Archive for December, 2009

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

New year, new website

To old friends, welcome to the new look of the blog you already know. Use the links in the heading above to wander around and discover how much more is here than just blog.

To newcomers, I hope you’ll stay and become friends.

You never can tell what I’ll be thinking about when you come back. You might find stories about the care of God’s creation in Kenya, or about Christ-centered traditions. You might catch up with our adoption story or my all-out war with personal chaos. And sometimes I’ll be hoping you’re ready for some silliness.

I’m still working on some details like categorizing old posts, but I’m eager to connect with you here already.

I hope you’ll all subscribe, either by RSS or by email. That way you’ll know every time there’s a new blog entry.

For example, you don’t want to miss the next post. That’s when I’ll tell you about the Hurray-New-Website contest and how to enter.

I’m thankful to God for the ones who created this website:

Matt Taylor for designing the site.

Josh Sowin for building the site.

Abraham Piper for overseeing the project and using simple words to tell me what I needed to do.

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Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Thinking about Santa

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #6

We have always tried to help our children understand as much about God as they are able at whatever age they are.

So what about Santa? How does he affect the way children understand Christmas? At the Desiring God blog, you can read some of my thoughts.

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Monday, December 14th, 2009

Christmas past

My family in 1957. I’m at the top of the “stairsteps.”

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Monday, December 14th, 2009

Jesus Tree

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #5

Over the years, during Advent we’ve used a Bethlehem Tree, a Jesse Tree, and now what we call a Jesus Tree.

At the Desiring God blog, you can read about them, and how in the world a disco ball is related.

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Sunday, December 13th, 2009

A newish Christmas Eve tradition

We went to see The Nativity Story in 2006 when it was released in theaters. Since then, it has become a new tradition at our house to watch it together on Christmas Eve.

I agree with Justin Taylor’s appreciation of the film:

I thought it was an excellent film-great production values and excellent acting. The reconstructions of the architecture, clothing, and landscape seemed especially well-researched. Of course a movie like this has to take some imaginative liberties, but on the whole it was pretty restrained. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better job of portraying Joseph, an oft-neglected character in nativity plays and movies. is offering the video for only $4.99 for a limited time.

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Saturday, December 12th, 2009

A unique Christmas greeting

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Friday, December 11th, 2009

Happy Birthday, Abraham Christian Piper

We met you face to face 30 years ago

on December 12, 1979.

You’ve come a long way, baby.

And we love you more every year.

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Looking forward: Preparing to meet Jesus face to face

Advent: waiting for Jesus # 4

The word advent means coming.

Jesus has come and he will come again. The season of Advent is a time of looking back and remembering the first coming.

But it is also a time of looking forward. There will be another advent of Christ; he will come again. This makes Advent a season for introspection. . . .

You can read the rest at the Desiring God Blog.

(This Advent series begins here.)

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Monday, December 7th, 2009

Looking back: Advent Candles

Advent: waiting for Jesus # 3

Advent Candles probably are the most common Advent symbolism of looking back to the days of waiting for the Messiah God had promised. . . .

My advent series continues at the Desiring God blog.

(This series begins here.)

Next: Advent #4

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Taking care of Baby Jesus

“Look, Grandmama. I’m Joseph taking care of Baby Jesus!”

God doesn’t leave anything to chance. So when he chose Mary to be the mother of his son, he was also choosing Joseph, her betrothed, as the right man to be Jesus’s earthly father.

Joseph was a just man, who wanted to protect Mary from the public shame of being pregnant before she was married. He was obedient to God, apparently without question, even though it would mean sharing her embarrassment (Matthew 1:19-25).

Knowing that Joseph was that sort of man, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did actually crawl into the manger to care for their baby.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Advent: Standing in the Middle

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #2

During Advent, it’s as if we are re-enacting the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. Then at the end of the four weeks of Advent, Christmas is a heartfelt celebration because that ancient waiting is done.

And yet we are still waiting. . . .

At the Desiring God blog, you can read the rest of this, adapted from my book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions.

(This series begins here.)

Advent: waiting for Jesus #3

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

What is Advent?

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #1

Here is the first of some holiday thoughts I’ll be posting at the Desiring God Blog during this holiday season.

We are a people of promise. For centuries, God prepared people for the coming of his Son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made-that he would give a way to draw near to him.

Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. . . . (Read the rest).

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #2

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