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A New Meaning to Christmas Christmas took on a whole new meaning in 2015 after we had our first little boy. Celebrating the wonder of Christ coming to earth in the form of a baby while holding a squirmy little one in my arms opened my eyes to the joy of treasuring moments. Much like […]

In order to fully immerse ourselves in this season of Advent, we have to start at the very beginning and ask one simple question: Why?  Why do we celebrate Christmas? Why do we partake in Advent? I grew up in a Christian home with a lineage of pastors and a father who was also a […]

Merry Christmas Today, as you gather around a twinkling Christmas tree, cozy up by a glowing fire, and light a warmly scented candle, praise God for visible reminders of the Light of the World—Jesus. The sun rose this morning just like it did the day Jesus was born, and the sun will set in the […]

What happens when you walk into a pitch-dark room and flip the switch on the wall? Light instantly floods the space. Your eyes reflexively squint and shift away from the painful brightness. All of the room’s dusty, dirty little secrets are exposed as the hood of darkness is thrown back. Sometimes you even hear the […]

Every year I find myself glued to the TV screen watching a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie. Within the first five minutes I can usually gauge what the characters will be like, who will end up falling in love with whom, and how the ending will turn out—which we all know is “happily ever after.” Even […]

There’s a fantasy Christmas I’ve constructed in my mind. Maybe you have one too? During this fantasy Christmas season, I eat all of the most scrumptious treats without gaining a pound. I watch all of my favorite Christmas movies and listen to all of my favorite Christmas music. The lovely season is devoid of family […]

Loving Others When It's Not So Easy: Loving the Ungrateful During the Holidays

Every year, amidst the cheerful tunes ringing throughout stores, the twinkling lights adorning the rooftops, and the comforting scent of cookies baking, there always seems to be a “scrooge” I come across who crushes the joy of the season. It could be a family member who refuses to crack a smile beneath the scowl on […]

the most wonderful time of the year Hey sister, When I was a little girl I remember the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning and walking into the living room to see presents under the twinkling evergreen tree. Our family would eat breakfast, read the Christmas story in one of the gospels, and open […]

Advent Study: Advent is a time in the Christian calendar leading up to Christmas Day that ignites our longings for Jesus as we pause and remember what it was like to yearn for His birth. Its purpose is to stir the embers of our hearts as we look to Jesus and praise Him for coming to rescue us. These embers, when stirred by the Holy Spirit, turn into a raging flame that draws the world to its warmth. It only takes a single spark to illuminate the darkness!

When my husband and I were first married we travelled to Hawaii for our honeymoon. As young explorers do, we set out to experience all Hawaii had to offer. While visiting Maui, we decided to wake up early one morning and go watch the sunrise on Haleakala. Arriving at the top of the massive volcano, […]

ASCENDING CALVARY Last fall we introduced a new study entitled He Is: Experiencing the Power of Jesus’ Name. This beautiful fictional narrative was written by Kara Holmes, Gretchen’s sister. It combined elements of a fictional story with truth from Scripture, and we spent the time leading up to Christmas digging into the names of God. […]

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