Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Christmas Present

I received an early Christmas present this year. I was hired for a full time position at a local church. I am an administrative assistant and will work with volunteers at the church, design media for rolling screens in the gathering area, design pamphlets and brochures, help with special events and other duties. This job seems custom built for my talents and gifts. I am so excited and thankful. I have been looking for a job for 6 weeks. I did some part-time and temporary work this last month, but I am so relieved to know that I am finally in a full time position. It is also wonderful that there is a great bunch of people on staff there.
I did not post last week so I do not have the second candle of the Advent Wreath. Last Sunday the pastor spoke about John the Baptist. John called us to action- "And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to the, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.".... "So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people."
Luke 3:10-14, 18

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Extend kindness this season to others. Have patience with the cashiers and busy shoppers in line to check out. Share your Christmas meal with a single person or someone who is facing the holiday alone. This is how John the Baptist told believers to prepare their hearts and lives for the coming King. This season calls us to share from our many blessings.
May your Christmas be full of love, family and friends.
On a knitting note, I was able to meet with our knitting ministry group last week. We knitted, visited and had some holiday snacks. It was good to be back with these ladies and to get back to doing some knitting again. I am sure that I will feel creative again and back into regular knit therapy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Advent: A Time of Expectation.

We lit the first candle of Advent on Sunday. It is hard to believe that advent is upon us. It is a time of preparation- We prepare our homes for the holidays, we write Christmas cards, shop for the perfect gift, yet do we really prepare our hearts and lives for the coming King. I always loved Christmas as it brought a new season into my flower shop. Red velvet bows, pinecones and gold jingle bells appeared. Poinsettias and Norfolk Island pines waited to be dressed in reds and golds. Pine, Noble Fir and Incense Cedars arrived in boxes from northern states miles away from our South Texas shop. I decorated homes, churches and businesses, prepared holiday centerpieces and baked goods, and practiced the Christmas cantata at church. At times I felt too busy to enjoy the beauty that surrounded me. Christmas always rushed by so quickly that by January, I finally caught up with myself and felt that I had missed the holiday.
This year I find myself with a part-time job in search of something full-time. The house is fully decorated and I have been helping others to decorate for the season. I even made a fresh holiday arrangement for a chapel service. For the first time in years, my life is moving at a slower pace. Maybe this year I am called to slow down and seek the coming King. "Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10 or in another translation: "Cease striving and know that I am God". I will make a point this year to listen for the heavenly messengers heralding the good news of great joy. I will look for the star in the east that will lead me to the pressence of the King. I will draw near to that holy stable and experience the Love that came down for you and me. I want to listen, to see, to seek, and encounter all that this season promises. I am thankful for that perfect gift of love. I do not want to miss Him- Immanuel, God with Us. I want to honor Him and His birth. I want to encounter my Lord, who was born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. That is the Christmas that I seek. The rest is just dressing and giftwrap for the King. I pray that you are blessed in the coming year and that you may feel God's love this Christmas.