Archives For holidays

John Lennon said that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.09-03-25

I think he was right.  For better or worse, the events that shape and mold us the most are often the ones that sneak up on us.

This week, life happened.  I’ll try to keep things brief.

My wife was sick over the weekend.  Like, sicker than she’s ever been.  But Monday, she was much worse.  And Tuesday, she was worse still.  We were up all night, the both of us.  And when we went to our doctor and they could not get a blood pressure reading, we knew we were in trouble.

Now, I sit here next to my wife in her hospital bed.  She was so dehydrated when I brought her that her blood looked like syrup.  It took an hour of repeated sticking to get any blood to drip.  But her body is distended with excess fluid.  She is extremely painful and anxious.  And as for me, I watch helplessly.  I bring her things she needs but I don’t feel like much help.

And this is all related to our journey to becoming parents, the awful side effect of fertility treatments. Yes, there is a steep price to pay for some of us.  You know the risks when you read the fine print, but you don’t really count on it.  Our doctor says she is only her second patient in eight years to react this severely.

Yes, we covet your prayers.  But even in this midst of this, something else is happening.  Something to be thankful for.

Continue Reading…


Life After Art is available next Monday! Remember, when you order your copy, forward your receipt to for three other freebies from me and Moody Publishers.

The customer is always right.

That’s the saying.  Even though it’s not true.  Customers are usually wrong.  But we say that the customer is right and set out to satisfy them so we’ll keep their business.  It’s really a mantra of capitalism.  Give the customer what they want so they’ll keep giving us their money.  Whatever it takes.

But the smartest businesses don’t give customers what they want.

And neither should churches…especially this weekend.

Continue Reading…

In preparation for the release of Life After Art, I’ve finally started a Facebook page.  If you haven’t already, join me with a “Like.” (I don’t mind “Shares” either!)

If and when Kate Middleton gives birth, everyone will know about it.  Obviously.

Yet, when it happens, some people will still get a birth announcement.  Because that’s what proud new parents do.  They snap a pic of the baby and send it to their friends who stick the photo on their fridge.

It’s events like births and weddings that clarify who is on our inner circle.  Those are the people who get the invitations and the announcements.  Those are the people we want to know our good news.

No one will need a birth announcement from the royal family.  But some people will get one anyway, and they will know that they are part of the inner circle.

The funny thing about Christmas is who turned out to be part of God’s inner circle, and who was left out.  And it makes me wonder if I’m part of God’s inner circle.

Continue Reading…

The Advent season has officially begun.

Cheri and I put our tree up and the decorations.  Our shopping is almost done, save that one difficult person to shop for.  Our soundtrack for the season is the record Vince Guaraldi created for Charlie Brown.  For the next month, I’ll try to not let the laundry pile up in the chair next to the Christmas tree.

But you know that in between hanging lights and caroling, a lot of people are rolling up their sleeves for another Christmas tradition, the annual Christmas culture war.

watch-the-grinch-how-the-grinch-stole-christmasYou know what I’m talking about. We’ll hear a few stories from around the country – lawsuits forcing Nativities to be taken down, or retail stores that forbid employees to wish shoppers “Merry Christmas.”

And a bunch of Christians will scream and shout that those godless heathen Jesus-haters are taking Christmas away.

It almost seems that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is coming true.

So what battlegrounds in the war for Christmas matter this year? How will the fight to save Christmas turn out?

Continue Reading…

Hey friends, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you missed my big pre-holiday announcement about my new book, click here.

black-friday-4_3_r560What makes a tradition “sacred?”

Today is “Cyber Monday,” which means that in all likelihood, if you aren’t reading blogs and Facebook at work, you’re scouring the internet for crazy sales.

Of course, we all know that Black Friday really started on Thursday.  And we complained about stores destroying our holidays.  We lamented our sacred traditions being stolen by capitalism.  But then we bum-rushed the doors Thursday night, right after we finished giving “thanks.”

But what makes a tradition sacred?  How can tradition be destroyed by anyone?

Maybe we just need to create a new holiday to commemorate what is really sacred to us.

Continue Reading…

As an extension of Wednesday’s giveaway of Scott MacIntyre’s book, “By Faith, Not By Sight,” every comment and tweet on this post will also enter you to win!

The Sunday after Easter, always kind of a downer.

Guests at Easter Egg Hunt: 6000. Guests at Easter worship: 40. Click for the full story.

Last week, churches everywhere gave away tons of candy, toys, iPads, cars, and other stuff to try to lure people to church. And hopefully, the gospel was preached. Maybe you attend one of these churches. Maybe not. Maybe you stayed home on Easter to avoid the crowds.

Easter is kind of a sacred cow. Churches insist it’s the most important day of the year to attract visitors. It’s like the Christian version of Black Friday. So churches are willing to put on incredible door-buster deals.

…And then we wonder why everyone is so materialistic.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The most sacred of holidays has come to reflect that fact that almost all of us don’t really care that much about Jesus. Even Christians would rather have candy.

Continue Reading…