Have You Seen? {December 26th, 2021}

Last Week’s Theme: Nativity

Good News of Great Joy, Not Fear by Eva Burkholder—”I totally relate to their need for assurance. Even though I know I’m commemorating something good—Jesus’s birth and the salvation he brings me—fear clouds my celebrations. Fear that I won’t have enough this Christmas. Fear that my loved ones may be taken from me. Fear of yet another year of going without what I want or feel I need. .”

Bayta’s Top Five Books of 2021 {Book Club} by Bayta Schwarz—”It was only as I took time about a year ago to reflect on 2020 that I realized how much I missed reading and that I really needed to establish new patterns. I’m so glad I did – I love the broad spectrum of voices you encounter and missed those when I wasn’t reading so much.”

The Song of the Unseen by M—”The truth is some stories cannot be shared from the church platform or in a newsletter. These stories are not trivial or unimportant, but they may not be safe to share. Sometimes when our tears are not acknowledged and our griefs are unseen, we may feel that our deepest longings are insignificant to our community and even to God.”

An Untold Miracle of Christmas by Jenilee Goodwin—”When I ponder what her life must have looked like in those years. Marriage, motherhood, ministry and moving… all painfully and wonderfully familiar to me. From the moment the angel spoke, her life was full of changing circumstances and surroundings. She experienced goodbyes, loneliness, transition, fear, weakness, and less than ideal moments.”

From Around the Web

To the Single on the Field at Christmas

12 Days of Expat Christmas

Thank you, Dear Shepherds

On Instagram: A Liturgy for Holidays Away from Home and Holiday Check-in

Finally, A Hand Upon the Forehead

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

There’s nothing magical about a new calendar, one year moving into the next. But it feels hopeful, doesn’t it? Like we’ve been given a fresh start. There’s anticipation for new possibilities, prayers finally answered, changing circumstances.

It doesn’t always happen that way though. As we finish up 2021 and move into 2022, we open our hands in surrender. What gifts will the Father give us in the near year? What trials will He walk with us through? In what ways will we see Him differently than we did this year?

As we take this week to look ahead, we also have some very exciting news about the launch of the new Velvet Ashes Membership site. We’ve been dreaming and planning for months, and the first week of January feels like the perfect time to open the doors for you to join. This week we will share about the different aspects of community and resources you have to look forward to. Join us? We can’t wait to share all this with you!

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