The Holiday Blog Post You Didn’t Know You Needed

Are you the type of person who gets angry inside when you hear Christmas music BEFORE December? Then do I have a gift for you… a Thanksgiving playlist! Admittedly, there isn’t as much to choose from here which is why I hope you’ll enjoy the efforts I made.

I used a few criteria in making this list:

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How to Be Grateful When You Don’t Feel Like It

I have a feeling that Thanksgiving might feel a bit strange to many people this year. This is normally the time we think of what we’re grateful for and often share it with our closest family and friends. But when it’s been a 2020 kind of year… gratitude may not be the first thing on our minds.

I’m not sure how much you are aware of your dreams when you sleep at night but I often dream vividly. It is not uncommon for me to have some amazing dream and then wake up with a sense of disappointment. In my dreams, I often get into fascinating conversations with people I’ve never met. We start new projects together or talk through ideas. Then I wake up bummed and realize I don’t actually know them.

Recently I woke up with a different feeling.

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Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

Andy Stanley’s latest book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets, puts him back into the genre of life application rather than the theological magnum opus he recently published with his book Irresistible. While I prefer his theologically focused books, Andy is comfortable and competent in both worlds. This book is unabashedly practical but is still written toward a Christian perspective. In addition, each of the five questions comes with a case study from Scripture (his summary on Jeremiah was fascinatingly succinct and well-explained).

Andy’s topic on this latest book lands at a good time for all of us as we navigate the hot mess that is 2020. He has a way of saying things that sound so obvious when you read them but they seem to elude us much of the time. A great example is this line from the book: “Most of us want to be proven right more than we want to know what’s true. We aren’t on truth quests. We’re on confirmation quests.”

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How to Process Election Results like a Christian

How to Process Election Results like a Christian

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

I’ve been hearing an idea a lot this week. “God is on the throne!”

This comes from Psalm 47:8, and I’d like to suggest it as a misquoted passage: “God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.” NLT

We often reassure ourselves that “God is on the throne” when the candidate or party we voted for loses. We throw up our hands in despair but encourage one another that this new leader we don’t like can’t do that much anyway.

Or, we use it to separate ourselves from the results. As in, “Who really cares who won, God is on the throne.” This particular usage relies heavily on privilege and the assumption that we are above the consequences of the election. It’s also a coping mechanism that often downplays how we really feel.

Neither of these uses captures the intent of Psalm 47:8.

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The Scariest Thing That Happened to our Kids

Our kids are old enough to be home alone while we are out for short periods of time. We bought them a kid-friendly phone to have in case they need to reach us. Earlier this week, Michelle and I came home to our kids telling us an alarming story.

A few of them were playing an online game called “Among Us.” The game randomly pairs people together and includes a chat feature. In the game chat that night, one of the people they were playing with started to tell one of my kids that they were hot (they can’t see their appearance in the game). She said her name was Ashley and that she was a thirteen-year-old girl. In the chat of the game, she gave my kids her cell phone number and said to text her when they were done playing the game. Thinking they were making a new friend, they did.

When we got home our kids knew something about this didn’t feel right and handed over the phone. I read through the text exchange for myself. Here are a few highlights that stood out to me:

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What Do Your Scars Show?

I attended the Men’s Challenge at Central Christian Church last weekend. They had an opening contest to see who in the room had the craziest scar. I saw things that night that I’ll never be able to unsee, like how one guy moved something inside part of his leg with his finger. Thankfully, I’ll likely never learn the story of that thing.

The winner—unanimously cheered to victory—stood with one artificial leg and scars covering his other leg. By his quick recounting of a horrendous motorcycle accident, he likely shouldn’t be alive. It was a scar to celebrate.

It’s interesting how a bit of context can change the way you view a scar. I doubt the winner of the scar competition is hesitant to talk about how his body is now permanently marked. It’s a story of life that he carries with him. Yet we don’t always view our scars that way.

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