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Asking for Directions

Asking for Directions

Have you heard the joke “What if the Wise Men had been women?”  “They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts, and there would be peace on earth.”

nullAs the Christmas season ends with Epiphany, we too may be asking for directions. God provides the direction we need in His Holy Word. The LWML Today’s Light Bible is an excellent resource. On the back cover, these words reach out to those who seek: “You hold in your hands God’s Word, and a most wonderful guide to help you in your daily walk with the Lord.”

On the inside cover of this Bible you will find a brief order for worship that the user may choose to use as they spend time with the Lord. Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers and the Lord’s Prayer are printed on the back cover of this Bible for further comfort and guidance.

May you start the New Year guided by God’s Word!

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Merry CHRISTmas to All

Merry CHRISTmas to All

In Luke 2:11-12, the angel tells the shepherds, “Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David’s city. This is how you will recognize him: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” (GWN) The shepherds responded in Luke 2:16, and “They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger.” (GWN)

The verses above give us a sense of what the very first Christmas was like – a time of excitement, yet serenity; a time of anticipation, then realization of the most blessed Gift that could ever come to mankind . . . Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

We are living in a day when it seems that the word “Christmas” is constantly under attack, and we Christians are encouraged to feel somewhat “guilty” when it comes to this special time. Well, The Time is NOW to shout in as loud a voice as possible, “WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOOD NEWS!” Romans 1:16, “I’m not ashamed of the Good News. It is God’s power to save everyone who believes, Jews first and Greeks as well.” (GWN)

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Eagerly waiting!

Eagerly waiting!

After Labor Day came Christmas. Well, not really, but the stores were setting up Christmas displays in September. Merchants just couldn’t wait to get the merchandise moving. People started buying Christmas presents because they did not want to wait in long lines. Children everywhere are saying, “I can’t wait for Christmas to come.” Some parents are saying, “I can’t wait until Christmas is over.”

For the Christian, Advent is all about waiting. We wait in eager anticipation to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Next week, our wait will be over. Christmas will be here.  After Christmas, we continue to wait, not idly, but eagerly in the Word. Empowered by the Spirit we witness of our Savior until Jesus returns again.  In His Second Advent, He will come and raise us up to His glorious throne.

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee. Israel’s Strength and Consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art, Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.  LSB 338.

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The Main Focus is Jesus!

The Main Focus is Jesus!

It can be fun to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Gifts to buy, traditional foods to make, and a home to decorate can fill our days during this busy time. These activities can fill us with a sense of accomplishment … or stress!

Only when we remember to keep the Main Focus the main focus do we find the joy that this season of Christmas can offer. So, as we buy gifts for loved ones, let’s remember that Jesus was sent to die on the cross for our sins and is our ultimate gift from God. As we bake and decorate let’s remember that all food, clothing, and shelter is a blessing from our Lord. And, as we take time to read the Bible and focus on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the joy we find in His mercy and grace will abound. Let’s share His joy with others this season as we make Jesus the Main Focus! One Extraordinary Night, by author Donna Pyle, is just one Bible study available for you through the LWML website.

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

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Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

nullAll of us have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday but have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Taken directly from their website, givingtuesday.org/about, it reads, “Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.”  

December 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday this year. LWML has joined in an effort to raise awareness of our mission. Share this information with your churches, friends, and family members. We set a 2 million dollar goal for this biennium and by God’s Will all of our grants will be funded.nullAnd whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

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Thanksgiving and Aprons

Thanksgiving and Aprons

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, delicious food prepared by loving hands comes to mind. I think back to family Thanksgivings and how my grandmothers wore aprons to protect their dresses as they served.

Aprons are versatile. Their pockets can hold a variety of everyday items, from hankies to clothespins. They dry perspiring brows and children’s tears. They can be used as an egg basket or a potholder or provide a hiding spot for shy children. They may have a story to tell. But their primary purpose is to protect the clothing they cover.

God can be like an apron. We have His love over us, around us, and in us every day, all day long. We are always under His protection. Let us give thanks every day for His ever-present love. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him (Psalm 28:7).

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Traditions

Traditions!

This time of year is filled with family traditions. How do you keep a faith-focus as you celebrate Thanksgiving? Advent? Christmas? If you are looking for creative holiday craft ideas check out http://www.lwml.org/program-helps-creative-crafts or if you’re on Pinterest, check out our boards for crafts and other faith resources. https://www.pinterest.com/theLWML/

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,  comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 2:15-17).

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