Not just New Year, but every day is a new beginning!

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Freedom? Seriously?

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It’s strange to me how many folks visualise Christianity as being restrictive – rules, laws etc. For an old testament Jew this may have been the case, but for me as a newly born Christian one of the most wonderful things about my salvation was the taste of true freedom.
How can this be?
Ponder the verse, “who throughout their lifetime were subject to the fear of death.” A fear of death is a great bondage from which we are freed on receiving Christ sacrifice for us – death becomes our friend, our celebration day, when we get to see Him face to face in eternal love.
Then there’s the verse, “take no thought for what you shall eat, or what you shall wear for after these things do the gentiles seek… your heavenly father knows you have need of them.” Jesus offers freedom from our economic systems (the greatest and most universal bondage known to man). Knowing, “God will supply our needs,” sets us free from these fears and bondage. That doesn’t mean you no longer work, but you work from a different motivation, realising God is the one taking care of your needs not your boss or business.
Another aspect of the in filling of the holy spirit is you cease to worry so much what people think. You cease to be a man pleaser. Knowing you have God’s unconditional love sets you free to be yourself, just little old you.
No wonder the Bible says, “He who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Every season has something special.

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Having lived a great part of my life in the tropics of south east Asia, where seasons are often barely discernable, I take great pleasure in the seasons of my homeland. It’s as if I hear God saying, “just incase they get bored.” lol!

Now winter is here my greatest pleasure is to catch the incredible morning skies from my balcony. In summer the sunrise is hidden by a large tree that blocks one side of my view, but in winter the sun moves across to give me the most glorious sunrises imaginable. The last few days they’ve been misted, milky, white. Needless to say the nearby lakes, with misty twilight glows of white, pink and turquoise are breathtaking. I have to pause every few minutes to take in the splenour and kick myself for not bringing my camera.

God, the supreme artist, is infinite in His diversity!

 

Where is Christmas found?

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Elusive, it seems to hide. Many have given up, reconciled to its lack. The magic has fled, an empty curnal, replaced by gifts, cheesy movies, and fluff. Many here can’t even remember it, born too late to experience its silent awe.

Like happiness you cannot capture by persuing, the perfect presents/ food/ party cannot not replicate the joy that used to well up, pervading dull winter with colour.

I’ve pondered this modern lack of “Christmassy feeling” so often lamented. My conclusion? I believe the atmosphere was generated from hearts full of joy at the saviors birth. Take Christ out of the picture (even replaced by the substituted Santa) and the heart and magic goes out of Christmas. We must find it in our hearts, in our loves, if we are to find it at all.

Drama and joy!

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This is especially true for us this Christmas as one of my daughters (the one hosting Christmas this year) was flung from her bike by a speeding car and taken to hospital. Thankfully being a devote of cycling she had protective clothing which probably saved her life. However the first news was she’d broken her back, fast on its heels, the spinal cord was OK (thank God!) However she was still in extreme pain and needed an operation to secure a piece of bone pressing on the nerves. After two days of postponement and anxiety for the whole family, the doctors announced they would first try to see if a back brace might aviod the surgery. A couple more days wait came and went (slowly) in which she still insisted she’d host Christmas from her bed (she had everything ahead of time and her husband is a great cook).

Then yesterday the wonderful news, the brace was working and she could return home. Not only that, but their cleaner is taking care of the house and her firm have a scheme whereby she gets free help at home till she recovers. So Christmas is on after all, to be presided over by my unsinkable daughter (and sacrificial hubby) from the livingroom couch. The best present we all recieved ever!

I guess the first Christmas was much like this.