Category: Advent

Christmas Changes Everything

The story of our lives has more to do with what God is doing than our ability to manage it.  Gail Johnsen This is my all-time favorite quote about Christmas: “God has interrupted our ordinary expectations, as cherished as they were, to conceive something. We cannot manage it. We can’t even understand it. All we ...

Christmas is the most wonderful, awful time of year.

Christmas is the most wonderful, awful time of the year. Often we have created an image of Christmas that centers around a perfectly pinterest-decorated home, candlelight, neatly (or extravagantly) wrapped presents, and intact families cozied by the fire reading Christmas stories and eating cookies. Not that this is bad. It’s just not reality for many ...

Advent Reflections: Let the Weary World Rejoice!

For centuries, Christians made space in their crowded hearts at Christmas through participating in a daily devotion called Advent. The word “Advent” means “coming.” The season of Advent refers to the four-week period leading up to Christmas Day. Jesus’ coming was not just a one-time event as a child so long ago, but his coming ...

Crazy Joy!

Choose joy! We hear it all the time. In this way, we often think of joy as simply a choice we make. It’s where we are in control; we muster up the strength, gather all our internal resources and make a cognitive decision…and “will” our way to joy. Choosing can only take us so far. ...

This is Advent

I am mindful that this year Advent begins against a sweeping backdrop of pain and brokenness. It seems there are few places in our world that have not been touched by violence and injustice. And our hearts ache. Sometimes the ache feels unbearable. Our first and most basic reaction is to silence or dull the ...

Just in Time for Advent!

I am so excited! “Advent Reflections: Let the Weary World Rejoice!” is now available as an e-book on Amazon! If you are looking for an Advent resource of your church this Christmas season, “Advent Reflections” offers a daily scripture, devotional, and reflection questions. It is a wonderful seasonal tool to encourage people to enter the Christmas ...

An Advent Prayer by Henri Nouwen

Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so ...

F

Free Advent Resource 2013

“I just want Christmas to be different this year.” How many times have we said that either to ourselves or to our families? How often have we considered the approaching holidays with dread? We want to live differently into the Christmas season…more reflective, less hurried, with more margin in our lives to give more…of our ...

A

Advent 2012 Day 21 A Christmas Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for these quiet unnoticed-by-the-world moments. For this time before the sun has come up and the darkness is pierced only by the three candles I have lit on the advent wreath. Before the kids begin arriving today (and little Tessa who just learned to pull herself up to a standing position) I ...

A

Advent 2012 Day 19 The Fruit of Distraction

My husband is the smartest man in the world. He always gets the perfect gift. He learned a valuable secret early on in our marriage…he just buys petite and saves the receipt. If you’re like me, the greatest challenge of Christmas is not finding coordinating wrapping paper and bows; it’s not preparing the perfect Christmas ...