Paula D. (2009)
When I think of “Before and After,” it usually involves a change for the better. It makes me think of those TV shows, like Extreme Home Makeover, the Biggest Loser, etc. And it’s easy to see the improvement. But I’m sure that is not what Irma had in mind for our Advent Book.
It’s the spiritual makeover, which isn’t always apparent… and its this change that makes the biggest difference. May you ask Jesus to be with you this Christmas, to really share your life with Him and see how He can change your heart, change your Merry Christmas.
Andrea R. (2009)
Before and after I really came to know Jesus can be translated into, “I once was lost, but now I’m found,” as given in the hymn Amazing Grace.
Before I came to know Jesus, I wasn’t a whole person. In many ways, I had a good life—good parents, religious upbringing, good friends, good higher education, a professional career, and enough money. But inside I was kind of a mess—immature, self-absorbed, didn’t know who I was, not really very happy, and didn’t understand what life was all about, although I didn’t think of it that way then. I really was kind of a lost soul.
After I came to know Jesus, things changed. It didn’t happen over-night. Jesus made His presence known to me one time when I was in the depths of despair, and from then on, I never went back to the way I was. Jesus brought to me the reality of His love, the inspiration and healing of the living Holy Spirit, the reality of God our Creator, parent and sustainer, and began the awakening of spirit within me. I have been led to many places and many ways to learn more about the experience of God our Creator, Redeemer, Enabler, Father-Mother, Son Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit. I have experienced much healing and now know more wholeness, joy and ability to love others in Jesus’ name. I’ve got a ways to go on the journey ahead, but I can truly say with all my heart, “I once was lost, but now I’m found.”
Greetings! This year's Advent devotions combine contributions from past years, interlaced with current contributions.
Introduction by the late Irma Ward, Pastor Emeritus:
"It is the prayer of those who have shared their Advent thoughts with you that this Holy Season will bring you a deepening sense of His presence. The One whose name is Emmanuel, God with Us!
Every page is personal witness of this fact, that in Christ we are encouraged, supported, comforted, challenged, forgiven, redeemed, blessed. Here are Scriptures of special meaning to persons in our fellowship; an intimate opening of hearts, a sharing of joy and pain, of promise and fulfillment. Some meditations are written by young children, others by youth and young adults, still others by mature and senior members of our fellowship. Each one reminds us we are one body, bound together in His love.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, we have beheld His Glory. (John 1:14)"