Christmas Past

Cold Comfort

Cold Comfort

It happens so quickly, doesn’t it?  We plan for weeks, sometimes months, for Christmas; we shop; bake and wrap.  We anticipate and enjoy and ‘boom’ in what seems like an instant, it is over.

Our Christmas was truly wonderful.  We were able to spend time with each of our children and their families, plus chat with loved ones living far away.  Now New Years Eve has arrived, and this particular day of the year is always sad for me – I don’t know why.  Perhaps, it is the closing of one year and the unknowns of a new year…….perhaps it is a buried memory of long ago.  Whatever the reason, right now I hope that you have each enjoyed a safe and happy Christmas celebration of Jesus’ birthday, and that the coming year will be one of many blessings and unexpected joys for you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

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Persecution is not new.  Many have been dealt horrendous injury, even death for their faith.  Here is an explanation of the way Christians, in the middle ages, still continued to spread the message of Christmas.

From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning:  the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

-         The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-         Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-         Three French hens stood for Faith, Hope and Love.

-         The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

-         The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-         The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-         Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:  Prophesy Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

-         The eight maids a-milking were the eight Beatitudes.

-         Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

-         The ten Lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

-         The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Disciples.

-         The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

Wishing for everyone, a SAFE AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

Almost There!

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It is almost Christmas.  Pantries are being stocked with goodies.  Gifts are being wrapped with love.  People around us are more friendly – or so it seems.  Perhaps, it is that we are in a better frame of mind as we participate in sharing with loved ones.  Whatever the reason, I love Christmas and I look forward to spending time with children and grandchildren, watching their anticipation as gifts are handed out.  Giving is abundantly good and I derive immense joy as I distribute the gifts that I so carefully shopped for.

I made Christmas cakes this year, as well as chutney and salsa, pickled garlic and hot – hot pickles (for my children with cast iron mouths).  I dislike hot, spicy, peppery foods as much as I dislike snowy, cold wintry weather.

I am enjoying spending time with friends and family and am blessed with many of each.  I pray you will have the blessing of good folk around you and that Christmas will be a time of much happiness as you celebrate Jesus’ birth.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS everyone!

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Christmas Joy

Happy Birthday, JESUS!

Happy Birthday, JESUS!

Where’s the love?  It is in our hearts, where it has always been.  It can, however, grow dim with lack of use or with neglect.

Checking the Christmas lights at the front of our house and on our Christmas tree, I likened the cables carrying the electricity to the bulbs to the love Jesus gives.

Just a short time ago, there were no lights adorning the trees in the garden or the one in our home, until we attached cables to strings of lights and plugged into a hydro source, then, voila , it brought the power needed to illuminate them.  They brought brightness into the darkness of evening.

Our lives can be dark with concerns at times, and we long for relief from the constant struggles.  This is when we need to trust in Jesus; because He is our true source of light.  He can take the load off our shoulders and brighten our hearts, minds and spirits.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  (NKJV)

How do we do that?  We reach out to God and trust Him.  We invite His Son, Jesus, into our hearts.  Having done this we at once become attached to a power greater than any earthly source. His strength and comfort will surge through us bringing a peace beyond compare – lighting our spirits and bringing us relief from what ails us.

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (NKJV)

There’s an old adage that says, ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’  - – or something to that effect.  If you’ve ever shared a burden with another person, you have a small sense of how it helps to ease your pain.  Jesus provides peace and an easing of the pain of our troubles.  He is a friend and confidante that will listen and help.  Try it yourself and see.

Say this prayer:  “Dear Lord, I want to know you personally.  I know I am not perfect and have made poor choices in my life and I am sorry.  I am willing, with Your help, to turn away from my wrongs and turn to You.  I believe Jesus, that You died and rose again for me.  Please come into my life.  I receive You as my Saviour and Lord, as best as I know how, right now”.

Then we find a good Church that teaches from the Old and New Testaments.  We attend Sunday service and listen to the words spoken to us.  We join small groups or bible studies; we read books on spiritual growth and development, and best of all we get to decide to change.  Easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, Everyone.  May Peace abound wherever you are.

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Cold — Cold — Cold

It’s a cold and frosty morning.  We have an icy layer on the ground, as freezing rain arrived overnight.  However, it’s cozy and warm indoors – and I am thankful for that.

We have our Christmas tree up and showing itself off.  Christmas lights adorn the outside of the house and we are just about ready to enjoy this beautiful season of the year.  The birthday of Jesus Christ!  He is the reason we celebrate and, thankfully, it is a time of year that love and compassion abound.  It really is too bad that the rest of the year can be so empty of the caring hearts and attitudes of Christmas.

Let us not forget those less fortunate than us.  Let us put aside our bad attitudes and our unforgiving hearts and make this a joyous time, not only for ourselves but also for everyone in our lives.  Let us turn any cold areas of our hearts into places of warmth and sharing.

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Tasty Topping

Last evening, at my small group (bible study), I enjoyed a portion of delicious cherry cake served with a tasty creamy topping.

Asking what it was, I discovered it to be a really easy mixture of two parts lemon yoghurt gently mixed with one part cool whip.  Light and delightfully different.  Thanks to my friend Joanne, for sharing this simply yummy recipe.

You can use any flavor of yoghurt, depending on what you want to use it on.  Today I mixed vanilla with the cool whip and it is just as light and tasty.

Try it for yourself and see.

See you next time!

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What a Day!

Last Saturday, we experienced our first major snowfall.  Squalls coming across and off the nearby lakes caused havoc on the roads, with near zero visibility at times.  It was the one day that we needed to travel (go figure!)  because there were birthday celebrations happening in our family.

So with a deep breath and definitely some prayers, we made our way down the highway towards our destination.  Lo and behold, as we reached a certain point we came out of the storm and the skies were clear and sunny.  Thank you Lord.

The birthday celebrations were noisy, chaotic (at times) but fun.  Many guests caused the riotous din and a good time was obviously had by all.

My husband and I left, leaving younger family friends to party on.  We had a long journey ahead of us and we were unsure of weather and road conditions, so preferred to be on our way.

Our concerns however, were unnecessary.  The skies had cleared and for the whole journey we enjoyed good travelling.  The roads were plowed and we arrived home safely – tired but thankful to be home.

Our young birthday Miss became a year older, with all the pomp her ‘highness’ was permitted.  Grandchildren are such a joy.  We got to be with grandsons who are quiet, studious and reserved as they mature gracefully into fine young men, and a young lady of dramatic personality who took centre stage, and rightly so – it was her birthday celebration

It’s a Me Day Today!

It’s a ‘Me’ day today!

No, I’m not being self-centered.  It is my birthday and I have been blessed with reaching my 72nd birthday, and so yes, it will be a celebration.

I don’t FEEL seventy-two; in fact I don’t feel like a senior person at all – but that’s what I am and I have my senior’s government issue card to prove it.

Actually, I’ve had that piece of ID for quite a few years and you know what?  Nobody has ever asked me for it!  I could be deflated over that – it means I LOOK like a senior so no proof is needed.  However, I don’t really care because I enjoy certain aspects of my mature years –  in that trivialities are no longer important.

When I get agitated about something or somebody’s attitude, I simply ask myself,  ‘Does it really matter?’ – and if I can truthfully answer, ‘Not really’ I allow myself an inner contentment that at one time would have eluded me.

Family and friends are the most important and I am blessed to have many lovely people in my life.  So all in all, I enjoy being the age I am and am now going to go and enjoy MY day.

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Procrastinator!

I would never have described myself as being a procrastinator.  I like to decide and act.  However, I realized recently that is exactly what I had become – as far as sewing was concerned.

At one time, I made most of my own clothes….but that’s going back a ways!  I silently bemoaned the fact that the only pants I owned that were worth wearing, were past it!  I also knew, I had some newer pants I could wear IF I took out a needle and thread and shortened them.

A dear friend obliged by shortening a pair of jeans and inserting a zipper in another pair of pants; BUT I still had two pairs that I had hidden away – because they needed to be shortened.

Not being able to tolerate my tardiness any longer, I decided over the weekend that I would get these sewing jobs done, then I would have no excuses for wearing the same two pairs of pants continually (after washing of course).  So, I set myself down and got the job done.  Needless to say I now feel liberated and can no longer look at myself as being a procrastinator……..plus – my wardrobe now sports some new additions that I could have enjoyed much sooner – had I given light of day to my needle and thread.

Seventh Dimension – The Door – Book Review

I received a free e-copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The Seventh Dimension – The Door by Lorilyn Roberts, captures your attention immediately with characters that beg to be loved.

Shale Snyder is a young teen who endures bullying at school and rejection at home.  She is understandably angry and confused and her attitude is continually landing her in even more trouble, but she no longer cares.  Her life is not worth living and she hates herself and everyone and thing around her.

One day, in a deep dark depression she meets a dog.  Of course, there is nothing unusual in that, but this dog talks.  It encourages her to follow it and with running away from home on her mind anyway she agrees.

This begins her extraordinary journey into another dimension that is populated with people she knows, but being a parallel dimension, they all have different lives.  Shale discovers it is not only the dog that talks, because she can understand the inner thoughts of every creature she meets.  You will delight in Baruch the donkey: Cherios the nervous rabbit and other kindly ‘friends’, who all love Shale and want her to enjoy life.

In a journey of self-discovery, where she learns to love herself and realizes she has much worth, she finally meets the King.  He lives in a beautiful garden and has been calling to her to come to Him.  Surviving many challenges and spiritual attacks along the way she finally reaches the door and she knows without a doubt that once she enters everything will be different all over again.

I truly enjoyed this fantastical journey.  The characters in her ‘other’ life are good as well as bad, but they each draw from her emotions that are no longer destructive.  She learns to forgive and to love and I highly recommend this book for young, mid and older teens as well as for anyone who delights in a good ‘escapist’ read.

Good read for young or not-so-young!

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