AdventPhotos 2018 – Night

5 12 2018

 

Is his law of love and gospel of peace for only one night?  Are we all equal on just one night?  Can every night be a holy night?





AdventPhotos 2018 – Journey

2 12 2018

 This afternoon a group of kids from our church sang Christmas carols and passed out little Christmas crafts to the residents of an extended care facility in our community.  I had some delightful conversations with those attending today, but one in particular has stayed in my mind.  She appeared to be one of the more senior ladies there, I would guess well into her nineties, and from her wheelchair she watched one of our little girls, Lucy, standing just a few feet away.  She complimented her pretty blue dress then squeezed my hand and said wistfully, “it all goes so fast.”  As I looked at her, looking at a little girl, I sensed that in that moment, in her mind, the journey from childhood to old age probably felt as though it had taken no more time than it would have taken for Lucy to step from where she stood to where we sat. 

I think I’ll slow my steps a little through this Advent season.  I think I’ll savor the journey a little more.





Gift – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#35)

6 01 2016

Another Christmastide has passed, the Magi have arrived at the home of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus with their gifts for the Christchild; the calendar moves forward to Epiphany. Such is the nature of time. And though we may at times wish for a way to slow its pace, I want to always be careful to view each day as a gift. A gift that was not extended to 151,000 souls. Each day will hold new challenges, I may have entered today as a caterpillar, and tomorrow will wake to discover that my world has forever changed, but I want always to see the arrival of another day as a priceless gift. A gift to be treasured, not wished away, not squandered in frivolous wastefulness that bears no eternal fruit. I will never earn the right to another day, I don’t deserve to have one more opportunity to experience the changing beauty that is this life, it is always, only a gift. May God help me to see its glorious opportunity, the breathtaking potential for me to fly. And may my attitude ever be one of joyful gratitude, for the gift of today.
  





Star – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#34)

5 01 2016

There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the three wise men, hanging out at the edge of the creche. We do know however,what prompted their visit to Jesus; they had seen his star in the sky, and that little tidbit holds so much instruction and encouragement.  
Did you ever stop to wonder if anyone else saw that same star? After all, the whole world would have been looking up at the same sky. Do you think the reason they saw God’s revelation is because they were looking for it? Or maybe others did see the star, but didn’t want to stop whatever they were doing to follow it. As we approach the celebration of Epiphany, the wise men’s star inspires me to look for divine revelation amongst the the trappings of every day life; in the ebb & flow of the surf, in the questions of a child, in the words of a friend, in the pages of a book, in the stars shining in the night sky. I want to see my Savior revealed, and I want to run hard after Him.

  





Travel – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#33)

3 01 2016

When you look at the Advent/Christmas story, its interesting to notice how much of that story involves travel. Mary and Joseph had to leave home and travel to Bethlehem. The shepherds had to leave their fields and travel into town. Forty days after his birth, Mary and Joseph traveled to the Temple to present Jesus, as the Torah instructed, for the redemption of the firstborn (Candlemas on the Christian calendar, Feb 2nd.) The Magi traveled a great distance from the east to worship Jesus (Epiphany on the Christian Calendar, Jan. 6th.) Someone is always moving from their current location throughout the whole Advent/Christmas season.   

We should probably consider the possibility that this season may also require us to travel, to move from where we are currently located. I’m not talking about in the physical/literal sense (although that may be part of it,) but spiritually – will this coming of the Christ require us, require me to move from where I am right now? Almost certainly, yes!  

Are you ready to travel somewhere new this year? Are you willing to follow, wherever the road may lead? It may not always be comfortable, and it may not always be quick, but the destination will absolutely be worth the challenge of the journey.

  





New – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#33)

2 01 2016

My verse for 2016

Revelation 21:5

  





End – Christmas & Advent Photos (2015#32)

1 01 2016

I love this passage of scripture. I’ve circled my favorite parts. See the red circles? I know it looks like I’m enamored with the word “day,” but that’s not it. See that little dot? Yes, the period. THAT’S my favorite part.  

If you ever listen to me talk, or preach, or pray you’ll notice that I talk with a lot (a lot) of commas. When I write, I am continually going back and editing out commas and adding in periods. The problem with a comma is it doesn’t let you stop, you just get to slow down a  bit. And sometimes, we need to stop, not slow down, not pause, but stop. Period. If you doubt that, just look at how God created this world to work.  

Certainly He could have gone from one creative act to another, but He didn’t. I mean it’s not like He wore Himself out, and dropped exhausted to the ground at some point each day, unable to go on. Of course not. He chose to stop, to create a break between one thing and the next.

Look at each creative series, “and there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.” “…the second day.” “…the third day.” I am SO glad that God put a period, not a comma after each day.  

One day ends. Stop.  

My tendency is to go, and go, and go. But, when I look at the way God organized His creation of time I am reminded that there should be endings to our days, to our weeks, to our years. The end of a segment of time allows us the opportunity to start something new! God intended for us to live with periods, not just commas.  

I don’t know if 2015 has been a year of celebration or struggle for you, for me it has been some of each. But it is incredibly exciting to know that tonight I get to put a period on this page of life. No more reviewing coulda, woulda, shouldas. 2015 was a difficult year for my health journey, but it’s done. Period. And in His strength, I made it! Breathe deeply, rest securely, celebrate the period that He has gifted to us.