Advent 2015 – Day 13 – Stone

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Advent day 13(edited 12/18/2015) light the 13th candle on the Advent Log I asked for some help in choosing some additional symbols/names of Christ on facebook. One option was “The Rock” from Ps 18:46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be … Continue reading

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Advent 2015 – day 12 – the lion and the lamb

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Today is Advent day 12. If using an event log, light candles 12. Jesus came as a baby and was laying in a manger. A manger is a feeding trough for farm animals. The fact that Jesus came and was … Continue reading

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Advent 2015 – day 11 – A Key

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Today is the 11th day of Advent. light the 11th candle. On the 9th Day of Advent, I thought about the scepter, and how it being extended out to the servant was the code for entering into the King’s Presence. … Continue reading

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Advent 2015 – Day 10, Rising Sun

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Advent day 10 Light the 10th Candle on the log. There is a saying, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” That saying never made much sense to me. Sitting on the beach, watching the sun rise, the darkness flees to … Continue reading

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Advent 2015 – day 9 – Scepter

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Advent day 9 light the 9th candle on the Advent Log. The scepter. Second only to the crown as a symbol of power. Rulers hold the scepter. I have read the story of Esther with a unique perspective. This feels … Continue reading

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Advent 2015 – Day 8, Second Sunday of Advent

Advent Day 8 – light the eighth candle on the log

Advent Log, 8 candles

Advent Log, 8 candles

Advent Log, 8 candles

Advent Log, 8 candles

Second Sunday of Advent – light the second candle on the wreath

What is the purpose of the Advent Wreath?
What is the purpose of any of this?
Symbols! Symbolism!

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The prophecies talked about signs.
But we were also given symbols to explain more completely the aspects of God.
The wreath – well, that is a relatively recent symbology.
But people have been using candles as a symbol of incense, our prayers rising to God.

I grew up Episcopalian. This church broke off from the Roman Catholic Church.
Methodists grew out of the Episcopal/Anglican brothers, John and Charles Wesley.
Of course, there are many permutations of these specific denominations, but these three, and the Lutherans, are what I call Liturgical.
Yes, the liturgy is the worship program.
What I am talking about is the Church Calendar.
Everything has a time and season.
Everything has symbols(I should have listened more closely in catechism!).
Speaking of symbols, there are whole courses that can be taken for the symbolism in art – much because art has always been a form of worship of one’s God.

There are so many variations on symbolism that I searched for something to give me a little bit of focus this year.
Circle of Light provides multiple Advent Themes for using on the Four Sundays of Advent.

Advent 1 – Hope, Expectations, Prophecies
Advent 2 – Love, Hope, Angels
Advent 3 – Joy, Joy, Shepherds – this candle is often pink
Advent 4 – Peace, Purity, Magi
Christmas Day – the Christ Candle(sitting in the middle)

There are books galore by almost every Christian author for celebrating Advent.
I even have one that goes through Handel’s Messiah, and it includes great works of art depicting that story.

My point is, this is a good time to look at some more symbolism.

Today, I am meditating on Christ as King, and the symbolism is a crown.

19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords. Rev 19:16

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Zechariah 9:9-16

A king.
At that time, and even in some monarchies today, the King’s word was IT. Obey it, or be killed.

Zechariah 9:9-16 gives a beautiful description of what kind of King Jesus is, and what he will do for his people. Jesus is no ordinary King.

What is the purpose of a King? To guide, protect and care for those under his rule.

Jesus will do that, if I let him.
Do I let him?
If I say that Jesus is my King, do I act like it?

The Bible gives me so much to guide my life, like a constitution, or rule book, or guidebook for my life as the servant of the Most High King.

I know many things that I should do – like embrace the fruit of the Spirit,

  • Love,
  • Joy,
  • Peace,
  • Patience,
  • Goodness,
  • Kindness,
  • Faithfulness,
  • Gentleness and
  • Self Control.

I know some things that I should not do –

  • Idology,
  • Graven Images,
  • Defame the Lord’s Name,
  • Ignore the Sabbath,
  • Dishonor my parents,
  • Murder,
  • Adultery,
  • Steal,
  • Lie,
  • Envy.

I am neither consistent in doing what I ought, nor not doing what I ought not.

In the Anglican Prayer book, in the confession, it says:

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is nothing good in us. O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to Your promises declared unto men in Christ Jesus our Lord. Grant that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to the glory of His name. Amen

No, I do not honor the Lord as King in my Life.
So often, I end up on the throne of my own heart, after saying that I want HIM to sit on the throne of my heart. The beauty in Christ is that He is a loving, forgiving KING – and I cry out for His mercies often.

The Symbol? A Crown.

Simple Crown Ornament

Simple Crown Ornament

Crown Him

Crown Him

This particular photo, of a very nice ornament, will not rotate into the media part of WordPress. This is another situation where I have to allow Christ to be King in my life. I do not know how to do many things, and sometimes, it becomes very evident in a very public way. This whole photo has been a study in practicing patience, because things just didn’t want to work right.
I THINK that God should have everything perfect.
I KNOW that I am not perfect.
Because of these to points of view, I tend to quit.
I give up.
I cannot be perfect, therefore, I do not serve my King in the ways in which He asks of me.
Lord, again, I come to you and crown you as Lord and King of my life.

More Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

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Advent 2015 Day 7 – The Colors of Christmas

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Advent day 7 Light the 7th Candle. In 1987, I proposed to my husband that I wanted to start celebrating Christmas. This was smack in the face of our position to not celebrate holidays. Period. The previous decision really caused … Continue reading

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Advent 2015 – day 6 – Why did Jesus Come?

Advent Day 6.
Light the 6th candle.

Why did Jesus come?
Because, He had to.
Out of the loving heart of God, Jesus came to earth to pay the price for my sin.

Romans 3:23
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Anyone that is honest can agree that they have not walked perfectly in accordance with the laws and commands that God put forth. We’ve fallen short of the GLORY of God – and we can’t even conceive of that Glory!(Romans 3:10-24)

Romans 6:23a
The wages of sin is death…

This is what was set in motion when Adam and Eve sinned – sin came into the world, separating us from God. At that point, humans started to slowly die. If that wasn’t bad enough, God separated us from the tree of life – so that we would not choose evil AND eternal life. That was part of the consequence of our sin, separation from paradise and God. Therefore, they were dead in their sins, and going about dying. The same with us – and it is a struggle I have every day. I want to choose life – and yet, I often choose my own wisdom or knowledge, and end up messing up – and I am separated from the close fellowship with God through Christ. That fellowship is life! Without it, I am dead.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love for us(me), For while we(I) was yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The price to pay for sin is death. It’s a death sentence. Either I die for the sins, or a sacrificial lamb, perfect and holy, dies in my place. There is much talk among Christians about ‘death to self’.

  • My flesh hungers – for foods that are not good for me.
  • My mind hungers – for stimulation that does not propel me towards my God given goals.
  • My emotions hunger – for having my needs met over others.

I must crucify the flesh – but the only way I’m able to do that is by taking part in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I can’t do it on my own.

Because of Christ dying for us:

Romans 6:23b
…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23b

By Jesus dying on a tree, He opened the door back up for us to participate in the fellowship with God, and gives us eternal life. When we cross over, we will see the tree of life. I have seen the gardens of Heaven, they are beyond imagination. It was not my time, so I did not see the tree of life. based upon what I saw, I can declare that this tree will be beautiful in ways that no tree on earth can express.

While the crucifixion of my own flesh is hard, receiving the gift of God is simple.

Romans 10:9 & 13

9 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart
that God has raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.

13 For whoever calls on the name of the LORD
shall be saved.”

I believe that Jesus is my Savior.
I believe that I am a sinner saved by Grace.
Daily, I need to confess my beliefs, not for the devil, but for me to remember.

another great song is

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.

Thank you Lord Jesus for drawing me near to your heart, and saving me out of your great mercies.
Thank you for daily giving me mercies that are new every morning.
Thank you for giving me examples of those that have fallen, and gotten up again, by your gracious hand.
This year has been hard to remember that I believe.

But I do believe. And that not of myself, lest I boast – that is a gift from you, God.(Ephesians 2:8-10)
As I spend this month remembering, I am thankful most for this gift of faith, that has given me eternal life.

The ornament for this day is a cross, a savior.

The Cross of Christ

The Cross of Christ

A savior is Born

A savior is Born

More Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

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Advent 2015 – day 5 – Jesus’ Birth date?

Advent Day 5, light the fifth candle.

DSC_0004

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Is Christmas, December 25, Jesus’ birthday?
No.

ChristianAnswers.net explains many of the myths around Christ’s Birth, including the date.

There is also the whole aspect of December 25th being associated with Saturnalia.

Biblical Archaeology delves into the Christianization of a Pagan Holiday as one of the possible theories.

There are those that hold that we are not commanded to celebrate Jesus’s Birth.
To those, I say, are we celebrating the ones we have been commanded to celebrate in the Old Testament?
If told the Old Testament no longer has any value for us, I say, are we giving up the Ten Commandments as well?
We are commanded to participate in the Lord’s Supper (as oft as ye shall eat of this).
Bread and drink? In remembrance of the Lord’s death and resurrection.

I could go on and on. I have studied and thought about and prayed about so many aspects of celebrating Christmas(and for that matter, Easter, but that’s another story). I have refused to celebrate Christmas, and I have embraced it. What I have been settling in my heart and spirit is that the holy days that were commanded by God were all about remembering.

What is a birthday party?
A party to celebrate, remember and be thankful for the coming(birth) of this person.
There is no one in my life that more completely effects my whole being, for whom I am thankful, and of whom I need to celebrate and remember his actions in my life than Jesus Christ.

  • Celebrate? Praise!
  • Remember? meditate!
  • Thankful? Give thanks!

I see nothing wrong with committing a day to doing such to honor my Lord and Savior!
And, there are many times that we do not celebrate someone’s birthday on that exact date! We just choose a day for remembrance, celebration, and thanksgiving. Why? Because we love them, and because we are thankful that they are part of our life.

This year, He has held my hand when I wanted to take my life.
He has brought to mind scriptures and songs that speak of deliverance from the darkness.
He has turned the heart of my husband and my own back towards each other – to actually remember the day that He impressed both of us that we should marry. My joy was so full at that moment that I couldn’t help but laugh!
The Lord has done miracles, including a grandbaby that was born 5 weeks early, and was perfect and complete.

2016 note – the same is true, including another grandbaby, that was born completely healthy, with a beautiful, redeemed birth after two scary previous births. In addition, Jesus has held our hands, during a prostate cancer battle. He is still worth celebrating!

Is 9:6
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Whether he was born in December(probably not), April, May, September or any other month, I choose to remember the year past, and celebrate that Jesus has come into my life.

There is a saying around this time of year:
“let us celebrate Christmas all year long”

I say, let us celebrate Christ in our lives, all year long! He truly is the Best Gift ever!

Lord Jesus, please help me to remember the gift that you are in my life.
Please help me to share the gift of your love with others.
Thank you for being in my life, even when there were times I didn’t want to be in my life.
Thank you for not giving up on me.
And, whenever the date was – for what it’s worth – Happy Birthday, Jesus. I love you!

More Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Posted in Advent, Bible Thoughts, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent 2015 – Day 4

Advent 2015, day 4
If using an Advent Log or candles, light the 4th candle.

Fourth Candle

Fourth Candle

From our original Advent Devotional:

What! Are We Waiting? (light the fourth candle)
“What! – are we waiting!?”
Yes, we’re waiting.
“But I just can’t wait….!”
Oh no? Why not? What makes waiting for anything – or anyone – hard to do? Why are we so impatient?
Think about some of the instant things we enjoy: instant Kool-Aid, instant coffee, instant touch-tone “dialing,” instant …(make your own list).
What are some things for which we must wait, besides Christmas? (Make your own list…) Are any of those things worth waiting for? Why or why not?

For many years, I worked with a devotional called “Celebrate While We Wait” for Advent. We wanted to clearly move away from Santa, which we did not agree with, towards celebrating the gift of Christ, and remembrances. Advent means to wait.

400 years between the Old and New Testament.
40 years wandering in the Wilderness of sin before entering into the promised land.
40 months – I need something for this one.
40 weeks – for a mother to give birth to a child, such as Mary.
40 days – Jesus fasting in the Wilderness, Noah waiting for the rain to stop.
And Daniel prayed.
And Moses was on the back side of a mountain.
so many people in the Bible were waiting – not for some temporal gift wrapped in a tree killing, un-recyclable paper and bow – but for God to move on their behalf.

Since the day that Adam and Eve spoke with God in the garden about their sin, God promised them a savior.
God promised Abraham a savior.
God promised Israel a savior.
God promises us a savior.

Christ-mass is so much more than a baby in the manger – and the baby in a manger is such a series of miracle stories in itself. There was only one reason for the birth of the Christ Child…but that’s not my remembrance today.

Waiting takes patience.
Patience is a virtue.

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE….
Love is PATIENT and kind….

Patience – this is not something that comes easy for me…or for many folks.

But, waiting IS the precursor to seeing.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for (as in, waiting for), the evidence of things not seen(things that aren’t here yet).(Hebrews 11:6)

Anna and Simon waited for the arrival of the savior…many years in the temple. They were both patient.

The ornament for this day is a Noah’s ark I found.

Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark

The song I sing for remembering to wait is:

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings as eagles
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint,
teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait.

This happens to be a song version of my life verse, and a promise I was given in 1978. It’s 2015, and I’m still waiting to see the full manifestation of this promise. Every time I doubt – I hear this song in my head, and my only choice is to deny my faith that God spoke His word (and healed them), and His word is alive, to to ask forgiveness for my lack of faith. Like the father in the gospels, I say, “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief!”. Though my heart fails me, the Lord is the strength of my heart, and He always brings me through.

I waited patiently for the Lord; He …heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)

Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)

The Lord is the everlasting God…He does not faint or grow weary…They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28,31)

Lord, continue to help me with patience.
Continue to encourage my faith to grow, and also to grant me the grace when my faith stumbles as I wait to see the manifestation of any of your promises.
Help me to be patient with others, as you are patient with me.
Amen

More Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Posted in Advent, Bible Thoughts, Christmas, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment