Making Space for Christmas

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 NAS95) As I prayed about writing, God pointed me to this passage—yes, I think He directed it to me, especially when I think of the busyness of my life in recent months. As we consider moving to Germany, we’ve had many meetings with partners, shared what we sense God wants to do with and through us in joining the Focus Cities initiative. In the midst of busyness, even good busyness, busyness for God, I’ve noticed that I can push Christ out and lay Him in a manger because there is no room in the inn within me. My emotions, my anxiety, my fea

Desperate Waiting

"Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me." (Psalm 69: 1–3, NLT). I associate Advent with waiting; waiting for Christmas, waiting for God’s coming, waiting for the promise, waiting for hope. However, what I usually imagine is the peaceful kind of waiting that you enjoy in the late night or early morning while you sip hot chocolate and listen to Christmas carols playing softly. Waiting that can be done while wrapped in a warm blanket, admiring th

Prisoners of Hope

"He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as He promised our ancestors." (Luke 1:51-55, NIV) In my Bible college days, we used to act out important events highlighted in Scripture. My fellow Moodies may remember this, too. We’d march through the Red Sea and count the Twelve Spies, separate Judah from Israel, and watched the prophets speak. Then,

Advent: a time to be selfish, but not self-centered

"The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out, 'Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.' 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived." (Matthew 25:5-10a, NIV) Once an Icelandic friend was lamenting the fact that her church never speaks, teaches or preaches about the second coming of Christ. "We have Jesus as a baby at Chri

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