Michaelmas: What This Protestant Learned About The Angels

Michaelmas (pronounced mickel-mas) is a feast that Protestants have just about forgotten. And unfortunately, it’s created an impoverished view of angels amongst even devout Christians. When I discovered this feast day, I was skeptical. Angels seemed to be, well, not very important to my day to day faith. My view of angels was primarily focused on their ability to worship. I knew they did other things, such as announce the birth of Christ, but that seemed like a minor and rare occurrence. Music seemed to be their primary focus. I recognized that the devil and his fallen angels were out seeking the ruin of souls, but for some reason really never thought much about what the Heavenly angels were doing other than strumming harps in worship. Michaelmas, the Feast of the Archangels, caused me to reevaluate my ideas in light of Scripture. Michaelmas commemorates the archangels and their role in serving God.  While many people are familiar with the angel Gabriel announcing the impending birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary and then urging Joseph to marry her, we know very little about Michael. Michael, the archangel, has a key role in Scripture, but one I neglected to learn about. He cast Satan out of Heaven.  Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. – Revelation 12:7-9, ESV This passage eye-opening to me. While  I held onto a vague notion of the angels fighting on our behalf, I had gravely underestimated the critical role that God used the angels in to fight the evil one. But that’s not the only time Michael fought on behalf of God’s people. He also battled Satan for the body of Moses. Even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” – Jude 1:9, ESV While I am still wrestling through the theological implications of this, one thing is clear, the angels of the Lord are active. They are not sitting around waiting for a big moment, they are…

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Can We Welcome Jesus? The Importance of Extending Hospitality Towards Children

A few weeks ago, my little brother came over for his first sleepover. He probably won’t remember that day. He probably won’t remember that he tried marmalade sandwiches because that’s what Paddington loves. He probably won’t remember making brownies or having a picnic with the dogs or staying up too late listening to stories. Even if he never remembers the details, I believe it still mattered deeply. It matters because, one day, I hope he looks back and knows from his earliest memories that he was always welcome in this home. And that that welcome he experienced when we was here was a welcome in the Name of Christ that shows him how he is loved by God. Last week, I read a post about someone who was handed a card during worship, thanking them for having their child in church, but asking them to leave so that the child did not disturb the other worshippers. My heart broke for the little ones and their parents, but it also broke for the church and the loss of blessing that they needed. Welcoming little children matters. It sets the stage for how they feel the Church accepts them and for how they feel accepted by Christ. Jesus said when we welcome these little ones, we welcome Him. “And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,  ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.’” – Mark 9:36-37, ESV Loving little ones is one of the primary ways we can show we love Jesus. He told us that the way we treat them, is the way we treat Him. When we are annoyed, when we answer sharply, when we refused to be inconvenienced, we reject the Son of God. They may not remember the details, but little ones remember how we make them feel. And at church above all, they need to know they are loved and wanted. Children are not just the “Church of Tomorrow,” they are a vital part of the Church today.  Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. -Psalm 8:2, ESV We need them in our midst on Sunday mornings. We need them in…

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6 Ways for the Christian Woman to Embrace Hygge

I am a mega fan of hygge, a Danish concept encompassing the mindful, cozy life. Hygge is about intentionally setting an atmosphere focused around simple joys and awareness of the intangible values in life. Anything focusing around warm drinks and cozy-living makes my winter-loving heart happy. In this fast-paced, digital age, hygge calls us to stop and truly look at what is happening. It is a way to consider the lilies of the field and watch the patterns of life to find God’s goodness. As a Christian, I am trying to be more conscious about applying hygge to Biblical principles. Here are 5 ways every Christian woman can embrace hygge: Note: This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small percentage of any purchases made at no additional cost to you. See the footer for my full disclosure. 1. Turn Off the Television and Read More Books. Instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix craze or filling your mind with our 24/7 news cycle, pull yourself away from the screen and crack open a book. Read your Bible. If you don’t already start your morning this way, create a new routine. Instead of beginning your morning with screens, put down your smartphone, pour a cup of coffee, and spend time in the Word of God. This is one of the most life-giving parts of my day. Read more about my Hygge + Faith Morning Routine here. But read other books as well. There is so much wisdom in friends from ages past. I wish could sit down over my morning coffee and hear CS Lewis’s experience with grief, but as he died many years before my birth, I can only discover his wisdom in the words he’s left behind. There are many others, both living and dead, who I can benefit from. There are stories, like the Wingfeather Saga, that reminds me to be brave and face this life with the gifts God has uniquely given me. Whether it be in story form or through non-fiction, embrace the truths told in quality literature. Here are a few book recommendations: 2. Light More Candles (And Pray!) I have written before about using tangible, visible signs (such as prayer beads) to help you stay focused during prayer. While I love my prayer beads, I also love the idea (and very hygge notion) of lighting a candle while I pray.…

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Getting To The Heart Issue: What Allergies Revealed About My Faith

I first met Jennifer Love earlier this year and immediately knew we were kindred spirits. As our friendship grows, the Lord has revealed more and more commonalities that we can use to encourage one another (even in dairy-free living!). Because that’s what Jennifer does, she encourages. Even in the midst of trials and tragedy, she stops and remembers to show others the love of Christ. She sees people and, like our Lord, has compassion on them. I am honored to share her words with you today.  My second son entered the world with joy. He was such a calm baby, unlike all the months he had spent relentlessly kicking the insides of my ribs. But in the next couple of years, as he began to learn to speak, we learned that his insides were in constant turmoil too. He was one of the many who suffer the medical trifecta of asthma, allergies, and eczema, to a severe degree. We have been down a painful and confusing road in our health, and our relationship with God, to gain any victory over these issues. His skin would itch until it bleeds, he spent hours a day getting breathing treatments, and even as a toddler her would tell us that his stomach always hurt. He knew nothing else. For any parent this is their nightmare, to watch your child suffer and after seeing countless doctors to still hold no answers. We had tried gluten-free trials, bowel testing, steroids, ointments, and many tearful blood tests before we were asked to try now an egg-free, dairy-free diet. Dairy! A staple in the diet of a three-year-old! Milk, yogurt, cheese? This was going to be hard. This suggestion came just before we were headed to spend a summer in Germany working at a summer camp. Little did I know how challenging it would be to dine on camp cafeteria food or order and eat out in a foreign country, with only two months of German lessons. My family still laughs at me for trying hard and yet buying “egg noodles” despite my best efforts to shop in German. Under a new pediatrician, my son has also tested allergic egg, peanuts, walnuts. And the cat. I have severe eczema on just my hands and decided to cut all of these out in case they affected me too. I also thought it would help me to sympathize and cook…

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Keeping The Faith During Depression

Isn’t this a peculiar season? I spent half of last week with the windows open, curled up under a blanket, enjoying the fresh Fall air. This morning, my makeup melted off my face and I’m watching a summer storm come across. The unpredictability of the weather in Michigan this time of year means that I can count on nothing. I’m daily asking if I need to bundle and prepare for the winter ahead or enjoy little lingering bit of summer on my hammock with a book. Fall isn’t the only season causes me to fail reevaluate where I stand and what sort of day I’ve been handed.  I haven’t been quiet about my struggle with depression, I haven’t written about it in awhile. For the most part, it is managed well but some days, some seasons, I still wake up wondering what today will bring. Will this be a day when I feel alive or where I struggle to fight through the fog? Battling through depression has taught me many lessons but, perhaps most importantly, it has taught me to confront my existential crises with reality and truth. It’s hard to wake up, again and again, feeling like the psalmist whose closest companion is darkness. And it’s hard to wake up wondering who the companion will be today. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces – Isaiah 53:3, ESV It is easy to become overwhelmed, but it’s crucial that I used these times of despair to take my mind captive to the truths of Scripture. When when I face my depression against the Word of God, I see the lies it tells me and replant in my heart the truth that withstands the storms of life. Depression makes me feel alone, but I am not alone.  Sorrow is an isolating thing to endure. It deceives me into believing I am not alone or that depression means I am less faithful. But the most faithful Man who ever walked the earth was called the Man of Sorrows. If this was one of the names He was given, surely He knows my sorrow intimately. Depression makes me feel abandoned, but I am not abandoned. God has promised that all who call upon His Name shall be saved. Although this life may be hard, I can…

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