Friday, October 23, 2015

Advent Ideas

I thought I'd share a few ideas about how to perhaps "better" observe Advent and/or celebrate the Christmas season. I'd really love to hear YOUR ideas as well. So leave your suggestions in a comment, please! My goal--for myself--is, I suppose, a simple one to focus on WHY we celebrate Christmas, and WHAT Christmas is all about. The answer, of course, is obvious: JESUS. But just because the answer is simple, doesn't mean it's easy to put into focus on daily basis. Especially as Christmas draws closer and closer, and, to-do lists grow longer and longer.

1) Make time to watch The Gospel of John among other "Christmas" movies. We can learn more about how WONDERFUL life is by watching The Gospel of John is than in watching Miracle on 34th Street or It's A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol. At least in my opinion!

2) Better yet. Or perhaps in addition to. Wouldn't it be something to make time to read a gospel or two during the month of December?! Luke does happen to have 24 days. But John, well, John just says CHRISTMAS to me. But the goal is not to rush through a gospel, but, to savor a gospel. To taste and see the goodness of God in sending a Savior, an Emmanuel.

3) I think Advent would be a great season to read a Bible story book aloud for family devotions. There are so many great ones out there.

  • Kevin DeYoung's Biggest Story is out this year. 
  • Older favorites of mine include The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm 
  • and The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. 

4) This next one may sound quite odd. But I think it could be key--at least for me. Making sure "Christmas" playlists include non-traditional "Christmas" songs.

  • Hymns like, "Amazing Grace," "I Love To Tell The Story," "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus," "How Great Thou Art," "My Jesus I Love Thee" etc. 
  • Worship songs like, "Jesus Messiah," "Glorious Day," "Above All," "Jesus, Son of God," "10,000 Reasons," "How Can I Keep From Singing," etc.
  • New, original Christmas songs like, "Come and Worship," "Born to Die," and "Mary's Prayer" all from Bebo Norman's Christmas from the Realms of Glory. I'd also recommend, "Before The Skies" by Sovereign Grace. There are so many good ones out there that do add freshness to the Christmas story. But if you only listen to one, choose MARY'S PRAYER
  • Don't be afraid to try genres a little outside your comfort zone. For example, some country Christmas albums have some great songs. 

5) If you haven't tried it yet, it might be a wonderful time to start praying the Bible, praying the Psalms. Donald Whitney's Praying the Bible is AMAZING. It's a quick read too. And if you put it into practice, I think, it could change your prayer life.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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