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Advent Devotionals

Nov 27 - Dec 25, 2022

This year, we are once again offering the Advent Daily Devotionals written by our staff. Subscribe to receive devos delivered to your inbox. If you have subscribed using your email address in the past to receive the Advent or Easter devotionals, you will automatically receive the devotionals again this year. It is our hope and prayer this Christmas season that you experience the birth of Christ in a new way.

Christmas Morning with Jesus

Clark Nolen | December 25, 2022

Twenty-seven years ago this past week, Pam and I made our first trip as a married couple to visit extended family for the Christmas season. We made our way from Mississippi to Stuttgart to Little Rock to Mountain Home to Branson and then back to Mississippi. Whew! 
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The Birth of Christ in Scripture

Mickey Rapier | December 24, 2022

It’s Christmas! Merry Christmas Everyone. Joy to the World the Lord is come! May you have the brightest and best Christmas ever. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior, and ponder the wonder of Emmanuel, God with us. Listen to Mickey Rapier as he reads the harmony of the scriptures in the foretelling and telling of the birth of Christ.
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The Time Came

Heith Guilbert | December 24, 2022

When we look at someone or something, thoughts and memories flood our mind. Many things which help inform us about that someone or something, in a split second, are recalled from deep within us. We may not recall every single detail we know about that someone or something, but some details are there.
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The God who Sees

Russell Dorch | December 23, 2022

I’ve never stood in the middle of a flock of sheep nor even met a shepherd. My understanding of a shepherd’s difficult life in the fields outside of ancient Bethlehem is limited to exercises of theological study, not immersive experience. That said, I know what it’s like to feel unseen by the world.
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Pondering a Treasure

John Marquette | December 22, 2022

This verse has always been bothersome to me… It seems beset by a sense of pride within Mary’s heart. To me, it seems so misplaced that Mary felt this and the writer recorded it. My entire life, I have been told pride was wrong, especially for the Christian.
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A Simple Faith

Jimmy Cook | December 21, 2022

There is something acutely memorable about the events surrounding a birth. When my eldest was born, I can recall exactly who came to visit. Three friends from seminary arrived at the hospital thinking my wife would still be in labor, but things went so fast I answered the door holding a baby that hadn’t even been dried off yet! 
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Announcement of the Promised One

Kyle Plunkett | December 20, 2022

This time of year, I am always a little surprised by the amount of Christmas cards I have hanging on my fridge. Close friends, distant family members, old co-workers all sending their cards to my home, announcing that Christmas is finally here! 
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The Time Came

Sam Hannon | December 19, 2022

I will never forget when the time came for our first child to be born. After many months of preparation, a couple of weeks of anticipation, and 12 hours of slow labor, the doctor told my wife, Amy, and I that it was finally time for our baby to be delivered!
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Promise Maker, Promise Keeper

Scott Jones | December 18, 2022

Hadn’t Joseph and Mary experienced enough tribulation thus far? As I think about the ways they had already accepted God’s plan, despite their fear, and given way to obedience even in strife, I am almost shocked by God’s intention to will all of this at the time of a Roman Census. 
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Unbelief to an Amazing Prophecy

Rodney Holmstrom | December 17, 2022

When I reflect on my life before Christ, I recall how much I had rejected God in disobedience, doubt, and unbelief. It amazes me to think that God would still want anything to do with me, let alone forgive me. But I can now look back and see how the Lord relentlessly pursued me. Even when I was trying to run from Him, God never left my side. 
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Beth Davies | December 16, 2022

When pregnant with our second baby, we were excited when the doctor shared during the ultrasound that we were having a baby girl. At the time, both my husband and I were teaching at the same school and since we had a little boy already, we had many students eagerly anticipating her arrival.
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Mary’s Song

Seth Primm | December 15, 2022

Have you ever felt unnoticed? Maybe you’ve even felt unnoticeable—like there’s nothing particularly special about you or you lack a certain charisma that would cause people to take notice of you.
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His Promise is True

Andy Petry | December 14, 2022

“Trust me, we’ll find you a house.” Although I wanted to believe my friend, I wasn’t quite sure he was right. Yes, he’d been a realtor for several years and knew what he was doing, but we’d just had our fifth offer rejected – and I wasn’t sure I wanted to look at another 40 houses. 
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Greetings in Season

Chip Jackson | December 13, 2022

Do you remember going to the county fair as a kid? The lights and sounds, cotton candy and corn dogs. The Ferris Wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, The Bullet, Scrambler, and Bumper Cars! The House of Mirrors was always fun; it was the attraction designed to distort reality by giving participants unusual and confusing reflections of themselves.
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He is Faithful When We are Faithless

Derek Horn | December 12, 2022

Zechariah had prayed through long, lean years for a child. He and Elizabeth had many reasons for experiencing God’s blessings: their ancestry, they were righteous before the Lord and they were obedient to the Lord’s commandments. From the outside looking in, you could say they were living up to their calling.
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Trust Independent of the Circumstance

Caleb Freeman | December 11, 2022

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were faithful to God, upstanding in their character, and righteous in their actions. Elizabeth was barren and both were old in age. Still, their hearts ached for a child. One day, Zechariah, being a priest, entered the temple to burn incense and was met by an unexpected visitor.
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When the Prayers of the Praying Community are Answered

Carrie Tucker | December 10, 2022

In Luke 1, the story of the Messiah begins with a scene in Jerusalem. An older, faithful, childless couple is introduced and Zechariah, the husband, is called up to serve at the Temple. Every morning and every evening, a priest would burn incense in front of the entrance to the Holy of Holies, the place where God had once dwelt.
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He Draws Near

Josh Pankey | December 9, 2022

I started going to counseling at the Counseling and Care Center about a year ago when I realized I was struggling to identify and process emotions in a healthy way. I hoped to make sense of the ways I dealt with relationships. 
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Our Anchor of Hope

Mark Schatzman | December 8, 2022

I’m still a fan of the late Rich Mullins’ music. In fact, I’m writing this on the 25th anniversary of his death. I know, his music is considered old school by most today. But he could weave profound lyrics into inspiring melodies.
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Swift Obedience

Beth Kenyon | December 7, 2022

I love a good story, one which compels me to read more or focus intently. A good title is even better. What title would you give the story in today’s passage?
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King of Kings

Nick Roland | December 6, 2022

The book of Daniel tells of a group of people who served in the court of the king in Babylon, interpreting dreams and signs in the stars. They were called magoi. Very likely, the wise people from the East, the Magi, are the descendants of this tradition... 
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A Ruler Who Shepherds

Michael Summers | December 5, 2022

In my early 20’s, I had an opportunity to go to Ireland. It was a fantastic experience full of interesting accents, wonderful people, quaint towns, beautiful, rolling green hills, and… sheep. A lot of them. 
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We Have Come to Worship Him

Mickey Rapier | December 4, 2022

When I was a boy, my family spent every Christmas Eve with my dad’s family. They lived about 20 miles away and the late-night ride home after the festivities always seemed to take forever. Christmas morning ushered in the very best day of the year and minutes felt like hours! 
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Immanuel, God With Us

Ryan Burton | December 3, 2022

My name, Ryan, means “Descendant of The King.” Now that’s pretty cool. I don’t know of any kings in my lineage, but I’ll take it. My full name is actually Phillip Ryan Burton - I have just never gone by Phillip - but Phillip means, “Lover of Horses.” A little less cool.
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The Limit of Our Trust

Hunter House | December 2, 2022

What’s the limit of your trust in God? What would be too much to handle? Honestly, it’s a question I was scared to answer for many years out of fear that I would have the opportunity to test that limit. On May 4, 2021, my wife Alex and I were given that chance.
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Margo Bodishbaugh | December 1, 2022

Have you ever felt drawn to someone and not really known why? I have. Sometimes it has been due to their personality, their transparency, or because they seemed full of joy. Other times, it seems like a mystery.
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Small Town Boy

David Attebery | November 30, 2022

In yesterday’s passage (Isaiah 9:6-7) we are given the amazing prophecy that a specific, unique child would be born who would be a son, a ruler, a Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace! Micah 5:2-4 presents the same type of progression in His identity, but also adds some more dimension to His identity.
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Good Shoulders

Collin Jackson | November 29, 2022

Do you ever think about how important your shoulders are to the human experience? A few years ago, I had a nasty mountain bike accident that forever changed the way I see our need for a good shoulder. 
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Light in the Darkness

Bart Sego | November 28, 2022

One by one, we jumped about four feet down into a small hole in the rocks, arriving in darkness and standing water. Disoriented from the landing and unable to see, we followed the voice of the guy ahead saying, “Stay to your left, and climb out of the pit.” 
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God With Us

Tad Moore | November 27, 2022

Nearly 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the great prophet Isaiah was sent by God to deliver a message to Ahaz, King of Judah. Isaiah found the king near a pool where many gathered to wash laundry, and the king was very distressed.
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