Therefore, during the Advent season, I challenged myself to pray and think about the words as I went through each day. Sometimes things came up while I was driving around one of the three communities to which I am appointed. Sometimes it would be other things. At other times it became a matter of choosing which picture to share for the advent photo journey.
But the journey accomplished the goal for me. I walked through Advent with intentionality and focus. Each day I prayed and thought about something particular. In the midst of what can be a crazy and hectic season, I was able to stay a tad bit slower and somewhat calmer.
All of the pictures are mine. Some were taken during this Advent season. Some were taken at other times. The reflection during this journey was what it was all about for me.
Here is the Advent photo journey:
|not my photograph; taken from Alive Now facebook page|
If you want to see other photos from this Advent, go to Facebook or Instagram and check the hashtags in the above photo. Go to Alive Now's Facebook page too.
Here was my journey through Advent:
Sunset at St. Mary's Sewanee a few weeks back on the eve of a silent retreat. This depicts hope to me.
Nov 30-- Prepare
Advent picture journey. Prepare. Lake Junaluska.
Dec 1-- Wait
Advent picture journey. Wait. Waiting on the ketchup (special balsamic vinegar ketchup).
Advent picture journey. Flying back home from FUMSDRL board meeting this summer. Journey is what life is all about for me. I look forward to this Advent journey this season. What challenges will it bring? What changes? What hope does it offer?
Dec 3-- Open
Today's word is open. This is one of the three churches (Simpson UMC in Rossville, GA) where I am currently blessed to serve. May our hearts and doors be open to our communities.
Dec 4-- Comfort
It has taken me a while to get to "comfort" today because much of what came to mind was first world comforts... comfort food, warm drinks, warm blankets in a bed... and for many, comfort may be desired yet not found in those things. Today my comfort came through coloring. Comfort can take many forms. May we find ways to comfort one another during the journey of life.
Dec 5-- Wisdom
Today, wisdom means knowing it is time to sell motorcycle #2. It needs someone who wants to tinker; someone who can ride it daily. I need a bike that is fully reliable. If anyone knows of anyone looking for a '81 Yamaha 750 Maxim, have them contact Stan at RT Cycle in Fort Oglethorpe. They are selling it for me.
Dec 6-- Peace
Drawn Nov. 13 by Charlie. Peace for Paris. Peace for the entire world. May we be peace. May we make peace.
I have been listening today in many ways.... in conversations and in the silence. However, the greatest joy was to listen to tonight's middle and high school bands play their holiday concert.
Dec 8-- Free
Dec 9-- Justice
Thank you Beth Richardson for reminding me that I had this photo. Your post jogged my memory this morning.
Dec 10-- Awake
It has been an interesting day of God moving in situations. I just now noticed this elf on my lamp in my office. Love it! I am awake now. Trying to be awake to what is going on around me.
Dec 11-- Mystery
Fog represents mystery to me. There are things beyond the fog which I cannot yet see. I can only see directly in front of me. Mystery calls me into the unknown. It challenges me to trust and live by faith. I am glad for mystery for it means that I don't need to know all things. I can let them go, let them be, and trust the One who is the Great Mystery to work things out in the right way and time.
Dec 12-- Grace
God's grace is available every moment of every day to everybody. I often forget how available grace is, even though I have experienced it. Grace has been my lifeline. May we extend grace to others.
Dec 13-- Joy
I sat down to drink my coffee, looked up and saw this. Joy filled my soul. I went outside to take several pictures of the gorgeous sunrise. Preparing to worship.
Dec 14-- Ponder
I saw this view yesterday on my way back to Simpson UMC for the Cantata. Clouds and the sky often cause me to reflect and ponder on the beauty of the creation and the Creator.
Dec 15-- Sign
There are all types of signs that get our attention--physical, visual, internal, subtle... This sign tends to get the attention of most people and we know that fresh, hot donuts await inside. Knowing what the signs mean is important to us understanding their significance. Paying attention to certain signs is an important part of life. Signs guide and direct. Internal signs told me last night to go to bed early and rest.
Dec 16-- Praise
I give praise for 64 degree weather on December 16th as I hear a lawnmower. I give praise for flowers that feed the insects-- an unexpected gift in the season. I give praise for a day to read and work on a sermon. I give praise for this pause during Advent.
Dec 17-- Release
This brass ensemble played for a local retirement home and released joy for the residents. And some tears. It was a great time of celebration.
The promise of new life is what I see on a chilly December morning.
Dec 19-- Faith
I recently met a woman of faith in one of the communities in which I work who has had some physical and financial struggles. In the midst of it all, she has held strongly to her faith. Yesterday I picked up food on her behalf and delivered it to her. She shared that God is moving fast in providing for her and blessing her. Faith in the darkness when things are difficult. Faith in the light when things are joyous and bright. Life sustaining faith.
This heart rock is a symbol of love. I saw it on the ground at Camp Dickenson in Fries, VA as I was watching deer in the field below. The heart rock caught me by surprise. Sometimes love does that. Unexpected love. May we be unexpected love to and for those who desperately need to experience it.
I saw this on the wall as I visited the orthotics place again for insert 2 for my foot which really has had a stress fracture all along. I often wonder about things in my life. In this tapestry, I see double meaning in Jesus sitting next to the water, enjoying creation. An interesting reflection as it causes me to consider that this 'awesome wonder' also experienced some wonder of his own.
Dec 22-- Community
Feeding the Ridgeland High football players prior to their game. A community of people in the church pulled this together to do for the community. Community is key in our journey. Helping one another. Being with one another. Supporting one another.
This gift is unique in that it represents the spiritual gifts. It can only be worth something as we learn what our gifts are and then use them.
This photo shows a newborn baby a few days old. As I contemplate the birth and life of Christ, I am grateful. I am also grateful for the birth and life of this one. May this Christmas birth new life in us all--bringing peace, joy, hope, and love.
"The Light Has Come!" This is one of the Holston GaP Parish churches -Flintstone UMC.
Thanks for sharing my Advent Photo Journey with me.
Blessings on your journey,