations.  This is painfully evident during this time of year as we make our plans to celebrate and enjoy the Christmas season. We strive to make our agendas precise and airtight. But
God’s agenda will often conflict with ours, and at these moments we have to make a choice. We can either fume at the fact that we’ve been inconvenienced, or we can surrender our expectations to God and ask Him to fill us with His agenda for our lives.  When we choose God’s choice, we find the joy of obedience in the midst of being inconvenienced.

Staying Focused This Christmas; Starting Point December 1

The following daily devotionals for Christmas were written by my friend, Kif Anderson, a few years ago.  Kif lost his battle with prostrate cancer and has been with Christ, his Savior for awhile now.  But his legacy lives on through these devotions and his devotion that he lived out, to Jesus.

Enjoy - And remember the TRUE reason for this season. 

Feel free to comment and/or share any of the devotional messages.



December 1
Starting Point


Decorations are being dug out of the garages, trees are getting purchased from temporary lots set up in empty fields (or perhaps just being assembled like at our house), lighted trims and inflatable decorations are starting to illuminate our neighborhoods at dusk, and therefore the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has begun.

So for the next few days as we approach this most joyous of celebrations, it seems if we don't want to lose the “Christ” in Christmas we need to find ways to take a little time and focus on Him. So this short run devotional series is being shared with you to hopefully brighten you day, or at least keep you pointed in the right direction.


When does the Christmas story actually start?


A lot of folks might answer that it all began in the manger in the little town of Bethlehem because this is when Jesus' earthly life began. However if we see this as our starting point, we actually place a huge limitation on the significance of Christ and Christmas.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (John 1:1)

In this verse, the Greek phrase in the beginning is more accurately rendered beyond or outside of the beginning of time. This means that Jesus, as the Word, has always been in existence. Bible scholars refer to this attribute as the eternality of Christ.  His earthly life may have begun in Bethlehem , but His divine life has always been and has no beginning.


Numerous witnesses in the New Testament point out the eternal nature of Jesus. While John the Baptist was about six months older than Jesus, he makes the amazing statement that Christ's life actually preceded his own (John 1:30). This is an obvious allusion to the eternal existence of Jesus. The apostle Paul takes this thought even further when he wrote that Christ is before all things (Colossians 1:17). As if this weren't enough, the Lord
Himself made reference to His preexistent state on multiple occasions:  


And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with  You before the world was. (John 17:5)

Father . . . You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 
(John 17:24)

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)

The Christmas story doesn't begin in the manger because Jesus' existence didn't start there. God's act of giving His precious Son to mankind was actually initiated before time even began, as the Bible tells us that Jesus was offered on behalf of our sins before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8).

That silent night in Bethlehem was simply a matter of time catching up with God's eternal desire to provide us with His salvation.

September 16, 2019

2019-09-20-FREE Family Movie

Free Movie Event!

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 7 p.m.

This fun, family movie was released late, last year.

It features great animation, music, singing and a heartwarming story of love and friendship.  

Come and enjoy with your family on our "Big Screen".

We provide free snacks at the movie. 

(Due to our licensing agreement, we MAY show the movie for free to the public, but cannot advertise the name of the movie, however click the button above and we will text you a reminder.)

2019-04-26-Movie-Unbroken-The-Path-To-Redemption

Free Movie Event!

Friday, April 26, 2019 - 7 p.m.

Come experience the REST of the story of "The Torrance Tornado", Louis Zamperini.  Zamperini's harrowing and true story of being lost at sea, "rescued" by the Japanese during World War II, and struggles and survival in a Japanese POW camp was vividly portrayed in "Unbroken", a major theatrical release a few years ago.

This is the second half of the Zamperini story.  In this movie, we will join Zamperini as he battles with the demons of his past from the POW camp, and learn how he was able to overcome his challenges as he returned to America and tried to resume his athletic career and live a normal life.

Due to some of the violent nature of this movie it is rated PG-13, so parents be cautioned.  

We provide free snacks at the movie.  Come join us.  
See the trailer below.

January 11, 2019

2019-01-18-Movie-Beautifully Broken

Free Movie Event!

Friday, January 18, 2019 - 7 p.m.

WARNING - We need to let you all know, that there are some scary scenes in this movie as it takes place during a civil war.  There is also an attack on a minor child (that takes place off screen).  But, both the war scenes and the attack are essential to telling the true story.  My wife, Denise, and I attended the pre-screening of this movie back in June of 2018.  

It is VERY well written and the producers (one of who is the main character in the movie) did a great job of packing several seemingly unrelated events into a great movie that tells the TRUE story of 3 families, their trials and God's providential throughout their ordeal.  I can't really tell you too much more without giving away essential plot elements.

We provide free snacks at the movie.  Come join us.  
See the trailer below.

November 14, 2018

2018-11-16-Movie-The-Star

Free Movie Event!

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 7 p.m.

This IS a family friendly movie - Rated G

We provide free snacks at the movie.  Come join us.  
See the trailer below.

If you are able to, please bring an unwrapped NEW toy for a child that we will donate to the North East Los Angeles Police Department for their annual Christmas Toy Giveaway.  

October 11, 2018

Annual Car and Car Seat Inspection Event – October 13

Annual Car and Car Seat Inspection Event - October 13
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Open Letter from Chris Auto...

Dearest Chris Auto Customer,

I wouldn't normally do this, but I NEED your help. And, no, my email account was not hacked. LOL.

This Saturday, October 13th, 2018 -  from 9am-1pm we will be closing shop for the day to host our annual community service event. It will take place at the 

Los Angeles Police Museum 
6045 York Blvd
 Los Angeles, 90042.

I need your help in spreading the word to whomever you may know. ALL services performed there are FREE with NO OBLIGATION. The flyer is enclosed.

4 years ago we wanted to serve our community somehow. Yes, there were ideas flying around like food drives and what not, but that's not what we specialized in. The idea came while driving down York Blvd. as we started noticing cars that weren't properly maintained. People let their cars go, out of fear of going to a mechanic to get up-sold or ripped off. So, we came up with the idea to host an annual event where people could come without fear, to have their cars visually inspected, and ask our mechanics questions. We'd then send them home with a written report that listed any potential problems or conditions, if any,  we found during the checkups. Whether they fixed it themselves, took it to their mechanics, or came to us, it gave them information they needed to make an easy cheap fix before it could potentially turn into a big expensive repair.

We found, in that same year, a car seat organization that was nationally known, who was vigorous in their car seat inspections. They had never teamed up with an auto shop before to do this type of event, but were excited to do so. They are passionate about what they do. This is the organization that trains the CHP to do car seat inspections/installations! They've been doing checkups with us as well for the past 4 years, and has made this event that much more special. Each year, we are so honored to have them with us.

All these services are safety driven and are FREE at our event THIS SATURDAY. We'd like to help all we can get, to make it worth closing down shop for the day. Hankook Tires has graciously donated a voucher for a free set of tires to be given to any random participant of the event, and New York Life will be there making photo/fingerprinting ID cards for children FREE of charge! This is good to have in the awful event that our children go missing. While outer appearances change as they get older, fingerprints NEVER do! This ID card is so important to have.

Will you please help us spread the word? You can forward this email to whomever or verbally let people know. You can use the file to upload the image to your instagram, Twitter, facebook, or whatever social media account too if you wish. We'd greatly appreciate your help in this effort.

Thank you! Here's to another great event! We'd also like to thank you for being the best part of Chris' Auto Service! We truly do appreciate you.

Sincerely, 

Chris

October 10, 2018

Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Highland Park Union Packs Shoe Boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Women's Christian Temperance Union, Highland Park Chapter Packs Shoe Boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Members of the Highland Park chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), joined together at Highland park Christian Church on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 to help spread Christmas cheer and the love of Christ to children around the world by packing several shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  

The boxes were packed for boys and girls, age 5-9 years old.  They will travel somewhere in the world for children that need fun, colorful Christmas gifts this year.

Picture above in the top row from left to right is Jack Erlandsen, Aries Eslava and  Randoph Carrrillo.

The middle row from left to right is Bobby Walker, president; Janet Speiss, and Lewis Zeinz.

The front row left to right is Minnie Hastings and Denise Simpson, Secretary and Treasurer.

For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit the Samaritan's Purse.  
 

September 24, 2018

2018-10-19-Movie-Paul Apostle of Christ

Free Movie Event!

Friday, October 19, 2018 - 7 p.m.

WARNING - This is NOT a family friendly movie, there are very graphic, violent scenes (but that is what happened in reality). 

We provide free snacks at the movie.  Come join us.  
See the trailer and the interview with the actors below.

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