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Twelve Days, Twelve Responses

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:35 PM

Have you ever noticed the silence that happens on Christmas Eve? One of my favorite memories growing up was leaving church after Christmas Eve service and seeing the normally busy stores all over the city shutdown in observance of Christmas. Of course, even if the stores are closed, we usually have so much going on between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that the lessening of one sort of busyness is only replaced with another sort. In the midst of this, we can often struggle to find time to truly reflect on what we're celebrating: God With Us.

That's why I love celebrating the 12 days after December 25 that lead to Epiphany, traditionally known as the Twelve Days of Christmas. It provides time to reflect. A time to take in the mystery of the Incarnation. A time to reflect on how every single celebration of Christmas is a call to us to respond to God's grace and experience his presence in our lives.

Radioactive

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:46 PM

I preached on Romans 8:28-39 at Grace PCA this weekend. These are some of the most beautiful words ever written and ones that I've found myself interacting with a lot these past few weeks. In this message, we look at how they are meant to assure us of God's already finished work that we cannot yet fully see.

Blunders and Wonders

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:00 AM

What do we do when Christ calls? Do we react by seeking to hide from his call or to wonder at it? In this message from Matthew 2:1-12, 16-19, we examine the responses Herod and the Wisemen made to God's calling.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:52 AM

I've often wondered something: many of our “Christmas decorations” these days are snowmen and snowflakes, so why do we take those down now — just days after the start of winter — and leave the nights so dark? For that matter, this is only the fourth day of Christmas. If you've been already contemplating taking down your decorations in general, why not pause for a few days and actually enjoy them as we bask in the glow of what we have just been celebrating?

A few years ago, I wrote a post questioning why people take down their Christmas decorations so quickly and as I already see the holiday festivities winding down, I again find myself wondering why more people don't observe the Twelve Days of Christmas. I'm not sure about you, but usually the lead up to Christmas is so hectic I find its hard to really stop, reflect and enjoy. Instead of going and grabbing the boxes to put decorations away this weekend, why not sit by the tree, with the lights glowing beautifully, and spend some time in awe at the Light that came into the world the first Christmas morning?

Apple Pay Use Predicted to Rise

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:04 AM

MacRumors reports:

Juniper Research argued that customer dissatisfaction at the slower speeds of chip-and-PIN card transactions will further increase the adoption of smartphone-based payments, an area currently dominated by Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is simply a better experience than chip-and-PIN or chip-and-sign transactions from beginning to end. It is much faster to wave your phone over the reader than to pull out your credit card, insert it into a slot and wait for 10 seconds or so. You also have to do some additional step far less frequently. On top of that, at places like Walgreens, where you can put your loyalty card in Apple Pay, too, it not only is faster to pay, it also saves you from having to carry the ever increasing mountain of loyalty cards.

Recalibrated

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:00 AM

In this message, we turn to Luke 17:11—17:19 to see how God recalibrates our focus in order that we can see what is truly important.

The Unfair God

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:00 AM

I had the blessing of delivering this message reflecting on God's very different way of “doing business” from our own on February 12, 2017. The text of the sermon is from Matthew 20:1-16.

Have the Mind of Christmas

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:00 AM

As we begin 2017, we shouldn't lose sight of the real point of the Christmas season we are just departing from. What is the “Mind of Christmas”? Paul speaks about it in Philippians 2:1—2:11.

The Purloined Prophecy

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:00 AM

On October 16, 2016, I shared a message from John 12:27—12:36 at Grace PCA. We reflected on how our Savior rescues us from our blindness and brings us into the truth.

Road Work Ahead

Called to Work by the Power of the One Who Saves Us

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:00 AM

I preached on Philippians 2:12—2:16 at Grace PCA over Memorial Day weekend. We often look at the first part of Philippians 2, where we find Paul's beautiful description of Jesus's incarnation and sacrifice for us, but what does it mean when Paul follows those familiar words with a call to work out our salvation in fear and trembling? It means there is road work ahead in our lives as Christ transforms us to be more like him.

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