I thought I would share an icon of John the Baptist since it was said in todays reading that John is our "icon" for this week. 
(you can also see all the different icons of John the Baptist on the Day #9 banner above.
Do a google search for "John the Baptist icon" to see who those image for yourself.)

Andrei Rublev famous icon of John the Baptist. 

This week, John the Baptist sets the example for us, and I want to give you a little JB experiment! 

You’ll notice in the Bible passage you read for today that the people respond to John’s message by asking, “What should we do?” Essentially asking, How can we get ready for this Messiah who is to come?

John the Baptist looks at these individuals and gives some instructions (here’s my translation of Luke 3:11-15):

“A lot of you have extra stuff. Give some of it away! That would be a great start in getting ready for the Messiah. Oh, you’re a tax collector! Be fair, man. Don’t take more than you’re required to. Ahhh, you’re a solider. Well, don’t take money from folks who are afraid of you, and at every opportunity fight for peace and justice, not just to get your own way or make an extra buck.”

My guess is that if we were sitting there, he would have looked at each of us and said, “You’re a pastor; do this to prepare for the Messiah. You’re a student; do that to prepare for the Messiah. You’re a basketball player or a teacher or a mom or a dad… here are some ideas for you as you prepare for the Messiah.” He would have gone around the room, hearing what each person did and what they were interested in, giving wisdom and advice on how each of could better prepare for the Messiah who was to come. 

So, as I asked in the book, how would John the Baptist challenge you to prepare for the Messiah, for Jesus, this Advent?

Make a list of the things you do and the power and influence you have with friends, teammates or colleagues, think of how you can show them the love of Christ and help or encourage them in any way. This is part of your preparation. 

Maybe watch your local news or read the newspaper to find a problem of injustice that you could at least pray for and maybe even take action to help solve. 
Collect your extra T-shirts, clothes and coats and give them away.
Go buy three bags of new socks and T-shirts and give a bag to three different homeless people.  

With your listed interests and influences, think of how John the Baptist might challenge you to prepare for the coming of King Jesus in each of those areas. Write that down as well. Share your list with a pastor or friend and take this Advent journey of preparation together. 

Let these icons of John the Baptist lead you to ponder, pray and prepare during this Advent journey!

Pray As You Go

Pray As You Go is a great resource I wanted to share with you. I often listen to these little ditties on my way to work or when I need to center myself and be lead into a more prayerful and focused place.

Here is what they say about this resource…

“Pray as you go is a daily prayer session, designed for use on portable MP3 players, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst traveling to and from work, study, etc.

A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend.  It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer.
Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection. 

Our aim is to help you to:   

  • become more aware of God’s presence in your life   
  • listen to and reflect on God’s word   
  • grow in your relationship with God

They hit the mark and it’s very much worth the 10 - 13 minutes. They also follow the Christian calendar, so during Advent they have some great Advent thoughts for you as you go! 
Listen on your computer, phone or iPad. 

They also have an Advent retreat resource this year. Check it out!

Advent Music Monday!

I posted on Facebook that I was looking for some good Advent / Christmas tunes. I got a lot of feed back and one of the bands suggested was Folk Angel. I didn’t pay much attention until I noticed there sampler on Noisetrade. A suggested album, free music… DONE! 

AND IT WAS GOOD! 

I really like them and suggest you check them out as well! 
(Here is the link to there free Noisetrade sampler. You can also listen to them on Spotify.)

My favorite album so far for Advent listeners is Headed Home

They have some great tunes and if you’ve seen the "Social Network Christmas video" you’ll recognize one of them. 

So there is my album of the week and my free Noisetrade album, all in one!

ADVENT WEEK #2 PLAYLIST

Here is my Spotify playlist for Advent Week #2
I would, given our focus on John the Baptist, play with particular interest the song *There's A Voice In The Wilderness* by Mike Crawford and HIs Secret Siblings.
It's a proper and great Advent song!
ENJOY!

PS: My Advent Week #1 Spotify playlist is up!
Search my Spotify accoutn to find it.
I will be posting it here later this week.