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Showing posts from December, 2012

Road Trips for Readers

My new guest post is up on the Road Trips for Readers blog. You can read it by clicking here:

Visiting C. S. Lewis' Oxford

Nine Lessons & Carols

This is on my bucket list: to be in the Chapel of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, England, on some future Christmas Eve for the service of Nine Lessons & Carols....

Unspoken Sermon for Christmas Eve

George MacDonald published three series of Unspoken Sermons, that is sermons that were written but not delivered in front of a live congregation.

Such is my sermon for this Christmas Eve. Above you can see the view from our front porch. The roads are getting messy. Sadly, we saw one car overturned while we were out and about earlier today. Thus, no Christmas Eve service at church tonight. However, here is the sermon I planned to preach....


We tend to notice the big things that happen in our world and miss the small things. The news media focuses, for the most part, on world-shaping events: the election of a president, conflict in the Middle East, a natural disaster that kills hundreds of people in Southeast Asia. It is almost as if someone or something wants us to pay attention to the big stuff and ignore the small stuff.

Even in the Church, there is a tendency to focus on the large and sensational while passing over the seemingly tiny and insignificant. When pastors meet together at con…

Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

I am sorry that I have not kept up with my plan to share more excerpts from my Advent devotional book, Open Before Christmas. However, I am happy to say that I have sold out of my copies! Here is another excerpt for Saturday of the Third Week of Advent....
Late one evening a professor sat at his desk working on the next day’s lectures. He shuffled through the papers and mail placed there by his housekeeper. He began to throw them in the wastebasket when one magazine— not even addressed to him but delivered to his office by mistake—caught his attention. It fell open to an article titled: The Needs of the Congo Mission.
The professor began reading it idly, but then he was intrigued by these words: “The need is great here. We have no one to work the northern province of Gabon in the central Congo. And it is my prayer as I write this article that God will lay His hand on one—one on whom, already, the Master’s eyes have been cast—that he or she shall be called to this place to help us.” The …

"A Severe Mercy"--The Movie

You can play a part in making the film version of A Severe Mercy a reality. To learn more click here: "A Severe Mercy"--The Film.

Monday of the First Week of Advent

Excerpt #2 from Open Before Christmas....

Joseph Damien was a nineteenth-century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. Those suffering from leprosy grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.

One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell on to his bare foot. It took him a moment to realize that he had not felt any sensation. Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot. He had no feeling whatsoever. Damien immediately knew what had happened. As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line. He normally began every sermon with, “My fellow believers.” However, this morning he began with, “My fellow lepers.”

In an even greater way, Jesus came into this world knowing what it would cost. Like Joseph Damien, Jesus was willing to id…

The First Sunday of Advent

This being the first Sunday of Advent, I thought I would share a little excerpt from my new Advent devotional book, Open Before Christmas. Perhaps if I'm organized enough, I'll share an excerpt for each day of Advent. We'll see.
And if these excerpts interest you enough, you can read more by ordering my book, either from Amazon or a signed copy from my web site by clicking on this link: Open Before Christmas.
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This miracle of the Incarnation speaks great encouragement to us. We have a Savior who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. 
Hebrews 2:11 and 14 say, “Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.... Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity...” 
How amazing, that God would stoop to take on our flesh and blood, to share in our humanity....
Joe Torre had been a catcher and a broadcast announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals. Shortly after he was named …