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Timeless truth in a changing world

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Meeting Together Apart

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I sat in my car with my five children, rain steadily pelting the roof, the windows slowly fogging up with our warm air inside. We had only a limited view of the other cars around us in similar situations. My husband was leading a drive-in church service and had partially retreated to the open door of the church to avoid the rain. We could see neither him nor our fellow worshipers on Sunday morning, but we could hear him over a local radio frequency that had a limited range barely reaching the edge of the parking lot. This has become the new normal. Drive-in church. And I admit, it’s a bit of a letdown. My five-year-old, who was never terribly well behaved in church anyhow, no longer has to sit on my lap during the service, so he slides on and off his seat in the car. My other kids, who are generally quite well behaved in church, now have the freedom to whisper little side comments throughout the service or slouch back in their seats or take off their shoes. Sitting in our car doesn’t have the same effect as sitting in a physical church building with other congregants around us and the organ accompanying us for hymns. Listening over a radio frequency just isn’t the same.

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Drive-Thru Communion

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Three months ago, the idea of drive-thru communion would have been absurd. Most people would snort and roll their eyes, thinking that this is just one more case of how busy our society has become, always looking for convenience. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-thru communion has become fairly common, people literally lining up to receive the body and blood of Christ from a masked and gloved pastor. Really, it almost sounds comical, like something you’d see in a bad movie. But in the absence of an actual church service, pastors have had to get creative in ministering to their flocks, and church members have had to rethink the way they worship.

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Normal is Overrated

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Believe it or not, I’m enjoying this quarantine. I know, crazy, right? I myself am surprised at this realization, and I’ve come a long way since last week’s post about Grudgingly Serving my Neighbor. Having five kids home all the time, doing school work from home, effectively making me into a homeschool parent, doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. And granted, there are moments every day where I’m sure I’m about to lose my sanity, but that’s nothing new. Such is the nature of living in close quarters with different personalities and temperaments. But something is different with all of us home this time around. This isn’t summer vacation or Christmas break. The kids are still in school, but they’re *only* in school—no extracurriculars. There is no driving time, no before or after school practices, no track meets, no UIL competitions. In short, it comes down to this: our lives have been simplified.

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Grudgingly Serving My Neighbor

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If you’re anything like me, you’re getting sick (no pun intended) of hearing about the coronavirus. Everywhere I turn, there’s a new update or restriction or cancellation. March and April, which for us was supposed to be chock full of track practices and meets, archery practice for the State tournament, field trips, music competitions, and Confirmation activities, has suddenly cleared for an unspecified amount of time, leaving a conspicuous absence of activity. That unnerves and irritates me. My kids just finished a week of spring break, and now they have more time at home, which throws off my own schedule. And from what I can gather, this isn’t going to be a quick fix. Many states have already called off school (or imposed “distance learning”) for up to three weeks. This is going to drag out for a while. I fear we’ve only just begun.

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Celebrate Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes

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Ask any adult if they’re ready for Christmas, and they’ll likely respond with a groan. For what’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” December usually ends up being too busy, too chaotic, and too stressful to really enjoy. Children, on the other hand, are completely opposite. My kids have been counting down to Christmas since the middle of November. You can see the excitement and wonder in their eyes when they think about the holiday. Christmas for a child is what Christmas is really about—waiting in eager expectation. Our Heavenly Father has given us the perfect gift in His Son. We know that’s what Christmas is all about, but sometimes it’s hard to keep that focus when we think about everything on our to-do list before December 25. So here are a few links of Advent and Christmas activities you can do with your children (or on your own!), to remind you to take a step back and celebrate Christmas through a child’s eyes.

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Is Our World the Worst It’s Ever Been?

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Oh, that God in heaven would have mercy on us! Today, even the faithful have become unbelievers. A reformation, therefore, appears to be impossible. It is clear that the world is declining. The examples of the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the destruction on Jerusalem are being fulfilled before our eyes. The darkness of the midnight hour of the world has come upon us. The Judge already stands at the door. The hammer of the world’s clock has been raised in order to announce the expiration of the last hour. God’s army, the angels of the Lord of the heavenly hosts, stand in battle formation to fight the great battle of the Last Day. In but a few minutes of the world’s time, God’s trumpet will sound.

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When Money Gets in the Way

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There were a dozen reasons to say no. The family asking for help with their bill was well-known around town. They didn’t make wise use of money, often asked for handouts, and were generally looked upon with suspicion. People didn’t trust them, and for good reason. Besides, it’s not good to enable people, right? Let them learn from the consequences of their actions. You don’t want to risk them coming back to you again and again. It’s best not to get involved at all.

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Award-Winning Novel

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Exciting news! Hope Alone won a bronze medal in the 2019 Reader’s Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest in the Christian-Romance-Contemporary genre! If you haven’t read Hope Alone yet, order your copy today, and if you’ve already read it, I’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave a review, and be sure to recommend the book to others! Readers are the best publicity for any book. Thanks for your support!

To the Mom Whose Kids Misbehaved in Church Yesterday

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Dear Mom Whose Kids Misbehaved in Church,

I heard your kids yesterday in church. Like, through the entire service. I saw the displeased glances people exchanged and the dirty looks a few people shot your way.  I know you were embarrassed and frustrated and probably wish you’d just stayed home. I’m sure you personally didn’t get much out of the service. Perhaps you left early to avoid people making comments to you about their behavior afterward. But I wish you’d stayed, because I have something very important to tell you: Thank you.

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