My Christmas Wish

There’s a lot that we can say about the Christmas season, and this year is shaping up to be no exception. We’re no strangers to the blessings and trials of the holidays, and by now, we’ve all certainly heard the popular yearly reminder as to who is really the reason for our season.

Needing a Respite

I covet those silent wintery moments that come unbidden, bringing about that beautiful, quiet hopefulness that is prevalent yet often unspoken. In that still, quiet, dark winter night, where your breath hangs in the air and you can almost hear the snow touching the ground; that is the place where I feel the powerful reassurance of the Holy Spirit move right through me, where peacefulness wins, and hope rides in victoriously on a white horse.

A Reminder of the unexpected

Once again I’ve been reminded to take another look at some things that we maybe have forgotten in our busyness. There is a reminder here that we can catch in the Christmas season: our God is the God of Deliberate Action, and His deliberate action rarely takes the form we expect. How often do we stop to recognize the subtle acts of our Savior? Like this song suggests, the coming of Christ was a deliberate action that took a very specific form.

He is a God of process, presence and relationship that was delivered in a very small, small package, with ten fingers and ten toes.

Cutting through Chaos

We’ll hear much over the next several days about everything that can possibly be related to Christmas, from Santa, to sales, from Season’s Greetings to “Jesus is the Reason” and we are tempted to find the whole thing overwhelming. But, like the song says, God came quiet, soft, and slow, and in the midst of everything that we are told to believe is a part of Christmas, God offers us an invitation to share His quiet, His soft, and His slow in our own lives. He is after all, the Prince of Peace, and his Peace–the one that surpasses all understanding–can also surpass supermarket lines, traffic jams, parties, plans, and busyness. It overcomes the unwelcome circumstances that impose their presence on an already frantic season.

His peace is portable, and inexhaustible.

May we all find that Holy Peace we can carry with us through our Christmas season, and beyond.

  • What has been your experience of the Christmas season so far this year?
  • What do you love the most about celebrating the birth of Christ?
  • What does it mean that Jesus is the Prince of Peace?
  • What little or big thing can you do to invite Jesus’ Peace into your season?

There is a reminder here that we can catch in the Christmas season: our God is the God of Deliberate Action, and His deliberate action rarely takes the form we expect.

original image by Gareth Harper

What She Didn’t Say

A couple of months ago, Beth Moore posted an open letter to “[our] Brothers In Christ”, shedding light on her experiences as a woman in vocational ministry–particularly her experiences of misogyny and even discrimination. I encourage you to read it (link above).  I have no doubt that each paragraph is painstakingly crafted; each word carefully chosen.  I would do a disservice to you and to her if I tried to summarize it here.

What I want to take a moment to explore with you is the little part she quickly breezed past in her letter: the reason she stayed silent.  Continue reading “What She Didn’t Say”

Further Dialog on the blog by Lori Alexander (of debt-free-virgin fame)

The following comment was made on my Facebook post where I shared last week’s blog entry. I felt the commenter’s thought (and my response) a worthwhile addition to the original post.  But, as I continued to write, I began to realize that I needed more than just a few lines to respond, and therefore it might be more worthwhile to offer my thoughts as a separate post.  Please know this commenter is a personal friend of mine, and I value the thoughtful responses of all my friends.  His comment challenged me to clarify my thoughts in some areas, and expound my position in others, and I am grateful that he (and you) took the time to read.

Commenter: ” ‘It is almost as if she is suggesting that men are without sinful nature’ I read the original and didn’t get that vibe at all from her post. Her blog was from her POV. She didn’t go into her husbands challenges or process of change. May be because that story wasn’t hers to tell. “almost as if” is a pretty big assumption. Continue reading “Further Dialog on the blog by Lori Alexander (of debt-free-virgin fame)”

A response to “Debt-free virgins without tattoos”

Last week a woman’s blog post went viral, making some corners of the internet pretty much lose their minds. The post entitled “Men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos” started showing up in debates and discussions all over my social media, shortly after it was published. People were buzzing, and it garnered attention from writers in and outside of Christian circles.  Maybe you saw it too?

Continue reading “A response to “Debt-free virgins without tattoos””

Speaking Truth when Surrounded

I have been surrounded lately. Do you ever feel surrounded?

It can be a good thing, or bad, depending on what is surrounding you. I’m betting, though, that the word conjures up a negative response when I mention it. It feels like a hostage situation when you read it; countless movies and TV shows have used it:  “Come out, we’ve got the place surrounded.”  Doesn’t exactly feel like there’s a massive crowd waiting outside to give you high-fives and presents, now does it?

Though I can quickly list many people and things surrounding me that are good, this past week or two has felt like an onslaught of issues, situations, and even people, that have been instrumental in making me feel as though I have been surrounded by attack.  The onslaught for the past 10+ days has been exhausting. In situations like those, sometimes you simply need to triage: prioritize what is essential, and leave the rest. Continue reading “Speaking Truth when Surrounded”

Reconsidering Peace

What does Peace  mean to you?
The cessation of all hostilities? The end of human suffering? Resolution to conflict?  Ending war?

Maybe reconciling with a friend that you’ve been fighting with.  Maybe for your toddler to finally go to bed.  Or maybe just a good book, a cuddly blanket and some quiet?

We all want some peace (and sometimes quiet). We hope for hostilities near and far to end.  We wish for an end to our worries, and an end to struggle. Continue reading “Reconsidering Peace”

Defeat hiding in Hesitation

Several months ago, I felt a nudging to reengage on my blog. I felt that I’d been given the previous year to focus on further developing the Armory Journal, and that now I was being nudged to move my focus toward bringing this website back to life. I was excited to do it, and I started working on all kinds of prep-work. I promised myself that I didn’t have to start actively posting right away, I just needed to keep moving forward.

But after a while it felt like I was doing a whole lot of prep work but for no real results. I felt like I needed to have a lot background work, such as a load of pre-batched writing, all ready to go before I pulled the trigger. I wanted it to be awesome, right out of the gate. Continue reading “Defeat hiding in Hesitation”

Spiritual Plantar Fasciitis

I have plantar fasciitis in both feet, and I have to admit that I’ve been lazy about treating it. It’s an injury that occurs in the tendons that run through the arches of your feet, and it can be really painful. Have you ever stepped on a small hard plastic toy in the middle of the night? Maybe because it was unexpected, or because you’re half asleep, but in that moment the pain feels so unreasonable. It’s amazing that LEGO is still in business because it has been cursed so vehemently by so many delirious parents in the wee hours.  Plantar Fasciitis kinda feels like that – but nonstop. Continue reading “Spiritual Plantar Fasciitis”