Advent Devotionals – 11.28.2021 to 12.5.2021

Rev. Ben Lovell   -  

Advent Devotionals – 11.28.2021 to 12.5.2021

November 28th

Steve and Nancy Fosnaugh

John 1:9 – The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world

What does the word advent mean?

In Latin the word advent refers to a coming. In Christianity we prepare to celebrate Christ’s first coming and look forward to his second coming when He will return and reign forevermore.

In preparation for celebrating the birth of Jesus, we can use these four weeks before Christmas to spend more deliberate and meaningful time in prayer, and reading and reflecting on God’s word. We can share the tradition of lighting candles to remind us of the light Jesus brings to the world and that we should be a reflection of that light. Each day as we encounter darkness, we can be assured that Jesus is always with us lighting the way and we do not have to be anxious or fearful.

We can expand the meaning of Advent to include something else. Our coming. Our coming to Christ. Our acceptance of his birth, his death, and his resurrection for our salvation.

Almighty Father, thank you for sending us your son as that light of salvation we need in our lives. Help us be a reflection of that light to those around us. Amen

November 29th

Naomi Cook

Psalm 122:1  “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”  

When we moved to California with our infant son, Chris, everything looked very different.  The hills even looked like the surface of the moon. We located a UMC church, and I was glad to go…very, very glad!

The Covid 19 shutdown of in-person services made me happy that we have the technology to watch the services, but it is not the same as the in- person worship we now enjoy.  Once again, I am glad to go into the house of the Lord to worship!

Dear Father God, thank you for your faithful people who kept Blue Grass UMC worship services broadcasting..Bless them, please.  Thank you that we can worship You freely and in person. We are very blessed!

November 30th

Bobbi Preston

2 Corinthians 9:7: “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

Recently I accompanied a friend with cancer to her first appointment at MD Anderson in Houston. Another friend had graciously purchased her ticket for her and had placed her in first class. I decided not to pay the extra money and elected to sit in coach. Airline staff allowed me to board in the first class group so that I could help her with her carry-on. As we were walking down the jetway joking about me sitting in the back of the plane, a gentleman in front of us turned to ask my friend if she was sitting in first class. When she replied that she was, he turned to me and handed me his boarding pass- he had the seat next to her. He smiled, told us to have a blessed day and cheerfully took my seat back in row 22 so that I could sit with her. I was so incredibly touched by his generosity. 

Often times we become so focused on finding and purchasing the “perfect” Christmas gifts for everyone on our list. As much as I enjoy gift exchanges with friends and family, rarely have I gotten a tangible gift that meant as much as this gesture from a stranger. This year, as we enter the advent season, what if we could shift our focus away from everything leading up to Christmas Day and instead look for opportunities to give cheerfully EVERY day to those around us? What better way to honor and celebrate the greatest gift we have ever received, the birth of Jesus!

Lord, we thank you so much for the greatest present ever given, the birth of Your son! Please help us to be mindful all the opportunities to give to others this Christmas season and to take advantage of them with a cheerful heart. Amen.

December 1st

Cody Plisky

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

While Jesus was on Earth, he set many examples for us Christians on how we should live our lives. The most influential direction for me was the call to serve. Serving is very different for everyone, but serving is a critical action if we are to live out our Christian faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:16… 

“Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.”

For me, serving means donating not only money but also time and other goods in order to help those in need. I can donate money to the church, volunteer time at the food pantry, and give clothes to the homeless shelter. But there are also much smaller ways that all of us can help the people around us. Things such as holding doors or complimenting someone on their outfit can make someone’s bad day become a good one. 

Jesus has called me, and all of us to care for those who need us in every way we can. Jesus served, so we must follow in his footsteps. 

December 2nd

Dick Cook

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 KJV

The passage has been a personal verse for many years! It addresses one of the fundamental truths of our lives as Methodists and Christians: the Methodist Quadrilateral: scripture, tradition, reason & experience. Experience, to me, includes both prayer and waiting on the Holy Spirit. We need to incorporate study, prayer and waiting on the Holy Spirit (listening) in our lives and the advent season is an excellent time to get back to basics.

Our secular lives tend to overtake and overwhelm our lives during the year. We get wake-up calls from reminders of our eternal lives and mortality: a health scare or the funeral of an exemplary Christian friend or simply a change of church season. 

To celebrate advent, we can take the opportunity to renew and revitalize our study of scripture: praying for illumination and insight before reading, reflecting on the content and then rereading the passage several times that day reflecting on the meaning of that scripture and the application of it into our lives.

This assumes we continue meeting in a small group and attending worship to support, enhance and keep us mindful of  our spiritual lives.

December 3rd

Bob Humphrey

Luke 5:2 – “He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.”

Author and Pastor John MacArthur once wrote, “There are no careless or wasted words in Scripture. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, human authors recorded with perfect precision the exact message God intended to deliver to His church.”  

It is in that spirit we read Luke 5:1-11, specifically Luke 5:2 where scripture says, “He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.”

As we know, those fishermen are recruited by Jesus to become fishers of men. And we know that often in scripture, fishing is used as an analogy for evangelizing.  So why does scripture, which has no wasted words, mention in detail the net cleaning activities the men were performing?

When using nets, it is common to pick up seaweed, mud, and dead fish from the bottom of the lake. The debris will rot and stink in the boat if not cleaned out of the nets after each use. The debris in the nets will make them visible to fish as the nets glide through the water, allowing them to evade the nets. Eventually the rot will damage the nets, making them useless for catching fish.

As we are charged to bring people to Jesus in our daily lives, what is the debris in our nets as we enter this season of Advent? Greed? Jealousy? Lust? If our unrepentant sin is caught in our nets, stinking and rotting, how likely are we to ‘catch’ others and bring them to Christ?

Dear Heavenly Father, we lay before you our sins, and ask for your forgiveness so that we may do your work in this world with clean hearts, and clean nets.  Amen.

December 4th


“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3

Losing a loved one is hard, and the holiday season can compound that grief.

It can be a time of increased sadness, by not having that person present with you.

But it’s what you do with the time that can make a difference.

Ask God for guidance and direction for how those times might be celebrated in a different way.

Have a candle lit in memory of your loved one and let it burn for the day, signifying their warmth and presence in the space.  Everyone could share a special memory of them.

Traditions can change and that is okay too.  Talk with your family about alternate activities and that could occur instead.  Or scale back on the number of activities.  What’s most important is to remember your loved one and honor them during the holiday season.

Dear God, You know the depth of our pain.  During this season please bring to mind the precious memories that we have of our loved ones, so we may have them close to our hearts. In your name we pray, Amen.

December 5th

Ruthie Hiskey

We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

In church one Sunday, my Pastor was talking about using our spiritual gifts to honor God.  In my prayer, I told God, “I don’t have any talents.  With my severe hearing loss how can you use me?”

Shortly after, I met Nanette Fabray.  She was a special guest for a Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary Event.  There was a breakfast and luncheon.  She used to be on TV with Sid Caesar.  At breakfast she talked about her hearing loss due to conductive hearing loss which involves the bones.  She had 4 surgeries to correct it.  I told her mine was due to nerve deafness.  She said I needed to learn American Sign Language. (ASL)  During the luncheon she signed America the Beautiful.  WOW!  I thought to myself, oh how I wish I could do that!

So I took her advice and took ASL classes and absolutely loved it!  Then God gave me this idea to start a Sign Language Choir so others could use their gifts too.  First I had no idea how I was going to hear the words since I depend on lips.  Well, God provided me with wonderful people.  First the words are typed.  Then I listen to the beat of the music and someone  mouths the words so I know if it is fast or slow.  Then I practice..a lot!

Hands of Harmony was born, and grew into a special ministry.  We create a picture with our hands to show everyone how beautiful our God is.  Some say it brings tears to their eyes or they get goose bumps.  I praise God how people are touched by our ministry.  

At age 62, Hands of Harmony helped me get started.  Twenty years later we are still using our talents to give God the Glory!  If someone told me 30 years ago that this would happen, I would have told them “impossible”.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving Hands of Harmony and me this gift to use to worship you. Please let others know it is not too late and that YOU can do the impossible. In Jesus Name I pray….Amen.