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A Season Of Waiting That Points To A Better Celebration (via Betsy Childs Howard)

We’re not just waiting for December 25.
We’re waiting for eternity.
The time before Christmas can become a focus on what we don’t have; but it can help us remember that what we really need is coming.
By Betsy Childs Howard, on the Crossway blog.

Advent is about more than waiting for Christmas. The word “advent” means “coming.” During Advent, we not only remember that Jesus came to earth as a man; we prepare our hearts for his second coming. When we sing, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” we are not role-playing what the ancient Israelites must have prayed before the coming of the Messiah. No, we are praying that Emmanuel would return and make right all that is wrong with the world. When we sing, “Let every heart prepare him room,” we are not retroactively chastising the innkeepers of Bethlehem; we are preaching to all of the souls within earshot to be ready to meet their Judge and Maker unafraid.
The timing for this emphasis on Christ’s return couldn’t be better, in my opinion. Just when we would like to be happiest, and are therefore, ironically, the saddest, we remember that not only has Christ come, he has promised to come again. This life is not our only shot at happiness. It is a brief prelude to the life to come where we will find pleasures evermore. In the presence of Jesus, we will not regret anything we lacked in this life.
If your heart is heavier than you’d like this Advent season, take hope that the joys of Christmas aren’t ultimately what you wait for. The very best Christmas — one in which every family member sits around the table, speaks sweetly to everyone else, and prefers giving to receiving — is a pale shadow of the rejoicing to come. Let the fact that your heart aches point you beyond Christmas to the better celebration still to come. Join with the voices of Christians around the world, who together pray, “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”

Read the whole post here.


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When God Gives You Way More Than You Can Handle (via Philip Ryken)

Philip Ryken takes issue with the oft heard Christian advice ‘God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.’

We Can’t Handle All of Life’s Trouble . . .
We will never be ready for all of the troubles that we face in life and I have to say that I disagree with the common slogan that you sometimes see on posters that goes something like this: “I know God’s not going to give me anything more than I can handle.” Actually, my experience is that a lot of times God gives me way more than I can handle—and I think that’s normal.
. . . but God Can.
One of the reasons that he gives us more than we can handle is because his grace proves sufficient in our weakness. So in one sense, we can never prepare for all of the troubles that we are going to face. But what does prepare us is healthy, normal, ordinary, daily Christian living: Spending time in God’s word everyday, being with the people of God for worship at least every week, turning to God in prayer daily in every circumstance that we face, and just being honest about the troubles that we’re having—honest with ourselves, honest with God, honest with other Christians about those troubles. We will grow in our capacity to face the struggles of life as we live healthy, ordinary, daily Christian life.


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A Three Snickers Day

9.25.14_spilled-water-500x500No chocolate changed hands, but it could have.
Sigh.
And it all worked out fine.
So sense fussing.