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Advent

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Tom Petty

Quote:
“You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I, won’t back down” – Tom Petty

Verse:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Micro-Challenge:
Get on the phone and call a parent, or a grandchild. Call someone that has meant a lot to you in your life and you haven’t talk to in a while!

University of Iowa/Children’s Hospital

Quote:
A new tradition of hope was started this year as fans and players of both sides wave to patients at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, which overlooks the stadium.

Verse:
“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.” Mark 9:23

Micro-Challenge:
Wave those hands today! Begin with some worship on your commute and throughout the day, be kind and wave to everyone you meet. Let their humanity fill you and respond with a wave, a huge, a gesture of hope.

Wonder Woman

Quote:
“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind; but then I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learnt that inside every one of them there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves — something no hero will ever defeat. And now I know… that only Love can truly save the world. So now I stay, I fight, and I give — for the world I know can be. This is my mission now. Forever.”

Verse:
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Micro-Challenge:
Fight for the lonely tonight. Invite someone you know who eats alone to eat with you and your family! Perhaps even have them over to help cook? Fold them into hope and learn from them that God is near the lonely so perhaps you will find they have a gift of hope for you as well!!

Rich Mullins

Quote:
“God notices you. The fact is he can’t take his eyes off of you. However badly you think of yourself, God is crazy about you. God is in love with you. Some of us even fear that someday we’ll do something so bad that he won’t notice us anymore. Well, let me tell you, God loves you completely. And he knew us at our worst before he ever began to love us at all. And in the love of God there are no degrees, there is only love.”

Verse:
“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.” Ezekiel 34:15-16

Micro-Challenge:
Spot that shopping cart in the parking lot and launch your own Shopping Car Rodeo. Round them all up and don’t just do it today. Do it all Advent. Help that grocery store worker out. Dare you to take them all the way up to the corral.

Fredericksburg Auction Block

Quote:
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Maya Angelou

Verse:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…”
Ephesians 2:13-14

Micro-Challenge:
Where are the dividing walls of division and hate still in your world? Write a letter of forgiveness today and send it to the person who you have refused to build bridges of hope and have rather erected walls of hate. Forgive as you have been forgiven.

Houston Strong

Quote:
“Emergency management’s a partnership. It’s all based on a community’s capacity to handle an event,” Long said. “All disasters begin and end at the local level.”

Verse:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Micro-Challenge:
Remember those in turmoil from death, natural disaster, poverty, and pray. Consider how you can make a local difference. Perhaps donate toward CG’s Advent Giving challenge that goes toward the Micah Cafe to feed local hungry bellies.

Baby Driver

Quote:
“He’s a looney! Just like his toons.” Bats

Verse:
Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy! Psalm 47:1

Micro-Challenge:
Dance with joy. Crank up the music, move the furniture, and have a dance party – with your kids, your spouse, your friends, your dog!

Mother Teresa

Quote:
“Peace begins with a smile..”

Verse:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

Micro-Challenge:
Give a smile to everyone and see how many you get back. Smiles are contagious!

Desmond Doss

Quote:
“With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.”

Verse:
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

Micro-Challenge:
Rake leaves for another family. Perhaps for a neighbor that you need/should extend an olive branch to.

St. Francis

Quote:
“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.” – St. Francis

Verse:
“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Luke 15:4-7

Micro-Challenge:
There is great joy in being found, in feeling loved. Be joy and love to someone or something that is feeling lost. Go to the shelter and play with the dogs and cats that have no home – let them feel loved, even for an afternoon. Invite a friend or coworker over for dinner who has been having a rough time.

Bob Ross

Quote:
“There are no mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

Verse:
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Micro-Challenge:
Create some beauty today in this dark world. Write a poem, a song, a sonnet, a note of encouragement. Make something, paint, play music, but use God’s creative nature to create yourself.

The Grinch

Quote:
“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

Verse:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Luke 2:14

Micro-Challenge:
Let others go first all day long! At home in the bathroom, in traffic, in line, at the store – and let this become a habit of hospitality in God’s great world.

Advent Rock

Quote:
“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” Thomas Merton

Verse:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… Philippians 2:3-5

Micro-Challenge:
Paint a Christmas rock or several Christmas themed rocks and leave them around town for others to find. Perhaps paint some for a neighbors kid or a friends children. Perhaps you can give them the task of hiding your rocks. Be a kid! The promised one is finally on His way.

Yoda

Quote:
“If you end your training now – if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did – you will become an agent of evil.” – Yoda

Verse:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

Micro-Challenge:
Do not end your training! As a prisoner of hope get outside! Go for a walk and meditate on your training and recommit to the journey of life and faith!

Wonder

Quote:
“Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.” R.J. Palacio

Verse:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17

Micro-Challenge:
Candy Cane bomb your neighborhood or a parking lot!! Put that candy cane right under the wiper and let your others know they are loved.

Flannery O’Connor

Quote:
“She looked at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity.”

Verse:
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:21

Micro-Challenge:
Technology Sabbath. Grow up a bit and unplug from electronics all day today to experience the life around you.

Les Miserables

Quote:
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” Jean Val Jean

Verse:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:18-21

Micro-Challenge:
Cold night/Warm drink. Bring or buy a warm drink to share with someone who is outside.

The Great British Bakeoff

Quote:
“On your mark, get set, BAKE!”

Verse:
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Micro-Challenge:
Bake something for a neighbor. Let a joyous light shine from giving something sweet!

Tom Haveford

Quote:
“Oh, what’s this in my shoe? Red carpet insole. Everywhere I go, I’m walking on red carpet.”

Verse:
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:11-12

Micro-Challenge:
Spread joy in the workplace today. Bring cookies or donuts to share!

Beauty and the Beast

Quote:
“Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie. And we’ll provide the rest”

Verse:
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.” Psalm 32:11

Micro-Challenge:
Invite friends over for board games and eggnog!

Goat Yoga

Quote:
“You’ll never be bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do!” Dr. Seuss

Verse:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” Lamentations 3:22

Micro-Challenge:
Try something new (maybe it’s not goat yoga, but still). Find joy in learning something new!

Mary Consoles Eve

Quote:
Eve, my sister
The one who took the fall
Eve, my sister
Mother of us all
Lift up your head
Don’t hide your blushing face
The promised One
Is finally on His way

Verse:
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation…” Luke 1: 46-50

Micro-Challenge:
Invite a friend to the candlelight service, in fact invite all your friends. If they say no, don’t take it personal, just love them for who they are and keep praying for them.

A Christmas Carol

Quote:
“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” Charles Dickens

Verse:
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:16-20

Micro-Challenge:
The only response to such a glorious gift is to live a life of gratitude. Make a plan for how you will keep Christmas in your heart all year round.