Showing posts from 2016

Stir Your Affections for Jesus

Written by Julie Roth A s I move from Thanksgiving memories to Christmas traditions, I reflect on how my affections for Jesus are (and are not) stirred. When I was in high school, I traveled to New York City with 250 band members to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The trip was fabulous. In addition to marching the streets of NYC, I saw Les Miserables on Broadway, visited Times Square at night, and ice skated at Rockefeller Center. I came home with amazing memories and several designer knock-off watches that I purchased from a street vendor. Those watches were prized possessions for a few weeks. Until they quit working. The counterfeit is dressed to impress our wandering, roaming eye. But counterfeits, whether watches or gods, always cost us more than we think. They always cost us more than they are worth. John understood the cost, which is why he lovingly urges us as “dear children [to] keep away from anything that might take God’s place in [our] hearts

Behold the Song of Christmas

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord Your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Behold the Song of Christmas By Sandy Miller Christmas is a love song whose lyrics are seldom heard except by angels and the few who have internalized its words. Many try to sing the song, and its melody they amplify, but in their raw and misplaced praise they ignore Salvation’s eternal cry. So sing, O barren earth, but sing the only true, unchanging song composed with drops of sacred blood and discover that life belongs to the Singer and His song. Christmas is a song of peace that sages and skeptics often debate. And as they wonder at God’s Wonder, the watching masses hesitate to understand without reason what cannot be understood. They must simply risk and sing the song and in their singing find what’s good… the Singer and His song.

With Wills Bent

Photo & Words by Shelby Courtney When I was a little girl someone gave me this beautiful white flower girl dress. It was covered in layers of lace and had a beautiful white flower crown with ribbons flowing down it to match. I genuinely loved the dress. I felt like a maiden transcending to a different time whenever I put it on. But I remember the time that dress made me feel so embarrassed. I was probably the age of five and a teenage girl was over babysitting me. She wanted to play dress up and so I put on my favorite white dress. She told me I looked so pretty and then started singing “Here Comes the Bride.” I was mortified. I didn’t want to be a bride. I had already taken a vow of eternal singleness because boys always made me feel stupid and so pretending to be a bride was never something I participated in. I was always adamant I would never marry; at least, I was until I was informed by my mother that I couldn’t have children unless I was married, wh

A Look into the Solomon Islands

Written by Lori Havenga I'm like Paris Hilton. She and that other rich pretty girl were on a TV series several years ago where they went to a farm and made fools of themselves trying to do regular jobs. I never watched it because the whole idea seemed preposterous to me. Even if they don't know how to do simple farm work, which is understandable, they could figure it out easily. In the meantime, everybody around them could laugh about how useless the rich pretty girls were at real-life, important jobs. This month, I've struggled to figure out how to crack open a type of tree nut. This time of year is “ngali nut” season. Ngali (NAH-lee) nuts are about the size of almonds, once the hull and shell are removed. Many families have one or two ngali nut trees out in the jungle. Early one morning, at the beginning of ngali nut season, I walked with a few friends to gather ngali nuts to bring back to the village. I took along a machete and a woven bag out to the jungle.