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It’s Advent Season…

November 28th, 2015 by stephanie

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Advent Wreath.

It dawned on me this morning that it’s time to dig out the Christmas items. I can’t believe the time is here for me to begin decorating the tree this week. Placed on top of  the holiday items that I store,  where I can grab it quickly and not have to dig (something I have learned finally over time) is my advent stuff.

If you don’t observe Advent in your home, you might consider it this year.

If it’s new to you, here’s a quick overview:

  • The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.”
  • The focus of the entire season is to be on the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ.
  • The celebration centers around his first Advent (and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.)

Anticipation. Looking and waiting for the coming King. The Anointed One. The Messiah. The hope He will bring.

To Christians, that Hope is the assurance of eternal life.

I have an Advent wreath in my house. This coming Sunday will be the 1st Sunday of Advent. So, in keeping with this tradition I will light the first candle in my advent wreath.

If you aren’t aware, each candle has a name. It’s interesting to see the variances on that topic. Something for you to google this weekend?

Regardless, why not simply light a candle this week and see it as a reminder that we live in the hope that He has come—and will come again.

Just my thoughts,
S.
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Christmas Miracle…Did You Know?

December 25th, 2014 by stephanie

Crossing of the Delaware.

Crossing of the Delaware.

It was Christmas night. 1776.

It was winter and visions of sugar plums most likely danced in their weary heads as they longed for the warmth of hearth and home far away. Many were in shredded clothes, and most without shoes in the midst of a winter gale of rain, sleet, ice and snow. The secret orders called for the men to muster near the river at midnight. The crossing, that would take all night, awaited them.

They did not sleep. Fishermen, now soldiers, rowed back and forth all night long, in silence, ferrying soldiers to the other side. Awaiting them would be a nine mile march over frozen roads. But in the end. They were victorious.

Shock & Awe ’76 Style

A surprise attack by this surly bunch on the thoroughbred Hessian army (who slept soundly due to having celebrated Christmas late into the night) led to a spectacular victory at Trenton, New Jersey, the following morning. Those were indeed times, as Thomas Paine would write, that ‘try men’s souls’.”

It is very difficult to imagine any man, let alone those soldiers committing body and mind to the utmost in those excruciatingly cold and exhausting conditions. What would possess those men to press on rather than run or retreat? Perhaps something deep in their souls. Maybe an amazing trust in, and loyalty to, their leader or, their acute awareness of the immense task they had undertaken for a new country. Committed to the end. With God’s blessing. They turned pain into purpose and they conquered.

This Christmas

On this Christmas night, may we all pause and remember. I would bet, too, that those men had our Lord on their minds that night. And their hearts and bodies found strength in the prayers they breathed as they rowed or wondered how they could endure that next painful step. They knew their families were gathered around trees at home and in the morning would head off to church in celebration. The Spirit of Christ and Christmas was surely with them then, and that same Spirit is with us this season.

Crossing Over

Whatever river you may need to cross in the days ahead, know that He is with you today and He will be with you tomorrow. You and I can and will endure. Thanks to His blessing, His Providence and the strength He sends our way. May we cross over and into victory.

Merry Christmas,

Stephanie

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