But just because we understand where our pain comes from and how it has affected us, and even forgiven our offender, does not mean it disappears. This is the problem with self-help, visualization techniques, and daily affirmations; they are not bad per se, but we often try to apply them to deeper issues that will not have a magic wand waved over them.
I am wondering: do the possessions we own turn us into bloated Christians? I am slim in body, but obese in possessions – and I wonder what subtle effect this has on my spiritual life. Every time I look at a catalogue for present ideas for other people (which naturally turns into a list of things you might like for yourself), I feel like I am stuffing after-dinner mints into my face after a very large meal.
This group of women became the hands and feet of Jesus to me. I realized I didn’t have to try so hard. I didn’t have to strive. There was nothing for me to do because God had already done all the hard work. My life hadn’t been working because I was trying to do what only Jesus could have done.
Advent means ‘coming’. We tend to think of Advent as preparing for Christmas (ie preparing for remembering Jesus’ first coming), but traditionally the focus was on preparing our hearts for Jesus’ second coming.
Here are some ways you can mark Advent and prepare thoughtfully for Christmas:
I am exploring what it means to have a theology of play… I am catching some of that excitement of what it means to enter into the story. Play is a rebellion, but not against God, against my perfectionist and control-freak tendencies.
Even this week, there have been three gangs of marauding machete-wielding men terrorising our neighbourhood. So we padlock our doors and pray more, and more than anything I’m desperate that my kids don’t get freaked out by the guns
My boy seemed to be energised by the wind, running like a crazy thing and whooping with laughter. I watched him run and scoot on his scooter, and then Jon got a kite out, so I took photos while my little boy danced with the wind, trying to catch the kite as it flew. On the horizon the turquoise waves jumped with the wind, everything on God’s green earth moving to the same beat.
Hearing my son say, “I killed Kevin and his parents” was at first surreal, but it only took a few moments for the realization to set in that his life and that of our family were going to forever change in ways that I could have never imagined. A father’s first instinct is to protect his children. How could I protect Alec in this situation?