Reaching Out From
Grand Lake Community Chapel
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Greetings in Christ! This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us rejoice in the sights and sounds of the season, and let us be glad that we still have 18 days to make ourselves fully ready for the arrival of our Lord and Savior! While admittedly being overdone at times, the twinkling lights and bright ornaments can’t help but put a smile on our faces (even if that smile is accompanied by a shake of our heads). And the happy Christmas tunes that we hear urge us ever-forward in our preparations with a song in our hearts and a spring in our steps. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for one, and only one reason, regardless of the tinsel and packages strewn about; Jesus of Nazareth, who will redeem the world and change the course of history, is soon to be born to a young girl in harsh circumstances. Our cherished tradition of exchanging gifts at Christmas can be traced back to the Magi bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor the Christ Child; and we all (mostly) love searching for the perfect gift for those dear to us, and let’s be honest – we also enjoy receiving gifts! But have we stopped to think about whether or not our gift selections and suggestions are honoring of the One whose birth we are gearing up to celebrate? There’s absolutely, positively, nothing wrong with purchasing a special sweater for a special person or suggesting that we’d love to find a particular item under the tree on Christmas morning, but there’s something very right about making sure that a gift that will honor the Messiah is given at this time of the year. There are countless charities and benevolent organizations that do remarkable things with seemingly modest gifts, so let us gently encourage you to add a gift (or two) to the charity(ies) of your choice this Christmas. You might be amazed at how marvelous you’ll feel!
Blessings to you!
Karen and Greg
Home: (989) 474-9116, Cell: (734) 502-5969 email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
in everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Hello, my friends!
I LOVE this season of the year spent in Advent and the preparation for Christmas; don’t you?!!! My house smells so good with treats being prepared; and sometimes I even get to take advantage of my families’ fumbles with food! Decorations are appearing; and being the careful, big boy that I am, I now know that those shiny balls hanging from the tree are not toys! I so love ripping open packages, but know that I must wait for Christmas morning, and open only my presents. And while these elements of the holidays are great fun, my heart knows the real joy of the season is found in the Christ child. Jesus changes everything for us with His example, His grace, and His eternal love.
This year I’ve noticed that both churches have wreathes filled with five candles: three blue, one pink, and one white. We light one new candle on each Sunday of Advent; the white one in the center, called the Christ candle, is lit on Christmas Eve representing the birth of Jesus. Each candle has a different meaning, and I’ve decided to use the theme of each Sunday help guide me in my Advent preparation. We remember Jesus’ birth on Christmas, but we also prepare to meet Christ when He comes again.
The First Sunday of Advent is Hope. This year my focus was on the things I hoped for. I hope for treats; I hope for cuddles; I hope for rides in the truck; and I hope for Mom to drop food when she is cooking, but these seem rather selfish hopes when examining my state of readiness for meeting my Savior. This year I focused, instead, on my hopes and good wishes for others—my prayers for them, really. You are in my prayers.
On the Second Sunday of Advent we will light The Candle of Peace. When I seek peace I usually wish to keep other dogs off my sidewalk, squirrels out of my yard, and my people to stop bothering me when I am napping. This year my focus on peace will begin with thanksgiving for how very much God loves and cares for me. I have His support all day, every day—with that kind of gift I can live with true peace.
The Third Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Joy and we light the pink candle. I think of this as my Advent Sunday because I am all about joy. In fact, I wear a joy-meter right where my tail rests! Sometimes it almost flies off from my body because my joy is so extreme! Seeing you, the people I love; going to work with my parents; licking fresh snow; napping by the fire; chasing blowing leaves; and so many other things bring me joy. But you know sometimes opportunities for joy come my way and I miss them. This year I am going to try to be more observant and not miss any joy God sends my way. I’m also going to try hard to bring more joy into the lives of others.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent is the Love Sunday. God’s love is everywhere we turn; especially during Advent and Christmas! Love came down at Christmas as the Baby Jesus. This is a love that gives abundantly on into eternity! Love is shared between us and between me and my family. I want to share love everywhere I go this season! I can share love with a tail wag or a lick or just by sitting near. I can share love by protecting and welcoming. I will even try to warmly greet and love those tall men wearing hats or glasses that so often frighten me! Everyone deserves to be loved.
Dear friends, I wish you buckets of hope, peace, joy and love during this Holy Season. May your Advent journey be meaningful. Know that God loves you, and I do too!
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13