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We lit our first Advent candle yesterday at Sunday dinner and read the Scriptures that went with it. And we talked about hope--and why we need hope and what it would be like to have no hope.
I can never think about hope without the line from "Amazing Grace" that says "his Word my hope secures." I love that. Our hope isn't tossed by the wind, here and there, but anchored securely to God's Word. Because he said it, we can trust him to do it.
That's why verses like the ones I mentioned in Isaiah this morning mean the world to me. In times of trouble, they are something tangible I can hang on to. I remember so clearly writing out those verses on an index card and carrying them with me everywhere I went.
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."
"You said you'd do a new thing, Lord," I'd pray. "I'm looking for you to make a way," I'd tell him.
I can't encourage you enough to secure your hope to God's Word. Whatever you may be facing, find a promise from God and hang on to it with both hands. Your hope is secure in him.
We spent the rest of the afternoon camped out in front of the fire, watching the snow fall. The girls tucked themselves into the window seat behind the tree and played Go Fish. (Just now noticed Toben's lovely giant diet Coke in the picture--ignore that!)
And before I forget, my candle holder came from Restoration Hardware years ago. I don't think it was intended as an Advent candle holder, but anything with five candles will work. I saw a tea light holder thing-y today at WalMart that would work great.
(I tried to find a link on their website, but it kept showing me Crystal Light which is NOT what I was looking for. Anyway, it's in the back, on the aisle with all the candles--not in the Christmas section. And it held five tea lights and went up and down in an arch kind of a thing. There. That'll totally help you find it, won't it?!)
Finally, it's hard being a little cat around Christmas. There are just so many ways to get into trouble. I think this is what temptation looks like!
If there was sound with this picture, you'd hear me warning, "Puuuummmpkiiiin!"
Okay, look at that. It's 9:13 p.m. and I need to go to bed. Though we do have a late start tomorrow--hooray! Sweet dreams, ya'll (that's for you, Lisa)...