Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekend Wanderings

This is the first weekend of the new year. Most of the country has been locked in the icebox for the past week. The southeastern coast was hit with more snow than some residents had ever seen and the northeastern part of the country was slammed with heavy snow and high winds. It's supposed to warm up this week here in the sunny South.

Here is the good stuff:

Listening and learning.
Epiphany post.
This is good.
Do you know anyone who needs one of these?
Whatever works.
Good post from Karl Vaters.

Raining iguanas.
A new game to play on those snow days.
I might be able to keep these New Year's resolutions.
A good post on something we need to rediscover.
Looks like a good book.

Paul Dunk is ruined.
A plea for grace.
Good question.
What if?
Good post from Kurt Willems.
10 steps.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Goodbye and Hello

2017 has passed into history. There have been a few years in recent memory to which I bid "Good riddance." This past year is not one of those. 2017 was a good year for me and my family. Jan and I became grandparents. Twice. I started a new job, which I love. There were some hiccups. It was not a perfect year, but overall it was peaceful, without the drama of some recent years.

As I look back on the past year, I am thankful for the good things that God has blessed us with. Grandchildren and the new job are right up there at the top of the list, along with a deepening of our relationship as husband and wife. Our relationships with our friends has also grown stronger, and we are grateful for them. This year has been more active than most, but we have been blessed with the energy we needed. I have no idea what 2018 holds. I hope that it is as good as 2017, but I realize that it may not be.

I don't know if your past year was good or bad. I don't know if you are looking forward to this new year or not. I do know how it feels to be glad one year is gone and also dread the coming year. While I can't totally understand what everyone goes through, I can empathize. I can also hope and pray with you that 2018 is a good year for you.

Let me encourage you to trust God this coming year. There may be times when you can't even begin to figure out what he is doing, or if he is even working at all. Those times when you can't see his hand at work, trust his heart. Trust that the Father's love for you is so strong that he will never let anything come into your life that he does not use for your good. The last part of Romans 8 is true. There is absolutely nothing on earth or in heaven that can separate you from Abba's love.

Don't live this year worrying about the state of your finances, your health, your relationships. Don't be worried about the future of the country's politics, or world affairs. The Creator of all things, who is your Father, is in complete control. Since even the fall of a tiny bird doesn't escape God's attention, trust that he has your situation firmly in hand. As Julian of Norwich said, "...all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

May your 2018 be full of the love of Abba! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Weekend Wanderings

This will be the final Weekend Wanderings for this year. I hope to get back to more regular blogging in 2018, but I have learned to make very few promises. We'll see.

Anyway, here are some links for your reading pleasure:

Good question.
Amazing library!
From the Babylon Bee.
Have you ever seen one of these?
Top nature photographs of 2017.

Funny post from McSweeney's.
Good Christmas post.
Strange story.
Have you ever seen one of these?
Being small.

Another top ten list.
Surprise!
What Christmas is all about.
Authentic friendship.
Making the church great again.

A challenge from Bob Edwards.
First coming.
Shrunken Jesus.
In case you're looking into moving to Switzerland.
Good post.

Have a blessed week and a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Third Week of Advent: Anticipation

This was first published on December 12, 2012.

Jesus, as Israel waited in anticipation for you to come, so we wait. We anticipate your return to completely set all things right and restore your creation. As we wait, help us to be active as we pray for your kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Let that kingdom come in our day-to-day as we follow you, until that day it comes fully. Amen

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Second Week of Advent: Hope

This was first posted on December 9,2012.

Taken from The Mosaic Bible:

Advent is a time of hope; the spirit of eager anticipation pervades the senses. Even in the refuge of your own home, the season is inescapable as carolers dismiss the social inhibitions that dominate the other eleven months of the year. But when tragedy, depression, or even loneliness steals your joy, you can almost resent the hope that others have.

When we think our hope unfulfilled, we adjust our expectations. We take on new causes, reconsider our optimism, or sometimes become leery of new endeavors. We can even become angry with God, feeling desolate or abandoned. But even if we lose our hope in God, he will never give up on us.

God doesn't share our limited perspective, and that is one of the reasons that the hope of Advent isn't dependent on how we are feeling. It can be comforting to rely on the one who give us hope, even when the light of that hope doesn't seem to penetrate our temporary darkness.

Monday, November 27, 2017

First Week of Advent

This was first posted on December 2, 2012.

Longing:

Everlasting God,
in whom we live and move and have our being:
You have made us for yourself,
so that our hearts are restless
until they rest in you.
Augustine of Hippo

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings will be a bit shorter than usual this time. This has been a busy week. I am part of an organization of artists that seeks to serve our community through the arts. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we held what we called Art Party. It was an event with art hung in various galleries, studios, and businesses around town. Friday ended with a very interesting play, and Saturday night we capped off the event with a dinner, with a speaker and a local band. We are all exhausted, but it was a wonderful time.

Funny animal pictures.
Good question then. Still a good question.
What really causes violence.
Keep up with the trends.
Freedom!

Good one from the Bee.
Jesus' blue collar outfit.
Giftedness and goodness.
Unfaithfulness.
Why Christians should read poetry.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Weekend Wanderings

This is the first weekend of the new year. Most of the country has been locked in the icebox for the past week. The southeastern coast was h...