How will America gather for Thanksgiving this year?

How will America gather for Thanksgiving this year?

How did America first gather? In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims gathered with the Massasoit Indians to celebrate the harvest. It wasn’t anything purchased from the grocery store, but what was hunted and grown and greatly prepared after much sacrifice and hard work. It was a union of what had been taught and what has been learned. It was a friendship forged.

It was the white man who had come to America. It was the white man who was accustom to celebrating the bounty called a harvest festival. It was the local Native Americans who taught the white man how to plant and grow and reap in a new world. Together they gathered. It was the local Native Americans that made room. That welcomed. Like any relationship, I can only imagine the beauty and the mess that unfolded. To share the land. To learn from each other. To be patient. To let love win despite the differences or trials.

The differences that had to be discussed.

The commonalities that connected.

The stories that were shared.

The gratitude that was given.

The praise and petitions that were prayed.

Did those that gathered at the first Thanksgiving honor Jesus? The Giver of all good things? Their Provider? Their Healer? Their Help in time of trouble?

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How will America gather this year? 

The elephant will most definitely be in the living room of most American homes on Thursday.  Continue reading

advent {a getting ready and a staying focused}

how do you make the most of the Christmas season?
how do you authentically embrace one of the two most celebrated events in the Christian faith that have such secular traditions?
 
 i’ve thought for years you can still have
 it all for your children.
that santa, frosty, and baby Jesus
 could all be unpacked from the Christmas bins below the bed
and put in their decorated place for a month.
yet
one always is elevated.
one always is more talked about.
one always is more celebrated.
one always gets more glory.
 
but the magic and wonder and Christmas spirit that seem to unfold as the lights and ornaments are hung on the tree…
 
i have learned (as a parent) that all of this goes right back into the boxes as the new year begins. that unpacking tradition and memories are sentimental, but only reflect the past.
 
how can i expect our children to embrace what is 
and what is to come? 
how can we welcome in the Christmas season with joy and celebration that embed peace in our hearts 
and hope for the future? 

new year’s prayers {a repost}

new year’s prayers…

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nieces and nephews.

friends from far away.

college friends.

neighbors who just moved in.

their cards have come to you.

telling you their year in review.

what’s to become of them

when you’ve oohed and aahed over how they’ve grown

and stand in awe of what the year has shown?

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gather them up
and punch a hole
attach a book ring
and a label that reads “Christmas + YEAR.”

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now keep it somewhere visible as the new year begins

for now it’s time to specifically pray for your family and friends.

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wanting to create an environment where we talk to God just like we would a Father

the boys choose a card and their sweet prayers for you they offer.

when we pray for you, we often ask for God’s wisdom,

that He would give you favor this year to come,

and that you would be brave to risk much for Him and His Kingdom.

in the form of a baby, God has come near to us.
therefore, the Christmas season should launch us towards a new year of hope and purpose.