Posts with the category “advent-devotional”

Advent Devotional - Day 24
by Denee Bowers on December 22nd, 2020
Tuesday, December 22Mark 12:29-31, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18In Mark, Deuteronomy and Leviticus we learn that we should “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” Equally as critical is the fact that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves.These passages strike me as a powerful lesson that our love for God and our ...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 23
by Denee Bowers on December 21st, 2020
Monday, December 211 John 4:8, 4:16, 3:16, John 15:9-13There are particular somethings about you that bring delight to both God and others. The way your cheek curves, the scatter-color flash of your eyes, how the breeze seizes your hair and soars, be that beard or billow or buzz. The ways in which you walk and smile, each moving and speaking of the journey you’ve taken to get here. Within your bod...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 22
by Denee Bowers on December 21st, 2020
Sunday, December 20The Fourth Sunday of AdventEvery Sunday during Advent we invite you to join us in lighting an Advent wreath in your home. These wreaths can be elaborate parts of your Christmas decor, or they can simply be four candles gathered from around the house (Pinterest is full of inspiration).Traditionally, many families light their Advent candle at dinnertime or during an evening quiet ...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 21
by Denee Bowers on December 21st, 2020
Saturday, December 192 Corinthians 6:8-10Could experiencing joy really be a choice? Is it a posture of our heart? Is it based on the hand we think we think life dealt us? Are there personality types that make some people more prone to finding joy than others? Is joy part of God’s plan?Father Richard Rohr said, “Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the receiver.” This concept...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 20
by Denee Bowers on December 18th, 2020
Friday, December 18Matthew 5:11-12, Acts 13:50-52, Hebrews 12:1-3I can vividly remember the first 5K I ever ran. I was a freshman in college, in relatively good shape, and had never run over 1 mile before. I signed up with some sorority sisters to support a local charity and did absolutely nothing to prepare for it. I figured it would be easy, dare I say it would be fun…The run itself was anything...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 19
by Denee Bowers on December 17th, 2020
Thursday, December 17Luke 2:9-11Christmas brings up a lot of memories for me: hot chocolate with marshmallows, going out to the Christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect tree, and going through the Sears Catalog highlighting the things I wanted Santa to bring are among my favorites. But there is probably no Christmas image more holy to me than the sight (or more specifically, the sound) of Linus...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 18
by Denee Bowers on December 16th, 2020
Wednesday, December 16Isaiah 49:13Do you ever find yourself needing to stretch your muscles? Sometimes it’s accompanied by a yawn. Most of the time it’s completely involuntary. We raise our hands, open our mouths, take a deep breath, and exhale. Comfort. Relief.I could almost be describing what it’s like to find joy in God through praise and comfort and relief through God’s compassion.I love the p...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 17
by Denee Bowers on December 15th, 2020
Tuesday, December 15Psalm 19:7-11, Genesis 3:1-7Rules. I have a three year old son so my house has a lot of rules. Breakfast before any other activity in the morning. No toys at the dinner table. No climbing or jumping on the couch. No tackling his litter sister. And on they go.The rules are there for his own good, for him to be safe and happy. But he often doesn’t see the rules that way. Instead ...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 16
by Denee Bowers on December 14th, 2020
Monday, December 14Psalm 105:42-43; Exodus 15:1-3Singing JoySinging is a practice in both Jewish and Christian expressions of worship. The cantor leads singing portions of scripture. In our worship, singing is an important means of sharing the scripture with music.In my family, music is so important. There isn't a family gathering where we don't sing. Truly, the family is known to have some great ...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 15
by Denee Bowers on December 13th, 2020
Sunday, December 13The Third Sunday of AdventEvery Sunday during Advent we invite you to join us in lighting an Advent wreath in your home. These wreaths can be elaborate parts of your Christmas decor, or they can simply be four candles gathered from around the house (Pinterest is full of inspiration).Traditionally, many families light their Advent candle at dinnertime or during an evening quiet t...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 14
by Denee Bowers on December 12th, 2020
Saturday, December 12Philippians 4:1-9I’m a cynic by nature. Or maybe I have become one over time. That’s probably the actual truth. I’ll get to that later.We are struggling and trying to navigate a world where everyone is out for themselves and/or their own values, disregarding the cares and needs of others. “I’m right, you’re wrong, and now we can no longer be in right relationship.”Frankly, tha...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 13
by Denee Bowers on December 11th, 2020
Friday, December 11Ephesians 2:11-15, 4:1-3, 4:29-32This Christmas season undoubtedly looks different. At a time that is usually marked by holiday parties, rushed shopping and a general atmosphere of hurriedness, we are instead sheltering in place.Earlier this fall I felt a sense of dread for what Christmas might look like this year. I feared the loneliness of experiencing the holiday without my p...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 12
by Denee Bowers on December 10th, 2020
Thursday, December 10Colossians 1:19-23We are told early in the book of Genesis that every person is tselem demuth, a Hebrew phrase which suggests something pretty mysterious. According to these ancient words, every person ever created is carved in the image and likeness of the God who has made them. Again, every person. Even in our beginnings, God weaves all of us for harmony. Now, this isn’t a t...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 11
by Denee Bowers on December 9th, 2020
Wednesday, December 9Luke 2:9-15When I was a child, I read the Christmas story out of my Precious Moments™ Bible, and it was beautifully illustrated with those childlike figures portraying an idyllic nativity scene with plenty of adorable baby animals. I imagined a quiet, peaceful, and joyful scene as beautiful angels delivered the good news of the Savior’s birth to a sleepy world below.Of course,...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 10
by Denee Bowers on December 8th, 2020
Tuesday, December 8Isaiah 9:6-7This beautiful description of Jesus was written over 700 years before he was born. Jesus was prophesied to bring healing to all brokenness.Jesus was compelling. He was counter-cultural and he changed everything. Jesus was invited to temples by the elite and religious but he chose fisherman to accompany him while frequently dining with the likes of tax collectors and ...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 9
by Denee Bowers on December 7th, 2020
Monday, December 7Proverbs 16:7When I was young, I went through a major peace sign phase (who can understand the loves of a middle schooler?). I had peace sign clothes, accessories, and decorations in my bedroom. It became my thing. As a college student I was still receiving peace sign gifts even though the phase had ended.At the time I put little thought into the meaning of the peace sign. I most...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 8
by Denee Bowers on December 6th, 2020
Sunday, December 6The Second Sunday of AdventEvery Sunday during Advent we invite you to join us in lighting an Advent wreath in your home. These wreaths can be elaborate parts of your Christmas decor, or they can simply be four candles gathered from around the house (Pinterest is full of inspiration).Traditionally, many families light their Advent candle at dinnertime or during an evening quiet t...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 7
by Denee Bowers on December 5th, 2020
Saturday, December 5Romans 8:18-39My very favorite Christmas tradition is my father’s annual rendition of “O Holy Night.” In my childhood, the pinnacle of Christmas Eve would be my father singing this beautiful song as my Aunt Leslie played the piano. Traditions are forced to evolve as we grow and, in recent years, my father belted out “O Holy Night” during car rides home from family parties and e...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 6
by Denee Bowers on December 4th, 2020
Friday, December 4Colossians 1:25-29 When I was younger, there were two Christmas presents that I was most excited about opening. (And no, neither of them were the inevitable underwear we’d find in our stockings. Thanks Santa…) The first was whatever big present I’d asked for, which I got about half the time. The other was batteries, because more often than not, my presents were going to need batt...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 5
by Denee Bowers on December 3rd, 2020
Thursday, December 31 Peter 1:3-5Growing up I went on a lot of canoe trips with my family. We would pack up the canoe with ice chests with drinks and food, bags with extra clothes and equipment, and if we were going over night we’d include a tent. I learned on these adventures that one of the most important things on a canoe trip isn’t your water shoes or your ice chest or even your paddle. Instea...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 4
by Denee Bowers on December 2nd, 2020
Wednesday, December 2Hebrews 10:23Hold on to HopeJesus is our strong foundation. Our anchor who grounds and steadies us throughout life’s storms and tempests.As I look ahead, like you, I know Christmas for my family will be drastically different. Typically, my large extended family of about 50 people or so gather in a banquet hall for Christmas breakfast, exchanging gifts, sharing celebrations and...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 3
by Denee Bowers on December 1st, 2020
Tuesday, December 1Micah 7:6-8Every generation has expectations or ways of doing things that might seem strange to the ones that came before. Change seems part and parcel with being human, and it’s often very healthy. Still, there are tenacious norms, patterns that many say “should” exist, or that have long been consistent throughout years and centuries.In this passage, the prophet Micah describes...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 2
by Denee Bowers on November 30th, 2020
Monday, November 30Psalm 130:1-8Verse one of The Message version of this passage reads:“Help, God -- the bottom has fallen out of my life!”I find that description provides a super helpful visual. The author was standing on something they thought was solid. Their foundation felt firm. Then the bottom fell out.For many of us the bottom fell out somewhere around mid-March of this year. In the weeks a...  Read More
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Advent Devotional - Day 1
by Denee Bowers on November 29th, 2020
Sunday, November 29The First Sunday of AdventEvery Sunday during Advent we invite you to join us in lighting an Advent wreath in your home. These wreaths can be elaborate parts of your Christmas decor, or they can simply be four candles gathered from around the house (Pinterest is full of inspiration).Traditionally, many families light their Advent candle at dinnertime or during an evening quiet t...  Read More
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