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Article by Kelli Hamann
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The Waterfall: Advent Day 22

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I live in the most beautiful state in the union: Washington. I bet you thought I was going to say Hawaii, didn’t you? Or maybe Florida, California, or somewhere else where it’s warm most of the year? Well, all I have to say is that Washington rivals every one of those states in so many … Continue reading The Waterfall: Advent...

December 28 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Not the End of the Story: Christmas Day

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Stockings. Candy canes. Hot cocoa. Breakfast casseroles. Squealing children waking groggy parents long before dawn. Coffee–LOTS of coffee. Piles and piles of torn wrapping paper and ribbon. Long-awaited dreams fulfilled. Joyful surprises. Food, food and more food. Pajamas all day long. Christmas movies and snuggles. People, stop...

December 26 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Maybe Christmas Means Something More: Advent Day 24

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I love it that the classic tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is still being revamped and retold since it was first published in 1957–sixty-two years ago! Why? Probably because its message still has relevance to us today: Christmas isn’t about stuff, food, or winning the prize for the best light show; it’s about something...

December 25 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Dependable Love: Advent Day 9

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I first met Jesus because I love chocolate. Yup. I was playing contentedly on a friend’s jungle gym one day when a couple of neighborhood kids suddenly accosted me, saying, “Kelli! You gotta come to this lady’s house ’cause she’ll give you an M & M! And then she’ll give us an M & M …...

December 24 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love Keeps Tapping You on the Shoulder: Advent Day 23

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I have some friends who are much better at being good friends than I am. You know the type: They text regularly just to let you know they’re thinking of you; they remember things about what’s going on in your life and ask you how those things are going; they’re the first to call when … Continue reading Love Keeps Tapping You on...

December 24 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love Always Wins: Advent Day 20

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Amazing factoid about me: My husband and I have been married for (drumroll, please) almost 34 years! I know–we’re rockstars, right? We’ve beaten some HUGE odds, and we’re pretty darn proud of ourselves. And even better–we are still madly, sickenly in love with each other, more and more each day. Yes, really. We often get...

December 21 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love Fights for You: Advent Day 18

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Warning: I’m going to give you an ear worm right now: “We all need somebody to le-e-ean on.” These words, so soulfully recorded by Bill Withers many decades ago, are well known all around the world–and still true today. Who is your go-to person (or people), the one(s) you lean on, count on, confide your … Continue reading...

December 21 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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His Love Brings Joy: Advent Day 17

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 One of the things I love most about teaching first graders is how excitable they are. I discovered very quickly that if I get excited–or make them think I’m really excited–about what I want to teach them, they jump right on board and instantly engage. And everything is a big deal to them, whether it’s … Continue...

December 21 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love Doesn’t Strut: Advent Day 19

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I was once a pretty good strutter. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but in high school I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, not because I was taking a special class before school started, not because I was doing chores, not because I was praying for my family or my classmates, … Continue reading Love Doesn’t...

December 20 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love That Offers Second Chances: Advent Day 11

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 My husband and I start every Christmas season by watching the 1971 musical version of Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. Even though neither of us really likes musicals most of the time, this particular version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is so powerfully done that it sucked us in, and it’s become a yearly...

December 19 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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His Love Buries Your Past: Advent Day 10

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Love can drive us to do some crazy things sometimes. I love hearing stories about outrageous marriage proposals, people risking their lives to save loved ones, and regular Joes stepping in to help perfect strangers in an emergency. What makes us do these things? I would suggest that people who express this kind of outrageous …...

December 19 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love That Calls You Home: Advent Day 7

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 As a child of the 60’s, I grew up sans modern technology and everything that comes with it. I remember pretending to talk to my friends on devices like the ones we saw on Star Trek, the closest things to cell phones we’d seen. When I got older and attended the UW (Go Dawgs!), I … Continue reading Love That Calls You...

December 19 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Getting Close: Advent Day 5

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I teach first graders, and I love, love LOVE what I do! Besides being a very rewarding job, I have multiple opportunities every day to get closer to God as I navigate the complexities of being Christ-like in all situations, helping every individual student grow, and all the while feeling like I’m playing a rousing …...

December 17 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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He Runs to You: Advent Day 8

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Even if you’re not really a “churchy” person, you’ve probably heard the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible. You know, the story of the kid who demands his inheritance long before his dad is dying, leaves town, spends everything he has on partying and women, then has to settle for a job feeding …...

December 17 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love Gets Its Hands Dirty: Advent Day 13

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 One of the greatest–yet simplest–lessons I ever learned about the love of Jesus came from a diaper-clad toddler. No joke. One sweltering summer day, my husband and I were sipping ice water with some colleagues as we tried to have a conversation above the roaring fans set up in our front room. This was during …...

December 16 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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No Offense: Advent Day 14

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Confession: Sometimes when I get really upset and can’t understand why terrible things are happening to me, I rant at God. I figure that if He knows everything, He already knows my thoughts, so I may as well say them out loud. I’m not saying I think it’s the right thing to do, I’m just … Continue reading...

December 16 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Love Breaks Barriers: Advent Day 15

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 I speak some Spanish, and I love the chance to practice with anyone I can. Usually these conversations involve long pauses for think time, a few confused looks when I say something completely ridiculous, and a bit of miming when words fail me. But there is one thing that speaks loud and clear, no matter … Continue reading Love...

December 16 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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It’s the Simple Things: Advent Day 16

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 Truth: Someone mistook me for Jesus once. And I emphasize: ONCE. One dark, chilly spring morning I woke up early to get my bearings before the day started. At the time, my husband and I were running an inner city ministry in Portland, OR, and not long after the rooster crowed, our revolving door ushered … Continue reading...

December 16 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Yes, He Really Loves You: Advent Day 6

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 My husband and I ran an inner city ministry in Portland for at risk kids several years ago, and we love telling our stories of lives that were changed by the love of God during those years. People came to us with all kinds of reasons for needing help: mentoring, money, food, homework, bills, advice–but … Continue reading...

December 14 2019

Article by Kelli Hamann
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Woot! No Condemnation!: Advent Day 12

Tim marshall 114623 175x92 As I start every new school year, I try very hard to not discuss my class list with other teachers who are familiar with my individual students. It’s tempting to want to have a little inside information in order to mentally prepare and strategize, but I have the eternally optimistic view that kids who have … Continue...

December 13 2019