Advent

Still Life for Christmas

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As I sit, still, in the curated Christmas décor of my living room, I see in the imperceptibly shifting sunbeam, the motionless candle-powered nativity carousel. Like me, it is locked in still life. In a week, it will be spinning above the flicker of flame, Mary always flowing backward round the center pillar, with Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men chasing her forward, Jesus sleeping blissfully in the middle. Likewise, I will be flitting around the kitchen trying to turn back time to get all the baking done, while my kids chase each other from activity to activity, my husband blissfully enamored with his […]

Advent

Let There Be Light

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Light’s radiance—there is a core from which it comes, its spreading brilliance splaying on anything or anyone. The visible spectrum rays touch the surface of things, irrespective of what they fall on to. But the invisible ultraviolet rays penetrate into the darkness underneath, into walls and bodies, dense and hidden innards. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the power of his word.” Hebrews 1:3 In this winter season of darkness, of waiting for Christmas where we don’t see fully yet, may we take notice of the light of Jesus speckling our lives […]

Advent

Christmas Tree Reflections

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What follows is not a criticism of decorating and finding joy in doing so at Christmas, for there is much to celebrate! It is right to celebrate, pulling out all the stops to do so, for God brings us joy and goodness. He even instituted celebrations in the Old Testament so that we would be drawn into the joy of his giving. So, please, take joy in your festivities, but may they also be something that reconnects you to the giver of your life. “Out a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit…” Isaiah 11:1, […]

Advent

The Doorway to Wisdom

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Garland, on a fantastic sale, roped me in. Soon I was deep in the scrolling, pictures of fake evergreen to festoon my doorway flitting before me. Fantasies of sparkling greenery shimmering in new-fallen snow glimmered in my imagination. Until I realized how much time had passed and that I had purposed to write today about the doorway to wisdom! Wisdom’s doorway is not draped with discount plastic greenery! Proverbs 8 is the personification of Wisdom, and in it she calls out to us. In verse 34 we read: “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” Prov. […]

Advent

God Within Our Limitations

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Becoming a mom was, and continues to be, the most challenging thing I have ever faced. Greater than the hours of musical discipline, greater than being plunged into another language and culture, greater than months of severe illness. Rather than in one or two areas, as the aforementioned challenges were, being mom challenges me in every way. It has brought me to the end of my limits over and over. First the physical limits of carrying, birthing and caring for fragile life. But intertwined with these physical challenges are the faith challenges, the emotional challenges, the mental challenges. Every challenge highlights another limit of mine. […]