21 Days

Perhaps it is because the new year is approaching and people are writing their resolutions, but I’ve been seeing a lot of “21 day challenges” on Facebook. I’ve decided to make a list of my own that is achievable and more people-friendly. Make your own list or conquer some of mine?

21 New Year Quotes and Captions for a Fresh Start to 2021 | Real Simple
  1. Check on a neighbor, do an errand, or bring a bright bouquet of flowers on a snowy or cold day!
  2. Stretch when you wake up each morning.
  3. Drink water, at least 8 glasses a day; do this even if you aren’t thirsty!
  4. Dejunk or rid clutter from a small area in your home or office once a day.
  5. Start a gratitude journal, write one thing down each day that you are grateful for.
  6. Recycle.
  7. Meditate, try centering prayer, or your own bible study.
  8. Send notes in the mail instead of email or texts.
  9. If your church is “open” pop in on any given day, find a pew and soak up the silence that is God.
  10. Walk a little further, or bike if your weather permits. Take up jogging. Get moving.
  11. Fresh or frozen fruit, ice, yogurt – start your morning off with a healthy smoothie.
  12. The dog will always need a walk!
  13. Sort and organize your bills.
  14. Cut up old magazines and make a collage of what you need in 2021. One example:

15. Enjoy a moment, put your phone down, describe the fun instead of showing a snap!

16. Make a good cuppa coffee at home, save the extra $ and add to the collection plate or charity of your choice.

17. Figure out why the spacing is wonky on this post. Ha! 🙂

18. Create a “prayer closet” or space that is just for your quiet time. Special books, icons, candles, photos, a comfie chair, journals or recipe cards for jotting prayer requests or inspirational quotes, scripture. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on door!

19. If in a season of grief or sorrow, call a good friend who can be an ear or an advisor. Ask for prayer. Be kind to your self.

20. If you are still in the mood for Christmas music, you can find it on most internet channels like Pandora, Spotify or good old, YouTube!

21. Start a new list each month! Be creative, find your bliss.

Advent Pieces

The colors of Advent have specific meanings, have you ever wondered about them? Tonight it’s a “101” class! Enjoy and learn! Thanks to crosswalk.com

The Meaning of the Advent Wreath | Advent candles, Advent wreath candles, Advent  candles meaning

The First Sunday of Advent’s Purple Candle Signifies Hope

The first Sunday of Advent leads our hearts to Hope. The purple color symbolizes royalty, repentance, and fasting. This week is a time for us to reflect on what it must have been like to feel the depth of God’s silence during the period between the Old Testament and New.

It is a time to ponder the prophecies about the promised Messiah. We begin the season with a mindset that creates hope in our hearts.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone (Isaiah 9:2).

For to us a child is born. To us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore (Isaiah 9:6-7).

The Second Sunday of Advent’s Purple Candle Signifies Preparation

On the second Sunday of Advent, we light the Hope candle and then we light the Preparation candle. First, hope blooms as we realize the prophecies about the Messiah are true. Then we begin to prepare our hearts to receive the Lord Jesus.

Imagine how Joseph must have rushed to prepare the crude stable for Mary and the soon-to-be-born Jesus. As we rush through the season of buying gifts and attending parties, may we pause and reflect on the words of Isaiah:

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5).

The Third Sunday of Advent’s Pink Candle Signifies Joy

The third Sunday of Advent brings us to Joy. The color pink represents rejoicing. We light the previous two purple candles and then light this week’s pink one. Rejoicing is our response to the Good News — joy that our Messiah has come.

The light of the world sweeps away the darkness in our world and in our hearts. We seek him and, in joy, find him.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

The Fourth Sunday of Advent’s Purple Candle Signifies Love

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we reach the culmination of Love. The Messiah comes in love and righteousness. The angels filled the sky with the greatest news of love.

They visited the lowest of the lows in Jewish society, the shepherds, with the most amazing birth announcement. This love is no respecter of persons but is for all who receive. As we light the four candles, we ponder,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17).

Why Some Add a Fifth White Candle

A fifth candle is an optional addition to the traditional advent celebration and represents Christ. This candle is lit on Christmas Eve. The color white stands for purity, light, and victory.

Jesus is pure — without sin and because of his sacrifice he makes us white as snow. He is the light in the darkness and the victor over sin and death. We have life because of him.

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18).

A Prayer for Hope

Holy God, we begin this week of advent with a heart awakening to hope. You are our signpost lighting our way forward. Darkness may abound, but you reveal light. Night may linger, but hope comes in the morning because of you. May we turn our hearts turn toward you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Prayer for Preparation

Holy God, we praise you for the hope you give us. As we move into the second week of Advent, we prepare our hearts to receive you. Just as Mary and Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem over rough terrain, so our lives lead us down rocky paths.

Zoom Pieces

I have a love-hate relationship with Zoom and/or video chats. If there are too many people and they aren’t all muted, it’s distracting to hear background noise or when people talk at the same time. I’m guilty of this, as I have a barking dog or often talk to my self while writing notes, or nodding in agreement.

There are definitely people who ARE good at this. I want you to teach me how to be a good Zoomer. 🙂

The more amazing technology is; the harder it seems to communicate with God. We have everything at our fingertips to relate to human beings, but have we stepped away from conversation with God because it’s just not fast enough or easy? Oh goodness, we are so spoiled. It’s super fast to talk to God, just open your mouth and your heart.

Zoom in With God Sermon Series | The Depot Church

Conversations or prayer; for me, usually involve everyday activities. While folding laundry I pray for people in my life. When I’m working at my desk, I try to update this blog, which inspires people with God’s word.

40 Top Bible Verses About Prayer - Encouraging Scripture

The Power of Prayer

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.

James 5:13

Ritual Pieces

In the U.S., we will soon celebrate Thanksgiving. This year it is bound to look different; smaller groups of people at the table, less hugs and greetings, no touch football in the backyard, and as cousins and an auntie do in my family; gather to make homemade lefse. Rituals that are ingrained in our very being for many generations will be set aside. Instead of missing what we can’t do; let’s make new plans and ideas!

What new rituals can we create during this holiday season? We can still decorate a tree together, or make ornaments, maybe we can donate canned goods to our local food shelves in lieu of working in a soup kitchen. I’ve seen so many ideas online to help the homeless; keep a few paper bags in your trunk filled with warm socks, mittens, granola bars, bottled water, snacks that don’t need utensils or to be cooked. Hair brush, deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes. Care packages. Dog food or treats. Let’s set the world on fire with kindness and care.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. ~Hebrews 12:2 NLT

Homeless care kit | The balm, Easy diy, Diy gifts

Honest Pieces

I have been known to spend an entire day binge watching a favorite show, or eating ice cream for breakfast, I’ve went days without reading scripture or doing a meditation, I even have hit the pillow without a prayer in my brain. I’m not bragging; but I am sharing that I’m a human being – like you. I miss out on opportunities that God has put in my path from pure laziness. Trust me, this is part of my “work in progress,” ignoring the nudges does not – a strong walk in faith make.

Just saying I’m going to do better tomorrow rarely works. I have started plastering post-it notes on my laptop, or cell phone; two places I’ve been known to waste a lot of time. They are reminders to pray for certain people or to crack open the rusty Bible.

I am committing to doing better. Join me?

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith  and patience inherit what has been pr… | Faith bloggers, Spiritual truth,  Christian author

Pieces of Symbolism

Yesterday I attended a socially distanced, masks optional, great scones and coffee class on prayer journaling. One of my favorite parts was using a scrapbooking technique to decorate a page in our journal. We cut up magazine pics or phrases, words, whatever was inspiring. It was fun and enlightening. Some people are so incredibly talented and creative; I am not. I am good at writing, but I do like decorating, doodling, making collages, journey boards. I find whenever I take on a project like this; the same words or images appear.

We journal, write, and meditate to draw closer to ourselves, and also our Heavenly Father. In time we can see the progression of our walk in faith.

Do you journal? Are you crafty and do a neat bullet notebook? Do you use your phone calendar for daily living and a customizable journal type book at home? Please share! Inquiring minds want to know!

Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.

1 John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

Furry Pieces

If you are person living with a fur; dog, cat, ferret, heck-even fish – the you know the importance of this kind of love. It’s completely non-conditional, they want nothing from you, except for love, but they don’t expect it. They may “talk” to you, but it will be more like baby talk-woof, meow, purr, or bubbles in the tank!

The companionship of an animal helps alleviate stress, loneliness and I’ve found to be a very gentle form of healing.

Companion animals: can they alleviate loneliness among older adults?

I wonder when Jesus was a child, did He have a pet? Were animals domesticated yet? I know the Queen of Sheba had many cats!

Have you found compassion with an animal? Do you live with a furry creature?

Pandemic Discontent

We already are a people that expect change to happen fast, problems to be solved and pain to dissolve.

But in light of the pandemic, we’ve had to slow w-a-y down! We’ve been forced to stay at home for our own well-being and that of others. And perhaps we started eating out of boredom. Binge-watched reality TV, or on the other side of the spectrum, began cleaning and sorting and packing to give away belongings.

But through it all, where was our faith? I found mine slipping away silently from lack of church services and activities. Coffee visits with friends I had relied on for my mental health were now gone “just like that.” Sitting became the new cigarette and (over)eating became the new weight gain.

Discontent is the tool of the devil. He uses it to distract our perspective and attitude. It took a few weeks for me to discover just how deep into discontent I had become. What does the Bible say about this kind of thinking/living?

Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Quotes about Faith and perseverance (71 quotes)

May you:

Change your attitude and perspective.

Appreciate where you are, what you have.

Find good in all.

Live in the moment.

Pray for others.

Believe that you can.

Take some kind of positive action.

Old Testament Pieces

I first read the book “Hinds Feet on High Places” in my teenage years.  In my morning meditation I was pleased to come across Habakkuk 3:19; The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.

It reminded me how much I enjoyed this book and have since ordered.  I hope the copy I receive is well loved with dog eared corners.

Hannah Hurnard wrote this book in 1955, it has since been revised.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to find at your local library or online.

Below are the various covers the book has seen in 65 years!