Monday Musings: thankful for the hope of our eternal country


Mondays when it’s cold and dark and wet outside.

Mondays after a long, holiday weekend.

Mondays in the middle of a pandemic.

Mondays when the motivation isn’t there.

Mondays after you’ve had to say goodbye to someone you love.

Mondays when you’re sick.

Mondays when you’re quarantined.

(Mondays when you’re sick and quarantined.)

Mondays after a not-so-normal Thanksgiving gathering.

Mondays when the kids are home from school…again.

Mondays with more angsty posts on social media.


Maybe you resonate with some of these Monday feelings right now…or maybe even all of them.

And, if you’re anything like me, sometimes you need a little perspective reminder.

Something to recalibrate your thoughts.

Something to remind you that this world is not going to give you the kind of hope and joy and peace that you’re looking for on a Monday (or any day).

Because, this world is not your eternal country.

And, these Mondays aren’t going to last forever.

So, rather than letting your Mondays (or any of your days) get the best of you, remember these words from Zechariah’s prophecy in Luke 1…

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the Morning Light from Heaven is about to visit us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”


Mondays when you remember God’s tender mercy for you.

Mondays in the Morning Light of Jesus’ presence.

Mondays when God shines light into your darkness.

Mondays when He guides to the path of peace.

Mondays when you can be thankful in all your circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:17)…

And hope for your eternal country.

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good because it is good, if bad because it works in us patience, humility, and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” – C.S. Lewis

Advent Musings: how will you react to Jesus?

When you hear the name “Jesus” what’s the first word that comes to your mind?





How about this…what reaction do you have when you hear the name “Jesus”?

Is it positive or negative?

Is it for him or against him?

Is it a reaction that reflects belief or unbelief?

Words matter…and words that reflect what we believe and lead us to action (or reaction) really matter.

So, how do you react to Jesus?

In the original story of Jesus’ birth, people reacted…

All who heard the shepherds wondered at what the shepherds told them. (Luke 2:18)

Jesus’ mother Mary treasured up all that was being said about her son. (Luke 2:19)

And, the shepherds praised God for all that they had heard and seen about Jesus. (Luke 2:20)

Later, the wise men searched for Jesus, and when they found him, they worshiped him. (Matthew 2:9-11)

But, not everyone reacted that way.

The birth of Jesus troubled Herod the king. (Matthew 2:3)

And, he reacted with deceit, and lies, and fear; and ultimately with a hatred that drove him to kill all the male children in Bethlehem. (Matthew 2:16)

The point is this…

The name of Jesus provokes all kinds of reactions. And, those reactions go one of two ways…

Positive or negative.

For or against.

Belief or unbelief.

This Advent season is an opportunity for you to react to Jesus.

It’s an opportunity for you to wonder (to be amazed) at who Jesus is, like the people who heard the news from the shepherds.

It’s an opportunity for you to treasure the Good News of salvation, like Mary did.

It’s an opportunity for you to praise God for the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ, like the shepherds did.

It’s an opportunity for you to search for him and worship him for the first time, like the wise men did.

Or, it’s an opportunity for you to continue living in fear and unbelief, like Herod did.

What’s your reaction to Jesus going to be this Advent season?

Advent Musings: what a new watch and a pile of Legos taught me about the gift of Jesus

I still remember the Christmas when I got my first real watch.

For some reason, I’d always wanted a watch…not the cheap digital watches you got in Happy Meals back in the 80’s, but a real analog watch.

So, it’s Christmas morning back in 1980something, and I open a gift that’s a small, square plastic container with the word “Timex” on it.

I can’t see the watch at this point, and I have no idea what “Timex” means, so I just kind of set it aside and start playing with some new Legos.

I still had no idea that the watch I’d really wanted was sitting inside that plastic container, buried under all the wrapping paper next to me.

At the time, I actually thought I had been given a useless plastic box.

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and opening the one gift that you’ve always wanted…

Just think for a second of the feelings that you would have the moment you realize that’s what it is…





Love for the giver.

And the list goes on…

Now imagine that you open that same gift, but you have no idea that it’s the gift. What would you do?

All the feelings of excitement and joy would be replaced with feelings of…





Kind of like me and my Timex watch.

I got what I always wanted, but I let it get buried under a heap of wrapping paper, because I had no idea that there was a real analog watch inside that plastic box.

So, what does this all have to do with Advent and the Christmas season?

Jesus is the gift that we’ve always wanted.

Receiving him is the only way that we will ever find true peace and joy and hope and meaning in this broken world we live in.

But, the problem for many is that Jesus isn’t the gift they expected.

Ever since Jesus was born in an out-building in a small village instead of a palace in a large city, he’s been marginalized and misunderstood by the masses.

And so instead of remembering Jesus’ birth with feelings of excitement and joy and anticipation and gratitude, we bury the meaning of Christmas under a pile of wrapping paper.

Instead of accepting the greatest gift any of us could ever want, many in our culture today look at Jesus at Christmas time with indifference, apathy, and disappointment.

And, even for those who have already received the gift of Jesus, there is still the danger of distraction…

We can all get easily distracted by the holidays, and then forget what we’re actually supposed to be celebrating in the first place.

So, what about you?

This Advent season are you experiencing the joy of receiving the gift of Jesus and celebrating him?

Or, are you being distracted by everything else around you…

And settling for that pile of Legos?

Advent Musings: Is God’s Way the Only Way?

Religion is like a mountain…so the saying goes.*

And, we’re just all at the bottom of that mountain trying to figure out the best way to climb it.

My path may be different than your path, but that’s okay…

Because all the paths lead to God (or whatever you call him).

The Buddhist path.

The Hindu path.

The Christian Scientist path.

The Muslim path.

The Mormon path.

The Christian path.

(Insert your path of choice here).

One mountain…many paths…same destination.

The question is, can this even be possible?

Can all religions by true?

Or, to put it another way, can all religious paths lead to the same place?

For all religions to be true (and lead to the same place), two things would have to happen…

  1. God would have to be a universalist.**

2. We would have to be able to achieve the impossible…

We would have to be able to save ourselves.

But, the reality is, we can’t save ourselves.

We can never be good enough.

Nice enough.

Generous enough.

Holy enough.

Separatist enough.

Perfect enough.

Or religious enough to save ourselves.

Because religion doesn’t save anyone…only God saves.

So, God looks down on His creation from the top of that mountain and sees the impossibility of anyone reaching Him…

And He makes a way.

The way.

He sends an angel named Gabriel to a virgin named Mary, who tells her that she will bear a son whose name is Jesus.

This Jesus will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.

The Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David…and of his kingdom there will be no end.

Because, as Gabriel says, nothing will be impossible with God.***

God did the impossible.

God is doing the impossible.

God will do the impossible.

He has made the impossible possible by sending His Son Jesus down the mountain to us.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

He is the way, because He is the path.

He is the truth, because He is the only path that truly leads to God.

He is the life, because the end of His path is eternal life with God.

Every religious path requires faith.

But, the Christian path is the only path where you’re putting your faith in someone other than yourself.

And, that someone is Jesus Christ.

The Bible says that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, and that whoever believes in Him will not die…but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God’s way to salvation is Him coming down to us and doing the impossible.

All of the other paths to Him require us to find a way to save ourselves…

And, that’s just not possible.

*Oprah made this viewpoint popular back in the early 2000’s, and it’s still going strong in our culture today.

**A universalist believes that all humankind will eventually be saved.

***For the rest of story, read Luke 1:26-38.