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Advent Meditation: Deck the Halls, Prepare our Hearts!

John 1:23
So he said, "I am, as Isaiah prophesied, 'A voice of one that cries out in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!'"

It was before Halloween this year when I first noticed the department stores setting out their Christmas decorations. I wondered how many hours would be spent by store clerks and mall employees preparing for this holiday we call Christmas. How many hours would be spent searching for the perfect gift, the right outfit, the exact ornament? And how many hours would be spent searching for the star in the heavens to guide our path, looking for the child, praying that we would recognize the savior when he appears? It is so clear to me that the world needs Christ. Christmas is big business, and we spin our wheels in the bustle of the holiday but do we find peace in the beauty of our celebration of that holy day? What would happen in our lives and the world if, this Christmas season, we spent as much time on our knees in prayerful preparation as we do on our feet in the shopping malls?
OH GREAT GOD, GUIDE US IN PREPARATION TO WELCOME JESUS,YOUR SON, INTO OUR HEARTS. AMEN.
from "A New Day in Christ" Daily devotional guide, shared by Charelle W.

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Prayer Requests

Grace flows in abundance from the glory of your throne, loving God. Yet we choose to deny, to reject, to follow our own path; never imagining that the life of the demanding call could so completely eclipse the mediocrity of a life of our own creation. Forgive our unbelief, wash away the stain of our sin, open our eyes to the new life that we can have, if only we deny our own will and submit completely to your will. Show us the places in our lives that we resist your hand, shaping and molding us to your use. Soften us, that we may bend to your purposes, Master Potter.

We lift the following concerns to your care:

Zenon G. in Wasco State Prison (3300), Wasco, CA. Pray for me.
James R. in North Kern State Prison, Delano, CA. Pray for my family.
Rickey Y. in Avenal State Prison, Avenal, CA. Pray for me and my family, as well as my friend Tammy P. and her family.
Victoria B. in Orange Co. Jail, Santa Ana, CA. Pray for me and my pen pal Mario M.
Sabrina C. in Century Regional Detention Facility, Lynwood, CA. Pray for me and my family.
Daniel B. in Daniel Unit, Snyder, TX. Pray for me.
Henry R. and Octavio T. in Tulia Unit, Tulia, TX. Pray for me and my family.
Hilda A. in McAllen, TX. Pray for me and my two sons who are incarcerated.
DeAnna E. in Plane State Jail, Dayton, TX. Pray for me.
Agustin T. in FDC Houston, Houston, TX. Pray for me, my wife, and my children.
Veronika L. in McLennan County Jail, Waco, TX. Pray for me.
Molly B. in Smith County Jail, Tyler, TX. Pray for me.
Javier P. in Theo Lacy Facility, Orange, CA. Por favor oren por mi familia ya que perdimos a mi padre. Oren por mi esposa Ciria quien esta muy mal de salud
Marco B. in Theo Lacy Facility, Orange, CA. Por favor oren por mi caso, por mi mama, mis 3 hijos y demas familia
Cynthia R. and Felicia U. in ICE Service Processing Center, El Paso, TX.
Maria D. in Zapata County Jail, Zapata, TX. Por favor oren por nosotras las internas y por todo el personal que trabaja alrededor
Denny P. in Harris County Jail, Houston, TX. Por favor oren por mi ex-esposa, mis 4 hijos y por mi para que yo pueda estar con ellos nuevamente.
Rhonda L. in Calcasieu Correctional Center, Lake Charles, LA. Pray for me and my fiancee.
LaCarla M. in Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, MI. Pray for me and my family.
Melisha J. in FCI Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL. Pray for me and my family.
Anitra H. in Public Safety Center, Modesto, CA. Pray for me.
Sonja F. in CCWF, Chowchilla, CA. Pray for me, my fellow inmates, and our families.
April C. in West Valley Detention Center, Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Pray for me and my family.
Guadalupe L. in Wayne Scott Unit, Angleton, TX. Pray for me and my family.
Vincent W. in Harris Co Jail, Houston, TX. Pray for me.
Crystal C. in Hilltop Unit, Gatesville, TX. Pray for me, my children, my boyfriend, and my whole family.
Heidi R. in Calcasieu Correctional Center, Lake Charles, LA. Pray for my friends and family, especially my kids, as well as my fellow inmates.
Tammy A. in FCI Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL. Pray for me and my son, Daniel B., as we both struggle with drug addiction. Pray for my daughter Brandi T. and my other daughter Glenda T. M., as well as her husband James M. and their children Connor & Gavin. Pray for my other grandchildren Heath T. and Cassidy B.
Jeremy R. in Jackson Co Correctional Institution, Jefferson, GA. Pray for my family.
Thomas K. in Castle Rock, WA. Pray for me and my friend Shawn D.
Rudy R. in CCC A Fac, MSF Fac, Susanville, CA. Pray for me; my wife, Regina; and my children, Arreona, Angel, Raquel, and Isaiah R.
Francisco M. in Wasco State Prison (6600), Wasco, CA. Pray for the health of my pregnant wife and our unborn child.
Bruce F. in CDC San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA. Pray for me and my fellow inmates.
Bernice C. in Indio Jail, Indio, CA. Pray for me.
Tracy W. in Century Regional Detention Facility, Lynwood, CA. Pray for my daughter Cleisha D. who is also incarcerated.
Larry H. in Lynaugh Unit, Fort Stockton, TX. Pray for me.
Ernest O. in Holliday Unit, Huntsville, TX. Pray for me.
Gary P. in Anderson County Jail, Palestine, TX. Pray for me.
Nancy B. in East Texas ISF, Henderson, TX. Pray for my friend Michael who is suffering from stage 3 lymphatic cancer.
Brenda P. in St. Tammany Parish Jail, Covington, LA. Pray for me and my family, especially my mother who is suffering from dementia.


"Have thine own way, Lord, Have thine own way,
You are the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me, make me, after thy will
While I am waiting yielded and still."

Amen.

Easter Prayer

For the love that endures all suffering, we celebrate with Alleluias!

For the sunrise after the darkest night, we celebrate with Alleluias!

For the hope that lives when all hope is lost, we celebrate with Alleluias!

For the courage that accompanies us into the darkest grave, we celebrate with Alleluias!

For the resurrection that comes after the final hour, we celebrate with Alleluias!

For the life that is beyond any deserving, we celebrate with Alleluias!

This day, let the Alleluias keep us ever mindful of the gracious gift greater than any gift, the love greater than any love, the light brighter than any light, the deepest hope of all hopes, the abundant life beyond all life, of the resurrected Christ alive in the world!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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