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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Twentieth Day of Advent, 2013

…Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1Kings 19:11-12 NIV)

God's WhisperIf you want to get someone’s attention, whisper. A soft voice works better than trying to talk above the noise. People pause to listen…in most cases. This method works well with crying toddlers. When you whisper in their ear, they have to stifle the sobs to understand what you’re telling them. They perceive you are trying to communicate a secret and want to hear you.

As our children grow, our technique has to be altered somewhat.

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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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The First Noel

Nineteenth Day of Advent, 2013

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5 NIV)

ShepherdsOne of the amazing facts about Jesus’ birth is to whom God chose to announce His coming. The first on the list were the shepherds. They smelled like their sheep. They had bad reputations for not complying with Jewish laws, namely keeping the Sabbath. They had to tend their sheep even on holy days. By this time, the Pharisees had made strict laws including how many steps were permissible to take on the Sabbath…laws that were nearly impossible to keep. Thereby, the shepherds were considered Israel’s lowlife. Not fit to be in the presence of the respectable people of the day.

Yet, God chose the shepherds.

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

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

We are the Reason

Eighteenth Day of Advent, 2013

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Celebrating Life Eternal As I thought about doing the Advent blog this year, I decided to base each post on a Christmas song. I included contemporary, traditional, soloists, instrumental, dancers, hand mimes, adults, children, professional, and novice. Each night before bed, I prayed that God would awaken me with a song and a message for the day, which He has done graciously.

This morning, I woke with the song We are the Reason on my mind. Before starting my post, I opened my email. The first message I saw: Jesus is the Reason for the Season. I took that as confirmation for what I am to write today. The two statements go hand-in-hand.

Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. It’s His birthday, right? We want to honor Him by remembering the miracles surrounding His birth. Drawing our attention back to that historical event reminds us of who He is, where He came from, and why He came.

Why He came…aah, the reason for the season.

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

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

One King

Seventeenth Day of Advent, 2013

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem… . On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1, 11 NIV)

Dawning of a Brand New Day

Dawning of a Brand New Day

We’re all acquainted with the gifts of the Magi. But do we know where they come from, what they’re used for, and what they symbolize?

Frankincense derives from a milky white resin extracted from species of the genus Boswellia, which thrive in arid, cool areas of the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and India.

Myrrh is a reddish resin that comes from species of the genus Commiphora, which are native to northeast Africa and the adjacent areas of the Arabian Peninsula.

Uses:

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

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming

Sixteenth Day of Advent, 2013

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. (Luke 2:46-49 NIV)

O, How a Rose Ere BloomingMary had plans to live a peaceable life as the wife of a simple Jewish carpenter. It was a perfect plan, a typical plan for a young Jewish girl, a realistic plan to satisfy her and her fiancé’s earthly needs. The courtship had begun. The dowry had been met. The arrangements for the wedding feast were in the works. What a joyous time for the bride-to-be.

Then the most unexpected, unimaginable phenomenon happened.

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

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Fifteenth Day of Advent, 2013

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

SnowIf you want to take in the beauty of freshly fallen snow, do it quickly. It doesn’t last but a few hours in today’s fast paced world. Snowplows reposition the white covering off the roads. In doing so, hidden dirt surfaces, marring the face of the wintry blanket.

People have a tendency to mar God’s perfect gift of grace too.

Read More and View I Heard the Bells of Christmas Day.

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

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Mary Did You Know?

Fourteenth Day of Advent 2013

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

 

In my opinion, nothing looks cleaner or more refreshing than a fresh blanket of snow. It covers the dead grass, adds crispness to bear tree limbs, and brightens the landscape.

What better metaphor to describe the redemption of a soul. Jesus’ blood, when claimed by sinners, covers our lifeless deeds, adds beauty to our barren dispositions, and brightens our outlooks on life. Jesus washes our sin-soiled souls, preparing us to meet God the Father. He, then, looks at us and sees nothing but Jesus’ righteousness covering us.

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

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks