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Content at Christmas - January 2017

“What if this is our last Christmas together?”  If someone in your family has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this stomach-dropping, breath-stealing question has likely crossed your mind.  I remember the first time it struck me.

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Lice and Other Blessings - December 2016

The Christmas season is a great time to make family memories.  However, discovering lice in your home, as a friend recently did – while hosting an extended family Christmas gathering – is not the kind of Christmas memory anyone wants!  It’s hard to think of anything more universally despised than these nasty bugs that take up residence in our hair.  We describe things we dislike as “lousy,” which literally means infested with lice.  Even the mere idea of lice is so potent that some of you may get the sensation of itchiness on your heads just by reading this!

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Everlasting Father - December 2015

A year ago, I reflected on the wonder of “Unto us a child is born,” which took on fresh richness as Allison and I experienced new parenthood along with Advent. Now we can hardly believe that we have been parents for a year already! Our baby girl has grown and changed so much, and so have we. As Advent scriptures and songs once again circulate, different parts of them grab my attention. In a recent reading of Isaiah 9, the phrase “Everlasting Father” struck me. I love my little girl to death, but that is tragically literal – some day death will interrupt my fatherly love. An “Everlasting Father” is worthy of reflection.

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Unto Us a Child is Born... Now What?! - December 2014

In Advent and Christmas we consider the coming of a child into our world.  This year such considerations are 24/7 realities in my life since Allison and I received our first child, Estella Mae, less than three weeks ago.  Unto us a child is born!  I cannot help but reflect afresh on the coming of the child who invites all the world to echo Isaiah 9:6 with the energy of Handel’s Messiah, “Unto us a child is born!”
 
After long expectancy, trying labor, and the wonder of delivery, our beautiful baby finally arrived.  Everything we had looked forward to and prepared for had happened, yet it was clear that we weren’t done.  We had a baby, but this journey was just beginning.  Our wonder was joined by wondering, “Now what?!” 
 
This is even truer in the birth of Jesus. 
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Ordinary Hope - December 2013

I love the Christmas season.  For several weeks, everything takes on a special quality.  Special foods and drinks appear.  Special music fills the air.  Parties and family gatherings celebrate special relationships.  Special traditions remind us of special memories.  Decorations and lights transform ordinary trees and buildings.  Perhaps you

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Joy to the World!

Joy to the world!

The Lord has come:

let earth receive her King!

Let every heart

prepare him room

and heaven and nature sing.

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Christmas Joy

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I recently received an email that linked to an article called "50 Economic Numbers That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe".  The article was a slide show with captions covering how badly (even worse than we think) the economy is performing ranging from unemployment to debt to homelessness to foreclosures.  The article made me think about the cares of this world stealing our joy...

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For God So Loved the World - December 2011

I feel extraordinarily thankful to be here this Christmas with my husband and my children.  There was a moment a few months ago when I wasn't sure ... so much so that my Christmas shopping was complete in early September.

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The Gift of Christmas - December 2010

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and

breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,

and 

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