Finding Comfort in Our Loss

Comfort, comfort my people … a few weeks ago one of my sisters-in-law suffered a debilitating stroke, our music minister from church passed away after a very long, excruciating battle with cancer, two of my friends from church lost their husbands to cancer. During the past year, five of my friends lost husbands, suddenly, without warning. I came to wonder how many times that sick feeling of loss would be multiplied and what could I do to comfort people I care about when the only thing that seemed possible was …

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When is Christmas?

Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart. I read an article today that started out something like this. “There’s an old saying that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I disagree with that … and then the author goes on to explain her point.”  The truth is, that old saying is a direct quote from Jesus as written in the book of Acts 20:35.  It is more blessed to give than to receive, and deep in our hearts we know giving is first an attitude of the heart. For some, a …

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Advent Week 4Theme: Peace – Can you imagine holding a baby who came to be light in a dark world?

This scripture today is the conclusion of Advent readings. I don’t know how many of these scripture readings you’ve followed along with, if you’ve enjoyed them or learned anything new. I know everyone says time flies and that’s what happened here. It’s been 4 full weeks of daily advent readings – what to do? Here’s my first thought no matter where we go from here.  Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Treat yourself to joy every day!  So here we are at …

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Advent Week 4 Theme: Peace – Today, wise men and women still seek Jesus

From the day we decorate our Christmas tree, until they day we put the ornaments away, our tree is illuminated. The lights add an unmistakable calm to the room. I have to be transparent here. My husband told me he didn’t feel like taking the tree down last year so I jokingly told him to leave it up. Well needless to say, it never found its way back to the storage area.  I wondered what it would be like to keep the tree up all year just because of the …

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Advent Week 4 Theme: Peace – It's Christmas Day! Merry Christmas everyone

We have only a few days left of the Advent readings for this year. We all have traditions that we treasure: places we go, events we can’t miss, loved ones we visit, favorite things we bake.  I’ve enjoyed reading these scriptures the past four weeks and hope you’ve found joy in reading the historical Christmas story with me. I can’t believe this season is so quickly becoming history itself. Before we put Christmas away entirely for this year, today’s Advent reading takes us back to revisit the favorite story that …

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Advent Week 4 Theme: Peace – the Joseph and Mary way

How many times have we been over the story of Joseph and how he found out that Mary was pregnant and he had to accept it, support her, and agree to be the Earthly father of Jesus? But how often do we consider the day after? Here is Joseph, sitting in a pile of hay beside his very young bride Mary who has just been through an unattended birth of a baby and he still has to go pay his taxes. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thinking how lucky he …

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Advent Week 4 Theme: Peace – When do we get to the Christmas story?

I had no computer for two days and a misbehaving phone. I’m not sure I want to ditch technology as a long term solution to busyness, but having a phone that didn’t work right and a computer that perpetually fell asleep while I was using it – was – well, let’s say, an interesting experience. Let’s see …. where were we? Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! If we were Mary and Joseph we would be traveling today. Maybe you’re traveling.  If you are, travel safely and whatever awaits you at your …

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Advent Week 4 Theme: Peace – There is no chance for peace if we don't listen

One of the most well known parts of the Christmas story is in our reading for today. It takes place at the moment in time when Gabriel had the conversation with Mary. We’ve heard the story so many times the impact of what really happened is diminished. Put yourself in Mary’s place for a few minutes.  She is outside gathering sticks for the fire, or helping with the evening meal. Maybe she’s inside wondering if she’ll get to sleep that night. Mary is thinking about what it will mean to …

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Advent Week 4 theme: Peace – There are no mood swings in God's personality

Sometimes I think I make God tired. It seems like all I do is ask. “Please, God …. “. Even though I often follow the ACTS structure, learned way back in my first women’s Bible study, I feel like I spend a lot of time in S. ACTS stands for Adoration – Confession – Thanksgiving – Supplication.  Do you ever feel that way? Last week I was having a ‘moment’ and I prayed out loud to God sitting right there in my car – Please, please, God show me something, …

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Advent Week 3 theme: Joy – Seeking purpose is not a modern day syndrome

This is the time of year we all take a little bit longer with thinking about out goals, contemplating our purpose, what we accomplished this year, how we can make changes to improve the coming year … tell me you relate.  If you think goal setting and purpose seeking are a syndrome of modern times your thinking needs to be adjusted. As it turns out, people have been born for a  purpose since the beginning of time. Maybe we just have so many more options we spend more time figuring …

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Refining Grace