60 Ways Jesus Loves You Even If Others Don’t

For some, Valentine’s Day is not always a happy one. The pressure to fit a year’s worth of romance and love into one day comes with its own set of expectations and disappointments.

If you’ve been jaded by relationships, you may feel broken-hearted, embittered or let down by love.

But at the risk of sounding cliche, there is someone who will always love you well.

Jesus loves you. Perfectly. Always. Forever. Regardless.

Maybe you’ve heard it so often that its meaning and impact has faded over time. Perhaps your own wounds, experiences or relationships have tainted your view of God and His love for you. If others have rejected, despised, blamed, ridiculed or abused you, you may fear Jesus will do the same.

But Jesus loves you differently. The way He treats you and interacts with you is not the same way others do. Continue reading

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13 Mind-Blowing Facts about Jesus’ Birth You Might Not Know

Every year we celebrate the familiar story of Jesus’ birth with pageants, movies, carols and greeting cards. Manger scenes are decked out with all the proverbial characters, as baby Jesus smiles sweetly from the manger.

But if you think you know the Christmas story, you may want to think again.

Buried under years of tradition and translation, the historic and cultural details surrounding the events of the nativity are no longer common knowledge.

If you want a deeper understanding of the Bible that will blow your mind this Christmas, take a gander through these profound yet often missed details.

Here are 13 fun facts about Jesus’ birth you probably won’t hear from the pulpit this year! Continue reading

How to Recover Your Christmas Spirit

For some, the anticipation of Christmas is not always pleasant. With calendars stuffed to the brim with trimmings and festivities, suddenly the merry season doesn’t feel so bright.

Somewhere between November and December, I morph into a crazy person filled with comparison and complaint. With parties to plan, cookies to bake, stockings to stuff and gifts to wrap, my spirit of thanksgiving can easily turn into the most primitive bah humbug.

So when my husband asked how he could unsubscribe from my RSS feed of complaint this year, it left me with a sobering thought.

I was the grinch stealing Christmas this year. Continue reading

Finding Joy in the Midst of Pain

For many of us, the changing season ushers in a renewed sense of thanksgiving. But what happens when your season of change is marked by pain? When you don’t feel very grateful?

As we approached Thanksgiving, I felt anything but thankful. A serious illness had darkened my door, filling me with disappointment and heartache over what was being lost: hopes, dreams, expectations on how life would be. Yet it was in this difficult season I learned two important lessons about gratitude, discovering that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.

Is your season of thanksgiving overshadowed by pain? Are you looking for a way to harvest more joy in your life? Join me on (in)courage to read more and discover how you can find joy in the midst of your hardship!

 

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Christmas: a story of the impossible

It will never happen. It’s impossible. I’m too broken.

Ever feel this way?

I know I have, in more ways than one. This week I felt like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere. One step forward, a bazillion steps back. When great effort produces little results and our lives remain unchanged, hope dwindles. Continue reading

Christmas: a story of promise

christmas of promiseWith all the holiday jingle and jangle, it’s easy to get distracted by all the trimmings. But I don’t want to miss Christmas this year. I want to focus on what matters.

I want to read the Christmas story with fresh eyes and renewed perspective.

Will you join me?

Because right now, this is a hard season. I feel overwhelmed. My personal life feels out of control. A reminder of loss, of dreams unfulfilled. Continue reading