Maybe the idea of a Peaceful Christmas feels a bit like an oxymoron by mid-December? The plans you laid on December 1st have dissolved, and now at the end of your rope, you've tied a knot and are hanging on until Christmas is in the rearview mirror once again. It's not too late to start… Continue reading How Can I Become an Instrument of Peace at Christmas Time?
We are covered to the elbows in red and green paint, but the festive wrapping paper stretched out to dry on the table before us more than justifies the mess. The toddler points to his distinctively tiny handprints and smiles his satisfaction, as his older brothers start wondering aloud about cocoa with candy cane stirrers.… Continue reading Find Room for Hope in Your Heart this Christmas
Advent Series Part Three: Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6) Both my grandsons have been created in the express image of their fathers, which amounts to a temperamental salad bar of sensitivity, willfulness, and a worldview that sees all of life as a multiple-choice quiz--and all the answers are "None of the Above." This shared understanding has… Continue reading The Importance and the Blessing of an Understanding Father
Advent Series Part One: Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) The Christmas story overflows with certainty. Both Mary and Joseph received specific guidance in supernatural dreams. The shepherds were told precisely where to look for Jesus, and the wise men from the East followed a star that led them across the miles and directly to the toddler… Continue reading Where Do You Go When You Need Wisdom? Who Will Be Your Counselor?
Welcome to the season of ceaseless striving! Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas are never billed that way, and I truly hope that it's NOT your experience! However, if you're paying close attention to all the flickering candles and peaceful white twinkly lights on your Instagram feed, it's entirely possible that you're getting a different version… Continue reading A Peaceful and Joyful Holiday Season Begins with a Request for Rest
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
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?
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
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