Third week of Advent – Joy!

We are two weeks away from Christmas! Are you ready? Have you experienced hope and love as we intentionally take time to reflect on the season? This week’s advent focus is joy! Today we light the candle of hope, the candle of love and the candle representing joy!

I’m grateful for the focus of joy because even though this season has been overflowing with joy, today, for no reason I could pinpoint, I lacked joy. Pondering, I was reminded of Psalm 126. This psalm encouraged me and refocused my heart on joy. Here’s an excerpt:

“The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.”
Psalm 126:3

During times when we don’t ‘feel’ so joyous, contemplating our blessings, especially the blessing of our ‘come to earth’ Saviour, is sure to help us reframe and refocus.

Let us rejoice this week!

Let us choose to thank.
Let us choose to forgive.
Let us choose to hope.
Let us choose to love.
Let us choose joy.
He has done great things!

“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the rock eternal! ” Isaiah 26:4.

Let us choose to trust.
Let us laugh with those who laugh and comfort those who mourn.
He has done great things!

Let us smile and appreciate our friends and family….my precious friend Andrea loving on Tahoe warms my heart with pure joy!

Let us sing songs of joy!

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

How are you fairing this week? Won’t you choose hope, love and joy with me?

The Lord has done great things! Joy to the world!
Choosing Joy!


Second Week of Advent – Love

This week we re-light the candle of hope and we add the candle of love. We remember with grateful hearts the gift of Jesus, who came as a babe in a manger, lived and loved among us, died on a cross, and arose! His love endures forever.

Jesus brought his unselfish, compassionate and unconditional love. It’s amazing He loves us just as we are. He gives us love so we can, in turn, give it away in the same unselfish, compassionate, unconditional way.

‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’ John 13:35

We can choose to offer love or to hold it back. In situations where it is hard to offer love, let’s ask for an abundance of love in our hearts so we are able to offer it to others by the power of his grace.  It seems like this season has the capacity to bring out the best and the worst in us.  Just yesterday I found myself getting grumpy with my amazing man over ‘busy’ activities. Oh, such ‘stupid stuff’ to cause a missed opportunity of gratitude and love.  I remember again and again what a gift I have in my husband!

Let’s be reminded of the distinguishing mark of love that we carry as followers of Christ and ask for His love to be evident in our words and actions as we interact with others. May we seek to bring unity and balance into relationships or situations, and listen to people with sincerity and interest.

We have hope. We have love.  Let’s live it and give it.

Father God, thank you for your generous love to us. Help us to offer that same gracious love to those we encounter. Pour your love into our hearts so we can give it away. To God be all glory. Amen.

First Week of Advent – Hope

I hope your Thanksgiving holidays were full of memory making!  Because two of  my teenage nieces were visiting, I had my first experience with black Friday shopping!  Wow!  I never knew one could wait in a check out line for over an hour in the middle of the night.  I’m promoting cyber shopping for future Thanksgiving visits.

Now it’s time to continue giving thanks as we enter the Advent season.  Yesterday was the first Sunday of advent.

On the first Sunday a purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.

Each week on Sunday, an additional candle is lit. On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit. This candle represents love.

On the third Sunday of Advent the pink, or rose-colored candle is lit. This pink candle is called the “Shepherds Candle” and it represents joy.

The fourth and last purple candle, oftentimes called the “Angels Candle,” represents peace and is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent.

On Christmas Eve, the white center candle is lit. This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color white represents purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior.

May your week be filled with hope.

Lord, we sense your power and your might
and we stand in awe of the hope you give.
As we  begin this Advent journey,
teach us to turn to you as our hope.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.