Tag Archives: glory

Peace this Christmas (Advent Series Part II)

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:14

Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent.  Today we light the candle of Peace.  As I spent time the last few days and this AM thinking about peace a few common phrases came to mind.

Peace be with you (and also with you).
A common call and response in church, I’ve repeated many times in my life.

Peace and quiet.
As in, I need some!  (And a prayer for all the moms in my life!)

World Peace.
A common pageant answer to “What would you wish for?”

Give Peace a Chance.
John Lennon anyone?

And ofcourse there are the non-verbal signs:

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But what is biblical peace?  Without looking it up, to me it is a calmness of my spirit or soul that only God can bring.  Through knowing Him, loving Him, trusting Him, talking to Him, I can truly feel peace.  God wants us to be at peace, but not without making us fully appreciate that peace.  How would we know peace without the trials of this world?

Peace is truly another gift from God and one that should be celebrated this Advent season and all year round. Rest in Peace, although associated with death and dying, should be a goal for all of us.  To truly be able to be still and rest in the gift of peace that God has graced us with (while still on this earth!)  I know it’s hard for me to shut down my brain and the world around me but I strive to just rest in knowing that God loves me and whatever it is – God’s got it, He’s got my back, and if I seek it, peace will come.

So this time of year when you hear the verse below (and above), think about the gift of peace that our Lord gives us and try and find some amid the craziness.

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:14

As I am reflecting on what peace means to me, I think of angels.  (Not anything new that I am staking claim to!)  And this can be a topic for another post as angels can come in many forms (in our house we have doggie angels), but this time of year I like an angel to adorn the top of our tree.  Here she is (and here is a link to this talented man on Etsy that hand crafted it for us last year.)  She watches over us and our household and symbolizes the peace of the Christmas season for us.

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My first thought for a song was “Silent Night”, it’s calm and quiet melody and it’s message of “sleep in heavenly peace” is, well, peaceful.  But as I was reflecting on angels, a song came to mind that speaks of angels singing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”.  And in this version, that message is proclaimed by the voices of children that brings me to tears (listen towards the end – it’s so worth it!)  The innocence of their voices and the message brings me peace, and when I looked up this song I found that it is  “all about the message of peace that the angels proclaimed on the first Christmas, when Jesus Christ was born. The song looks forward to a time when people will respond to the angels by living in peace with God and each other, and, in the last verse, likens doing so to offering the angels’ song back to them.” (copied from here)

May PEACE be with you this week.  Amen.

Caedmon’s Call
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Read Part I on HOPE here!
and stay tuned for more!  Thanks for stopping by.

Peace to me:

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Nothing personifies peace to me more than a sleeping baby or child (and dogs in our house too!)
Amen!

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Thankful.

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Happy Thanksgiving!  So many things to be thankful for today and always.  I will keep this short and to the point.  We can celebrate today because we have a God who loves us, cares for us, and wants us to live in HIS glory…FOREVER.

So today I bring out another favorite from Chris Tomlin.  Taken straight from Psalm 106 (read full text here.)

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, 
for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 106:1

So today I am thankful for God’s love and that personification of love in my life.  Through my husband, kids, dogs, family, friends, and neighbors.  I am thankful for all of you!  God is good and today we get to celebrate that.  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.  Amen!

This video is especially beautiful as it includes many verses about praising God and celebrating His love.  Enjoy!

And I’ll leave you with the end of Psalm 106 – it ends just as beautifully as it begins:

1-IMG_0731Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!
Psalm 106:48

 

1-IMG_0680And ofcourse I can’t end without a sneak peak at my little Indian from her Thanksgiving feast at school!

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Sing it out, Dance it out, Scream it out!

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Hope everyone is having a fabulous week.  I’ve been a bit dragging this week.  Haven’t gotten into a new book (so no book reviews), and really just been scrambling to make lists and prepare for the “most wonderful time of the year!”  I don’t mean to say that sarcastically but I really like to plan (and do!) so I can truly enjoy the time of advent.  It’s a time to prepare for the arrival of our Savior, a time of great teaching moments for the kids (and myself), and a time of parties, friends & family to catch up with, gifts to share, and fellowship & fun to be had!  Oh and we have a birthday thrown in the middle and one right after!  Thus blogging has taken a backseat, but I’ll be out of it soon – promise – too much to celebrate and share!

We’re also planning a trip up to the mountains to try to “unplug” and get away from it all in the next few weeks, so I was trying to think of a song about nature and God’s beauty.  With the changing of the trees and the changing of storefronts, houses, and just about everything this time of year, I needed a song to just bask in the glory and wonder of it all.  The first line of the song “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” popped into my head.  “Over the mountains and the sea, Your river runs with love for me.”  And then goes on to sing about God’s love.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

My verse for the week (as shown above over a beautiful Fall picture of Lake Peachtree):

For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
    and declares to man what is his thought,
who makes the morning darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth—
    the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!
Amos 4:13

So this week I pray that you can step back from the craziness, observe the wonders around you.  Whether in the mountains, your backyard, or even your kitchen.  God is amazing – so let’s all sing it out, dance it out, and scream it out FOREVER!  AMEN!

I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever
Hillsong

Over the mountains and the sea
Your river runs with love for me
And I will open up my heart
And let the Healer set me free
I’m happy to be in the truth
And I will daily lift my hands
For I will always sing of
Of when Your love came down

I could sing of Your love forever (x4)

Oh I feel like dancing
It’s foolishness I know
But when the world has seen the light
They will dance with joy
Like they’re dancing now

I could sing of your love forever (5x)

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Scarecrows, Ogres, and Shaggy Dogs!

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What do all those have in common?  Why they are all fun things to view this fall at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens!  We packed a picnic and headed up there this past Sunday AM.  (Another item to add to our Fall Fun list!)  Right now, two fun events are going on, as it looks like they change seasonally.  (We checked out the Garden Lights a few years back and it did not disappoint!)

First is the Imaginary Worlds | Plants Larger Than Life.  This included:

“The sculptures – ranging up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide – include a gazing unicorn, a friendly ogre, a pair of gigantic cobras, a group of enchanting rabbits, and a couple of flighty butterflies. The largest piece, a 25-foot-tall representation of a goddess emerging from the earth, greets visitors in the Cascades Garden.”  (Description from website)

Here are some of our pictures.  The kids favorites were the Shaggy Dog and the bunnies (I think LL found 6!)

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Second was the annual Scarecrows in the Garden were various companies, organizations, and school from around Atlanta participate in constructing their own scarecrows.  These were SO fun to look at as they lined the trails throughout many parts of the garden. I just noticed a Scavenger hunt on their website – we’ll definitely have to print that one out for next year for the kids! Here are a few favorites: (the first was named BooBee for Breast Cancer Awareness – by far my favorite!)

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Another big highlight was the Children’s Garden.  A surprisingly large section of trails with a variety of activities for the little ones.  It included (but is not limited to); a treehouse, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, digging for dinosaur bones, a sunflower splash pad (we’ll have to go back in the summer to check this out!), a little house, a little cavern, and just lots of “little” places to crawl/walk/whatever through!  Definitely need to go back and spend some more time there!  And bonus this weekend, they had little stations set up where kids got the hands painted, made a hat, and went pumpkin bowling – extra fun!

After taking in all the kids could handle (and actually joining for only a little bit more plus free tickets to bring friends!), we walked right into Piedmont Park and set up to picnic.  Did I mention how pretty the weather was?  Then we went to the playground, which I was very impressed with, and then strolled around a little.  The AIDS walk was going on, so we walked over to the main green space to observe and dance to a great band playing some of our favorite songs (Moves Like Jagger, Don’t Stop Believin’…), before calling it a day.

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Kids both fell asleep on the way home, and we came home exhausted, but refreshed from a perfect Sunday morning together and outside!  The perfect way to celebrate God’s glory and rejoice in it!

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On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

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