18 November 2017

This 'n' That (One Day Late)

First of all, thank you for your patience and understanding why this week's post is a bit late. If you're on Twitter, you know the reason. If you're not on Twitter (or missed it), here you go. Now, let's get to the good stuff.

I love Hallmark movies, especially at Christmas. Yes, true confession, when it comes to those cheesy romantic comedies and dramas, I totally fit the stereotype. Watching these may not be the most productive use of one's time, but every now and then it's nice to spend a relaxed evening disconnected from the world while watching something that is lighthearted, clean, and not offensive.

What I find fascinating about these films is that the majority of them seem to take place in small, rural towns. It's clear that most of us have this idyllic picture of what a perfect, calm, quiet life might look like, and Hallmark has embraced that. (Although, having recently been in New England, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't all look like the quaint New England towns you see in the Hallmark movies). Of course, there is always a happy ending and, at least in the Christmas movies, there is plenty of hot chocolate and hot cider to go around. They portray what many of us might believe to be "the perfect Christmas."

Yet we all know that there is no picture-perfect Christmas that falls into our preconceived ideas. And we all know that, whether we live in the city, the suburbs, or on that seemingly quiet farm, life is hectic. It is chaotic and it pulls us in far too many directions. None of us will ever experience a Hallmark movie Christmas. And that's okay.

It is okay if we're too exhausted in the evening to build a gingerbread house and go caroling (does anyone go caroling anymore? We should!). It is okay if our house isn't decorated to grace the cover of Better Homes & Gardens. It is okay if our dinner doesn't look like Martha Stewart prepared it. It is okay if we, our family, and our Christmas are not perfect.

At the end of the day, none of these things—the cookies, the carols, the decorations, or the dinner—have eternal consequences. At the end of the day, these are the "nice to haves." So what are the "must haves?" Time with our family to enjoy one another and to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Time with our church family to serve one another and to fellowship and edify one another. Most importantly, time with our Lord to grow closer to Him so that we may grow in His grace this season and all year.

We'd all love to experience a Hallmark Christmas, but don't be disappointed when yours doesn't turn out that way. Enjoy the entertainment, but embrace the reality that the Lord has gifted you.

Well, now that I'm done opining on that, I think I'll go grab some hot cider and a gingerbread cookie while I hum Christmas carols and place presents underneath my perfectly trimmed Christmas tree. In the meantime, why don't you sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Proving again that just because you call yourself a church doesn't mean you are one.
  • Interesting, brief thoughts on free will versus God's sovereignty.
  • Pope Francis says the strangest things.
  • Facebook (and other social media) no doubt is harming our children's brains. But when our children see Mom constantly posting on Facebook, why would they do any differently? If Mom is doing it, it must be okay.
  • At the bottom of this article from Charisma is a link that says, "See an error in this article? Send us a correction." My red pen doesn't have enough ink to point out all the errors in this nonsense piece.
  • Be patient with yourself and others; growth takes time.
  • One of my favorite hymns!
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I'll just leave this here.
  • Should women attend seminary?
  • "A transformed heart will be purposeful in kindness."
  • I'm going to try something new and not post a sermon this week. Between finding the time to vet a message, to finding sermons by teachers who can actually be trusted or who aren't just screaming imperatives at you (and that list is getting shorter), it's not always easy to identify something that will be worth your time. So, some weeks I will feature a sermon video, other weeks I may just link to an audio message, and other times (like this time), I will post a much shorter video or may not post anything at all. Do you have thoughts on this? Do you actually watch the sermons that are posted here? Share your feedback in the comments or send me a note!
  • With that, here's a brief teaching on worshiping in spirit and in truth:


  1. You were in New England! So close! (I'm 30 minutes south of Boston.) Hopefully one day we'll meet.

    I rarely listen to actual sermons online unless we miss our own church and want to catch up on it. When we can't attend our church, we watch yours livestreamed. But very rarely do I have time for the sermons you post. Wish I did.

    Glad you enjoyed the hymn.

    1. I wasn't near Boston this time, Deb, but if I am ever nearby, I am going to invite myself over, lol!


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