Entries by admin

December 7

Be Still BE STILL, O MY SOUL! As we plan and prepare for Christmas, we want our homes to be decorated beautifully inside and out; we want the tree to be shining brightly; we want the gifts to be wrapped and bedecked with bows; we want food cooked to share with family, friends, and neighbors; […]

December 6

To Give or to Receive  Near the close of his words of exhortation to the Ephesus elders recorded by Luke in Acts 20, the apostle Paul reminded them of something Jesus once said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 I love to give gifts. I love the reaction of unexpected […]

December 5

Be Kind  However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” —the things God has prepared for those who love him… 1Corinthians 2:9 Being very cash-strapped one Christmas season, we went to a Christmas tree farm knowing that we would be looking for the […]

December 4

Keeping Focused  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 When I was in my twenties and thirties, I dreaded Christmas because I saw it mostly as busyness and stress that I didn’t need. I had […]

December 3

Advertising Christmas “…And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on […]

Advent: Get Ready!

Advent: Get Ready A Message on Luke 1:26-38 For Jacksonville First United Methodist Church Dec. 1, 2019 By Doug Wintermute dwinterm@yahoo.com Luke 1:26-38 (NRSV) In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of […]

December 2

Unto Us a Son For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 Each year as the Christmas season nears, I turn to a splendid celebration […]

December 1: First Sunday in Advent

Advent is here and with it comes the first light of hope. Anticipation fills the air as we prepare to celebrate The Light of the World. This day is the beginning of all our watching and waiting and hoping. What are you hoping for this year? What waiting lies deep in your heart? What keeps […]

The Advent Wreath: A Brief History

Merriam-Webster’s defines advent as “the arrival or coming of something.” For Believers it is the season we prepare to remember the birth of Jesus. Arrivals usually come with signs. Spring arrives with showers and wildflowers. Summer with red ripe tomatoes and hot days. Autumn with changing leaves that fall to the ground. Winter brings shorter […]

Preparing Hearts, Minds, and Homes for the Christmas Season

Welcome! It’s almost time for First United Methodist Church Jacksonville to celebrate Advent! Members and friends of this church have written daily devotionals. There is a devotional for every day during the season of Advent, which runs from December 1 to December 25. Advent is a time of preparation, a time of contemplation. Our prayer […]