Christmas is…

When  is Christmas? Oh, I know it’s on December 25th. I know it’s soon, but when is it Christmas for you?  I read an article awhile back 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 …

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Here’s why ONE is not the loneliest number

When I was in high school the musical group Three Dog Night sang from every juke box in the country convincing us that, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” If you know the lyrics, you will remember that life doesn’t get any better with two because something bad divides them. Who listens to all that repetitious dark agony? I mean – on purpose? Apparently, I did, since that’s the very first thing that popped into my mind when I heard the Five-Minute Friday writing prompt for this …

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I Believe & Why

Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, And that thou bid’st come to me, Oh Lamb of God I come. I come. – William Batchelder Bradbury Do you recognize the song? It was sung at the conclusion of every Billy Graham evangelistic meeting. I wasn’t there when ‘Just As I Am’ was chosen as the song to seal the message Billy Graham spoke to thousands of people congregated to hear about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the forgiver of sins, the …

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Sometimes it's hard to be thankful . . .

I’m not thankful. There it is. Not thankful. I’m not thankful that in the beginning when God created Earth that he let sin and depravity in. But I am thankful that God gave up his only Son Jesus to die on the cross and be the remedy for sin. John 3:16 I’m not thankful for the abuse and sadness in the world, but I’m thankful for all the kindness of many individuals who come together and passionately combat all that is abuse in support of the victims. I’m not thankful …

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Finishing Well, or Just Finishing

Happy Birthday, Billy Graham. A hero of the Christian faith turned 98 on November 7th. Billy Graham has lived in the public eye since he was in his twenties, stayed true to his faith in Jesus Christ and has never been involved in immorality or been the object of scandal. When I was 11 years old my friends who had TV talked about watching Billy Graham Crusades and 40 years later I was still watching him talk about the object of his faith. In honor of Billy Graham’s birthday and his impeccable …

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For $1 you can see the world

We are not so different, you and I. We had been mall prowling for a while. To use the term ‘shopping’ would be misleading since at this point the only places we’d managed to hand over some cash was at Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and the food court where there were entrées  from every nation: Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, and American – whatever the craving, we could find it at this virtual smorgasbord of many nations.  In the center of it all, what the kids were waiting for was …

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Wake up! You need this relationship.

How do you wake up in the morning? OK. OK. I get that. You wake up breathing. That’s good. Keep doing that. But really how do you wake up? To an alarm? To music? To someone shaking you back to consciousness? Does a song ever wake you up? This morning I heard someone singing, “I miss my time with you. Those moments together. I need to be with you each day.” Now that was a blast from the past! It’s been years since I’ve heard Larnelle Harris sing. Hearing that …

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I believe you, God. Please help me trust you.

Do you ever wake up with someone on your mind and your thought comes with a vivid picture? What do you do with that? There’s a story in Luke, and it’s probably retold in other gospels, where the disciples and Jesus were out in a boat when a raging storm could have pummeled them to their death. Remember Jesus had been speaking to crowds of thousands and he was so exhausted his thoughts were all about peace and rest – not just rest, he needed quality sleep. Jesus boarded the …

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Sunday … a day off – or is it?

I’m going to shock you. Sometimes I don’t like Sunday. There! I said it! The 6 days before Sunday and the 6 days following Sunday are so busy, I want Sunday to be not busy, not scheduled, not just one more must-do-or-else.  I thought Sunday was to be a day of rest. I don’t want to go to church. Well, I can rest at home. And so can you.  Well hmmmm…..that’s true, but it’s also false. Here’s why. If we stay home from church we can lounge in our PJs, drink …

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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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Refining Grace