The Lament and Hope of Christmas

The Lament and Hope of Christmas

Guest post by Meredith Lynn McCaskey

I am fond of Christmas music. The holiday season is incomplete without my favorite Christmas CDs drifting out of the speakers, the anthems at church, the Christmas music I play for myself on the piano. However, when I say Christmas music, I really mean Christmas hymns. I don’t have any objection to the old-time crooners—I like Bing Crosby warbling White Christmas as much as anybody—but I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about the kind of holiday music you hear playing in the department stores. There is nothing wrong with chestnuts roasting on open fires, or strolls through winter wonderlands while listening to sleigh-bells ring-a-linging, but I fear that if that’s where Christmas begins and ends, our hearts will be left hollow. The trouble with department store Christmas music is that it offers no hope to the broken-hearted or the heavy-laden at Christmastime.

Unclean Christmas?

Unclean Christmas?

Every year around Thanksgiving, my Facebook feed fills up with reasons why you shouldn’t do the Elf on the Shelf, why you should do Elf on the Shelf, why we should give our kids only 4 presents, why we shouldn’t have a Christmas tree, why we should believe in Santa, why we shouldn’t believe in Santa, and on and on the articles go. If you know me personally, you know I have strong opinions and probably an opinion on all of the above, but I often keep those to myself (or share with my poor husband!); they’re beside the point.

So what’s right? How should we celebrate Christmas this year?

The Promise

The Promise

Guest post by Allie de Graaf

God’s promises are good, but sometimes I don’t like them.

I know the promise, that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. This is a great and precious promise. Jesus—Immanuel, God with Us—is the greatest Gift, the embodiment of that promise. His advent is good news of great joy.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Guest post by Rebecca VanDeMark

If there is one thing that we all know from the hard seasons of life, it is that the season of waiting seems to go on indefinitely with no exact end date assured. Waiting for test results to come back. Waiting for answers. Waiting for broken relationships to be restored. Waiting for unemployment to end. Waiting for a place that we can call home. Waiting for a husband. Waiting for a child. Waiting for an adventure to begin. Waiting for the life we long for to begin. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Crazy-Wonderful Little Life ~ Guest Post by Sara Cormany

Crazy-Wonderful Little Life ~ Guest Post by Sara Cormany

Guest Post by Sara Cormany

I remember the day he took my breath away. It began like most, I suppose. With my feet dangling over the side of an exam table, her fingers clickety clacking away at the computer and his voice posing the question as it had a million times before, On a scale of 1-10, how is the pain here and here and here...