Archives for the month of: November, 2013

I find it appropriate that Thanksgiving comes just before Advent. Remembering God’s goodness is the foundation for expecting/anticipating God’s coming.

This is me with Dr. James M. Houston, of Regent College. I got to meet him recently at the CASA Network leadership conference.

This is me with Dr. James M. Houston, of Regent College. I got to meet him recently at the CASA Network leadership conference.

This year I am grateful for professors and pastors who have walked alongside me in seminary, who see and call out God’s gifts, and who keep me and my family in their prayers. Completing a seminary degree is a significant milestone for all of us. It is a moment that signifies greater knowledge of God and the church, responsibility within our communities, and for most (if not all) has come with further dependence upon and trust in God. This year I am most thankful for a few remarkable individuals God placed in my life, whose wisdom and long journey of following Christ are storehouses of riches. God is faithful to and through all generations.

In the Kingdom of God now/not yet paradigm, thanksgiving is a call to anticipate more. Not that what we have received is insufficient, but because we know there is a grander vision for all of creation. Gratitude is the threshold on which we stand in expectation of delving further into hope, faith, love and joy for still more people. Listen to the Advent readings this year: while we celebrate God’s incarnation in the person of Jesus, born to Mary amidst straw, mud and cattle, there is a voice in the wilderness crying out even still. Prepare the way of the Lord, in our churches and neighborhoods, in our cities and regions. Make straight a path within our own hearts to receive the coming One.

This Advent, when we ask of Jesus, Are you the one who is to come? (Mt 11.3) let our thankfulness be the substrate of our prayers, the platform of our anticipation. Let us remember what God has done, as we walk alongside one another, sharing stories of God’s faithfulness yet to come.

I haven’t written much lately. Certainly not anywhere near as much as I thought I might. But that fits the kind of year it’s been. Nothing has turned out the way I thought it would. Nothing. Yet just when I want to scream and cry and punch the wall, to remind God of just how unfair life is–a breath of wind makes me pause. Somehow, I am closer to knowing what the next season holds. Somehow, I am more sure of my dreams. Somehow, the Lord has done it.

Simple pleasures can make the day. I have begun playing a game with my passwords at work. You know how some systems make you change your password every x weeks? I think of a Bible verse, at random, and use it. The last one didn’t actually exist, which is a risk when John wrote far fewer words than Paul. This time, however, I ended up with a verse on hope. Continuous hope that joins in praising God. It comes in the midst of lament and petitions for God to save, for God to rescue. Suddenly I felt a breath, a whisper, I am with you. in the midst of changing a password, God shows up.

Where is God waiting for you today?