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It’s possible that doing something for a second year in a row constitutes a tradition. If so, this collection of advent thoughts might possibly be a tradition. It’s the second set of daily Christmas thoughts shared on Twitter (and Facebook) to celebrate the year’s advent season. [I enjoyed sharing advent thoughts for the 2014 Christmas season, and decided to do it again in 2015!]

Advent is the season we spend celebrating the coming of the Son of God to this earth at Christmas. It usually lasts from the first day of December till Christmas Day. For me sharing a short, condensed thought each day during this season is a way to focus my thoughts on Christ, connect with loved ones, and prepare my heart for Christmas–mostly by seeing how the truths of Christmas connect to my life. This year, I was greatly blessed by those who responded to my thoughts and shared with me their own thoughts on God’s amazing gift to us.

Here is the collection of my own thoughts from this past Christmas, thoughts that connect to life as a whole, not just “Christmas.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“You know w/all your heart&soul that not one of all the good promises…God gave you has failed” ~Josh23.14b(niv) #adventthoughts (Dec01)

In the time of Judges, God used farmers, tiny armies, simple tools to deliver His people–is a baby that surprising? #adventthoughts (Dec02)

Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? ~God Isaiah 50.2b #adventthoughts (Dec02)

“Were you born in a barn?!”–Things Jesus’ mother could never say to him (even if she’d used American idioms) #adventthoughts (Dec03)

Bethlehem, City of David the king who demonstrated that God has the heart of a shepherd #adventthoughts (Dec04)

Generosity finds NO VACANCY in minds filled by obligations & needs. We give out of hearts that know there is enough. #adventthoughts (Dec05)

The gift tag reads, “I see you and know you, all you’ve done, all you’ll do. This highly-valuable gift is for you.” #adventthoughts (Dec06) . . . You know, how you see yourself really determines how you read the tag, doesn’t it?

When Eternity steps into time, every moment of history–past, present, future–changes forever. Even mine and yours. #adventthoughts (Dec07)

Travel–a Christmas tradition: Magi from afar, shepherds from fields, Mary&Joseph from Galilee, Son of God from Heaven #adventthoughts (Dec08)

Because God loves His Son, He has given Him everything. Because God loves us, He has given us His Son. #adventthoughts (Dec09)

“Expect the unexpected”–sound Christmas advice since the days of Caesar Augustus. #adventthoughts (Dec10)

A gift can only be truly received when it is valued. #adventthoughts (Dec12)

Our value of the giver affects our value of the gift. #adventthoughts (Dec13)

Christmas reminds us we are valued beyond our performance; treasured for ourselves, not our abilities. #adventthoughts (Dec14)

One small gift is enough for the whole world. #adventthoughts (Dec15)

The real gift is the heart of the giver, not the stuff. #adventthoughts (Dec16)

The best gifts are always bigger on the inside than on the outside. #adventthoughts (Dec17)

The good news of Jesus Christ–if we’ve experienced it for a long time–can become old news. ~Pastor Dana Chau #adventthoughts (Dec18)

The good news of Jesus Christ is like the Christmas tree that stays green&fresh amid even the snow&darkness of winter. #adventthoughts (Dec19)

We are Jesus’ gift to the Father. Those who long for children of their own understand the preciousness of this gift. #adventthoughts (Dec20)

When Jesus arrives, it really is “the beginning of the holidays” and of all things good and true and warm and lovely. #adventthoughts (Dec21)

At the 1st Christmas Wise men traveled to the Prince of Peace. Wise men today take Him with them wherever they go. #adventthoughts (Dec22)

Poverty, sickness, broken or tense relationships, losses & helplessness (of all kinds) make a Christmas heart elusive. #adventthoughts (Dec23)

The griefs & the sicknesses, the poor, captive, or broken places–Christ was born for this. Christ was born for this! #adventthoughts (Dec24)

“Merry Christmas! Long live the true King!” ~Father Christmas (in Lewis’s Narnia) #adventthoughts (Dec25)

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” ~Julian of Norwich #adventthoughts (Dec27)

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Hoping.
Waiting.
The Spanish verb “esperar” means two things: “to hope” and “to wait.”
I wonder how they translate this verse:
Psalm 130:5-5
5. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

A few months ago, our pastor did a series on the seven Hebrew verbs translated “wait on the LORD” in the Old Testament and the things they teach us about waiting for God. Waiting is not something that is easy to do. We grow tired. We become discouraged. We think that perhaps we missed the bus and there’s really no point in waiting anymore. We give up and throw in the towel and go away–if you were waiting for any activity on this blog, you probably gave up a long time ago!

But Pastor pointed out that waiting on someone shows how valuable they are to us. And it’s true. Think of how a parent waits for his baby to be born or how a gardener puts in seedlings in hopes of a good harvest at the end of the summer. But I know it’s true even more from my own life as people often end up waiting for me. I have heard over and over that being on time shows a regard for the valuable time of those I am meeting; true, but being waited for has shown how much those waiting for me regard me. Not that I am making them wait as a test to see how much I am loved! God forbid! No, the tardiness is an attribute I am both learning to accept about myself and working on changing. But I know a sense of value that comes from being waited for without a mention of the sacrifice the person waiting for me has made , and I know the sense of worthlessness that comes from being berated for my slowness. I want to say, “If it was so difficult to wait, then why in the world did you do it? If you didn’t want my company, why did you bother waiting for me?” On the other hand, I feel safe, accepted and loved just as I am when someone has waited for me and hasn’t complained (much).

Today, another message from another pastor reminded me about waiting on God. When we wait, we wait because there is hope. And even when we cannot understand what God is doing, we can wait for Him because we know that when He is finally ready to unveil his work of art, it truly will be a masterpiece. Today’s message reminded me that to wait on Him, I need to commit to Him the issue I am having trouble understanding and then carry on with my life, trusting Him to take care of things. The message I am sending to Him as I wait for Him is “I know that you can’t fit things into my timetable right now, but I trust that You are working things out so that they will be the best. I’m willing to wait till You’re ready to show me.”

My sister and I waited up for my parents to get home from their trip tonight. It’s late, but waiting up for them was worth it. They are worth it. [seeing their reactions to the changes we made in the living room was worth it, too]

Hoping.
Waiting.
Because He is worth waiting for.

Estoy esperando para El.

Salmos 130:5
5 Esperé yo a Jehová, esperó mi alma;
En su palabra he esperado.

Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see That without dust the rainbow would not be. ~ Langston Hughes

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