***The next few posts will be different than my norm. They will be dated like diary entries and will be read as such. With the new year and future posts, I’ll e focusing on YOU, but for this season, this is what and how I feel compelled to write. If this isn’t your preference, please bear with me.***

December 18, 2016 – 4th Sunday of Advent

There was no church today. There was enough ice and snow, along with harsh cold temperatures (for Oklahoma), that made it prudent to cancel. Our family has several members who would have come even though they should not get out in such weather.

It was the 2nd day in a row that my 17-year-old daughter wasn’t scheduled to work. She’s saving up for a car – going of to college in 8 very short months – and it was refreshing to spend 2 days with her at home. Saturday, we took her ‘fall’ senior pictures – a little late, but better than never. She and I are both hoping for a deep snow for her ‘winter’ senior pictures. She’s my 2nd to leave home, but it doesn’t appear to be getting easier.

The Advent topic would have been peace, and my days were filled with quiet, peace, reading, snuggles, and family.

December 19, 2016 – Monday

Have you ever noticed what some may call “coincidence”? I call most of it God-moments, when things work out so well and so uniquely it can only be God. Today’s First5 devotional was on PEACE. I believe it was a God-moment that the First5 study of Luke 19:28-48 today would focus on peace, the topic of Advent and the virtue of Jesus I had experienced for the last 2 days.

Here are the highlights of Krista Williams’ devotional and my thoughts about it:

“What a tragedy to miss Jesus and the true peace only He can bring.”

Jesus is weeping (Luke 19:41-42) because those He came for rejected Him. Krista asks, “What is peace?” She answers in a way I never could …

“Peace is the tranquil state of a soul assured of salvation through Christ. …Peace isn’t connected to a lack of noise, trouble or difficulty. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart. Peace is a person. Peace is found in Jesus Christ—He is the Prince of Peace.”

Krista reminded me “He stands ready to be [my] peace today and every day.”

I encourage you, if you don’t have Jesus’ peace today, to find someone who does and ask questions. Contact me if you don’t know anyone. Here are His promises available to all:

Isaiah 9:6 – “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

John 14:27 – “”I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Philippians 4:7 – “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16 – “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.”

Psalm 29:10-11 – “The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.

December 24, 2016 – Christmas Eve

Tonight at 6:00 p.m., my chosen family of Grace Bible Church will gather for our annual Christmas Eve celebration. It is a time we set aside to worship and honor Christ. We will have all four Advent candles lit – Hope, Love, Joy, Peace; we will light the large white Christ candle and use its flame to spread light from candle to candle, person to person, around the sanctuary as we sing “Silent Night” …

Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright. …

Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia …

Son of God, love’s pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace …

Jesus, Lord …

We will also share a meal together – simple finger foods made extra delicious by the Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace we celebrate together as a chosen family.

Thank you for enjoying and celebrating Advent with me. Thank you for helping me to process the loss of a dear friend. You are loved beyond your wildest imagination!