Something you may not know about about the Christmas story

I think I know something about the Christmas story you don’t. But, you’ll have to wait for me to get there.

We start Christmas in our family the moment the Thanksgiving turkey disappears from our plates, and one of my favorite traditions is working through a long list of Christmas movies.

A favorite is any variation of the story of the Ebeneezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim tale called a Christmas Carol. The new computer animated version was the first movie I watched this year, and a single phrase leaped out at me: “He knew how to keep Christmas well.”

I’ve heard how people enjoy, look forward to, and even miss Christmas when it’s over, but I’d never thought about “keeping” Christmas.

So, where is the bit about something I know of the Christmas story that you don’t? Patience, it’s coming.

This leads us to Joseph, not from the Charles Dickens novel, but a character from a much older book: the Bible.

The Joseph I am speaking of is the man from THE Christmas story: the carpenter, the husband of Mary, the stepdad to Jesus. Yeah, that Joseph.
He holds a monumentally significant role in the Christmas story.

First, he was chosen by God to raise the Son of God. What must that background check have been like to make the cut and be picked for team Savior?

Second, he was able to wrestle through the cultural embarrassment of a fiancé who showed up pregnant and claimed the Father was God. Instead of dropping her like a telemarketer’s call at dinner, he responded with gentleness and courage simply because God told him to in a dream.

Third, three kings show up at his door to bring his stepson gifts. But, when that same night God warned him again to take his family to Egypt and keep them safe, he hit the road. Left friends, family, job, everything familiar to take care of that little Boy and His mother.

Fourth, he spent the hard years digging it out and providing for Jesus, helping Him grow up, and teaching Him to become a man. Even as Jesus got left behind at the Temple, it’s a reminder that Joseph took the reigns of spiritually leading his family as Luke 2:41 says, “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.”

You’re probably ready to interrupt saying, “Yes we knew all of this. I thought you said you knew something we all didn’t?”

You’re right, here it is.

Were you aware that in all of these stories, over all of these years service, through numerous interactions that Joseph… is silent.
It’s true. Go back and look at every story. The Bible never records a single spoken work from this epic character.

Mary speaks to him.

Angels speak to him.

The Lord speaks to him.

But, Joseph never says a word. He simply lets his actions speak for his life and heart.

Matthew 1:24 says, “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.”

That’s just how Joseph rolls… a man of action.

I think this is the essence of “keeping Christmas.”

Feelings are good, and words do mean something. But, “keeping Christmas” is about what we do.
What forgiveness can you offer? What sacrifice can you make? What joy can you share? In what way can you go past the words and feelings and begin the practice of “keeping Christmas.”

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and many blessings to you as we “keep Christmas.”


Special thank you to the Hutchinson News for printing  this in the Faith section December 9, 2017. 

The thankful part of Thanksgiving

It is that time of year again. Holiday music starting to play, some crisper days with chilly temperatures and the calendar filling up with holiday celebrations.

First up, Thanksgiving.

How are your preparations?

It’s usually at this point in the season that I get sent in as a cleanup hitter to pick up items at the grocery store that were missed in the first pass.

They already got the big stuff: the turkey, the stuffing, and a pie or two. But, we forgot the cranberry sauce (because no one eats that stuff anyway), the celery/olives/pickles that you put out just to make it feel like you’re trying to eat right, and the cream cheese for the last minute cheese ball.

Yep, finishing the list is important if you want to be ready for the big day. I wonder if we make the same effort to be prepared to actually be thankful on this day we called Thanksgiving. I mean, we named the day after thankfulness… I think we should give it a shot.

In fact, I’ve come to believe in studying God‘s word that thankfulness is actually one of the signs of spiritual maturity that let you know you’re making progress. The Apostle Paul was one of those who was thankful no matter the circumstances. Let his words be our guide this holiday season:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Let me start a shopping list for you, not one for you to run to the store and pick up, but one you can assemble right at home in your prayer closet.

If were truly going to be thankful we will need a big cup of self awareness: so many times we are not grateful because we haven’t taken stock of how blessed we are. A few minutes praying through, writing down, or speaking out loud the good things that we have and have experienced will sometimes put it in perspective.

I would also grab a couple of cans of expectations. Things may not be exactly the way you want them in the moment, but when you follow the God that I know you’ll soon discovered that you’re being set up… for the next move, for breakthrough, for hope, for blessing. Praying in expectation that God has heard, does love, and will answer… Now that will add Some thankfulness to your holiday.

Also, pick up a big bag of get over yourself. Yeah, maybe not the tone you expect from a holiday article, but come on… you know we need a heaping helping of that. It’s hard to be thankful when we haven’t looked around, and seen the needs of others and not just how blessed we are in comparison, but the joy of seeing how we might be used by God to help in their life.

Looking outward not only get your eyes off of the things that you think are inadequate or troublesome in your own life, but it gives you the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s. I can tell you, one of the best ways to become thankful is to live in a way that makes others thankful.

Sure, there are a few more things that may round out your thankfulness meal, but this is a good starting point.

Let me encourage you as a CrossPointer to remember how blessed we are, let that fill your heart, and take a step or two to share that reason for thankfulness with someone else this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving… I’m thankful for you, I’m thankful for our blessings, and I’m thankful for our Lord Jesus Christ.


Seeking more of Him and less of me,

Pastor Andy Addis

John 3:30

Note from a spoiled pastor

Yesterday was an epically monumental day. I just need a moment to process with you, if you don’t mind.

First, I had the privilege of preaching at the finest church I know, CrossPoint. As we have been walking through the sermon on the Mount we have had to tackle difficult, controversial subjects. I’m privileged to serve a church that doesn’t become defensive, or look for an easy out. We accept, repent and walk on in grace.

I can’t tell you how rare that is.

Second, we heard 26 testimonies and saw as many baptisms at an outdoor, public gathering of the church. It was devastatingly beautiful. Still reeling from that.

But third (and most significant to me), my youngest son preached his first solo sermon yesterday.

He rocked it.

I could spend the rest of my words here expressing the joy I had in listening to him stand up in a friend’s church to deliver God’s word. I could  try to convey my own nervous tension seeing his name in the bulletin next to the line “preaching of the word.”

I might even reach back and share with you the struggle of the last month and watching him move from excited about the opportunity, to nervous about the coming date, to several text messages asking “Dad, can you meet me at the coffee shop to work on the sermon.” I loved every minute of it.

But, what I really want to share with you is in the picture at the top. Not only did Kathy and I go to hear our son, but many others gathered to be there with and for him as well. And, though there were some ladies as well, I asked for this picture with the men who showed up.

We have strived to be an intergenerational church and I think this picture tells a story.

Starting on the left is Ryan. A servant in the church who has known Nathan from early on. Ryan and his wife have been in our Grow Group  for years meeting at our house, their house and restaurants.  I’ve watched Ryan greet Nathan as a young man long before the world gave him that title.

Second in from the left is Dave, a more recent addition to our Grow Group, but more importantly a student ministry leader deeply invested in Nathan’s class. Not just a Wednesday night commitment, but a prayerful, interested and respected leader believing in the young men of our church.

Third in is Nathan, and next to him is his friend Max. Friends for years through ups and downs, playing music together, skateboarding together, but most importantly worshiping together, leading worship together and wrestling with Scripture as countercultural young men in a dark age.

Next to Max, well that’s me. I’ll bet you can assume I’ve been invested as well.

Near me with my hand on his shoulder, Nathan’s brother and my oldest. They’ve never really gone through the fighting phase, they’ve always shared friends, experiences and life. To hear Noah turn to me after Nathan’s first message and say, “That was amazing” was confirmation enough of a brother who has invested.

Next, Tom is our prayer warrior. This man is not only genuinely steadfast in caring for and praying for my sons. He calls them out for individual conversation every time he sees them. He picks them up to go shopping just so he can talk Scripture with them. He gets in their face and tells them the right way to live. Invaluable.

On the far right, Dave: my son’s student pastor and co-laborer with me at the church. Yes, taking a Sunday off to go sit and listen to one of his students grow. Then affirming him in such a way that he is also willing to develop them further by challenging him to deliver that same message to his own peers back home. Amen.

There is someone not in the picture you also need to see. When I told my church they would have to watch video instead of having their preacher live and in person, I did not expect positive affirmation. But, when I told them I was going to hear my son preach for the first time, they interrupted my announcement for raucous applause. That’s my church!

Of course there are others including mom, wives and such that could be in this picture. There are countless other men who have prayed for, served in ministry and contributed to the life of my son that aren’t pictured here either.  But I wanted you to see what I believe is so important. That generations of men investing in other men is what we need in the church today.

It’s the way church was intended if you read Scripture. Older men helping younger men, younger men respecting  older men. Growing together, stronger together.

Today I’m relishing in the fact that I am a blessed man, a proud father and a spoiled pastor.

Thank you my friends, thank you godly men, and thank you my church.

Psalm 145:4One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.

Here’s a good question…

What do you want me to do for you appears in two different stories, from the mouth of Jesus, back to back in Mark 10… must mean something, eh?



Thoughts on graduation… help me out

Here’s a podcast on graduation… this is really more for me than it is you. Many blessings:


Proverbs 3:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Put some effort into it

I am always impressed when I read the Gospels at the tenacity of people who surrounded Jesus.

It seems like wherever He went there were great crowds, but in the midst of those crowds there was “the individual” who did whatever it took to get near the Savior.

What about Zacchaeus, you know, the wee little man. He was vertically challenged, so, in the midst of the crowd he ran ahead triangulating Jesus’ position, scurried up a tree and got a penthouse view of the parade.


Zach was allover it! Jesus rewarded Zach by calling him by name and inviting Himself to his home. Quite a day.

Then you have the four friends. These guys were over-the-top. Literally.

They had a friend desperately in need of a healing, and when Jesus was tucked away neatly inside a house and insulated by thronging crowds of people they did not let it deter them.

Up on the rooftop disciples pawed and down they lowered their friend to God… any similarity to a cheesy Christmas song is completely coincidental.

What a site that must’ve been! Jesus is teaching, the disciples are hanging out, all of a sudden a sunroof appears and down comes this completely helpless man being lowered by four of the most incredibly energetic friends you can imagine.

Sins were forgiven, health was restored, religious people were ticked, and one homeowner was busy filing an insurance claim. I’m sure it was amazing.

Then there was the occasion of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. He fought his way through crowds, but more than that, he thought his way through a religious identity.

As a religious leader in his own right it must’ve been humiliating to realize that you had to go to another teacher to have your prayers answered. But he was desperate for the life of his daughter which was ebbing away just over the hill at home.

He finds Jesus in the crowd and in full public view falls to his knees and begs for this renegade outcast teacher to come into this preacher’s established and traditional ministry and do what Jesus does… bring the healing.

A short walk later, a funeral crowd sent home, some gentle words said at the bedside of the 12-year-old now corpse and Jesus gave this little girl back to her daddy.

Talk about a revival meeting! Whatever Jairus lost, it was worth the price.

In the midst of that same story there was the old woman with the issue of bleeding. For 12 years she had suffered, been labeled unclean and had to avoid human contact.

She had tried everything she could, she’d given all she had and she kept getting worse. But, then she heard about this healer and risked it all.

Downcast face to the ground, making sure no one recognized her and shunned her away, she reached for the teacher in the pressing masses only touching the fringe of this robe.

And immediately, though no one else knew, she realized in her body… the nightmare was over. The most descriptive theological term for this moment I can come up with is simply ‘booyah’!

The similarity in all of the stories might be hard to see.

It’s not in the need of the one to be healed, or forgiven, or secured.

It’s not in the timing or the approach that they each had with Jesus.

The common bond between each of these is the incredible energy that the healed expended in finding the Healer.

Running ahead and climbing a tree just to catch a glimpse. Breaking and entering, vandalism and risk taking all for a chance of a face-to-face encounter. Loss of reputation, putting your career in jeopardy and humiliating yourself in public. Going for broke and believing that just a little of Him is worth more than anything you already have.

I guess the question I have for each of us is simple: Do we ever really press through the crowds to get to Jesus? Do we risk anything for a moment with the Savior?

Not just what I see in others as a pastor, but what I see in myself, is more than disturbing.

We sacrifice very little, we’re willing to endure almost nothing, and yet we have a sense of entitlement that God should meet me where we are, He should make Church attendance convenient, make Bible study easy, and allow prayer to be a one-sided conversation that turns into our personal wish list.

Basically, we assume we should be spoon fed our faith. Like we’re somehow doing God a favor by believing in Him, so, He must owe us.

Let’s be honest, for most of us we Church shop until we find one with a preacher we like, the music were entertained by, and an atmosphere that makes us comfortable… Oh yeah and don’t forget air-conditioning.

The next time you’re really in need of an answered prayer, a healing, or a miracle from God please remember the stories that we’ve reviewed here. It’s worth it to be inconvenienced for the sake of gathering an audience with the God of the universe.

You may have to fight the crowded schedule, climate a tree of opposition, humble yourself before family and friends, or just be willing to take what you can get as you reach out for the fringe of his robe.

I guarantee you, it’ll be worth everything you put into it.

Mark 5:27 “She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe…”

Wrapping it up

We are neck deep in camp season 2012, I love camp!

I thought it would be fun to open the window and let you see a little bit of camp life, especially if you haven’t been there for while.


We had an interesting situation in which I was asked to be the camp pastor for one camp on a Monday through Friday and another that started Friday night through Tuesday.

The only problem was, they were 11 hours apart. So, I asked the second camp to schedule with me if we could try something different.

As a video driven multi site church pastor, I asked if we could make the Friday morning finale session a video sermon.

I know it was an odd request for a children’s camp, but I think it came off really well. The added benefit is that it produced a video I can share with you!

I hope you enjoy, this is a little glimpse into the last morning session of CrossSeekers children’s camp 2012.

By the way, you have to imagine me running around that campground with my tripod and camcorder. Then laying on a camp bed producing and editing.

Good times, good times…

SALT & LIGHT from Andy Addis on Vimeo.

What Hurt The Most?

Good Friday 2012 Podcast via

Here is an audio recording of our message from Good Friday. It was recorded on my iPhone sitting near me, so, it is what it is…

But, I hope it is a blessing to you!

I am including a PDF document of the slides during the services for you to be able to follow all the scripture references: SLIDES

Mission Improbable

As a professional member of the clergy (I get mail addressed to Reverend Addis… it’s still funny to me) I have developed some mad skills at conference attending.

It’s a little known fact that there are varying levels of ability, not just among those on the platform presenting, but those of us who are skilled, invested and experienced professional listeners. Let me just outline a few for you:

1) Appearing Interested – while every session is good for someone, not every session is good for you. So, to keep from being rude by distracting others with accelerated, involuntary nostril emanations (AKA snoring), a skill set of forced eye contact, meaningful head nods and well placed nonverbal affirmations are essential.

2) Ninja Texting/Surfing – everyone knows you’re not reading your Bible on YouVersion, or taking notes for future references… you’re Tweeting, Facebooking, or looking for ‘Epic Fail’ pics to replace your profile photo. It’s ok, just learn the art of secretive cell phone use. Under the desk, inside the conference program, pushed into a coat or sweater on your lap are all good camouflage techniques for hiding the phone. Just remember, if you are in a darkened seating area, your face will glow no matter how well hidden the phone is, so, use at your own risk.

3) Tactical Seating Selection – there are several things to keep in mind here, but just start with these: aisle seating for fictitious bathroom breaks (limit 2 per daypart), outlet access for midday phone charging (let’s be honest, you’ll drain it before they drain you), support beam seating (usually sitting behind a pole is non-desireable, but the right seat behind the right pole can help you to lean one way for engagement and the other for disengagement).

There is much more that I could share, but I think you get the idea (maybe I should hold a conference on how to develop these skills… maybe not).

But, what’s the point?

A common question that I hear at Continue reading “Mission Improbable”


I’ve been drinking diet pop for a long time (that’s soda for you northerners, and the non descriptive, uber generic ‘Coke’ for you in the south).

I’ve been drinking it for so long, it not only tastes good, it tastes better than regular pop. I understand that the previous sentence is probably the single most controversial statement I have ever posted on this blog, but you will just need to deal with it.

It’s kind of a pattern for chronic dieters like myself:

  • You make the decision to go lite
  • You endure the transition
  • You get used to it
  • You get comfortable with it
  • It becomes normal

You can do this with almost any habit, whether its food, drink, entertainment, political affiliation and unfortunately…even faith.

Yep, you can choose to go lite. It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it. If you try “Jesus-lite” it will eventually become normal.

Jesus-lite has become the new rage all around the world. All the love with none of the conviction. You can enjoy 100% of your daily requirement of feel good, with none of that commitment aftertaste.

Harvard University is a sterling example of embracing the Jesus-lite lifestyle.

The school motto is “Veritas,” the latin word for Continue reading “Jesus-lite”