Advent…Now It Begins!

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Walk Through Advent

With Peace, Hope, Joy and Love!

This week marks the beginning of the Advent season.  Derived from the Latin word adventus which means coming, the next weeks are spent in anticipation of commemoration of the birth of the Messiah.  As Christians we also wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ to earth.

As I was writing this morning my iPad began to play Could We Start Again, Please from the 20th Anniversary London Cast Recording of Jesus Christ Superstar.  This has never happened before in the countless hours I have spent online.  As I listened to the words I could not help but think how appropriate for the beginning of Advent.  As we await Christmas and His second coming we have an opportunity to ‘start again’ as His mercies are new every morning.

Three Steps to Walk Lighter This Month

The weeks before Christmas in our society can be wrought with long lists to be accomplished, variance from our routines, increased stress and on and on.  The tension can be endless and leave you completely depleted on every level.  How can you flow through this season with harmony and joy?

First, start each day putting on the armor of God.  You are first and foremost a spiritual being and staying protected is crucial.  Would you drive without putting on your seatbelt for safety?  If you would, start to buckle up from now on.  Buckle up in your car and suit up in your armor.

Second, stay closely connected to the Lord throughout the day and let Him lead you in every encounter.  When you get out of the way He can lead and guide you in His perfect peace.  He will direct your path if you let Him.

Third, live each day in thanksgiving for blessings you have.  It is easy at times to look at what you feel you are missing.  Look instead at the gifts in your life and who God has positioned to share your journey with you.  Focus on what is good and your attitude of blessing will be a blessing to others.

An Advent Wreath Tradition

Advent could not be complete without an Advent wreath!  I love Advent wreaths and the anticipation felt as a child waiting for each week to light the candle and pray.  As the weeks progressed another candle made the wreath so much brighter until the Light of the World came at Christmas.  The expectation increased exponentially each week in our family.

I found the Advent wreath in the picture above one year and was taken with the message.  Each dove candle holder has a different word scripted in gold.  This simple display is a soft reminder of the importance of your heart attitude especially during this season.  I believe it is always a heart issue and ever so important now.  It is never too late to ‘start again.’

Peace, hope, joy and love are the themes of Advent.  Take some time to focus on one of them each week.  For example, in the first week pray peace over yourself, your loved ones, your home, community and country.  Look for ways to bring peace into each encounter you have.  Purpose to be the peace in your environment.

Take Steps to Ensure a Season of God’s Beauty

Write the word for the week on paper and post it where you will see it often.  Let the concept of peace sink deep into your heart and go forth with each heartbeat.  Take a moment now to write these four words on separate papers so as the hubbub of the season escalates you will have your words ready.  Each week add the next word and at the end of December you will see that the season was a bit lighter.  Jesus embodies the Advent themes of peace, hope, joy and love. So as you await the commemoration of His birth may you find peace, hope, joy and love in Him.

Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!  Jesus Christ is God’s most life-giving gift to the world.  Keep Christ in Christmas and in your life all through the year. 

 He will bring you peace, hope, joy and love far beyond what you can think or imagine.

Quotes to Ponder This Week

 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”    Jesus, Matthew 5:9

 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”  Psalm 100:4

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. amen.”   Ephesians 3:20-21

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Ephesians 6:13-17

…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

 “Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  Charles Dickens

A Prayer Request

Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray.  Please keep all who serve our country, our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety.  They are our front-line on the battlefield, let us be their front-line in the spirit.  Also, let us cover all who have come home wounded that they and their families will receive the kindness, help and support they need to go forward in their lives.

God bless all our diplomatic and military personnel and their families.  May the Lord keep them safe.  Pray for all throughout the world for hedges of protection against radical Muslim extremists and all forms of terrorism.   We have long prayed for spiritual victory over radical Islam in Esther’s Warriors Ministry. We now see the reality of this threat come to the forefront in this time in world history.

Please pray for all in authority over us, for the full truth to come forth concerning Benghazi and for safety in Israel.  May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe.  May we may arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history.

We continue to pray for truth to prevail as we saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America and for all of us who call ourselves American.  These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk.  Fail not in this hour.

Please Join Me In Prayer

Father we thank You that Your mercies are new every morning.  As we begin this Advent season use us to bring Your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven as we await the coming of Your Son.  Grace us throughout the year to walk in Your peace, hope, joy and love and carry them to a hurt and dying world.  Let us be true ambassadors in Christ each and every day.  We pray this in Jesus’ mighty name.  Amen and amen.