Sometimes Others Say It Best…

There will be Christmas this year. Can’t you sense it? Despite the doom and gloom of outward circumstances, there is also something in the air, the music, the stars in the dark sky, the delicious smells, the flickering firelight, the silence even. Friend, Christmas will come alright. Because Christ came in that most improbable first Christmas story, and because He is still so close, a breath away, dwelling deep within. Today my heart echoes “Thanks…

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But You Need to Actually Open the Gift…

On Crazy Christmas Sweater Day as a high school teacher,  I often wore a sweater depicting my favorite scene from the movie, “Elf.” Pictured on the front is Buddy the Elf screaming with ecstasy “Santa’s Coming! I know him!” Raised (by Santa) at the North Pole, Buddy works in the Christmas department of a New York City store. Though an upcoming visit from “Santa” is a humdrum for the other staff, he spends all night excitedly decorating…

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For Those Sad and Sorrowing

Every year. But perhaps especially this year, there are those dwelling amongst us in the midst of tinsel and holiday, who are filled with tremendous sorrow and pain and loss. Sadness. Perhaps you are one of those who cannot stop crying, even as the radio stations play “Deck the Halls” and sponsor Ugly Christmas Sweater contests? It’s just too, too much, and sometimes you just wish it were over… Several years ago during a concert,…

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Want to Finish 2020 Shining & Strong? Begin with Gratitude!

YOU are at the top of my Gratitude List!I’m grateful each time you click on my newsletter and my weekly 7 am Wednesday blogs. Thank you for reading. Friend, today I want to remind both of us that there is Light to be found, even in the surrounding darkness. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1.5 “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us…

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Arms that Will Not Let Me Go

Henri once told his father that he always wanted to be a trapeze artist. Having become great friends with The Flying Rodleighs, Henri Nouwen enjoyed their performances around Europe. “As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher,” Rodleigh told him. “The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and…

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How a List Could Change Your Life

“I tell you I’m going crazy,” the woman shouted to her mentor. He gently replied, “Here is a yellow pad and here is a ballpoint pen. I want you to write down your blessings.” She refused, overcome by the despair that had seized her soul. But he didn’t give up. “Think of the millions of people all over the world who cannot hear a choir or a symphony or their own babies crying. Write down…

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God Hears Our Cries in Confusion

I’m confident that Almighty God is not pacing the throne room of heaven wringing His hands in confusion and fear. But today I want to remind us all that our cries are heard by God. 2020 is certainly not the first time a culture has battled conflict, confusion, and crisis — reaping what we have sown… “This is what the Lord says: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that made them wander so…

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Yes, You Have Known Saints…

On Sunday, I joined a few others outside (socially distanced) in our village’s Ancient Burying Ground (tombstones date to the 1600’s) to celebrate the life of an older friend from our church. It was a crisp, clear Autumn day in New England. And behind my mask, I ugly cried the entire service. Grieving for all the losses of all the people. So many. Too many. “Do not hurry as you walk with grief; it does…

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I Refuse to Live in Fear!

If you’re not afraid right now, then just check the news. Plenty of horrific happenings this year while tempers are hot, triggers are happy, and trust is in short supply. And, lest we forget, 220,000 fellow Americans have already died from a deadly virus. How do we live in this world so full of things to fear? Refuse to keep up with the news, hoping it will go away? Cringe every time one a loved…

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Every Day We Die a Little

               “All I can offer you is a chance to die.” Early missionaries did not pack trunks as they set off on long voyages across the world to take the gospel to hidden peoples. Instead, they each packed a coffin, one that would eventually be used to bury them in their new land. What does this say about commitment? They knew their venture would end in death, yet they…

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I’m Only Going to Say This Once

Please don’t complain about the condition of our country, our government and our elected officials… If you don’t vote. Did you notice we just celebrated 100 years of women finally getting the vote? That was a hard-fought battle! But It’s too easy to become complacent. We never lived during the time when only white male property owners were allowed to have a voice in the running of this country. But thankfully, brave men and women…

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When God Spoke to Me through a Stranger in the Ladies’ Room

She was waiting by the sink in the Ladies Room as I began washing my hands. “Excuse me,” she interrupted, “But the Lord has given me a word for you.” What? Twenty years ago, I was in Colorado Springs for a meeting with my literary agent and publishers. Honestly, it wasn’t going very well and I had escaped our dinner table at the restaurant to have a moment alone. And now this. The stranger continued…

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