Archive for the ‘birthday’ Category

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.

I’ve been curious what others consider to be their ‘best gift’ so have been looking at other people’s stories about their ‘best gifts’, so here’s one I want to share with you.

I volunteer at San Quentin State Prison and spend many days there including my 50th birthday. At the time, I was working with a group of men on a radio project. We were being interviewed and the reporter asked us about the sounds of San Quentin. There was talk of alarms, sounds of the shower, voices out on the yard and then one of the men said, ‘But the best sound of all is …’ and they broke in to a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday. It was lovely and emotional and I knew at that moment I found the work I wanted to dedicate the second part of my life to. ~ Artist and podcast host Nigel Poor

Sometimes the most precious of gifts will come from the most unexpected of sources, as it did for this person. So always expect the unexpected, as these moments may be some of the most precious you will experience.

Some things in our lives can’t be predicted: exactly when we’ll be born, or exactly when we’ll die. Even what happens to us in between those two life events isn’t really predictable as it’s only as we grow and learn that our personality is shaped, and we make choice that then start to define where and what our future will hold.

I must when I’m starting something, I like to know what the possible outcomes are, as I’m not very comfortable with uncertainty. Which is odd isn’t it because the whole of life is filled with uncertainty!

Maybe it’s because for me, the uncertainty about life and what lies ahead seems different from the uncertainty about taking on a task, because I know my future is already known to God, and so my future is already planned. Therefore no matter what lies ahead, I know God is already prepared for it, and is ready to help and guide me through whatever storms I may face.

Life may not be predictable, but God’s presence and His love for us is!

On Monday we celebrated the birth of Jesus. That was such great news over 2000 years ago when Jesus was born, but is it still good news today in 2017?

Most of us will have celebrated Christmas is some way over these last few weeks, whether it was spending Christmas Day with your family, going out to an office party, giving or receiving gifts, carolling or attending a church carol service, going for lunch with your work colleagues. But on Christmas Day, did you take some time to celebrate the good news that Christ is alive?

Good news, great joy for all
Melody breaks through the silence
Christ, the Saviour is born!

When a child is born, it’s the beginning of a new life, both for the child itself and also for its parents as they adapt to their new family life. But just as the knowledge and belief that Christ was born on Christmas day can allow us to find new life in Him, it can also let us start a new life, be born again, any time.

So this Christmas, as we look forward to the future and next year, why not give your heart to Him today and be born again.

O Come Be Born Again by Jennifer Martin

Baby born in Bethlehem
Come be born in me again
Since You don’t mind dirty stables
Here’s my heart not fit or able
To receive such majesty
Still, You humbly come to me

Chosen One who chose to be
Suff’ring Savior, Servant King
Since You don’t despise the broken
Here’s my life laid bare and open
To receive Your mercy
As Your Spirit calls to me

All who struggle, all who sin
Come and become born again
Come and lay your heavy burdens
At the cross where all’s forgiven
At His feet new life begins
Come, O sinner, enter in

MerryChristmas

I’m not sure how many people will read this blog post as it’s Christmas day and most will busy with your family, eating, giving and receiving gifts, and celebrating Christmas. But if you are reading this let me wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas!

Christmas is time for family and friends, joy and celebration, but is it that for everyone? Sadly there will be many today who are alone, mourning the loss of a love one who have passed away or homeless. There are also those who may have thire family with them, but didn’t have enough money to buy any gifts or even buy a meal for them today.

So today as you celebrate, I ask you to take a few minutes out from your celebrations and pray for those who are finding today very difficult.

Enjoy your Christmas, and enjoy making new memories with your family today.

Merry Christmas!

Santa’s prayer

Posted: December 24, 2017 in belief, birthday, Christmas, grace, heart, life, love, religion, words
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Ever wondered what Santa thinks about the real reason we celebrate Christmas? Well here’s a prayer from Santa about just that, it’s beautiful.

My dear precious Jesus, I did not mean to take your place,
I only bring toys and things and you bring love and grace.
People give me lists of wishes and hope that they came true;
But you hear prayers of the heart and promise your will to do.
Children try to be good and not to cry when I am coming to town;
But you love them unconditionally and that love will abound.
I leave only a bag of toys and temporary joy for a season;
But you leave a heart of love, full of purpose and reasons.
I have a lot of believers and what one might call fame;
But I never healed the blind or tried to help the lame.
I have rosy cheeks and a voice full of laughter;
But no nail—scarred hands or a promise of the hereafter.
You may find several of me in town or at a mall;
But there is only one omnipotent you, to answer a sinner’s call.
And so, my dear precious Jesus, I kneel here to pray;
To worship and adore you on this, your holy birthday.

So celebrate this night when Santa comes to visit, but also remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Christmas is a time for family

Christmas is a time for celebrating

Christmas is a time for giving

Christmas is a time for parties

Christmas is a time for loving one another

Christmas is time for Christ

Is Christmas a time for Christ, for you?

I’ve heard a few conversations recently about Christmas, and have been disappointed that just about all these conversations have been about the commercial side of Christmas rather than about Christ. These conversations have been about buying gifts, partying and drinking to excess then suffering hangovers as a result, eating to excess, spending time with family – some complaining about the stress involved with this, time off work, to name a few of the things that were discussed.

What I personally don’t get is why, particularly at this time of year, people want to drink to excess and become so drunk that they can’t remember much, if anything, about their night out, and then feel really ill the next day or two!

no christ no christmasWhere is Christ in all of this, and all these conversations?

Even when someone in the discussion mentioned church or chapel, it was talked about as if it is a chore as going to church/chapel at Christmas is only done out of duty, not because they want to celebrate the reason for the season.

Please don’t get too caught up in partying and presents this Christmas, that you forget that if Christ hadn’t been born, there would be no CHRISTmas!

Last week I read a survey where they asked a number of school children who was the person behind Christmas. If I’m honest I was not only surprised but disappointed in the results as the majority of those asked, said Christmas was all about Santa!

As part of the survey, they also asked the children if they knew who Jesus was. Sadly many of them said they had never heard of Christ.

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

Christmas is not only a time for having fun with our family and friends, giving and receiving gifts, but more importantly it is about the birth of Jesus.

We must remind the world the real reason for the season, otherwise Christ will be taken out of Christmas forever.

…or is it?

We celebrated Christmas Day last Sunday, but what were we actually celebrating? Giving and receiving gifts from family and friends, holidays, time of work?

We probably all enjoyed those things over the last week as we’ve celebrated Christmas, but did we stop to remember Christ in amongst out celebrations?

christmas-presenceChristmas only happens because Christ came to earth over 2000 years ago. However although we celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas Day, He is looking for us to give our life to Him and then serve Him every day of the year, not just on Christmas Day.

Christ is there for us 365 days a year, so while Christmas Day may be over, don’t forget about Christ until Christmas Day 2017, as He wants you every day!

What better way to describe Christmas night than as a Holy Night. Maybe that’s why O Holy Night is another of my favourite carols, as it simply reminds us of the wonder that is Christmas:

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

We do live in ‘a weary world’ these days don’t we, so did you ‘fall on your knees’ before God this Christmas, and promise to help tell the world of God’s love in this coming year?

I pray that we can help remind this world that we can share in a ‘new and glorious morn‘ where ‘all oppression shall cease‘ and we ‘love one another‘ if we put our trust in God.