• Pack Up, Make Room

    Blog | Sheryl Giesbrecht | December 29, 2015

    One of my Christmas traditions happens after the holiday hustle and bustle has calmed down. I anticipate the peace and quiet after the constant stream of seasonal visitors have gone home, and I’ve run out of creative ways to serve ham and turkey leftovers.

  • Heather Day

    The Miracle of Christmas: God with Us

    Blog | Heather Day | December 23, 2015

    There I sat in the family waiting room, an obvious outsider somehow dropped into this deeply personal moment. Not knowing what else to do, I made small talk with the four young girls, just trying to keep them calm as best as I knew how. When their mom walked in with the chaplain not far behind, we all knew what was coming; in the course of one afternoon, their lives would be changed forever. A father, a husband, taken.

    In the midst of the shock and grief, I was astounded at my friend’s unshakable confidence.

  • Luke Kuepfer

    Servant Leadership: Serving Their Best Interests

    Blog | Luke Kuepfer | December 17, 2015

    “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, NIV)

    In Matthew 1:21, an angel instructed Joseph to name Mary’s son 'Jesus' “because he will save his people from their sins.”

    One must ask several questions: Did the Jews know that their greatest need was salvation from their self-centered interests? Did they realize what had gotten them into their present mess or why they were enslaved under the cruel rule of Rome?

  • Needing a Pat on the Back?

    Blog | Robert and Lori Ferguson | December 10, 2015

    Affirmation. Praise. Applause. Recognition. Celebration. Oh, we do love to be acknowledged, don’t we? 

    Being commended for our actions means we’re on the right track – it demonstrates we are making a positive impact. It feels good. Yes. Everyone else says what we do has value, so it must be true.

  • Megan Pacheco

    Ignoring People Problems

    Blog | Megan Pacheco | December 08, 2015

    Becoming a parent affects our vision. Not literally, of course, but it makes us blind to many of the flaws, imperfections and weaknesses of our own children.

    Even though we can clearly see the flaws in someone else’s child, we have a tendency to minimize, excuse or outright ignore the same flaws in our own children, while exaggerating and embellishing their assets. I know that firsthand—I’m a mother of two young boys.

  • Phyllis

    In Seasons of Waiting

    Blog | Phyllis Hennecy Hendry | December 02, 2015

    My Father loved an old hymn entitled, “How Long Has It Been?” He would often ask me to sing it for him. A few of verses will give you the idea of the song:

    How long has it been since you talked with the Lord and told Him your heart’s hidden secrets?

    How long since you prayed? How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through?

    How long has it been since your mind felt at ease? How long since your heart knew no burden?

  • Where is the love?

    Blog | Gilbert Camacho | December 01, 2015

    Thanksgiving has barely passed, yet television commercials, malls and neighborhood decorations have already begun to shift our attention.  Preparations for Black Friday and Cyber Monday begin and shoppers plan to camp out in parking lots, sometimes for days, to take advantage of the promise of big sales.  We start making lists and checking them twice.  We get ready for the “Bowl Games,” prepare for annual dinners and parties, and put our minds into “gift-mode” in celebration of Christmas.