I have a dear friend in California who is sending inspirational scripture with music and devotionals each day during this season of Advent. Today she sent a link to a song that started my day with a smile.
The song, composed in the minor key, is perfect for this season. Do you know it? The choir and soloists are superb:
“Come to set us free, come to make us your own. Come to show the way to your people, your chosen. Open our lives to the light of your promise. Come to our hearts with healing, come to our minds with power, come to us and bring us your life.”
For me, Advent is the season of Adventure – a season of reaching out to others in love while we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child each Christmas.
I know many of my readers are people of other faiths, and I respect your right to worship the One God in your chosen way. But, I hope you feel a sense of greater love, more generous giving, and the promised peace during this holiday time of the year. I hope the drama, the stress, and the conflict are minimized in your life… and you can find JOY in the hustle and bustle of the season.
Gracious God, Be with my Word Press friends this season. Bring them JOY and PEACE. Help them live with compassion and reach out in love. In His name I pray, Amen.
Happy Second Sunday of Advent, my friends! It’s the Sunday devoted to the subject of JOY.
Last year at this time, as I looked forward to Christmas and New Years, I was thinking about what to give for presents. I also gave thought to what I was wishing for… what I was expecting for Christmas and for the year to come. I posted this wish for 2019:
Joyfully, I can report that we have been blessed with good health and a wealth of friends and loving family, and blissful days. Not EVERY day was perfect, of course, – we all face challenges from time to time – but I am eternally thankful – daily for the JOY and peace and the love that are mine.
And now we are back in that holiday season again – looking forward to Christmas and the new year. As a congregation of worshipers, we all were drawn into that expectant mood today.
Here are my sermon notes. (If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes poetically as I listen to the sermon each Sunday.)
Today in church, Pastor Steve Hundley’s message was titled, “What Are You Expecting?”
What are you expecting for Christmas? Reindeer on your rooftop or Santa Claus Coming down your chimney? Better reset your sights because…
Clyde came dressed up as Santa. He was a crusty old guy, And he looked like Ghandi. But the problem was, he was high.
Clyde was high on Moonshine. He was a jolly old soul, But I was not impressed. Clyde was far from my expected goal.
I was expecting the real Santa, And I knew Clyde wasn’t he. Like expectations of Santa, The world is waiting expectantly…
For the birth of a Savior King, And instead here comes a baby, Born in a lowly stable. He’s not the King He’s s’posed to be!
John the Baptist predeicted The coming of this Royal King. He spoke of confession and judgement. He told the world about everything…
God’s prophets of old had proclaimed, “A Savior of Priestly stock would come.” John was so convincing, folks thought He might in fact be God’s promised Son.
But John assured them Jesus was The Savior King they’d waited for. Even though Jesus was loving and kind, Not the Leader with sword. They wanted more…
More of what they had expected. “Are you really the One?” they inquired. “Don’t look elsewhere; just see what I’ve done – Go,” Jesus said. “Go and be inspired.”
Jesus reminded them that He was Indeed doing what Isaiah said: “The blind will see; the deaf shall hear; The lame will walk. Believe I AM Christ. GOD IS NOT DEAD!”
Have a Wonderful Sunday! I hope you are expecting the Risen Christ! He’s coming again, you know.
What do you think might be three things you need in life?
You NEED food, air and water. But do you need to impress? Is recognition one of your needs? That’s linked to that need to impress.
I found this quote some time ago and saved it. Sorry I don’t know who said or wrote it:
“To thrive in life you need three bones. A wishbone. A backbone. And a funny bone.”
I saved the wish bone from our Thanksgiving turkey! I’m waiting for the right person to share it with.
I’ve got the funny bone – carry it with me always.
Think I’ll borrow that backbone up there! (Actually mine is pretty sturdy!)
How about you?
It’s been a busy season in these six days of December so far. What have you been up to?
Today I invited a friend come to our house mid-day, and she helped me decorate our Christmas tree.. It looks great, don’t you agree?
Last night we helped my friend, Bernice, celebrate her 87th birthday. Take a look at her. Don’t you agree she could pass for 70?
This morning I baked cookies to donate to our Madison County Library. They gave them to people who came by the Library during this afternoon’s “Christmas Stroll” in Ennis.
After baking cookies, I met with our Madison County Writers’ Group – and we spent a delightful hour and a half together. We started with a “Free Write” on the topic we drew from a hat… My Favorite Season. We had 15 minutes to create an essay, poem, or some kind of reflection on the topic. This is what I wrote:
My Favorite Season
Seasons come and seasons go There are winters, summers, falls and springs; But the season that appeals most to me Is the one that stays because of what it brings.
It brings my favorite music and stunning colors. It brings loving generosity and untold joys. It prompts people throughout the world To open hearts with gifts for needy girls and boys.
The trees all sparkle with snow and lights. The houses hang wreaths and let candles glow. The bells ring out to announce the reason For my favorite season: the birth of Christ, you know?
The season brings out the best in us. It helps us open wide our arms in love To show gratitude for the gift He promises Eternal life with our God above.
After Writers’ Group, I went home to do the Christmas tree decorating before going to meet with the “Ennis Ringers.” We had our picture on the front page of the local paper this week. Can you see me front and center back row?
The Madisonian, our local newspaper published a nice article about us this week. I am first in the picture below. My bells are the smallest ones (notes of F and G ring out when I am in the right spot in the music).
I would post a video so you can hear us, but for some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to include it here. I’ve posted videos in the past, so I don’t understand the glitch.
Oh well, maybe it will let me post the video tomorrow. As the news article indicates, the “Ennis Ringers” will play again this Sunday at our church.
Yesterday I had fun at our annual Madison Valley Woman’s Club Christmas luncheon. My buddy, Lucy Ennis can be seen here in red with one of our new members who is an activities director at our local nursing home.
The ladies from the nursing home really went all out with their Christmas costumes. There’s evidence of that “Funny Bone” we all need!
Below is one of my favorite people, Bev Claussen. Her reindeer antlers light up and blink!
Remember a second bone we all need is a “Back bone.” Our Woman’s Club Executive Board is the “back bone” of this very active group of ladies. They provided a delicious lunch for the more than 50 ladies who showed up for this event. (Remember, we are a community of only 1,000 residents in Ennis – so this is quite a lively organization!).
Besides the back bone and the funny bone, we need a wish bone, right? And we need food, air and shelter. Here you see the food; earlier you saw the butterfly that adorns the air we breathe. And in my home, with the tree decorated, you witnessed my beautiful “shelter.” What about the wish bone?
Before she blew out her candles. my friend, Bernice made a wish.
I don’t know what her wish was, but I know my wishes are for you:
May you always have all the good food, clean air, and lovely shelter you need. May you always have a back bone, a funny bone, and a wish bone. And May the bells of joy ring in your land and bring you peace…
Many of you know that I spend my first hour each day up in my sanctuary.
If you’ve been a follower for awhile, you may remember that one of the devotionals I read each morning is:
And I have posted in the past a list of “Take-Aways” for each day of the month. It’s been a few months since I did that. I did not post my list for November yet. Today would be a good day to do that. Perhaps you can find this list helpful. Adopt one a day, and take that message with you as you walk this rocky road called LIFE. Let it help you focus on a direction God is calling you.
November’s Take-Aways from Daily Guideposts
Remember Incredible Moments
Really “See” People
Choose Peace – Even in Chaos
Bee still to Hear/Feel God’s Grace
Keep Faith in Love
Accept God’s Extravagant Grace
Let Children Move, Moo, Climb & Clamber
Keep Your Faith Childlike
Always Give Your Best Effort
Let Your Life Praise God
Live in Grateful Peace
Unclog Your Life; Clean Up!
Bee Mindful of Relationships
Maintain Your Body
Know “Retirement” is a Misnomer
Use Your Reservoir of Love
Know God as Your Guide
Speak Only Tender, Kind Words
Hope Always in Him
Keep Eyes and Heart Open
Take Time to Feel God’s Presence
Always Find Joy in Work
Bee Still and Listen
Let Space Be Transformed
Add Exercise To Your Routine
Thank God For Your Many Blessings
Know God’s Working in You
Look into The Hearts ❤ ❤
I hope “A Thought for Each Day” will inspire you to be your best self, the person God made you to be, every day this month… and create a thoughtful habit for the New Year.
By the way, which of those “Take Aways” will you adopt for today?