A Love of Learning

I truly enjoy being around people who love to learn. Surely that is a quality of a person who is spiritually and emotionally healthy. If we don’t learn something new each day perhaps we should wonder if we have made good use of the day God has given us.

It has been said “spirituality means living the ordinary extraordinary well.” When we acquire a new skill, learn a new word, make a new friend, find an interesting fact, discover a new place we are strengthening our spirituality and honoring God.

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A Time for Building

As you know, 2011 will literally be “a time for building” for our church family.  The tentative schedule calls for construction of our new education building to begin in March and be completed late in the fall.  A separate project is the new retaining wall on the northwest side of the driveway near the sanctuary doors.  Even now there is gravel, blocks and equipment on site that will soon be part of this project.

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Bah, humbug!

There are those who would say our observance of Christmas is materialistic, schmaltzy, superficial, nostalgic, old-fashioned— well, bah humbug!

There is much about Christmas that is traditional, sweet and beautiful.  We are invited to recreate the journey of Joseph and Mary.  Yet the ancient story brings an undeniable freshness to the journey we are on.  To know that God is with us is a powerful source of hope and encouragement.

In writing these words I, like many of you, know of people we care about who are grieving, people who are struggling with depression or physical challenges or loneliness.  For some Christmas is not a “holly, jolly season”.

As difficult as life may become we continue in the strength of “God with us—Emmanuel”. This season is what it is and in the midst of darkness there comes a light.  A light that speaks of peace, a light that comes from the birth of the Christ child that says “you are not alone whether in grief or illness or being stationed in Afghanistan”.  God through Christ is saying  “I will not leave you or forsake you are my child”.

Grace and Peace, Don

Lighting the Candles

Upon returning from Thanksgiving in Colorado I find I have a new badge of honor.  Unpacking the suitcase I discovered three shirts with spit up on the shoulder, or the sleeve.  It was well worth it for precious time spent with a new granddaughter.  Laundering shirts is a small price to pay for holding and giving a bottle to six-week-old Lena.

We are well on the way to the second Sunday of Advent.  The candles on the wreath remind us of those good Advent words:  hope, peace, joy, love.  In this holy season shall we treasure the baby or shall we complain about a little spit up.  Shall we prepare room in our hearts for the baby Jesus and the babies whom Jesus loves?  It is such a good occasion for us to do something worthwhile, to enjoy praying, to celebrate the scripture, to worship with an open heart. Truly this sacred season calls us to light a candle and not simply curse the darkness.

Grace and Peace, Don

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