Advent Day 1
Do you have a memory of an advent calendar when you were a young boy?  In our house we had one that mom pulled out every year. It had a painting of the Nativity, with 25 folded “doors.”  Each day we opened the subsequent door which revealed an image connected to the birth of Jesus. It was simple and clear. 
Now advent calendars come in all sorts of expressions (chocolates, cheeses, etc.) Two years ago, Mary gave me a beverage advent calendar.  Each day I opened another door and pulled out a can of a different German beer.  It was memorable.
Over the next 25 days you’ll have the opportunity to open a “door” on a virtual advent calendar. I am addressing this calendar to men who follow Jesus.  Women are welcome to read what I write, but as I prayed about this I sensed God encouraging me to focus on my brothers.  So here it is. An Advent Calendar for men.   No pictures. Words.
 The word for Day 1: Listen. My observation is that as men, we often find it difficult to listen.  We are wired to be decisive.   We are wired to take action.  There are a multitude of connecting points for the word: “listen.”  I invite you to focus on one, listening to God. The psalmist wrote; “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).  Here is my Day 1 suggestion: Ask: “Lord, what do you want me to learn or experience during this Advent / Christmas season?”  Then, be quiet.  Reflect on what God has done for you through Jesus Christ.  Reflect on what you know God desires for your life.