On this Fourth Sunday in Advent we Light the Candle of Love.

The first week, we lit the candle of Hope.  The second week, we lit the candle of Peace.  And last week we lit the candle of JOY.

My heart is full of gratitude.  I cannot even begin to comprehend this love the Father has for us.

To think that he so much wanted us to “get it” that he orchestrated an amazing turn of events to not only demonstrate this love he has for you and me, but to make a way to be a part of his forever family.


Light the Candle of Love :: Advent :: 12 Days of Christmas ::


At Christmas, we imagine a sweet bucolic scene of a mother tending to her newborn midst fresh hay and lowing cattle.   We have a tendency to soften the harsh reality of life at the time of Jesus’ birth as we re-create the scene in our Christmas pageants.   There is another reality that we often don’t talk or think about as we set out our mangers and figures of the holy family.  But, the reality is that Jesus’ birth would have little significance to us if he was simply born a man and lived life as God becoming man.

Don’t get me wrong here.  God becoming man and walking amongst us is truly amazing.  But, that in and of itself is not life-changing for you and me.  I agree, it is a loving gesture on God’s part.  What is life-changing is that God demonstrated his love for us in allowing his son to be the sacrifice, we deserve, for our sin.  That is love.

Do you know a parent who would allow their child to take the punishment for someone else?  Me either.

But think about this:while we were wasting our lives in sin,
God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us.
Romans 5:8 The Voice

That is love.

Love beyond anything we can imagine.

Love that is pure and holy and worthy of worship and praise.


Light the Candle of Love :: Romans 5:8b FREE Printable :: 12 Days of Christmas ::

Click here to download a FREE 8×10 Printable* of this image.


Today as I prepared to write this post I was overcome by the magnitude of this love.  Of this gift.

My heart is filled with gratitude.  It’s so very humbling to think that the God of the universe would send his son, so I could choose to make him the Lord of my life.  Yes…all this so I could choose to follow him.   Choose to accept this amazing gift of love.

Have you chosen to take his offer to love you and make your part of his forever family?

Have you asked him to be your Lord and Guide?

To say “Yes” to him is to receive the most incredible gift of love imaginable.

I said “Yes!”  And now I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude for this profound gift.


As we light the candle of love…

Let’s kneel down at the manger to worship the one who chose death on the cross, all because of his great love for you and me.

Let’s decide to celebrate this amazing love…not just at Christmas….but by our acts of love, each day, to all whom we meet.

And let’s fall down in humble gratitude for the one who took our place on the cross.



Nativity JOY :: JoyDay! ::


Today is Joy Day!


The day when we take time to look back over our past week and count the gifts and blessings from the week.  I’m reminded that some gifts aren’t exactly pleasant…but because of them our character is developed.   In all things, we are to give thanks.

Please join me in counting just ‘seven’ from the past week.

I’ll start…

God, I’m grateful:

  1. for the development of my character.
  2. for a small paycheck.
  3. for gracious, loving, friends.
  4. that a new Social Security card was easily obtained.
  5. for this incredible love God has for us and that we get to celebrate it at Christmas.
  6. for birch branches and evergreens and winterberry branches.
  7. for this time of exile.

Now it’s YOUR turn!!

Join me in counting ‘seven.’  Scroll down to the comment section…Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts….and list your ‘seven.’  I guarantee your JOY meter will soar.

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.




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I’d be delighted if you’d share the goodness here with your friends.


  1. ColleenB. says

    Thank you for the free printable. It’s gorgeous. Fits right in with my collectable of nativity sets

    • Diane says

      Colleen…you just made my day! I’m thrilled that the printable will work for your.

      Wishing you an Extraordinary New Year!!

  2. Jan says

    Do I remember a bucolic scene of a tender young mother tending to her newborn son? Nope. What I remember is that Joseph’s family was in mortal danger, because Herod the Great had been advised by his astrologers and soothsayers that, according to ancient scriptures, a great savior was going to be born in the town of Bethelem right around that time. Herod would not, could not – have that! He was already plotting how to get rid of this prophesied rival for his powers. The slaughter of the innocents — but nobody talks about that. What I remember is that Joseph and his very pregnant young wife were rejected at inn after inn as “being full” as they arrived at Joseph’s ancestral family home. Well — maybe all the inns were, indeed, full. What I wonder about is this — was not one single person moved by the plight of a young mother about to give birth? Was no one a witness as Joseph tried time after time to find shelter for his wife and step forward to offer a space in their room? Did no one feel pity for her condition? I find that a little hard to believe. Was there another reason Joseph and Mary could not find ANY space, even in a kitchen near a fire where Mary could rest her weary bones? Politics. Oh yeah, politics! Republicans despise Democrats. They call each other awful names. There is no such thing as compromise and compassion. Same thing was going on back then. Ooooooh, you’re from THAT family, are you? You’re one of THEM, are you? Well then, sleep out with the flea-infested animals like the vermin you are! Against all earthly odds, Emmanu-El was born healthy and sound. And the rest, as they say, is history. Sadly, things haven’t changed very much since then. But we have HOPE. That is what I take away from the Nativity. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a better world. One person at a time 🙂 Happy Holidays to you and yours, Diane.

    • Diane says

      Jan…The hope that Jesus brings is the best kind of hope there is. And it doesn’t matter what our state in life is…..he offers hope to each of us. I am so grateful for that grace.

      Blessings for a joyful New Year!

  3. Debbi Saunders says

    1. That I am almost recovered from an upper respiratory infection that kept me bed last week!
    2. That my friends and co-workers that were headed out of town for Christmas, have all arrived safely at their destinations.
    3.That my son and brother will be with me on Christmas. The first in over 20 yrs. for my brother and I.
    4.For great friends and neighbors
    5.That we still have the right to worship God in our Country!!!
    6. That a Dear friend whose elderly mother was critically ill last night, is now much improved.
    7. I am still so grateful for my job and that I really love it.
    Merry Christmas Diane and Tim….I pray that 2014 will be year of new opportunities and restoration, health, prosperity and home of your own….

    • Diane says

      I rejoice with you at your recovery…the blessing of having your son and brother for Christmas…and God’s hand of blessing on your life in so many wonderful ways. I’m trusting him and praying for you to be blessed beyond imagination in the New Year, Debbi. Thanks for your love and support. You are the best! [hugs]

  4. Suzi says

    1. That I went to church today for the first time in the month since surgery & sang Christmas Carols!
    2. That it was my 20something son who told me if i missed church anymore it was going to creat spiritual problems for me. I am very thankful to see that fruit in his life following his long stay in the far country.
    3. Thankful that my husband’s aunt & cousin came to spend an afternoon with us.
    4. For our little faithful dog and how daily he entertains us and makes us smile.
    5. That our Christmas cards/letters were finished and sent & grandchildren’s gifts have been mailed.
    It has been really hard for the last 41/2 wks of not being able to walk or drive to have to be dependent on others for EVERYTHING! I am also grateful that I am halfway through the post op restrictions and being in a leg cast. whew!

  5. Jo says

    1. That I have my kitty to share every day with who brings me great joy.
    2. That I got a new job where people love the Lord and treat me with kindness after 21/2 years of being treated poorly at another company.
    3. That I am saved and have all these wonderful sites that keep me ever mindful of how much God loves me
    4. That after my tenants vacated my house, breaking their lease, trashing the house, that my realator has been so eagar to help me get it ready to sale again
    5. That I have enough money to go buy three candles so that I can light Hope Peace Joy even though it will be on one day rather than three weeks.
    6. That I live in a county that I am free to worship as I please
    7. That Jesus died for my sins, that I am made beautiful, that his love is enough

    Merry Xmas Diane and a very Blessed New Year!

  6. Gwen says

    What a pretty JOY. Pretty to gaze upon. My day has been a flip flop of sadness and prayer and watching church on TV and hearing the message from Curt and sending a little bag of “stuff” for a young family with a new son yet sorrow as her Mom passed away at that time too. Trying to uplift another in the midst of yet more stuff. Not a week goes by without major stuff to deal with and I cry. Ii just cry. I’ve been damaged so long and all my new things like foot brace and now a boot that is a splint to wear at night makes my brain work. And a sweet husband who is getting sicker. And it hurts. And he told me today, there’s a lot of junk going on with lots of Christians that is just hard. It seems more than normal this year at Christmas. (Another woman in church well they had a funeral for their few hour old baby yesterday and a friend of my mom’s son, about my age, shook in her church as it started and folded and unfolded his jacket. When my sister told Mom his Moms funeral was yesterday, she leaned forward and said how sad and sorry she was, such a wonderful Mom he had, then he held her hand and said Thank you Lucille. You’ve always been so kind. He was intelligent yet simple. But his hands calmed down. He will care for his blind father. So with all these sorrows of many Christians, Curt said, Gwen I think satan is getting worried. That’s why he is working so hard in the lives of so many believers. And Curt said, No I don’t like these bad things but its like it makes me even more determined to put my trust even more in The Lord. satan has no chance.
    1. In the face of our sorrowful trials that never let up we can find peace only in God
    2. I’m afraid so Gods Word, alive…says Fear not for I am with thee, be not dismayed for I am thy God. I WILL help thee, yea I will uphold thee with my righteous right hand. Come to Me all you who are weary and I will give you rest… Verses…God is light and in Him is no darkness nor shadow of turning….create in me a clean heart…yea I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth….trust in The Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.
    3. Candle tea lights lit in mercury glass holders on a mirrored tray look so warm
    4. I do not think we have fog in our forecast. So we can travel for Christmas
    5. Though my sweet hubby is sick I cannot do laundry and so he does it even while sick
    6. A friend will help me finish wrapping gifts a task that makes my head hurt so bad
    7. We had frozen food so we had food for tonight.
    8. Celebrations change greatly. I miss the old ways but they were changes from my younger childhood. Jesus stays the same.

  7. Mel says

    I am so blessed in my relationship with my creator…saying that it took great ‘hardships’–those seem trivial when I hear the stories.
    I am graced with great joys, day in day out:
    * I got to wade through snow to make a giant heart. 🙂
    * I get the small child for NYE!! We’re making big play plans.
    * There’s a turkey defrosting for the Holiday…and I’m not cooking it! Hahaha!
    * I got to do several RAOK that made my heart overflow.
    * We have an easy eve planned…and a laid back, peaceful, stress free sorta get together on the agenda.
    * There are prezzies under the tree and I’ve ratteled a couple of ’em! LOL
    * I get to sing carols…that always brings me great joy.

    Wishing you and the hubby a joy filled, wondrous holiday. Happy Christmas.


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