How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

Sunday Scripture Late autumn temperatures in the northeast United States require a certain fortitude of speech to continue naming the cold "autumn" when, clearly, the chill in the air and the snow underfoot are speaking the language of "winter." My giant sunflowers bowed their heads in October, the pumpkins moldered in the compost pile long… Continue reading How You Can Celebrate Light in the Darkness of Winter Solstice

A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year

Persevere through the end of a long year

When the Cambridge Dictionary announced their word of the year for 2021, I did an enthusiastic double take. Their choice of perseverance may have been inspired by the name of the space rover that landed on Mars in February 2021, but it is also a noun form of my own word of the year: PERSEVERE.… Continue reading A Prayer for You as We Persevere through the End of a Long Year

How to Cope with Frustration, Disappointment, and Fear at Christmas Time

How to Cope at Christmas Time

Sunday Scripture When I showed up at her door with muffins, I had no idea how sick she had become or how short her precipitous decline would be. In hindsight, I'm grateful for the memory of that last visit with a friend, with her flitting between table and kitchen counter and me working hard to… Continue reading How to Cope with Frustration, Disappointment, and Fear at Christmas Time

Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?

"God is God. Because he is God, he is worthy of my obedience." Elisabeth Elliot

This week, I started listening to Christmas music in the car 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 Advent devotional reading and a mug of hot tea, the radio wished me… Continue reading Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?

How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

As unimaginable as it sounds to 21st-century ears, Anna the prophetess made a career of waiting. Widowed after her seventh anniversary, the next eight decades of her life revolved around the temple in Jerusalem. Her patient attendance there embodied the posture of her people, the nation of Israel, for they had long been waiting for… Continue reading How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

Are You Making Room for Jesus in Your Advent Celebration?

Room for Jesus Advent Celebration

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?

In This Darkest Season of the Year, Let’s Pay Attention to the Light

In the Darkest Season, Pay Attention to the Light

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

The Reason Why We Can Sing “Joy to the World”

Christmas is a sure sign that God came for the whole world.

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”

Make the Ultimate Christmas Gift Exchange

When it comes right down to it, we're all a little unwilling to make the exchange from grit to grace.

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

Are You Singing the Song of the Servant this Christmas?

"God is God. Because he is God, he is worthy of my obedience." Elisabeth Elliot

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?