December 2008

New Year Expectations

In this space a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote about lowering our expectations - which, according to some, is the key to happiness. While I don't believe that happiness should ever be an end-goal in and of itself, since I first wrote about that - and tried to put the whole lowering of expectations thing into practice - I've actually seen some payoff.

But this is ...

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Catch-Phrase Christians

Here's my up-front disclaimer: I'm not fond of Christian jokes and one-liners. I might be a terrible stick-in-the-mud, but when I pass a church marquee sign posting a "Christian" message, I wince. Although I fight the urge, I read it. And sometimes I need to seek God's forgiveness for the thoughts that enter my mind after my car has passed by.

I ...

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Taking a Sharpie to Your List

No offense, but I'm crossing your name off my list with a big black Sharpie.

I'm not crossing you out of my life–just off my list.

It's not crossing you off because you're unimportant or because I don't care or because I don't think you're cool.

Blackening your name off isn't easy for me, but I've got to do it.

It's ...

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Life in a Snow Globe

Christmas seems to shake up my world.
Life in a Snow Globe

There is something magical about a snow globe. A child's eyes fill with wonder every time one is shaken. The snow swirls around the scene until it finally settles motionless on the bottom - until someone shakes it again.

When I unpacked my Christmas decorations this year, I found a treasured snow globe wrapped in brown paper. I shook it, and waited for the snow to settle, ...

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Creative Acts of Obedience

Serene Madonna? I don't think so

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is usually painted looking so serene, but I have to wonder if that was always the expression on her face. The advent season is all about her story, as the young virgin honored to be selected to bear the Messiah. She didn't seem to struggle too much with her yes, but did she have any idea what would be ...

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Guided by Dreams

I watched, helpless, as the minivan careened down the hill into a giant tree. The passenger's side was demolished, injuring one of my closest friends. I ran down the hill to see if my friend was alive and well. She was alive but she wasn't well; she was covered in blood where the tree had torn through the vehicle on her side. Someone called 911 and I gave her a ...

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A Crisis of Faith

Scripture says to wait expectantly on the Lord. Day after day I did just that as I sat quietly in the early morning with my Bible open to Job and Psalms. I read Scripture and prayed honest, struggling prayers. I was desperate to hear some direction and assurance from God. More than a response to my unanswered prayer, I needed to reconnect deeply with him.

The more I read ...

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Like Tidbits in My Tummy

Food, glorious food! It's the time of year for eating. I imagine most of our Thanksgiving turkey gobbled up and the leftovers transformed into dishes like Real Simple's recommendation: turkey barbeque sandwiches.

Food has power over our health. Earlier this week my husband, Dale, re-lived the poisonous side of food. His favorite meal, pizza, was ruined. It was, ...

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Merry ... Advent?

Why do we feel the need to skip past this season to Christmas?
Merry ... Advent?

I have this weird rule for myself. It is one that requires great discipline and mental fortitude. Here it is: I refuse to listen to any Christmas music before Thanksgiving weekend. Okay, this may not seem very ambitious to you, but have you tried doing this in our society? We laud the wonders of the Starbucks gingersnap latte (whatever happened to the gingerbread latte, anyway?) ...

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The Adulteress

Her story is scandalous, first word to last. And glorious.

At dawn, the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees tarried by a nameless woman's door, itching to drag her out of bed and into the temple, where Jesus was teaching. Moments later, half-dressed at best, the woman was forced to "stand before the group," like Hester Prynne wearing her scarlet letter, ...

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