Monthly Archives: December 2015

One Response to A Christmas Poem – The Mystery of His Coming

  1. Thank you for the beautiful poem Kurt. I’m trying to write more poetry this year and it’s always encouraging to read someone else’s fresh verses!

Bubna Christmas Letter 2015

Bubna Christmas Letter 2015

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Christmas Letter 1For most of us, Christmas is a season of joy, for me it is also a time for reflection and remembering.

When I think back about this past year, excitement, challenge, and joy are the words that best describe our lives in 2015.

Excitement . . .

Finalization of the adoption of Abigail Chloe Lorraine Harris into our forever family! Nathan, Jessica, Caleb and Abby are doing great!

FL Abby Adoption CourtAbby Hat

Announcement of Isaac and Tiffany’s first child and newest addition into the Bubna clan (a baby girl due in February 2016)!

FL Tiffany PregFL Ike Tiff

Birth of our 7th grandchild, Annabelle Bubna, to Brooke and Nathan. (Other kiddos here: Adelle, Elijah, and Henry Moses.)

FL Annabelle 2FL Nate B Fam

Celebration in July of forty years of marriage to my best friend (and our anniversary trip to Hawaii in November).

FL Laura MeFL Laura Me Beach

Publication of my fifth book and first children’s book, Pete the Prodigal Pumpkin.

FL Pete 1Page 10 Pete

Graduation of our daughter Michelle from nursing school. Kyle provided incredible support and encouragement to Shelly.FL Michelle GradFL Kyle and Michelle

Challenge . . .

Record-setting windstorm that left us without power for several days, but thankfully, no serious damage.


Serious issue with “closet shrinkage” (went away on vacation and upon my return I found that most of my clothes mysteriously shrank while I was gone, go figure!).

Joy . . .

A growing family that blesses the socks off this old man.

FL Laura and AbbyPDX Kids

Thirteen years serving a great church and looking forward to another thirteen or so.

Eastpoint 1Eastpoint 2

Old friends who remain faithful and loyal. (Pictured here: Kip, Joe, John and Jesus . . . or maybe the longhair dude is Bill!)

Old Friends 1Bill and me

And most of all, continued amazement at the grace and goodness of our Father who loved us so much He sent His son to redeem us.

I hope this Christmas you remember our love for you, and I pray this next year you experience all the gifts God has for you and yours.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,





Kurt & Laura Bubna

Snowy Bridge
An artistic rendition of the view from our bedroom.
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20 Responses to Bubna Christmas Letter 2015

  1. I have always enjoyed your yearly letter! I loved this one because of all the beautiful pictures. You are blessed and a blessing!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family…….

  2. Such a merry Christmas to an amazing man of God who made me understand the importance of grace and mercy. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Thanks for the great Christmas letter. Merry Christmas and lots of love to all the Bubnas. We love you all dearly!

How to Handle the Not-So-Merry Moments of Christmas!

How to Handle the Not-So-Merry Moments of Christmas!

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Christmas 1 Puppy QuoteMy grandson, Caleb, is not a fan of dogs (to put it mildly). You can imagine his frustration when Gramps continues to promise he’ll find a puppy under the tree for Christmas. The last time I teased him about this he said, with great intensity and disgust, “Grandpa, I looooove Christmas, but I don’t love dogs!”

For many of us, there are things we adore about Christmas and other things—and even people—we’d rather avoid.

Perhaps one of the things you dread is the upcoming awkward moments with your less-than-normal family. Your family might not be the Griswolds (think National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), but you have a cousin Eddie who terrifies you or an Aunt Bethany who’s clueless.

What do you do when Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for you?

Let me unwrap a few “gifts” that might help.

First, bring your dancing shoes not your boxing gloves to your family gatherings. In other words, if you go to the event looking for a fight, a fight is what you’ll find.

Christmas 2 Boxing Gloves

If Uncle Harry is a huge Trump fan and you think Trump is a buffoon, avoid engaging in a discussion about politics. Feign ignorance or deafness if you must. Despite what your therapist has told you, it’s sometimes okay to avoid and deflect. A wise person will circumvent an argument rather than pick a fight and potentially damage a relationship.

If your mom tends to get plastered by 7 p.m., leave at 6:59.

If you’re a vegetarian and your family is a herd of carnivores, bring a salad (and zip your carrot hole).

Attitude is everything. Enter into the experience without an adversarial chip on your shoulder and try your best to discover something positive to focus on.

Dance through the time with the delicacy of a ballerina rather than act as if you’re a boxer in the ring looking for a knockout. Everyone will have a better time.

Second, forgive in advance. To forgive is to let go of the offense and to release the offender from your judgment or right for revenge.

If you have past family wounds (and we all do), decide now to forgive—to let those old offenses go. Make the choice to forgive as God has forgiven you.

Forgiving in advance simply means that you go into your perhaps dysfunctional family gathering with the mindset, I have forgiven, and I will forgive. I’m not saying you expect the worst, but you plan ahead of time the way you will respond when wounded.

By the way, you’ll discover that it’s harder to be offended when you’ve already decided to forgive no matter what, and forgiveness is powerful mostly because it sets you free.

Christmas 4 Snowman Forgive

Finally, remember that words matter. Solomon wrote that a soft and gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Of course, tone, body language, and facial expressions matter too, but words can take life or give life. Just because someone lobs a verbal grenade at you doesn’t mean you have to throw one back.

Sarcasm might be funny in a TV sitcom, but in real life, it creates tension and shreds souls.

You and I have no control over what others say to or about us, but we have power over our mouths and a responsibility to respond rather than react when we’re verbally attacked.

Here’s the best response to just about any verbal vomit chucked your way: “Thank you. I’ll take that under advisement.” Seriously, it works.

Thank you is the gentle answer, and far better than any self-protecting defensive retort you might feel compelled to make. Try it and you’ll see.

Christmas bart-655318

As Bart Simpson once said, “You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family.”

So true.

And sometimes, so sad.

But when it comes to family events, you can be much more the master of your fate than you think.

Be humble. Be loving. Be wise.

The alternative isn’t good for you or your family.

Christmas 6 Snow Rom 12

May I pray for you?

Father, family was Your idea. Probably because You knew that it’s in the family unit where we best learn how to forgive and how to love unconditionally. Help us. Heal us. Hold us. And though the Christmas gatherings of our family may not be any different this year than before, make us different. Empower us to be more like Jesus. Amen.

Like what you’ve read here today? Check out all five of my books on Amazon.

The devotional is a perfect Christmas gift for the New Year!

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6 Responses to How to Handle the Not-So-Merry Moments of Christmas!

  1. Kurt, what blessed responses! Thanks. As we engage with family members over the holiday, may God give us the words to say and prayers to pray for each individual in whom the face of the Lord just might be seen if we squint a bit, and if not, may the peace of the Lord prevail. Let’s also pray for each other, for example, “Oh, Lord, don’t let anyone punch our buttons! But if they do, please help us to respond as you’d want us to.” May your post spread the love and draw readers in the highlight on the Christian Poets & Writers blog

Fathers and Sons (Why the tension?)

Fathers and Sons (Why the tension?)

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FS 6 TheoriesThere comes a day, typically sometime early in the preadolescent years, when dad loses his superpowers in the eyes of his son.

The boast, “My dad is stronger than your dad,” becomes a distant memory.

The once unfettered admiration of a son for his father is now tempered with tension.

The respect for a father is no longer granted without question or reservation.

Teen boys start to think that Dad is a control freak who is out of touch with reality.

College kids conclude that they probably have a higher IQ and certainly a greater handle on worldly affairs than their fathers.

Twenty-something young men rarely seek the advice of the aging old man because the generation gap is more like a wall. They think, He wouldn’t understand. Too much has changed since dad was my age.

Then, somewhere around forty or so, perhaps when he has a teenage son of his own, the son starts to mellow and realize, Maybe my dad wasn’t so unenlightened.

Fathers and sons, a challenging relationship in almost every family.

Whether the dad has issues or not, and whether he deserves it or not, most dads struggle from time to time with their sons, and many long for the early days of superpower glory.

FS Perfect Father

I love my boys (both grown men in their 30s). I know they love and respect me. However, sometimes I find myself pondering, Do they admire me? Do they speak well of me? Is there a part of them that wants to emulate me? Do they believe I have any wisdom to offer?

I read the words of Solomon found in the book of Proverbs—mostly written to his son—and I wonder whether the son of Solomon accepted and embraced his father’s wise counsel or not.

It seems that all fathers and all sons experience seasons of turbulence in their relationship. Perhaps this is normal. That being said, with my sons, here’s what I’ve concluded about how to handle the occasional tension between us:

  • I strive to remember that being relational is always more important than being right. Winning an argument or fostering an adversarial relationship by attempting to throw my fatherly weight around doesn’t benefit anyone.

  • I endeavor to listen and to learn from my sons. The day I stop learning is the day I stop growing. Even if I’m certain of the correctness of my position, there’s still almost always something I can discover about myself or my son in the midst of the conversation (heated or not).

FS Relational

  • I will return blessing even when I feel cursed. Jesus set a high standard here and told us to “bless those who curse . . . and to pray for those who mistreat” (Luke 6:28). It’s never okay for me to return evil for evil or disrespect for disrespect.

  • I choose to have hope and to believe the best about my sons. They are good and godly men. Of course, like me, they are far from perfect. But as God the Father is patient, kind, and merciful with me, I will do my best to be like Him with my boys.

Some might argue that it is the responsibility of a father to correct and mold his sons. In the early years, that is absolutely true. However, as a son becomes a young man, the primary role of a father is to support, to model, and to bless.

Fathers and Sons Group
Father, sons and grandsons (Easter, 2011) Proud of all my “boys”!

We must show them our love much more than we tell them, and we bless and best support them by standing through prayer in whatever generation gap that may exist.

When I am gone, and they are much older, I trust my sons will remember an imperfect dad who did his best to love them with the perfect love of the Heavenly Father.

“By faith Jacob, when he was dying,

blessed each of Joseph’s sons,

and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.”

Hebrews 11:21

FS Remember

Like what you’ve read here today? Check out all five of my books on Amazon.

The devotional is a perfect Christmas gift for the New Year!

Some of the eBook versions can be purchased for only $2.99.

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5 Responses to Fathers and Sons (Why the tension?)

  1. Great outline of the challenges we face as dads. My youngest just turned 30 and your comments sound very familiar. One thing that has been key for me, has been the ability to meet regularly with a group of men I can learn from and help. Sometimes just learning what you face is common to all is a help

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