"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent-Week Two

Week Two
We are now in Week Two of the Advent season. The candle this week is the candle of Bethlehem (some call it the candle of preparation) and the theme is PEACE. The four focus scriptures are printed below for your convenience. The post for Week I describing Advent can be found here if you missed it.
I am blessed to be able to share a poem about preparation with you this week. I met Keith Wallis through ChristianWriters.com. He has an amazing talent for using words in unique ways to bring new meaning to them. Check out his blogs or books for other poems he’s written.

Ascend our Thoughts
By Keith Wallis

Resplendent in glistered frost we unwrap the special day
when all is changed,  though still the same,
and mangers, stars and hay
ascend our thoughts. 

Nativities have come and gone in varieties of craft
some creating tear drops,
and some creating laughs
ascend our thoughts. 

Discarded wrappings litter our paths and cheery homes
and somehow Jesus lays there
while reindeer, elves and gnomes
ascend our thoughts. 

The carols fuel our reveries, Silent Nights and First Noels,
and in semi-Bleak Midwinter
the turkey-roasting smells
ascend our thoughts. 

The Christmas gift, if gift it is, costing much yet given so free
meanders in the mistletoe
as mischievous kissery
ascends our thoughts. 

Yet, trapped within our wonders, the miracle of birth,
new sounds upon the quietude,
new feet upon the earth
ascend our thoughts. 

And Christ has come again, again. In mangers of unworthy hearts
unwrapped, and Holy, bright and new
that love of God, which He imparts,
ascends our thoughts.

               Throughout the remainder of the Advent and Christmas seasons, let’s set our mind on PEACE as we go about the myriad chores it takes to prepare for Christmas. Let your spirit be so peaceful that it spreads to others. When they mention how peaceful you appear, tell them where your PEACE comes from – the One we celebrate, who came to bring PEACE to all, now and forever.
May your days be blessed with PEACE and joy-

Keith Wallis
Keith Wallis is an English poet and part of the Senior Leadership Team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An Engineering Designer by trade, he brings an eye for detail as well as his faith into his poetry. Keith is also the poet in residence at Ruby e-zine and moderator at ChristianWriters.com. Married to Val in 1970, they have two sons and three grandsons. You can read his poetry on his blogs: ( http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/, http://ariverofsmallstones.blogspot.com/ , or wordsculpture. Keith has four books in print which you can find out about on his blogs.

Malachi 3:1-4 (ESV)
3 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Philippians 1:3-11 (ESV)

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 

Psalm 95 (ESV)

Let Us Sing Songs of Praise
95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand. 

Luke 3:1-6 (ESV)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

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