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Tag Archive | "prepare"

Prepare


Pastor Steve Lindeman

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

 

“Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God …” Isaiah 40:3 (NLT)

We have entered into the season of Advent and the four weeks of preparation for the coming of the Christ child. During these days, we hear from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke—those books that express the events surrounding Jesus’ birth—of how God entered into the world. But the first baby that we encounter is not Jesus; it is John. The opening verses of Luke tell us the story of how Gabriel appeared to Zachariah in the Temple to announce that his wife, Elizabeth, would give birth to John the Baptizer—the man who would prepare the way for the coming of our Lord.

In a way, our season of preparation for Christmas mirrors the Gospel story. God was moving before the birth of Jesus to make preparations for his coming. But the preparations hadn’t begun there.

We often hear about the prophesies of the Old Testament telling us about the coming Messiah; the Holy Scripture found in Isaiah are often read during this time of the year. But there is also a time between the Old and the New Testament that we don’t often talk about when God was also moving to make preparations for the Messiah. They are often referred to as the Silent Years. The Word of God was not present with the people from the time of the words of the last prophet until the opening verses of the Gospels. The Silent Years span about 400 years. However, just because God was silent doesn’t mean that he wasn’t moving the pieces in place to achieve his plan to send his son, Jesus Christ into the world. Characters that are familiar to us from the life of Jesus, never mentioned in the Old Testament, are ushered onto the scene. The Pharisees and Sadducees and the leadership structures of the Temple are brought into form. The Roman Empire, a significant force in the life of Jesus, invades Israel. Even during a time when it seems that God is not present, he is moving the pieces on “the chessboard” as he prepares us for the birth of Jesus.

The four weeks of preparation throughout Advent is only a small piece of what God has designed for us. We need to know that even when God seems silent, he has been preparing us for the coming of the Christ child, long before we were ever aware of his actions. God has been working through all of history to prepare us for that moment in time—the time that Jesus would enter into the world and bring salvation for each and every one of us. So, during this season, let us prepare, let us truly prepare—prepare our hearts, prepare our minds and prepare him room—by praying, reading the Holy Scripture, participating in worship, loving God and loving one another. This is what this season is for.

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Seven secrets to longer life for exterior paint


Thinking of painting your house? Check out these tips from the Paint Quality Institute to help the paint job last longer.

Thinking of painting your house? Check out these tips from the Paint Quality Institute to help the paint job last longer.

Spring House, PA—When it comes to exterior paint, there’s no fountain of youth, but there are ways to add years of life to a new paint job, says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. Here are the secrets:

1. Carefully prepare the surface. Before starting to paint, it’s important to make sure surfaces are clean and sound, free of all dirt, mildew, and loose or peeling paint. Areas with no paint at all—either because they are new, or because the old paint has completely worn off—should be spot-primed.

2. Work in good weather conditions. For long-lasting results, apply exterior coatings on mild days; ideally, when the temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees F, with little or no wind. In these conditions, primer and paint cure” more slowly and form the most protective dry film.

3. Prime the surface. Primer creates a tackier surface to which paint can bond more tightly, thus reducing chances that it will peel or blister. As a bonus, the paint will have more uniform color and sheen. (Alternatively, apply two or more coats of one of the new paint and primer products.)

4. Use top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint. This type of paint is much more durable than ordinary house paint. It has more flexibility, better adhesion for more resistance to peeling and flaking, and superior color retention. When applied to a properly prepared surface, top quality 100 percent acrylic paints can last 10 years or more, compared to about four years for lower quality paint.

5. Be careful with color choice. According to Zimmer, earthtones tend to retain their color, while other hues, such as bright blue and bright red, will fade more quickly. Ask the counterperson how your preferred hues will fare over time, and choose your color scheme accordingly.

6. Apply thicker coats. The thicker the dry paint film, the more protection you’ll get. So, apply paint liberally, and never thin it with water. Paints are formulated to be used as-is in order to provide the longest-lasting protection.

7. Add one extra coat of paint. This will further thicken the dry paint film, which will enable your home to better withstand whatever nature throws your way. It’s a smart move that may very well add a couple of additional years to the life of your paint job.

For more expert advice on exterior painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com.

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