The Deeply Rooted Blog

Kids sports teams are a guaranteed source of humor. From lanky six-year-olds in baseball pants and cleats to round three-year-old bellies aimlessly running around the soccer field, sports teams for little ones are always colorful experiences.

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It’s the New Year and I’m having to put aside the strong desire that always accompanies this time of year to organize closets, purge toys and old clothes, and paint a few rooms. It’s particularly tempting to me this year as we are anticipating the arrival of our third child in our new (to us) home.

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When we tell the Christmas story, we often begin like this: “Once, there was a girl named Mary.” Or “Once upon a time in a manger.” Even the gospels open with things that happened here on earth—the birth of John, the words of Isaiah, or the genealogy of Jesus’ family. Only the gospel of John backs all the way up and starts the Christmas story right at the very beginning.

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The lights are up. The halls are decked. Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha is back. And once last week I ate fudge for dinner. All this can mean only one thing, the holidays are here! And with them comes the quintessential question of the season . . . Have you been good this year? 

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Our family has a tradition of drinking hot chocolate during the holiday season. Over the years, we have stepped away from the packaged cocoa and have developed our own recipe for the Ultimate Hot Chocolate. This hot chocolate can be enjoyed cozied up on the couch with your loved ones, or at a fancy dinner party and by adding a few extra ingredients you can transform the original recipe into something unique and incredibly flavorful.

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America is a beautifully diverse nation and our Thanksgiving tables do well to reflect that. However, the feast shared by believers in the Lord Jesus really ought to look the same. I’m not talking about the mouth-watering forkfuls that fill our bellies, but the sweeter-than-honey food that will fill our souls—Jesus Christ.  

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When posed with the task of defending miracles, few Christians initially consider science; most atheists overturn every scientific stone they can lift in search of squirmy little evidences that God cannot exist, and that Jesus—whom they begrudgingly admit existed—possessed little more than snake oil, parlor tricks, and a great personality. But not Eric Metaxas.

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It snowed early that year, before Thanksgiving even. Every morning the skies were bleak and cold, and the trees had long given up any pretense of fall. Those frozen mornings when the sun didn’t have the will to shine brightly enough through the thick gauze of gray were reflected in the pages of my journal. My internal landscape seemed a mirror image of the early morning views out of the windows of my home. The bitter emptiness robbed the trees of leaves, the skies of blue, and my heart of hope. 

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Is there any subject scarier than death? I don’t mean the death that’s played up in the movies or sugar-coated in story books. I mean death in real life. Am I the only one who struggles with a fear of death? I don’t think so. Of course, it doesn’t help that we live in a culture which, in a sick twist of irony, delights in force-feeding us death daily in headlines and sound bytes, but is too afraid to talk intimately and honestly about the subject. It’s too vulnerable. It’s too painful.  

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We carry our heavy silence from last night's fight after the kids were tucked into bed. We carry the bladed words ripping through the one we swore to love and cherish. We carry the silence of a marriage in its death throes. We carry such things to church. 

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