Red Letter Days: The Birthday

Red letter day: a day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable

English nerd that I am, I’m a sucker for double meanings, and I’ve been holding this series idea in for much too long. Over the next few posts, we’ll focus on the big days (red-letter ones) in the life of Jesus (who apparently spoke in scarlet, according to some Bible printing processes). Get it? Red letter days.

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A Nest for Autumn

One of the most pleasant things about seasonal transitions is the chance to infuse our homes with fresh beauty. We join the Spirit in His strong work of bringing order to chaos and energizing lifeless places, reveling in the challenge of it all. As the gilded maples flirt with cooler breezes outside, let’s wrap our interiors in the splendor of fall.

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Lordship and Lollipops

Sifting back through some old blog posts from when we first moved to New England, I ran across this gem and thought I’d share it with you lovely people.

No one laughs at God in a hospital;
No one laughs at God in a war.

(Regina Spektor)

Here’s something you might not know about me: I’m a recovering fraidy cat. Fear weighs down so many aspects of my life that it’s amazing I can walk upright. My list of dread includes (but is certainly not limited to) being murdered in my house, kidnapped, mauled by some strange animal, or driving off a bridge into the water below. Ever since childhood, though, my worst enemy has remained constant: the dark. (More specifically, what could be lurking in the dark.)

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One-Trick-Pony People

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on August 21, 2019. You can find it here.)

Martin Luther was a 16th century German cowboy with a one-trick pony called “Gospel.” Utterly obsessed with the subject, this firebrand monk once wrote that “the truth of the gospel is the principal article of all Christian doctrine . . . Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” If you went to dinner with this guy, you could depend on coming away with a greater sense of why Jesus matters.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

September has come, sweeping the first brave leaves from the tips of trees and heaving the scent of an approaching harvest into the gold-tinged air. Let’s gather gifts like a kid picking new pencils for the school year. As redemption seeps through the foam on every beverage in sight, infusing warmth into the deepest places of our hearts, we’re invited to join the blessing of offering ourselves to one another in grace and truth. I suspect Jesus has a special affection for surprising His people during this season. Shall we seek Him together?

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Recalculating

Back in my high school days, I wasn’t known for having the keenest sense of direction. (Fine. I’m still not known for having the keenest sense of direction.) Without a navigational system constantly chirping instructions at me, I’d be more lost than a goose in a snowstorm. But when my GPS is whirring away, I can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Until the signal cuts out or I make a wrong turn at a tricky intersection. Then my pulse starts to race, my thoughts spiral, and I just know the world is about to end. (This might sound the slightest bit melodramatic to you. It does to me, too.) At that point, my best option is to pull over and reorient myself. Punch a few buttons, and bam! That beautiful word—”recalculating.” I can hop back on the road and reach my destination with the thrill of adventure rather than lingering dread.

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Summer Heat Soul Retreat

With the heap of hype about self care currently rumbling around the interwebs, it’s no wonder our culture is dumping such enormous amounts of time, effort, and money into internal investment.

Okay, that’s theoretical. Let’s make it personal. In the last month, how much time have you spent on investing in yourself/your family:

  • physically (grooming, exercise, doctor visits, healthy meal planning/shopping/cooking, etc.)
  • emotionally (formal counseling, playing, visiting with friends, etc.)
  • mentally (reading books/blogs/articles, taking classes, etc.)
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Never Unguarded

These days, all it takes to make my internal temperature rise is spending about five minutes on Twitter. (That’s the closest I get to news.)

Good grief, people. We need Jesus.

Drifting into the riptide of anxiety is easy when my eyes are fixed on this world—its chaos, its concerns, its leaders, its followers, its system. What’s that old saying? If you can’t beat them, join them. I can get sucked so quickly into joining in on the finger-pointing, problem-solving, emotional intoxication of it all. Allowing the culture’s fear (which is frankly inevitable apart from a fleshed-out friendship with God) to determine my attitudes and actions is as natural as submitting to the ocean’s undertow. And quite as deadly.

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