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Advent Daily Devotion Dec 6

December 6

The Littlest Branch~ By Nancy Strine

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. - Isaiah 11:1

Right now, I'm a little twig, you see.  I'm hidden deep inside a big pine tree.  Can hardly do much, I'm tiny and thin.  I hardly fill the space that I'm in.  Other large branches look very dignified.  Am I really too small to be here inside?  So, I make excuses that I don't need much-- a little sun, wind, rain, and such.

One day, the tree shakes; the branches are quiet and unable to say what's causing the riot.  I hear a great thud as the tree hits the ground; its trunk in splinters and branches strewn 'round.  Cautions and nervous, I peek at the sight; and then, the whole tree is hoisted upright.  Jostles and carried, big branches cry out.  I'm really afraid and unable to shout.

The journey is short and suddenly ceases.  At this point, my fear greatly increases.  Being small, I hope, will decrease the chances of being cut away like much bigger branches.  "You might be next," is what they all say.  I tremble as some big ones are carried away.  The trunk is still reeling as it finds itself braced by the hard metal rods of a rounded tree base.

All hope to fade; but then, there's a light-- not, now there's another-- all colored and bright! 

A box is put down on the floor close to me with bright, fancy ornaments to hang on the tree.

A beautiful bird's nest just made for the tree is then gently fastened securely to me.

By placing a bird's nest in just such a way, many blessings will follow-- or so legends say.

The little bird inside is quiet and small; it doesn't chirp or make noises at all.

But I feel so happy that it now is at rest.  Inside the tree on my little chest.

Thus, I'm reminded that though I am small, I have a great purpose and value to all.

God loves us and gives us all worth.  We're reminded of this as we celebrate Christ's birth!

Advent Daily Devotion Dec 7

December 7

Do Not Miss Out! ~ By Katy Mossburg, Director of Youth Ministries

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15: 13

I have to confess that about somethings, I am great big chicken.  I am afraid of heights, spiders and I really dislike being in the dark.  I am also afraid of making a fool of myself.  While some fears are normal, if we give them too much power, we can miss out on great opportunities.  For example, my fear of heights kept me from looking over the cliffs in Acadia National Park.  My husband described the majesty of the sight to me, but I allowed my fear to keep me from experiencing it.

God provides us with so many opportunities to have wonderful experiences in so many different ways.  He gives us the tools to overcome our fears so that we may live abundant lives.  Draw upon the hope and joy and peace that God gives us through the power of the Holy Spirit so that you do not miss out on the majesty of God's creations.

Prayer:  Heavenly and Glorious God, Thank you for your abundance that rains upon us.  Fill us with hope, and remove our fears.  Fill us with the peace that comes in knowing that you love us too much to let us fall.  Grant us courage and fortitude to face uncertainty, and remind us that Jesus will carry us through the difficult times.  We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.  Amen!

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