Resolved to Rejoice

I planned to write a first-post-of-the-year about how awful 2014 was. I had it all planned out in my mind: Lots of whining and “nothing is going my way” and “woe is me” stuff. Pretty powerful. Incredibly pathetic. But God has been working on me, and He has made me see that the problems with this year weren’t problems with my circumstances. They were problems with my attitude. Things aren’t going my way, and instead of dealing with that reality and accepting that the world does not revolve around Krista McGee, I have gotten angry. That self-centered anger has colored everything thing I’ve seen and done; it is like a hundred-pound weight that I have chosen to drag around everywhere, upset that it’s there, but refusing...

The Best GPS

A friend of mine told me about the Waze app last year – it’s a GPS that not only tells you the best way to a particular destination, but also which routes have traffic delays at any given time. Others using the Waze app can add their comments – an accident reported an hour ago might be cleared now; a police officer is hidden under an overpass; get into the left lane early because the right lane is closed. It’s fantastic. While the app can’t make traffic delays go away, it can make those delays bearable – and it can tell us how to get around the worst part of them. For example, we were driving back from Tennessee yesterday when we hit terrible traffic on I-75 north of Atlanta. It was frustrating to go from 75 mph to 15....

THE Christmas Story

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel. There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory...

Hooray for Political Correctness!

When we lived in Spain (2006-2007), we were surprised to see that political correctness was not an issue during the holidays. Our kids’ public school had a huge nativity scene prominently displayed in the lobby. Thomas was cast as a wise man in his Pre-K3 Christmas presentation. In fact, in Spanish culture, Three Kings’ Day is even more important than Christmas Day. At first, it sounded great! The real Christmas story was shared, sung, and held in a place of honor. But, as I continued to look, I realized it wasn’t all that great. When it was time to ask for Christmas presents, Santa came to school — with the Three Kings. The kids could ask their “gift giver” of choice for that special Christmas gift. As I looked and listened...

20 Years Ago This Week…

Twenty years ago this week, Dave brought me home for Christmas. Except that he didn’t tell his parents we were dating. He hadn’t even told me we were dating. We had, in fact, been “hanging out” for about six months (yep, that’s months) and he had yet to declare his intentions. But there I was, at his parents’ house in Long Island. Let me give you some background: David McGee is one of the smartest guys I know. He is also one of the godliest. And he never makes rash decisions. He’s researched cars for close to a year before making a purchase. When he was choosing a seminary, he poured over pamphlets, spoke to every seminary graduate he knew, seeking advice. Whatever the opposite of “spontaneous” is — that’s Dave. And it’s a great thing. God made him cautious,...

Good Deeds

“Doing Good” is part of almost every religion, part of groups on every side of the political landscape; it is part of slogans and campaigns. It is everywhere. Christians don’t have the corner on the “Good Deeds” market. But we do have a reason for doing good that is different than anyone else’s. Or, at least, we should. In one of Jesus’ most famous sermons, he said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16) So why do we do good? To glorify God and point people to Him. But, sometimes, I think even Christians forget that. In fact, sometimes, I think Christians fall into the trap of thinking doing good for others means that good will happen to them. They take the idea of “karma” from eastern...