Friday, November 27, 2015

WAITING...

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

I don’t know about you, but I have never been very good at waiting. Whether it is waiting in those long lines at stores or waiting on a parking space in the parking lot, it often seems that the closer something is, the more difficult it is to wait for it. In fact, our impatience seems built right into our culture and society – these days, Christmas carols and decorations usually appear even before Halloween!

And yet, the Christian season of ADVENT (from the Latin adventus, “coming” – a reference to the “coming” of Jesus in the past, present and future) encourages us to learn the hard and difficult lesson of waiting, of watching, of anticipating, and of expecting good things still to come. It encourages us to learn to wait for God to reveal Himself in His own way and time.

In the weeks leading up to our daughter Jennifer’s birth over twenty-two years ago, Trish and I both were very much on edge. The due date arrived, then passed, and I remember thinking constantly, “How much longer, Lord?!” I’m sure it was the same for the early Hebrews as they waited for the Messiah to be born, probably also thinking, “How much longer, Lord?!” And it’s the same for us today as we often ask of our problems, “How much longer, Lord?!” Maybe it’s God’s way of trying to remind us that some of the best things in life (including true, genuine fulfillment, contentment, and joy) often come only through long, hard waiting.

So, during this Advent season (which begins November 29th), I invite us all to let God teach us to wait… with patience, anticipation, and joy. One tool that can help us “wait” and prepare for the coming of Christmas is through our use of what is called an “Advent Wreath” — a circle of four candles which are progressively lit during the four Sundays of Advent, culminating in the lighting of the central white (Christ) candle on Christmas Eve. CLICK HERE for an order for a family Advent Wreath lighting that you can download and use each week leading up to Christmas. Always remember, God loves you and I do, too!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Art of Thanksliving


“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)


“The art of thanksgiving is thanksLIVING. It is gratitude in action.



It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.

It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you by doing things for others.

It is thanking God for happiness by striving to make others happy.

It is thanking God for beauty by helping to make the world more beautiful.

It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an inspiration to others.

It is thanking God for health and strength by the care and reverence you show your body.

It is thanking God for the creative ideas that enrich life by adding your own creative contributions to human progress.

It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.

It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and voice to your thankful spirit.

It is adding to your prayers of thanksGIVING,... acts of thanksLIVING.”

[-Wilfred A. Peterson]

What great words to live by this Thanksgiving season! Let’s all strive together to live out our thankfulness through the way we live our own lives – through what we say, what we do, how we treat one another, how we help one another, and even how we work with one another! As you read this article, my prayer is that you and your family will have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday, and that you’ll remember to “give thanks to God, and bless His name” through how you live your very life! God loves you and I do, too!