Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

The Two Weeks of Advent

If you looked at our 30+ year old family Advent wreath you would swear there are only two weeks to this season leading up to Christmas. Even after all these years the pink candle and the purple candle representing week three and four of Advent  look like new. The first two purple candles, not so much. I’ve had to replace them a couple of times at least.  Its a yearly reminder of how I lose track of what this time of year is really about. I always started out with good intentions. Lighting the candles as we all sat down for dinner each day for the first two weeks. But by week three my mind was full of other things.
Which is a shame because the third week of Advent, represented by the pink candle, is all about rejoicing. It’s a time to spend in joyful anticipation! Our world could use a little more joy. When was the last time you felt true joy?
Someone told me JOY stands for Jesus, Others, You. If we live our lives with our priorities in this order we will have joy. And to that I would like to add that if you take the J out of joy it’s just OY. And isn’t that the truth. Take Jesus out of the equation and our days are filled with..OY, OY, OY!
Be joyful this week. It’s a choice. It starts with counting our blessings and looking for the good that surrounds us each day. If you need a reminder, light a candle. If you need a pink one, I’ve got one, good as new.

Joyfully yours,
Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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