The Year Of Small Expectations

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16 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    Orthodox literature is all about “Ok, now you are a Christian, it’s time for you to SUFFER!”

    As a matter of fact, my life is so pleasant, and always has been, that I sometimes worry that God has forgotten about me.

    A good theology of suffering, that’s what’s needed.

  2. Michael says:


    That’s why I wrote this…I really believe it’s a huge theological gap in Western Christianity…

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    We make the sign of the Cross, we see the Cross on the altar, the Cross is traced in oil on our forehead at baptism, in ashes on Ash Wednesday, in oil again at our death… but we still find it hard to know what the Cross means. The Incarnation means that God knows…

  4. Laura Scott says:

    Michael, at the risk of a whole bunch of eye rolls, I need to tell you that your tenacity in believing has been one of the things that has helped to hold my faith together in what was one of the worst years for my faith ever. That particular storm is over and I can get back to believing in the goodness of God. Thank you for helping to teach me how to hold on.

    Praying for you and Miss Kitty.

  5. Michael says:


    Thank you…if it helped, it was worth it.
    May we all experience the goodness of God in the land of the living…

  6. Michael says:


    I think perhaps the dearth of teaching on the Incarnation actually hides the full meaning of the Cross…

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    I have to agree with you. When we reduce the Incarnation to a series of doctrinal bullet points, we miss the meaning…

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan puts this in the mouth of Mr. Valiant-for-Truth, “My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder.”

  9. Em says:

    I’ve had to come to terms with how much of me is married to this world… I can’t say that i’ve overcome this. There is a need to function responsibly in this world’s commerce, after all, or so it seems to me…. But truth be told. a whole lot of mortals have gone before me and, i suspect, this world’s trial and tribulation (and rewards) seems very irrelevant to them now.
    Lord Jesus, please be my reality… Make the incarnation my anchor….

  10. pslady says:

    I am praying for you Michael…
    for your surgeries to be successful…
    for Miss Kitty to be well
    2019 is starting off rocky..
    We have to put down our little 13 year old doggie tomorrow & I am heartbroken
    My body needs healing…BUT…
    Thank you for your words…many times they have been like a balm unto my soul.

  11. Eric says:

    Like Xenia, I consider how little I have suffered and how good my life has been. Maybe a combination of God’s goodness to me (particularly through my parents) and my own choices too?

  12. Eric says:

    My plans for 2019 are the same as my plans for 2018.
    Not as in, I’ll keep on doing (whatever)
    As in, I had a plan for 2018 and achieved little of it, held up by other things that occupied my time.
    I really hope I’ll get there this year.

  13. Michael says:

    My heart goes out to you…tomorrow will be awful, but you will see your beloved doggie again.
    Thank you for the kind words…you’ll both be in my prayers.
    I’m in the cat hospital now with Miss Kitty…

  14. JoelG says:

    “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”

    May the Lords Presence strengthen the broken-hearted here and throughout the world.

  15. Laura says:

    Love your heart and writings. Your words are consistently encouraging and hopeful. May we ever set our hearts toward eternity. Happy New Year!

  16. Em says:

    I hate the devil, his pride, the need to destroy God’s creation… May our God strengthen those who are hurting, be merciful to Miss Kitty, guide Michael’s doctors and comfort pslady.

    It was a good Jan one here even tho we woke up to the power out in our valley and a temp of 26 degrees, missed the Rose Parade, no phone service yet (Frontier says maybe Friday), but PUD got the power back on by 1:30, so watched Udub humbled by Ohio… My pain is tempered by the fact that i am a fan of an Ohio congressman (who is probably anathema here ? )

    And our cold hills and the icy river declared the glory of God today

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