Advent Tales Week 3: The Treasures we find

  This week, we are looking at some of the classic ideas that were part of the Advent books from years past. In our church, each year we asked members and staff to write about Advent, and our Dean of the Chapel, Bill Wallof,  was an accomplished writer and a warm and witty speaker. Here is one that Bill shared with us, about treasure. The Treasures we store   “The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found, and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”-Matthew 13:44   Christmas & Treasure go hand in hand for me. The image of the wise men from the East is ingrained in my mind’s eye. Matthew said, “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”-Matthew 2:11 Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount teaches “Do not shore up for yourselves treasure on Earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal., but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21   Advent is a wonderful time to reflect on the ‘treasure’ we find there in the Bethlehem manger. The joy & richness of the Christmas season is no accident. God has gifted us with a treasure that is of unspeakable value. Lord God, we praise you for the treasure we find in Jesus Christ. We thank you that our treasure chest is a manger. In this time of Advent, prepare our hearts to receive His coming. May our hearts find treasure only in Him! –Amen Bill Wallof (Reprinted from 2000 Devotion)

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Monday Muse: The power of Forgiveness & to begin anew!

Power From the Daily Word, there is a very good reminder of the power we wield each day. “The actions I take express the power of God”.…When we are driving a car, or teaching a child, or even interacting with others, we are wielding power. We have the power to help and guide and nurture. Also there is the power to hurt others, and to cause great harm with thoughtless actions and deeds. And so it follows that when we can feel the spiritual nature of our self, and express that side with our own actions, thoughts and deeds, we can be humbled by the awesome power given to us through God. And there is an exciting thought that we can then use that power to become our best self and to do wonderful things. Forgive How do we learn to forgive? In one respect, we learn by forgiving ourselves. And when we think of the past, and things we may have done that touched others, or hurt others, and if we have been forgiven, we can then strive to forgive ourselves and others. If we choose to have an open heart and a forgiving nature, we can learn to accept the past and the mistakes others have made. And we have to remember, (especially in this Growing Group!), that we are on a journey of learning and of growth. We will find that forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves as well as to others. Our Bible passage this week helps us heal: Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Commence Remember that old saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life?!” If we can use our five senses and also our own inner self to learn and to grow,  then we find it easier to forgive and to commence living in the moment.  We will approach each new challenge, and each new day with an invigorating sense of purpose and joy. It is a good time to reflect, to pause, and to understand where we have been, before we move forward. With God as your guide, and with a new sense that there are many pages left to be written for you in your book of life, you can begin to realize the power you possess. Commence your life from this day forward with purpose and with focus, and you will find each day brings new rewards as it unfolds as God intended. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy-Matthew 5:7 Mantra: This week I will begin by channeling the power that I know God has given each of us on this Earth,  And from there I will mindfully meditate on ways the power each of us holds can be used for goodness and for the right purpose. I am going to learn to forgive myself, each day this week with a reminder of forgiveness for myself and others. And finally, I am going to concentrate on ways to begin anew! Things that I have put off, and things I want to do, are going to commence in some small steps that will lead to a major change in my attitude for living. Each day is new and I will commence living it to the fullest. Facebook Twitter Youtube

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