Christmas Frenzy

Are we there yet? This is a familiar question from young children when embarking on a journey – – it doesn’t take long for them to wonder if we have reached the intended destination.

Right now, my thinking is – – are we finding ourselves in the midst of the frenzy of Christmas shopping and preparations? Time is running out….countdown is on to that wonderful day (although, some admit to having a bah-humbug attitude toward December 25th and all it entails). It’s too bad that we allow ourselves to become stressed with busy-ness instead of focusing on the reason for Christmas – – Jesus and His birth. Born to give us a peace beyond our understanding. Born to save us from ourselves and all the obligatory stuff.

So STOP what you’re doing! Take a deep breath and count to ten. RELAX and concentrate on what life must have been like in those far off days when Mary gave birth to her son.

Seemingly, it was just another day: after all, the reason for us celebrating Christmas had not yet arrived. When He did, the heavens erupted with the sound of heavenly song; the Magi arrived to discover the long-awaited Messiah was born and Mary and Joseph rested, knowing there were great expectations required of them now their little Christ child had arrived.

The night was cold and dark, with only the light of the star and perhaps a lantern. No clamouring traffic; hurried shoppers; tired, frustrated parents and excited children. Just quiet.

We can recover our composure and sigh a deep breath of relief, if we can visualize that night, and immerse ourselves into what we think it felt like. Perhaps it will energize us to continue the preparations for Christmas in a calmer way. Maybe we will actually begin to do what we’re supposed to do……enjoy this wonderful season, as we anticipate celebrating the birthday of Christ.

Luke 2:8-14 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “don’t be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. Today your Saviour was born in David’s town. He is Christ the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box (manger). Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace to the people who please God.”

Have a happy and safe Christmas everyone and remember to have fun while you spend time with family and friends. Whatever does not get done — let it go – – don’t get stressed over small insignificant things. If you forget to buy eggnog or extra cookies or milk – – so what – – life will go on without them. Relax and remember to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS and thank Him for His gift of salvation and freedom from sin.

When we finally finish all that is expected of us let us sit – – relax and be glad we’ve made it to the finish line. If anyone asks “Are we there yet?” we can truthfully say “Yes” – – thank the Lord. We’re ready for Christmas. The frenzy is ended.

Broken

The cookie packet I opened recently, showed no sign of the shattered contents inside. The cookies, which had been whole and a sweet anticipation, were broken into many pieces. They were no longer enticing, even though I know that even the small pieces will still taste good; they no longer looked appealing. I had eagerly looked forward to fresh whole cookies to enjoy with my tea, but all I had were crumbs.

Each human was made perfect in God’s eyes, when first formed He delighted in our unique wholeness and He continues to do so. As we move through life we too can become broken, as we struggle against the adversities of living on this earth. We can become physically and emotionally torn apart with everyday living or unhealthy lifestyles and choices. God must look at us and sigh in disappointment as He reflects on our great beginnings to where we are now.

God gave His Son, a living sacrifice that all who are broken can be made whole. If we choose to believe this and trust His Word and His guidance, He will repair our broken-ness.

Unlike the cookies, which once broken cannot be repaired – we can rest assured that He can work in us and help us recover. He will repair our misshapen lives and choices and lead us to a renewed spirit and wholeness that we desperately desire.

No longer broken but once again whole, in spirit and self-confidence we can enjoy a new beginning under Him.

Prayer: Father, let us come to you when we are heart-broken, injured or crushed in spirit, for you will give us rest and recovery. Amen.

PATRICIA DAY

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Remember!

Remember the men and women who have given their lives, so that we can live in freedom.

Remember Jesus Christ who gave His live, so that we could experience His comfort in times of trouble, and be assured of eternal peace.

Philippians 2:29-30 Hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death.

We are not all blessed with the bravery of Epaphroditus or of our military men and women – but let us never take for granted the freedom and peace we enjoy, because of their sacrifices.

GOD BLESS EACH OF THEM AND GRANT COMFORT TO THEIR FAMILIES today and always.

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What is Love?

So after asking ‘Where is the Love?’ – how do we recognize love?

The International Children’s Version of the Bible explains it perfectly. If you are experiencing a life without the following elements of respect, then it is not love!

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not become angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always continues strong. Love never ends. (ICV)

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven”. (ICV)

My prayer for each person living in turmoil and confusion is that you will ask God for His Will in your lives, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

PATRICIA DAY

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No Need to Despair

I do not apologize for any apparent repetition in my words. I feel strongly there is at least one teenager or young person needing to be saved from a life of despair – and so here goes.

Psalm 55:22 Give your worries to the Lord. He will take care of you. He will never let good people down. (ICV)

1 Peter 5:6-9 So be humble under God’s powerful hand. Then He will lift you up when the right time comes. Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you. Control yourselves and be careful! The devil is your enemy. And he goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat (destroy; kill). Refuse to give in to the devil. Stand strong in your faith. (ICB)

I am often saddened by media reports of young people in such despair that they kill themselves.

All they see in life is pressure. Be this! Do that! Wear this! Look like this! Give me this! Submit – submit – submit! Eventually they cannot cope and if they are bereft of a confidante – they give up!

An ad showing on television shows children in need of homes and the caption is, ‘Where’s the love?’ Good question!

In God’s Word – the Bible – He commands that we love one another. Sometimes, that is easier said than done; forgiveness and submission can open us up to more demands, but if we can steadfastly hang on to the promise of strength and comfort promised in those words, we will begin to gain foothold over any bullying or abuse being used against us. No, it is still not easy but the key is to respect yourself enough to reach out and then believe that there is more to life than what you have been dealt.

God has been taken out of our schools, workplaces and families so the belief is that you live and then you die. So what’s the point of living, right? There is more to life than pain or demands. It is how you choose to live that makes the difference. God does not have to be thrust out of your heart. Once you experience the love He gives, you will begin to like yourself and then you won’t want to give up – you’ll find someone you can trust to share your concerns with, and then can begin to step in another direction.

Life is hard and it is not always easy to know who and what to trust. The advice in the bible is constant and trustworthy – but you first have to open a bible, explore what is within its pages and begin to believe the contents. There is no deception only love!

Passages to help you get started…..

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

John 14:27 I leave you peace. My peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world (or its people) does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled. Don’t be afraid. (ICV)

I pray that the Lord will give you understanding in all things, that you will make wise choices, and that these choices will lead you God-living people, who will listen and guide with no strings attached.

Find a church that teaches Old and New Testaments: one with a strong youth membership that is nurtured and encouraged. That will be a step in the right direction and will lead you to a better place, because once you learn to respect yourself you will stop wanting to be a people-pleasing person, when those people are asking you to submit in ways you are uncomfortable or threatened with. There really is much more to life than that!

PATRICIA DAY

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