Salvation – Day 24 – Holiday Haiku

Salvation – Day 24 – Holiday Haiku

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus,  for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)   And isn’t that the heart of the holiday? A Savior, born to die, to save us from the sins that we’ve committed: the ultimate scapegoat, the eternal passover lamb. I’ve always said that Christmas is about His death and resurrection as much as His birth. Without Easter Sunday, Christmas would be just another birthday. If you have made it through advent, celebrating the tinsel and the cookies and the elf on the shelf, but somehow not yet understood the incredible love of God –  that He would send His Son to earth to redeem you from all your sin-stained aches and pains – then I pray you have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the mind to perceive that He came for you. He left the glory throne of Heaven to chase you down in your self-suficient pride and woo you to salvation. Salvation. Dear friend, there is nothing on earth that you can do to clean yourself up, make yourself right and worthy to stand before God. The thoughts you think, the words you speak, the things you do, the motivations that lead you… can never be good enough, holy enough, to earn you access to heaven, and a right relationship with God. Salvation. You can’t earn it. But you can receive it. Salvation.  It is the greatest gift of all. But a gift is not a gift until it is received. This gift must be received by each man, woman, boy, or...
Emmanuel – Day 20 – holiday haiku

Emmanuel – Day 20 – holiday haiku

Welcome to Day 20 of our Holiday Haiku Challenge Today’s charge is to  write a haiku inspired by the Name of Christ,   Emmanuel   Emmanuel by Tara Ulrich   Emmanuel “God with us” is such a beautiful reminder that we are never alone. I love Eugune Peterson’s translation in the Message when he states “Jesus puts on flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood.” Can you just picture Mary, Joseph, and baby Joseph moving in next to you? Would you bring them gifts fit for a king? Would you be oohing and aahing over this precious gift not even knowing that this infant was the promise Messiah? During this Advent season, may you welcome this promised Messiah into your heart, and extend Him out into your very own neighborhoods!   Tara Ulrich lives in Minot, ND where she serves at a Lutheran church as the Director of Home and Family Ministry. She is a rostered Diaconal Minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Diaconal Ministers grew out of the Catholic understanding of deacons and deaconesses; Word and Service rather than Word and Sacrament). Prior to coming to Minot, she lived in Moorhead, MN and served at a church in Dilworth, MN for approximately 6 1/2 years. She is a graduate of the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND) and Wartburg Theological Seminary. She loves to spend time with her friends and family, reading, writing, and on the beautiful prairies of North Dakota. You can follow her at her blog Praying on the Prairie. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.  ...
Angels We Have Heard on High – Day 19 – Holiday Haiku

Angels We Have Heard on High – Day 19 – Holiday Haiku

Welcome to day 19 of our Holiday Haiku Challenge   Today’s charge is to write a haiku inspired by the carol   Angels We Have Heard on High.   Angels we have heard on high Sweetly singing o’er the plains, And the mountains in reply Echoing their joyous strains. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be Which inspire your heav’nly song? Come to Bethlehem and see Him Whose birth the angels sing; Come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King. See Him in a manger laid, Whom the choirs of angels praise; Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, While our hearts in love we raise.  (James Chadwick, 1862)     We perceive the unknown through the filter of our knowing minds. But we cannot imagine the unimaginable. So we use our imaginations. Angels are not human who have sprouted wings at the ringing of a bell. They are creatures all their own, created by the same Creator that filled Adam’s nostrils with earth’s first breath. It is all poetry. And here we are, trying desperately to cram this unknown brilliance into the confines of 17 short syllables....
Christmas Hospitality – Day 18 – Holiday Haiku

Christmas Hospitality – Day 18 – Holiday Haiku

Welcome to Day 18 of our Holiday Haiku Challenge If you’ve missed any of our series, head on over to the beginning. Today’s charge is to write 17 syllables inspired by the truly Christlike quality of   Christmas Hospitality     The Hospitality of Heaven by Kris Camealy   As we prepare our Christmas table, I am continually laid low by the hospitality of heaven, that God would send His own Son to be our Host, to show us what it means to make room for one another. Jesus’ coming reminds me to make a habit of preparing not only room for God in my own heart, but that I would make an effort to invite God-in-the-hearts of others to join me at the banquet as well. His Word reminds that by doing so, we may be entertaining angels unaware. May we be willing to open our hearts, our doors, and our tables to others in all seasons, inspired by Jesus’ own generosity and graceful example. May we receive Him daily, and offer Him to those who hunger and thirst after that which alone satisfies eternally.   Kris Camealy is a sequin-wearing, homeschooling mother of four. She’s passionate about faith, family, friends, and food. A slow-comer to the notion of God’s grace, Kris has “tasted and seen” and longs to see others filled with the same grace that transformed her heart. She’s been known to take gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations, causing mouths to water all across Instagram. Kris is the founder of GraceTable and the author of the book, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement and the follow up, Companion Workbook....
Christmas Carols – Day 17 – Holiday Haiku Challenge

Christmas Carols – Day 17 – Holiday Haiku Challenge

Welcome to Day 17 of our Holiday Haiku Challenge Today’s guest is Alle McCloskey from Finding Eden Media. Alle’s day-to-day is filled with old children’s books, large doses of refrigerator art, life-giving music and the world’s best cuddles from her two favorite little people. She prays that by infusing her messy-but-beautiful nest with worship and creativity, they too will learn to become followers of the King. Passionate to see the online conversation filled with the redemptive work of Jesus, she and her husband document the creative journey of brand building and story crafting at Finding Eden Media — where they blend work and play as a freelance family! You can also connect with them over on Instagram — their favorite place to socialize and share online!     Today’s Challenge is to create a haiku based on the inspiration of… Christmas Carols Perhaps you could select your favorite carol as the centerpiece of your writing, or head in a more general sense of how these Christmas songs find a place in your holiday traditions! Christmas Carols by Alle McCloskey This past February, my Valentine surprised me with a portable record player and now our entire family has caught the vinyl bug! We look for new records to add to our collection everywhere we go — consignment shops, thrift stores, specialty record spots, and amazon are some of our favorites!  Our boys’ favorite record is called, Spectacular Space Hits and features themes from Star Wars, Superman, Star Trek, and more. As a result they can now sing Darth Vader’s Theme, the Cantina Band Theme, and Yoda’s Theme from memory. It’s become a bit of...