Tag Archives: battle

The Great Invasion of Christmas


The New Year is upon us and frankly, I’m not ready for it! I’m still celebrating Christmas. After four weeks of Advent – the preparing, the waiting, the anticipating (the rushing, the scrambling, the busyness), Christmas comes and seems to go in the blink of an eye. And I’m never quite ready to move on.

The good news is that I don’t have to. As cliché as it may sound, Christmas really does last all year. The simplicity of a baby’s birth shook the earth and changed the course of history. Peace on Earth and good will to men. Immanuel. God is with us! God has come to save us! However, not all were comforted by this great news. My pastor stated that the peaceful manger scene actually represents a holy invasion and the heavenly battle intensified that night.


Every year there seems to be one particular Christmas song that touches my heart causing emotions to swell and tears to flow. Each year a different song rises to the occasion and this year, “Glory in the Highest” by Chris Tomlin was the winner. I believe the reason this song found itself on repeat in my car is because it speaks to the earth shattering nature of Christmas. Despite its beautiful melody, there is great power behind the lyrics.

Apart from You there is no God, Light of the world, the bright and morning star. Your name will shine for all to see. You are the one, You are my glory.

And no one else could ever compare to You, Lord. All the earth together declares Glory in the Highest!


The miracle of Christmas is not just peace on earth, but that the battle has intensified. The King of King’s has invaded to reclaim the creation He loves so much. As the battle rages on, in the darkest of times, we live in the hope and the truth that the war has been won.

All the earth will sing Your praise, The moon and stars, the sun and rain, Every nation will proclaim, You are God and You will reign. Glory, glory, Hallelujah, Glory, glory to you, Lord!

What began in a manger and was finished on a cross, will come to fruition when Jesus returns not as a lowly baby, but as the victorious King of King’s. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord! Oh what a glorious day that will be!

Ready or not, the new year is upon us. It’s a time to look back and give thanks for the year’s blessings (or to be grateful for simply making it through) and it’s a time to look forward to the possibilities of the year to come. So as we pack up the ornaments and put away the Nativity sets and bring out the party hats and watch the ball drop, let’s not put away Christmas. Yes the war is won, but the battle rages on. Instead of setting personal resolutions, how about  committing to a holy resolve… resolve to join the battle by being the light of Jesus Christ throughout this new year.

As I look back at the first year of MND GMZ Ministries, I am profoundly grateful. What warms my heart most is you – my readers, cheerleaders, and prayer warriors. And as I look forward to the beginning of year two, I have VERY exciting news to announce! I have been invited to be the next speaker for the Staley Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series at Central College. The what? This is a program by the Thomas F. Staley Foundation seeking to bring speakers to campuses that can clearly communicate with students on topics of an evangelical nature. So SAVE THE DATES!

“Wounded: Finding healing in the midst of emotional pain” Sunday, February 8, at 9:00 pm at The Chapel at Central College

“Becoming Beloved” Monday, February 9, TBD at Cox-Snow Music Center at Central College

Hope to see you there!


So I have been on a bit of a hiatus. My silence has not been the result of writer’s block – trust me, I have much to share! Nor have I been sitting around twiddling my thumbs! No, I’ve been out and about sharing with some amazing ministries, teaching classes, and of course seeing clients. (My boss wishes doing paperwork was among that list – don’t worry Jean, the notes will get done!)

I love you, my readers, and I’m both honored (and frankly taken aback) that so many of you have missed my random musings and little insights. And I can’t wait to share with you some of the things I’ve been pondering and some of the thoughts that have been marinating over the last couple of months. Here’s a sneak peek…

Everyone wants to belong…

We need each other. Young and old alike – all have something unique to offer.

Waiting is the hardest part, but the most important part…

Authenticity is scary, but necessary…and awesome!

And of course, Christmas craze, holiday haze, and the meaning maze.


I’d stay up writing all night if I didn’t have to be coherent enough to teach in the morning. Or have those silly progress notes to write. Or have papers to grade. Or was 15 years younger and actually still capable of pulling all nighters.

For now, here’s a silly, yet sincere tidbit.

I attended an Iowa Hawkeye football game this fall. Thanks to a VERY generous friend, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a game for the last few seasons. My favorite team since my youth, it is always a thrill watch them play live. One of my favorite moments of every game at Kinnick Stadium is hearing those first few notes of “Back in Black” begin to blare over the loud speaker as the jumbotron shows the team making their way through the tunnel from the locker room to the field. This little pregame ritual always brings tears to my eyes. Yes, you read that correctly, tears. And yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that. But I finally sat down and asked myself why I become so emotional watching a football team run onto the field.

back in black 2

coming onto field

For one thing, there’s nothing like the excitement and anticipation before a sporting event. The hope and promise of a victory, even if the possibility seems slim, exists at the start of each contest. Second, the team runs on as one – united by one objective – to win the game. They are united by the name on the front of their jersey, which for the duration of the game becomes much more important than the name on the back. They win as Iowa Hawkeyes. They lose as Iowa Hawkeyes. (And a little piece of me dies regardless of the outcome because my blood pressure rises to dangerous levels during each game.)


What does this have to do with identity or faith (other than the fact that I owe the Hawkeyes for improving my prayer life and teaching e how to endure suffering and deal with disappointment)? Well, it may sound silly, but as Christians, we also play for the same team. We are united not by our individuality (although our uniqueness is beautiful and necessary) but we are united by our commonalities. We have a common Creator, who serves as our coach in a common goal – that of glorifying His name and bringing Heaven to earth. And the best part? He guarantees victory! No need for high blood pressure. There may be high drama at times, but there is no need for concern when the outcome is assured. We win. God will be glorified. His Kingdom will come on earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus will indeed return (though the trumpets probably won’t be playing “Back in Black”). And when He does return, every knee will bow and every tongue will proclaim that He is Lord! Praise God!

Whether a Hawkeye or a Cyclone. A Bugeater or a Badger. A Blue Devil or a Tarheel. Or no fan at all. I’m honored to journey and battle alongside each and everyone of you.