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How Not to Have a Blue Christmas: Dane Ortlund

with Dane Ortlund | December 9, 2022
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Feeling lonely, low, or even depressed during this holiday season? Author and pastor Dane Ortlund helps you to gain the genuine hope and guidance that comes straight out of the book of Psalms, and then rejuvenates your soul this Christmas.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Shelby Abbott

    Shelby Abbott is an author, campus minister, and conference speaker on staff with the ministry of Cru. His passion for university students has led him to speak at college campuses all over the United States. Abbott is the author of Jacked and I Am a Tool (To Help with Your Dating Life), Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress and DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard. He and his wife, Rachael, have two daughters and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Feeling lonely, low, or even depressed during this holiday season? Author and pastor Dane Ortlund helps you to gain the genuine hope and guidance that comes straight out of the book of Psalms, and then rejuvenates your soul this Christmas.

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How Not to Have a Blue Christmas: Dane Ortlund

With Dane Ortlund
December 09, 2022
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Dane: We don't wait for the seas of life to get calm before we will then begin celebrating. Now, let's be careful what we mean when we say celebrate. We don't mean we're walking around—smiling, and joking, and laughing all the time—the heart might be breaking; we might be weeping. But actually, we are rejoicing our way forward.

Why?—for the Lord is a great God, and I belong to Him.

Shelby: Somewhat anxious—always authentic—this is Real Life Loading... I’m your host, Shelby Abbott. Our desire with this podcast is to help guide you toward the life-changing power of Jesus for relationships in a constantly-shifting culture. We're called Real Life Loading..., dot, dot, dot. And those three dots at the end of our title describe being in process—we haven't arrived—we're very much in a state of loading. It's my job to be a trusted friend to come alongside you and help you walk closely with God in the humor and hardship of life.

Today, for this special Christmas-themed episode, I'm talking with author and pastor, Dane Ortlund. You'll hear it in our conversation; but Dane is one of those people, who just loves Jesus. I was first introduced to Dane's writing when I heard from a friend about this book called Gentle and Lowly. I bought it on Amazon; and as I read it, that book just blew me away. It was my favorite book that I read that year, and I remember being an evangelist for it to pretty much everyone I knew.

Well, then, I was able to get a copy of his book that's a meditation on every single one of the 150 Psalms; it's called In the Lord I Take Refuge. The Psalms are such a raw and honest reflection of the human experience, and I find myself reading them nearly every day. Dane has done a spectacular job of helping you see each Psalm from an angle that you might not be able to spot as you read it.

The Psalms can speak into our lives during any season, of course; but especially, at Christmas time. Dane and I will be discussing four different chapters of the book of Psalms and how we can process real stuff, like: loneliness, thankfulness, the incarnation of Jesus, and celebration during this Christmas season. I know hearing from Dane will be super encouraging to you, because it was so encouraging to me.


Shelby: Dane, thanks so much for being here with us. What was your heart behind this book in the first place? Why did you decide to sit down and write this?

Dane: Great to talk with you, too, Shelby; thank you, brother.

The heart behind it really was to take:

  • The Psalms, in one hand,
  • And our fallen, struggling, discouraged, fickle up-and-down human hearts, on the other hand,

And connect the two—build some bridges between the two—so that, we are actually [breathing in] drawing in the refreshing life-giving oxygen of the Psalms for our actual lives—not airbrushed Facebook® lives—but our actual lives, where we're at all the time.

Shelby: Right; and the Psalms really, in so many ways, give us permission to act the way that you just described; because we see it splashed across the pages of the Psalms everywhere; right?

Dane: Exactly. I mean, there's no human condition that is not covered by the Psalms. The Psalms is not just for us when we are happy; it's not just for us when we are depressed; it's not just when we need a friend. They cover the whole range of human experience, and human futility, and human suffering. We can find a place in the Psalms that we parachute into, at any point in our lives—and be given God; and be given grace, and help, and life—so the Psalms are very unique in the Bible in that way.

Shelby: As I've read through this book—it not just lives in the Old Testament, in the Psalms—you're continually pointing us toward the good news found in Jesus Christ. I love how you've connected that over, and over, and over again.


Dane: Yes, I’m just trying to follow the direction of the Lord Jesus Himself, who after He had been risen—in Luke 24: had a little Bible study with His disciples, and He said, “Hey guys, didn't you know all the Old Testament”—and even mentions the Psalms, to cover the whole poetry section of the Old Testament—“is about Me?”—not just a Psalm, here or there, that happens to be quoted at length in the New Testament. The whole 150 poem/Psalter finds its fulfillment and ultimate meaning in the Lord Jesus. So I wanted to reckon with that, Psalm by Psalm.

Shelby: Yes, it's a really important reminder to help us remember that, when we're reading the Bible, we're reading it through the lens of Jesus Christ Himself. That's really good.

Okay, we're going to take a look at a few different Psalms you've written about in your book and talk about the connection they have to Christmas. Let's start with Psalms 68; this is verse 5 and 6: “Father of the fatherless and Protector of widows is God in His holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.”

Okay, I want us to think about this Psalm in the context of loneliness. Most people, when they think about Christmas, they think about family; they think about get-togethers; think about being in the context of community. But there's a lot of us, who don't really have those things; and even if we do, we can be surrounded by people and still feel really isolated and alone.

So can you unpack that for us?—like what I just read? Help us understand what God has to say to the people, experiencing loneliness this Christmas season, which is potentially most people.

Dane: Oh, man; you're so right, Shelby. Loneliness is pervasive. It's real; it's profound; I mean, I think really every one of us could say, to some degree, we all experience loneliness. It's not just some little peripheral slice of the body of Christ; loneliness is real.

And there in Psalm 68, where we read about God being the Father of the fatherless and Protector of widows, that's profound consolation for us, here, in this holiday time; because while we do desire—and it's a healthy desire to have human friends; real friends who know us, who are in the foxhole of life with us—we all deeply desire that—when we find ourselves without that, we don't have to be torpedoed, emotionally; because we have the Father of the fatherless and the Protector of widows.

The text goes on to say: “God settles the solitary in a home; He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” So yes, we as believers, Shelby, we will battle loneliness—that is true; that's real; okay?—but we will never do so alone. We have a Father, who has given us His son; and actually, God is within us by His Holy Spirit, testifying, and causing us to call out: “Abba Father”; so we can take fresh refuge in the friendship of God Himself.

And the reason we know we can do that is the holiday season we are in: God sent His own to prove—in the incarnation/in the birth of Christ—to prove to us: “This is how far I will go to ensure you are never finally alone.”

Shelby: Such a great reminder; again, gospel comes back to that.

I recently ran across a person, [with whom] I was talking, sitting at a lunch table with; and she revealed to me that she is a widow, and her husband died 11 years ago.

She said to me, from her perspective: “I know, now, why the Scriptures talk so much, specifically, about orphans and widows; it's become real to me in a new way, and I've found comfort in Christ in a way that I never had before when my husband was still here.” I thought, “Man, that is a sad celebration.” She's experiencing loneliness; and therefore, she's experiencing more of the gospel because of her loneliness.

Dane: I love that. And as we're believers, here, in this holiday season, Shelby—yes, we want to draw strength from our friends in the local church: fellow believers, brothers and sisters in Christ—we need that. We, who are not as that widow—you spoke with alone in that way—need to be moving towards widows, and orphans, and so on.

And we need to keep speaking to one another the truth—and ourselves—drinking down the wondrous truth that God is with us: I mean “Emanuel, God with us.” This is the whole point of what we are celebrating right now. God has proven His solidarity with us. It's not only that He sent His son to die and rise again on our behalf; it is also that He is deeply relational with us; and we can draw strength from his love, moment by moment.

Shelby: Okay; now, I want to talk about thankfulness. Let me read first the few verses from Psalm 138 [verses 1-2] says this: “I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise. I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness…”

We're past Thanksgiving—and obviously, we think about what we're thankful for during that time—but then it seems like, during the Christmas season, the hurry and the busyness, and even the commercialism can prevent us from continuing to feel thankful. In light of what that Psalm says, how can we have an attitude of thankfulness right now?

Dane: So true what you're saying, brother. We come into the Christmas season—and the TV commercials, and the billboards, and our churches, and our friends are all saying: “Hey, let's give thanks,”—a lot of times, that's not where we're at in our lives, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, relationally. We might say: “How in the world am I supposed to be giving thanks to God when I do not feel like I have enough in my life to be thankful for?”

What the Psalms are really doing is training us to give thanks because of who God is and what He proved in Christ at Christmas rather than in my circumstances. We tend to fixate on what is actually happening, circumstantially, in my life, which makes us very easily tend to focus on the bad—the things that are not working the way that we wish they were—and downplay the good. But Psalms come along and say: “There is reason for us to thank our way through life because of what God has done in Christ and in the gospel, which came to fruition and reality in a very earthly way at Christmas.” The Psalms are training us to invert that tendency to focus on the bad and downplay the good.

Psalm 138—as he said, Shelby—"I give thanks to You,”—the psalm opens—"O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise.” Amazing; he says, “I give thanks with my whole heart,”—this is not a footnote to what my heart is doing; it's not an asterisk; this is the center—"I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness...”

  • Not: “I give thanks for how you are causing my life to work out, financially, or circumstantially, or any other way.”
  • But: “…for Your unfailing love, for You have exalted above all things…”

The Psalm goes on: “…Your name and Your Word. On the day I called, You answered me,”—and so on. The Psalm goes on to loop back, time and again, to this repeated, resounding refrain of thanking God.

And what we're celebrating here today, in this holiday season, of course—is we have the supreme reason to be thankful—in God sending:

  • His own Son to be a baby, born in a manger; grow.
  • Live the life we can never live.
  • Die the death we deserve to die.
  • Rise triumphantly.

It all began at Christmas. We can take fresh hope and refuge in Christ and thank our way forward in defiance of what our life, circumstantially, might be like right now.


Shelby: Yes; I like that kind of language that you're using. I think it's so easy, circumstantially, to look around; and then, look at all the areas, where things aren't the way that we want them to be. I heard a pastor say one time: “It's in the times, when you think your life is going the worst, that's when it's time to look around and count your blessings.”

Dane: Oh, I love that; that's so true.

I think what we want to say is:

When life is not working the way that we wish it would—when I’ve gotten laid off; when I've just broken up with a girlfriend; when my job application got rejected; or whatever; when the family relationships are really dysfunctional and painful—one of the things that God is inviting us into, in that moment, is to, more deeply than ever, thank God for what is stable; namely, Psalm 138 says: “His steadfast love and His faithfulness.”

We know that God is using every little thing in our lives—hard or not hard; big or small—to walk us into depth with Him to become the truly radiant and solid men and women that He has destined us to be. When life is hard, let's thank God all the more—not for that hard circumstance—but thank Him, through that hard circumstance, for His unfailing love in the hard circumstance.

[Best of; Worst of]

Shelby: And now, it's time for “Best of; Worst of” on Real Life Loading... This is where I share with you my opinions about some of the best and worst things related to my favorite holiday. Let's start with the positives. These are some of the best ofs related to Christmas.

First, I know there's always strong debates about this online, and everyone has their opinions; but for me, the best Christmas movie that I watch every year is Home Alone. I usually watch Home Alone 2 as well, which is also delightful—but essentially, the same movie—but you can't beat the first one. I'd say a close second, behind Home Alone, is Elf, which I, also, routinely watch every year; but my favorite is always Macaulay Culkin’s Home Alone.

Honorary mention goes to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. A more recent honorary mention goes to Jingle Jangle on Netflix® if you like musicals, and who doesn't like a good musical at Christmas? Those are it; I stand by my opinions here.

Now, I reached out on social media and ran a poll with you all to see what your favorite Christmas movie was. Man, some of you had some interesting picks—I know; I know—a lot of what your choice comes down to is nostalgia; but the Jim Carey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas—yikes!—that movie kind of frightens me when I see it.

All in all, though, here were your top three when I asked on Instagram; we'll start from the bottom:

  • Number three was: Home Alone. Okay; you're allowed to put it in the wrong order.
  • Number two was: It's a Wonderful Life, which is my producer, Josh Batson's, fave; he says he cries at the end of it every single time.
  • Number one was—yes: Elf.

So looks like there's, at least, a bit of overlap between your picks and mine.

Next, the best kind of Christmas tree that we get every year is a Frazier Fir—the needles are soft; the aroma is evergreen bliss—and I wouldn't choose any other variety of tree.

And lastly—for the best ofs—onto the best Christmas albums: this is going to be nearly impossible for me, because I have so many favorites. But I'll tell you the ones that I end up playing multiple times over the season, without getting bored of them. And now, as we go through this, I know you might be thinking, “What in the world is he talking about?” But a lot of this is linked to what I listened to, growing up; so try not to judge. Ready?

  • Amy Grant: Home for Christmas; this is her second Christmas album from the ‘90s. I love it; I play it every year.
  • Alright; next: Michael Bublé’s Christmas. My wife said this album is super boring. I love it, because I love the big band stuff at Christmas time.
  • A more recent pick of mine is also Phil Wickham's Christmas. I love the different takes he has on classic Christmas songs, and I think you will too.

Now, for me, honorary mentions on albums go to:

  • Celine Deon's These Are the Special Times Christmas album. I know what you might be thinking; it’s okay. [Laughter]
  • Lady A’s [Antebellum’s] On This Winter's Night; good country Christmas album.
  • And Josh Groban’s Noel.

Certain moods for certain times; right? Now, if you want to throw rotten fruit at my face after this list, I understand. Just try to channel that rage into something more constructive.

Okay, that was the best ofs; now, come the worst ofs. There's not a lot to be negative about when it comes to Christmas, because I love it so much; but I have a few things on my mind here.

Worst Christmas decorations have got to be those overgrown, blow dryer-powered blow-up pop culture characters people put on their lawns. You know what I'm talking about:

  • Those Darth Vader, holding a light saber, wearing a Santa hat type characters. It's just everything from Sponge Bob, to the Grinch, to Minions.

I mean, don't get me wrong though—I love Christmas decorations on houses—in fact, we always take one night, as a family, to go drive around different neighborhoods to see what people have done in the spirit of the season. It’s just I’m not a fan of those blow-up things.

  • I'm definitely not a fan of a blow-up Will Ferrell, dressed in tights and curly shoes, on someone's front lawn; sorry!

Alright; worst of Christmas lights is when someone strings them up all over their front porch, or the front of their apartment or something; and they're just the color red. That is not super festive—that is terrifying—that's a haunted house; okay? Don't like it at all.

Okay, those are my worst ofs. This has been “Best of; Worst of” Christmas edition on Real Life Loading... Now, back to my time with Dane Ortlund.


Shelby: Dane, I've been really enjoying talking with you about this. I want to get it started again by reading Psalm 132—verses 11 and 12 says this—"The Lord swore to David a sure oath, from which He will not turn back: ‘One of the sons of your body, I will set on your throne. If your sons keep My covenant and My testimonies, that I shall teach them; their sons, also, forever shall sit on your throne.’”

Let's talk about Jesus's incarnation. Now, that's a word that we don't use every single day. It basically means to be made flesh. It describes how Jesus came down to us from heaven and took on human form. Of course, we all know that Christmas is a celebration of His birth, but I think it can be difficult to really know how that applies to us in our day and age. So why is it important to think, specifically, about the fact that Jesus was born or incarnated during this Christmas season?

Dane: What an urgent, and profound, and comforting question and answer, Shelby: Psalm 132: “The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which He will not turn back,” —what a relief—“’One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.’” He is talking about the coming Messiah. “’If your sons keep My covenant,”—ooh, okay; this sounds pretty rough; I don't know—

Shelby: —a little scary.

Dane: —if we're going to do that—“’and My testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.’”

Of course, we are not very good at keeping God's covenant; but there was One who did, there in verse 12 of Psalm 132. “If your sons keep My covenant,”—well, generation after generation in the Old Testament didn't do it—and if God hadn’t sent His own Son, we'd still be not doing it today! But God sent His own Son—with a capital “S”—to keep that covenant on our behalf; and He is sitting on the throne. As we come, simply by faith, looking to Christ, we get what that Psalm says: “’Their sons, also, forever shall sit on your throne.’” We will reign forever and ever.

How did this all begin?—what you opened with, Shelby—the incarnation: Christ coming; He came to us. This is: we're going to die one day, and we will not have exhausted the wonder and the glory of the incarnation. He came to us:

  • So we are not waving for God's attention;
  • We don't have to take a ticket and get in line;
  • We don't have to go through security to get to Him;
  • We don't have to climb a ladder and meet Him halfway in the sky.

He came all the way down. Not only that, He came all the way down to backwoods Bethlehem; He didn't come in a lot of pomp and circumstance. They didn't roll out the red carpet for Him. He came to losers like me; He came to the distraught and distressed. He came all the way down, into the mud and misery of our existence, and joined us there.

Luther loved talking about the incarnation in terms of—it's kind of scandalous—but in terms of a prince going and becoming a worm in the mud to save the worms. We are made to the image of God—we don't want to impugn that true doctrine; we're not worms—but to liken God, Himself, coming and joining us; actually, that's not an unfair analogy. So we are, right now, free to enjoy and celebrate Christ coming all the way down to us.

Shelby: Yes; there was a pastor—at a Christmas service that I went to/Christmas Eve service—he said that: “Christ came down, down, down, down,”— he kept repeating—"down, down, down, down, down.” It left us, specifically, not one stair to climb to get Him. The way he emphasized that—over, and over, and over again—it reminded me of that, as you were speaking of it.

It's such a beautiful thing to think about during this season—because it's not just this like idea; it's not just this/even this song that we might sing at Christmastime—it's real. Christ came down to us, and we [can] celebrate that in this season. He was the perfect person to sit on that throne, because there's nobody worthy to be able to do that. But Jesus has done that for us.

Dane: Exactly brother; amen.

And so let's enjoy the good food, and the eggnog, and the gifts, and the lights, and everything else; but through it all, not let the cosmetic celebrations distract us from what you just said: “The actual point of what we are celebrating right now.”

I wonder if, as Christians, in our time, we tend to focus—I think this is probably true in my own life—more on the crucifixion and resurrection. I can neglect the incarnation; but this is equally glorious and just worthy of, a lifetime, of pondering and worshiping God over.

Shelby: So the last thing I want to talk to you about, Dane, is celebration. Psalm 95 says this: “Oh, come let us sing to the Lord. Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Oh, come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker, for He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture; the sheep of His hand.”

You know, that just gives us all kinds of encouragement to praise, and worship, and really celebrate. The Christmas season itself can feel like one big celebration, but we know it's for a very specific purpose. My question to you is: “Why should we celebrate during Christmas time?”

Dane: Oh, I love this Psalm: “Oh, come let us sing to the Lord. Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation,”—I'm a Presbyterian, so I got to keep learning this—"Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving. Let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise for the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods.”

The text always gives us reasons—not just: “Hey, you; go celebrate God”; no, “For here's why: ‘The Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His, also. The sea is His for He made it. His hands formed the dry land,”—just one or two verses more here—"O, come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker, for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.”

So Shelby, let's you and I agree together—and all those, who are listening—and we're going to celebrate our way forward this holiday season, no matter what. You know, the Psalms do not let us respond and say, “Well, I don't have really as many reasons, at this season in my life, to celebrate; so I'll pass; maybe, next year.” Psalm 34 is similar; it opens up: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Of course, that Psalm is written at a time when David is in profound adversity; so we don't wait for our circumstances to get smooth/for the seas of life to get calm before we will then begin celebrating.

Now, let's be careful what we mean when we say “celebrate.” We don't mean we're walking around, smiling, and joking, and laughing all the time. The heart might be breaking, and we are celebrating. We might be weeping; but actually, we are rejoicing our way forward. Why?—“For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods,”—Psalm 95 says. He is—not only is He a great God out there—but then, verse 7: “He is our God,”—that great God is mine. And more wondrously: “I belong to Him; He's my shepherd,”/"I'm the sheep of His hand,”—there I am in His hand. Everything that gets me has to go through Him first.

So we are rejoicing our way forward/celebrating our way forward right now. Of course, Shelby, we're doing that here, in this holiday season, because of what Christmas represents; namely, God gave us a single glorious matchless reason to celebrate our way forward when He came in the person of a little gurgling baby. “Good news of great joy,”—the angel said in Luke, Chapter 2—"Good news of great joy”—of celebration.

Let's not let the adversities of life weigh us down so much that we are not—also, at the same time, and even more deeply—celebrating our way forward.

Shelby: Yes; I think Paul Tripp had said, at some point—another author who we are familiar with, undoubtedly—he said the church should be full of sad celebrants. I like that you said that intentionally—it's not like: “Hey, we put on a happy face and pretend like we're not sad in those moments.”

Dane: —how awful.

Shelby: It’s that/yes, it's a fake way to live, and it's an inauthentic way to live; because you can't just put a layer of celebration over stuff.

I like that this Psalm specifically unpacks—it helps us to get to a point, where/kind of what you were saying at the beginning—we like recoil a little bit and go: “Okay, settle down; is anybody really that happy?” But I like how you helped us to see the reality of that.

“How can a person, in this season, who might be feeling deep pain, sorrow, sadness, push through and know that the Lord is with them—and not to get to the other side—but to know that God is with them and celebrate in that process?” Does that make sense?

Dane: Oh, my God; absolutely. What an absolutely urgent question. A couple of thoughts come to mind:

  • Number one: Get a Bible.
  • Number two: Get up tomorrow morning, with your coffee and your favorite chair in an undistracted way, and open it up; and open your heart up, accordingly.
  • Number three: As you inhale the Bible, exhale prayer. Breathing involves both, and communion with God involves both. He speaks to us in the Scripture; we speak to Him in prayer.
  • Number four: Get a friend of the same gender, and open your heart up, and tell them where you're really at. That is profound and powerful strengthening for us in this time; say, “Hey, I'm in this Christmas season, and I do not feel that I can celebrate my way forward; and here's why...”

And if you are someone—and someone else is saying that to you—your response to them should not be advice; your response should be:

“Let's pray.” You listen to it; you let them be heard; and then, you don't fix them, even if you think it's blindingly obvious what advice you should give them. You pray.

You can actually exacerbate the loneliness if you try to tell them how to fix it. You say, “Let's pray.” “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed,”—James 5:16—not “Confess your sins to one another, and then counsel one another.” Now, pray for one another that you may be healed; so get a friend.

  • Fifth, and finally: We will not move forward in celebration in this time if we are not part of a basically healthy local congregation that preaches the gospel. That's a big part of it as well.

No secrets, Shelby—just the things that everyone already knows—being sure that we operate in that way.

Shelby: Yes, Christianity is not, at all, a solo thing. The more we remind ourselves of that, the better off we'll be. I think it was actually your dad, Ray, who had said, “Everybody needs someone in their life with whom they can be 100 percent transparent about how they're doing.” And that person—not shy away from that—they lean into it and say, “Hey, I love you; you're accepted. You're full in Christ Jesus. But thank you for being honest. Let's get on the solution side of this and move through it.”

We all need to be honest. Christmas, sometimes, can be so about the fake dressing of everything. Things are really small in our lives, but Jesus is really big. The fake dressing won't feel like it's one of those things we have to put on in order to make Christmas a special celebratory season.


Shelby: Dane, deeply grateful for you and thankful for what the Lord is doing through you and your ministry.

Dane: What an honor and a joy to talk with you, Shelby. Thank you.

Shelby: Dane was one of the most kindhearted people I've ever had the chance to interview, and you could tell his passion for Jesus, the gospel, and the Scriptures just spills over into everything he talks about. I loved getting some time with him for this special Christmas episode of Real Life Loading... And I'm thankful that you joined me and Dane in our conversation today. I hope it was a gift to you as much as it was for me.

If this episode with Dane Ortlund was helpful for you, I'd love for you to share today's podcast with a friend; and wherever you get your podcasts—wherever that might be—it can really advance what we're doing with Real Life Loading... if you'd rate and review us. It's legit easy to find us on our social channels: just search for Real Life Loading…, or look for our links in the show notes.

I want to thank my producers:

  • Josh—every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings—Batson.
  • And Bruce—[whispering] “I like to whisper, too”—Goff.

I'm Shelby—"Uncle Frank, is this a joke?”—Abbott. I'll see you back next time on Real Life Loading....

Real Life Loading… is a production of FamilyLife®, a Cru®ministry.

Helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.

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