Showing posts from December, 2018

Friendships Matter - 2019

The average Facebook user has 155 friends, but would trust only four of them in a crisis.The Average Twitter User Now has 707 Followers.77.6 million Instagram users are from the US; Six in ten online adults have Instagram accounts.
Friendships Matter Strong friendships are a critical aspect of most people's emotional well-being. They can: bolster against loneliness; decrease anxiety, and improve one's physical health. When it comes to establishing a friendship, the quality of time spent together is often more important than the quantity. People who study ppl say that it’s not necessary to form a large network of friends. Rather research shows that building, cultivating and sustaining just a few close friends can be huge — providing tremendous benefits.
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.”(John 15:15WEB)
How wild it is to think that he…

Love With Us

As a child I had an Advent calendar almost every year. Each day I would open a little cardboard door to reveal a small piece of chocolate candy. One year an opened door netted a plastic charm each day, twenty-five of them in all, not cool. Regardless, the goal was to not open all the doors early, or at once, but to daily wait … unlocking an Advent portal each day while counting down the days to Christmas, and the anticipation of Jesus’ birth.

How is it that the creator of the universe would come among us in diapers? The humility of our God is absolutely astonishing. Because of the presence of the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, God with us has personal knowledge of all our hopes and fears in all the years; They are met in Him each Christmas - love is with us. 
Advent is drawing to a close, so I reflect. I appreciate being made for and by someone beyond this world. I, like you, was created by God and for God. St Augustine said it well: “our hearts cannot rest until they rest in God. W…

Growing Hungry For Joy

We often miss Advent's power because these December weeks leading up to Christmas are full of parties and festive holiday preparations. Each year, the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having the joy the Advent season truly possesses.  Look around. For many the holiday season isn't filled with joy but with gifts, anxiety, stress, and sometimes - sadness and despair. In experiencing the waiting and the quiet contemplation of Advent, and blended with the joyful beauty of this church season, we can reframe our experiences with new expectations, that will likely not disappoint. It's in this expectancy that a new hunger for life will start to grow within us. 🎵Come thou long expected Jesus Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee... 🎵
Scriptural Text: The Prophet Isaiah wrote: “..With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tel…

Quiet Contemplation

I don’t know if you’ve engaged in Advent in the past, maybe you have, maybe not. This year my hope is that you will journey with us, in our Advent practice as we align with the historic church Calendar, over the next three weeks. Edging closer to Christmas, we have an expectant hope and comfort that fills our hearts as we make room for our Messiah, Jesus Christ. From Isaiah to Malachi, and even in Luke’s Gospel, there is a consistent theme of waiting in lament, in preparation, in anticipation, for God to act. The Hebrew prophets, each in their own way, composed their prophetic poems around this recurring theme: The Lord is coming, God is about to act, but for now…we wait, we hope.
"..See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight - indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts[1] the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into …

Waiting Is Hard

The Advent season is a time of anticipating the coming of God, in Christ, a time of turning our imagination toward the revelation of God’s love for us. For more than two decades I lost track of I the Christian calendar! Once a rich part of my youth, the rhymes of Advent: Peace, Hope, Joy and Love gave way to modern fashionable worship. In reality what I needed was not not more contemporary adoration but more contemplative devotion. So as the Christian calendar turns over today and we begin the pilgrimage towards Christmas, I embrace this holy journey which enables me to anticipate and re-tell and re-live, and enter into the Jesus Story — from the crowded stable to the empty tomb.
Observe with me the deeper richer rhythms of Advent, week one, with Scripture and Prayer:
Scriptural Text: The day will come, says the Lord, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them. In those days and at that timeI will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line.He …