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Advent

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Incredibles

Quote:
“Don’t Think and don’t worry. When the time comes, you’ll know what to do.” – Elastagirl to her daughter Violet

Verse:
Matthew 10:19-20 “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

Micro-Challenge:
Encourage a child today. Let them know that they have the tools to succeed in this life inside of them as a gift from God. Let them know how proud of them you are and give them the joy of knowing that an adult believes in them!

Soccer Rescue

Quote:
“The world just needs to know that what was accomplished was a once in a lifetime rescue that I think has never been done before, we were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was. It’s important to realize how complex and how many pieces of this puzzle had to come together.”
– Derek Anderson

Verse:
Isaiah 46:3-4
“You whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born. 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Micro-Challenge:
Identify and fill a practical need for someone else today. It could be as simple as holding a door for someone, helping someone load groceries into a car, or bringing lunch to someone who is hungry. Be a lifeline of hope.

Call the Midwife

Quote:
“Sometimes only when bonds are tested do we understand their strength… we can step into the future, blessed and stronger than before because when faced with change our love held fast and didn’t break.”
-Jenny Lee

Verse:
Exodus 1:17, 20-21 “The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live…So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

Micro-Challenge:
Think of a special mother in your life. It could be your own mom, wife, mother in law, sister, or friend. Offer encouragement through a call, note, or small gift, something to let them know that they are valued.

Lebron James School

Quote:
My father wasn’t around when I was a kid, and I used to always say, ‘Why me? Why don’t I have a father? Why isn’t he around? Why did he leave my mother?’ But as I got older I looked deeper and thought, ‘I don’t know what my father was going through, but if he was around all the time, would I be who I am today?’ -Lebron James

Verse:
2 Corinthians 1:20 “ For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

Micro-Challenge:
Make a $5 donation to Lebron James “I promise” school.
http://www.lebronjamesfamilyfoundation.org/page/donate

Rachael Denhollander

Quote:
“Should you ever reach the point of truly facing what you have done, the guilt will be crushing. And that is what makes the gospel of Christ so sweet. Because it extends grace and hope and mercy where none should be found. And it will be there for you.”
-Rachael Denhollander

Verse:
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Micro-Challenge:
Spend some time in prayer today forgiving someone who has wronged you and asking for God’s grace to be evident in their life.

Royal Wedding

Quote:
“The love between those two people, between that royal couple, was so powerful, not only did we all show up, but it brought all these different worlds together…It brought different nationalities, different ethnicities, different religious traditions, people of all stripes and types, people of different political persuasions, actually for a moment we were together, organized around love.”
– Bishop Michael Curry

Verse:
Song of Songs 2:4 “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

Micro-Challenge:
Write the word “love” on a post-it note. Post it above your head on your bathroom mirror as you are getting ready for your day. Throughout your day actively remember that you are walking under the banner of God’s love.

Yukon Cornelius

Quote:
“Peppermint! What I’ve been searching for all my life! I’ve struck it rich! I’ve got me a peppermint mine! Wahooooo!”
-Yukon Cornelius

Verse:
Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.”

Micro-Challenge:
Ask God who he wants you to bless today. Leave a small treasure (ie. a note, candy bar, Christmas ornament, muffin) with the word “Hope” written on the top for that person to discover.

Mr. Rogers

Quote:
People have said, “Don’t cry” to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, “I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.” I’d rather have them say, “Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.” – Fred Rogers

Verse:
Romans 12:10 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

Micro-Challenge:
The holidays can be a difficult time for many people. God enacted his peace through the incarnation: God made flesh and dwelt among us. Spread God’s peace today by reaching out to someone that has a difficult time during the holiday season.

Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Quote:
For almost 20 years I have witnessed war crimes committed against women, girls and even baby girls not only in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also in many other countries, to the survivors from all over the world, I would like to tell you that through this prize, the world is listening to you and refusing to remain indifferent. The world refuses to sit idly in the face of your suffering.
– Denis Mukwege

Verse:
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Micro-Challenge:
Call someone else out as a peacemaker today. Acknowledge in word or writing someone’s act of peacemaking within the last week.

Lauren Daigle in prison

Quote:
“If we show people that fear isn’t actually the place that we have to surrender to, fear isn’t actually the thing that we have to answer to, but instead, it’s going in and loving people.” – Lauren Daigle

Verse:
Luke 4:18 ““The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

Micro-Challenge:
Following Lauren Daigle’s example, whether you sound like Mariah Carey or one of the American Idol first round try-out fails, put on your favorite worship song and sing it out!

Black Panther

Quote:
“The wise builds bridges while the foolish build barriers.” King T’Challa

Verse:
Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Micro-Challenge:
God shows us a new kind of power, one that is a power in humility and love for others. Where can you build a bridge today with your cultural other?

Muppets Xmas

Quote:
“It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve and Scrooge was conscious of a thousand odors, each one connected with a thousand thoughts and hopes and joys and cares long, long forgotten.” Gonzo

Verse:
Hebrews 4:10-11a “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest,”

Micro-Challenge:
Advent is in full swing. Days are moving faster as we rush to the finish line of Christmas. Reserve a half an hour tonight to rest. Devote yourself to a time of family and relaxation.

Anthony Bourdain

Quote:
“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Anthony Bourdain

Verse:
Nehemiah 8:10 “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Micro-Challenge:
Grab a friend and eat something you’ve never tried before.

Crazy Rich Asians

Quote:
“I’ve always tried to keep clear boundaries between my personal life and my family life.”
-Kevin Kwan

Verse:
John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Micro-Challenge:
Loving family is oftentimes harder than loving friends and strangers. Think of someone in your family who has been overlooked or pushed aside and extend peace to him or her today through a call, text, coffee meeting, or note.

Kristen Bell

Quote:
“I think real humans are so complicated, and often [characters] are written more one-dimensional without maybe even the writer knowing it. I’ve felt numerous moments in my life where my most confident moment and my most insecure moment were exactly the same time. There’s nothing funny or interesting about perfection.” – Kristen Bell

Verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Micro-Challenge:
Stress often increases as the big day draws closer. Lighten the mood today by sharing a funny story about yourself with someone else. Too stressed to think of anything funny? Post a family silly face photo on social media.

Saga Vencek Sword

Quote:
“People on the internet are saying I am the queen of Sweden, because in the legend of King Arthur, he was given a sword by a lady in a lake, and that meant he would become king.”
-Saga Vencek

Verse:
Luke 15:8-10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Micro-Challenge:
Rejoice with someone today! Set aside time to meet a friend or acquaintance for coffee, write a note of congratulations for someone, or make a call to participate in the joy

Nutcracker

Quote:
“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” – G.K. Chesterton

Verse:
Psalm 30:11 “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy”

Micro-Challenge:
It’s time to dance! Dance with someone today or just dance by yourself, but dance!

Aretha Franklin

Quote:
“Being the queen is not at all about singing…It has everything to do with your service to people. What you do for your community is what makes you royalty.” -Aretha Franklin

Verse:
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Micro-Challenge:
Share as many smiles as you can today. Look for places your smile will make a difference.

Greatest Showman

Quote:
“I close my eyes and I can see
The world that’s waiting up for me
That I call my own
Through the dark, through the door
Through where no one’s been before
But it feels like home”
-P.T. Barnum

Verse:
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Micro-Challenge:
Embrace the unique. Wear your ugly Christmas sweater today, your mismatched Christmas socks, or your gaudy Christmas jewelry. Don’t forget to dress your pet up for the occasion.

Harry Potter

Quote:
“Go on, have a pasty,” said Harry, who had never had anything to share before or, indeed, anyone to share it with. It was a nice feeling, sitting there with Ron.
-HP & The Sorcerer’s Stone

Verse:
Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”

Micro-Challenge:
Share a Christmas treat with someone today: hot cocoa, cookies, cake, pie.

Isle of Dogs

Quote:
“We’ll find him. Wherever he is, if he’s alive, we’ll find your dog.” Chief – from the film Isle of Dogs

Verse:
Psalm 126:2-3 “Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

Micro-Challenge:
Make a list of times that God has showed up in your life and circumstances. Post this somewhere you can look at it regularly. Feel free to post to social media and encourage others to do the same.

Eugene Peterson

Quote:
“God loves you. God is on your side. He is coming after you. He is relentless.” -Eugene Peterson

Verse:
John 10:4b-5 “his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

Micro-Challenge:
As we enter the final week of advent, let’s reflect on God’s overwhelming love for his creation. Jesus joined his kids in human form, to reveal once and for all the love of the Father. It’s important to be able to recognize God’s voice. It’s so easy to have it drowned out by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Take 15 minutes today to ask God what he has to say to you. Quiet yourself for 15 minutes and simply listen to what our loving Father has on his mind for you.

Candlelight Service

Quote:
“Tonight we want to celebrate the Eucharist in joy for Christ is with us. He is mysteriously present in and through this bread and cup. Each time we gather we remember the reason that Christ was born.”
– Gregg Jennings

Verse:
John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Micro-Challenge:
Go, and invite a friend to a candlelight service tonight. When you get home, quiet your heart before God and ask him to tell you more about his love.

Shepherds and Angels

Quote:
“For the Lord touched all parts of creation, and freed and undeceived them all from every deceit.”
― St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Verse:
Luke 2:16-19 “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Micro-Challenge:
Reflect and write down what God has revealed to you through his word, others, and your time with him, this Advent season. Take that list and spend some quiet time in simple gratitude to God today.