Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Like it or not, God shows up on those who wait. Patience is both a virtue and a sign of God’s presence. Advent reminds us to slow down and wait. Some do. Some don’t. Certainly, our surroundings tell us to be as busy as possible right now.

Those who carve out waiting time find God in so many aspects of the day. Those that don’t may wonder if they threw God out with the Christmas wrap. Waiting, stillness is hard but worth it.
What are you preparing for on December 26th?

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalms 27:14 (ESV)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Six Ways

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.  Isaiah 35:5-7

I can think of at least six ways we can interpret the scripture above.

  1.        Yeah, I can’t wait!
  2.        It’s some kind of metaphorical talk
  3.        I just don’t see how we can pull it off
  4.        How unrealistic
  5.        I’m busy
  6.        Huh?

Which do you identify with most closely?

This waiting time before Christmas is a time of hope. Not optimism; hope. Hope allows the current day to blossom because we know for sure what tomorrow holds. Hope is about what God will do/is doing. Optimism holds no such certainty.

One day, a day will come unlike today. One day, there will be a world without pain or suffering or turmoil or death. One day, even we will be made new.

Today, I will live fully because tomorrow is in God’s hands.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What is your Defining Story?

All of us travel with at least one story that draws us and defines us. Commercials do nothing more than entice us to adopt their story – “You’re a winner, a cut above the rest (of the losers)” or “You need help and we have it” or “Your looks are the real you – better spruce up a bit” or “All you suffer from is not being either hip enough or productive enough (okay, maybe pretty or manly enough as well,)” or “Life would be perfect if you only had this.”

These stories divide the world into two categories – winners and losers. If you are a winner, you might be a loser tomorrow. Don’t let up. If you are a loser, we could make you a winner (only to lose again later.)

Christianity has so much baggage (which makes me sad) but has a great story. That is: You are loved and there is not a thing you can do about it.

Try this story on today and skip the others. Write everyone you meet today into this story.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Here is an Advent devotion for ya. STOP. Tell the critic, “Bull#@*$!”

I remember a certain trip to the dentist when I was in my 20’s. I went on the offensive. “What type of toothpaste do you recommend and should I use a WaterPik? ” I asked.  I was stalling for time. You see, I did not want to hear the dentist moralize about how long I had waited between checkups. (I do go twice a year now.)

I think we all do this. Not at the dentist but to ourselves.

I recently read that most of us have a chorus going on inside our heads telling us how we don’t cut it, how we don’t measure up, how we screw up. As a result, I think most of us get blisteringly busy in order to stall and not hear the critic.

Here is an Advent devotion for ya. STOP. Tell the critic, “Bull#@*$!” Tell the critic that you are not the sum total of all the mistakes you ever made. Tell the critic that you are love, not for what you do but for who (and whose) you are. Call the critic’s bluff.

And listen to your Maker who calls you “child” and thought that you were just what the world needed. If you need to, confess your mistakes to a confidant. They will be of no use to your critic any more.

Don’t stall by staying busy. There is too much life to live and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

You were clothed for greatness. Own it.

Okay, I admit it. If I heard one more, “I’m not creative,” I was going to puke. (I didn’t.)
“I am not creative” is one of the cardinal sins the Church allows to flourish. It turns the powerful people of God into wimps. God is at the heart a Creator (see Genesis.) We are made in God’s image (see Genesis again.) VoilĂ , we are made by God to be creators!

We are meant to dream. To risk. To create things where there was nothing. To make whole that which is broken. To make beautiful that which is profane. To make visible that which is invisible.

God planted his creativity into our DNA. But, somewhere along the way, people planted into our hearts the notion that we were not creative, that we were too puny to create. 

This Advent, if you really want to prepare for the life-changing coming of Christ into your life, embrace your creativity. Silence the critics inside and outside of you. Don’t settle for ordinary and controlled. You were clothed for greatness. Own it.

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.  In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! Colossians 3:9-11 (NRSV)