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I haven’t posted here in 6 months, and 6 months on the internet is like a decade in the real world.

Where have I been?

Paige started a new job a month ago so we moved. With her finishing up the school year and a move I decided to take a break from writing.

As I return to the internet it seems like a good idea to focus on the reason for my absence: Sabbath.

And because I’m clever, we’ll focus on 7 reasons to take a Sabbath.

Because you rest on the seventh day? Ya know? Get it?

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Tuesday night the internet went insane when Ken Ham, a young Earth creationist, and Bill Nye, the only reason I know anything about science, debated evolution.

Two men in their 60s argued for 2 1/2 hours and people watched the whole time, sharing their own observations on social media, and thinking that one of the two men was a genius and the other an idiot. It was a cultural phenomenon.


I didn’t watch it.
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Every year 40% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution, but only 8% of them succeed.

If you made a resolution, there’s actually a really good chance that you’ve already fallen off the wagon or will in the next few weeks. Your chances of succeeding all year long are abysmal. I mean, like, I don’t want to be a debby downer, but you are going to fail.

Any step we take to better ourselves is good, so hopefully we can find a way around failing, but first we need to figure out why they fail.

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joanna-walsh-readwomen2014-bookmarksWomen read more than men do. It’s a fact.

Last year 82% of women read a book while only 69% of men did.

Not only that, women who read averaged 14 books last year while men who read only averaged 10. More women read AND women read more.

But even with women reading more than men, and with almost an even distribution between men and women authors in the amount of books published, books by women are more easily ignored.

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I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with non-Christians and have been able to have conversations with them about spirituality and Christianity that a lot of people generally can’t. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share my secrets with you.

Here is my definitive guide to dealing with non-Christians.

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Last Christmas I was standing in the lobby (foyer?) of a mega-church. This particular church had as, mega-churches often do, an impressive display that was changed with the season or sermon series.

This one was particularly impressive. It was a triptych of sorts. On one side, there was a nativity scene, complete with wise men and shepherds (together at the same time? I know. I wrote them   a strongly worded e-mail). On the opposite side was a Christmas tree covered in ornaments with pictures of kids they were sponsoring.

And in the middle, larger than either of the other sides, was a 20 foot tall cross.

This year I’ve seen friends post on facebook that “Jesus was born to die.” I read a blog recently that said, “Bethlehem only happened so Calvary could happen.” I listened to a sermon that imagined the first Christmas Eve as Jesus saying goodbye to his father and preparing for the cross (it ignored the fact that Jesus had been in Mary’s womb for 9 months since he wasn’t just God wearing a mansuit and it ignored the fact that he wasn’t going to die for another 33 years).

It seems that we are eager to turn Christmas into Good Friday.

I want to be upfront about where I stand on this: I hate it.

It is a lie, it is bad theology, and believing it is damaging you.

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I’ve written a lot about meditation. In fact, I think I may have written about it more than any other single topic.

And there’s good reason for that. Of all the ways to experience God, it has been the most profound for me. Even when I have no desire to worship, study, or teach, meditation always seems welcoming. Its comforting to me. I don’t have to prove anything. I just sit and be.

Maybe it’s the lazy man’s worship.  Or maybe the introvert’s worship. That’s probably what I like about it.

Beyond that meditation has a ton of physical and mental benefits. Meditation can:

  • Lower stress
  • Reduce risk of stress for teenagers and pregnant women
  • Help you sleep
  • Improve your memory
  • Help you focus

(Here’s a great explanation of what happens to our brains when we meditate.)

These health benefits can come from any form of meditation, but I’m encouraging forms of meditation that are specifically Christian. There are a few reasons I practice this specific kind of meditation.

So here’s why I meditate (and why you should too).

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Thanksgiving is in two days. If you haven’t already, go move your turkey from the freezer to the fridge. Seriously, go, this will still be here when you get back.

Thanksgiving conjures up images of construction paper headdresses and pilgrim hats, football, cornucopias, and giant balloons in parades.

But most commonly it brings to mind this.

Norman Rockell  |  Freedom From Want
Norman Rockell | Freedom From Want

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