Waiting for Jesus ... Our Peace

Advent: The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; appearance, emergence, dawn, birth; the coming or second coming of Christ For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV, emphasis mine) Advent Musing: This world is not a peaceful place. Modern technology enables us to know in fact, not just in theory, that cruel and horrible acts happen just about all the time all over the world. We have instant access to the latest tragedy whenever and wherever it occurs. We have no rest from news of atrocities and natural disasters. We see mind-numbing pictures […] Read more »

Waiting for Jesus ... Our Joy

Advent: The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; appearance, emergence, dawn, birth; the coming or second coming of Christ Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV, emphasis mine) Advent Musing: The look on my son-in-law’s face as he watched our daughter walk down the aisle toward him is forever etched in my mind. My head was like a swivel between the bride and the groom. My eyes flowed with tears as our girl and her daddy, my own dear husband, […] Read more »

Waiting for Jesus … Love Revealed

Advent: The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; appearance, emergence, dawn, birth; the coming or second coming of Christ This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 (NIV, emphasis mine) Advent Musing: “But he told me he loved me,” she wept, broken by his betrayal. Precious friend, his mouth may have said the words, “I love you,” but his actions told the truth, didn’t they? God did not only speak words of love, God showed his love among us by […] Read more »

Waiting for Jesus ... Our Hope

Advent: The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; appearance, emergence, dawn, birth; the coming or second coming of Christ And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5 (NASB, emphasis mine) Advent Musing: Hope is a tricky word. It can sound pretty noncommittal. We hope for lots of things, like sunny days for a picnic or good news from an MRI. We hope difficult family members will be nice at Christmas. We hope no one gets sick and keeps us from the Christmas Eve candlelight service. Used this way, hope is rather weak. Something might happen, and we sure hope it will, but… actually […] Read more »

Weird Things I'm Thankful For

In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:16-17 Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a tiny poem in a children’s book that I’ve never forgotten. As a little child, I read: “The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.” Now as an adult, I realize a flaw or two in that poem. For starters, I suspect kings are not nearly as happy as we think they ought to be. Always battling that pesky feeling […] Read more »

A Time to Weep

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot ... a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep .... Ecclesiastes 3:1-4a (NIV, emphasis mine) I remember a time in my life when I had to deal with some crushing news. Inside, my heart was screaming in pain, but for some absurd reason, I thought I should act “all together” on the outside to be a “good witness” for Christ. I smiled. I assured people I was fine, and that God was in control, and I trusted Him. I gave some stirring speech about His […] Read more »

Generous

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.” Matthew 20:1 (NIV) Have you ever prayed and prayed and then prayed for someone to come to know Christ ... for decades? I have. I plead with God to open his eyes to the truth. I share the gospel with him. And I wait and hope that he will see the beauty of the kingdom of heaven before he dies, bowing his head to the King. I will be sad if it takes all his life to find Christ, but I want to believe that it’s never too late ... even in the last minute of life. That’s why I love the parable […] Read more »

Getting Up Again ... and Again

For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again. Proverbs 24:16a (NIV 1984) Our first kitten was a doozy. Her name was Tiger Lily—“Lily” was added to let folks know she was a girl, but “Tiger” was her name of choice. Her antics kept us wavering from laughter to consternation. Early in her career as a jumper, Tiger Lily repeatedly tried and failed to leap high enough to reach the top of our dining room hutch. It was an elusive goal that tormented her—and us as we watched her attempts and failures! She would size it up, then crouch and spring. She would hit the side of the hutch with a frightening force and fall to the ground over and over. We tried […] Read more »

Face to Face

I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 2 John 12 I keep a pretty tidy house, but you’d never know it to look at my refrigerator. Plastered with pictures, it looks a lot like this photo. Scattered amongst the pictures on my fridge, you’d also see precious, hand-made drawings from grandchildren that are simply amazing (of course no bias here!). You could spend hours perusing the collection on that refrigerator. You see, I love faces. Human faces are truly remarkable. Each one is distinct. Even identical twins are a smidge different from each other. Our […] Read more »

Yoked

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 I’ve been pondering what it looks like to be “yoked with Christ.” Have you checked out a yoke lately? It’s a bit intimidating. Looks rigid and confining. Once one ox is yoked to another, they’re basically stuck together until someone unyokes them. Sounds ... restrictive, doesn’t it? So, why would Jesus want us yoked with Him? Why would He use the analogy of a yoke when we are weary and burdened? Being yoked […] Read more »