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If you’re a fan of homicide “who done it” reenactments on programs like NBC’s “Dateline,” you may have noticed a number of cases solved featuring a wiry cold-case detective from the Torrance, CA, P.D. named J. Warner Wallace. Wallace is so skilled at showing where evidence leads that when he recently brought a tough 1981 murder case to trial—there was no body and no murder weapon—he got a “guilty” verdict from the jury in less than five hours of deliberation.
Our precious friend to STR, Buddy Williams, went to Heaven this afternoon.  He finished a vicious battle with multiple myeloma, which was diagnosed only a few months ago.Buddy wasn't a name STR people know, but he has had a tremendous impact on all of us.  Since he's been sick, I've tried to answer people's question about what Buddy did for us, and I still can't adequately answer it.
Sunday is the fourth of Advent and the final advent candle is lit.  Our hope has fulfillment.  Waiting turns into joy.  This was expressed very beautifully in Zechariah's words (Luke 1:68-79) as he rejoiced in the birth of his son John and looked forward to the birth of Mary's child, the Messiah that Israel had longed for for centuries.  His words recall the words of the prophets, the promises that reached their fulfillment in the Christ Child.
This Sunday the third candle on the advent wreath is lit.  Christmas is drawing closer - and so is the second coming of our Savior.
One of the interesting things about marking advent is the two-fold nature of the wait:  the already and the not yet. Advent means "arrival" and it's a season to remember the first time Jesus came, but also to prepare for the Second Coming. Advent marks the days until we celebrate Jesus' birthday, recounting the events 2000 years ago and Israel's long wait for the Messiah's arrival.  Jesus came the first time as a baby in the manger.  Emmanuel, God in the flesh.  He fulfilled the promises made to Israel to send the Messiah.
"There is no question in my mind that there is a Creator of the universe. This is not two dust particles that came together and created mass and energy, and eventually life. It's just inconceivable." Gene Cernan Apollo 17
If you're using an advent wreath, this Sunday the second candle is lit in addition to the first.
October 31 is Reformation and I think that Luther's Coat of Arms is an excellent representation of the Gospel of God's mercy. The Reformation began with the question Martin Luther asked, “How do I obtain a gracious God?” He discovered reading the book of Romans that it was a free gift from God through Jesus. That good news is familiar to us today but it wasn't so in Luther's time, and that is the significance of the Reformation. We know we can be reconciled with God through Jesus.
Find STR on social media.  Friend STR, Greg, Brett, and Alan on Facebook and find out what they're up to. Follow all of us on Twitter, too.  STRtweets passes on interesting news stories and updates we don't post on Facebook or the blog. STR is even on Pinterest, but we don't share recipes or decorating ideas.