Showing posts from December, 2015


This Christmas
I wish for you
to crumple up the darkness
This Christmas
I wish for you
to pull us closer to one another 
This Christmas
I wish for you
the same the angels sang

This Christmas
I wish for you
to follow on your way home

This Christmas
I wish for you
to keep hope alive for you

This Christmas
I wish for you
newly born and in the flesh

This Christmas
I wish for you
Jesus Christ
born this night
light of the world[1]


We sometimes think that celebration is a reward for accomplishment. It can be that, but it is much more. Celebration can also begin at the start of an unexpected challenge, one that makes you nervous and fearful. 

It’s the joyful song that Mary writes after the angel tells this young virgin that she is impregnated with the Son of God. We can learn much about the practice of celebration by listening to this young woman with a strange pregnancy.

Luke 1:46 And Mary said:“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up…


When Jesus told the disciples that he would soon be leaving them, he talked of joy that would grow in them though things appeared hopeless. They would have a perspective from God that would give them the hope of a new day.

John 16:20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 

Jesus compares joy to the arrival of a child. A woman suffers, but also looks through the pain to the arrival of new life. There is a hopefulness that can trump your pain. With the joy that God gives, circumstances and people do not have the authority to take it from you.
Was there a time when you had more joy in your life? When we encount…


If you are working twelve-hour days, seven days a week, with the hope that you will someday reach a goal and be able to relax—you’re missing something.

If you will not take a holiday until you can afford to go where you want to, again you are missing something.
What goal, what unmet need or barrier is there between you and learning to celebrate in your current circumstances?
There is a time for everything, but when is your time to celebrate? In the very difficult time of a funeral, we may take time to celebrate the life of the deceased. We share stories and memories of the good times with that person. Yes, even at funerals it is good to laugh and think highly of the one who passed. This too, is celebration.
There is a Spanish word ‘festiva’ from which we derive our English word festival. Festiva is the act of celebrating in the midst of hardship and struggle. It is an attitude of learning to take joy when none is offered to you. Celebration is a subversive act that defies the burdensome …


The hamster wheel is a fitting metaphor for the fast-moving, repetitive cycle of a person's unhealthy thoughts. Maybe, it's also like a stationary exercise bicycle set to maximum resistance. You exert a lot of energy but the view is always the same and you find yourself starting over again and again. It is just so hard to keep at it.

Doctors Jantz and Clinton provide a thorough, easy read through many of the patterns of relationship seeking and relationship breaking.

As a pastor, I have sat with countless people and listened to their thoughts on why their relationships are in trouble. This book is a valuable tool for both counsellor and struggler. As I read, I was reminded of my own relational dependency issues from puberty through into the earliest years of marriage. 

Like the good Christian doctors recommend, I found a healthy self-identity in learning to see myself through the eyes of the Creator. There is a world of difference between loving with a sense of  internal freedom …


It is easy for us to assume that obedience and holiness are hushed and somber postures. The day of return was not about how bad the children had been; it was about how joyful the Father is when even one sinner repents.

A Holy Day is meant to be a Holiday. Do not spend your holidays weeping and moaning. Have a feast! Share your food with those who have none. Give gifts just because you can. Dance! Stop working and let your hair down.
It has always been God’s intention that we have Holy Days. We are most at home with God when we celebrate in a joyful way.
Celebration is the happy dance of a child with a new toy on Christmas morning.
Celebration is the joining kiss of bride and groom on their wedding day.
Celebration is being reunited with your favourite people after a long absence.
Celebration is storytelling, belly laughs and staying up past your bedtime because you just don’t want to sleep.
Celebration is honouring people not just for their accomplishments, but because of whom they are.