It is nearing Christmas. I love the twinkling lights, sugar cookies, and feeling of expectation, so why am I thinking about Shirley? The Shirley I’m considering is the, “Surely goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” The idea of advent was foreign to me until I attended a wonderful neighborhood Lutheran Church for a season. The church had the best preschool in town. I love most churches so the occasional pomp and circumstance was a change. The one thing that did not fit was the lack of evangelism and concern for the salvation of the lost and the attention to “colors”. There were all of these seasonal banners never mentioned in the Bible that got a lot of attention. That’s OK. Jesus said that if He (not a banner) is lifted up He will draw all men unto Him. I was reading one of several advent devotionals this morning and the topic was anxiety. I have that. My stomach tightens and there is no hope of sleep in that hour of worry. The 23rd Psalm has been in my heart since my Sunday school-teacher had our class of little people memorize it to recite in church one Easter. It is true that if children put the word of God in their minds it can seep into their hearts, so, do it – encourage Bible memorization. The reality is that the Lord is my shepherd but sometimes I think I want something I don’t have. God is the restorer of souls and guides me to righteousness for His name’s sake. He is with me on the darkest days. He comforts me even when I lose my way and fear evil. God provides me with honor – not the worlds version like a starring role in a movie or winning the lottery. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” That is surely a promise worth holding on to. Merry Christmas to me!