I Brake for Christmas

The bumper sticker caught my eye. Made me think. Even aroused some guilt. I was on the freeway as his car was pulling off. My day had been full and it was far from over. Stuffed in my pocket was a list, most of the items not yet purchased. A little panic rushed over the back roads of my mind as I pondered all the things yet to be bought in those few days left before Christmas.

Read More

Four Seasonal Dangers and Strategies

I’ve been giving a lot of thought these days to the subject of God’s will. While engaged in a study of that issue recently, I came across a term we rarely use or read these days: providence. The root meaning of providence is “foresight . . . to see in advance” or “to provide for.” But those definitions could leave us with too shallow an understanding. Providence contains far more than a passive reference to God’s foreknowledge.

Read More

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

If news networks had been invented in 1809, they would’ve covered one story: Napoleon sweeping across Austria like a wildfire. Napoleon was the talk of the world, on the move from Trafalgar to Waterloo. Everything was about Napoleon. Now, at the same time, babies were being born, but who cared? Someone should have! Whole cadres […]

Read More

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

If news networks had been invented in 1809, they would’ve covered one story: Napoleon sweeping across Austria like a wildfire. Napoleon was the talk of the world, on the move from Trafalgar to Waterloo. Everything was about Napoleon. Now, at the same time, babies were being born, but who cared? Someone should have! Whole cadres of world-changers took their first breaths in 1809. Let’s take a trip back and see for ourselves.

Read More

My Advice This Christmas

Who hasn’t cringed in early October as stores drag out the artificial Christmas trees and put them on display? Who doesn’t dread the extra traffic and the gaggle of people in the shopping malls when you have to go get something that has nothing to do with Christmas? Who hasn’t felt uneasy about the obligatory exchange of gifts with individuals you hardly know? Or sending Christmas cards to people you haven’t written to since the last Christmas card you sent them?

Read More

A Season for Humble Gratitude

The age-old yuletide season is about to slip in the door once again. Better not shout, better not pout, for the malls will be playing “Jingle Bells” several thousand times between now and December 25. If you’re not careful, the crowds and commercialism will weigh you down like that fourth helping of stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner. And there’s nothing worse than a jaded attitude that resists the true spirit of the season.

Read More

Graciously Receiving and Giving

Being a super high-achiever, I must confess I find it difficult to receive from others. Really difficult. I’m usually on the giving end, not the receiving. My pride fights hard to stay intact when receiving generosity.

Read More

Unwrap Joy This Christmas

We sing a lot about “joy” each December. Have you noticed? We’ll offer “tidings of comfort and joy,” and we’ll join our voices on carols with titles like, “How Great Our Joy!” and “Joy to the World!” There’s just one problem. We aren’t joyful. Oh, we sing the songs and sip the hot chocolate and […]

Read More

What Do We Tell the Children?

How do we explain to children that Christmas signifies God drawing near to His people? By example is a great place to start. Young children in particular don’t work so well with ideas in abstract form. They take things very literally. Much better to show them from things they already know. Get down on the […]

Read More