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Archive for December, 2012

Bits and Pieces 12-24-12

December 24, 2012 Leave a comment

puzzle%20piecesWhat Are We Doing To Christmas?   In this blog, Bob Kauflin writes of three ways we can miss the beauty and wonder of the Incarnation: we can sentimentalize, sanitize or spirtualize Christmas.  If we do one or all of these, we miss the glory of the Incarnation.  Read the article here.

Angels We Have Heard On High:  Although we mainly associate angels with the Christmas story, Joel Miller writes about the ministry of angels to all believers. Read his Angels: Friends of the Faithful here. 

A Last Minute Stocking Stuffer: It’s not too late for this last minute stocking stuffer. I love this idea for a gift.  All it takes is a 7-day pill organizer.  Read about it here.

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Consolation And Celebration At Christmas

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

mangerAs I’ve listened to news reports from Newtown, Connecticut, where the elementary school massacre took place, I’ve heard reporters say this tragedy is made worse because it has occurred at Christmas. Several families in the community are even taking down their Christmas decorations because they just don’t see how they can celebrate Christmas now. If I were one of those parents or grandparents, I’m sure I would be tempted to do the same thing.

However, what’s the “celebration” of Christmas all about? It’s a moment we set aside to rejoice in the wonder of God becoming a man. That’s what we’re celebrating.  However, He didn’t just come to live as a man. He didn’t come to earth as the God/Man to see what it was like to live as a human being. He was born so he could die “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”  Hebrews 2:14-15.

When we are dealing with the sorrow of losing a loved one at Christmas, we can console ourselves and celebrate at the same time because Jesus came to do away with death. Isaiah 25:8 says, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”

In the gospels, there is both rejoicing and weeping as the story of Jesus’ birth is told. Luke says the shepherds were glorifying and praising God, while Matthew says there was weeping and loud lamentation when Herod ordered all the children two years and under to be slaughtered.

Besides the sorrow of death this Christmas, there will be the sorrow of loneliness, of rejection, of disappointment, and of suffering. Yet, consolation comes through celebrating Emmanuel, God with us.

What Is Beauty?

December 3, 2012 3 comments

Eyes Wide OpenAfter receiving several inquiries about why I haven’t blogged in several months, I decided it was time for me to get back online. For the past six months, I’ve been working on another writing project—more about that in a later post. Taking a break from something we routinely do is a good way to get a new perspective. A friend of mine took a vacation from Facebook. She decided it was a waste of time, and it was keeping her from spending time with her family. Now, she occasionally checks it out, but being off for several weeks helped her to reorder her priorities. She says she sees Facebook differently now.

 Seeing things differently is what Steve DeWitt’s book, Eyes Wide Open, is all about. After reading it this summer, I have a different perspective on beauty. This is a book about the beauty of God, but also about why God created beauty in the first place.

 DeWitt says the beauty we experience on this earth—in whatever form it takes—is a whisper, a shadow, of the real Beauty. However, so often, we end up worshipping the shadows instead of the real Beauty.

 Here’s a quote from DeWitt’s book:  “Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.”

 The following video was both a gift and a map to me.

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