The Colors of Christmas – Red

The Colors of Christmas – Red

Christmas, Encouragment
Red seems to be everywhere when Christmas comes around. It is the most common color for Santa’s suit thanks to Coca-Cola. Red balls, bows, and lights hang on many Christmas trees. Peppermint canes are stripped with red. Even nature joins in as deep green holly sports its red fruit. Is there a deeper meaning here or is it a marketing ploy designed to capture our attention like Rudolf’s bright red nose? There is a special significance to the color red in relation to Christmas but it may not be comfortable to talk about.It is said there is a red or scarlet thread of redemption running throughout the entire Bible. From the animals sacrificed to provide skin covers for Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit and God’s promise to send a messiah. Through the animal sacrifices offered
Colors of Christmas – Silver

Colors of Christmas – Silver

Christmas, Encouragment
What exactly is the color of silver? Except for some nuance of shading, silver shares its color with chrome and stainless steel. It is easily mimicked by tinsel. (Does anyone use tinsel on their Christmas trees anymore?) It is the color of some coins whether silver, nickel or some amalgam of metals combined to achieve the right silvery look. Silver’s color is also seen in the flashes of a mountain stream on a sunny day and glimmers in an icicle. You could say that the color of silver is that of pure light.The Gospel of John begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life
Danny’s Firetruck 2017

Danny’s Firetruck 2017

Christmas, Short Stories
During this Christmas season, I'll be republishing many of the Christmas short stories I've written over the years. Danny's Firetruck was written many years ago but re-edited for publication this year.  - DaleSix-year-old Ben was the first to wake up that Christmas morning. He took a look to see if it was light out yet. Mom had been explicit last night, they couldn’t get up until the sun was. “It must be light out,” he thought, squinting to make out Winnie the Pooh watching from the dresser. Deciding it was ok he jumped out of his bed. "Danny wake up! It's Christmas,” he said while giving his three-year-old brother a shake. In a few moments, Ben’s excitement registered with Danny and he was out of his bed in a flash.Both boys sprinted down the hallway and burst into their parent’s
The Colors of Christmas – Blue

The Colors of Christmas – Blue

Christmas, Encouragment
Christmas is a color-filled season. The landscape has changed from the vibrant red, yellow, and orange of fall to the stark greys and browns of early winter. The hours of daylight grows less and less as we inch towards the new year and the deep freeze of January. But just before things become too bleak we celebrate Christmas with the bright colors of green, red, silver, and gold. Homes are decorated with light. Evergreen trees are hung with memories. Traditions are brought out of the attic and scattered around the house. Garlands of ribbon and pine grace doorways and windows. Before we explore the colors of red, green, gold, and silver we must recognize one other color of the season - blue.For some blue is symbolic of winter, frost, and snow. Some Christian traditions see blue as a...
ABCs of Faith – Zealous Faith

ABCs of Faith – Zealous Faith

Latest Articles
We don’t use the word zeal or zealous much anymore. Zeal is instead replaced with passion, enthusiasm, or determination. The word may be relegated to the dustbin but the drive, emotions, and persistence it describes are alive and well. Name the cause and there will be a zealot somewhere in the picture. But here we must be clear, zeal in itself is not a marker of rightness. Just like someone can be sincerely wrong, someone can be zealously misguided. That’s where faith comes in.Often overlooked when we read Paul’s Letter to the Romans is his exploration of Jewishness and Christ. For instance, in the latter part of chapter nine and the beginning of ten Paul describes how the zeal of the Jews caused them to miss Christ.  “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righ
ABCs of Faith – Yes Faith

ABCs of Faith – Yes Faith

Encouragment
People swear by the strangest things. There is the pinky swear. Or “I swear on my mother’s grave” - regardless of whether she’s in it or not. “Scout’s honor,” can be heard occasionally even if the person was never a Boy or Girl Scout. Another old staple is, “I swear on a stack of Bibles.” Sometimes, we may simply hear someone say “I swear.” The point of all this swearing (we’re not talking about cussing or cursing - that’s a different thing altogether) is to add credibility to someone's testimony or promise. Sometimes we even punctuate our promises and requests when talking to God.  Matthew records Jesus teaching, “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by
ABCs of Faith – Xtreme Faith

ABCs of Faith – Xtreme Faith

Encouragment
The pinnacle of extreme sports is the annual X-Games. The X-Games are somewhat styled after the Olympics but have an edgier and more dangerous feel. These are extreme sports that are not only judged on speed or precision but also on style. Its search for the edge has brought us amazing spectacles like a double end over end flip on a motorcycle. The kinds of things that make you wonder how in the world did they pull that off without breaking their neck. We borrow their stylized moniker of Xtreme for our next ABC of faith.Yep, I fudged it a bit. There just weren’t any “X” words that connected with faith. I think however that as we explore some examples of faith we’ll have the same sit-down, jaw-dropping, how in the world did they do that reaction.In the scriptures, there are two men
ABCs of Faith – Walk of Faith

ABCs of Faith – Walk of Faith

Encouragment
From Dale - Please welcome today's guest author Ellen Benefield to the pages of Lambchow for our next ABC of Faith.Lydia’s bright smile, beautiful tan, and dark curling hair bewitched most people into underestimating her age by a decade or more. Lydia had made good money at an insurance company before she felt a surprising call on her life. She quit her job and moved to Mazatlán, Mexico to become a full-time missionary. That’s where I met her and was inspired by her walk of faith.The missionary finance office required that Lydia spend long hours sorting through crumpled receipts and badgering other missionaries for long-forgotten spending reports. On her days off, instead of relaxing with a cool drink in the shade, she stomped through a long, sparsely populated peninsula. The a
ABCs of Faith – Victorious Faith

ABCs of Faith – Victorious Faith

Encouragment
Some of you may remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports. A Saturday afternoon TV staple hosted by Jim McKay that ran from 1961 until 1998. The show was a compilation of various sporting events from earlier in the week. To this day I can still hear Jim McKay’s opening promise of “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” as a ski jumper completely misses the ramp. I always felt bad for that guy having his failure replayed week after week. The Bible also talks about victory and defeat.Here is a link to the opening sequence from ABC's Wide World of Sports https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7frGJf77AAThe apostle John wrote, “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Now, to be honest I plucked that gem from its setting. The statement is true but to understand it a
ABCs of Faith – United Faith

ABCs of Faith – United Faith

Encouragment
Dale - This morning as I prepare Kerry's article for publication my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, family, friends, and community of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs Texas.By Kerry RohmanLast week as I was teaching at a local homeschool co-op I asked a group of kindergarteners what war we were learning about.  One 5-year-old boy proudly and quickly replied: “the silver war”.  I chuckled at his response and said “That’s right! The Civil War” (emphasizing “civil” to gently correct his mispronunciation).  Okay, next question.  “Who was the president during the CIVIL war?” “Oh!! I know!! I know!!”, they shouted. “Abraham Lincoln! Abraham Lincoln!!” What a smart class! They must have a good teacher!If I had to pick my favorite President of the United States eve
Joy Revealed

Joy Revealed

Encouragment
There’s just something about a mountain stream that lightens the heart. Something joyful as the water tumbles, bubbles, and dances along its rock-strewn path. The way the light sparkles as it dances against a stone. And the sounds - like laughter that ranges from a gentle giggle to a mighty roar as it splashes from stone to stone. It’s as if the stream is sharing a secret with us if we’ll only stop long enough to hear it. It’s a secret also revealed in God’s Word.Psalms 126 was written for a specific time. For many long years, the Israelites were held captive in Babylon. For years they sowed in tears, grieving over the loss of their homes and longing to return again. It was during those years that we read of Nebuchadnezzar's challenges to their faith, the desire of Haman to kill them,

ABCs of Faith – Tolerant Faith

Encouragment
From Dale - This entry for our ABC’s of Faith touches on a topic that makes folks uncomfortable. It challenges our status quo and feelings about what is normal or acceptable. For that reason, we offer two looks at what it means to have a tolerant faith. Two voices, two generations, looking at two different aspects of tolerant faith. The first entry by Ben Hoerr looks at tolerance within the church, The second entry by Kyle Benefield looks at tolerance towards all others. Both challenge us to leave the echo chamber of false unity and see people through God’s eyes.By Ben HoerrWhen we take a look around the world today, it’s obvious that humans have demonstrated the consistent ability to divide over everything: politics, religion, race, gender, our perspectives on the environment, fo