Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, especially during the holidays. People always say that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But for some, the holidays can be a time of loneliness, isolation, and depression due to loss and tragedy. For some, Christmas is the hardest time of the year.
Ahh, consumerism. Black Friday may have passed, but the shopping season has only just begun! Department stores everywhere are extending their hours with their competitive prices and an influx of Holiday goodies. But how much of this stuff do we actually need?
Did you know that you are existing right in this very moment? Like, are you fully aware of your surroundings?
No, seriously. Think about it. You exist right now.
All too often we see political parties using religion as a means to get more votes. We also see Christian leaders using the pulpit to exercise their political opinions. But, who would Jesus vote for?
Whew, anyone else feel like this year is FLYING by? I mean, how is it already November? I feel like this year just started. That’s okay, though, because honestly, October 1st through January 1st is pretty much the best time of the year, right?
Last week, we talked about Halloween and all of the fun things we did. But before we start celebrating all of the Christmas festivities, we want to make sure we stay in a spirit of being thankful. All of the hustle and bustle for getting last minute gifts can seem pretty stressful and daunting. Often times, I think we forget what we’re truly grateful for. They say it takes about 30 days to create a habit. So why not start off the Christmas season by showing our gratitude for the things we often take advantage of? That’s why this year, we are challenging ourselves to find things we are thankful for every day this month.
Ahh… October 31st. This day is always bittersweet for us at the Johnston home. We love celebrating Halloween all month long. Okay, okay. Admittedly, we start decorating in September but, October is always such a fun month for us. This October was especially fun for us because it was a month of firsts.
As most of you know, we love celebrating Halloween around our house. We love putting out spooky decorations, DIYing our costumes, carving pumpkins and watching scary movies with friends. It’s honestly like pre-Christmas to us. Every year, we look forward to listening to Thriller Thursday and Lore every week in the month of October. We also love watching The Nightmare Before Christmas to get in the spirit of Halloween.
Autumn reminds us that it’s okay to let things go.
If you haven’t listened to this week’s episode, Cody and I interviewed a few people about their deconstruction stories. We offered the opportunity for these people to be able to be open about their faith and the struggles they may have endured getting there. I absolutely loved hearing everyone’s stories of finding who Jesus truly was to them. However, something that I realized was the loneliness that each person had faced while transitioning. I thought about how so often people feel lonely or fear rejection because they are dealing with some internal issues. I want to be the first to say that fear and doubt is completely normal. Everyone has doubted God at times. Everyone has questioned why it seems like bad things only happen to good people. But we have to break the stigma that if you question your faith that you are going to lose your faith.
When we think of ministry, we often think of pastors leading the Church or missionaries in third-world countries. But what does true ministry look like? Despite popular belief, true ministry starts wherever you’re at.