Hope For A New Year – Advent #4

Alive and Active Life
Hope For A New Year - Advent #4
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A New Year is an opportunity to let go of some things, hold onto other things, and grab onto new things. It also involves various emotions. Even though a New Year can feel scary, not knowing what’s ahead, it can also be exciting with new opportunities. In some cases, it may be a relief to walk into a fresh perspective. Hope for new possibilities begins to rise. Sadness about aging, saying good-byes, or letting go of previous endeavors can be painful. Knowing there will be difficult challenges is sobering. Yet, overall, most people embrace hope as one year morphs into another. God gives hope for a New Year.

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Joy of Anticipation – Advent #2

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Joy of Anticipation - Advent #2
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You know the little kid in the back seat on a long trip? Every 15 minutes, they ask (with a tired sigh) – “Are we there yet?!” That’s the same little cherub, along with a host of other little kids – and just as many adults – who asks, “Is it Christmas yet?” The first exclamation – “Are we there yet?” – is more like – “Gosh! How much longer?!” An impatience and a feeling of being confined. The second exclamation – “Is it Christmas yet?” – is more like – “I’m so excited, I can hardly wait.” An expression of the joy of anticipation.

 

 

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How To Prepare Your Heart For Christmas – Advent #1

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How To Prepare Your Heart For Christmas - Advent #1
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Most people really like Christmas. There are a few grinches who despise the annual celebration. But many more cherish this annual holiday. They lean into invisible qualities of hope and joy connected to the evergreen tree, lights and decorations, beautiful music, giving and receiving, special goodies, and moments of reflection. Unfortunately, many of these same “Christmas-loving” people feel overwhelmed at the hustle and bustle. So, how do you prepare your heart for this beloved holiday?

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Prepare For Christmas With Advent

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Prepare For Christmas With Advent
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The Christmas season is almost here! Many people are getting excited. How about you? Christmas tree, lights, candles, beautiful music, gifts, special foods, and Advent. In fact, Advent starts in just a few days.

Incidentally, have you wondered what Advent is about? What’s the purpose? What value does Advent bring to your modern, extremely busy life – especially during one of the busiest months of the year?

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The Truth About Loneliness

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The Truth About Loneliness
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Do you remember the film, “Cast Away?” Tom Hanks plays a systems analysist named Chuck who is marooned on an island quite unexpectedly when his flight goes down over the Pacific Ocean. In this movie, you get a front-row seat on how a person might deal with loneliness. From hopelessness, to anger, to desperation, to finding a way. He’s alone on this island for four years! Meanwhile, he’s declared dead by family and friends back home. Chuck’s only friend is a volleyball that washed ashore from the plane wreckage. This ball becomes Chuck’s only friend: “Wilson.” Chuck becomes very familiar with the truth about loneliness. 
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Life Response – Advent #4

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Life Response - Advent #4
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Ready or not – Christmas week is here! Time to enjoy each moment. May I make a suggestion? Take it all in! Your preparations come together in a call. It’s a call for a life response to a beautiful Baby! 

This is the fourth and final in a series to prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation. (Notice each additional week’s article in this series has another candle lit in the main featured image.)

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Time To Remember Emmanuel – Advent #3

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Time To Remember Emmanuel - Advent #3
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Christmas is almost here! Whether you tend to prepare ahead – each week leading to Christmas – or you dare to load all the stress into days before, including shopping on Christmas Eve, it’s time to remember Emmanuel in your hustle and bustle.

This is the third in a series to prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation. (Notice each additional week’s article in this series has another candle lit in the main featured image.)

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Who’s Got Your Right Hand – Advent #2

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Who's Got Your Right Hand - Advent #2
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We’re in a series to help prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation for Christmas. (Notice each additional week’s article in this series has another candle lit in the main featured image.)

This is the second article in the series. With Christmas closing in, it’s time to consider your right hand.

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Prepare Your Heart For Christmas – Advent #1

Alive and Active Life
Prepare Your Heart For Christmas - Advent #1
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You prepare for Christmas in so many ways. But how do you prepare your heart?

Advent

The Christmas Advent Season has been richly celebrated for many years. Historically, an advent marks the arrival of a notable person or event. Often, a wreath with candles has been used during Christmas Advent, lighting a new candle on each of four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

Even if you choose not to use a wreath with candles, there are simple, thoughtful ways you can prepare your heart.

This is the first in a series to help prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we will light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation. (Notice each additional week’s article in this series has another candle lit in the main featured image.)

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Gifts Under God’s Great Tree

Alive and Active Life
Gifts Under God’s Great Tree
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Pretend with me. You are a child. It’s Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. Glow and sparkle fill the room with Christmas magic. Being a curious child, you have already checked out the landscape of presents under the tree. You noted the gifts with your name on them. And – you’ve counted them. Now you wait . . . and wonder . . . and hope! But the pretending stops and you are an adult again. You ask yourself – “are there gifts for me as a grown-up? Is there something special under God’s Great Tree with my name on it?”

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