Elaine C. (2005)
Why Seek Him?
Gratefully we seek the Master King
For prayerful peace with His wings.
We seek Him to comfort and console,
When worldly problems take control.
Grace abounds, if we just ask,
He will forgive, what ‘er the task.
No pain, misfortune, nor sorrow harms,
We are safe in those loving arms.
Seeking Jesus day by day,
As we walk life’s narrow way.
Our joy complete when last we see,
His presence near at the victory!
Grant K. (2007)
Jesus has blessed my life with countless amounts of joy. Christ has given me a wonderful family, and excellent friends. I feel blessed to have so many sources of joy in my life and I try to thank God everyday.
Carol K. (2007)
Taking time for hugs, smiles, kind words;
Listening and responding to those in need;
Seeking to bring joy to others each day.
Filling my cup full with joy brought to me.
Letting joy overflow from and to me.
Celebrating all God's gifts.
Looking forward, with open arms.
That is my joy in walking with Jesus.
Kaity H. (2007)
Jesus has brought JOY into my life in many ways.
He has given me a shoulder to fall on when the road is treacherous. He has given me a family that loves and He has given me true friends to laugh with as well as to slap me back into reality when necessary. Bless us all.
Jim H. (2007)
What Joy has Jesus Brought to You?
Bring yourself and your spirit of worship.
Bring reverence for God and His house.
Bring your offering (the tithe plus).
Bring a spirit of love and fellowship.
Bring a hearty handshake and a smile.
Bring a kind word and helpful thoughts.
Bring your willingness to help sing,
and sing out of your heart.
Bring a friend or relative.
Be sure to bring your visiting friend.
Bring your best each Sunday to Church.
Get the church going habit.
Nancy N. (2007)
Joy from Jesus...
God, my heavenly Father, by sending His Son, Jesus, born as a poor baby in a lowly manager, to die alone and forsaken on a cross for my sins, has showed me the greatest love ever and given me security for my life here and forevermore. This brings me great joy.
Let us celebrate Christmas and Easter and Communion in remembrance of this love.
Rod H. (2005)
All who love mercy and demand justice for all persons, seek the spirit of Jesus Christ. Seek Him, not only those of you who hunger and thirst for personal salvation, and for the birthright of righteousness, but all who yearn for peace and community. Jesus, great guiding principle of our lives, teacher of the ultimate wisdom, scourge of complacency, shield of the humble, refuge of the helpless, champion of righteousness, foe of sin, great voice of reason and comity, beacon of peace among all nations, model of forbearance, forgiveness and sacrifice, giver of the divine gift of God’s love.
Jack W. (2005)
I seek Jesus for many reasons:
* He created everything
* He gave us Jesus
* When I feel sad and lonely
* When something happens that is good
* When I hear the fire whistle blow
* During a thunder storm
* I thank him for helping me travel safely
* I thank him for making most of my prayers come true.
Margaret K. (2005)
When I was asked, “Why Seek Him?” I couldn’t imagine my life without Him. When you are seeking God, then your faith would be your most precious instrument. According to Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who truly want to find Him.”
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Even though faith cannot be seen and others may even doubt its existence. It is the most real and lasting reward that God has given me.
Mary D. (2005)
Deuteronomy 4:31: “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He confirmed to them by oath.”
Psalms 119:2: “Blessed are they who keep His statues and seek Him with all their heart.”
These Bible verses say it better than I can. He is my friend, constant companion, comforter and I can’t imagine a life without Him.
Phyllis M. (2005)
Once you have found Him, He will turn your whys to Wows! And your messes to Miracles!
Once you find Him and completely give your every care to Him in faith, He will give you:
* Wisdom (to renew your mind)
* Health (for your body; already done on the cross)
* Faith (to teach and enrich your spirit)
To broadly paraphrase Charlotte Browning, “How can we count the whys?” Let me list a few: He will shower you with blessings such as love, friendship, joy, peace, hope strength, consolation, security, faithful companionship, abundance in all things (to the full until it overflows). For these blessings and many more needs, only a “thank you” and asks that you earnestly and diligently strive to follow His ways.
Through all your “ups and downs,” He is faithful. So seek and keep on seeking and the list of whys will keep expanding.
Pastor Kristi (2004)
What can I bring him? This year, what comes to mind is a sense of wonder. I will bring a sense of wonder. Sure, as I get pulled into the crazy machine that our culture calls Christmas, I wonder what I should buy for my brother. I wonder how we’ll fit everything into the calendar. I wonder about the balance in my checking account. That, of course, is not the kind of wonder I want to bring to Jesus.
The Polar Express has long been a favorite among my children’s Christmas books. This year it has been made into a feature length film starring Tom Hanks. It is about a little boy who never loses his sense of wonder about the Christmas season. As his friends and his sister become adults, they forget the amazement of their childhood Christmases, but he is unique because he never does. He can always connect to the joy and the mystery that is Christmas. We all want to be that boy.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, testifies that her soul magnifies the Lord. To magnify means to make greater, or to increase. I am amazed each year at the opportunities to share Christ with others through the holidays. It feels somehow refreshing and simple in a back-to-basics way to be determinedly Christ-centered through all the chaos of the season.
This year I bring a sense of wonder. I wonder at the beauty and simplicity of an infant, born quietly one dark night. I wonder at the wise teacher that the baby became. I wonder at the miracles that he performed. I wonder at the amazing love of his sacrifice. I pray that my soul, too, can magnify the Lord. Amen. Blessings….
Jim N. (2004)
What can I give to Jesus?
Over the past few months, I have thought about this. Bob Dylan has a song called, “What Can I Do For You?” It is a song about the Messiah. One verse is as follows:
“Pulled me out of bondage and You made me renewed inside,
Filled up a hunger that had always been denied,
Opened up a door no man can shut and You opened it up so wide
And You’ve chosen me to be among the few.
What can I do for you?”
As I read the scriptures this year, I find there are only a few things I can do. I can submit, I can be thankful, I can love; I can give myself as an empty vessel for the Lord to fill.
Jesus tells me in Galatians 5:20-33 to give thanks for everything, to submit to Him and to love my wife as He loves the church. In Hebrews 12:9b, I am told to submit and live. “Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live?”
Paula D. (2007)
Joys and Blessings
If I was asked today what my joys and blessings were I can tell you right now , that question would stop me in my tracks! I get so “busy” with life, I don’t stop and “count my blessings” as the saying goes.
I can tell you though, if someone asked me about my church family, I would say they have been a life line for me. I have been blessed by SO MANY people in this church and know that it’s because of Jesus in my life.
This is a perfect time of year to stop for a moment and look around to see and feel the joy and blessings that are right in front of you. Next time, after church service, linger a while longer or wander downstairs for coffee hour. There is a church family to fellowship with, with God’s blessings.
Gary Z. (2005)
I seek a better understanding of God. Jesus and The Holy Spirit. It helps me become a better Christian. I am trying to pattern my life after Jesus and it is good to know His history. It is challenging but not that hard. Thank you for the opportunity.
Irma W. (2004)
Emmanuel ~ God With Us
When daytime is troubled, the night overlong,
Fear thrusts at your faith, seeks to silence your song,
Is it true, even then, what His name declares,
That He is the One who always is there?
In the midst of the darkness shines He truly the light
So unknown before us the pathway glows bright?
Can we trust that His presence will give us release
And validate for us His promise of peace?
Dawn H. (2007)
Oh what a JOY! When I realized I am never ALONE. Jesus is always present 24/7. I can tell Him my concerns, requests and joys. He is my constant support, strength and companion.
Joan M. (2007)
Even when we aren’t paying attention to God, He is paying attention to us. Never was that more true than on June 28th of this year. (2007) I was in a serious automobile accident. I crushed my ankle, broke three ribs, front and back, and had bumps and bruises. I don’t remember much about the accident or the five days I spent in the hospital. It is a miracle I wasn’t more seriously hurt. I thank God, He protected me and is now healing me.
Marlene B. (2007)
Because I’m His…
Jesus means the world to me. I’m very proud and honored to have been born and raised at Milan Marble Memorial United Methodist Church. The building wasn’t as big then. We raised our three sons here also. It’s not just following in my parents footsteps, it’s a way of life. It’s thinking, believing, saying and doing. It is knowing that if I don’t say the right thing to the right person, at the right time, or doing the right thing at the right time, it’s okay. Jesus forgives me. It is knowing you can start each new day knowing Jesus loves me.
Ann G. (2003)
His Story! Our Story!
Whether you are old or young, 90 or 5, if you take a moment to imagine in your mind – a cold, crude stable filled with straw; a bright star shining overhead; a donkey, a cow, and some lambs standing near by… Add shepherds tending to their herds of sheep out in fields near a city when angels appear in the sky, lighting up the sky so brightly… Off in a distance you can see wise men coming from afar on tall, stately camels --- Everyone who is a Christian will know this is the scenario that was present that wonderful night so very, long ago…
Kaitlin W. (2002)
Having Jesus in your life is great. You have someone just to talk to. He gives me peace, hope, faith and love.
Drew H. (2002)
Knowing that Jesus is in my life makes me feel good. I know that with Jesus I can do a lot of things I don’t think I can do.
Joanne and Elgin D. (2014)
I sit here in the bright sunshine with the beauty of all the color God has given us. We are harvesting all the seeds we sowed this spring. God has blessed us with a bountiful harvest.
Dale and Mary K. (2002)
Jesus is the foundation of our lives. As life unfolds we experience many highs and lows. Jesus shares with us the highs and he carries us through the lows. During the Christmas Season, there are reminders of our Lord everywhere. It is easier to remember that we are walking every day with Him. We should turn to our Savior more often in our day-to-day activities throughout the year. Maybe we ought to leave the Christmas tree up year around…
Justine D. (2002)
Jesus is always in my life. I enjoy yoga and practice a lot. In yoga breathing is very important. A famous yogi said “Inhalation is God moving into you. Exhalation you move toward God.” This is a union with God that includes Jesus. When I breathe I’m connecting to Jesus. If I feel stress, anger, frustration, or worry, I stop myself and breathe slowly in and out. Jesus is the breath of my life. He holds everything together for me. So now I will stop and breathe in; and breathe out, knowing Jesus is with me in each breath.
Jennifer C. (2002)
To have Jesus Christ in my life means that you know who He is and you know that no matter what, He is always going to be with you. Having Jesus Christ in my life means that I can turn to Him for anything and He will answer. He knows what’s going on and will be there through thick and thin. He is my way of life.
Debbie C. (2002)
What does knowing Jesus mean to me was a good question. It makes me think of how my life would be without Him. I struggle sometimes thinking, “Am I really letting him into my life all the time?” The answer is, “Yes,” but sometimes not as entirely as I should.
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)"