What Is Your Happy Place?

  “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” Remember that camp song from way back when? It perfectly summarizes the third Sunday of Advent, called “Gaudete Sunday” in Roman Catholic and Anglican circles. “Gaudete” (pronounced “Gow-DAY-tay”) is a Latin word meaning “rejoice,” marking a shift from the...

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Advent: A Time to Purge, Not Perform

  We hear a lot about preparations during the season of Advent. Many people prepare for Christmas Day by trimming the tree, shopping, wrapping presents and throwing parties. I knew a pastor who dreaded the holidays as a kid because his mother would make him scrub the baseboards before family arrived. I’m...

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Five Fun Facts About Advent

  Many years ago, I remember reading a sermon with the title, “Hallowthankmas.” The preacher was making the point that the commercial world has merged Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas into one, big, fat three-month shopping come-on. The Urban Dictionary defines Hallowthankmas as a holiday “celebrating the most wonderful time of the year,...

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When Giving Thanks is Difficult

  Have you ever found it difficult to give thanks? I have. I know others have, too. A few Novembers ago, a good friend died of a heart attack in his sleep. His nine-year old daughter discovered him in his bed. He was in his mid-50s, active and happy, a...

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Seeing Red

The Christmas Wars have started early this year. An Arizona evangelist and social-media personality is upset that Starbucks has removed traditional holiday symbols of snowflakes and ornaments from their coffee cups, switching to solid red. “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus,” claims Joshua Feuerstein on his Facebook page....

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Learning a Lesson All Over Again

  I recently visited a couple at an independent living community in Ft. Worth. They had been a member of a church where I had served for several years. The man has leukemia, but he’s facing it down with a buoyant faith and active lifestyle. In fact, he and his wife just returned...

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To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate-That is the Question

  It’s that time of the year again! The annual “should Christians celebrate Halloween?” debate is in full force, with believers on both sides of the fence gleefully attacking each other. Articles defending or condemning this observance are always followed by comments with lots of exclamation points and ALL CAPS to put a...

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Downsizing a Dream

  My wife and I have been yakking about downsizing for a few good years now. About eight years ago, we bought the closest thing to our dream home we could afford and it has been wonderful. However, at over 3000 square feet to maintain and the 2nd floor challenging our...

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