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cheerful expectancy

The Art of Cheerful Expectancy

Five days before Christmas, I sat in a booth with a marble table, swallowing a bite of mint-chip ice cream I’d barely tasted. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s schedule it.” Garth’s eyes danced. “We’re gonna have a baby tomorrow?” I smiled. “We’re gonna have a baby tomorrow.” We’d been huddled in our favorite ice cream parlour […]

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simple advent

A Simple Christmas Starts with a Simple Advent

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already observing Advent, even if you’re not sure what Advent is. In the 1960s, kids like me growing up near Pacific Grove, California had something major to anticipate in addition to Christmas Day. We didn’t have snow, but we had Candy Cane Lane. Every year, my parents chose […]

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joy

Joy for the Day After Christmas, and the Day After That

  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. -Romans 5:5   On this 20-degree day after Christmas, a little boy across the street bounces with glee, chasing a remote-control truck up […]

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christmas-longing-full

A Christmas Longing

Surely your goodness and love will follow me     all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord     forever. –Psalm 23:6   Before my dad lost his battle with lung cancer, he helped me memorize Psalm 23. The year I graduated from high school, he died. In December. And […]

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piper-quote

How to Receive God’s Christmas Gift to You

  *Hey friends, as 2016 comes to a close, are you reeling from the snowball effect of challenging life events? Could you use some more peace of mind and joy of heart? I hope you’ll join me as I reflect on John Piper’s daily Advent readings. In the days leading up to Christmas, you can […]

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how-god_1

From How, God? to Hallelujah

  Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen?” -Luke 1:34   It’s morning as Garth and I stand together at the kitchen window, cradling glasses of fresh-pressed juice and watching the snow fall. “You have to make your health priority one,” I say. “Yeah,” he says. “But how?” We both think we know […]

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treasuring_full

Treasuring and Pondering

  But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. —Luke 2:19   Between the angels and the shepherds, there’s a whole lot of praising and glorifying going on in the Christmas story. But in the center of it all we see Mary, still and serene. Treasuring. Pondering. Here’s what I take from […]

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hopes-and-fears_full

It’s Still a Wonderful Life

  “That through death he might . . . deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” —Hebrews 2:15   It happened again. Garth and I cried watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It hits too close to home! We get swept away by the tension even though we know the ending. […]

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