___ posted December 27, 2011 by Monica Romig Green
And, perhaps you had a wonderful day yesterday, full of all the things that your heart desired. If so, you have reason today to celebrate and give thanks. But, perhaps at least some of what you experienced yesterday did not live up to the expectations in your heart. If we are all honest, even the most cynical of us harbors a desire for a truly special and magical Christmas Day.
More often, Christmas simply cannot live up to all of our lofty expectations. Life and its challenges do not suddenly stop just because it’s December 25. Perhaps yesterday you experienced tension and discord amongst your loved ones. Maybe you ended...
I don’t think that there is any other day of the year that bears the weight of expectation as much as Christmas Day. What was originally intended as annual time to celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ our Savior – Emanuel, God with Us – now also carries with it the additional burden of many stories, lore, media pressure, childhood memories and culture. What results is the idea that Christmas should be a perfect day, filled with family, food and gifts, bringing everyone joy, happiness and contentment.
___ posted December 20, 2011 by Debbie Swindoll
As I look inside my own heart I know that I often try to grasp onto something when my world gets unstable. In my own quest to “survive” it is usually some solution that I...
It’s almost Christmas time and everything around me is not jolly. As I sat and prayed for the needs of some of my friends this morning, the issues ranged from kids with drug problems to loved ones who are dying from terminal cancer. Facing this season with unresolved or painful circumstances can strain or disintegrate the joy of the celebration. It can even call into question our relationship with God especially if we doubt his goodness in the midst of our mess.
___ posted December 13, 2011 by Ryan Bradley
We’re well into the Advent season. This year was going to be different, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Most years, including this one, I begin with ambitious plans to make this a prayerful season truly focused on Jesus Christ. Advent is the start of the traditional liturgical year (the yearly cycle of seasons, themes, biblical readings, and holy days in the church). So, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that this is the season every year when I make and break (liturgical) New Year’s resolutions. This year, I was going to pray, read Scripture, and journal twice a day. Additionally, I have accumulated a stack of wonderful Advent readings. I knew I wouldn’t...
___ posted December 07, 2011 by Genalin Niere
In my exhaustion the other day, I...
Lately I have been having a hard time finding a rhythm of rest. There always seems more to do no matter how much I have done in a day. As a result, I have been exhausted! I found myself falling asleep on the train, while studying, reading…basically anytime my body was in a position with any semblance of rest. Most disturbing, I found myself “falling asleep” in my relationship with God. The demands of life dominated my schedule and it began to truly wear on my soul. My exhaustion was telling me more than just the state of my physical condition; it was an indication of my heart’s condition.