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    Do I Serve to Please Others, Myself, or God?

    I shut the cover on my laptop after facilitating a zoom webinar. Was I good enough? Did I say the right thing? They must really think I’m stupid. That was surely a waste of their time. I hope they still like me. The Holy Spirit quickly asked me the same question posed by the apostle Paul: Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ! Galatians 1:10 I know that God has called me to sincerely and deeply love others and help them…

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    Preparing Our Souls for Advent – An Advent Primer

    Anticipating Advent in the midst of the clutter, noise and anxiety of the current cultural pulls is an invitation to shift and prepare our souls for celebrating the coming of Christ—Emmanuel—God with us. The word “advent,” from the Latin adventus (Greek parousia), means “coming” or “arrival.” The Advent Season is focused on the “coming” of Jesus as Messiah (Christ or King). Christian worship, Bible readings, and prayers not only prepare us spiritually for Christmas (His first coming), but also for His eventual second coming. Rich in symbolism, the Advent season allows the church to experience the joy, expectation and complexity surrounding the coming of the Messiah and to ponder its…

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    It’s the Most ???? Time of the Year

    The holidays aren't always all they are cracked up to be. Before you change my moniker to ‘Ebenezer’ or start singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” hear me out.   I love the holidays. While I’ve disciplined myself to not pull out the trees and tinsel pre-Thanksgiving, I have been known to bust out Bing Crosby the day after Halloween. The wonder of the season is far from lost on me. I love the turkey, the football, the lights, the gifts, the music, the parties, the weather, the décor. I still get giddy on Christmas morning and try to soak up every bit of magic the season has to offer. And,…

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    Blind Spots

    Check your rearview mirror. Look over your shoulder. Signal. Every time we climb into the car, these simple rules from Drivers Ed help us avoid blind spots and the accidents that could ensue. We all have blind spots—in driving vehicles and in navigating life. When we don't recognize these tender areas, dangerous events ensue.  Tires screech. Metal scrapes. People yell. Emotions flare. Conflicts deepen. Friendships fracture. So this year—amidst a month when we make our resolutions and look for ways to grow into our better selves—I plan to address some of these tricky spots in my own life. You too? How do we recognize our blind spots and work on…

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    Are you OK without your Facebook, twitterfeed, instagram…? A report from the front.

    True story. Last weekend a group of teens gathered in a nicer than average home in the American suburbs to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of a pretty, popular teenage girl. We’ll call her Miranda. Miranda, her mom and her grandma had knocked themselves out for days making tasty food, decorating the pool, deck and house, and devising a hilarious line-up of games and activities. They even had some movie choices to watch before they settled in for the sleepover. Confident she had everything to  keep the girls enjoying themselves for the duration, Miranda’s mom greeted each girl at the door with a promise of great fun and a gentle reminder…