Prepare 2022

Day 28 – December 24

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Day 28 – December 24

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14 ESV]

I must admit, after 22 years in ministry, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of God sending His son Jesus to earth becoming a man.  Wow! The Eternal – Immortal One – taking on the temporal flesh of a mortal, for the sole purpose of demonstrating His love for us by suffering a painful death on a cross for our sins! Oh such love the Father has for us!   Such a love is too lofty for me to understand or even begin to comprehend. [Psalm 139:6]  Yet it was so!  He did come!  He came – full of Grace, Love, Mercy and Truth, and he came with me on His mind!  Thank you Lord for this extraordinary act of love!  

Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and while we know Jesus was not born on December 25th we still pause to honor Jesus and remember his birth just the same.   Tomorrow – everything in this pagan and lost world will stop its frenetic pace for a great majestic pause (from corporations to retail) while Christians all around this earth, that You created, sing of your Glorious Son’s birth and proclaim “Emmanuel – God With Us!” 

To You O Lord be glorified and exalted forever and ever. Amen!

Written by:  Pastor Steve Wells


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Day 27 – December 23

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  [Philippians 4:7 ESV]

Last minute shopping. Extended time with extended family. Office parties. School programs. Lights and sounds and busy schedules. Often at this point in the Christmas season, it feels everything but peaceful. 

Overwhelmed. Worried. Anxious. Stressed. Disappointed.  Whatever we name it, all of us know what it feels like. Whether we put it on ourselves, or we are going through a difficult season beyond our control, peace can be hard to find.  But, peace is what we long for, isn’t it? 

Peace. Rest. Tranquility. All is calm, all is bright.  We want that to describe us! 

As we prepare for Christmas in just TWO DAYS,  if it seems that peace is out of reach, give yourself permission to stop, rest, and pray. I know, that’s the easy “Sunday school answer,” right? But, don’t we try everything else and keep finding ourselves back at the same place? Don’t wait for “things to calm down” and don’t settle for how it’s always been. Don’t keep running on empty or pushing through the chaos or ignoring God’s pursuit of your heart and your mind in this season. Approach His throne with the boldness we have because of Jesus. Tell Him what you need. God doesn’t promise to change our circumstances, but He absolutely can and will extend His peace to us…right in the middle of our mess. When I can’t understand all that is swirling around me, I am thankful for this truth: I am not in control, but I am deeply loved by the One who is.

He will be your peace –  the peace that guards your heart and your mind.
That’s the peace you crave.
That’s the peace He promises.
We want to understand.
He peace is better.

God, I need Your peace. I am sorry for the way I try to fix things on my own and the times I want to understand when Your peace is what I really need. I have believed that peace in the midst of my chaos is not possible, but it is possible because You say so and You are the giver of peace! Help me remember this truth in the moments when it matters most. Help me turn to You first. Fill me, Holy Spirit with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen. 

Written By: Kylie McCracken 

Day 26 – December 22

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Day 26 – December 22

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. [Numbers 6:24-26 ESV]

Peace.  This word seems foreign in today’s world of constant turmoil and strife.  Indeed, Scripture teaches that there is no peace for the wicked, likening them to a troubled sea tossing to and fro.  We live in a world that seeks to strip us of our identity in Christ, pull us from God’s presence, and keep us at war within ourselves.  Instead, let us reflect on this ancient prayer specifically taught to Moses by God.

The LORD bless you and keep you – is personal and specific.  Like a shepherd knows and protects his sheep.

the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you – is like the sun shining on the face of the earth.  We sit basking in His presence and grace.

the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace – is like a proud father smiling at his child.  His reassuring love fills us with peace.

It may feel like we are surrounded by chaos but through His blessing, God is providing us with His protection, presence and peace.

Father, Your promise of grace and peace echo throughout Scripture but this ancient priestly prayer reminds us that this has been Your design from the beginning.  We are yours God.  We belong to You and in a world that seems to be plunging into darkness, YOU will be our light.  May we be filled with a peace that passes all understanding as we sit in Your presence today.  Amen.

Written by: Pastor Jason Mecum



Day 25 – December 21

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Day 25 – December 21

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! [Isaiah 52:7 NLT]

There is a certain sound that comes from the pitter patter of children’s feet as they run around the house at Christmas time. Sometimes they are chasing the dog or running away from a sibling.  Sometimes they are running down the stairs on Christmas morning. No matter what they are doing, that sound always makes a parent’s ears perk up as their mind turns to the question “what ARE they doing?”

In today’s passage, Isaiah reminds us that someone is coming with Good News! And the messenger’s feet are beautiful. What are they doing? They are coming with an incredible story of peace and salvation. I wonder, are our ears tuned-in to the sound of this Good News? Or is it drowned out by the noise of the world around us? Take a moment today and listen for the messenger. Turn your heart to the good news that comes; our God reigns and that fact brings incredible peace and life changing salvation. Stop. Take a breath. Listen. Hear the feet. He brings Good News. 

Father, thank You for sending a messenger to me this Christmas. Thank You for the reminder to listen for the feet of the messenger, to build anticipation in my heart. I surrender to the news You share, that You reign and that You bring peace and salvation. Help me to take a moment of peace today and soak that in.  Amen.

Written By: Pastor Steve Williams


Day 24 – December 20

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Day 24 – December 20

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [Romans 5:1-2 ESV]

Peace. What a wonderful feeling it is to have peace. Life is very difficult when we are at odds with a sibling, spouse, or someone else we know. The emotional and relational strain we feel is burdensome to our lives. Knowing what it feels like to not have peace with another person, imagine now what it is like to not be at peace with the sovereign creator of the universe. It is something we cannot fully fathom, but it was our condition. We were at odds with God. These odds separated us from God completely. However, God had mercy on us and sent Jesus to bring us back to God. 

As we go into Christmas, we must not forget that without Christ descending to earth we would have no peace with God. Through the wonderful atoning work of Christ we can experience peace with God through faith. In this season, we always remember the child of God coming to earth, but we must always remember what He did when He came here. He reconciled us to God. Oh what sweet peace we have now. Our sins are washed away! 

Lord, thank You for sending Your son to be the propitiation for sins! Lord that atoning sacrifice reconciled us to You! We praise You for the peace that this brings and the salvation we have through the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Written by:  Braydon Hotchkiss 


Day 23 – December 19

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Day 23 – December 19

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. [John 14:27 NIV]

Christmas time is here. It’s my favorite time of the year. The lights, sounds, baked goodies and of course the gifts under the tree.  It really is a special time of the year. There is something about seeing the joy on someone’s face when you give them a gift they really wanted! The deep down , bawling your eyes out kind of gift is one that comes just at the right moment and is really something you need.

This is the gift of peace that Jesus is describing here. He gives it to us and gives without holding back or with any catches, unlike what the world does.  The world gives but you have a thousand hoops to jump through along the way. Jesus gives such peace that it calms our hearts and minds. Our troubles and our fears begin to fade into the background as His peace gets brighter and brighter. This year, open your arms and your heart wide to receive the gift of peace that Jesus has for you.

Father, thank You for giving me the precious gift of peace. I need Your peace more than anything for this Christmas season and heading into the New Year. Jesus, I need You to protect my heart from troubles and guard my mind from fearful thoughts. Thank You for leaving me peace, it is the gift I need and the gift I want, Amen.

Written by: Pastor Lance Courtney


Day 22 – December 18

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Day 22 – December 18

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. [Isaiah 9:7 ESV]

When God called Abraham in Genesis 12, he told him that through his descendants he would bless all nations of the earth. In this passage we see Isaiah prophesying the fulfillment of this promise. Through the line of David, God would send the Messiah whose kingdom and rule would have no end. The “government” spoken of is the gracious gift of God bringing us, as gentiles, into the fold of salvation. He took two separate peoples and made them one, the church, who are the ones who populate the Lord’s kingdom that has no end. During Christmas, we tend to focus only on Christ coming down to earth, but if Christ only came down and never ascended then we would not have much to celebrate! After his resurrection and 40 days on earth thereafter, Christ ascended into heaven to sit on his throne ruling over his established kingdom of the Church. You and I are part of this kingdom that has no end! Christ has promised that the kingdom will never end and that one day he will return to abolish sin and death.

Church, let us remember who sits on the throne. Let us remember that nothing will ever overcome His church. Be comforted that God has given us a risen savior who rules and is in control. Find your hope in your king!

Lord God, let us not only remember Your descension to earth to save us, but let us also remember Your ascension and Your current rule over Your kingdom. Lord, You are holy, You are sovereign, and You are king.  Amen.

Written by:  Braydon Hotchkiss


Day 21 – December 17

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Day 21 – December 17

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious. [Psalm 66:1-2 NIV]

Christmas carols are a ubiquitous part of the holiday season.   They represent the joyful expression of the nativity story.  I believe that even the ‘secular’ Christmas songs like Jingle Bells and Frosty The Snowman bring glory to God.  These carols, too, are sung with joy and remind us that it is Christmas!

As a young adult, my family lived in a farming community.   On Christmas Eve many of the kids and others of my age would go caroling from farm to farm.  It was non-stop singing as we drove around the neighborhood to share our joy for the season.  We lived in a climate where we always had a white Christmas making it easy to belt out the complete repertoire of carols. Part of me misses those nights.  They were just one way of preparing Jesus’ room, on the night before His arrival.

Oh, precious Father, I pray that we all sing the beloved Christmas carols to you this week.  Even in my terribly inadequate, tuneless voice, I am shouting for Your joy and singing to bring You glory.  Lord, the whole earth rejoices at the coming of Jesus, in whose name I pray.  Amen.

Written by: Bev Carbert



Day 20 – December 16

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Day 20 – December 16

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  [Matthew 2:9-11 NLT]

When the wise men entered the presence of Jesus, even as He was still a baby, they immediately worshiped Him. They recognized that they were not only in the presence of a King, but in the very presence of Immanuel, God with us.

The wise men worshiped Him by changing their posture and bowing down before Him. They also gave Him gifts from their hard-earned treasure. But not just any gifts, they gave Him the BEST of what they had. These gifts were items that they worked hard for, and spent years accumulating wealth to be able to purchase for themselves, yet they knew they had to give Jesus their best.

This Christmas season, will you choose to give God your best? The best of the gifts you’ve been given. Let’s give Him the best of our time so that others get the best of our time. Let’s give Him the best of what we’ve worked so hard to gain so that God can be blessed in return.

Heavenly Father, everything I have is from You. Help me release the hold I have on things You’ve given me. Help me to use all that I am, all that I have, and all that You will give as a way to bless You and others. Help me to surrender it all for Your glory and fame.  Amen. 

Written by: Brian Griggs


Day 19 – December 15

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Day 19 – December 15

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  [Luke 2:13-14 NIV]

Joy to the World!  Peace on Earth!  You don’t have to look far to find these two phrases during the Christmas season:  Christmas Cards, Yard Signs, Mall Decor, Home Decorations, Social Media, Christmas Carols, Radio Playlists, School Plays.

But the irony is, our world seems so far from experiencing joy and peace anywhere.  Our newsfeeds, social media, school campuses, YouTube, TikTok, everything is filled with hate, violence, negativity, opinion, sarcasm, identity confusion, scandal, political unrest.  The population attempts to find peace and joy through social rights and self indulgences.  The government asserts that peace, joy and harmony are found through more government, power and regulation.  

The truth is both of these pursuits are woefully lacking – two legged stools if you will – doomed to topple without the third essential leg.  The leg given to us in the beginning. The gift from God that promised real Joy and real Peace and real Hope.  My friends – God gave us what we needed all along.  Sadly, many have turned to their own ways.  Isaiah 53:6 says All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him [JESUS] the sins of us all.   You see  –  thankfully Jesus came into the world [Luke 2] and died for our sins to reconcile sinful man [Us] with a Holy God so that we can have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God!   Thus restoring PEACE and JOY in our lives!   Oh, I pray that YOU have made Jesus YOUR Forgiver and Leader in YOUR life!

Thank You Lord for sending Your son Jesus into the world to pay the penalty for my sins!  Thank You for forgiving me of my sins!  The only way I could have paid for my sins was to die an eternal death in hell for what I had done – BUT You – Jesus – stood in MY PLACE – and Died for Me – and Took My Penalty – and Paid My Price!  Thank You for doing that for ME!  Because of what You did for me – I now choose to surrender my life to You!  I choose today to follow You now and forever!  Amen!

Written by:  Pastor Steve Wells