Wednesday, December 17, 2014

First Impression Specialist

Several years ago I had the blessing of being our church’s first receptionist. Prior to me taking the position, we didn’t have a particular person answering the phones and greeting the people who came through the front door. However, as our church grew, the need to delegate some responsibilities (I’ll call them blessings) also grew.

I soon discovered that this position provided an opportunity to meet many new people, both to me and to the church. It also gave me an opportunity to serve in a way that seemed to suit my personality. I am cheerful by nature, and I’ve been told that my voice is a pleasant one on the phone. So, as I dove into this new area of service, I was filled with joy by being able to use a gift that seemed to come so easily to me.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 3rd Sunday in Advent and Sharing His Beauty!

“When they saw the star they were filled with great joy!” (Matthew 2:10)

The Magi who sought the Messiah rejoiced when they saw the star in the east for they knew that it was a sign from the heavens that would lead them to their Savior. They longed to find the Lord so they could bow down and worship Him as King. When the star filled the sky and lighted the way, they knew that their search was almost at an end and their hearts were overwhelmed with joy!

Just like the Wise Men of years ago, there are many searchers in the world today. They are men and women, both young and old, who are looking for something to fix the pain, remove the ache and save them from an empty life. But, unlike the travelers who found Jesus by the light of that star over Bethlehem, they often follow the wrong paths. Somehow, they miss His Light, for lack of a star. But still, they search. And for those who search for the Lord, they will find joy beyond their imagination, for they will find Christ. He is the only One who can satisfy the longing in our hearts and fill the “God-shaped” hole inside of us. We have but to ask…

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sharing His Beauty and the 2nd Sunday in Advent

Purpose...  Thirty three years before Jesus walked the dusty road to Calvary, He came to this earth in the body of an infant.  The Creator became the created; wholly Divine and yet wholly human.  In that humble stable 2000 years ago, as angels watched and a young mother labored, God put His plan into motion.  Jesus was born into this world to give us a gift unimaginable.  He came to bring us peace with God.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. 
I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled 
and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Since sin first entered the world through an act of deception in the garden, we have been separated from God.  But Jesus made a way to bridge the gap through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.  He came with a purpose of reconciliation.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

20 Christmas Activities for the Empty-Nester!

I thought I'd re-post a popular post from last year.  As my husband prepare for Christmas this December, we have already enjoyed several of the ideas listed below! 

For those of us who are “empty-nesters” Christmastime can be pretty nostalgic. I love Christmas, but now that our children are grown, so many of our family traditions have ended. Rather than getting maudlin and sad during the time of year that should be the most joyful of all, I decided to continue to make new traditions…but traditions for my husband and myself! We will still, of course, share Christmas with our grown children and family, but now, when we are often “just the two of us”, the following list is helping to make our empty-nest Christmas special!

1.  Decorate the House – It is fun, festive, and it puts you in the holiday spirit!

2.  Christmas Tree Hunting – Go to a Christmas tree farm and go “hunting”! It’s a fun way to be outside and do something together. There are many lots in the towns, but if you are close to an area where there are tree farms, I recommend it! Often the farms have festive music and hot cocoa available…and even hay rides!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sharing His Beauty - First Sunday in Advent

Even though Thanksgiving is now over, we still have so much to be thankful for, don't we?  On this first Sunday in Advent – the beautiful season when we prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Christ – we are reminded to place our hope in Him. He is our firm foundation and the Anchor which holds us fast. He came to give us hope – hope of a life forever with Him. Christ, the ultimate sacrificial Lamb, willingly took our sins upon His shoulders to set us free! What an incredible gift! No longer are we chained to our pasts or burdened with an uncertain future.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. 
It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary” (Hebrews 6:19).

When we place our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed.  The things of this world will come and go, like sand slipping through our fingers.  But Christ and His promises are trustworthy and unchanging.  He tells us that no matter what happens in this world, when we place our hope in Him, we are secure.  And that security…that hope…gives us peace of mind and heart.