There are lots of opportunities for offense surrounding the death of a child.
Once your heart is broken open wide with great sorrow, there’s no defense against the bumps and bruises that are a natural product of human relationship and interaction.
- Friends and family that didn’t show up.
- Friends and family that showed up but said or did the wrong thing.
- Friends and family that abandoned me as soon as the casket closed.
- People that make me feel guilty for grieving or question my sanity or my “progress”.
But I’m learning to let go of offense.
Not only because it is too heavy to carry in addition to my grief, but because the Lord has commanded it.
I grew up reciting what’s commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer” without much thought to the individual phrases or their meaning. It wasn’t until adulthood that I read it in context and continued on to the rest of the chapter.
Read the rest here: Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
If you want to truly appreciate the New Testament you’ve got to begin in the Old.
Jesus is written on every page, revealed in increasing measure in every story.
From Genesis to Revelation, God the Father displays His purpose, plan and passion for His children.
The ultimate unveiling is Immanuel-God with us.
Read the rest here: Advent: Glory, Mercy and Truth
Oh, dear one who opened your eyes to the morning light carrying wounds so deep no one can see!
I am so, so sorry.
When things have gone terribly wrong it’s hard to get up and make merry.
Read the rest here: Christmas Morning Prayer for Hurting Hearts
I admit it-patience is not my strong suit.
I’m a person of action rather than deliberation.
Sometimes that gets me into trouble. Almost always it makes me intolerant of delays.
So I have to be very, very careful not to apply my impatience to God’s timing.
Read the rest here: Advent: Right On Time
I don’t know about you but I’ve never thought of hopelessness as something I wanted on my resume.
Hopelessness is typically tossed into the pile of “negative” feelings we all acknowledge but don’t want to experience and if we do, we try to minimize, rationalize or disguise them.
If I admit to it at all, I tend to look downward, whisper quickly and pray that no one takes much notice because it feels shameful.
But maybe hopelessness is the first step to truly celebrating Christmas.
Read the rest here: Qualified by Hopelessness: An Empty Heart Can Be Filled
I don’t know what the wise men expected to see.
It seems natural to us who know the story–who know the REST of the story–that they ended up finding Jesus-The King of the Jews-the One whose birth was announced by a star in a humble abode.
But I think it might have surprised those rich rulers traveling so far to worship Him.
Read the rest here: Advent: Extravagant Worship
My heart beats with Mary’s. She knew and understood part of what was going on but had no way to anticipate or comprehend precisely what it meant to be the mother of Messiah.
She pondered the shepherds’ visit and their story.
I’ve pondered too.
Read the rest here: Advent: Ponder and Praise
Hearts full to overflowing with pride, self-reliance, love of power and money can’t find room for a message that suggests they might need saving.
Empty hearts, hopeless hearts, worn, weary and desperate hearts are hungry to hear that help is on the way.
Maybe that’s why God sent a most spectacular birth announcement to shepherds who were considered the lowest of the low.
Read the rest here: Advent: Unlikely Messengers
I’m not privy to everything God is doing in the world. And, frankly, what I see sometimes looks like He’s not doing much. I want Him to step in and make things right according to my limited knowledge.
But He’s working behind the scenes in ways I can’t imagine or comprehend.
He has a purpose and plan that will not be thwarted.
I do not for one moment believe that God Took My Child. But I absolutely, positively believe that He is using what the enemy meant for evil to accomplish good.
Read the rest here: Advent: Behind The Scenes
Music has always reached a place in my heart when nothing else could get through.
And although the “songs” in Luke’s gospel aren’t set to a singable tune, I can hear the high notes accompanying the words.
The first words Zechariah spoke after his long months of silence were a beautiful celebration of who God is and what He was about to do.
Read the rest here: Advent: Our Hero God