Three Ways to Join the Abraham’s Advent Journey

Abraham's Advent Promo

Are you ready to join the Abraham’s Advent journey? Advent begins this Sunday! All you need is your own copy of Abraham’s Advent, available in the Shop for $3.99.

If you’d like to see just what you’re getting into, there’s a sneak peek right here.

Did you know that the devotional is printable?

Yes, it’s a PDF file, which means you can read it on your electronic device OR print it off to use as a hard copy! I’m a pen and paper girl, and if you’re anything like me, you might want to have a “real” copy handy.

Besides the narrative for each of the Sundays of Advent, each weekday has Scriptures to read, a question to think about, along with a nice big section to journal your thoughts and reflections.

There are a few different ways you can use Abraham’s Advent.

Go It Alone or Get In a Group

1. Use for your own personal devotions this Advent. Read on your electronic device, or print your own copy. Abraham’s story is rich and deep. Take some quiet time to read, reflect, and pray each day. If you’re into Bible journaling, this is the perfect opportunity to get creative with the Scriptures.

2. Use with your spouse or family. This is a great way to focus together on the truth of the season. Start your day off with Scripture, or read together in these cozy winter evenings. Family life can be hectic this time of year. So take a few minutes to gather around a Bethlehem fire with those you love.

3. Join an online community! This year, my friend and fellow blogger Ana Willis will be joining the journey with her Bible Journaling Club on Facebook. I’ll also be posting the reflections for each day on The Red Letters Blog Facebook page. (“Like” to stay up to date with all new posts.) If you’d like to reach out and share your journey with others, consider joining us there!

 

I am humbled by each of you who are joining in one way or another this Advent. This is not about me, but it’s a story that has shaped my life. Every time I go back to Abraham’s story, I’m captivated. I’m challenged. I’m caught up something real. I feel this call to deeper hope and wilder faith. It’s an amazing story, and we’re invited in. The best part is, we get to meet The Author.

I hope you will join the journey! Come sit awhile by a Bethlehem fire. . .

 

~lg

S.D.G.

Of Laundry and Longing

autumn sky

It’s too warm for November, really, but I welcome the sun and the mildness of the day. It’s a good day for laundry on the line. Sheets, blankets, things that tend to get musty. One last airing out before winter.

I can’t even get the pins on before the wind starts gusting, pulling damp material out of my hands.

The wind is eager. “Let me take them,” she whispers. “I will make quick work of them.”

The sun is spreading heat on my back, and I peg, peg, peg, suddenly overtaken by the wild desire to tumble every last hamper of laundry outside, out here in the elements.

“It’s been too long since you’ve been at my mercy,” the wind cries.

Don’t I know it.

With the last of the blankets hung, the line leaps out of my hand and into the open yard.

How easily they take flight. How beautiful they are, billowing against the blue. How pure they will be when I take them in. I stand on the porch beside the empty basket and stare at them awhile.

It’s lunchtime, and my husband steps out of the screen door and asks what I’m doing.

It’s hard to explain, really. How do you admit you’re jealous of the laundry? How do you admit you desperately need the sun and the wind or you’ll go musty inside? How do you explain a conversation with the west wind?

I just smile and shrug, “Nothing.”

It’s nothing at all. Nothing but a piece of me pegged on a line, a dancing white flag of surrender.

 

~lg

S.D.G.

Journey to the Heart of Christmas with Abraham’s Advent

Abraham's Advent Banner

 

It’s only the middle of November, but the journey to Christmas is already well underway. Is it just me, or have things gotten a little louder, a little faster, and a little crazier?

Are you feeling the pressure to create the “perfect Christmas?” Wondering how you ended up with a to-do list longer than Santa’s? Hoping to make everyone’s Christmas morning dreams come true?

And what about your own hopes? When you step back from the frenzy of parties and preparation, do you dare acknowledge the longings that lay just below the glittery surface of things?

It’s easy to get caught up in the trimmings. But what about the heart of Christmas? What about your heart?

There is a way to step back from the crazy. To refocus on what’s really important. To get to the heart of things.

It’s called Advent. 

Advent is the four week season leading up to Christmas. It’s a time of both reflection and anticipation. It looks ahead to Christmas Day, following the story of those who waited and hoped for the coming of the Saviour. Yet it looks even farther, to hopes still awaiting fulfillment at Christ’s second coming.

Advent invites us to pause, to reflect, and to prepare spiritually for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Advent invites us to remember the secret longings of our souls.

Advent invites us to open our hearts wide to hope. To open our hearts wide to God.

This Advent, I’d like to invite you on a journey – a journey back in time. Come and meet a man whose life was changed by a promise from God. It didn’t always work out the way he thought it would. He had his share of disappointments and broken dreams. He lost his way, more than once. Perfection was far from his grasp.

And yet, he never lost hope. And because of that, God gave him something far better than anything he could have dreamed up on his own.

Abraham’s Advent: A Stranger’s Journey to Bethlehem and Beyond is a four week Advent devotional that will take you straight to the heart of Christmas.

Abraham's Advent Cover

Through narrative readings and daily Scriptural reflections, you can immerse yourself in a story that’s bigger than us all. You can pause the crazy. You can remember what’s real. You can get to the heart of things.

This season, journey to the heart of Christmas with Abraham’s Advent

Abraham’s Advent is now available as an Ebook in the Red Letters Shop for only $3.99. Advent begins this year on November 27th! Get your copy today and get ready for the journey.

mother’s prayer :: holiness for them

Can you take this mother-wretch and make me holy?
Not for my sake, but for theirs?
I can live with my ugliness, but they do not deserve to. 
Take the bitter, the sharp, the crushing, 
and make me sweet, smooth, uplifting. 

There must be grace for this,
grace greater than the gaping hole of my failures.
There must be holiness for this,
holiness purer than my puffed-up self and gnashing flesh.

Holiness for them.

Not for me to spit and polish and show off – 
But for their beauty. 
Only your spit and mud salve can make me see, 
make me clean, make me a fitting funnel for your kindness.
Oh Lord, you who wash our feet,
let me stoop with you awhile. 
Let me not lord over them with my airs,
but serve them with your graces.
Even now you pour the water on my cracks and callouses,
reminding me where the power of authority begins. 
I will lay aside the garment of my false entitlement.
Toe by toe, you make what I have trampled into holy ground. 
Hear the heart’s cry – Not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.
When I am at the end of myself, you can begin, even again. 

Let me love them to your ends. 


~lg
S.D.G.

noon prayer :: autumn bounty

Christ, our God, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise:

autumn woods

For the small, warm hollow of my baby’s neck
For hot pink beets dug fresh from the cool earth
For a living blaze of orange in the farmer’s field
For spiced tea and flavourful conversation
For flannel sheets flying high on the line
For the scent of the forest floor as children crush leaves underfoot
For neighbours’ fires rising like incense in the dawn
For the table, hand-hewn strong, to carry these armfuls of thanks

~lg

S.D.G.