Week 2, Day 2: Magnificat

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Mary's was the original Christmas carol. She is the reason that we sing our way through the season, the reason we can muster a song of joy in December, despite whatever cold, gray, snow or sleet might otherwise prevail. (Well, not at my house--70 and sunny here in AZ today, and yet the desert folks are dragging out mittens and making chili...)Thanks to Mary's song of praise, we enjoy a whole broad spectrum of songs in this season that help us to worship, to celebrate, to engage the gospel in … [Read more...]

To Sing While We Wait

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Our new baby nephew was born in Kentucky very early this morning. I'm reminded of how much waiting for Christmas--if you do it right--is like the experience of waiting for a real and actual baby. Much anticipation, a little discomfort (more than a little if you are the mother!) and such good news of great joy upon arrival. When the gift of new life comes to any family, it affirms our hope of a future, and the certainty of God's presence and faithfulness in all things.I'm sharing an Advent hy … [Read more...]

Week 1, Day 5: In All Things, Peace

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A guest post today from Shirley Mahood, active member of Foothills Christian Church. Shirley is a Stephens Minister, an experienced lecturer and retreat presenter, and the author of Making Our Lives Work. She is available for retreats and other gatherings, and may be reached at smahood@cox.netWhat Are You Waiting For? Peace. At all times and in all situations.I think this is what many people wait for, but it can be very elusive.  Even when it does come, it is fleeting.  We can be pea … [Read more...]

Week 1, Day 4: Our Every Gift

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When I was a sophomore in college, my grandparents got new furniture, and got rid of the old. Among the outgoing stuff: two slate blue, la-z-boy recliners. They were, honestly, the most comfortable chairs on the planet. Plush and inviting, they rocked, they leaned back, they had just enough give and just enough support to make for the perfect sitting situation. Imagine my great joy upon learning that these chairs needed new homes. One of them came to live with me, and transformed my tiny dorm … [Read more...]

A Measure of Elf Awareness

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I’ll just admit it. The Elf on the Shelf creeps me out. I mean, something that watches every move I make, reports back to Santa, and can run around my house at night? No, thank you.Jenny, the fabulous Bloggess, expressed distaste for said elf more aptly and colorfully than i ever could. But don't go see her if you find my language to be occasionally borderline or offensive. Let's just say, she does not use %*$&#@ symbols. She's not a preacher. She can say what she means. But language a … [Read more...]

Week 1, Day 2: Homecoming

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Many thanks to our guest author today. Jane Fugate is a dedicated social worker and addiction counselor. She is a published author, a popular speaker and presenter, and she helped develop the television program "The Family Works." She began her career serving in the Red Cross Special Services during the Vietnam War. Natives of Kentucky (!!) Jane and her husband, Bob, are active members of Foothills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Phoenix, AZ.What are you Waiting For?They say … [Read more...]

Advent: Week 1, Day 1

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I started early this year. While I am usually a stickler for the liturgical year and save decorating, shopping, and festive music for the beginning of Advent proper, i got impatient. Or rather, i got that 'need a little Christmas' feeling in the wake of an ugly election cycle--as did we all--and i might have let some holiday cheer creep through my radio a full week before Thanksgiving. I might have done all my shopping (online) on black Friday. I might have put up my tree a full week before the … [Read more...]

A Prayer for World AIDS Day

Eight years ago, I went on a small mission trip to Swaziland, a tiny little kingdom in southern Africa, a (scary) 5-hour drive east of Johannesburg. One in four adults there is HIV positive--and that is just reported cases--ranking that country's rate of infection among the highest in the world. Poverty and gender inequality were, and remain, key factors in the spread of the disease.As one often learns on a mission trip, our time there was spent not so much 'doing' anything that would change … [Read more...]


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