Repeat the Sounding Joy

Have you noticed lately that it's the Christians who are often most cranky during the Christmas season? Complaining has almost become required. We hear sermons on how to deal with the stress of Christmas. We read ominous-sounding emails and Facebook posts on the so-called "War on Christmas." And of course, cable news shows ramp up the debates on whether an elderly greeter in Dinkytown, USA, articulated her "Merry Christmas" greeting in a way that satisfies the Westminster Confession. And let's not even get into the tiresome annual debate about the chubby guy with the beard decked out in red from head-to-toe. Pastors, as part of their sober calling, are often summoned to decide whether using Santa wrapping paper is grounds for church discipline. Is it just me, or have we Christians - the ones who know and believe God visited this sin soaked world in the form of a baby so He...

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How to Think On These Things

I just got back from spending a few days away with my beautiful wife of ten years. Our agenda for the four days was simple: do nothing. We slept in, went out for dinner, read, watched movies, and sat by the pool. In a very busy season of life, this was a welcome respite. For me, it was nice not have to be somewhere or do something, though it was hard to discipline myself away from email. I mostly did okay, but at times Angela had to tell me to put the blasted phone away. For Angela it was nice for her to simply relax, not having to cook, clean, do laundry, counsel women, separate kids from fighting, make sure the house is in order, shuttle little people to birthday parties, and/or do some kind of children's ministry at church. She could simply rest. And rest we both did. One of...

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Finding Joy In a Fallen World

I've been deeply convicted lately, about my own writing and interaction on social media. I enjoy keeping up with current events, politics, and movements in the Church. I like writing in reaction to news stories, helping people think biblically about what is going on in the world. I'd like to think I do a fair job at doing this, but I know that because I see "through a glass darkly" even at my best, my view of the world is tainted by sin. It's a good thing to help people size up the world biblically, but if we're not careful (and by we, I mean me), people can assume that the Christian faith is all about cynicism, negativity, and opposition. I recently read, afresh, Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if...

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Return to Christmas Joy

I had the privilege of writing a piece on Christmas Joy for New Hope Digital. There is a tendency to either be cranky about commercialism or be caught up in it at Christmastime. Here's an excerpt: I think both approaches miss the majesty of Christmas. Yes, the Western world is increasingly secularized and dismissive of Jesus. But that’s why we are still here. We are the ones who have been eternally transformed by the Incarnation. And we are to bless others in His name.If we want the guy at the checkout to be excited about the real story of Christmas, why not let the gospel pour from us so he visibly sees Christ in us? If the message of Christmas is getting obscured, let’s shout it joyfully from our own little platforms. Maybe, just maybe, the secular world would take notice. Read the rest here: Return to Christmas Joy :: New Hope Digital....

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