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Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room – Advent- December 24th

Isaiah 9. 2-7 * Psalm 96 * Titus 2.11-14 * Luke 2.1-14 (15-20)   At heart, I am a traditionalist.  Those who know me well will no doubt heartily agree.  My preference is for Christmas carols to be sung in their “traditional way.”  With this said, I...

Intentional Love – Advent – December 23rd

Galatians 3:6-14; 2 Samuel 7:18, 23-29; Luke 1:46b-55   Love makes you do funny things. Not funny “Haha,” although in some cases that may be true, but funny as in ironic or even not according to plan. As I write this, I am the only person in our little apartment...

Mary: An Unexpected Mother – Advent – December 22nd

Mary’s song from Luke 1:46-55 is astonishing. How could a young teenage girl pen such beautiful and heart-warming words? We sit in seats of luxury as we read the Christmas story year after year. We have faith to know who Jesus is and all He would accomplish in His...

God’s Redeeming Love – Advent – December 21st

1 Samuel 2:1-10   Has there ever been a time when you were brought so low that you weren’t sure you could even lift your head? Maybe it was a time when the bottom just dropped out, when you experienced loss or grief, or maybe it was the sense of loss that comes...

A Genuine “Refuge” – Advent – December 19th

The Hebrew word shalom, peace, is commonly used among Jews for greeting and farewelling one another. However, the Biblical concept communicates a much deeper and richer meaning that permeates every aspect of life. It denotes a comprehensive peace that begins inwardly...

The Gospel of God – Advent – December 18th

  …The Gospel of God… concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit.  (Romans 1:1-4)   Here, the Apostle Paul, through inspiration,...

JOY:  The shining face of God – Advent – December 17th

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 | II Samuel 7:23-29 | John 3:31-36   There is something infectious about a person’s smile, an embrace, or a beaming look of acceptance and favor.  When I was a child, I remember the feeling of joy when a parent, grandparent, or a teacher would...

Rescued – Advent – December 16th

We have all been in situations filled with danger and a sense of doom where we needed and hoped for rescue. Whether this was a broken down vehicle, a medical emergency, or a financial problem, the moment of release brings an inexpressible and profound sense of joy,...

Joy: The Comeback Story – Advent – December 15th

Everybody loves a good comeback story! People flood the movie theaters year after year to witness heartwarming stories of people coming from nowhere, finally making it, failing, and coming back to make it again. Pain, agony, loss, defeat, struggle and then finally joy...

Joy: God With Us -Advent – December 14th

  Dr. Andrew D. Templeton Matthew 1:23 says, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, God with us.”   Upon my first visit to the city of Bethlehem, I experienced an emotional response that I...

Happily Ever After? – Advent – December 13th

This Advent season should be no different from any other as we take time to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. It ought to be a season of joy and laughter—a time to be “merry.” If you are a fan of those Hallmark movies like I am, you will notice a common...

A joyful praise! – Advent – December 12th

By this I know that you delight in me… (Psalm 41:11a ESV)   It was a blisteringly cold Wednesday night and I had decided that I needed another venue to do my work, so I warmed up the car and went to the local coffee shop. After getting my $4.98 caramel macchiato,...

The Canvas of our Life – Advent – December 11th

Isaiah 35.1-10; Psalm 146.5-10; Luke 1.46b-55; James 5.7-10; Matthew 11.2-11   Today, the beginning of the third week of Advent, the great theme of joy is emphasized. The Isaiah passage paints for us a picture of joy – a joy that only God could paint.  The...

Yahweh Shalom – Advent – December 10th

Turmoil is no fun. When I am in a state of turmoil, I can’t think straight; I can’t enjoy anything. I may not even be able to eat or sleep. My turmoil may at times be self-inflicted, but at other times the source is something over which I have no control. Hannah was...

God’s Plans Never Fail – Advent – December 9th

Psalm 146 Our recent presidential election has left some in need of healing and others filled with cautious hope. Reflecting on the ups and downs of human leadership, the Psalmist wisely cautions us to “not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save,”...

Is It Well? – Advent – December 8th

  Psalm 146:5-10; Ruth 1:6-18; 2 Peter 3:1-10   Many times I have prayed for God’s peace.  To be honest, peace is something I do not think about until I realize it is gone.  Peace is not simply the absence of conflict and fighting.  No, true peace is found in the...

The Prince of Peace – Advent – December 7th

Luke 2:14   “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.”   “Peace on earth… goodwill towards men.” These words are used during this Advent season to the point that we have become numb to the origins of their meaning....

OUR RESPONSE TO CHRIST’S LOVE – Advent – December 6th

Christmas has become synonymous with gift giving.  Finding the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one can be both daunting and intimidating. I have wrestled significantly with questions such as what do they want? What do they need? And of course, will they like it?...