Are You Sorry?

If you want to reveal a person’s true personality, put them behind the wheel. There’s something about driving that causes us to regard any veneer of civility, and our true colors bleed through. Pete and I drove over 5,000 miles this month, from our home in Colorado to South Carolina, then Florida, and finally, Chattanooga, Tennessee, before returning home. Since the northern states were experiencing snow and ice, we chose a more southern route—we encountered no snow, but our choice made our trip a bit longer.  Most of those 5,000 miles were on interstates.

I’m glad we survived.

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Rafting with Jesus

_mg_2798Blue skies, bright sunshine, and white water. It’s the perfect combination. One of the joys of living in Colorado is easy access to the white water rafting trips that are offered on the Arkansas River. For an appropriate fee, you are equipped with everything you need for an exciting ride down the rapids—life vest, appropriate outerwear, raft, paddle, and most importantly, an experienced guide.

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Knowing the Mapmaker

What are your goals for 2019? What do you hope will happen this year? Many of us make resolutions, resolving to do better—to lose weight, exercise more, downsize. They could be spiritual in nature—to read the Bible every day, join a small group at church, or pray more. But what’s to keep us on track? How can we expect to succeed at making these changes this year, when we made the same resolutions and set the same goals last year—and the year before, and the year before that—but failed?

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Chocolate Wisdom

chocolatesEvery so often, I find a Dove chocolate waiting for me next to my pillow when I’m heading to bed. I have a thoughtful husband! While I wallow in my indulgence, the smooth, dark chocolate melting in my mouth, I carefully open the foil so I can read the “words of wisdom” inside—kind of like checking your fortune while you munch on the cookie. There must have been a contest I missed, because these pithy little phrases were written by chocolate lovers all over the country. Apparently, the winners get to see their words printed on a Dove wrapper. (I trust that the prizes also included lots of chocolate.)

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Christmas Bible Quiz

Christmas reminds me of a sticky ball rolling down a hill, accumulating bits and pieces from everything it passes, until it’s one big adhesive mess and it’s hard to tell what the original ball looked like. We’ve gone from a simple explanation of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth to the huge holiday extravaganza we now experience. This is one holiday that needs to go on a diet.

Some of the traditions we associate with Christmas make sense—at least I can see the connection. Giving gifts is a reflection of the magi’s offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Advent calendars and wreaths help us focus on God’s purpose in sending His Son. Decorating with lights reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the world. And of course, there are Christmas carols (which may or may not be relevant or accurate).

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Don’t Just Give… Worship!

The end of the year is often a time when people donate time and money to various charities and other non-profits. Some include giving as part of their Christmas celebration. Every year we receive several catalogs allowing us to donate livestock, school and medical supplies, and Bible study materials to poor families, giving them a leg up in becoming self-sustaining.

All this giving is a good thing. God tells us to give throughout the Bible, and we should do so. The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7), and we should give with love and generosity. In return, we find joy in the mere act of making someone else’s life better. If you’ve ever watched your kids open their presents on Christmas morning, you realize the truth of Jesus’ statement, “It’s more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).

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