Thank You. Two simple words — both written and spoken — hover as an endangered species in our ‘hurry up and get it done’ culture. But we see in the Book of Luke that Thank You is important to God.
As another Christmas approached I found myself weary of the commercialized season. What I really longed for was thoughtful moments being mesmerized by my Savior's birth. The story that had transformed my life somehow seemed diminished in the to-do's of December. I searched for an Advent study that would take me through the Scriptures in order to feel the story firsthand, but I couldn't find one. So, I wrote one. I invited several others on this personal journey, and their encouragement to publish and post this study was unanimous.
Step out of time and into these Scriptures. Find yourself pondering afresh this moment when our stratosphere was interrupted with the divine. The silent and holy night is near. Make ready your heart to worship.
The following is the introduction to the ADVENT study. The ADVENT study guide and compact guide are available here.
Opportunity is knocking at your door this Oct 31st.
The opportunity to love your neighbor on Halloween and be a LIGHT.
I know, I know, it is the dreaded holiday -- Halloween. The one you celebrate BECAUSE it’s over.
But what if I told you that October 31st is redeemable? This is a day when you can bring glory to God. How, you ask? By letting your light shine!
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness
but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Not only does He say that He is the light of the world, but that WE are as well.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matt 5:14-16
Don’t hide, turning out all the lights so no one can see you this Halloween. And please don’t put a note on your door saying, “We are Christians and don’t celebrate evil.”
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
This is the time to overcome the darkness with light.
What if this year we all turn our lights up bright, and are the light to our neighbors?
How can you be a LIGHT this year to those around you? It can be as simple as opening your DOOR!
*Turn on your lights. Make your house bright and cheery. Put a string of white Christmas lights around your house. Make luminaries to line your walkway — buy Kraft lunch bags, fill with 2 inches of sand, and place battery lights inside.
*Give the BEST candy. (If you give a good-news tract, put candy with it as well.) Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Be a generous giver.
*Pray for your neighborhood as you prepare. Prayer-walk or prayer-drive the
neighborhood, asking God to help you develop relationships and to be a blessing to someone.
*Have treats for the parents -- cold water or hot chocolate, depending on the weather.
*Greet visitors with a smile and a welcoming attitude. Be on the porch as they
walk up. Create an inviting atmosphere with happy music playing. Decorate with pumpkins. (Remember they are not evil.)
*Get to know your neighbors by asking how they are or who they are.
*Value the children by finding something positive to say about their costumes.
*Have some dog treats available in case your neighbors bring Fido.
If you don’t have a “neighborhood” that has any trick-or-treaters, then ask a friend who has
“too many” if you can help -- buy candy; be a greeter and a blessing.
Go -- and be the light!
Other ideas and resources:
Click here for an excellent article on the origins and history of Halloween and All Hallows' Eve:
It was just a normal Tuesday. Then suddenly everyone’s cell phones lit up with the tragic news… another school shooting and again close to home! It was May 7th 2019 and all eyes turned to the news coming from the STEM School in Highland Ranch, CO, which was just three miles and ten minutes from my home. But this time the news was more poignant, for the high school son of one of our NBS2GO moms went to that school.