29 12, 2017

Turning the page…

2017-12-29T08:40:04-06:00 December 29th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERGod of New Beginnings,You know how I love that old hymn, “Rise Up, O Men of God. Have done with lesser things.” I am ready to be done with lesser things. Time to turn the page. Time for a fresh start, new energy, renewed commitment. It is time to quit……nursing old grudges…feeding old anxieties…practicing old vices…enabling old dependencies…repeating old sins.And it is time to start……believing new hopes…living new lifestyles…dreaming new visions…building new coalitions…making new friends…claiming new opportunities…seeing new miracles.Help me begin again, God. In Jesus name,Amen.SOME THOUGHTS TO SHAREChristmas Eve AppreciationWhat a joy it was to be with all of you on Christmas [...]

22 12, 2017

Nutcrackers, by Kathleen Ownby

2017-12-22T10:04:29-06:00 December 22nd, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

There are two types of nutcrackers… those that crack nuts and those that do not. I collect nutcrackers that are usually carved of wood in the shapes of soldiers, knights, kings or other professions and are not functional for cracking nuts. Since at least the 15th century, carving nutcrackers in rural forested German towns became an industry that often provided the only income. Nutcrackers became popular in the United States after World War II due to the first production of the Nutcracker Ballet in 1940 and to soldiers talking about the carved “dolls” when they returned home from [...]

22 12, 2017

Expect Love

2017-12-22T09:59:53-06:00 December 22nd, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERGod of Love,You seem to have sent some conflicting messages, and I get confused sometimes. It seems that how I view the arrival of the Messiah depends a bit on the prophet to whom I listen. Some of the prophets speak of doom, of fear, of all sorts of bad things. The prophet Amos proclaims, “Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light.” Amos 5:18 On the other hand, the prophet Isaiah claims that when the Messiah comes, “they will [...]

15 12, 2017

The Music Box, by Sid Davis

2017-12-15T10:11:43-06:00 December 15th, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

A dear friend and mentor, Craig Hella Johnson, describes choosing music for a day like today as listening to “knockings” that happen deep inside. That is a very accurate picture of how certain selections seem to float to the top as the Christmas Festival takes shape in my head. Some results of those quiet voices need no explanation, but for a few, it might help to crack the door just a bit in order for us all to understand what we are hearing, and why. We begin this morning with an antique music box -— the 19th century [...]

15 12, 2017

Expect to be Amazed!

2017-12-15T09:29:56-06:00 December 15th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERGod,I confess that I have grown cynical about some things. I see problems in the world, and don’t see how they can really be solved. I see challenges in my life, and figure I will never be able to overcome them. My logic tells me I am right to feel such a way. We humans are flawed, sinful, so we will always be hurting one another, taking more than our share of things, treating others as objects to be used. And the world is a broken place, and diseases and tragedies will always be with us. And yet, when I look around, I [...]

8 12, 2017

God Bless Us, Everyone!

2017-12-08T10:05:50-06:00 December 8th, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Charles Dickens said it best in A Christmas Carol when he gave Timothy Cratchit the line, “God bless us, everyone!” Seen through the eyes of Tiny Tim, Christmas is a time of blessings and miracles. As children, we anticipate the coming of Christmas mostly because of the expectation of gifts, and of relatives, food and fun. As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we see the true meaning of Christmas as a time of anticipation of the coming of Christ as well as gifts, relatives, food and fun! For the past 20 years, I have played an annual [...]

8 12, 2017

Things are gonna change

2017-12-08T09:58:27-06:00 December 8th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERGod,Yep, I like my life just the way it is. Can’t I just go on like this? Like an old familiar car, or a chair that fits me just right, I like it just fine. And yet, I know that nothing can remain the same. Everything changes. The familiar gives way to the unfamiliar, and by the time that new thing is familiar, something else is upon us. It seems the only constant is change itself. God, sometimes the change is so hard to deal with.If I am honest, even though my life is wonderful, there is something nagging in me that makes [...]

1 12, 2017

Expect Love, by Rev. Eric Huffman

2017-12-01T14:36:27-06:00 December 1st, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.  Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 On June 5, 1999, my wife and I stood trembling inside a church. We were getting married at the age of 20. Half the people there thought we were [...]

1 12, 2017

Expect Wonder, by Rev. David Horton

2017-12-01T14:33:53-06:00 December 1st, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20 It’s better to be a shepherd than an angel. You remember the angels. They’re the glowing, larger-than-life mysteries who showed up in the middle of the night and scared a bunch of shepherds out of their pajamas. In a second, they formed the best choir that anyone ever heard. They sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace!” They had news to share, news that would spread across the earth, news that would [...]

1 12, 2017

Expect Transformation, by Rev. Katie Montgomery Mears

2017-12-01T14:30:00-06:00 December 1st, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. These lyrics from my favorite Christmas hymn, O Holy Night, feel especially poignant this year. The world feels so full of sin and so, so weary. Shootings, wildfires, hurricanes, and earthquakes have delivered devastation to a countless number of communities and families this year. I’ll admit, there are days when it feels like a dream I cannot wake up from—so real and yet so [...]