Christmas is unstoppable!

Standard

Christmas cannot be stopped by rules and regulations. It’s been celebrated in prisoner of war camps, in gulags. Even in the death camps it was not forgotten. If anything, it was stronger. Stripped of the trimmings, the food and glitter, Christmas gives forth it’s pure message, that hope was born into the world. Alone into a dark place of foreign occupation, of poverty and heartbreak, hope was born.

Not yet the certainty, but the seed, a tiny baby yet to grow, yet to heal, comfort, and mend the broken hearts, to set the captives free. They couldn’t see it yet. As the song goes, “Mary did you know?” How could she know all that was to come to pass, the joy and the pain this life brings, but she believed. Stripped of its Santa’s and reindeer, the tinsel and holly, stripped even of the presence of those we love dearly, Christmas still stands unconquerable in all its hope and glory.

What a year it’s been!

Standard

I was watching my Christmas lights wink at me today from the comfort of my sofa. December always seems to go hand in hand with reminiscing. We reflect on the last 12 months, committing the highs to memory and banishing the lows to the year we leave behind.

Most, if not all of us, will be glad to see the back of 2020. The global pandemic and ensuing chaos has been challenging (to put it mildly). It’s safe to say no one has fully escaped its effects in one way or another. However, as 2020 draws to a close, I’m choosing to focus on some of the more positive outcomes we’ve seen. Communities have come together to support each other in tangible, unselfish ways. We’ve fed each other, clothed each other, and helped each other tackle these unprecedented times!

As December rolls in (and 2020 rolls out) I’m choosing to focus on the achievements of the year, rather than its pitfalls.

Perhaps the most significant (and in hindsight, ironic) personal milestone this year was seeing “When Falls the Night” come to fruition! I use ‘significant’ for obvious reasons – it’s been a lifelong goal of mine to publish a novel. When Falls the Night is the end product of decades of dabbling in creative writing (my hard drive can attest to this). Looking past my Christmas lights and seeing its cover binding among my other novels feels surreal – and empowering!

You’ll remember I used ‘ironic’ to describe publishing my book as well. Well, let’s be honest – there’s definitely been an apocalyptic undercurrent to this crazy year! We only have to look at our social media feeds to see the countless ‘zombie apocalypse meets Jumanji’ memes in circulation. Injecting a bit of humour into an otherwise difficult situation is always great – but ‘many a truth is spoken in jest’. This year has come eerily close to mirroring a lot of apocalyptic scenarios we’re used to only seeing on the big screen…

Or the pages of a book.

When I wrote ‘When Falls the Night’, it was important to me to accurately represent the grim reality of the post-apocalyptic world it features. However, I also wanted to convey a message of hope. That there IS life after death (whether literal or figurative). That we CAN rebuild ourselves and our communities. That tragedy can unite instead of divide us if we let it. That we can heal.

Healing and hope are gifts that everyone can offer. And while social distancing, tiers and restrictions may prevent us from imparting these in person, the power of the written word still stands. It’s why books have stood the test of the time, and are still one of the most popular gifts during the Christmas season when we’re all at home with time to reflect.

I started writing ‘When Falls the Night’ before I knew just how relevant it would become – and how soon! I’m now so thankful I was able to paint a picture of recovery from global (and personal) trauma. Reading back over it fills me with me hope for the future. Many of my readers have reached out and expressed the same.

If I could, I’d send every single reader a copy of my book right now. That’s how much I believe in its relevance to this year’s troubles and the coming year’s path to hope. And while it may not be conventional fireside reading (it’s pretty far from Charles Dickens), I’d like to think the reminder of God’s hand in our own through the darkest times is particularly relevant – and a gift that keeps on giving!

Before I sign off to collect my grandson from his Christmas Disco (another thing I’m thankful for, though never thought I’d need to be – support bubbles), I’ll include a link below for any of whose interest my musings might have piqued: (It’s on offer).

Back to staring at my Christmas lights lol!

Some wonderful news!

Standard

I checked this out with a Danish resident and not only has the intended draconian law been totally withdrawn, 6 ministers who knew it to be illegal have been sacked! Not mentioned here – it was in large part due to the actions of a Danish proffessor who said, “if one of my students proposed these action I would flunk them as they are clearly illegal.” It seems the government clearly overstepped the mark and has had to do a U turn on this. A real victory for civil liberties.

Also in the news a Portugise court has declared the PCR tests unreliable and unlawful to use to quarantine people. Two major victories in one day! Of course you probably wont find them on news media, but hopefully this will be a shot accross the bows for other governments seeking to use covid to enlarge their powers. Thank God for this glimmer of hope!

The best “shot” going.

Standard

Totally free. (no health insurance needed).

No adverse side effects whatsoever.

The best anti stress reliever on the market.

Purges, fear, anxiety, gloom, doom, and depression.

Reduces the effects of aging.

Has even been known to bring peace in the midst of war (see “Joyous Noel”)

Have you guessed it yet?

A genuine shot of Christmas!

I don’t of course mean the materialistic hustle for presents and party goods, but the joyful remembrance of the greatest gift of all, celebrated with those we love most. Strangely I suspect with all that’s transpired the past year, the chaos and fearmongering, the disturbing signs and most off all the separation from loved ones, this may be the truest celebration in years.

With a little help from my friends.

Standard

On Sunday we decided to bring both Christian zoom groups (all close friends) together to pray and hear from the Lord. Many of us were feeling anxious and confused by current events and needing direction.

One of the many things that really spoke to me was the message, “proclaim a fast”. I heard the Lord so clearly, “not a food fast, but a media fast”. I’d been concerned for a while that my “needing to stay abreast of things going on” had become a burden to my spirit. This was the confirmation.

I decided to do a complete fast for 3 days, no movies, documentaries, books, social media feeds, and most of all no news (I dropped TV at 13 and never resumed). By the end of the first day I was already convinced to make it permanent (at least the news and media feed parts).

I felt a huge burden shifted. I no longer had to struggle and fight to stay positive. My chanel to Jesus became so clear. His voice, so comforting and reassuring, cleansed away all fears and concerns. He was in control, no matter what, just as He always has been, my heart reasserted. It was so much easier to have faith when not battling all the negativity swamping the media. I hadn’t realised the extent of my “addiction”. Though I still spent an hour every morning in communion, I then spent up to two hours sometimes researching “important stuff” to stay abrest of the times. I’ve freed up so much time!

So no more. If the Lord wants me to be aware of some developement He can show me (God knows my kids have their fingers on the pulse in their various fields). No, there may be some called to politics etc. (Wilberforce comes to mind) but that is not me. I intend to “abide (firmly) in my calling” which is passing on things from Jesus, not the media, or even the various truth and liberty platforms, well meaning and essential as they are.

Dare I share this?

Standard

I don’t do politics. I do, do Bible. It has been my daily bread, living and breathing it for the past 40 plus years, since my miraculous encounter with Christ. Miracles and those sweet, whispered messages have been my daily fare, but I have to say, 2020 has set off every trip wire and rung every alarm bell in my Biblical surroundings.

I’ve tried to explain it, to look at other options, tell myself I’m overreacting, but nothing else makes sense. Why are governments worldwide making decisions that destroy their own economies? Why are powers behind the scenes stirring up civil strife and undermining the forces that would normally be used to contain it? Here in the UK, why did Boris Johnston undergo such a dramatic personality change that an old friend and MP publicly stated in the house of commons that “he sounded like he was reading from a script” and asked if perhaps someone was holding his baby for ransom (that part was said jokingly, but revealed how totally out of character Boris was acting.) Why also was a 2nd. Lockdown just voted in, in spite of the admission (when challenged by the former PM) that the projected figures on which the motion was based had been proved totally false, whereas there was evidence the tiered system was actually working. Most concerning of all why are all contrary opinions being silenced even those from eminent doctors and scientists (total censorship on social media etc.) and a law being passed giving power to government agencies to commit crime, kill and torture with impunity (there might be some explanation as to M15 but it names several agencies including even food production ???) All these things are factual, gleaned mostly from major news networks mostly the BBC website. More and more people are speaking out. If seeing these things makes me a “conspiracy theorist” then I’m in good company. Increasing numbers of eminent professionals, not only doctors and scientists, but now lawyers, MPs and even a police chief are speaking up. What is wrong with exposing a conspiracy anyway? Isn’t that a good thing?

So, how does all this fit with my Bible alarm bells? Unbelievable as it seems, and despite all my efforts to think to the contrary, it all fulfils prophecies in Mat 24, Revelations, and the book of Daniel. It’s too much to go into here (besides others do it better) but they all tell of a world leader who comes in peaceably with clever words and seems a benign, altruistic, figure, bringing into being a world government that “divides the spoils” with the poor, promising an end to poverty, peace and prosperity, solutions to a world in chaos (note the similarity to the recently discussed “reset” and the 2030 “Agenda for Sustainable Development”). However, this all comes with a price, surrender of individual rights, total control of the state, a one world government, a cashless society (with it’s 666 bar code) and ultimately the worship of this leader as God. The leader has yet to be revealed which is some comfort to me, as, till that and some other things happen, the worst will not come upon us. If you want something factual, Bible based, that actually soothes rather than alarms I highly recommend a friend’s book (“Let’s Look Forward” by Simon Bennet). Maybe I’ll even post it here in instalments. He is not out to make money, rather to help and comfort, so will be only too happy to share it for free. I really admire this guy!

I know many US Christians are pondering these same things, but there is one more thing I want to add, at risk of offending both sides of the political divide. I believe there to be two misconceptions. The first, that Jesus will come any day and deliver born again Christians from all this bad stuff to come. I sincerely hope and pray they are right, because frankly I’m not that much of a hero. However, with all my years of Bible study, I can’t fool myself on that one, there are several things that have to come to pass before that can happen. The word is pretty clear that Christ comes after the tribulation. I won’t argue the point here (‘cos I hope they are right lol!) Simon’s book “Let’s Look Forward” goes more thoroughly through Mat. 24 than I ever could and comes to the same conclusion (may we both be wrong).

The second misconception is about Trump. Setting his personality aside, some fundamentalists believe this election is a fight for Christian values v immorality, communism and ultimately an anti-Christ agenda. It’s not quite that simple. While I’d agree Trump is holding back many forces of evil, which will have far freer range worldwide if he is defeated, I don’t believe he’s a force of good.

There’s another main character, beside the Antichrist in revelations, the “whore of Babylon”. If you read the sections describing her what comes to mind? To mine comes the capitalist system itself (I know this is hard for most to swallow, but just read it with an open mind and you’ll see it.) It is this capitalistic system Trump represents which is at odds with the antichrist forces because they will destroy it.

So why am I sharing all this? Not to push my views on someone else, definitely not to debate (I hate arguments and avoid them at all costs), but because perhaps my little light may help someone else out there make sense of the darkness and find hope, in that, though those these dark times are predicted, Bible prophecy also tells of the happy ending, when finally the earth is governed by a truly just and benevolent leader – God himself!

Demo Dilemma.

Standard

Anyone else confused right now? I have friends and family on both sides of the divide, pro masks/ anti masks, pro vaccines/anti vaccines, pro lockdown extremists/active anti lockdown demonstrators.

I hold my own beliefs. – Covid is not a hoax (my daughter almost died of it). However, the word “hoax” could be applied to the “pandemic” labelling, and all the lockdowns and draconian measures etc. that sprang from that label.

For myself, I firmly believe my best protection is in staying close to the Lord (Ps 91). My choice would be to take extra care around the vulnerable, wash hands, stay inside if I have symptoms, and use common sense distancing etc. I wouldn’t use a mask unless I was forced to be at close quarters in an unventilated space – like a rush hour tube train.

The question comes though, what about people who have their faith in masks, doctors, vaccines etc.? Where do I draw the line between going along with things for their sake (do not stumble your brother for meat etc.) and standing up for rights and liberties which took thousands of years to gain?

Do I join my friends at the demos or stay home and pray no protestors (or police) will be hurt? I have little faith that protests will change anything, but they are important in showing a rising number of people object. Protests may slow the implementation of behind the scenes agendas.

I know this is a question many sincere Christians are asking themselves. I am not alone in that.

GOD’S NOT ANXIOUS

Standard

I love Ps 2. It’s such a comfort especially right now.

Heathen are raging, rulers council together against the Lord and His people. They want to break His bands, be free of His morality, set up their own kingdom.

 What does God do? He laughs! He goes on to deal with them, but first He laughs. Why?

He laughs because what they are trying to do is so futile in the grand scheme of things. He laughs because He has supreme confidence in the final outcome.

Standard

The search for peace amid these storms.

How can we find peace in the midst of any storm? Hide in a strong, safe, refuge, springs to mind, but what if we must go out into the storm, perhaps to find our way or to rescue a loved one? Perhaps we feel called to venture out into the maelstrom to guide others to safety, perhaps it is our job. Suppose we didn’t see the storm coming and were taken unawares? The answer is, hold onto (or shelter beneath) something stronger than you, something that cannot be moved. Put your hand into the hand of God.

Having lived many years in the tropics, I know something about storms, typhoons, and hurricanes. I know their dangers. Anything not tied down can become a hazard, trees smash cars and buildings, road signs become deadly weapons. I know also, though tumultuous winds surround, in the eye of the storm there is peace.

It’s not usually the wind in itself that is deadly, but rather the things it acts on, the flying/falling objects. With the wind comes water, flooding and, at its most deadly, mudslides which can bury a whole village in a matter of minutes.

I see so many parallels in the “storm” besetting the world right now. The virus, like a mighty wind, sweeps the nations, but that is not the greatest danger. Like the wind, of itself it accounts for very few mortalities in the grand scheme of things. It is the things it is affecting wherein lie the true danger. Guideposts, meant to show us the way, too ridged to bend with the wind, become spears and javelins. Ancient oaks, monuments to time honoured history, become unrooted and fall on vehicles intended to convey us to safety. More and more mud is loosened by the relentless deluge of lies, slander, accusations and general mudslinging, till finally it cascades down enveloping all beneath.

It is time to grasp the hand of God and let Him lead us safely through the tumult to the eye of the storm, where we can find inner peace though chaos reigns about us.