Some dismiss Lent as a Catholic tradition, irrelevant to those practicing a Protestant faith.
They deem it a meaningless ritual and wave off the idea, claiming that observing this season on the church calendar is unnecessary or even trivial.
I couldn’t disagree more. Continue reading
I did something dumb the other day. Really dumb.
The consequences might have been far worse; I got off easy with merely a sore back. Continue reading
I just wasn’t feeling it.
It had been a long day in the middle of a very full week. Youth group loomed on the calendar horizon, an unwelcome commitment on this particular Wednesday. As an introvert, large group gatherings tap everything in me, so going ‘empty’ isn’t a great way to begin an evening of ministry. And 60 middle and high schoolers (whom I’ve come to genuinely adore) are a tougher crowd than most.
I’d love to tell you that I prayed for God to enable me to pour into those adolescent lives for two hours last night. I should have. Sadly, the thought didn’t even cross my mind. Continue reading
Whether you call them resolutions or goals doesn’t really matter. The days between 12/25 and 1/1 are usually free of regular commitments, permitting time for reflection and evaluation, to set a course for the coming year. There’s something about flipping the calendar over that fills me with renewed vigor and hope. Yet before February 1, that hope dissipates when many of us find ourselves already off track. Before you lose inertia, here are a few tips to keep you on the wagon: Continue reading
What do tonsils and Advent have to do with one another?
Seemingly nothing, at first glance. The two have coincided in my life this year, as my daughter is having hers removed today, December 18.
At age twelve, we’ve only recently discovered that her oversized tonsils are obstructing her sleep. Dangling like two red ornaments into her airway, those tonsils cause her breathing to stop about every three minutes throughout the night; her brain arouses her to shift into a position that will enable respiration again. Continue reading
It’s the Christmas tradition I’m ready to ditch.
Living away from extended family means most of our holiday celebrations are either shared with friends or spent with merely my four fellow Holmbergians. More often than not, it’s the latter. As an introvert, that’s often okay with me. Other times it produces a subtle but steady pain, similar to a headache that you don’t quite realize you have until you find yourself spitting nails at your spouse — utterly unprovoked. Continue reading
Posted in Christmas, Friendship, Giving, Gratitude, Humility
Tagged Christmas, Fear, Fellowship, Friendship, Immanuel, Incarnation, Insecurity, Matthew 28
Her disgust was vocal and overt.
My friend and I had both received Christmas cards from a third friend. Over the course of the preceding year, we had walked through some significant and painful territory in the life of our mutual friend: a miscarried pregnancy, a grave illness in her extended family, and an arduous household move. Yet the Christmas greeting that arrived in our mailboxes mentioned none of these; rather it was graced with a smiling family photo and written sentiments that noted only pleasurable travel experiences, milestones achieved by children, and professional successes. My friend was visibly agitated by the dissonance between what we had observed in person and what was recorded on paper. Continue reading
Chapter nine opens with Amos’ fifth and final vision. It is equally fraught with destruction as the others. This time God appears alongside what is presumably the altar at Bethel. Up close and personal. He brings down the pillars and thresholds upon the heads of those worshipping there, sending survivors scurrying for cover in the depths, heights, seas and far-reaches of the world. But they flee fruitlessly: God is omnipresent and His judgment is complete. Continue reading
Is an eight letter word twice as bad as a four letter word? You know the one: p*tience.
Amos’ love for God and earnest desire to see Israel return to Him has been an exceptional example to me this week. God always seems to make the lesson personal — especially so in the last few days with some parenting challenges under my roof. Did your week require patience?
Patience and grace
Two visions of destruction (7:1-6) bring Amos to his knees on behalf of Israel. His heart of brokenness over the potential starvation and images of an ash-covered Israel drive him to beseech God to spare them. Continue reading
Posted in Amos, Bible Study, Parenting, Prayer
Tagged 2 Peter 3, Amos 7, Confidence, Humility, James 3, Parenting, Patience, Proverbs 12, Proverbs 19, Serving God