140379651In case you missed it, WestJet’s Christmas Miracle video spread holiday cheer across the Interwebz over the last few weeks. The video shows Santa asking WestJet passengers what they’d like for Christmas, and they asked for everything from socks and underwear to a big screen TV. While the unsuspecting travelers were in flight from Toronto to Calgary, WestJet elves scurried to fill the requests.

As passengers waited at baggage claim, beautifully wrapped packages glided down the carousel. (more…)

178809902Perhaps you’ve seen the clip, or perhaps you’ve heard conversations ‘round the Internet’s water cooler (Facebook). But here’s the scoop in case you haven’t: A few weeks ago comedian Louis C.K. offered a brilliant, albeit colorful, rant on how smartphones are impacting our culture.

“You need to build the ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away. The ability to just sit there.” (more…)

MOS_1920_capeIn case it’s not already on your radar, the highly anticipated reboot Man of Steel releases next week. Most are familiar with who Superman is—understandable considering this cultural icon (and first comic book superhero) has been around for 75 years.

For nonnatives to the comic book world, here’s a quick recap: Young Kal-El is placed in a rocket ship and transported to Earth just before his home planet of Krypton explodes. Taking the name Clark Kent, the child grows to become Superman. With his superpowers, Superman protects the earth and its people.

What might be less familiar to some are the religious analogies drawn from Superman. (more…)

101397504“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Cemeteries filled with faded tombstones and crumbling mausoleums pepper the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. While exploring some of these burial sites (by daylight), I tried to examine the dates on the stones—but time and weather had rubbed away many of the inscriptions. Even these grave markers, perhaps the only memorials dedicated to the people buried beneath them, could not last forever. This experience led me to ponder the futility of life on Earth. (more…)

iStock_000010543550MediumSongs of Joy to Come

Lunchtime conversations at RTB run the gamut from comics to Christian doctrine to the qualities of a good churro. Recently, we shared what our favorite Christmas carol is. Digital Outreach Director Phil likes “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” even if its lyrics are a bit creepy. Copyeditor Elissa admits N Sync’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” is her favorite because it brings back wonderful childhood memories. And blogging cohort Maureen likes “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” In particular, she loves the third verse, which declares that Christ was “born to raise the sons of earth.”

My favorites are “O Holy Night” and “Someday at Christmas.” The latter doesn’t mention the first Christmas specifically, yet both songs hint at the joyful hope we have in Christ. (more…)

FEvery holiday season, a man living in the hills above my hometown lights a star of Bethlehem display. The star is over 20 feet high and, on clear nights, can be seen for miles around. Just a few years ago, an October fire tore through the foothills. My father, a firefighter, told me the house with the star was among the property lost to the flames. But despite personal loss, the star’s maker still lit the beacon that December.

For as long as I can remember that star has marked the beginning of the Christmas festivities. I see it on my way home from work and as I go about my holiday shopping. It is a simple, silent reminder of the hope Christ brought to the world over 2,000 years ago. (more…)

Child's Nativity PaintingWhen the Christmas budget (for some) is virtually zilch and perhaps hearts are heavy over missing a loved one, it’s easy to lose sight of the “reason for the season,” so to speak. Yet often it’s in the difficult times that believers gain deeper insight into the truth of God’s character and care for us. (more…)