Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Advent Season

This year our church is advocating the celebration of Advent. I’ve always been curious about the season of Advent, but never paid much attention to it since it wasn’t something my family had ever participated in. The strange coincidence is that I have been researching Advent for the book I’m currently writing. So this year it is my plan to participate in the Advent season with my family.

Advent literally means, “coming,” or “initiation,” or “arrival.” The purpose of Advent is to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ while celebrating His first appearance on earth at Christmastime.

The fourth Sunday before Christmas, or the Sunday closest to November 30, is the first day of Advent. The celebration consists of the following activities, reading of scriptures, prayer, singing of Christmas carols and lighting of candle(s). How is Advent celebrated? The first thing to do is to gather the needed supplies.

The Advent wreath is used nowadays to hold the five candles that will be lit each week. The wreath is usually round with four candle holders around the edge in the shape of a cross with one single candle holder in the middle of the four outer candles. The wreath has special significance as to its shape, etc, but not feeling crafty at this particular point in time I don’t plan on making a wreath. Instead I am collecting five candle holders from around my house and arranging them in a circle (unless, of course, I find one on clearance at the craft store) I’m sure Jesus won’t mind.

The five candles are significant as well with three purple, one pink and one white representing Christ. The three purple candles that will be lit on the first, second and fourth weeks represent Christ’s royalty. The pink candle represents God’s love in giving His only begotten Son. The white candle represents the purity of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Over the next few weeks I will write about how each week of Advent is celebrated. So for now, take this time to gather your supplies and if you desire to make an Advent wreath you can Google the instructions. Remember…the first Sunday of Advent this year is on November, 27, 2011 so get ready!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Writing Project For Kids

The coming week brings my favorite day of the holiday season…Thanksgiving! I consider myself an extremely thankful person. Why? Because I know what it’s like to be a sinner saved by grace and I know that someone had to die to save me from my sins. Who died? Jesus died; and for that I am thankful.

For many years as I decorate for the Thanksgiving holiday, I display a piece of writing in my kitchen that was done by my daughter when she was in the second (?) grade. (My daughter, by the way, is turning 19 this month. Happy birthday Casey!) I love the writing so much because it’s a treasured memory of course, but also because she has a special way with words. Here is what she wrote:

So many of us stay-at-home moms will have our children home from school this entire next week. What on earth can I do to keep the little darlings busy? Why not have them do this simple and easy writing exercise! Here’s what you do. Think of a topic and that will be the title of the work; such as autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas…let them be creative. Then have them write what they think about, concerning that topic, using the five senses; sight, smell, touch, taste, sound. Let them decorate their work and viola, you have a memorable keepsake and you’ve given the kids a writing lesson all at the same time…easy as pumpkin pie!

I can’t wait to do this exercise with my youngest son. If you have a chance to do this with your own children I would love for you to share their work in the comments section!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1