Sunday Scripture One of my earliest Christmas memories is the sadness of learning that for baby Jesus there was "no room in the inn." Adding to my distress was the mistaken idea that they had no source of water either--a simple misunderstanding of the Christmas carol, Noel--interpreted by pre-school ears as "no well." Jesus's earliest… Continue reading Are You Making Room for Jesus in Your Advent Celebration?
Sunday Scripture I'm about to break one of my own rules.I never talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving.Never!But, I've created a guided journal to lead readers into a focused and uncluttered Advent celebration, and in order for you to get it, print it, or load it onto your device in plenty of time, I'm sharing it… Continue reading In This Darkest Season of the Year, Let’s Pay Attention to the Light
Sunday Scripture When my sons were all small, they loved playing Hide and Seek. Sometimes it was a big, summer-time game with the whole family hiding outside in the bushes, sometimes just a simple one-on-one at bedtime, but one son in particular would get so overcome with excitement he couldn't contain the secret. "I'm 'hind… Continue reading The Reason Why We Can Sing “Joy to the World”
He had dropped his candy cane, and the sticky surface now wore a fairly even coating of dirt and dust. Through his sobs, I could just make out the words, "Wash it, Mama!" but this candy cane had seen a lot of action. It would be far easier just to give him a fresh start.… Continue reading Make the Ultimate Christmas Gift Exchange
Sunday Scripture This week, I started listening to Christmas music on the way to work. Our 24/7 Christmas music radio station plays everything from crooning Bing to the musical equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater. One frosty morning, fresh off my Isaiah Advent reading and a mug of hot tea, the radio wished me a… Continue reading Are You Singing the Song of the Servant this Christmas?
I once read a simple, one-sentence recipe for humility that I have yet to practice, but it lingers just outside my list of good intentions. Here it is: Read Isaiah 40 every day. Every word trumpets, "Behold your God," first to the cities of Judah, and ultimately to me, sitting at my dining room table.… Continue reading Genuine Comfort for the Broken and Battered
“You can say ‘no,’” he said softly, in a whisper, so our son would not hear.Immediately, my guard went up. It was Christmas time, so my planner was bulging its squares with lists of things to buy and to wrap and to bake. What was my husband going to propose that required this ominous-sounding, front-loaded… Continue reading Say Yes to the Gift of Christmas
Sunday Scripture Not to resurrect an unpleasant topic, but one huge lesson I'm trusting for in these days following Election 2020 is that God's people do not need to be powerful culturally or in power politically to be obedient to him and to accomplish his purposes in the world. All we need to join the… Continue reading On What Do You Rest this Trust of Yours?
Isaiah may be one of the most cherry-picked books of the Old Testament, maybe even in the whole Bible! It's almost irresistible! We snatch favorite verses out of context, appropriating promises without a thought in our heads about the original audience or the author's intent. On our journey through Isaiah together, I am resisting the… Continue reading Certain Destruction and a Promise of Peace
Scripture Sunday On this second Sunday of Advent, I'm already noticing my tendency to process life based solely on what I can see. If there are three pairs of shoes and a half bushel of dog fur on the dining room floor, I must be a terrible housekeeper. If no one in the house has… Continue reading The More You See: God’s Advent Surprise