Advent

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”~~Abraham Lincoln

Today’s word of the day, from Word Think, is futile. “Incapable of producing any useful result; pointless.” As in, “We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

Today is Giving Tuesday. This day is set aside on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, to get the “giving season” started. It also serves to try to remind us that there is “more to holidays than consumerism and commercialization.”

It was tough getting back into the swing of things, yesterday, after a four day weekend. And, as expected, we pretty much got a double hit of packages from UPS, since they don’t observe a holiday on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We made a pretty good dent in it, though, and I stayed an extra hour before heading to Southlake for band practice.

It was there that I made a nice discovery. Our regular band director was not there last night, so we had a substitute. He is the only sub I’ve seen, so far, another one of the Southlake band directors. I only know his first name, which is Jay. Hah! Google is a wonderful thing. I just learned that his last name is Bach. Anyway, what I learned is that he did graduate work with Neill Humfeld at East Texas State University in the mid eighties! It was so cool to meet another student of Dr. Humfeld!

Today is Tuesday. Not much else about it. We might get our Christmas tree up tonight. Or we might get back to the gym. Christi put out some of our home decorations while I was at band practice last night. The house looks so beautiful! I love our home during Christmas!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Prepare the Way.”

And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
Luke 1:16-17

We have entered into a season known as “Advent.” It is the weeks leading up to the day we celebrate as Christmas on December 25. The quoted scripture verses refer to John the Baptist and his preparation for the arrival of Jesus. Advent can do the same for us, today.

Let us not enter into the Christmas season unprepared. Spiritually unprepared, that is. First, we should meditate on the fact that we need a savior. “Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight. It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior.” Yes, the Christmas story is beautiful and warm. However, we must consider why there was a need for the story to begin with.

Second, we should engage in “sober self-examination.” John Piper compares Advent to what Lent is for Easter. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24) One of the favorite Christmas hymns says, “Let every heart prepare him room . . .”

Third, we should have “God-centered anticipation,” expectation, and excitement in our homes. As we put up the decorations, let us converse about what they mean and why we put them up. Let us expect Jesus Christ to invade our homes and hearts this season.

Finally, we should search the Scriptures, and even memorize great passages. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:29) “Gather ’round that fire this Advent season. It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights.”

Father, as we prepare for Christmas, this year, let it be something magical, made so by your Holy Spirit, as we anticipate what Jesus can do in our lives this season. Let us not approach it unprepared, or even worse, in a blase fashion. Give us excitement and anticipation as we go through Advent, this season.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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