Posts by michaelbrown


Christmas Day Devotion


Posted By on Dec 25, 2016

Christmas Morning Devotion Read Luke 2:1-20 Here are a few questions to think through as a family. What would it have been like to be the mother of Jesus hearing people say these things about your son? Jesus was born in a barn, more like a cave. What are your favorite barn animals? What noises do they make? Do you think Jesus laughed when he heard the sheep and goat making noises? (remind your family that Jesus was a baby boy who learned to laugh and cry just like they did.) It says, “Christ the Savior” was born. Matthew 1 tells us that Jesus came to save us from our sin. Discuss receiving the gift of salvation. What do we need saving from? (This conversation can go a lot of fun places with kids. If you feel comfortable, talk about how our sin. Things like lying, selfishness, etc… keep us from experiencing life with God. So we need saving from those things to live the life Jesus came to give us.) Wrap up the discussion by talking about your favorite things about the Bible and Church. Pray as a family. If you don’t know what to pray you this as an example: Ask God for something. (Let everyone ask God for something out loud. Let them say whatever they want and enjoy the time talking to God. It doesn’t have to be formal. Just talk to God like He is right in front of you.) Confess something to God. (Talk to God about something you can do better or shouldn’t do anymore.) Thank God for something. (Be creative and being thankful for gifts is fine.) Now keep on enjoying Christmas Day with your family! See you on January 1! We will have extra strong coffee ready for you. Wear your 2017, I’m getting in shape this year, no seriously, I am, running shoes. We will kick off our new series called Starting...

Read More
Watch Those Hallelujahs!

Watch Those Hallelujahs!


Posted By on Dec 8, 2016

Watch Those Hallelujahs! Really Listen to Those Lyrics… During my student ministry days in Colorado, a couple of teens wanted to share their new favorite song with me. These teens loved Jesus, served in student ministry and were great kids. Now, they are great adults. In my sweet blue Kia Spectra SX 5 speed, they had me listen to Cold Play’s newest song. They started singing along … AND then it got awkward. You see, they loved the sound but never chose to pay attention to the lyrics. All of sudden, they were singing about a headboard knocking … you get the picture. Not the typical soundtrack you’d listen to in your pastor’s car. The lesson was … pay attention to the meaning, not just the feeling/rhythm of the tune. Christmas Eve Planning Meeting A few months ago, our Thrive team started planning for the Third Annual, Amazing, (You need to be there!) Family Candlelight Thrive Christmas Eve Service.  Whew! That’s a mouthful. But seriously, don’t miss it and don’t let your friends skip it! Okay – back to the point… get ready for some conversational blogging. My dad was in town and said, “Have you heard Justin Timberlake sing “Hallelujah?” It’s powerful!” We said, “Justin Timberlake?” Then thanks to Google, we pulled up the song and we listened. I said, “That’s one of my favorite Christmas songs… can you guys (referencing the worship team at Thrive) pull it off?” Vince Lichlyter said, “Of course!”   Discovering Hallelujah Doesn’t Always Mean Christmas About 20 minutes later, I started to plan on inviting someone to play cello to help with the “Hallelujah” song and Vince clarified, “Are you serious?” “Yeah man- the song is awesome!” (Meanwhile, Meg and Amber are furiously trying to find the lyrics; thanks again to Google.) “Have you heard the song?” “Yeah – it sounds great!” “Play the song and listen…”, (Meg reads lyrics aloud and then we listen to the words on the video…) “Whoa! That’s a dirty song we should never play again!” I was totally surprised. It was little awkward listening to that song with my parents in the room. Quite honestly, I don’t know how to sing the words Hallelujah again without having that memory of this planning meeting come into my mind. A few weeks later, the song starts appearing on social media everywhere. Great Christian friends are sharing how amazing it is – thinking it’s about praising God for sending Jesus…”Hallelujah!” However, passionate singing of the words “Hallelujah” does not mean it’s a Christmas Song to sing while caroling around the neighborhood. Your kids might be a bit confused and the neighbors a bit shocked....

Read More


Posted By on Dec 6, 2016

Where do I go for Christmas Eve in Fayetteville, Arkansas?   The Early Traditions Each year, my family would drive our minivan across the USA to El Paso, TX for Christmas. I remember vividly seeing Santa Clause fly across the desert sky. My dad needed to drive the light blue caravan a bit faster so Santa wouldn’t skip our house. (We all know that Santa doesn’t deliver presents when kids are awake.) I also remember going to Christmas Eve services at my Great-Grandma’s Westside Church of Christ. This was the one night out of the year our entire family came together. When I was in elementary school, we skipped the cross-country trip one year and stayed in North Carolina. We went to the midnight candlelight service outside. It was cold, but I got to hold the fire (lit candle) and stay up late. While I don’t remember much about Jesus, I remember being at church because Jesus was born. While I remember receiving a lot of presents, I remember constantly learning that this season was about the birth of Jesus and not the presents I received. New Traditions Now, it’s almost 2017 and Meg and I have 3 boys. Since the beginning of Thrive, our kids get the opportunity to hang out with our church family… ALOT! But, I hope they enjoy the tradition of being in church with us on Christmas Eve. I hope they enjoy singing Christmas songs, holding the candles, and celebrating the greatest gift ever. While they might not fully get what it’s all about, they know it’s about more than the gifts they will open the next day. They do know we focus on Jesus and giving more than receiving. They know that we invite friends with no family in town over for dinner. They know that we will be in church together on Christmas Eve because that’s what we do. It’s how we roll. It’s our tradition. What’s Do You Want Your Kids to Experience? I think that we always have opportunities to bring new traditions into our family and that it’s never too late. We invite you and your family to celebrate Christmas at Thrive on Christmas Eve. We have services at 5 and 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited. It’s a 40 minuteish family focused, candlelight service. We have a fun Christmas Party Hangout in between services. Thrive Christian Church is in the Evelyn Hills Shopping Center by Ozark Natural Foods and Einstein...

Read More

Homefront | November 13


Posted By on Nov 15, 2016

Homefront | November 13 Parent Resource Fayetteville, Arkansas is a beautiful area. We have amazing places to visit, constant activities to be a part of and Razorback football to watch. It’s easy to become so busy doing fun things that we forget to do the most important thing. There is a passage in Deuteronomy that talks about sharing faith with children while doing the everyday things in life. It’s like thanking God for the sunset, talking about empathy and love when dealing with school conflict, it’s talking about generosity with giving. We can talk about God in everyday life. We want to help your faith become evident and inspiring for your kids. This resource can help. So when you are on the way to the game or riding home after school, or sitting in the living room, walk through Homefront and bring God into your home. This resource is designed to encourage your family to have time in God’s Word AFTER your children attend church. Because God’s plan is for parents to be the primary spiritual nurturers of their children’s faith, we want YOU to be the one to expand this part of The Big God Story to them.   homefront_11_13_elementary homefront_11_13_preschool   Mark your calendars for December 2. Don’t miss the Parents Night Out/Thrive Kids Christmas...

Read More

Homefront Nov 7


Posted By on Nov 7, 2016

Homefront | November 7 Parent Resource Fayetteville, Arkansas is a beautiful area. We have amazing places to visit, constant activities to be a part of and Razorback football to watch. It’s easy to become so busy doing fun things that we are forget to do the most important thing. There is a passage in Deuteronomy that talks about sharing faith with children while doing the every day things in life. It’s like thanking God for the sunset, talking about empathy and love when dealing with school conflict, it’s talking about generosity with giving. We can talk about God in everyday life. We want to help your faith become evident and inspiring for your kids. This resource can help. So when you are on the way to the game or riding home after school, or sitting aroudn the living room, walk through Homefront and bring God into your home. This resource is designed to encourage your family to have time in God’s Word AFTER your children attend church. Because God’s plan is for parents to be the primary spiritual nurturers of their children’s faith, we want YOU to be the one to expand this part of The Big God Story to them. homefront_11_6_preschool homefront_11_6_elementary...

Read More