• Faith Reflections

    Christmas Year Round

    A confession: A few years ago I started decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Don’t hurl snowballs at me. I wait as long as I can, but I never last until after the fourth Thursday in November. I adore Christmas. I love decorations and twinkling lights. I delight in music and holiday food. I have a real obsession/addiction with Hallmark movies. December is my jam. But it’s easy for me to camp in the shallow end of the holiday, missing what I really love about the season. More than other times of the year, I believe Christmas finds us closest to…

  • Faith Reflections

    My 2018 Word-for-the-Year

    For the past five years, I’ve done a “word-for-the-year” rather than new year’s resolutions. I wrote about it first in 2014 here. I wrote about my word for 2018 here. Many of you have joined me in this new approach to embracing a new year with a single word and I love it when you share your word with me. I love a single word so much more than resolutions. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes which don’t always last and often result in more guilt rather than growth. But a guiding word for the year makes me hopeful and excited, like…

  • Faith Reflections

    Sacrificial Love

    I never dreamed I would one day love attending basketball games, but a boy named Blake changed this for me. My nephew is passionate about basketball and, as a six-foot-two eighth-grader, he gets to play a lot of it. I’ve taken him to the gym to practice drills. I’ve watched him go outside for hours, practicing shots and ball handling. He loves basketball and because I love him, I attend his games and cheer like crazy. It is my duty and, even more so, my joy as his aunt. Loving Christ means we take on Christ’s passion. Out of love…

  • My Life

    Seeing Beauty

    I’m a believer that when something is repeated, we should probably pay attention. Again …. when something is repeated … 😉 My morning devotion invited me to reflect on the fact that Jesus was never in a hurry. NEVER. I’d never really thought about it, but I can’t recall a time in the Gospel stories where Jesus acted too busy for what was happening right in front of him. Man, that convicted me. I don’t know who authored the following but I am grateful. I have heard many a sermon on the other qualities of Christ, but very few on…

  • Faith Reflections

    Morning by Morning New Mercies I See

    I don’t drink coffee (yes – I’ve tried everything. No amount of sugar or cream or milk or pumpkin spice helps.) As much as I want to be one of the cool kids addicted to liquid energy, I’m destined for uncoolness in all areas of my life. But despite this, I do savor the richness of this liturgy for the ritual of morning coffee. As you read and, hopefully, pray this prayer below, remember yesterday is not limited to 24 hours. As I prayed this morning, my yesterdays expand far beyond twenty-four hours on the clock. The wounds can feel…

  • Faith Reflections

    Jesus, the perfect mirror of God

    In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews…

  • My Life

    On Feeling Sad

    I’ve felt sad the last couple of days. Normally I wouldn’t blog about such things. Who wants to read a blog about sadness? Who wants to write a blog about sadness? But both – the reading and the writing – are needed more than we think. Too many of our posts and online sharings are filtered, cleaned-up, or misleading. Sometimes they are lies or simply wishful fairy tales. Why am I sad? I really don’t have an answer to that question. Sometimes we are just sad and I’ve learned that is okay. Perhaps it is adjusting back to the day-to-day…

  • Faith Reflections

    When Shame Shows Up

    Most people these days don’t appreciate an unexpected visitor at your home. In the past, the sound of the doorbell triggered excitement as we welcomed a distraction from the monotony of the day. For most today, it seems to bring anxiety or dread or a well-meaning politician or religious devotee with literature and a promise in hand. On a recent trip, shame showed up unexpectedly at my door. I was leading a team of folks from our church and another church on a mission trip to Ukraine and Poland. It was an amazing trip and, considering all that can occur…

  • My Life

    Seasons

    Any time I think of the seasons changing, I start singing the catchy tune, “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds. “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven” I love the seasons and the unique purposes of each. Since I’m not a fan of the cold, I think the sole purpose of winter is to make sure I truly savor spring, summer, and fall. That is what cold, darker times do – make us appreciate the warm, brighter days. The longer the winter, the more glorious the spring.…

  • Faith Reflections

    Grieving Our Way to Growth

    When my niece was little, she always had the corner of a little blanket. She gave up the security blanket on her timing, without coercion or bribes. I’m confident before she completely stopped, there were times when she left it behind and then, moments later, ran back to grab it when she realized she was flying solo. Control is a security blanket for me. I feel safe when things, feelings, and people are ordered, understood, and in their proper place. It is far easier to order my house and office than it is others. There is something deceivingly alluring and falsely…