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Where in the Christmas is Jesus?

Is it Christmas with Jesus OR Jesus with Christmas?

Today, author Sherry Gareis has stopped by to get our Christmas season started the right way. She asks some great questions we all need to consider. [And don't miss my newest giveaway!] Where in the CHRISTMAS is Jesus? Valid question, right? I mean CHRIST should be in CHRISTmas, shouldn’t He? THE NORM How do we usually show Jesus? Anyone own a ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season’ pin? I have several and make no bones about wearing them during December. We display Jesus on our Christmas trees, right? I’ve got verses and nativity scenes on my tree. And how about on our Christmas cards? Isn’t that an easy way to share Jesus? Am I suggesting that pins, angels, and cards are bad? Of course not. Not at all! But are they enough? Could you be missing blessings?
Is it okay to walk away?

Repairing a Broken Relationship

I'd hurt her feelings, and she didn't want to talk to me. I gave her some time and space, yet a couple weeks later she still wouldn't talk to me. Our relationship felt irreparably broken. How can you heal a broken relationship? Should you always seek restoration, or does the Bible tell us that sometimes it's okay to walk away? And what if the other person refuses to talk to you about it? These are big questions, but important ones. Let's start with a more foundational one: How important are relationships?
It's okay to grieve

Struggling to Be Thankful

Thanksgiving will soon be over, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. One holiday almost done, one more to go. This season brings out the worst in you: anger, depression, loneliness, bitterness. Your mind fills with the thoughts of what could have been, what should have been. If only . . . If you are in a fresh crisis, grieve. I want to make it clear that this post is not for those who are in the midst of a crisis. If you are coming out of a fresh loss, if tragedy turned your world upside down this year — give yourself grace. You do not need to have it all together with your happy face firmly planted for all to see this December. Instead, I'm talking to the person who thinks they have nothing to be grateful for. The person who faces a rough life, feels betrayed by a loved one, or stands between a rock and a hard place. The one stuck in a world of negative emotions because life hasn't been good or fair. While I empathize with your hard places and disappointments, I want to lovingly remind you of truth.
Fire Protection? What was there to worry about?

Protecting Those You Love [Freebie: Fire Protection]

To be honest, before I started researching my fiction book Kindling Embers, I didn't give much thought to fire protection. We didn't have a lot of open flames around our house, rarely used candles or the grill, so what was there to worry about? According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments across the United States responded to a fire every twenty-three seconds in 2015. On average, fire departments reported one civilian injury due to fire every thirty-four minutes, and someone died due to fire every two hours and forty minutes. Maybe, we all have a lot to learn about the fire hazards in our homes.
Veterans Day

Honoring Veterans

In the United States, this Friday is the special day dedicated to honoring veterans. What comes to mind? Among other things, The Star Spangled Banner and Lee Greenwood's God Bless the U.S.A. Two very different songs, but they communicate the same things to this U.S. Air Force girl's heart. The same things I see when I look at the American flag and or any American uniform within our Department of Defense. Honor. Courage. Commitment to a cause bigger than themselves.
What if God says no?

When God Says No

What's your first thought when God says no? Sour grapes? What you were asking for probably wasn't any good anyway. Temper tantrum? God never really loved you or listened to you in the first place. Quiet acceptance? God knows what is best and wants to bless you with it, so whatever happens is okay with you. Something different? When we moved to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, we were given the choice of two houses ....
This is the worst political race. Or is it?

The Critics Got it Wrong

‘Tis the season of politics, where candidates spout promises they can’t keep, and critics discredit their words, thoughts, and actions. One side speaks idealistically to their followers; the other side answers with generalizations or exaggerations to demean their opponent.

Critics have been around for thousands of years.And every election year, I hear multiple people claim this is the ugliest, mud-slinging-est, nastiest political race ever.

But is it? After all, critics have been around for thousands of years.

Examples from the Old Testament

Think through the Old Testament stories you know. Do you really think no one criticized Noah as he built a giant boat in the desert? Or Abraham’s parents didn’t haven’t something unpleasant to say when he left all he knew for places unknown?

Maybe you remember the story of the prophet Elijah standing up to his detractors in a great battle involving sacrificed bulls and fire from heaven?… Read the rest

You're not alone

Where I Fail You [You Are Not Alone]

When I was a young warrior's bride, I knew little about military life. I was so naive, I didn't know what questions to ask the more experienced brides around me. I couldn't formulate my ignorance into coherent thought to even begin a discussion on what the future might look like. I have learned much over the years, through my experience and through the lives of dear friends. Military life no longer scares me, even though it occasionally troubles me. I don't fear for my active duty friends, although worry sometimes sends me into deeper prayer for them. Here at Fort Bragg, we are in a deployment cycle. To be truthful, because of the units housed here, we are always in a deployment cycle. One-quarter to one-third of the ladies who attend the military group at our church are in the midst of life while their spouse is half a world away. It's normal here. But that doesn't mean we are good about talking through it.
Do you believe God knows everything?

God Knows Everything? Really?

What if God (as in, it was unquestioningly clear that it was God) asked you to pack up and leave your family and friends? What if God asked you to fight for a people who were being devalued and mistreated? Did your heart and mind jump forward, ready to pack your bags? Or did you hesitate? Your heart just revealed your true beliefs to you. Deep in your heart, your are acting on one of these three foundations: 1. God knows everything and what He's asking is for my best, now matter what it looks like. 2. God only knows everything. But He either can't or doesn't care to control everything. 3. God doesn't really know everything. These are tough statements that I tend to wrestle with during those times when my life is interrupted with a problem or God asks me to do something I know I'm not capable of doing on my own. What about you?
This is BIG!

Immeasurable Works [This is Big!]

If you've been hanging around my Facebook page any, you may have seen a poster about a new adventure. Several have asked what I'm doing. Well, today I let you in on the secret. I'm going hybrid! Some of you familiar with the publishing world know what I mean by that, but I'm guessing a lot of my readers don't. So let me elaborate. It all started years ago ... (don't worry! The story's not too long.)