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Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Daily Devotions

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

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Christmas Light

Written by Rev. Kelsy Brown
Associate Pastor for Membership & Mission

At Christmas we want to focus on the positive, to think mostly about Christmas lights, glittering presents, and special times together with family and friends. But our world has been far from light. The darkness of shootings, fires, disagreements that end in loss of connection, and fear that have been seeping into our light. It would be easy on Christmas Day to pretend like the darkness isn’t there.

Even on Christmas Eve as we pass the light of the Christ candles down the aisles as we sing Silent Night, it begins with darkness. For us to truly understand the gift of Christ and the light shines in the world, we first must see the darkness that encompasses it.

One of my favorite poets, Wendell Berry wrote in his poem “To Know the Dark”,

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

Remember the gift of Christmas, that every moment of darkness now has the light of Christ upon it.

Prayer: Jesus, You are the light of the world. Shine Your light in the darkest places. Amen.

Monday, December 24, 2018

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Singing in the Light

Written by Shirley Norris
Director of Communications & Membership

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12

As a young adult, I sang in the 300-voice adult choir at North Phoenix Baptist Church, which at the time was one of the first mega churches in the southwest. As is true with Pinnacle’s Chancel Choir, the choir at North Phoenix led worship on Sunday morning, offered special musical performances during Easter and Christmas as well as the ever-popular Christmas Eve services.

I remember my first candlelight service singing in the choir. From high in the choir loft we maintained the best view to watch as a single candle held by our pastor was shared one-by-one, row-by-row. From the pastors to the deacons, then to the congregation, until the large Sanctuary was completely illuminated with more than 5,000 flickering flames. It was truly a sight to behold… a sight that beautifully illustrates how we are to share the Good News of Christ and the message of hope from John 8:12… whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we all share Your light and life with all those in our path and may the light of Your love envelope our beautiful and frightening world.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

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Finding the Inner Light

Written by Rev. Pam Fischer
Pre-Med Hospice Coordinator

Light has always fascinated me, seeing it return in the morning as well as leave in the evening…if it really leaves at all? It is such a constant reminder of the faithfulness of God, since the moment “let there be light” was proclaimed! How truly cool is it that the light continues to “shine in the darkness”…somewhere in our world at all times AND continues to expand way beyond the known universe.

Light is concentrated energy…not only seen but felt. It reflects off objects…some more than others. It reflects off each of us, plus we each carry our God-given inner light. When we acknowledge and channel this love energy from God, it can, and does, change things. There is scientific evidence that as people focus and direct their combined ‘Light’ energy, even greater healing and change can occur.

I attended a retreat this past spring at Spirit in the Desert in Carefree. It was intentionally filled with time for reflection. I came away with a profound and renewed sense that we each should regularly consider and fine-tune our best & most authentic ‘I AM’ statement about ourselves. It is vital to be introspective and not just ‘auto-pilot’ through our days. Seeking our inner ‘light’ and letting it out has measurable impact for our lives and the lives of those we encounter every day. When we nurture our inner light, keep our inner ‘home fires’ burning, others will know ‘whose’ we are. We can’t help but glow from within.

Prayer: Jesus, help me to take time to reflect on You today. Amen.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

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Comforting Light

Written by Lea Reinke
Business Administrator

Seeking the Light…or sometimes, does the Light seek us? My story about light is literal, specifically street and parking lot lights. Throughout most of my life, these lights have randomly turned off or on as I have passed by them. If at night, it would go dark; during the daytime, the light would illuminate. It seemed to happen more frequently whenever I felt alone or stressed. I’ve always considered it a sign from my angel Dad, letting me know his love for me was still there, even if he wasn’t.

This was never so apparent than one, very late at night. I was sitting in the ER waiting room. A loved one had been taken there, but was also being detained by the police. I asked to see him and the nurse said she would check. Hours went by, then she informed me I would not be allowed to have any contact with him.

Despondent, I left in tears. I sat in my car, overcome with worry, not knowing what to do or to whom I could turn. Then, the bollard parking lot light near me began to flicker. Slowly at first, then increasingly faster until it resembled a strobe light. In that moment, I was able to take a deep, calming breath and felt my shoulders relax. A signal from my Dad in Heaven or the presence of our Heavenly Father? I like to think it was both.

Prayer: Gracious God, we are blessed by the light for our bodies and the Light for our spirits. Amen.

Friday, December 21, 2018

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Just a Little Light Changes Everything

Written by Rev. Frank Harmon
Associate Pastor for Youth, Children & Their Families

When I was in 4th grade, my class took a trip to go caving. There was a group of about 30 students and parents who embarked on this great adventure under the earth. About an hour into our exploration, we came to a big empty opening. While we were standing there, my teacher asked everyone not to move and to turn off our lights. Within seconds all of the lights were out, and there was nothing…just darkness. As we sat there for 20-30 seconds, there was nothing to see, nothing for your eyes to focus on or to get one's bearing. Without a reference I started to feel dizzy and disoriented. Even though I hadn’t moved, in a way I felt lost and alone.

Just about the time I felt like I was going to need to sit down, my teacher told us to turn back on our lights. I remember the first light that came on, and how despite being only one little light, it vanquished the darkness. I instantly had my bearings back and no longer felt dizzy, fear, or alone.

Every Christmas when I hear that Jesus is the light of all people and cast out the darkness I am taken back to that cave. I am reminded that in Christ I never have to have those feelings of loneliness and fear that I felt standing in that cave in total darkness. As we celebrate His birth, let us never forget that Jesus gave a lost world its bearings. We are no longer alone because the love of God shows us the way.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, allow us to focus on Your light instead of the darkness that often surrounds us. Cast out loneliness and fear and replace it with a sense of belonging and hope that can only be found in You. Amen.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

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Joy of Music

Written by Dawn Sheaffer
Administrative Assistant

When the chancel choir begins practicing the songs for our Celebration of Christmas concert, the Christmas season begins for me. The light that is Christ Jesus is reflected in the music we sing. Our choir is an amazing mix of voices, and throughout the year our music touches the hearts of many and expresses our love for God.

One of the songs we sing is Walk In The Light. We sing, “Shine all around us by day and by night, Jesus, the Light of the world.

It is reassuring to know that the Light of the world shines all around us, especially at Christmas.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for the gift of music and for letting Your light shine all around us. Amen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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A Green Flash

Written by Kelly McGinn
Park Center Administrator

Several years ago, my family lived in Carlsbad, California, and a big part of our life there was going to the beach in the evenings. We would spread out a blanket, enjoy a picnic dinner and wait for the sun to set just to see if we would be graced with the green flash. “Wait for it… wait for it… Oh, man…. Maybe next time?” The green flash is an optical phenomenon that occurs just after sunset when the sun goes behind the ocean. It’s a distinct green spot that is only briefly visible (2 seconds) above the rim of the sun’s disk. Many Californians have never even seen the green flash, and some feel that it’s only an urban legend. Well, after several years of living in Carlsbad, my husband accepted a new position, and we were on our way to Connecticut. Our hearts were very heavy with the news of the move, and our last evening at the beach was upon us. Fourteen families joined together to celebrate our time together with a weekend vacation full of love, fun and good times. The last night before we were to leave for our new state, these beautiful friends that we had made in California stood arm in arm, cheek to cheek waiting for the sun to set to see if we would see the green flash… and there it was! Poof! We all couldn’t believe it. Some screamed, some cried and some prayed. I am certain that the green flash was given to my family by God as a dear present to send us on our way on a new journey. We gave thanks, and I can promise this… I will never forget that burst of green light.

Prayer: Dear Gracious God, thank You for the light You shine upon all of us just when we need it most. Thank You, thank You. Amen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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Darkness Becomes Light

Written by Dr. Michael Hegeman
Consulting Theologian

When I was a kid, I was terrified of the dark. Now, I suppose that doesn’t sound so unusual; most kids have a fear of the dark at some point in their lives. I, however, carried that fear into my teenage years. In some sense the fear was crippling. Even though it didn’t keep me from doing things, it was always there, like a whining, nagging hum deep in my spirit. Such fear of the dark even felt like a crack deep within the foundations of a dam. I felt like I had to keep that fear tightly under control or the dam would burst. It took a lot of energy to keep that amount of fear under control. And I was tired.

Relief came at summer camp. I remember sharing this fear with a young minister who was leading the youth group. He wisely said,

“You know, the Bible has another perspective on darkness. The psalmist has said of God,

1 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

and the light around me become night,”

12 even the darkness is not dark to you;

the night is as bright as the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

Believe it or not, this psalm quote was transformative for me. The realization dawned on me that God is also in the dark. God companions each of us in dark, coming to us as Light itself.

Prayer: God, be our light; transform our night to day. Amen.

Monday, December 17, 2018

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A Picture of Light

Written by Rev. Scott Fischer
Minister for Administration

…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” Colossians 1:12

In Christianity, the tradition of sacred painting goes back to the earliest years of the church. Christian tradition states that Luke the Evangelist was the first icon painter. He is said to have painted pictures of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus.

An icon is meant to be a window into the spiritual world, used to help us contemplate spiritual matters or to put us into a prayerful frame of mind, as we remember the life of Christ and events in the Bible.

Monica René, an expert in Coptic culture, writes “If an icon is about anything at all, it is firstly about light.” She talks about iconography as a metaphor for the ascent of the soul from the darkness of the material plane into the light of the spirit. Starting with the application of the dark base layers, representing our state of blindness or absence of light, then progressively adding lighter, brighter layers, symbolically the subject “appears” from the darkness into the heavenly light.

“An icon declares in images – as the gospel does in words – that we believe in the incarnation of God the Son … and is a visual reminder of the spiritual realm in which we live: a community of saints who came before us – or who live among us – and continue to inspire us to “be holy, as [God] is Holy” (1 Pet. 1:16).,” writes Egyptian-English painter and Neo-Coptic Iconographer Fadi Mikhail.

May we draw closer to Christ this Advent as we contemplate the appearing of the Light of the World. Amen.

Prayer: Almighty God, show me the light in those around me today. Amen.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

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A Conscious Choice

Written by Suzanne Mitchell
Graphic Design Assistant

Seeking God is a conscious choice that we must make to direct our hearts toward Him. It is a conscious effort on our part to seek Him through and around any obstacles that keep Him hidden from us daily. I spent so many years asking the questions “Why me?” “Why is this happening to me?” “And why now?” A couple years ago, I realized how long I had been living life without seeking God. Living life distracted by all these obstacles put in my path. I decided things needed to change and made a conscious decision to spend time in His word every day. God reveals Himself to us in His word, but if we aren’t reading it daily, it is much harder for us to find Him. Overwhelming debt, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, the struggles of parenting, the daily stresses of life, these are all things that can devastate us and rock us to our core. Yet they’re all obstacles that distract us from seeking God. They make us feel so upset that we start to feel like we can or should handle these situations on our own. Yet what we should be doing is turning our hearts to God. Something that has stuck with me since I made a conscious effort to spend time in His word everyday:

“We wander. God pursues and reconciles. We stumble and fall. God forgives and restores. We grow tired and weary. God empowers us by his grace.” (New Morning Mercies – Paul David Tripp)

And we must not forget,

“Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)

So seek Him, seek the Lord and his strength; seek His presence continually!

Prayer: Dear God, during these seasons where we become neglectful of You and give You no thought, where we decide to put our trust elsewhere, I pray that we can turn our heart towards You. Because nothing is better than Your supreme greatness, beauty and wisdom. You will get us through any obstacle. Amen.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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A Child-Like Christmas

Written by Sabrina Ball
Director of Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time”. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

As a young girl, I would read the Laura Ingalls Wilder classic, Christmas in the Big Woods, during every Christmas season growing up. I loved the idea of family coming together and sharing the joys of just being together. My father was one of nine children so I had lots and lots of cousins. Christmas was the one time a year when the entire extended family would get together and share a traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal and then attend Midnight Mass together taking up about eight pews in the church.

My favorite memory is just being together and sharing the joy of the season with each other. It was a much simpler time back then and celebrations were more about enjoying the season instead of the pressure of recreating the next big craft on Pinterest. I still often think of Laura Ingalls Wilder at Christmastime and remind myself to slow down and see the joy of Christmas through the eyes and light of a child.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, slow me down today so that I might see You in the world. Amen.

Friday, December 14, 2018

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Is God’s Light Shining Through You?

Written by Lisa Boswell
Executive Assistant to the Pastor

My 44-year-old cousin had triple bypass surgery on October 23. This is an excerpt that his wife, Maria, wrote the night before his surgery:

In about 8 hours they will be taking my husband into the OR to get open heart surgery.

The Dr. in the ER told me how lucky Jayme was to be alive. I don't see it as luck. I see it as a powerful reminder that God isn't finished with us yet. Never are we promised even the next minute in this life. And oh how much we take for granted each day the Lord has given us.

God does and will continue to use EVERYTHING in your life to get you to where He wants you. We can either do it the easy way in fully surrendering to Him or we can try to do it our own way. (I don't recommend the latter, lol)

Whatever it is, God has not forgotten you. The dreams, visions, and plans God places in our hearts take time, lots of time. And during that time, God is working in us so he can work through us. Again, our part is to exercise faith and patience in the process. Faith is believing God, believing that he is who he says he is, and that he will do what he said he will do. Patience is our capacity to tolerate delay-to wait. It's trusting that God is good, God does good and God knows what he is doing-no matter how long it takes and no matter what our purpose may be.

Thank you for your prayers. We sure do feel God's hand upon us as we walk this out. His peace is amazing. I cannot wait for God to shine through my husband bigger than he ever has before as the Lord is restoring his heart.

Are you letting God shine through you?

Prayer: Lord of Light, Shine the light through me on others today. Amen.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Come, Light of the World!

Written by David Allen
Director of Ministries in Music & Arts

The season of Advent reminds us of and prepares us for Jesus' comings: He came as a child in a manger, He comes into the lives of believers, and one day, He will come again. We celebrate Christmas, His first coming, soon after the shortest day of the year. To me, this reflects the battle between light and darkness. As the days get shorter and shorter it seems like darkness just might win the battle. But then light makes a comeback and we are reassured that darkness will always skitter away when the light shines. Celebrating Jesus' birth right after the shortest day of the year helps us to understand that the dark forces again have been defeated and that they can never overtake, overcome, or take the light from us.

Jesus came to show us the power of light through His life, death and resurrection. He proved that the darkness is confused when evil is not returned for evil, when anger is responded to with a soft word, when an act of war is met by an act of peace, when hate is overwhelmed by love, and when the threat of violence is extinguished with an offer of peace. That's the wisdom of God that Jesus, the Light, came to reveal to this world. That wisdom shines in our minds to give us hope for life beyond the darkness of this world.

The season of Advent reminds us that when we follow Jesus, we follow a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, a Prince of Peace, who will rule with justice and righteousness in this world. He is the Light that confuses the darkness. That light nourishes our souls, calls us out of darkness to a brighter way of life, and keeps us from becoming enslaved to the materiality of this world. We become Children of Light; imitators of the Light of the World. That Light causes us to seek better values, to take the higher ground, to walk the narrow path, to stand up for truth, to live up to our promises, to help each other out, to do for others as we want them to do for us. As followers of Christ, Children of Light will burn with a desire to be the brightest stars that we can be for Jesus.

Prayer: Wonderful Counselor, guide me through this day so that I can live more like You. Amen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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Star Bright

Written by Rev. Kelsy Brown
Associate Pastor for Membership & Mission

Have you ever spent an evening staring up at the stars? When I was a little girl I was obsessed with stars and constellations, especially when we were camping deep in the woods. The stars always come out in the darkness. Sometimes the darkness would be so overpowering that you couldn’t see the hand in front of your face. But when you would look up, the whole sky was filled with tiny dots.

I was captivated by these stars who were shining their light from so far away. Thousands of light years away from us they brought light in the darkness. I would spend hours with my head turned toward the heavens looking for the Big Dipper, Orion, The Big Dog, and Aquarius.

In the darkness trees, rock and even my own hand was not discernable in the immense darkness. That is until I held my hand up to the stars. The tiny lights shown around my hand outlining my fingers and palm.

Sometimes we need to look into Christ’s light in the midst of darkness in order to see our own outline. To know that we belong there with the warm light of comfort shining on our backs. Just to see the outline of who God called us to be when He sent His Son on Christmas day.

Prayer: Lord of Light, shine Your light on me so that I might once again know who You have called me to be. Amen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Friday Night Lights

Written by Hillary Mackowski
Director of Children’s Ministries

One of my most favorite seasons is Fall, and a big reason for that is football season. The high school football season has been so much fun and has come to an end for our oldest son Ethan. The lights of the Friday night fever is something we will cherish forever. The feeling of community, the bonds of his teammates, and the friendship within the parents is something I will have in my heart forever.

As the lights come on, the crowd roars and the boys take the field; it’s an amazing feeling! We are on our feet, ready for both team’s hard work to pay off. The whistle blows and we begin the battle for the victory. Sharing this love for the game, cheering on safe play, and enjoying a true champion at the end of the 4 quarters is a gift we enjoy week after week.

Cheering for Christ, sharing His love, and knowing He is the champion of our eternity is also worthy of this same energy! We know that with Him we will be winners, forever. It is time for us to prepare, compete with the hate, and win each day as we cheer on others to live for Him!

Prayer: Lord, we pray that today we remember the beautiful idea of competition, and hard work can encourage us to play for Your team. We should share that, through You, we can all be winners! Let us have the enthusiasm for sharing Your grace and love as much as we do for cheering for our favorite football teams. In Your name, Amen

Monday, December 10, 2018

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Hearing the Light

Written by Dr. Michael Hegeman
Consulting Theologian

When I think of the light we celebrate in Advent, two choral anthems (based on ancient hymns) come to mind. The first is an old Latin prayer that begins O nata lux de lumine, Jesu redemptor saeculi, which is translated “O Light born of Light, Jesus, Redeemer of the world.” I have always been drawn to the first three words “O nata lux,” which speak of Jesus as “birthed light.” The infant Jesus is the true light, born of the Light, birthed into our dark and alienating world. Jesus is living breathing light, in the flesh, who is to us redeemer, liberator, deliverer, rescuer, and savior. The name of Jesus itself comes from an old Hebrew name, Yehoshua, which means, “God is salvation.”

The other choral piece I think of is a Russian hymn that speaks of the birth of Jesus as the moment when “Salvation is created in the midst of the earth.” When Jesus was born, he became for us birthed light and salvation itself, found in human likeness. As we wait for Jesus’ coming in his fullness, let us remember that light and salvation have already come…and they come to us every day. If you’ve ever held a newborn child, you know the miracle of life that you embraced. Wrap your arms around the light that is born to us. And the Light embraces you in return.

Prayer: O Christ, light for the world, be born in our hearts. Foster in us Your loving kindness. Amen

You can listen online to these hymns that celebrate the birth of Christ:
O Nata Lux – Morten Lauridsen
Salvation is Created – Chesnokov

Sunday, December 9, 2018

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Speed of Light

Written by Rev. Pam Fischer
Pre-Med Hospice Coordinator

In ’light’, inaccessible, hid from our eyes”…speaking of a light that conceals God from human eyes.**

Yet, I have reason to suspect with many others that there truly are ‘thin places’ where Heaven and Earth seem to touch, ever so briefly. I once heard that if matter is accelerated to nearly the speed of light, we can no longer see it. One source suggested it may involve the actual slowing down of time. For me it makes invisible Heavenly realms/ angels/ cloud of witnesses all the more plausible.

I saw my deceased mother, for only a split second, in our home a year ago. You will never convince me otherwise. And then there was a very powerful, God moment for me in Oklahoma about 15 years ago. I was walking down the lane to our barn midday, late summer (hearing birds & loud locusts chirping). Suddenly, everything went silent…as if I was struck deaf. I stopped; felt the warm sun and great peace. Scanning around me, I literally saw each blade of grass ‘breathing’. A large rock further away was also visibly ‘breathing’. And then, the ‘moment’ was gone. But NOT ever forgotten!! I now see God-created ‘life’ even in seemingly lifeless stones. And, I feel like a grain of sand in an eternal cosmos.

During my chaplaincy residency, I had a former RN from my hospital, now riddled with cancer, but still inexplicably alive, command that I really “hear” her near death experiences, which were several. You can imagine where my mind went when she described the “amazing colors of the flowers, more than we know on earth….and how every blade of grass is perfect…”. I just can’t take grass for granted anymore!!

As a Chaplain, I have had the honor and blessing of hearing similar ‘Odd or God’ stories. I truly believe we should share these experiences…bring them to LIGHT.

Prayer: Creator, Show me the thin places that help me to know You more clearly. Amen.

**[Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise hymn by Walter Smith 1867]

Saturday, December 8, 2018

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Green Light

Written by Lea Reinke
Business Administrator

I was getting the grandkiddos ready to take them home after dinner. It was the usual routine: let’s put away toys, find your shoes, say bye-bye to Grandpa Mark. As we were nearly out the door, my husband rather casually said, “You should take Union Hills”. You see, there are two routes I could use - the freeway or surface streets. During non-rush hour, I use the freeway which was my plan that evening.

Backing out of the driveway, I thought about his words. It’s not his nature to dictate my commute, plus his comment seemed to come out of the blue. We’ve all heard stories about someone having a feeling about a situation, and if heeded, a calamity was averted. Perhaps there was a reason for his unsolicited advice.

I approached the turn lane for the freeway. The stop light at the intersection was green, and I decided not to turn and continued on the street. The light at the next intersection was green as well, a lucky break, I thought. But so was the next one and the one after that, on and on until I had reached my destination.

I don’t know if we escaped a mishap by taking that course. What I do know is I experienced a rare occurrence in this large city: going from point A to point B with green lights the entire way – thirteen in all!

The unfolding of your words gives light…Psalm 119:130a

Prayer: Loving God, may my heart and mind be open to Your message and ever thankful for Your blessing of grace. Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2018

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Waiting for Light

Written by Calvin Brown
Pinnacle Office Mascot and Hall Monitor

Every morning I have to practice waiting. I am an early riser and enjoy the quiet of the morning. It always takes a few minutes for my eyes to adjust but eventually I can see just a little bit, but I wonder if that is because I already know where my comfy bed is in relationship to everything else in the room; the chair next to my bed where I do my best thinking, and the bathroom with its very cold tile floor.

Faith is a little bit like that. Sometimes we wait in the darkness when things don’t seem to be going the right way. When people we love die. When we find out bad news from the doctor. When we are extra stressed.

It is darkness that surrounds all the things we already know. We know that God is with us through everything. We know that eventually we will get through this season. We know that we have friends and family who will support us. But all we see in the darkness is the shapes.

Every morning as I wait in the darkness I anticipate the living room light, which is set on a timer, to go on. Suddenly a warm glow of light puts everything into perspective. Christmas is like the light going on each morning. (Plus that means we can go for a walk, get breakfast and hope that this day will have more light in it than darkness.) I hope you have a great day filled with light!

Prayer: Jesus, help me in the darkness and guide me towards the light. Amen.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

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Star Light

Written by Dr. Tina Campbell
Assisting Pastor for Senior Adult Ministries

In his book All I Really Want, Quinn G. Caldwell talks about how things seem much scarier at night. Things that wouldn’t bother us a bit seem to be big and huge and frightening in the middle of the night. Those of us who live in relatively safe houses can become fearful at night, but those who spend the night on subway grates or in cardboard, in fear of attack or invasion experience paralyzing fear. Perhaps we just feel more vulnerable at night.

Jesus promises that the night will end and the morning star will rise and then the sun will appear.

Quinn suggests that we “hang a star in your room this Advent, a light-up Christmas star from Target, a glow- in- the- dark star stuck on the ceiling, or a starry night light. You can call it a Christmas decoration so your friends don’t think you’re weird, if you want. But don’t forget what it really is: a promise.

Prayer: Lord, I don’t know how long this night is going to be. But with You, I know it’s going to end. Come Morning Star, come. Amen.