Tag Archives: spirituality

Happy April!

Today’s the day to double-check the sugar before you add it to your coffee. You might not want to be too trusting when someone tells you exciting news. And if your son’s into acting, you might not want to empathize too much when he tells you dejectedly about the trouble he got into at school. (Yes, it worked on me …)

Happy April Fool’s Day.

Pranks are usually done at someone else’s expense, and they seem easily to slide into mean-spiritedness. But the prank played on waitress Chelsea Roff ended up … a little differently.

Surprising someone with kindness, targeting the gifts to the recipient’s desires, giving with over-the-top generosity, letting others share in the fun and the joy of giving … This is what blessing is about. And it shouldn’t be the exception. If our lives are to be a reflection of the One who is the Creator, the Giver, the Redeemer, then acts like these should be our “normal.”

Maybe you can’t afford to give someone a car right now, or a trip to Hawaii, or a thousand-dollar tip. (Join the club!) But you can give some encouragement, you can share some home-baked deliciousness, you can help that older neighbor with lawn chores–or at least pay them a visit.

God has given us so much. He has been lavish in His creation and in His gifts of light and life, love and laughter. Yes, there is sadness and tragedy in the world–too much of it. But that is precisely why we are called to show God’s love. His love isn’t a gushy feeling; it’s shown through actions that seek to help, to comfort, to care.

Is there someone you can surprise–in a good way–today? Is there a way you can prank someone into having a better day, or a better week? Is there a way to use the day to share God’s love? Have at it!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

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Carpenter Theology

The broken end table peered at me from its place in the corner, leaning drunkenly to the side. We couldn’t put anything on it, and it certainly wasn’t fit to display; a broken leg made sure of that. It wasn’t even ours to begin with.

“Why don’t they just get rid of it?” I asked. Really, I was wondering why we couldn’t just get rid of it. We were waiting for the perfect match of stain, or a certain piece of hardware; I no longer remember which. But I do remember wanting it to be gone.

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Shepherds, Giraffes and a King

Nativity Set

Nativity Set (Photo credit: Sebastian Bergmann)

“On the night Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep. Suddenly, an angel stood before them, and God’s light shined all around. The angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring joyful news to all people. Today, in the town of Bethlehem, a Savior has been born! He is lying in a manger.’ ”

–The Beginner’s Bible

One of my favorite Christmas memories is of something that took place almost two decades ago, when our older son was a preschooler. He was a rough-and-tumble boy with big brown eyes and a jumble of blond curls. He was usually happy, and was curious about a lot of things. (I learned more about dinosaurs and types of trucks during that time than I thought possible!)

One of the things he loved was Christmas. We made cards and crafts together. We baked cookies. He liked to wrap gifts. They didn’t always look terribly polished, but they definitely looked like they were wrapped with love.

And he loved the Nativity story. We read it from several different versions and books, and sometimes he “read” it to his stuffed animals or the cat.

It was important to us that our children not see God as far away and unreachable; one expression of this was that we had a sturdy Nativity set, one that could withstand little hands.

As the Christmas season wore on that year, more and more animals made an appearance at our manger. There were the cows and sheep, horses and goats from his farm set.

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