Archives For christmas

James Taylor

So yesterday I was telling one of my interns that at my home in December we listen to James Taylor’s Christmas album. My kids know his music well and it’s kind of a family tradition. I remarked how much I liked “JT’s Christmas album” and he said, “Justin Timberlake is JT”.

Justin Timberlake

Hold up! Wait a minute. No disrespect to Justin Timberlake, but James Taylor is the real and original “JT”. Anyone got my back? Will the real JT please stand up?!!!

I went away this weekend and took my first Sunday off of the year. This combined with being off earlier in the week for Thanksgiving, made for a much-needed extended time of rest, relief and refreshment. I feel so much healthier (physically, spiritually and mentally).

This came at a great time as we start prep for our busy Christmas season today. I will be working some crazy hours until Christmas Eve, so it’s good to not be running on empty anymore.

My time off (in which I didn’t Facebook, blog, Twitter or check email) reminded me of an article that I wrote for Relevant Magazine a while back. The article was called “Noise” and you can read it HERE.

EXTRA:

What makes me happy? This:


 

This year we are going to do Christmas differently around the Atkinson home. We are just days away from Thanksgiving! – after which we will take down the Christmas ornaments and begin decorating our home for the holidays. We always decorate with Christmas music playing. I’ll also start playing Christmas music at church during the prelude/walk-in time. I’m glad it’s that time of year!

As a family, we are going to participate in this season of giving differently this year. Here are 3 things that I’m trying to use as teachable moments with my children:

  1. Send Christmas cards (made by our kids) to our child that we sponsor through World Vision and shop through their Christmas catalog. Maybe give some ducks… or a goat?!! Who knows?
  2. Shop in the IJM Gift of Freedom Holiday Catlalog. I don’t know exactly what we’re going to give this year, but we’re going to pick one of their great options. 
  3. New this year: we are going to participate in the brilliant campaign: Advent Conspiracy. Watch this video – dream with us. What could it look like if we change our shopping/giving/normal Christmas mentality and gave the gift of clean water? Do you honestly remember what you got or gave for Christmas last year? Check this video out:

I hope you know my heart. My intent is to share what’s going on in my life and my family – to encourage, challenge and stretch you – and hope that you and your family will look at Christmas with new eyes this year. So… what are YOU doing for Christmas?

EXTRA:

If you watched 24 last night then maybe your heart was stirred (like mine) by the issues raised. To get involved and do something about it go HERE.

EXTRA, EXTRA:

Some of you have, but a lot of you have not been following the string of comments on the “Don’t Go to Seminary” blog post. I encourage you to go back and read through all them. It’s pretty exciting to see how that struck a nerve with so many. You might even see a comment that shocks you.

Things are busy around my church (Bent Tree). Here’s what’s going down:

  • Last month we had our Grand Opening (pics HERE). 
  • This month we have our annual Missions Festival. This years theme: GLOCAL. I’ve been using that term a lot lately. Our Visual Arts team is transforming our church for this yearly extravaganza! More info HERE.
  • Saturday, Oct 25: We host the Art+Music+Justice Tour. More info HERE.
  • In November we’ll host the “Hymns of Hope” featuring worship leaders (including our own) from 4 amazing churches. Click HERE to see a sneak peak of them on The Worship Network and hear our worship leader, Scott Dyer
  • In December we’ll have some sort of theatric/dramatic presentation in the early part of the month. I’m told we’ll do something “simple” for Christmas Eve. I’m counting on it!
  • In January we host Leadership Network’s Innovation 3 Conference featuring MANY amazing speakers. Be there!
  • Word on the street is that we’ll also be hosting Catalyst in May ’09.  Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel will be on the Bent Tree stage. Watch out!