All posts tagged: joy

The Canoe Thief {Can Joy Be Stolen?}

But friend, the Joy of the Lord is My Strength. It is my muscle and ligament, my throbbing heart and my contracting diaphragm. The joy (all hope, all purpose, all mercy) is my life, even when I have absolutely no strength of my own. It is the skeleton of my faith and the skin of my hope. It is the realest reality I’ve ever known.

The canoe was metaphor, the cottage a symbol and the lake is an altar – only temporary images of the substance of the faith that enabled us to journey this far and the joy that carried us in powerful arms when we couldn’t walk upright from the wreckage of our lives.

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The Advent Fulfilled: The Beginning of the All People Society, of which I am a member

LUKE 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. All people. The angel said it. The singular message of the annunciation of Jesus is inclusive: for all people. We tend run ruts and circles and see the same people, the same circumstances, the same economic strata, day after day after year. This isn’t a bad thing, because we are to live the life we’ve been given, in the place where we live, but it can be to our detriment that we fail to see the infinite possibility of these two words: all people. These three syllables are vast as the ocean and harder to explore, define and understand than space. All those people, all those souls,  all those dreamy-eyed moms and beaten down garbage pickers in India, all the Hindus bathing in dirty, sacred rivers and illiterate natives fishing the Amazon, the screaming day trader on the stock exchange floor, the old man who made terrible mistakes, the …

The Advent Fulfilled: Because God is A Bit Like Clark Griswold

I hustled the ladder near the front of the house, as close to the windows as possible. Gathering the twinkle lights and the garland of fake pine, stepping around the see-sawing penguins in Santa hats, I began decorating the windows. The temperature topped out at about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. My nose was running, my fingers numb and my feet, they were there but I couldn’t feel them, gingerly climbed the ladder treads. The multi-colored lights twinkled even in the gray, snowless, sunshine-less day, their glow cheering me on to complete the project despite the cold seeping into my bones. Ah, all in the name of Christmas. And I feel a little silly. I feel a bit like Clark Griswold. Chevy Chase’s character in A National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a preeminent idealist. He wants nothing more than to provide a “Good Old Fashioned Family Christmas!” for his kids and extended family. We get a kick out of his sappy sentimentalism while he dons a purple turban and cries watching old movies in the attic. We …

The Advent Fulfilled: The Gift of Ever-Increasing Glory

For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {2 Corinthians 4:6} Dark and silence had settled over the hospital halls. In the small hours of morning, I held my firstborn baby and marveled at her features, her black, serious eyes, her rosebud mouth; her presence, long awaited I now felt in my arms, her features, once imagined, I now traced with my fingertips. I drank in the full reality of her. And to this day almost two decades later, I never tire of looking at the faces of my children. That first-born child followed a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, a blighted hope, a fullness that dissipated and disappeared instead of developing into a baby who would force her way from dark womb into the light. As the weeks stacked upon one another, I looked at my growing belly with more hope and less fear that this little …

How To Run With A Titanium Rod in Your Leg {a milestone}

That fall, the one immediately following our accident in August 2011, the back-to-school routine ran a little differently. Things fell into a rhythm, as they always do with the reappearance of backpacks and homework folders and big, yellow busses, but our rhythm was syncopated. Things get a little bit “off” when mom can’t walk, when mom can’t cook or even serve her own self a cup of coffee, when mom’s life revolves around her pain meds and doctor appointments. Just a little whacky.