Advent, One Page at a Time, Poetry

One Page at a Time: Advent Acrostics

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,     

and he will establish your plans.

My mother has been true to my words over the years. But, I did place her in a quandary with the four-stanza “Christmas Wonder” poem. She managed to squeeze it into her landscape-oriented Christmas card and still maintain the poem’s line breaks. To prevent future angst, most of her poems–including the Advent Acrostics–are one-stanza wonders. Occasionally, I fail to refrain and provide her with a lengthier piece, which she uses as an insert.

The Advent Acrostics also provide one way I organized While Bethlehem Sleeps. Each separates the other poems into the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy, and love. I have added a fifth theme of faith. One of my desires is for individuals, couples, and families to use While Bethlehem Sleeps as Advent readings during their personal and family devotions. In fact, my father’s request that I produce a paperback version for his adult Sunday School class has allowed me to share my words as a teaching, ministry tool.

I am humbled and amazed by God’s use of these yearly Christmas card poems. May He continue to do so!

DPChallenge, One Good Thing Every Day 2013

One Good Thing Every Day: May 2, 2013

“I need to do my devotions before I go crazy,” I say more to myself than to my ten-year-old.

“Why?” he asks.

“Because my perspective changes.”

Opening my journal and devotionals shuts out the overwhelming clutter of rearranged schedules and ransacked well-being. God soothes away knots of unresolved tension when I succumb to His gentle touch and calm direction. His strength seeps into my weakened resolve, and I am ready to resume my day with clarity of sight, mind, and heart.

“When you feel tired, you remember that I am your strength; you take pleasure in leaning on Me. I am pleased by your tendency to turn to Me more and more frequently, especially when you are alone.

“When you are with other people, you often lose sight of My Presence. Your fear of displeasing people puts you in bondage to them, and they become your primary focus. When you realize this has happened, whisper My Name; this tiny act of trust brings Me to the forefront of your consciousness where I belong.” from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

Proverbs 29:25 NIV

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Proverbs 31:25-26 NKJV

Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

Philippians 4:5 NKJV

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

“We don’t become women of strength, honor, and wisdom overnight; it requires self-discipline and godly surrender.” from A Jane Austen Devotional