Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Welcome

The cold night air confirms it is Christmas time as little twinkling lights compete with the stars. Inside a hearth burns brightly while frosted windows glow.

And I cannot imagine the first Christmas when my Savior breathed in the night air from an old dusty stable. Did he shiver when he stepped out among humanity as God clothed in an infant's frame? He left the comforts of heaven for the sake of me and all of humanity. Yet, on the night he came to earth, they pushed him to the outskirts of town. Would I have done the same?

Lord, I pray that we will welcome you today, not pushing you to the outskirts of our lives, even on our darkest and coldest nights.

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel'-which means, 'God with us.'" -Matthew 1:22,23

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My heart swells in anticipation of what this holiday season will bring.

And I look forward to spending quality time with family and friends in the midst of all the festivities that deck the halls of our lives with beauty and busyness.

But even when the demands of this holiday season come knocking at my door, I will remember that most of all, my heart swells in anticipation of celebrating the birth of our King.

"'Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'" -Luke 2:11

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Nativity

The nativity is more than painted ceramic figurines adorning a table, or plastic dolls dressed as lawn decor. And while this Christmas symbol serves as a good reminder of the very first Christmas, how many times do we merely unpack the pieces from boxes stored in the attic without giving it a second thought?

Do we dare decorate on a whim without reflecting on the depth of the nativity's meaning? I have to ask myself that question.

"So they (the shepherds) hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." -Luke 2:16-19

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


He was born in a stable, not in a hospital. He grew up the son of a carpenter, not the son of a prominent leader. He sometimes gravitated toward quiet places-He didn't always hold public forums.

I think we ought to learn from his example.

When our society values overnight success, our Savior values humble beginnings. When our society tells us to pursue success at all costs, our Savior reminds us of the cost of discipleship. When our society points us toward praying to God knows what, our Savior points us toward praying only to God.

Whose example are you following?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Footsteps of Faith

It’s difficult to discover a life more fulfilling than the life that follows in the footsteps of faith.

Do we dare to live like Abraham who had the faith to choose obedience and sacrifice? Or do we merely desire to reap the blessing of counting stars?

Do we fight our own battles with the faith David held onto as he faced Goliath? Or do we simply close our eyes and make a wish for victory?

Do we cling to a faith that commands mountains to move? Or do we live with the kind of faith that keeps mountains standing still?

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” –Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:20,21)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Some of us live life on the edge, while others have a fear of falling off. But God does not call us to feel comfortable. He calls us to be courageous. And while there is excitement in adventure, there is not always a safety net.

How do you live? By holding on to what seems safe this side of heaven? Or by holding on to the hand that holds heaven?

"This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
-Joshua 1:9

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Ride Home

Jesus met me one day as I sat on a curbside with my hair disheveled, my clothes stained and my shoes worn. Meanwhile the world left me on the side of the road without a ride home: stranded. But Jesus came walking by and extended his hand. I accepted his invitation. I received his love.

Has the world left you stranded? Maybe it's time to take Jesus' hand . . . to let him pick you up and take you home . . . but not to the home you've always known.

"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God."-Psalm 40:2,3

Friday, November 11, 2011

Love at First Sight

When I met Jesus for the first time, face to face, I was surprised that my previous ideas of him were so far from the truth. I had always pictured him to be powerless, glazed over in a stained glass window. But it was not He who stood powerless and void of life. It was me.

I thought of God in his holiest of holies, as one who could not be approached by me because my place of worship did not land me in a Sunday morning pew, but in a Friday night bar stool. But God was not unapproachable. I was.

So it came as a complete shock when He approached me, penetrating my heart in such a powerful way.

It was love at first sight.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
-Deuteronomy 6:5

Monday, November 7, 2011


Perhaps I was not actively seeking you, but still you found me. Perhaps I did not pursue you, and yet you never stopped calling. Surely I never acknowledged you, even though you never stopped saying my name . . .

But when I realized I was an orphan, you adopted me. And when I realized I was a stranger, you welcomed me.

When I realized I was wrong, you forgave me.

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." -2 Peter 3:9

Sunday, November 6, 2011


When I first met Jesus, I traded in my sarcasm for sincerity.
I traded in my disappointments for dreams.
I traded in my fears for faith.
I traded in my blues for blessings.

What do you need to trade today?

Or better yet, who do you still need to meet?

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -Jesus (John 10:10)

Friday, November 4, 2011


The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. But today do you find yourself standing on your tiptoes, trying to get a better view of the landscape? Do the shrubs appear neatly arranged among decorative pavers with a patio furniture set from Pottery Barn?

We tend to imagine our lives looking like they are staged and ready for a catalogue photo shoot. But as we go through life, we realize that suddenly we may not feel so photogenic.

How is your perspective today?

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
-Philippians 4:12

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pressing On

Time caught me by the hand and pulled me along, begging me to leave yesterday behind. But I couldn't keep yesterday hidden away in the closet, so I tucked it in my pocket to still keep it close. And I put on my shoes only to follow time out the door, chasing after tomorrow.

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:13-14