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Archive for November, 2009

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Why Advent?

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Part 3 of series: Introduction to Advent
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In my last post, I told the story of my Advent beginnings. When I started out as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church in 1991, for the first time in my life, I began to see Advent as a distinct season of […]

Advent Devotional: The Lighting of the First Candle

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

This is an excerpt from my Advent Devotional Guide that uses the Advent wreath. If you have a real wreath, you can use it, either alone, or with others. If you don’t have a wreath, follow this guide, and you can “light” the Advent candle for today online. (I originally wrote this guide for families […]

Advent Beginnings

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Part 2 of series: Introduction to Advent
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In yesterday’s post, I explained the timing and purpose of Advent, as well as its unexpected color scheme. I closed by noting that Advent is growing in popularity, especially among Protestant Christians who, in many cases, did not grow up with […]

Advent Approaches . . .

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Part 1 of series: Introduction to Advent
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This coming Sunday is the first day of Advent. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you know that I generally make a big deal out of Advent. If you’re new to my blog, however, you may […]


Thursday, November 26th, 2009

READ Psalm 100:1-5
 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4
On this Thanksgiving Day, we Americans are encouraged to pause and give thanks to God. In his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863, President Abraham Lincoln wrote: “The year that is drawing toward its close has been […]

And Don’t Forget to Thank People Too!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I’ll never forget something I heard at the baccalaureate service that was part of my graduation from college. As I sat in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, the President of Radcliffe College (part of Harvard) said something like, “The baccalaureate service is a traditional ceremony of thanks and praise.” Wow, I thought, that’s surprisingly […]

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

For several years, it has been my history to put up a bit of Thanksgiving history during the week prior to the holiday. So, once again, here is a brief history of Thanksgiving.
Severnal years ago I asked my six-year-old nephew, “On Thanksgiving, to whom do we say thank you?” He quickly responded, “To the native […]

Finding the Heart of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

As you know, on Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Yet for many of us, that day is so full of activity that we actually have little time for intentional, extended giving thanks to God. So, as has been my tradition for many years, I will put up several posts in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day in […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The Ingredients of Salvation
READ Psalm 85:1-13
 Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
Psalm 85:10
Usually, when Christians talk about salvation, we point to being saved from sin and death through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Salvation has to do with the promise of life after death. “Are you saved, brother?” means, “Have […]

Photos from the Capitol

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Yesterday, my family and I visited the Texas Capitol, the center of the state government in Austin, the capital. We were there for my daughter to be reconized for getting second place in the National History Day competition last summer. (She was second in the Junior Division, Individual Performance.) So, yesterday, the State Board of […]

Three Top Website Recommendations

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Today, I want to recommend three great websites. I have been visiting these websites for several years with great appreciation. I have recommended them before, but they’re worth another shout out.
Holy Land Photos

This website offers thousands of photos of biblical sites. You name it, they’ll have it, and much, much more. But here’s the best […]

Laity Lodge on Worship Team Training

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Worship Team Training is a ministry that provides inspiration, training, and resources for worship leaders, especially but not only those who lead in contemporary contexts. Worship Team Training offers a whole-person approach to the training of worship leaders, focusing on skill development, leadership growth, and spiritual renewal.
Worship Team Training was begun by Branon Dempsey, a […]

Fall in the Texas Hill Country, Part 2

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Here are a couple more photos, taken at Laity Lodge last weekend. Enjoy!

A Great Thanksgiving Tradition

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

In this post I want to tell you about a great Thanksgiving tradition. Yes, yes, I know Thanksgiving Day comes a week from Thursday. But I’m putting up this post in the hopes that there still might be time for some of you to act on what I’m about to recommend.
I’ll admit to a not-so-hidden […]

Earl Palmer at Laity Lodge

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Earl Palmer taught at Laity Lodge this past weekend, leading a retreat for Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church. I know that many of my blog readers are familiar with Earl, but if you’re not, let me give a brief bio. Earl, a Presbyterian minister, served in four churches, including Berkeley Presbyterian Church in California and University […]
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