Friday, December 28, 2012

the moments that add up to life

in reflecting on a year of some major highs and some major lows, i am learning to be thankful for all of it. thankfulness for every moment. even those moments when i feel like it may be easier to crawl into a hole and just disappear. even the ones that aren't the photo-worthy warm and fuzzy moments. even the times that are so painful that it takes all my focus to cry out to God and keep my hope. thankful for every single moment.

because... if i wish away the painful moments of life, i am wishing away my life. all of my life is a gift from God and to give Him thanks and praise in the middle of the hurt is to really live.

so, as much as i would like to only acknowledge the beautiful, fun, happy moments, i am choosing to open my eyes to see the beauty in it all - the beauty of this woven tapestry called life.

thank you God for the life in 2012 and thank you for the life that lies ahead in 2013. 

may the Lord bless you all in all the moments that make up your life. it is all a gift.


Monday, December 17, 2012

when christmas seems dark this year

christmas can be a very painful and lonely time for many people.  christmas can remind us of loss or loneliness.  i know in conneticut there are a bunch of people who, if they never experienced this dynamic before, are experiencing this very thing this year.

in the darkest nights we often are tempted to shake our fist in the air and ask the questions seeping with accusation, "where was God when...?  if there really is a loving God who is all powerful then...?  why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?"

we have all been there or will be there, whether we have the guts to verbalize our latent accusations again our very Creator.

this christmas, i believe God wants to reveal to us, His beloved creation, that He really is Immanuel - God with us.

take the next 10 minutes, or keep this page open until you have 10 minutes, and watch john piper read the poem he wrote about the innkeeper who housed mary and joseph the night Jesus was born.

does God care about senseless tragedy?  john piper would venture to say yes, yes He does.

i would tell you, my friend, the very same thing.  watch, take out a tissue or two (don't say i didn't warn you), and be encouraged.

wishing you a merry christmas in your dark hours where the Immanuel draws near and shows you His compassion for your pain.


John Piper Reads "The Innkeeper" (English subtitles) from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

keeping faith in the Reason for the season

christmas can so easily become one big swirl of commercialism and hype.  i know that we all fall into the trap of the lists of gifts, parties, deadlines, baking, etc becoming THE focus.  in fact, while i am typing right now, i am also feverishly trying to work on a knit scarf for my oldest son... read more

come over to 5 minutes for faith today where i am sharing about one of my favorite christmas traditions that helps me keep focused during my favorite time of year.

let me know you stopped by!  hope you are having a wonderful christmas season!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

let us not forget

it is this time of year that my heart is drawn once again to meditate on the advent.

did you know that advent simply means "coming?" it is a time of expectant waiting and preparation. 

oh how i feel it!  my heart is being drawn to think on His coming - God made flesh who dwelt among us - and to prepare and wait in eager anticipation His coming again. 

this time of year i am back in the gospels. i want to fill my thoughts with the very realness of Jesus walking on this dust, being made of the dust just like us. i want my heart to really believe that He came. 

He came. 

Immanuel - God with us - He came. 

do you know what that means that God dressed Himself in this broken humanity that we live in every. single. day. to show us what He is like? does this bring tears to your eyes like it does to mine?  the Almighty God who is the very Creator of everything that exists - the very One who will judge all that has breath, and has every right to do so - humbled Himself to the very lowest place and dwelt among us (phil 2)

He came. He really did what seems so impossible to my logical thinking mind. 

oh how that makes my heart ache. 

you see, i live in such very real brokenness. just like you. so often my heart wants to rise up in accusation against my very God that He is somehow indifferent to my pain. my heartache. my disappointments. 

so often i resist shaking my fist in the air asking, "do you even see me here? do you even care?"

and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  john 1:14

and He does see. He cares. He came. Immanuel. He drew near.

yay Lord! we greet Thee,
born this happy morning,
o Jesus! to Thee be all glory given.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
o come, let us adore Him,
o come, let us adore Him,
o come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

and He knows. He really knows our sorrow and our brokenness and our grief. and He holds all our tears in a bottle (ps 56:8). He must have a big bottle for mine.

He catches each.
                                   down. like. rain. 
when our pain becomes too much to bear, He does not look away

                                       ...even when in our own weakness, we look away.

He was despised and forsaken of men, 
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; 
and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, 
and we did not esteem Him. isaiah 53:3

and i cannot tell you, in the very middle of this broken life i live, how this time of advent becomes so real and alive to me. this is the thrill of hope - that He will not leave us as orphans (john 14:18)

and i long, more than ever before, for His second advent - with expectant waiting i prepare for His coming.

my Immanuel.

He will make the wrong things right. and there are so. many. wrong. things.

too many wrong things.

o come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
our spirits by Thine advent here
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadows put to flight.
rejoice! rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to thee, o israel.
we can dare to put our hope in Him. this time of year isn't about gifts. it isn't about traditions. it isn't even about family. it is about Him - it is about His coming that was and His coming that will be.

o come to us, 
abide with us,
our Lord Immanuel.
oh let us not forget.

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