Archive for the ‘music’ Category

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!

Praying our way through the day is equally as important as devoting set-apart time to prayer. I believe God wants us to offer up acknowledgments of Him, make requests, and offer thanksgivings throughout each day. Learn to let prayer be as comfortable as breathing!

~ Joyce Meyer Ministries

Praying shouldn’t be a chore, in fact it should be the complete opposite – It should be something we do naturally because we want to, rather than something we do just when we can fit it in to our busy lives.

Just as we always want to talk to our friends and family, so we should want to talk to God whenever we can. So pray each day about everything and anything, whenever and wherever you are. God hear every one of your prayers.

Christmas!

Having got to the start of December and feeling as if it couldn’t possibly be less than four weeks until Christmas, I am now beginning to feel as if Christmas isn’t too far away!

As many of you will know I’m a member of the Salvation Army – I attend the Bellshill Salvation Army and am a member of the band. So now we’re into December our Christmas carolling and other Christmas engagements are now in full swing.

So guess who has now got Christmas carols, and arrangements of band Christmas pieces going round their head every day now? Yes, that’ll be me!

There’s a couple of pieces in particular that I keep thinking about, but it’s Mary Did you Know? that has  particularly touched me this year. Here’s Pentatonix singing this beautiful song.

Imagine your life was in real danger, and just when you thought all hope of survival had gone, someone found you and rescued you from the danger you faced. You would be grateful to the person or people who saved you wouldn’t you?

It’s not just when your life is in physical danger that we can be in need of a rescuer, because let’s face it, life can get on top of us these days. I have been there. I’ve had some very dark times and felt I couldn’t face another day physically or emotionally, but someone kept telling me to keep going. God kept telling me to hang on because he was there for me, through it all. I may be in a better place these days, but I still have days when I find it physically and emotionally difficult, but the difference now is I have no doubts that God is with me. I know he is my rescuer and has saved me.

Came to My Rescue
Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek Your face
Lord all I am is is Yours

My whole life
I place in Your hands
God of mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at Your throne

I called You answered
And You came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where You are

In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high

When I think about the word ‘pieces’, I think of a jigsaw puzzle, or something broken into lots of individual parts. Our lives can sometimes feels as though it’s broken into many pieces when we’re having to deal with concerns or troubles in different areas of our lives. For example, maybe we’re having problems getting a job, or faces redundancy; maybe you or family members have health concerns; maybe you are struggling to pay your bills or find enough money to buy food for yourself and your family.

Whatever the issues or concerns you face, God keeps his promise to us to never turn his back on us, and to always love us. So give him all the pieces of your life, and God will accept them all, and help you with every part of your life.

Uncontrolled, uncontained, you love is a fire
Burning bright for me
It’s not just a spark , its not just a flame your love is a light
That all the world will see

A couple of weeks ago in Clear Out, I spoke about how we’d been clearing out desks and cupboards in our office. Well last week we moved from one floor in our building to another, all so the floor we were on could get a lick of paint and a new carpet.

Even the day before we had to be empty the floor we were on, we were still uncovering more papers/documents/items which no-one had claimed or gone through. We even came across some documents down the back of a cabinet from someone we didn’t know, who must have previously used the cupboard – we discovered the documents must have been there for a when one of my colleagues told us that she knew the person named in the document had left the organisation a number of years ago.

Once again this reminded me that sometimes, even when we say we’ve ‘cleared out’ all our troubles, all our concerns by giving them all to God, there is often still a few deep seated things that we hang onto and take with us.

Just as we sometimes have to dig deep into cupboards to clear out everything in them, so we have to dig deep into our lives and our hearts, and truly let go of all things which cause of pain or trouble us by giving them all to God.

Light is used to symbolise God, faith or holiness throughout scripture.

Restore us, O God, and cause Your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:3

Shine on us

Lord, let Your light
Light of Your face
Shine on us (repeat)

That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way
In the darkest night
Let your light shine on us

Lord, let your grace
Grace from Your hand
Come over us (repeat)

That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way
In the darkest night
Let Your grace come over us

Lord, let Your love
Love with no end
Come over us (repeat)

That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way
In the darkest night
Let Your love come over us
Let your grace fall on us
Let Your light shine on us

Shine on us, O Lord

When we’re lost, a light can be all we need to guide us to safety. When we’ve lost all hope, a light can be all we need to reassure us that there is hope for us.

Let God shine on us, today and every future day.

Light is used to symbolise God, faith or holiness throughout scripture.

For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

Psalm 18:28 (KJV)

A burning candle can light even the darkest of rooms. It can not just light a darkened room but can show those in the room what is around them, and can guide them to a place of safety and security.

God’s love is just like that – His love can brighten even the darkest of times. And if we trust him, he will guide us through those times to a place of safety in his loving arms.

Shine His light

Posted: November 20, 2019 in belief, bible, faith, life, love, music, quotes, religion
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Light is used to symbolise God, faith or holiness throughout scripture.

For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 13:47 (NIV)

When you’re at school, if a teacher asks you to do something, you should do it.

When you’re working and your line manager asks you to do a task, you should do it.

If you’re in a club and the person in charge asks you to do something, you should follow their directions.

God has given us an instruction in the above bible verse, to tell others about the love and peace that can be theirs if they give their heart to God. So just as we should do what other leaders in our lives, ask us to do, so we should follow God’s instructions to share His message with those we’re in contact with.

Are you shining God’s light to those around you?

Light is used to symbolise God, faith or holiness throughout scripture.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV)

You wouldn’t turn a light on in your house and then cover it with a thick blanket to stop the light from shining throughout the room. Therefore, when we know just how much God loves us, we shouldn’t hide that away either. Instead we should be sharing that knowledge with those around us. i.e. We need to shine God’s light in this dark world.