Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

BY THE TIME MY BROTHERS AND I WERE TEENAGERS, my parents were able to take  short vacations and leave us in charge of the house. We didn’t always take care of the place very well but knowing when they were due home, we managed to get the place passably cleaned up before they returned. The problem for us happened on those occasions when Mom and Dad decided to come home early. Yikes!

In a sense, Jesus has left us to be faithful stewards of the world, to take care of the earth and all who dwell in it until his return. And he said, Keep awake, for you do not know when the master of the house will come.

Check out this inspiring first-week-of-Advent message, House Sitter. It asks the questions: Are we living in fear or in hope? What would life be like if we lived as if faith wasn’t a requirement to receive God’s grace, rather a hope-filled response to having already received it?

What happens when parents leave the kids in charge? Living in hope, not in fear.




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On the 12th day of Christmas, my true-love gave to me a look back at the spiritual journey of the Old Stone Church which brought us to this day. I doubt you will ever get through the videos in this post in one sitting (or at all), but perhaps there was something that truly spoke to you as you made your way to Bethlehem again this year. Please feel free to share your Advent/Christmas comments below, or share these Advent/Christmas videos with others. May God bless you this 12th Day of Christmas, tomorrow (Monday) on Epiphany and the throughout the whole year ahead!

Peace and Love,
R. Mark Giuliano
The Old Stone Church


Luke 21: 25-36







If life has got you down, then it is time to start looking up! When we are lost or heartbroken, when we are anxious or discouraged, our hope can be found only in the eternal One. No matter how big our life’s problems, God’s love is greater. No matter how far we feel we have strayed, God will find us. There is no sin so great that God cannot forgive it. No heart so broken that God cannot heal it. No life so lost that God cannot find it. “Lift up your heads,” said Jesus, “your redemption is drawing near!”


Be Alert!

Posted: November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Luke 21:25-36







Luke 21:25-36

The Christian year begins with the season of Advent (this year on December 2nd). I’m impressed that the Christian New Year begins not with a sense of “arrival” or even the fresh start of a new beginning, but with hopeful expectation. Advent asks us to be alert: to open our hearts, our minds and our lives with the fulness of expectancy, for Christ has come and Christ will come again. Be awake. Be open. Let Christ surprise you with his grace once again!

Happy New Year,

One dark December, my family and I were visited by a stranger from above . . . a squirrel who had made its home in our attic.

Santa and Reindeer

I grumbled to my wife, "That had better be Santa Claus on the roof or that squirrel is in trouble!"

We tried all sorts of things to get that squirrel out of our house. We borrowed a live trap from our friend who was good with squirrels and who we affectionately referred to as,  the “Squirrel Whisperer,” but couldn’t catch him.  We carried the dog up to the attic and let her sniff around each night before we went to bed, hoping she might scare the the little furry beast out hiding, but that didn’t work either.  To make matters worse, with each unsuccessful attempt we grew increasingly frustrated. Nightly, as I lay in bed listening to the critter nest above my head, I fantasized about smearing the attic floor with an adhesive or camping out in the attic with a shot gun under my arm so I could blast the tiny devil out. His nightly scurrying and scratching was driving us batty!

Early Christmas morning, sometime around 2:00 a.m., my wife and I were disturbed from our sleep by a now familiar pitter-patter, then a little digging noise just over our heads.  I heaved a heavy sigh and grumbled to my wife, “That had better be Santa Claus on the roof or that squirrel is in trouble!” (more…)