Archive for December, 2010

So we’re just about at the end of 2010, so today I’ve been having a wee think back over the last 12 months about my 2010, and how that would have been recorded in newspaper headlines…

Family Health Concerns Grow

For me this year has started badly when in January Dad fell in the snow/ice and hit his head of the pavement and ended up in hospital for several days. Although the fall didn’t in itself cause any major problems, it has seemed to Mum and I that this has speeded up the progression of my Dad’s dementia quite dramatically. Basically he’s got much much worse ever since January, so that now he only recognises Mum, hubby and me – anyone else including other relatives and longterm friends and neighbours, he doesn’t know. It’s very sad and also very difficult, particularly for Mum.

Earlier this year I was devastated when Mum told me that Dad that told her he didn’t think he had long to live. And to be honest this has haunted me ever since even though until yesterday, I don’t think Dad had said this for a few months. However just to finish of the year on a low note, Dad said this to Mum again yesterday.

The next casualty this year was my hubby who I had to take to the hospital on several separate occasions, one of which resulted in him being admitted to hospital for a number of days.

In July, just the week after my hubby had been in hospital, my Mum found her sister lying part way down her stairs one morning. To cut a long story short, my Aunt ended up in hospital for about 2 months. Mum and I then went to visit my Aunt at least once every couple of day for those 2 months…what a lot that took out of both Mum and me!

Finally my Aunt for discharged from hospital to a care home for respite care for 4 weeks, though we were hopeful she might decide to stay on at the care home as we weren’t comfortable with he living on her own anymore – particularly after discovering she’d given out a cheque for over £3,000 to a guy who came to her door and told her her roof needed replacing! We managed to get the cheque stopped, thankfully!

My Aunt has since decided to stay in the care home, although Mum and I are still looking after her house just now…and there’s another problem…

After the severe weather a few weeks ago, we discovered 3 burst pipes in my Aunt’s house, so I’ve had to go down there a number of times to lift lino/carpets and wait for the gas man to come and supposedly fix the heating – I say supposedly, because we are finding that the heating stays on for anything up to a few days, but then goes off again – So i’m going in every few days to check if the heating’s on and if not, reset it! Scottish Gas weren’t interested in sending someone out to us just now because of all the folk with no heating/water! Mum continues to try!

And then there was Christmas Day…we had booked Christmas dinner at one of our local hotels with my Mum and Dad. But as has happened this year, things didn’t go to plan…hubby was sick so couldn’t make dinner, and half way through dinner, Dad didn’t feel well. So Christmas Day was a bit of a low…although it was a fantastic day as far as presents were concerned!

The Uncertainty Continues

Then there’s the ongoing saga of my health…basically this year’s been much the same as the last few. i.e. Ongoing severe pain issues.

New and Old Friends Make My Year

So this year has obviously felt like there have been more lowlights than highlights, however as I take more time to consider events of this year I realise that though I may not have initially considered it a highlight, I now realise that I could not have got through this year without the support of many friends (and family members).

I don’t want to mention specific people as I’ll only miss someone out! So suffice to say that someone of those who have been most supportive to me are some new (and some old) friends I’ve got to know through Twitter and Facebook – you know who you are – All I want to say to you is a huge thank you for all the love, support and prayers you’ve given me (and my family) throughout this last year, I really have appreciated it greatly.

So there’s my year, how’s your 2010 been? I hope whatever you have faced this year you have had some highlights which you can cherish as memories for a long time.

…and finally

Just to finish off this year can I remind you not to ever underestimate how many blessings you receive and give out over  the period of a year. Many may seem very small and insignificant, however they may well have had a massive impact on the recipient – they may have meant the world to them!

John 1:14 (New International Version)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So this is the third day in a row I’ve used John 1:14…why? Because it’s the moment in the bible when we’re told that God has come to earth as one of us, in the form of Jesus. It also reminds us that Jesus came to show the world true love, truth and grace.

How can we forget about Jesus when He has shown us the way to God. Please make a promise to God today to always remember Jesus.

How Could You Say No
 
Thorns on his head spear in his side
Yet it was a heartache that made him cry
He gave his life so you would understand
 
Is there any way you could say no to this man
If Christ himself were standing here
Face full of glory and eyes full of tears
And he held out his arms and his nail printed hands
Is there any way you could say no to this man
How could you look in his tear stained eyes
Knowing it’s you he’s thinking of
Could you tell him you’re not ready to give him your life
Could you say you don’t think you need his love
Jesus is here with his arms open wide
 
You can see him with your heart if you’ll stop looking with your eyes
He’s left it up to you, he’s done all that he can
Is there any way you could say no to this man
How could you look in his tear stained eyes
Knowing it’s you he’s thinking of
Could you tell him you’re not ready to give him your life
Could you say you don’t think you need his love
Thorns on his head your life in his hands
Is there any way you could say no to this man
Is there any way you could say no to this man

What makes Christmas such a special time for Christian around the world?

It’s the knowledge that at this time many years ago, Jesus was born. i.e. God came to earth in the form of Jesus, and He lived among us, as one of us.

So can we really  question whether God knows and understands what living here can mean? He’s been here…but more importantly, He’s still here with us. Jesus may have died and risen from the dead but because of that we are now assured that God will love each one of us, faults and all.

Please remember again the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

John 1:14 (New Living Translation)

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Here With Me by MercyMe

I long for your embrace
Every single day
To meet you in this place
And see you face to face

Will you show me?
Reveal yourself to me
Because of your mercy
I fall down on my knees

And I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love

You’re everywhere I go
I am not alone
You call me as your own
To know you and be known

You are holy
And I fall down on my knees

I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love

I surrender to your grace
I surrender to the one who took my place

I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender:

I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love

John 1:14 (The Message)

The Word became flesh and blood,
      and moved into the neighborhood.
   We saw the glory with our own eyes,
      the one-of-a-kind glory,
      like Father, like Son,
   Generous inside and out,
      true from start to finish.

Jesus came into our world, just as a simple helpless child, but one who was ultimately going to give his life for the world, just so that we might be able to live our lives to the full.

Repay His love for us today, by giving your life to God.

From Heaven You Came (The Servant King) by Graham Kendrick

From heaven You came
Helpless babe
Entered our world
Your glory veiled
Not to be served
But to serve
And give Your life
That we might live

This is our God
The Servant King
He calls us now
To follow Him
To bring our lives
As a daily offering
Of worship to
The Servant King

There in the garden
Of tears
My heavy load
He chose to bear
His heart with sorrow
Was torn
“Yet not My will
But Yours” He said

Come see His hands
And His feet
The scars that speak
Of sacrifice
Hands that flung stars
Into space
To cruel nails
Surrendered

So let us learn
How to serve
And in our lives
Enthrone Him
Each other’s needs
To prefer
For it is Christ
We’re serving

I came across the song The End of the Beginning by David Phelps a number of months ago. However in the last few days I’ve found the words of this song coming to mind over and over again…

The End Of The Beginning by David Phelps

I was taking a trip on a plane the other day, just wishin’ that I could get out.
When the man next to me saw the book in my hand and asked me what it was about.
So I settled back in my seat. “A best-seller,” I said, “a hist’ry and a myst’ry in one.”
Then I opened up the book and began to read from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…

 He was born of a virgin one holy night in the little town of Bethlehem.
Angels gathered ‘round Him underneath the star singing praises to the great I AM.

He walked on the water, healed The lame, and made the blind to see again.
And for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend.
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, the angry crowd chose Him.
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross and
that was the end…of the beginning.”

“That’s not a new book, that’s a Bible,” he said, “And I’ve heard it all before.
I’ve tried religion, it’s shame and guilt, and I don’t need it anymore.
It’s superstation, made-up tales, just to help the weak to survive.”
“Let me read it again,” I said, “But listen closely. This is gonna change your life.”

“He was born of a virgin one holy night in the little town of Bethlehem.
Angels gathered ‘round Him underneath the star singing praises to the great I AM.

He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see again.
And for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend.
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, the angry crowd chose Him. And then He walked down the road and died on the cross and that was the end…of the beginning.”

“The end of the beginning?” he said with a smile. “What more
could there be? He’s dead. You said they hung Him, put nails in
His hands and a crown of thorns on His head.” I said, “I’ll read it
again, but this time there’s more.

And I believe that this is true: His death wasn’t the end but the beginning of life that’s completed in you.
Don’t you see, He did all this for you…”

“He was born of a virgin one holy night in the little town of
Bethlehem. All the angels singing praises to the great I AM.
He walked on the water, healed the lame, and made the blind to see.
And for the first time here on earth, did you know that God could be a friend?
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, He was the one the crowd chose.
And then He walked and He died, but three days later, three days later, three days later…
He rose! Three days later He rose!

You see, He came, He lived, and He died, but that was the end of the beginning.

My favourite words from this song are…

He walked on the water, healed The lame, and made the blind to see again.
And for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend.
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, the angry crowd chose Him.
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross and
that was the end…of the beginning.”

Why? Because it reminds me of some of the amazing things Jesus did during His short time on earth. But more than that, it reminds us that God can be a friend to each and every one of us.

Don’t let the birth of Jesus this Christmas, be the end of your relationship with God…make it the start of your relationship with God!

//

He is here, He is near us
In our hearts, in our lives, in our midst
He is here, He is near us
Calling us to trust in Him

He is here, He is near us
In our hearts, in our lives, in our midst
He is here, He is near us
Calling us to trust in Him

Cast your every care
On the One who gave you life
Lay your burdens down at His feet
Open up your heart
To the living word of God
He is love
He is love

He is here, He is near us
In our hearts, in our lives, in our midst
He is here, He is near us
Calling us to trust in Him

Cast your every care
On the One who gave you life
Lay your burdens down at His feet
Open up your heart
To the living word of God
He is love
He is love
He is love
He is love

He is here, He is near us
Calling us to trust in Him

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. Today we rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus is still here with us, not physically but as the spirit of God.

Jesus IS here, and He is always near us. Rejoice in this knowledge today.

Have you had a busy Christmas Day? Have you eaten too much? Did you get all the presents you were hoping for?

However your Christmas Day has gone, good or bad, I hope you have taken a few minutes out of your busy day to rejoice in the knowledge that Christ was born on this day many years ago.

Please don’t forget the reason we are celebrating Christmas Day…Jesus!

Welcome To Our World by Michael W Smith:

It’s late, it’s dark outside and it’s cold, but it’s also a clear evening so you can see the stars shining brightly. So now close your eyes and imagine… it’s thousands of years ago, you see a bright star in the sky and you feel you’re being directed by God to go to where the star is shining. How do you feel?

I can’t imagine how that must have felt for the shepherds or the wise men, however I do know that once they saw Jesus they must have felt honoured and humbled to be the ones chosen to be there on Jesus’ first day on earth.

Now back to the present…

Obviously we don’t have that same opportunity as the shepherd and wise men had to be there on Christ‘s first day on earth, however we can do the next best thing – live our lives to the full by living each day for Christ as if today is the day we are going to meet Him.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright

I pray tonight, this Christmas Eve that we can all join together to rejoice in the knowledge that tomorrow, Christmas Day, marks the anniversary of Jesus’ birth all those years ago.

A few days ago I read the following somewhere:

If we allow the kill-joys to stop us from celebrating as Christians then we might as well all give up and go home.

…but should we allow other non-believers to spoil Christmas for us?

Definitely not!

There’s so much talk these days of discrimination against various groups of people or their ethnicity. But here’s a thought for you…do you feel Christians are discriminated against?

Personally I think that indirectly, yes, we are. However I think in many instances it’s done unintentionally…but that still doesn’t make it right! I think everyone is almost over eager and too sensitive to the beliefs of others that we forget this country is traditionally a Christian country, so please, please, please let us celebrate the birth of our Saviour this Christmas and every Christmas.

Don’t let non-Christians stop you from celebrating the true meaning of Christmas this year.

Bellshill Salvation Army Band and Songsters were out at Calvary Church in Motherwell tonight, and Olwyn Mathie sang the song Hallelujah Light Has Come, and I was really touched by it, and wanted to share it with you so here’s BarlowGirl singing this song – I’m just sorry I don’t have a recording of Olwyn singing it.

Where do I start with this one?

Well there’s Christmas carols of course and then there’s the Christmas songs which seem to get more and more every year.

Now Christmas carols I can cope with as they are all about why we celebrate Christmas and what Christmas should mean to every one of us. Then there’s all these other Christmas songs, the majority of which have nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas and tend to be all about Santa, presents, snowmen, reindeer etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like a good Christmas song, but why oh why must the shops start playing Christmas music constantly from about October right through till the new year!? It drives me nuts! Not just the fact that it’s constant Christmas music, but that there’s usually very few, if any, Christmas carols played in amongst all the Christmas music.

Christmas should be all about Christ and the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Please take some time this Christmas to listen to some Christmas carols as well as some other Christmas music – Just remind yourself of the true meaning of Christmas.

One of my favourite Christmas carols is Angels From The Realms of Glory – I hope you enjoy the following performance of this carol: