By Mike Tenbusch | December 03, 2021

We’re five days into the Advent season, and it’s not too late to give yourself and your loved ones an exceptional Christmas gift this year. 
 
Let me warn you that I’m not going to encourage you to follow the crowd.  If you want to do that, you’d be wise to get a “luxurious Advent calendar.”  This 21st century version of a 20th century tradition comes with a daily gift of beer, marijuana, or chocolate so that you can treat yourself special every day leading up to the celebration of Christ’s birth.  I’m not making this up, and it literally hurt my heart just to type that sentence.
 
I’m going to encourage you to go a much different direction, on a path that helped me immensely through some pretty difficult times over the last two years.
 
The most powerful gift you can give is to spend some time in worship every day.  It will reinvigorate you. 
 
I know this to be a fact, because worship has transformed my life since this pandemic hit.  Stuck working alone in my basement, I started singing Waymaker each day asking God to keep our families safe.  As the youngest of our children waited for his college admission letters to come in, I added, The Blessing for him and his sisters.  While my sister-in-law battled cancer, I added Wait on You and just about every other song from Maverick City.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been singing Our Father while praying for peace and the protection of our families in Ethiopia.
 
There are so many real challenges that surround us externally; I need the peace and joy that comes internally through worship.  And when I’m struggling during the day, I pop in my earbuds, take our dog, Duchess, for a walk, and come back much stronger than when I left.

Scripture tells us that it we are worshipers of God, and do His will, He hears us (John 9:31).
 
I’ve asked some of our supporters and team members around the world to share the songs that stir their souls.  Here are a handful:
 
Efeligihalehu (Lord I Need You), from Selam Kahsay, who leads our health and wellness work from Ethiopia.
 
His Eye is on the Sparrow, from Kenneth Gardner, Internship Director at Loyola High School in Detroit.
 
La Fuerza De Sus Sueños, from Angelica Casinos, the leader of our work in Guatemala.
 
O Come O Come Emmanuel, from Christina Ortiz, campus ministry director for Regis Jesuit High School in Denver.
 
O Holy Night, from Fr. Jim Gartland, Pastor of St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor.
 
I’ve added all of their suggestions to my playlist while writing this reflection this week, and they’ve added a touch of heaven to my days.  I hope they do the same for you as we go deeper in worship and in prayer together this Advent.
 
We’ve put all these songs on a YouTube playlist for you to listen at any time.  It’s a free gift.  Click here, and change your life. 

😊

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