Our Sex Problem: Most Popular Post in 2017

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20–
The situation had to do with a man who had a position of authority in our town. He was married and had multiple children.  My job was to follow the workings of our town–requiring our paths to cross.
I guess he pegged me as divorced, struggling, and lonely. Divorced and struggling, yes. Lonely? Not that lonely.
His inappropriateness was subtle yet clear. He liked me. “Did you dress up for me today?” he asked once. Continue reading “Our Sex Problem: Most Popular Post in 2017”

The Value of Wonder

CBN published my devotional today.
“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.” G.K. Chesterton
One year between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I had the blessing of being sick. Good timing. After Christmas. When there’s time for not doing much.
Wednesday: A granddaughter was sick along with me. Two bad cases of winter yuck: coughing and head stuff. We each claimed a couch and a blanket. Since she is the other Rod Serling fan in the family, I put in a DVD of Twilight Zone episodes. Black and white images flickered in the glow of a wood fire and a lit tree.
We found a twilight of wonder with Serling voicing over our dreams. Continue reading “The Value of Wonder”

Between Christmas and Easter

“The creator of the universe is not a cold and impersonal force. It is a love that makes itself vulnerable for the sake of the other. The logic that lies behind all things is an infant too weak to raise his own head.” Robert Barron
Perhaps the tree at your house is looking a bit dusty and disheveled. Maybe you’re preparing yourself mentally for packing up the trappings of the holiday season–a task few of us relish. But before we move on to a new year and the brunt of winter, let’s take one more look in the manger, peeking into the place where He was born and beyond.
Nativity scenes often show us a wooden structure or a cave. We imagine this place to be away from human habitations. However, more than one Bible scholar asserts that first-century Israelite homes had a stable inside the house on the first floor.
Animals were inside when family members needed their presence to help heat the dwelling. Built-in mangers were a feature of every home.
Jesus was born in a family’s home that had filled up with other guests. He was born in an animals’ place–yet among people.
On Christmas Eve, I attended Mass with my son. One sentence the priest said has stayed with me: “Jesus was born in a stable because that’s where the sacrifices were kept.”
Even a birth inside a home-stable is an unusually humble way for the King of kings to arrive. Yet, this birth richly symbolizes His life’s purpose–to die on our behalf.
Barron: “Willing the good of the other (the classical definition of love) is moving with the deepest rhythms of creation and with the very nature of God.”
Love came down from Heaven for our good–not for His power. There was a cave in Christ’s life. But it came at the end, not at the beginning.
cave with light pixabay
Understanding the true meaning of Christmas leads us to the true meaning of Holy Week–Christ’s suffering for us–then His power over death in resurrection.
Emmanuel is the God who lives with us, having come for us. He walked among us–and taught those of us who would listen. He still teaches those willing to hear.
The sacrifice dwelt briefly in the stable and ultimately paid our sin debt. He emerged alive again from a cave/tomb. That is our true celebration of Christ.
 


Photo Credits: Karbel Multimedia, Pixabay

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Things I Thought I'd Never Do

Twenty-seventeen brought our family many blessings and a few surprises. And sometimes I even surprised myself.
We spent most of 2017 dogsitting for my son who was deployed overseas. Boomer had visited us before and crawled into our hearts. Ten months of 24/7 dog supervision turned me into a dog person.
My kids all recognized the signs. A couple of them even suggested that we get our own dog.  One of them became pro-active. He showed up at my door one day and said he wanted to show me a picture of our Christmas present.
He pulled a picture up on his phone.
I was hooked. But someone else moved more quickly and claimed that pup. So my son found another–and I became just as quickly hooked on this one. Continue reading “Things I Thought I'd Never Do”

Christmas Eve Eve

December 23. I remember the realization I had as a child–telling my mother–“Today is Christmas Eve Eve.”
Mother–ever watchful of my tendency to rush the season–admonished me that there was no such day.
Oh, yes. There is.
It seems to be the day we begin to get quiet. Some still haunt stores to finish shopping. But these are quick trips, few long hauls.
Now is when we want to be home.
I’m baking cookies today. Shopping, done. Decorating, close to done. (Yes, I’m very late in that regard.) And thanks to the help of a granddaughter, all wrapping is done.
Happy Christmas Eve Eve to you and yours.
May yours be a blessed holiday of peace, family, and Christ!


Photo Credit: Pixabay

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dolls for Christmas: Practicing Motherhood

“Mary was bigger than Laura, and she had a rag doll named Nettie. Laura had only a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief, but it was a good doll. It was named Susan. It wasn’t Susan’s fault that she was only a corncob.
“Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she only did it when Susan couldn’t see.” 
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods
–I remember receiving a baby doll the Christmas I was three. She was dressed all in pink and white. And she came with her own bed.
Somewhere there exists a snapshot of me, mouth agape, delighting in the magic that Santa had come and brought me the pretense of motherhood. Continue reading “Dolls for Christmas: Practicing Motherhood”

Darkening America, Illuminating Church

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Charles Dickens
When I was a radio news reporter, I wanted to do a special feature for the morning drive program.
I wrote a poem to record to music but wanted another voice along with my own on the piece. So I went to my kids’ elementary school and interviewed six first graders. I asked them, “What is Christmas?” Continue reading “Darkening America, Illuminating Church”

Giving Ourselves in the Giving Season

The CBN.com devotional for Friday, December 15.
“What do you need?” my husband asked the director of a local food pantry during the holidays one year. The two had just met ‘by chance’.
A big smile spread across “Bob’s” face. “Nothing.”
Then he outlined a story about a great need the pantry staff had faced the week before. For years, a local company donated $2,000 worth of turkeys every Christmas. But the company was now gone, replaced by a larger corporate entity.
No more turkeys. Continue reading “Giving Ourselves in the Giving Season”

The Magic and Wonder of Traditions

The wonder of Christmas includes traditions we pass down to our children. We relay to the next generation what came down to us from previous generations. We tweak traditions to suit us. And our kids tweak them to fit their families.
My parents altered a Christmas custom when I was young. They changed midstream, even while I–and perhaps one of my brothers–still believed in Santa. In my very young years, Santa had not only brought all the presents, he also put up the tree. All on Christmas Eve.
It was magical. We went to bed with our house in its regular state. We woke up to glowing lights and presents that seemed to have materialized overnight. Continue reading “The Magic and Wonder of Traditions”

A Letter from Licentia

My name is Licentia. It means free love, but I am anything but free. I was an embryo of an idea in Eden and have been born and reborn many times throughout history. My most recent manifestation began in the Western Civilization of the 1960s. I was a full-fledged idea before that. But that’s when people started to find it easy to ward off the consequences of my embrace. Or so the people of the day took as gospel; many still do.
“I am harmless,” I preach. “I bring you only pleasure and never pain.” Because of their innate innocence and trust, and because of their desire, they believe me. Continue reading “A Letter from Licentia”