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Don’t Save it All for Christmas

Twenty-seventh Day of Advent 2013

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

Love AbidesChristmas season is drawing to a close, and as I write this last post for Advent 2013, I’m reflecting on what makes the holidays so special. The gifts? The decorations? The food? Nah, they’ll all be forgotten in a short time…well with the exception of the food, perhaps, as we resolve to lose the weight we inevitably gained over the weeks between Thanksgiving and January 1st.

Maybe the family gatherings and social functions make Christmas time rise above all the other events during the year. But the preparation of these occasions often sends our stress levels over the edge.

No, there has to be an element to the yuletide that goes beyond or adds to all the gifts, decorations, food, and activities.

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Enjoy the sounds of Christmas as you prepare for Jesus’ Second Advent.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

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A Baby Changes Everything

Twenty-sixth Day of Advent, 2013

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)

Baby JesusNothing changes a life like the addition of a new life. Babies change our sleeping habits, our diets, and our social life. Babies even change our perspective on our surroundings.

As we age, we take more and more for granted. We miss the wonder of creation. But babies, as they discover their environment, slow us down and reintroduce us to cows, grass, and clouds. They reinvent our language with their perception of the meaning and their pronunciations of our words.

They redefine love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

All babies change lives. However, only one baby changed the course of the world.

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Enjoy the sounds of Christmas as you prepare for Jesus’ Second Advent.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I Celebrate the Day

Twenty-fifth Day of Advent, 2013

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:5 and 10 NIV)

As much as our methods of celebrating Christmas vary, so do our reasons for celebrating. Many observe the day because of family traditions. They enjoy exchanging gifts, family get-togethers, and parties. To some, it’s an excuse to take time off work and go on long vacations. (I’m amazed at how many people in the United States don’t want to say “Christmas” or have anything to do with Jesus, but take advantage of time off work. If the opportunity to work arises, they’re the first ones to decline. Just a rabbit trail, but it puzzles me.) Still others commemorate the day because of the money they make.

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Enjoy the sounds of Christmas as you prepare for Jesus’ Second Advent.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Silent Night

Twenty-fourth Day of Advent, 2013

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 1:4-5, 3:19)

Christmas LightsCommunities all over the world exhibit wondrous displays of lights during the Christmas season. People travel for miles to view the spectacular, colorful, often animated presentations. Even our small community has a Christmas decoration competition each year.

Have you ever thought about what the lights represent? The stars…The Star that shone for Jesus and led the Magi to His birth place in Bethlehem comes to mind. Or perhaps the bright light the shepherds saw just before the angel appear to announce Jesus’ advent could be the image being portrayed.  Or is itthe multitude of angels as they joined the first in a splendid array of dazzling light and song?

Still, there’s another light mentioned…

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See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

A Thousand Candles

Twenty-third Day of Advent, 2013

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:1-4 NIV)

Wreath

If the adage, united we stand divided we fall, applies to any group of people, it applies to Christians. We are spiritually one body in Christ. When we separate ourselves from the body, we open ourselves up for attack from the enemy. We need one another. It’s that simple.

 

  1. Encouraging other Christians helps us stand firm on the teachings of the Bible
  2. Comforting those around us strengthens our faith
  3. Showing tenderness and compassion enables us to receive the same when we are in need

We can only give what we have received. But it’s in the giving that we find unity in Christ.

Read More and Listen to A Thousand Candles

Enjoy the sounds of Christmas, as you prepare for Jesus’ Second Advent.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

We Three Kings

Twenty-second Day of Advent, 2013

But when they [the Magi] returned to their own land, they didn’t go through Jerusalem to report to Herod, for God had warned them in a dream to go home another way. (Matthew 2:12 TLB)

Learn from the Magi

Learn from the Magi

As astrologers, the Magi from the Fareast followed a star they perceived to shine for a newborn king. They had studied Jewish scriptures and knew of the teachings of a king who would come to lead the Israelites out of bondage. The Magi’s lack of understanding of prophecy lead them to the palace in Jerusalem. Where else would they find the heir to the throne?

They weren’t the only ones to misinterpret Scripture. King Herod, along with all of Jerusalem, was disturbed to hear the news of a new king’s birth. Yet, Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him” (Matthew 2:8).

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Enjoy the sounds of Christmas as you prepare for Jesus’ Second Advent.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Twenty-first Day of Advent

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent… (Revelation 3:3 NIV)

Pipe OrganThe beautiful organ music in today’s video brought back so many Christmas memories for me. In our Tiny-town, USA, we have two churches and three denominations, all worshiping the same God separately and holding on to different traditions. But the late-night, Christmas Eve service drew our community together. We packed away our differences and worshipped God and Jesus with song and word. I especially remember the choir, made up of people from all denominations. Their songs were lavished with harmony and praise to the King of kings and were accompanied by one of the oldest usable pipe-organs in the country. Beautiful, rich, welcoming notes flowed from those pipes…still do.

However, not all my Christmas memories are so precious and heart-warming.

Read More and View Hard the Herald Angels Sing.

Enjoy the sounds of Christmas as you prepare for Jesus’ Second Advent

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks