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A Christmas in Crisis

As we read the news headlines, they all seem to be more and more crises. There is North Korea deciding what kind of movies we can watch. There is the potential normalization of relations with Cuba that has its consequences. Terrorist attacks around the world and in our own country create anxiety and fear...Read More

A God Who Does the Unexpected

Even before I was an expectant father, I began to wonder how Mary and Joseph felt on the occasion of Jesus’ birth. The Annunciation to Mary indicated nothing about the humble circumstances in which he was to be born. It seems more likely to me, that while Mary wasn’t expecting a certain scented candle, or playlist of her favorite songs, she probably knew the local mid-wife in Nazareth...Read More

Man in Waiting

I have focused my Christmas meditations this year on those few verses in Luke 2:25-32 where we meet Simeon as he meets his Lord and Savior. Simeon is a man-in-waiting. He doesn't just pass time as he waits (like we do at the airport), but he "eagerly" waits for God to send the one who would deliver Israel...Read More

Advent Warfare

Well, here we are knee-deep in Advent and Christmas preparations. Usually, about this time of year, because of all the expectations, promotions, nostalgia and hope for a more "spiritual" Christmas, we get bombarded by the enemy. Feelings of loneliness, dashed expectations, financial issues, family troubles, or physical illness sometimes dog us day by day...Read More

How to Have Joy: Science and Faith Unite

Eric Metaxas quotes from a book "The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose." Notre Dame professor Christian Smith writes "by grasping onto what we currently have we lose out on better goods that we might have gained." One such good is happiness. The study shows what most of us know: generous people are more likely to describe themselves as happy than those who aren't generous...Read More

Advent as Holy Hunger

I used to think I would get to a place in my life where I wasn't waiting for the next thing. I used to believe I would reach some stage, call it adulthood, where I had all the things I hoped for and could just enjoy where I was. After getting married, after having a child, after starting a career in ministry, after buying a house—"whatever the marker, whatever the after, I thought there was stasis on the other side of somewhere...Read More

A Cause for Giving Thanks

Thank you so much for taking part in our Thanksgiving Outreach last Monday. Originally, we had asked for 55 grocery bags and you responded generously with 80 bags of groceries. The plan was to bless 50 local Oak Lawn families identified for us by the Principal and staff of the Sam Houston Elementary School. On Monday afternoon we had 75 volunteers come help distribute the groceries and turkeys....Read More

Why Christmas?

I know. It's not Christmas yet. But this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin a new year in the church calendar. We feel the anticipation and the need from Old Testament texts for God to render the heavens and come down. (Isaiah 64) On our tiptoes: the Advent posture. But, there are many who don't know the "why" of Christmas, much less Advent...Read More

Leave It

Our world calls us to live on the edge, to go the distance, grab it all. But God's Word says, leave space, have left-overs, share. Our culture urges us to not only consume all we have, but to wander into fields we might have in the future and take more from there. But Scripture teaches us to use less than we have so we can participate with God in caring for others. I think this applies not only to food but to all of life...Read More

The Wild Promise of God's Generosity

God makes an accusation and a wild promise speaking to his people through the prophet Malachi. This promise is wild for two reasons. First, what king says to his subjects “you have robbed me” and then turns around and says but if you bring “the full tithe into the storehouse” then see if I don’t open the windows of heaven upon you? Even more, then he says “test me” in this...Read More