Life on Court Square

Life on Court Square

  1. 12 Books you should read in 2021

    It’s a new year, and a new opportunity awaits to dig in to some books to grow your faith walk. We asked some of First Pres’ leaders what would be on their 2021 must-read list. We got 12 recommendations, and hey, that’s enough for one each month. So, let’s go!

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  2. In 2020, ‘God showed up in a mighty way’

    Even in the midst of a pandemic that brought challenges to how we do ministry, First Pres is thriving and positioned for growth in 2021. Watch elder Lila Gardner reflect on First Pres’ 2020 and her hopes for the new year.

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  3. What were you expecting?

    I’m thinking about expectations today. Did you get what you expected for Christmas? 2020 was certainly not what we expected. Yet perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by the unexpected.

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  4. The Silence of Advent, the Hallelujah of Christmas

    I stumbled on a quote today that fits so perfectly with some of what we unpacked last week looking at the carol “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”  The quote comes from Miles Davis who said, “In music, silence is more important than sound.”

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  5. The Weary World Rejoices

    The combination of anticipating lighting the “joy” candle in our advent wreath on Sunday and reading an excellent reflection titled “The Weary World Rejoices” has me thinking a lot about how to cultivate joy in the midst of our weary, waiting world.

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  6. The hopes and fears of this strange year

    I had the chance to meet this week with my ECO pastors covenant group. With the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and its line about “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in you tonight” as a prompt, we were encouraged to frame our check-in with one another by identifying some of our current hopes and fears.

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  7. Advent shapes our expectations

    I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations. There are always such high expectations around Christmas, and this year those expectations are higher than ever. Some people who had to cancel summer plans because of COVID-19 managed their disappointment by placing their hope on Christmas. Some even set up their Christmas decorations back in August, yet now it appears Christmas will face its own restrictions and many expectations will not be met.

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  8. Giving Thanks in the Midst of a Difficult 2020

    Prepositions matter! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.”  I’m really glad the command isn’t to “give thanks for all circumstances.” There are lots of things I cannot and even should not give thanks for this year, but in the midst of 2020 we can and must give thanks. Why?  Because God is in the midst of all of it and he is over all of it, working for our good.

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  9. When disappointment comes

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we as Christians should handle frustration and/or disappointment. A wise friend once told me that strong emotion without an expression usually leads to depression. I sense and hear a lot of strong frustration and disappointment out there, and I’m also seeing a lot of depression, so what should we do?

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  10. 3 Phrases We Should Use More Often

    The year 2020, and this week in particular, has me thinking we all need to lean in and use three phrases a lot more than we commonly do. 

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