King Solomon gave us a beautiful description of spring when he wrote, “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land” (Song of Solomon 2:11-12).

Over 55 years ago, Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We often focus on the dream that King envisions for his hearers, the dream that one day people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to play outside a lot. We used to come up with all kinds of things to do. I do not remember ever being bored, and I wonder if I even knew then the meaning of that word.

I’ve begun reading an old copy of the classic tale Gulliver’s Travels. Although this is sometimes considered a children’s story, I’ve been reminded that much of it was meant to be a satire and was rather critical of certain aspects of the politics and religion of the day.

A news source reported recently that “65 percent of Democrats think that Christians are too judgmental.” I imagine some of you reading that agree. Let’s consider this.

The Psalmist led the congregation of Israel to praise God for the beauty He provided in the fields, on the ridges and in the forests.

Instead of lifting up a standard of players skillfully executing their duties within the bounds of the rules of the game, expectations seem to be that the most effective players are those who learn how to get away with breaking the rules – those who do it discreetly or within the limits often overlooked by the referee.

Christmas is commonly promoted as a time of giving and receiving of gifts. It is filled with joy, disappointment, renewed friendships and loneliness for some. So many contrasting statements could be listed, but the angel’s message prevails, “…Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10 KJV).”

I have arrived at an age when many a Christmas card from friends has a sentence or two or more about the aches and pains of aging.

Recently a friend told me about a conversation he had with a long-time church member. My friend was disturbed over the fact that in this conversation the churchman revealed that he questioned the virgin birth and the concept that Jesus was in fact God in the flesh.

The night was finally quiet. They had driven away the lone wolf at the edge of the field. They had counted the sheep – once, twice, three times – and all were accounted for.

Advent then can become a season of celebration, as we live in expectation of the end. We live, knowing that we only have this day, this moment. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. And in this moment, God is here. In all our moments, God is here.

Attitude is determined by how you look at life. Some people complain because God put thorns on rose bushes. Others praise Him because He put roses on thorny bushes.

Perhaps the first major tear in the curtain that exists between the individual and the larger world happens as early as the first day of kindergarten.

Have you heard the call to build a wall? I’m not talking about a mandate from the President. Neither am I referring to that type of wall. This call comes from a higher authority – from the Ruler over all.

Along with you, I was recently appalled to hear again that a gunman had opened fire at a nightclub in Thousand Oaks, Calif., killing 12 and wounding a number of others.

On Thursday of this week we celebrated Thanksgiving. Most of us know the story of Thanksgiving, that time when the settlers of the Plymouth Colony gathered in 1621 to give thanks to God for his provisions for them. A part of that amazing story involved an Native American by the name of Squanto.

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