My 5 Favorite Books of the Year

It's my 5 favorite reads of the year! And don't miss the book that made honorable mention or the one blog I read every single week.

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It's Easy to Love People: My Favorite Christmas Memory

It was either the Christmas before I started school, or the Christmas of my kindergarten year. My family lived in a tiny house in the country, which couldn’t have been more than about 900 square feet. It was a Jim Walter “kit” home and my parents found it for a steal. Even though there were holes in the walls and my Mom cried the day we moved in, within a very short amount of time, my parents made this house a home. There was one problem: that tiny house didn’t have a fireplace. I couldn’t fathom how Santa would ever make it inside to deliver my toys. I was convinced the sleigh and reindeer would likely skip over our little house for lack of proper parking. I could only imagine that Santa would move on down the road to Zach’s or Rachel’s or maybe my cousin, Melody’s.

What a sad Christmas it would be.

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When Christmas isn't the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If Christmas is less-than the most wonderful time of the year for you, I get it. Christmastime in Alabama is rarely ever physically cold, but getting together with people who just don’t get you can send a chill down the warmest of veins. If you have trouble surviving Santa, here’s 6 things that have helped me brave the cold during the holidays.

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1 Simple Way to Support Suicide Prevention for the Holidays

The world is full of people who feel hopeless. While the holidays may be a favorite time of year for many people, for others, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day only compounds the pain. For many people, the cold and cloudy days of winter triggers seasonal depression. For other folks, the thought of gathering with family and friends spikes anxiety, anger, and sadness.

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In the Delivery Room: An Advent Lesson

I’ll never forget walking back into the delivery room after my wife received her spinal block. My son was on the way. I was proud and excited and anxious but I was not prepared for the sights and sounds of the delivery room. I remember the doctor asking if I wanted to help and for the first thirty minutes or more, I opted to stand at the head of the hospital bed, offering encouragement and letting my wife nearly squeeze my hand numb.

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How I Found Baby Jesus in an Empty Freezer

Joseph and his very pregnant wife took a long road trip to pay the IRS. Stargazing hippies were following something like a UFO, hoping for incredible news. When Mary and Joseph finally arrived, there was no food in the deep freeze, and the hotel was at capacity. Jesus wasn’t born in a cheap motel, or a stranger’s bedroom. The Savior was born to an unwed, pregnant teenage girl in a stable, echoing with the sounds of farm animals. It must have smelled terrible. This was not the triumphant arrival the Jews hoped for. Only three people even noticed the birth of Christ. They showed up later with gold, frankincense and myrhh. I bet Mary and Joseph were hoping for moose and halibut too, but you take what you can get when your baby was just born in a barn.

Sounds pretty chaotic, right?

Christmas is nearly here and if you take a look around your own stable, you may find some chaos, maybe a few asses, too.

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What I've Learned from Anxiety and Advent

Peace is an assurance that in the midst of hell breaking loose: shootings, wars, riots, and acts of terrorism each time we turn on the television, God remains. God is not being terrorized. Heartbroken? I think so. But not uncertain or afraid. I think Heaven weeps, but God knows the beginning from the end. Peace says that things will get better one day. Our waiting will be worth it.

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