Christmas
The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from...

For Everyone

For Everyone

A good story has a compelling opening. Some of the best stories ever written have familiar first lines that, even if we’ve never read the book, we can quote by heart. When we open the New Testament, at first glance it seems that Matthew didn’t get the memo about...

You Were so Close

You Were so Close

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. ~ Matthew 2:3 Everyone has had the experience of going to look for something and not be able to find it, only to have someone else point out that it was right there in front of us the whole time....

The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told

From our earliest days, we’re captivated by stories. God has written the greatest story ever told. And this story even includes you. Born separated from God, every person needs to be rescued. God, in His love and grace, offers a free gift to all—a solution to our...

Distracted by the Details

Distracted by the Details

I admit it - my nativity scene is biblically inaccurate. I have three wise men and a camel next to the shepherds, looking on at the newborn Jesus in a manger. To me, the wise men’s visit to see the Messiah is one of the most fascinating parts of the Christmas story....

Included

Included

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” ~ Luke 2:30-32 Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit? Like you didn’t belong? It is horrible. You...

Obsessive Compulsive

Obsessive Compulsive

I’m a little obsessive compulsive. I like things a certain way. I like when the lines of the screws in an outlet cover line up with each other. If I go to a friend’s house and they have a picture frame tilting too far in one direction, I’ll try to level it. When...

And Now for Something Totally Unexpected

And Now for Something Totally Unexpected

The moments that change your life often aren’t what you expect them to be. In 1996 I met my wife. When you are younger, you expect moments like this to be big and flashy and obvious and romantic. Clouds parting, angels singing, that kind of stuff. Nope. The woman who...

In The Quiet

In The Quiet

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. ~ Luke 2:19 Throughout the Bible, we see God showing up on the scene and giving instructions or doing an amazing miracle. Often, this encounter is followed by periods of silence and quiet. Noah,...

Urgent and Unrestrained

Urgent and Unrestrained

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less and less spontaneous. I like plans. I like to know where I’m going, who’s going to be there, and where the exits are well in advance. I like being prepared and I don’t like surprises. Yeah, I’m the guy who shows up to the airport...

World Power

World Power

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. ~ Luke 2:1 A few years ago I visited the White House. At one point during the tour, there was a very sudden, very noticeable flurry of activity. People were moving...

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. ~ John 1:6 I was named after my uncle. I never met him because he passed away before I was born. Our oldest son was named after my grandfather who passed when he was a toddler. My youngest son was named after a dear...

The Gift of Our People

The Gift of Our People

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. ~ Luke 1:39, 40 Who is your person? The one you go to when your plans have gone to pot or your life has jumped the...

Afraid of the News

Afraid of the News

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” ~ Matthew 1:20b The Christmas story is filled with angelic visits. The angel Gabriel visits Zechariah. Then he visits Mary. An unnamed angel visits Joseph. An entire flock of angels...

Redefining Impossible

Redefining Impossible

Have you ever set a goal that seemed impossible in the moment? Running a marathon, baking a perfect loaf of bread, or starting a new career can all seem impossible. Until you do it. Reaching a goal we once thought impossible gives us a new definition of what is...

Joy Out Loud

Joy Out Loud

"How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” ~ Luke 1:25 (NLT) Have you ever met someone with an overwhelmingly positive attitude? Sometimes it can be annoying to be around people who are always cheerful and upbeat,...

Sign Language

Sign Language

Have you ever lost your voice? Maybe you lost your voice after scream-singing at a Dave Matthews Band concert. Maybe you got so sick it was too painful to speak. If something like that has ever happened to you, you may have noticed it’s difficult to communicate...

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On

What if you knew, without a doubt, that your team would win the Super Bowl this season, or who the next president will be, or what features the next iPhone would have? Who would you tell? Would they believe you? The angel Gabriel has a tough job. He has to tell people...

Out of Obscurity

Out of Obscurity

Every four years, the Summer Olympics are held in one major city around the world. They’ve been held in London, Atlanta, and, in 2020, people from all over the globe will watch the Olympics in Tokyo. The impressiveness and beauty of these cities makes the games...

Darkness to Light

Darkness to Light

The people who walked in darknesshave seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.Isaiah 9:2 My daughter wakes up in the middle of the night. A lot. She’s just doing what little kids do. But it hurts me. Not getting up to...

God is with Us

God is with Us

Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ~ Isaiah 7:14 Have you ever felt like God wasn’t with you? Have the circumstances of your life ever made it seem that God couldn’t...