RSS

Celebrate Advent by Making an Advent Calendar

One way to remain spiritually centered during the festive Christmas season is to create an Advent Calendar that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas – the celebration of the arrival of the Savior. Search the Web for examples of Advent Calendars or design your own Calendar.

  • Each day of Advent illustrate a different verse from Scripture that centers on God’s promise to send a Savior and that highlights the circumstances of Christ’s birth. End the calendar with the nativity scene.
  • Spend a few minutes each day meditating on the Scripture and your illustrations.
  • For those not artistically inclined, purchase a spiral journal with an inspirational  Christmas illustration or verse on the cover and start creating your Advent Calendar.
  • Use stickers, shapes, clip art, or your own drawings to illustrate your understanding of Scripture.
  • Select Scripture readings from the Revised Daily Common Lectionary for 2017.

 

 

Use a Journal or Sketchbook to Create your Own Advent Calendar

 

sketchbookwriting journa;

 

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2017 in Inspirational

 

Advent Explained

The Christian Advent Season focuses on the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Savior – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

  • For some, it is an incredibly festive time set aside to marvel and give thanks to God. Gift-giving and receiving; sharing meals, displaying bright, colorful decorations, and listening to, and, singing upbeat secular songs symbolize the festive part of Advent.
  • For others, like Lent, Advent is a time of penance. For them, Advent is marked by spending more time than is typical for them:  reading Scripture, praying for guidance; interceding for others; singing hymns that tell the Christmas story; reenacting  the birth of Christ as depicted in Scripture, not as shown in movies, and giving more than is usual. Advent week 1 2017
  • Advent includes the four Sundays preceding Christmas.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2017 in Inspirational

 

All Lives Matter, Each Life Matters, Every Life Matters: Randolph Holder- more than an NYPD Blue Suit

NYPD Officer Randolph Holder

The brutal assassination of NYPD officer Randolph Holder by a deranged, but not insane, gunman was a great tragedy and an atrocity against humanity. Many, myself included, are deeply saddened and outraged by his murder. There is absolutely no justification for nor rationale that explains or excuses the cowardly, senseless and heartless taking of Officer Holder’s life.

Randolph Holder’s death is not tragic simply because he was an NYPD officer whose life was snuffed out while he was performing his duty. The circumstances of his death, at least for me, would be just as grievous if Randolph Holder had been an innocent bystander or a store clerk instead of a first responder.  Officer Holder’s death is tragic because his life was inherently meaningful since he was created by and in the image of God. His life should not have been viciously snatched away.

Unfortunately, some will use the killing of Officer Holder to advance their political agendas, regardless of how altruistic those motives. For some, the homicide will bolster their cries for stiffer gun laws. Others will highlight Officer Holder’s death as an example of why stop-and-frisk laws need reinstatement.

The perpetrator of Officer Holder’s death is a vicious killer who was determined to do evil. Neither stiffer gun legislation nor the stop-and-frisk law would have prevented him from doing his dastardly deed.

May God have mercy upon Officer Holder’s family, friends, and co-workers.  May the Spirit of the only true, wise, and living God, comfort and console all those adversely affected by Randolph Holder’s sudden and immeasurable sad death.

(During a recent news conference, a wise police officer said he would not mention the name of the perpetrator of a horrific crime that resulted in death and destruction.

I am following that officers lead by not naming Officer Holder’s alleged killer )

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Inspirational

 

When We Are Free

 

When we are free, we pull, prod, flatten, and stretch our imaginations

 When we are free, we dream of endless possibilities

 

When we are free, what others do not observe, we clearly see

          When we are free, we can just be

 

When we are free, in times of tranquility we perceive and embrace the vibrant

          colors of life rhythmically dancing by

 

When we are free, in tumultuous times we are acutely aware of those same colors

          dulling and fading in and out as they march stealthily by

 

When we are free, we trust unconditionally

          When we are free, we can just be

 

When we are free, we smell and feel the nuances of the changing seasons

When we are free, we give freely and freely receive

 

When we are free, there is no fear

          When we are free, we can just be

 

When we are free, with anticipation and expectation we ride bareback the bucking

 bull of life

 

When we are free, we get knocked down; but we get back up and happily we keep

 moving: riding, walking, skipping, sometimes even crawling

 

When we are free, we have deep-belly laughs and brokenhearted cries

          When we are free, we can just be

 

When we are free, we create peace and exude harmony

      When we are free, we tiptoe gingerly through the mazes of other people’s lives

 

When we are free, we speak softly and gently roll up and down life’s slopes

          When we are free, we can just be!

 

When we are free, we love unconditionally

          When we are free, we breathe in and radiate hope

 

When we are free, we run barefoot over the hot coals of life without getting singed

          When we are free, we can just be!

 

 

 

 

 

Allegra S. Hoots

 

6/3/2017

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Inspirational

 

“god of Imagination”

 

Spindly, swishing, swaying

    bending like a reed bowed by a gentle breeze

Slinking, slippery, sliding

   wiggling like Jell-O moving around on a flat plate

Shifting, shuffling, sifting  

   spiraling like sand in a glass spinning top

Shunning, snubbing, searing

   subjugating like a corralled majestic stallion

Teeny, tiny, tipsy

    narrow and prickly like a needle

Picking, piercing, prancing

   swollen like a bubble created with gum

Yanking, yearning, yelping

   elusive like Santa Clause conjured up by human desire and will

Dancing, dangling, doting

   gliding over injustices life a super-surfer selectively riding waves

Accepting, affirming, alternating

   glossing and smoothing over cruelty like makeup temporarily hides flaws

Engaging in artificial competition, god of imagination

   gloats like a true Olympian

Foolish and powerless, except in the minds of those whose

  creation it is, god of imagination!

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Inspirational

 

The ABC’s of Friendship

Friendship is…

Accepting

Believing

Caring

Daring to trust

Embarking on, embracing, and exploring life’s various journeys,

   or maybe just sharing one meaningful adventure

Freely showing one’s authentic self, without fear of judgement

Giving without expecting or hoping to receive

Honoring

Identifying and investing in common interests  

Jumping in to help, when and where help is needed

Kindly accepting and expressing differences

Laughing and learning

Motivating through actions and with words

Nurturing and nursing

Opening that which affirms

Practicing patience and peace

Questioning only for clarity

Reflecting, repenting and renewing

Searching and sharing

Trusting, not trampling

Uniting and unifying

Venting and vesting

Watching and waiting

X-raying one’s own heart

Yearning and yielding

Zigzagging and zestful

Friendship is priceless!!

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Inspirational

 

Justice for All Includes Members of the LGBT Community

There is no place in a civil society for acts of barbarism.   On, Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2016  Omar Mateen, the shooter in the Orlando, Florida night club massacre, committed such an act.  Whatever his motives, his actions were wrong. There is absolutely no justification for the horrific act of violence he inflicted on innocent people.

According to media reports, the Pulse is a popular gathering place for members of the LGBT community.  Many believe that is why Mateen chose to attack the patrons there.  If that assumption is true, it is imperative that people outside of the LGBT community explicitly and boldly condemn attacks against LGBT people.

To eradicate injustice people of goodwill, who are not directly negatively affected by the unfairness perpetrated against an individual or group, must work alongside the oppressed to offer support and to eliminate the factors that cause suffering.  Such was the case in the fight to end slavery and Jim Crow Law in America.

The American abolitionists took measures to eradicate slavery at the risk of great harm to themselves and their families. They faced, and many experienced, death, incarceration, loss of wealth and status, and being ostracized by loved ones. Likewise, many non-Blacks who fought alongside the black activists of the 1950s and 1960s to end Jim Crowe Law suffered fates similar to those of the early abolitionists. Those who lived through the struggle recall the brutality that took the lives of the Freedom Riders-blacks and whites- and the suffering inflicted on all who dared speak openly against discrimination and who worked to eliminate racist practices in America.

Non-black abolitionists and Freedom Fighters had everything to lose and little to gain by openly joining blacks in the struggle for justice, a struggle we are still battling. Non-blacks were better positioned within their own core groups than blacks to highlight the errors in moral reasoning that facilitated oppression.  They used their positions to aid in the fight for black liberation.

Citing the Constitution and sacred texts they appealed to members of their own circles to stop the inhumane treatment of blacks. Blacks could not have won the battle alone because they needed access to resources they simply did not control.

As a result of non-blacks working alongside blacks in the struggle for liberation, we Blacks are beneficiaries of the following. (The list is intended to highlight some of the liberties gained by Black Americans. It is not inclusive and it does not address the institutional racism that still exist in this country.)

  • The right to vote
  • The right to receive a free and quality public education
  • The right to live wherever we can afford and to attend the schools of our choosing
  • The right to earn the same amount as our white counterparts
  • The right to drive or walk in any neighborhood without threat of illegal incarceration
  • The right to receive treatment at any hospital and to be treated by competent medical staff
  • The right to eat at any restaurant and to shop in any store

Young Americans and those new to the country,  tend to take the aforementioned for granted. However, those of us who lived under Jim Crowe Law remember well that just a few decades ago many things on the preceding list were not the norm for African Americans. Those things came about because of the sacrifices made by people from all walks of life working together to change America for the better.

Similarly, the time has come for all Americans of good will to openly oppose violence against members of the LGBT community. To keep silent is wrong and the potential consequences are grave as expressed in the following quote by Aleksandr Solzhemitsyn.

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”

 ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

God, grant us the courage to stand for justice for all even when we are not personally affected by the injustice.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2016 in Inspirational