Most people really like Christmas. There are a few grinches who despise the annual celebration. But many more cherish this annual holiday. They lean into invisible qualities of hope and joy connected to the evergreen tree, lights and decorations, beautiful music, giving and receiving, special goodies, and moments of reflection. Unfortunately, many of these same “Christmas-loving” people feel overwhelmed at the hustle and bustle. So, how do you prepare your heart for this beloved holiday?
During the Olympics, relay races are run with a team of superbly trained athletes – and with a baton. In one critical moment, a race is often won or lost. What is that moment? It’s the moment when runners pass the baton. Races are lost or won based on speed, of course. Yet, an accurate baton placement secures the race. This element is drilled again and again by coaches.
To pass the baton in a race is a big deal. It’s an even bigger deal to pass the baton in daily life.
You prepare for Christmas in so many ways. But how do you prepare your heart?
The Christmas Advent Season has been richly celebrated for many years. Historically, an advent marks the arrival of a notable person or event. Often, a wreath with candles has been used during Christmas Advent, lighting a new candle on each of four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
Even if you choose not to use a wreath with candles, there are simple, thoughtful ways you can prepare your heart.
This is the first in a series to help prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we will light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation. (Notice each additional week’s article in this series has another candle lit in the main featured image.)
Recently, I wrote a letter to a friend. As I re-read and pondered my message, I realized there was a stunning, fresh faith application point in my letter – for me! It was simple, yet profound. I’ve thought a lot about this ever since. That message boiled down to one word. Want to know what I wrote?
(This is Part 3 in a series on faith. See below for the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts links.) Read More …
Deceptive cycles have trapped most people at one time or other. You, me, pretty much everyone. These cycles are key enemy strategies to get God’s people to fail, live defeated, be burdened, and struggle with discouragement. Deception formed the original temptation of Adam and Eve. So, we are not alone. Still, this was never God’s plan. He wants you free to have an Alive and Active Life.
Everything has changed during COVID-19. People have lost income. Parents have suddenly become point person for their child’s education. Shopping safely is a big deal and many items are in short supply. Businesses have shut down or turned solely to the internet. Education has flipped to online classrooms. Even Dr. appointments are by phone or video. And facial masks are the new fashion! All of this while under lock-down stress. You need resources of the heart.
No one could have guessed the challenges COVID-19 has forced upon families and individuals. With good reason, some people are discouraged.
Here are some resources to help navigate tough times, starting with highest priorities and focused on truth and perspective.
Sometimes little tricks or acronyms help you remember important things. I found some “H” words help me live my life a bit better. There are “H” words from God, and “H” words for you.
I was reading recently from Dr. David Stevens’ book, Jesus, MD, and was struck by the idea of scrubbing-in. Apparently, it’s a big deal for a doctor to scrub-in for every surgery. It’s just part of the life of a surgeon. There is a proper way, step by step, to scrub-in. The ritual takes a fair bit of time. After scrubbing-in, if you get an itchy nose, someone else needs to scratch it. A scrub nurse helps the Dr. finish the tedious process so the very best, sterile conditions can be maintained during a surgery.