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Advent Day 1

Dec 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

First Sunday in Advent

Scripture Reading: Psalms 116:1-7

1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.

2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me, The anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome with distress and sorrow.

4 Then I called on the name of the LORD;“LORD, save me!”

5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; Our God is full of compassion.

6 The LORD protects the unwary, When I was brought low, he saved me.

Looking after the Simple

One great thing about moving away from home as a teenager is that every time I return to Ohio I’m still a teenager, at least in my mind. So there are times when I am a bit more impulsive and a bit less responsible than I am in Texas. Such was the setting for “The Other Sled.”

We had driven nearly 1,000 miles and were closing in on the Ohio border. The hills of Kentucky were getting less blue-green and whiter the further north we drove. Finally, I could stand it no longer. I pulled over at the roadside rest and made my first snowball in two years. Our daughter, Chelsea, was 4 at the time, joined me in my folly. I spotted in the back of our van an old, hard sided, vinyl Samsonite suitcase. “I wonder?” I thought to myself. I then asked my innocent, playful daughter if she wanted to ride on a sled. My trusting child answered affirmatively, and I began trudging up the snow-draped hill with suitcase in hand and offspring at my side.

She was a bit dubious about this endeavor, but I assured her it would work. It worked all right. She went flying down the hill faster than I could run behind her. About half way down the hill I could see my wife Tammy’s face—she was not happy. Then I realized why. Chelsea was headed right toward our van. The hill stopped abruptly with about a 5-foot drop off onto a grassy strip that led to the parking lot—oops! I ran even faster, but managed only to get close enough to see Chelsea fly onto the snowy grass below and the suitcase plop behind her and roll onto her sprawled out body. Fortunately, she was all right, but she was not much into sledding that Christmas in Ohio.

Psalm 116:6 says the Lord looks after the simple. I know that means those whose primary focus is on God, but I can’t help but think that it means another kind of “simple” too. Thank God!

Written by: Kip Gilts

Northwest District Superintendent

Prayer: Dear Lord, there are so many times when we have unknowingly placed others and ourselves in harm’s way, yet you have kept your hand upon us. Thank you for watching out for us. You are truly our Emmanuel, God with us. Amen.


Dec 3, 2023

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