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Advent believers not only believe that Christ came, advent believers believe and live with the hope that He will come again.
Quotes for Advent
Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift— indescribable, inestimable, incomparable inexpressible – precious beyond words. ~ Lois Lebar
The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree. It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart. ~ Anonymous
The spirit of Christmas needs to superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world. ~ Stuart Briscoe
This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ. ~ Frank McKibben
“Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things—the weather, human relationship, the economy, the political situation, and so on—will get better. Hope is trust that God will fulfill God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom.” ~ Henri Nouwen
“Sometimes it seems as though we spend our lives waiting. Daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, worrying over a medical test, preparing for the birth of grandchild-our days are filled with anticipation and anxiety over what the future holds. As Christians, we too spend our lives waiting. But we are waiting for something much bigger than a trip, bigger even than retirement or a wedding: We are waiting for the return of Jesus in glory. Advent heightens this sense of waiting, because it marks not only our anticipation of Jesus’ return, but also our remembrance of His arrival into our world – The Word made Flesh. ~ Anonymous
“God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.” ~ C.S.Lewis
“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more …” - Dr. Seuss
“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.” ~ Edward Hayes
“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” ~ C.S.Lewis
The Advent Conspiracy . . . We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don’t want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we “missed the moment”. Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively. - It means turning Christmas upside down.
Let’s Talk: What are you doing this year to prepare your heart for Jesus?
You probably wouldn’t notice it if you met me, but it’s there.
Like all hip injuries it bothers me more on some days than it does on others. But that’s okay, the days it bothers me I’m reminded of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
Do you walk with a limp?
If you’ve ever had fear bring you to your knees for a night of intense prayer, a night of wrestling with God, you just may walk with a limp, too.
Jacob was returning home to a brother who hated him, who had threatened to kill him, and he was afraid. He began the night in prayer:
O Lord, You told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And You promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness You have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. Genesis 32:9b-11
After this initial prayer, Jacob got up and moved his family to a place he hoped would be safer for them.
And when Jacob was all alone, Genesis 32:24ff says that “he wrestled with ‘a man’ until the dawn began to break.When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket.”
Fear can do that -
It can make us wrestle through exhaustion unwilling to give up.
When things like illness, infertility, broken relationships, financial hardships, unemployment–life storms loom large, dark, and threatening . . . and we wrestle.
Like Jacob refusing, “I will not let go unless you bless me.” v.26
It doesn’t say Jacob insisted on a promise of protection or prosperity for his family.
He asked for a blessing.
And in v. 29 it says, “Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”
And the blessing – seeing God face to face.
Prayer Wrestling – Blessed and Limping
Jacob cried out to God so intently that it caused a wrestling match of prayer that ended with a blessing and a limp.
V. 31 – “And he (Jacob) was limping because of his hip.”
I limp. Do you limp?
I’ve spent nights in pleading prayer. Sometimes like Jacob whose brother, Esau, forgave and embraced him the Lord has answered my prayers with a huge “yes.” Sometimes the answer has been “not now.”
But the blessing – the blessing is always seeing the face of God. Feeling His presence. Knowing that He invites our prayers even when they’re filled with fear, maybe especially when they’re filled with fear.
Because it is in those moments of wrestling prayer that we feel Him most. When He touches us and blesses us . . . and we limp.
We limp to remember and share the blessing of hope found in God’s presence.
I have to admit I never look forward to putting up our Christmas trees, but once they’re up and decorated I love them and hate to see the season end. So, I thought it might be fun to give you a peek through our front door and show you our trees; plus a few ideas on how you can personalize your Christmas tree and make it shine.
This tree stand in our kitchen – we leave it up all year. It looks like a Colonial feather tree and we keep Primitive ornaments on it. My favorite part – I never have to take it down or put it back up.
I found this Family Photo Christmas Tree at Better Homes and Gardens. Do you put family photos on your tree? You can hang them in tiny ornament frames, or make your own frames using scrapbooking supplies.
While getting my hair cut the other day, my stylist shared that she loves her white tree and has no idea what color ornaments and lights she’ll use this year. This Whimsical Tree at HGTV would look great in any modern colorful space. I love the bright atypical colors on this tree.
I’ve spent many Christmas celebrations in the north woods of Michigan; so, this North Woods Christmas Tree – from Midwest Living brought back lots of memories. Magnolia sprigs, pinecones, and knotty pine walls . . . add a beautiful fireplace and you have a taste of home.
Maybe snowmen and sledding is not your idea of holiday bliss,. If you’d prefer warm gentle breezes and sandy beaches, then this Sparkling Starfish Tree at Better Homes Garden is for you. Simple green flowers, starfish, and sand dollars give this tree that Florida feeling.
Whether you need your tree to be mobile or not, this is a beautiful way to show off a small tree. Thanks to HGTV for sharing this fit anywhere idea.
This is our new Christmas Tree. We like a more traditional look – so, we use white lights, deep red, gold, and white ornaments. I would like to add ribbons, but I have a terrible time making ribbon garland look right. If you have any tips this garland challenged gal would love to hear them.
Silver and gold gift boxes and gold bells cover our tiny living room tree. Do you decorate multiple trees at your house? Where would you like to put a tiny tree?
This Charlie Brown Christmas Tree always makes me smile.
Charles Schultz blessed us when he shared the message of hope in A Charlie Brown Christmas Special, when blanket toting Linus took the stage with a simple tree branch decorated with one red ornament and said:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
I joining a link party over at Design Happy – HomeGoods today. Head on over and check out all the great Christmas decorating ideas from the HG Bloggers and more than 200 others sharing their posts.
As I searched for information about this carol, I learned that from 1558 until 1829 it was against the law for individuals to practice the Catholic faith in the country of England. Evidently there is a belief that this Christmas Carol was written during this period of history as a way for young Catholics to learn the teachings of their faith through what appeared to be a secular song. The meanings given to the symbols in the song are as follows: Continue reading
If you’ve ever sat down for your time of prayer and don’t know where to begin Coffee Talk with Jesus – Intimate Chats with the Savior, by Barbie Swihart is the book for you.
In this 31 day devotional/journal, Barbie shares Biblical truths that will speak directly to your heart. Each day you will find a short devotion, a few thoughts to help you make it personal, space for you to journal your thoughts, and a prayer. You’ll even be blessed by some wonderful “coffee” recipes. Continue reading
I’m excited to share 10 Tips to Grow Gratitude and Increase Happiness in Your Children at Psycho with 6 today. Dr. Mel and I have been friends for years. So, I was thrilled when she asked me to join her and record a podcast for The HomeSchool Sanity Show.
Mel and I are known for our three hour gab sessions, so picture yourself eavesdropping on a 30 minute conversation between good friends.
You’ll listen to us talk about ways the Lord has helped us as we’ve struggled with insecurity. We’ll also share some tips and ideas of ways you can encourage your children with their insecurity battles.
She walked into the store and smiled as she replied to my greeting. Tall and beautiful with dark eyes and short curly brown hair, she wandered back to the sale section and began sorting through her size.
As I approached her I noticed she seemed to be lost in her own far away thoughts.
Thoughts that spilled into words as I asked if I could help her find anything special…
“I’ve been focused on my career for more than 15 years. I love what I do, and thought it was my life–until I met ‘John’ and fell in love. I’m so blessed to be with such a wonderful man. We were married a little over a month ago, and this morning . . . I found out I’m . . . going to have a baby.” Continue reading
This is posting at 7AM CT on Friday, November 29, 2013. The day known to many as Black Friday. Some of you are just getting home from shopping all night, some are heading out now, and others will avoid the stores completely.
I’m an avoider. I may do a little on-line shopping, but for the most part I try not to get caught up in sale circular excitement. Primarily because I’m a sale shopper, and don’t find the post-Thanksgiving sales to be exceptional. It seems to me it’s more hype and bragging rites than bargains. But just like you, I do love a bargain.
Everyone Loves a Bargain Continue reading