Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Blessings!

Well, here it is Christmas Eve.

I pray that you and yours have a blessed and peace-filled Christmas. Wherever you may be, whether it is Sunny or Stormy, Rainy or Snowy, Clear or Cloudy -- may you experience the warmth that comes from the Light of the World -- the true gift of Christmas.

For the past three Sundays at Cornerstone, I have been talking about the Purpose of Christmas, loosely using Rick Warren's book of the same name as a guide. The purpose of Christmas is: 1) Celebration, 2) Salvation, 3) Reconciliation. May all of us experience each of these this Christmas season.

Tonight is our annual Christmas Eve service at Cornerstone. It is truly one of the highlights of the year. Carols, Candle-lighting, Gift give-aways, and more punctuate the powerful and timeless Message of Christmas. Even though there is a big storm blowing in, (we all know that people in SoCal just don't do well with storms), we are determined to have a great Christmas Eve Celebration tonight.

Actually, our Celebration started early with a special Baptismal Service last night as people allowed the purpose of Christmas to become a reality in their own lives. We enjoyed experiencing the grace and peace of God in powerful way as the cleansing work of Baptism brought newness and life during a season that's focal point is intended to be just that.

May your celebration of Christmas be as joyous.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Operation Gift Basket

I'm Back!

I haven't blogged in a while and people have been worrying about me so I thought I had better get back into the blogasphere!

Let me share something exciting that happened at Cornerstone over the Thanksgiving week. Yes, kids, I know that it is almost Christmas, but I'm still talking about thanksgiving! Okay, I'm thankful that it is almost Christmas -- how's that!? Seriously, much has happened over the past month and a half and I want to tell you about it.

Each Thanksgiving, Cornerstone has a special event called "Operation Gift Basket." With the considerable assistance -- and generosity -- of several local businesses, (Albertson's, Von's, Ralph's, Trader Joe's, Marie Callendar's, and others), we put together 30 thanksgiving dinner baskets for families that are having tough times. The families primarily come from the Meyler Street Elementary School which is located directly across the street from our Church. We have adopted the school as part of our mission to reach-out into our neighborhood. It was a huge success!

Last week, I received a letter from one of the teachers at the school. She wanted to personally thank me and Cornerstone for the Thanksgiving dinner gift baskets as a few of the student's in her class received them. One little girl whose family received a basket told the teacher that it was the very first time in her life that she had eaten Turkey -- and she liked it! I read the letter to the church last Sunday and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

That's what it's all about. That's what true Christianity is all about and that's what Cornerstone is all about.

PS: One Family that we helped is now coming to the Church.