Out with the old, in with the new (not years)

Who still has hanging flower baskets blooming in December here in the Pacific Northwest? Even the local nursery has abandoned attempts to keep theirs presentable so I’m not sure why mine are still growing. Admittedly, the blooms are few and small, but geraniums are geraniums, regardless of size, right? My hubby had taken all theContinue reading “Out with the old, in with the new (not years)”

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Advent II – Live in Peace

Our world sure is a troubled place! Every newscast I saw today featured shots of hatred in action: fighting, killing and destruction. Today was the second Sunday in Advent, and we began the worship service at my church by lighting the second candle representing Peace. (The first candle last week was for Hope.) There are lotsContinue reading “Advent II – Live in Peace”

And so it begins…

December 1st. It’s not even 4:30 p.m. and already it’s pitch black outside. At least, it is until the outside Christmas lights, recently strung along the roofline around our back deck, suddenly blink on and shine through the windows to illuminate the family room. Advent arrives this weekend and we’ve begun some of the annualContinue reading “And so it begins…”

Winter Solstice 2016

Today is officially the first day of Winter — the Winter Solstice — although the snow and below-freezing temperatures arrived two weeks ago. The first snowfall was powdery and dusted everything in the picturesque way that my imagination always likes to remember. Unfortunately this is the mild west coast of Canada and before long the reality of our winter always hits.Continue reading “Winter Solstice 2016”

Is it December? (Er, I mean “It’s December!”)

It IS December! It’s been December for almost two weeks and I’ve been doing December things, just not blogging about it. I’ve been “M.I.A.” while rejoicing in the arrival of Advent, accompanying hubby on a tree-finding outing, digging through storage boxes for Christmas decorations, beginning the traditional baking spree, writing notes and addressing envelopes — allContinue reading “Is it December? (Er, I mean “It’s December!”)”

Advent I – Waiting in Hope

In church Sunday morning the children were asked what they saw that was different in the sanctuary. One youngster immediately pointed to a banner on the chancel wall: “Hope”. Another acknowledged the Advent wreath with its candles. Hope was our focus on the first Sunday of Advent. As the first of the candles was lit, we read the liturgy…Continue reading “Advent I – Waiting in Hope”

‘Tis Christmastime

The winter solstice happened this week. The shortest day of the year is now behind us. We spent several hours on the road Monday, transitioning from the damp and balmy west coast into the brisk and snowy east Kootenays. There is no doubt we’ll be having a white Christmas. As the sun slowly appeared over theContinue reading “‘Tis Christmastime”

How many candles does it take?

He stood on tiptoes, peering at the Advent wreath, counting aloud. Then, “Okay, but if there are four Sundays on the way to Christmas, why are there five candles?” His sister had been trying to answer his questions, but with growing impatience she shrugged. “That’s the Jesus candle. Now c’mon … let’s go.” She reached for his shoulder to steerContinue reading “How many candles does it take?”

Was it “just” another Sunday School pageant?

There was a realistic-looking camel in our church narthex yesterday; also a wooden donkey in the sanctuary and woolly sheep on the chancel. Later, a baby appeared, nestled in a manger. A young shepherd rolled on the floor clutching his sheep, while a diminutive angel, minus her halo and with a bent wing and bare feet, watched theContinue reading “Was it “just” another Sunday School pageant?”

HOPE in a changing world

This has been the first week of Advent 2015. We begin again to HOPE. The prophet Isaiah said Jesus would be the hope of the nations, but in our changing world today we sometimes wonder at the reliability of that promise. The late Christian writer Henri Nouwen emphasized that hope is faith in something beyond our control. WhileContinue reading “HOPE in a changing world”