Archive for December, 2019

Do you think the majority of people know the real reason we celebrate Christmas?

Sadly I think the answer to this is ‘No’, as so many seem to be unaware or ignorant of the true meaning of Christmas.

I heard of a survey where they asked a number of school children who we celebrate at Christmas. The results showed that most of the school children they asked said that we celebrate Santa at Christmas time. The survey went on to say that they then asked the children if they knew who Jesus Christ was, many said they had never heard of him.

That, I am afraid is a sad indictment on our society these days. So sad. At one time everyone would have received some religious teaching as a child, and even if they didn’t believe in God, would at least have heard of Jesus, and God.

This shows that it’s even more important that those of us who do believe in Christ, continue to tell others, not just the reason we celebrate Christmas, but also that Jesus is our Saviour and our King all year round.

It’s a very said indictment on today’s world when so few children have even heard of Jesus, let alone recognise that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Him.

Christmas might be a time when we have fun giving and receiving gifts from our friends and family, but we must remember it’s our responsibility to remind the world the real reason for the season, otherwise Christ will be taken out of Christmas forever.

O Come Emmanuel by Paul Baloche

It can be difficult to feel hope when there is no joy in your life.

It can be hard to be patient when you’re going through a difficult time.

And although it can be just as difficult to trust God and be faithful during difficult times, it is actually then that we must trust Him must. God is always faithful to us, so because He has promised to always be there for us, we must be faithful to Him, even during the most difficult times of our lives.

As I’m sure I’ve said before, I’m not the most patient person, as so I regularly ask God to help me be more patient – I need to be patient with others and with God.

Join me in this prayer for patience:

Lord,

I come to you today, with many things on my mind – Help me to give them all to you.

I know I am not a patient person, so I seek your peace and your patience. Help me to learn how to wait patiently for your answers to my prayers. Help me to learn how to be patient with others, as I know I find that difficult and frustrating.

Help me to be more aware of my emotions and my attitudes. Remind me that it is me who has control over my emotions and attitudes that I show to the world. I am willing to learn to overcome every challenging situation I face so I ask you to help me to show patience and an even temper at all times.

I know I need your help and guidance to complete the plans you have for me. I know you will provide all I need to achieve your plans for me, and so I pray for your direction, guidance and patience.

Thank you Father for all you have already provided for me, and thank you for your promise to always be by my side and hear and answer all my prayers.

Amen

Waiting in vain – That sounds really desperate and pointless doesn’t it?

We should never think we’re waiting in vain when we’re waiting on God responding to our requests. After all God encourages us to be patient, because He will provide for us.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Just trust

Posted: December 11, 2019 in belief, life, planning, quotes, religion, trust
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It can be hard knowing there’s a plan in place for your future, but having to wait for that plan to kick into action can be difficult. That’s why when we trust God for our future, we also need to ask him to give us the patience we need wait for God’s plan to become evident.

If we trust God, God will provide all we need, when we need and from who we need. Just trust God!

Congratulations, you’ve made to at least 7:30pm on Tuesday 10 December 2019 – that’s the date/time this blog post was published!

Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you’ve seriously wondered whether you’d make it to today? Maybe you’ve had some serious or life threatening health issue, or have suffered a mental health issue that has caused you to think there was a very real chance you would not be alive today.

The good news is, you have made it to today, and the reason you are still here is because God wants you to be here. In fact, I’d go further than that by saying it suggests God still has a plan for you, as He’s got work He wants you to do.

God has planned our lives before us, so even if you feel there’s no hope for your future, God may well have a completely different plan for you. You are still here because you are God’s ‘work-in-progress’, so watch this space, you still have life to live!

Do you keep putting off doing specific things because you’re waiting from that ‘perfect moment’?

The problem with waiting for that ‘perfect moment’ is it may never come. Could it be that you’re waiting for certain conditions to be met which you know will never happen before you do that ‘thing’?

I’ve been reminded too often in this last while of how fragile life can be, so if you really want to do something, just do it, don’t keep waiting until the conditions are right, you’re life is in order, or you’re in the location you’d prefer, just do! We don’t know how much time we have on this earth, today may be our last, or we may have another 20, 30, …, 70 etc years left here.

Are you willing to take a chance that you’ll still get the time to say or do what you want to do in that ‘perfect moment’? I’m not, so just cease the moment and say or do it now, otherwise that moment may never happen.

In the run up to Christmas each year millions of pounds are spent on gifts. So in the last few weeks I, like many of you will have started to think about what gifts to buy my family and friends for Christmas this year. So out of curiosity I wondered how much on average we spend on Christmas presents each year, in the UK. It turns out that the figure varies dramatically depending on who you ask or where you look, but the average seems to range from between £350 to just under £1000!

Whether we are planning on spending anything like those amounts of money on gifts this year, or our budget is much less, the gifts we buy can still be fantastic and memorable for the receiver.

The most meaningful presents we receive might not come wrapped in shiny paper or frilly ribbons. They are often the ones that lift your spirit, brighten your day or trigger your imagination or memories. So I wonder what was the most memorable or best gift you have ever received for Christmas?

I decided to ask some of friends what was the best gift they ever received for Christmas. Here’s some of the answers I got.

  1. I would say for me it has to be between the laptop I got last year or the ps4 I got two years ago.
  2. I was given a gift bag filled with little stuff (a cd, stud earrings, a little book etc) that probably wasn’t worth much to anyone else. But each gift had a little post it note explaining why they’d brought that or what it was about the thing that had made them think of me. It was so thoughtful and made me feel special.
  3. A Levi red tab denim jacket I got when I was 12.  We didn’t buy or wear “things that had labels”. I remember sleeping in it in case my parents decided to return it. We also didn’t have masses of money and I had an idea that it must have been quite expensive. Honestly, best present ever – I still have it and I’m now 40! My nieces now fight over who gets to wear it as it’s now ‘vintage’.
  4. The huge big teddy bear I got when I was 7 – it was almost bigger than me – I still have him.
  5. A few years ago in my last job I had a really tough year because of a serious health problem but carried on working when I could. When I was in the office some of the guys would put bits of paper on my desk with positive quotes, and I loved that. Then that Christmas, one of them sent me a Happy Box – It’s a box containing lots of bits of paper with lots of positive quotes. So now whenever I am feeling low, I just open the box and take out one of the. And yes, it’s not solving my health problems but at least I always end up with a smile on my face.

Have you thought of the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

The real message of Christmas is not the gifts that we give to each other. Instead it is a reminder of the gift that God has given to each of us, the gift of Jesus. There is one final ‘best gift’ story from a friends that I want to share with you

  • My mother-in-law gave my family a stocking with the name “JESUS” written across it. Each year on Christmas morning my family writes a letter to Jesus and puts it into the stocking.
  • This is a tradition my husband and his family have been doing since he was little. They have yet to open and read any of these letters, but they are a constant reminder each year as we begin to decorate our tree and wrap our presents, that the greatest gift we have is Jesus.
  • This gift has guaranteed my family will take time to focus on the Lord during the festive season.

I was really touched this – the way they start each festive season by focusing on Jesus is such a great way to ensure they never forget the reason we celebrate Christmas.

2 Corinthians 9:15 (TPT)

Praise God for his astonishing gift, which is far too great for words!

The best Christmas gift we will ever receive isn’t a gift someone placed under a Christmas tree for us, but was a gift of great sacrifice, the best gift from God, of His Son, Jesus Christ, who came into this world in the simplest and humblest of surroundings.

Romans 6:23 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 5:11 (NIV)

This is the true testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in his Son.

This year as we look forward to opening the gifts we’ve received from our friends and family on Christmas morning, remember that no matter how great or meaningful those gifts may be, they will never be comparable to the best gift we can ever receive – God’s gift to us of his Son. So next time you’re asked what the greatest gift you’ve ever received is, I hope like me your answer is

‘Tis the Lord, O wondrous story!
‘Tis the Lord, the King of glory;
at his feet, we humbly fall,
crown him, crown him Lord of all!

It can be confusing trying to understand what the difference is between all the different coffees that are available in our coffee shops these days.

So when I came across the following picture, I realised I had to share it with you as it might just help clarify for you the difference between all the different coffees.

I hope this helps you!

 

Can you imagine what it must be like to not have any food in your house – Not because you haven’t had time to do the shopping yet, but because you haven’t go any money to buy food?

Sadly for many, that is exactly what life is like for them every day, which is so sad this day and age in the UK. In just under a week a general election will be held here in the UK, but as this news item on the BBC website yesterday, it’s clear that those who struggle to put food on their table, are completely fed up of all the promises the various political parties have made year after year that they will tackle poverty in this country and ensure everyone has a roof over their head and food to eat.

Here’s the BBC news article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/election-2019-50663879/general-election-2019-how-do-grimsby-s-food-bank-users-want-to-vote

The election next year however seems to be focusing so much on Brexit that it’s not really any surprise that those who struggle to put food on their table, are struggling to decide if they should bother to vote, and if they do, who they should vote for.

In this day and age, no-one should have to make choices about whether they heat their home, or eat each day. It’s not just the politicians that need to do something to help end poverty in this country, each of us who can afford to eat each day and heat our homes, can reach out and help those less fortunate than ourselves. We can make a different in so many peoples’ lives if we all just help one person!