Saturday, December 20, 2014


Advent is . . .
Longing and looking
Waiting and watching
Attentive anticipation
Earnest expectation
Patient preparation
During this season of hope we look back on, remember, and celebrate what many generations only dreamed of and longed for - the Incarnation of the promised Messiah. But we not only look back, we look forward to another promise, that of His return. 
Never lose that sense of expectancy that Advent is about!
Don't lose heart!
Hold fast to the hope!
May this Christmas bring you, your family, and your church God's richest blessings. May His favor be abundantly poured out on you and all you hold dear.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy Holidays!

"Happy whatever-your-holidays-might-be!"

For me:
it was Thanksgiving,
currently is Advent,  
soon will be twelve days of Christmas,
followed by Epiphany.

I don't presume that you would know that, nor do I assume you will remember that, so, "Happy Holidays!" will be just great.

When you smile at me and wish me a "Happy Holidays!" I will intentionally "keep Christ in Christmas" by kindly and simply saying, "Why, thank you! May your holidays be happy as well." A big part of "keeping Christ in Christmas" is keeping His grace in Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A True Advent Hymn

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is truly a hymn for Advent. The earnest desire for the One who would come as Israel's Deliverer is seen in every verse. This longing and hoping, watching and waiting is what the spirit of Advent is all about. Originally written in Latin in the 12th century, this hymn was translated into English by John M. Neale in 1851. Neale originally translated the first line, "Draw nigh, draw nigh, Em­man­u­el."

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.

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
who orderest all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them victory over the grave.

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death's dark shadows put to flight.

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times once gave the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, thou Root of Jesse's tree,
an ensign of thy people be;
before thee rulers silent fall;
all peoples on thy mercy call.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.