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.

Pray, hope and don’t worry

I have a rubber bracelet I received in the mail at the four month mark of my chemotherapy treatments.  It was such a delightful and encouraging reminder.  I have never taken it off.  It inspires me greatly and reminds me what is important in the journey of my life; not just with regards to cancer, but to all of it; where I’ve been, where I’m going.

What inspires you?  Please comment! 

2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

Image result for the pieces, the book, Dawn L. Huberty

Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

For God So Loved the World

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We have a promise of eternal life; but not because of the “good” we do or how righteous our life appears to others.  Because eternal life is a gift; for believing that God gave selflessly, His own Son; His life, for our life.  But why?

Easter is around the corner, and we know it’s not about chocolate bunnies or egg hunts, it is instead about the life, death and returning to life; to walk as a man until He was reunited with His Father once again.

It all seems so unreal doesn’t it?  But that is what walking in faith means, believing the unbelievable.  It’s the mystery of faith. 

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May you be blessed with unbelief this holiday season, may you be lifted in faith to a deeper level of learning, may you lean against Your Heavenly Father for strength, love and hope.

 

Icicles

Out my window I see a very large icicle, dripping.  It will likely be gone in a couple of hours, for today – the temp is heading to 40.  But it is winter here in the heartland and tonight it will get cold enough to freeze drips, turning them back into icicles.

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Icicles remind me of faith.  Two steps forward (complete melting) and one step back (hello, icicles)!  We often find ourselves on a roll of faith, everything is fine, we are filled with faith, believing strongly in God and all He brings to our life ….. and then BAM, “something” happens and now we are standing on shaky ground.  Our faith?  Sure, yah, I’ve got faith.  Faith that nothing will ever change.

We are troubled human beings.  People have lacked faith since the days of Moses.

Mark 16:14
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

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We are always just a moment away from circumstances changing, so we must always stand firm on our faith.  We are not icicles, we will not melt and come back again the next day, we are human beings made in the image of Jesus, a strong, solid foundation.  May your faith be strengthened today and every day.

Pieces of Happenstance

Did you know that happenstance means “something that happens by chance?”  As bible-believing Christians, we don’t believe in luck, chance or coincidence.  We pray, hope and believe instead.

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The word coincidence is used only once in the New Testament, and it was by Jesus Himself in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In Luke 10:31, Jesus said, “And by a coincidence a certain priest was going down in that way, and having seen him, he passed over on the opposite side.” The word coincidence is translated from the Greek word synkyrian, which is a combination of two words: sun and kurios. Sun means “together with,” and kurious means “supreme in authority.” So a biblical definition of coincidence would be “what occurs together by God’s providential arrangement of circumstances.”

Hosea 12:6  Oh, come back to God. Live by the principles of love and justice, and always be expecting much from him, your God.