Advent #4: Experiencing the Love of Christmas

Christmas amplifies loneliness. It doesn’t create it but it certainly magnifies it.

For some people as they see others enjoying family and friends it brings them face to face with their own emptiness. It’s one reason Christmas is so hard for so many.


Photo Credit: Smabs Sputzer

Photo Credit: Smabs Sputzer


During the year it’s easier to stay busy with work, hobbies and volunteer activities. The loneliness may hide in the shadows but if you stay busy enough you can keep it at bay.


But at Christmas, when everything slows down, many are brought face to face with their emptiness.


And so for a few days they have to deal with the deep hollow in their hearts. [Read more…]

Advent #3: Healing for the Hurts of Christmas

A short series in Advent focusing on a few significant snapshots of the Christmas story and the amazing gifts they reveal.


Christmas Eve is both joyful and difficult for me.

After we were married and had children we celebrated Christmas Eve with my family.


Photo Credit:  Ian Muir

Photo Credit: Ian Muir


Early evening we attended candlelight service at church then went to my parents home. We were greeted with eggnog and appetizers. Then in the family room in front of a blazing fire we’d open gifts. Christmas was big for my mom so she always bought lots.

Our kids giggled with excitement and loved grandma’s.

After gifts we ate dinner and dessert.

What great memories.

When my parents both died in 2004, it left a hole that quite frankly still has never been filled up.


I understood firsthand how people struggle so much with Christmas.


Missing the fond memories or mourning never having had them. [Read more…]

Sunday Music: “A Strange Way to Save the World” by Mark Harris

A beautiful and thoughtful song sung from the perspective of Joseph.

I can’t imagine all that must have been going through his mind but this song I think captures some of it well.

I hope you enjoy this on your Sunday before Christmas.



If you are having trouble viewing this video you can watch it here.


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Advent #2: Discovering Surprising Joy at Christmas

A short series in Advent focusing on a few significant snapshots of the Christmas story and the amazing gifts they reveal.


Christmas without a doubt is the most conflicted holiday.

For many it’s a time of joy and celebration. Watching the magic through the eyes of a child. Connecting with family and friends.


Photo Credit: Angela Marie Henrietta

Photo Credit: Angela Marie Henrietta


Yet, for many others it’s depressing.

Those grieving the loss of a loved one who won’t be at Christmas.

Those apart from their loved ones because of circumstances beyond their control.

Those recently divorced and experiencing Christmas alone.

Add to that the non-stop activities that many of us get caught up in which in the moment are fun but can leave us exhausted. And when the buzz wears off the depression returns even worse.

And Christmas so often disappoints because it just never seems to live up to the hype.


We see this conflict in the Christmas story.



[Read more…]

Seeing a Christmas Miracle

“He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”  (John 1:14 NLT)

Christmas is a fascinating time.  So many contrasts.

As at the original one, all of us see the same things yet respond so differently. [Read more…]

The Mystery That Changes Everything

“So the Word became human and made his home among us.”  (John 1:14 NLT)

The Christmas story is a tough nut to crack.  I would guess most of us have struggled at times with believing God would somehow come to the earth he made and inhabit a human being so he could live here with us.

We wonder, “But how?  How does God become a human?  How can a person fully human and fully God inhabit the same body?  And what difference does it make anyway?” [Read more…]