Advent Word Challenge

Sunday, December 3, 2017, was the first Sunday of Advent.  My church is doing an Advent word challenge: one word a day until Christmas.

If you want to join along, here are the instructions and word list.  You don’t have to be a member of my church, or any church, to participate.

Instructions:  You are invited to read and reflect on Biblical themes during Advent with our faith family at Temple UMC.  After your reading and reflection, you are encouraged to take a photo, draw, paint, or journal how the passage and the word for the day spoke to you.  Then share on social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and include the hashtag: #tumcadvent2017.  Others can search using that tag and see what you’ve posted.  Come on; join the journey.

The red dates are Sundays.  The purple date is Christmas.



Dec. 3:  Hope.  Luke 21: 25-28

Dec. 4:  Promise.  Jeremiah 33: 14-16

Dec. 5:  Beginning.  John 1: 1-2

Dec. 6:  Guide.  Psalm 25:5

Dec. 7:  Wonder.  Luke 1:26-33

Dec. 8:  Shout.  Isaiah 52: 7-9

Dec. 9:  Strengthen.  1 Thess. 3:13

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Dec. 10:  Peace.  Luke 1:77-79.

Dec. 11:  Refine.  Malachi 3: 2-3

Dec. 12.  Prepare.  Luke 3: 3-6

Dec. 13.  Abound.  Phil. 1: 9-11.

Dec. 14:  Declare.  Psalm 96: 1-3.

Dec. 15:  Glory.  Hebrews 1: 1-3.

Dec. 16:  Light.  John 1: 4-5.



Dec. 17:  Love.  Zeph. 3: 14-17.

Dec. 18:  Sing.  Isaiah 12: 4-6.

Dec. 19: Wait.  Titus 2: 11-14.

Dec. 20:  Give.  Luke 6: 38-39.

Dec. 21.  Joy.  Luke 1: 39-45.

Dec. 22.  Come.  Hebrews 10: 5-10

Dec. 23:  Humble.  Luke 1: 46-49.


Dec. 24:  Child.  Isaiah 9: 6-7

Dec. 25:  Proclaim.  Luke 2: 8-20.


Feel free to join in, if Advent is part of your holiday traditions.  Feel free to ignore if it isn’t.  Happy Holidays,  whichever holiday is dear to your heart.

{All pictures courtesy of Pixabay}


The Memphis St. Patrick's Parade featured leprechauns and dinosaurs.

St. Patrick’s Parade on Beale Street

Saturday, March 11, 2017, was the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Memphis, TN.  (Okay, they were a little early.)  The official name was the 44th Annual Silky Sullivan St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  I marched in it as one of the members of the Mid-South Renaissance Faire group.

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This was my favorite parade participant, a Shriner hillbilly car that blew bubbles.

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One of the many musical groups was the Memphis Ukulele Flash Mob.

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The Fire Museum of Memphis sent a firetruck.

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The Mid-South Buccaneers sent a boarding party, er, marching party.

Image may contain: 1 person, car and outdoor  Image may contain: 1 person, outdoorImage may contain: 2 people, people walking and outdoor                              Floats, cars, marchers, dancers, bagpipes, and more!

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Not every St. Patrick’s Day Parade can boast of dinosaurs!  The t-rex dancing in the tutu was my son’s favorite part of the parade.  Before the parade began, Good Queen Bess made new friends.  We’re not sure of they’re her new pets or the new royal guard.

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It looks like Jerry Lawler is running for mayor of Memphis again.

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Here’s the Mid-South Renaissance Faire group.  We have a new location this year, at USA Stadium in Millington, TN, so we wanted to make sure people were aware of the Faire.  It will be the last two weekends of August, 8/19-20 and 8/26-27.

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Before and after pictures:  me at the start of the parade, and me after the parade.  By the end, both my hoop skirt and my French hood were slipping. (Please note the green muffin cap beneath my French hood in honor of the day.)  The weather was cool and damp, although luckily the rain stopped in time for the parade.  The stroll was wearying, but we threw many toy coins, rings, and beads to the children along Beale Street.  The youngsters seemed to have a good time, and so did we.

Gramercy to my son Ian, who took all the photos but one, and gramercy to Lauren Rushdi, who took the picture of Queen Elizabeth with the dinosaurs.

Remember, the Mid-South Renaissance Faire will be August 19, 20, 26, and 27, 2017, at USA Stadium in Millington, TN, just off Hwy. 51.  You can buy  autographed copies of my book, R is for Renaissance Faire there, or you can buy unautographed copies through Amazon.


Advent 2016 Word a Day Challenge

My church is sponsoring an Advent Word a Day challenge.  The pastor has given us a list of 28 words, one from every day from November 27, the first Sunday of Advent, to December 24, Christmas Eve.  The challenge is to:

  1. Think about the word.  What does it mean to you?
  2. Take a picture of something that represents the word and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. using the hashtag #TUMCAdvent2016.
  3. Be blessed by what others on the same Advent journey share.

Advent, after all, is not just a time for shopping for presents and decorating.  It’s a time for mentally,  emotionally, and spiritually preparing for Christmas.

So far I have posted a picture of Norman Rockwell’s Freedom of Speech painting for freedom, a YouTube link to Peter, Paul, and Mary performing the Hanukkah song “Light One Candle” for light, a photograph of a rainbow over the Isle of Skye for hope, a Tolkien quotation for lost, etc.

If you’d like to join along, here’s the word list.  I’ve been doing the Word a Day Challenge on my personal Facebook account, but not my professional account, and on Twitter @WriterMacdonald.

November 27 — hope  [First Sunday of Advent]

November 28 — freedom

November 29 — comfort

November 30 — lost

December 1 — wait

December 2 — light

December 3 —  look

December 4 — love  [Second Sunday of Advent]

December 5 — promise

December 6 — open  [St. Nicholas’ Day]

December 7 — darkness

December 8 — justice

December 9 — awake

December 10 — bless

December 11 — joy  [Third Sunday of Advent]

December 12 — delight  [Feast Day of Our Lady of Gaudalupe]

December 13 — pray  [St. Lucia’s Day]

December 14 — announce

December 15 — bring

December 16 — story

December 17 — dawn

December 18 — peace  [Fourth Sunday of Advent]

December 19 — follow

December 20 — near

December 21 — praise  [Winter Solstice]

December 22 — watch

December 23 — prepare

December 24 — rejoice  [Christmas Eve]

The featured image was the meditation photo for the First Sunday of Advent, and was taken by Marcus McAdam.