Day 4 | Faith, Hope, Love \ Faith 4

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

“By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak,Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” — Hebrews 11 ESV

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby: http://amzn.to/2EIqCmi

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Day 3 | Faith, Hope, Love / Faith 3

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:1-4 ESV

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Day 2 | Faith, Hope, Love \ Faith 2

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ And the Lord said, ‘If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.’” — Luke 17:5-6 ESV 

“He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’” — Matthew 17:20-21 ESV 

“He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’” — Matthew 13:31-32 ESV

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Day 1 | Faith, Hope, Love / Faith 1

“Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” - Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” - Romans 12:3 ESV

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Day 14 | Quiet \ Wrap-up

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 4: 5-15 NIV

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Day 13 | Quiet / Live a Dynamite Day 3

14-19 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.

19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’

26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.

28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’"

- Matthew 25:14–30 The Message

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Day 12 | Quiet \ Live a Dynamite Day 2

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” - Romans 1:20a ESV

“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” - Deuteronomy 8:17-18 ESV

“When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid,  and he went back inside the palace. ‘Where do you come from?’ he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. ‘Do you refuse to speak to me?’ Pilate said. ‘Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.’” - John 19:8-11 NIV

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Day 11 | Quiet / Live a Dynamite Day 1

“on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” - 1 Corinthians 12:5b-10 ESV

"The Greek dunamis is used 120 times in the New Testament. Loosely, the word refers to “strength, power, or ability.” It is the root word of our English words dynamite, dynamo and dynamic." - source:  https://www.gotquestions.org/dunamis-meaning.html

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Day 10 | Quiet \ Deu. 11:18-23, John 14:12-14

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.” - Deuteronomy 11:18-23 ESV

“Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” - John 14:12-14 The Message

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” - John 14:12-14 ESV

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Day 9 | Quiet / 1 Cor. 1:18-31

“The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,

I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s ‘weakness.’

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of ‘the brightest and the best’ among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these ‘nobodies’ to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, ‘If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.’” - 1 Cor. 1:18-31 The Message

Introverts in the Church, Adam McHugh: http://amzn.to/2E87J8R

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: http://amzn.to/2Gk6hAO

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written:

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’” - 1 Cor. 1:18-31 NIV

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Day 8 | Quiet \ Col. 3:19-14, Gal. 2:17-18

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” - Col. 3:19-14 ESV

“Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was ‘trying to be good,’ I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.” - Gal. 2:17-18 The Message

Song mentioned O God Forgive Us by King & Country: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz4toSf-xQU

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Day 7 | Quiet / Zephaniah 3:17

“The Lord your God is in your midst,

    a mighty one who will save;

he will rejoice over you with gladness;

    he will quiet you by his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

 

Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning: http://amzn.to/2rg5o91

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Day 6 | Quiet \ Ps 71:15-21

“My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,

    of your deeds of salvation all the day,

    for their number is past my knowledge.

With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;

    I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.

O God, from my youth you have taught me,

    and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

So even to old age and gray hairs,

    O God, do not forsake me,

until I proclaim your might to another generation,

    your power to all those to come.

Your righteousness, O God,

    reaches the high heavens.

You who have done great things,

    O God, who is like you?

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities

    will revive me again;

from the depths of the earth

    you will bring me up again.

You will increase my greatness

    and comfort me again.” - Psalm 71:15-21 ESV

Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh: http://amzn.to/2FHPEPd

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Day 5 | Quiet / Lam. 3:25-26, Ex. 14:14

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

    to the soul who seeks him.

 It is good that one should wait quietly

    for the salvation of the Lord.” - Laminations 3:25-26 ESV

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” - Exodus 14:14 ESV

 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Neiquist: http://amzn.to/2CVa99E

 

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara Hagerty: 

http://amzn.to/2DoJ3bT

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Day 4 | Quiet \ Psalm 46:8-11, Psalm 4:1-4

“Come, behold the works of the Lord,

    how he has brought desolations on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

    he burns the chariots with fire.

‘Be still, and know that I am God.

    I will be exalted among the nations,

    I will be exalted in the earth!’

The Lord of hosts is with us;

    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” - Psalm 46:8-11 ESV

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!

    You have given me relief when I was in distress.

    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?

    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;

    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Be angry, and do not sin;

    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah" - Psalm 4:1-4 ESV

 

The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan: http://amzn.to/2CSq4FK

Study Bible note written by C. John Collins, Ph.D.

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Day 3 | Quiet / Mark 1:35-37, Matt. 14:22-23

“While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him. They found him and said, ‘Everybody’s looking for you.’” - Mark 1:35-37 The Message

“As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.” - Matthew 14:22-23 The Message 

Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh: http://amzn.to/2md4apz

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Day 2 | Quiet \ James 1:19, Ecc. 3:1,7, Matt. 6:6

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” - James 1:19 ESV

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” - Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 ESV

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” - Matthew 6:6 The Message

Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning: http://amzn.to/2m9YGfc

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Day 1 | Quiet / James 4:8, Isaiah 30:15

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” - James 4:8a ESV

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.' But you were unwilling,'” - Isaiah 30:15 ESV

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Day 12 | Advent \ Love

“But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.” - Matthew 2:19-23 ESV

Study Bible note written by Michael J. Wilkins, Ph.D.

“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” - Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

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Day 11 | Advent / Love

Loving Father, 

Help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels,

the gladness of the shepherds,

and worship of the wise men.



Close the door of hate

and open the door of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift

and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing 

which Christ brings,

and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.



May the Christmas morning 

make us happy to be thy children,

and Christmas evening bring us to our beds

with grateful thoughts,

forgiving and forgiven, 

for Jesus’ sake.

Amen.
— Robert Lewis Stevenson

“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” - Matthew 2:13-15 ESV

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” - Hosea 11:1 ESV

“For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

    and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6 ESV

“As one whom his mother comforts,

    so I will comfort you” - Isaiah 66:13a ESV

In the story A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens says:

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

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