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Sketching Angels That Are Bigger Than Life

Ah, the clean slate of a new year. Fresh off the Christmas holiday, we’re feeling good about ourselves. Time to activate on the New Year’s resolutions. Weight loss? Exercise? Quitting that bad habit? Nah, let’s not bother with the small stuff. Let’s go big. “Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) That ought to take care of it. If want the Kingdom life complete with all the amenities, all I have to do is follow Jesus. Such ... Read More »

Keeping Christmas

If we’re not careful, Christmas can feel like another item on our to do list. After all, depending on how you choose to celebrate it, there may be cards to buy, write and send; candy and cookies to make; meals to plan and cook; travel plans to carry out; and of course, presents to shop for and wrap! I didn’t even mention the parties you may attend or the tree or other decorations you may have to deal with. Put this way, Christmas does indeed sound like just another festive ... Read More »

Dealing with the Unplanned

Some of my darkest times have been when the future I mapped out for myself was not the future I was experiencing: struggling to conceive a child, dealing with a difficult diagnosis, or working through the challenges of aging parents. These were all times when I had a plan, a vision of how it was all going to work out and it wasn’t going my way.  I fought against the reality of what I was experiencing and the result was deep sadness and anger. Today I’m thinking about Mary. There ... Read More »

A Time of Waiting

I’m not always good at waiting. I mean, I spend a lot of time moving from one thing to another sometimes wishing that life would speed up. I think that I come by this honestly; I remember as a child that my grandmother was very bad at waiting too. She and my grandfather (we called them Maw-maw and Paw-paw) would always spend the night with us on Christmas Eve. We knew how this would go. We would stay up really late because we were excited and then sometime around 2 ... Read More »

Practicing Gratitude

I saw the sign as I was leaving my Bible Study. It said something like, “Imagine if you only had today what you thanked God for yesterday”. Needless to say, I was rather convicted. It’s not that I don’t thank God.  I thank God before my meal; that counts, right?  But the voice in my head was pretty clear, “There is so much more for which you should be thankful. Have you really thanked God, lately?” If I were honest with myself I would have to admit that I need ... Read More »

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. I might even say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the simplicity of it. Spending all day lounging on the couch or cooking in the kitchen, all while the TV plays football in the background. The only things on your agenda are eating a big meal, playing games and never leaving the house. It’s the one day in which it’s socially acceptable—even encouraged—for adults to take a nap. How could you not love a day like that? But I’ve noticed more and more over ... Read More »

When Things Fall Apart

Sometimes, everything falls apart. Family dynamics, health, jobs, relationships, you name it. There’s no shortage of good and bad advice for people when things fall apart. When life goes bad, there are entire industries there to help you through it. Just buy this book, read this inspirational quote, get a few “It’s all part of God’s plan” thrown at you. Or you can try to ignore it. Maybe put it in your inner garbage bag of missed opportunities, broken relationships and awful circumstances. Maybe that bag stays intact or maybe ... Read More »

Overwhelmed by Restoration

I have ‘had a moment’ a few times in my life.  This ‘moment’ is hard to explain to other people, but it’s that feeling that you have when all seems to be right with the world.  I remember when my wife, Susan, was walking down the aisle in our wedding.  She was simply radiant.  I stood there looking at her thinking what a gift it was to be able to spend the rest of my life with her.  That was one of those moments.  I remember when I held our ... Read More »

Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry

It is very easy for me to get swept up in the waters of busyness and hurry. I don’t know if that’s how I’m wired, it’s a product of living in Northern Virginia or it’s some other influence working in my life. What I do know is hurry is not good and I do a lot of it. This became very clear to me on a recent trip to Arizona where rest and relaxation were the order of the day. I rested mind, body and soul on that trip.  I ... Read More »

Bienvenido and God Bless You

“Bienvenido.” That’s how I greeted her, trying my best to use her language. That’s how our pastor had offered greetings from the pulpit. It sounded smooth coming from the pastor; not so much from me. It’s funny how awkward it feels to speak words in a foreign tongue. She was sitting in a pew near me at the Sunday service. We had been given extra time to meet and greet on this Sunday because it marked the first service of two blended congregations. The Saturday night Spanish-speaking service will be ... Read More »

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