Saturday, 24 December 2011

Nothing Is Impossible With God

We have just come back from our Church Carol Service. I have only been once before, that was last year.

I immediately started to fill up with tears as the thoughts of the last year came flooding back to me.

This time last year I had just started to get the help I needed from the people around me, who loved and cared for me. 

As 2011 started I was still unsure of what was happening for me and how the future would turn out. I remember our Pastor saying to me, "maybe this year will be the year that works out OK. 2011 could be the year where things start to change for the better".  I'm sure he probably finished the sentence with a disclaimer in case the year did turn out to go belly up.

But......he was right, I started a proper relationship with God in January, was baptised in July and overcome many personal obstacles. It has definately been one of my better years!

As with everyone, there has and will be times that trip me up and set me down, but I have a hope for the future, as was read tonight in our service:

Luke 1:37 (NLT) For nothing is impossible with God.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Is There A Good Time Of Year To Die?

Sadly, I know of three families who in the last week have lost loved ones.  It somehow seems to be made worse by the time of year.  But really, is there a better time of year to lose someone you love dearly?

I remember answering the phone to my father-in-law on a Christmas morning years ago.  I immediately sensed something was wrong, but said nothing and handed the phone to my husband who joyfully wished his Dad a "happy Christmas" only to hear back "well it's not very happy for me, my Dad's just died." Awkward.

If you know the person had been very ill and suffered for a while, is it wrong to think and possibly even worse to say, that actually, it's probably for the best?

I definitely have found myself thinking that over the last few days, but then, it wasn't someone I was close to that left me.

If you know the family didn't necessarily have a faith and you have no idea what their loved one believed, there are almost no words on earth to say, because you fear the worst for their soul.  You can't exactly offer "they've gone to a better place".

If you find yourself in a place of mourning at this time of year, I have nothing to say that will change how you feel or make it better.

But as we all know, if we are celebrating Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of The Saviour of the world, no matter what we are facing, what our circumstances are or how we are grieving, we can find hope in the birth that took place all those thousands of years ago.  If it were not true, the story would have faded and grown old, but the birth of Jesus is faithfully re-told every year, it stands the test of time.

Matthew 1:21 (NIV) She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

I pray that you will truly find hope in the birth of that human baby conceived by God, who was born, and died, with the purpose to save every single one of us from our in-born sin.  There is hope and there can be peace for you this Christmas.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

School has now broken up and we will gradually start swinging into Christmas in our house.

Decorations will go up, sweets will be bought and cheesy Christmas DVD's will be watched.

But most importantly and on my insistence we will have Jim Reeves Christmas album accompanying our lives over the next week!

My Mum was a big Jim Reeves fan, and it is just nostalgic for me. I am instantly in my childhood home, in the kitchen, messing around, being stupid, having a laugh, whatever, probably in fact complaining at how awful it was having Jim Reeves on when we could have 'Now that's what I call Christmas'.

But now, as an adult with my own family I can inflict it on my kids because I know it will add to their memories of Christmas, and now as an adult I can finally admit, what's not to love about Jim Reeves?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Heaven Is For Real

Colton Burpo is not quite four, when he has an emergency appendectomy.  In the months that follow, he starts to tell his parents about how while he was being operated on he was in Heaven with Jesus, and the Angels sang to him.

If you are a non-believer you could probably say this is a clever book of fiction by a Pastor with Biblical knowledge.

I am a Christian and I believe Heaven is for real, but I don't know why I find it hard to accept that Jesus would let a child visit Him in Heaven and tell us of his experiences.  It's not that I disbelieved Colton's story, I just suppose it's so supernatural it's hard to get your head around - imagine how his parents coped as he casually told them about meeting his mis-carried sister!

The story naturally unravels without coming across as overly sentimental or cheesy.

Colton's Pastor dad backs up his accounts with scripture references, and the end of book poses questions to make you think further beyond what you have read.

Heaven is for real? Yes it is. 

Did Colton Burpo visit Heaven? Why not?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Round Robins continued......

God's Round Robin (not only to be read at Christmas).

Dear Child

I know you have had difficult times this year, you will always face trials, but sometimes it is possible to profit and learn from them.  I was with you every time you cried out to me, I answered you, but sometimes you didn't listen.  I held you close to me and protected you from the earthly dangers around you, knowing that all would be well in your eternal life.

When you celebrated and had fun this year, I was with you too.  It made me so happy to see the joy and laughter in your life, and it pleased me that you thanked me for it constantly.  You are my child and I love you and want you to have peace.

I know some of your friends and family who you love dearly do not yet know me, but I know them, and I hear your prayers for them, continue to show them through your life who I am.

My gift to you this year is still the same as it was last year, and will be forever.  It is the gift of eternal life, through my Son Jesus Christ.

Please accept it.

My love to you always

Your Heavenly Father

Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas Round Robins continued......

The Round Robin you shouldn't send....

"Well I didn't think we'd still be here to write to you, it was touch and go for a while with Bob's kidney stones, but he finally passed them in June. As for my 'trouble' it has been worse this year than ever. I've now been put on a different medication as the other was disagreeing with my digestive system.  I had to sleep in the spare room some nights so Bob could get some sleep, and of course that's only a 'put me up' bed so it played havoc with my back.  I've got an appointment with the specialist about my back in January, so I will be able to update you next Christmas on how that went.

We didn't get away for a holiday this year, with all the illness and the credit crunchie we just couldn't afford it, and with our eldest just having had the babby, it's a constant financial drain. Also we're still paying off the fine for our youngest from last year. This Government is a disgrace, like Bob said, when he were young it would've been a quick telling off and sent home with his tail between his legs, but no, they need to make an example of youngsters these days, it's not our Ricky's fault his friends all legged it and left him holding the matches.

Our street all put up our decorations and lights in November, except for the miserable git at no.5.  There's always someone who just can't seem to have any fun, and grumbles about everything.  He'll probably wait till the middle of December to put his lights up, what's the point in that?

We've not bought gifts to send out this year, we had to make Christmas cut-backs and we promised ourselves last year the priority was to get the inflatable snowmen for the front, it's important to do your bit in the community at this time of year isn't it".

Love From

Bob, Sheila, Chantel & Ricky

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas Round Robin's

The round robin you don't want to receive.

"It's been such a busy year this year, we didn't have time to take our usual months break in August to the Seychelles. Thank goodness we managed to pop over there back in March.  I don't know what we'd do without our holidays.

Just as well we had been away, as April turned out to be the month from Hell.  Roger took delivery of his brand new Mercedes and would you believe they had the interior trim done in the standard leather, he had specifically told them he wanted Nappa leather in Alpaca Grey.  They may as well have delivered a completely different car, it was absolutely heart-breaking.  Roger is still not quite over it. As I've told him, these things take time to come to terms with, you were expecting Nappa leather and you got standard, of course you're going to find it hard, I've had to be strong for both of us.

Thank goodness September started well, with the twins both being accepted for St Wellington's Manor.  The school run is an absolute beast, but at least I only have to do it Friday afternoon and Monday morning.  You should have seen the list of equipment I had to buy them, I said to Roger it's no good not getting everything, how would he feel if they were the only children not to have their own ponies in the event of a polo match.  Men eh? They have no idea of living in the real world.

As this year comes to a close it has given me time to reflect on what is important in life, and I'm going to have it out with the Mercedes garage over that trim if it's the last thing I do - not for me - for Roger. It's this time of year that makes you realise you have to be selfless.

Please accept our Christmas gift to you with our love, we've had some good fortune this year so we've bought you a box of 24 Ferrero Rocher instead of the usual 8".


Roger, Marjorie & The Twins

Coming soon...........the round robin you shouldn't send............

Sunday, 4 December 2011

All The World's A Stage

Welcome to the show, in which I have just arrived at my walk-on part.
I didn’t know until recently what my part was and I had been ad-libbing.  I had heard lots of times that I did have a part and it was a very important part, in fact I was created for this particular part.  This part is actually so specific that it was written for me even before I was born!
When I say I had been ad-libbing, I hadn’t been listening carefully enough to the director.  He was there all along with his megaphone, calling out to me, telling where he wanted me to be and what he wanted me to say, and sometimes I think I pleased him and said the right things at the right times to the right people.  Other times it was a case of ‘exit, stage left, and hurry’!
The great thing about this show is, everybody gets a part, and even the person who paints the scenery is as important as the person with the leading role!
I used to think my part was so unimportant, that it wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t turn up, I had nothing to offer the show, no-one would care if I was in it or not. 
Then the director started talking to me, he told me not to be frightened of my part, he would always be there if it went wrong, sometimes I believed Him, sometimes I didn’t. 
My close friends who knew the director well said, “listen to the director, he knows everything about you and he loves you so much, you are so special to him”
My part in the show got worse and I felt like I’d been given the crappy part to play and I didn’t think others in the show were that special either – I wanted out.
I told the director this, I wanted to leave the show and not be in it anymore.
But the director had other plans, he brought me in close and he told me “not now” I couldn’t leave the show yet.  It was hard, because I realised I had to listen to him and that meant I had to play my part and somehow carry on.
Eventually, I had the overwhelming realisation that not only did I have a part to play, but I was actually the director’s daughter!  How could I have missed this for all these years, I began to feel filled with his love and knew I could attempt to play the part he wanted me to play. With Him directing me anything is possible.
In case you missed it, the show is 'life', the director is 'God' and we ALL have a part to play.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Smiths - Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want ( 1984 )

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want....................Lord knows it would be the first time..............

Nah, I've got what I want before, just a fab song that has invaded the airwaves having been used in the John Lewis ad, having said that there are a few things I would like to get!

Weekly Song Round Up

Simply one of the best songs ever written, and there were a number of times this week I would like to have become 'comfortably numb'!