All in Holidays

Advent Blessing

by Johnese Burtram

The Christmas songs, dramas, poems, and devotionals bombard our attention with the blessings of Advent. God’s promise to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham dawned in the fullness of time…she gave birth to her first-born son, wrapped him in clothes, and placed him in a manger…a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. The story, poignant and sweet, also unfolds in harsh and terrible horror when we look beneath the tinseled surface.

Thoughts about Waiting. Advent Week 4.

by Johnese Burtram

As is the way of all flesh, pregnancy inevitably ends with a birth.

Joseph also went up … to Bethlehem…

…While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, (Luke 2:4-7)

Mary just knew nothing good could come of this trail ride by donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And she was right. The time came for the baby to be born.

Was she early? Late? Did a midwife attend her? We don’t know.

The Christmas Jumper Dress

(A Christmas Memory)
by Ruth Pabon

Walking downtown with my mother a few days before Christmas my eyes caught sight of a lovely wool jumper dress displayed in a store window. The beautiful shade of maroon grabbed my attention. Seeing my excitement, my mother took me in the store, an exclusive one we had never gone into because of the high priced merchandise.  I tried on the dress and it was perfect but for the price. My thirteen-year-old heart sank because I knew we could not afford it.

Pregnant With Joy

by Johnese Burtram

...December 1974 found me working hard on Get Ready for the Coming of the Lord. I was to sing the song of Mary. Mary had grabbed my imagination. I wanted to understand this young Jewish girl, pregnant outside of marriage. How did she feel about this unexpected chain of events?

The Gift of Beauty in Unexpected Places

by Angela Donadio

The season of gift giving is upon us, folks. Estimated American holiday spending for 2016 rings in a close to 655.8 billion dollars. We’ll go to great lengths to find that “perfect” gift: take laps around the mall, scroll through the 488 million items on, and, alas, pick up the last-minute Starbucks gift card when our creative juices stop flowing...

Thoughts about Waiting. Advent Week 2.

by Johnese Burtram

The beneficiaries of the sacred text comprehended the wait. They waited for a variety of things. The waited for the early rain and the later rain so that their crops would grow and the harvest would come and they could survive another year. They waited long days, weeks, and months for news to come from faraway places. They waited for babies to arrive only to have too many of them perish in infancy. They waited for freedom from oppression and tyranny with little hope of a deliverer. They knew how to wait.

I Love Christmas

by Becky Pucher

I love Christmas!  I love the lights, the busyness, hunting for the right gift, wrapping and giving, cooking and baking, the decorating, parades, Christmas parties, concerts, and the special love people have at this time of year.

I Am Thankful

by Joy Burtram Madison

I am thankful. These words have begun so many blog posts, Instagram posts, and Facebook posts over the years. I am thankful. For the past seven years or more, I have made it a habit in November to write about the things the Lord has given me.


by Brenda Burns

The holidays frequently involve pilgrimage – heading over hill and dale to connect with our families. I am also mindful that life itself is a pilgrimage – we are strangers and aliens in this land (1 Peter 2:11).