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The Way to the Manger –           It took quite a bit of courage and effort on the part of a whole lot of people to actually get the infant Jesus born and into that manger.  His parents, his aunt and uncle, his community, his ancestors, shepherds,…

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Heartnotes

Are You Ready for Christmas? – – –

The best Christmas I ever had was when I decided not to “do Christmas” and went instead to visit friends in Colorado for a snow vacation.  Leaving behind the familiar holiday routines refreshed me and gave me a whole new perspective.  You see, before, I hadn’t known that the way I celebrate Christmas is a choice not an obligation.  Leaving behind the harness of “have to’s” opened up spiritual space in me.  The old tensions that used to haunt the holidays dissolved.  The sticky ties melted.  Since that time years ago I have continued to grow in my holiday readiness.  I have the freedom to be present to the season in ways that are peace-filled, deeply nourishing, and growth-full.  How about you–are you ready for Christmas?  Advent begins with Faith and Hope–the willingness to believe in and rely on the possibility and probability of good.  Faith and Hope propel us to step out into greater self-respect and greater love for all around us.  They are the beginning of the Christ’s birth in us.  Faith and Hope can become very real for you this Advent as you take action on behalf of your own spiritual growth.  Here’s a suggestion – inventory your readiness for a fulfilling Christmas.  Make a list of all your “holiday have-to’s.”  Take your list into prayer and ask our great and loving God to reveal to you if there is anything you are ready to release.  If so, gently cross it off!  With courage and humility ask God to remove it, not just from your list, but from you–and turn it over.  And be sure to ask God to fill that now cleared out space in you with what genuinely nourishes you and expands the aliveness of everyone around you.  You will be amazed at how lovingly God works.  You will be amazed at what happens to, in, and through you.  And you’ll be ready for Christmas!

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. Anna

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Heartnotes

Filled to the Brim! – – –                  You are filled to the brim with life.  If you ever doubt that, start making your gratitude list!  Gratitude is the attitude that “good counts.”  We may be quick to dismiss our accomplishments, tossing them…

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Heartnotes

How Can I Keep From Singing?  – – – – 

“My life flows on in endless song; Above earth’s lamentation, I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn That hails a new creation; Thro’ all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul—How can I keep from singing?”

This beautiful old hymn of anonymous authorship has carried many a determined soul through rough seas.  The words remind us of the beauty of life no matter our circumstances of the moment.  It calls us to find our soul’s song and sing it robustly.  That indeed shakes away anxieties and moves us to see God’s Presence.  No ill wind can disturb the calm peace of our soul when we sing.  Singing is praying twice.  Lift up your heart.  Lift up your voice.  How can you keep from singing?

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. Anna

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Heartnotes

Sweet Justice–It’s About Time! – – – –  The world can seem out of balance.  We see a child hurt by a bully or a talented person lose their job.  We read about innocent people devastated by wars they didn’t start and don’t want.  We work conscientiously and have nothing…

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