You Are Loved

By Garrett Vickrey Luke 2:11-14 On a side street just off of South Congress in Austin there is a mint green wall with a message written on it. Scrawled across the wall in cursive red spray paint are the simple words, “I love you so much”. Every day hundreds of people come from all over to…

Life, Love, and Joy

By Marilyn Gladson John 6:33 “The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Today is a special day for me. My father was born on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1926. Once, when I was a child, I asked him if he got combined Christmas/Birthday gifts…

Choose Joy

By Elizabeth Pruitt Psalm 40:16 Choose joy!! Have you seen this advice on social media or received it from a well-meaning friend? Sometimes when I hear those words, I think “Really, you don’t understand what I am going through. Seems too easy. Seems a little trite.” Psalm 40 verse 16 says, “But all who seek you…

A Moment of Silence

By Cameron Taylor Romans 12:9-12 “Please remain standing for a moment of silence.” As an elementary school teacher, the above words are spoken after the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of our morning announcements. For me, this is a set time during the school day where I can stop, take a pause from the busy…

The Birth that Changed the World

By Becky Miller John 1:14 “The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14 The birth that changed the world must change us also. Many years ago our family attended a small country church on Easter Sunday.  I remember nothing of the sermon, but I have not forgotten the old gospel anthem that…

Joyful Sounds

By Jerome Malek Psalm 98:4-9 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4 From the beginning of time God’s creation has manifested the glory of God. The mystery and splendor of the universe cries out in joyful sounds and majestic beauty testifying to…

Our Worth

By Rubye Box Luke 2:8-10 The Son of God came to earth as an infant altogether human and yet, altogether God. The shepherds, whose job it was to watch over a flock of sheep, were not considered as very important nor were they very high on the pay scale. They were just common men doing the…

Ready for Joy

By Gina Garrison Luke 1:46-48 One of my favorite folk songs, recorded by Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, is titled “Ready for Joy.” The song expresses the dark places in our lives, when we feel downtrodden, tied to the ground, or surrounded by midnight. Throughout these hardships, the lyricist speaks enthusiastically of his or her anticipation…

Gifts of Light

By Daniel Zamora Isaiah 9:2-3 Increase your Joy and Rejoice! Have you ever tried to walk in the darkness, at least a few steps to reach the closest light switch or perhaps when the power is out during a big storm, and are trying to reach your cell phone or any other source of light? We…

Peacebuilders

By Mark Noblitt Luke 2:11-14 In 20 centuries of Christianity, it is counterintuitive that a faith centered on peace has been used as the excuse for so much war and violence. I’ve often wondered what the earliest Christians – or indeed the Prince of Peace himself – would think of our modern Christianity. What does it…