Christmas Illumination.

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I’d heard this song many times, but this morning it spoke to my heart.

“Cast out our sin”… those secret sins hidden in the heart, pride, selfishness, arrogance, the ones we hide from all but Him.

“Enter in”… the habitation of Christ – the only way we can love the way He loves, His spirit in us. This may seem scary, to give free entrance to another, our will giving way to theirs (visions of “The exorcist”). But not with Christ, for “God is love”. His spirit is love, pure love bringing joy, peace and compassion for our fellow man.  It’s like having the one you are totally in love with, and whom you trust utterly, live within you, knowing you can never be parted and that He’ll defend and care for you, not only in this life but forever.

“Be born in us today.” We celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas, yet He can be born in our hearts every day, the Christmas miracle replayed many times over. I’ve long believed that was what He meant when He said, “greater things shall ye do because I go to the Father.” His power and love manifest in millions of hearts around the world. Only in this way can peace on earth truly come. Though we may be well meaning, our hearts are not pure enough without his spirit ( the hidden sins remain) and without His power we cannot defeat the evils of this world.

I rejoiced in the realisation that the miracle of Christmas can live in my heart every day – Christ with man.

Be still.

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I came across an old poem 

 

“I know an old house on a hill,

A mountain road, a grove, a rill,

And billowed hilltops stretching far

To sunset and evening star.

I take a path through glade and wood,

Deep drinking of its solitude,

And find a spot o’er reached and still

Where peace and poise the spirit fill.

The Master’s presence there is near,

The Master’s plan again is clear,

And far removed from work or strife

I re-appraise the worth of life.

Yet hill and outlook, glade and wood,

The time, the place, the solitude

Hold not the secret of the prayer

The secret place of anywhere.

It impressed on me the verse “Be still and know that I am God”. In this busy world folks often seem chasing a dream they can’t catch, or running from some intangible fear, how wonderful to be still, and in that stillness find the pervading strength and peace of God.

 

 

Surrender? It all depends what you surrender to!

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Surrendering to his base instincts he pulled the trigger,
Blood splattered pristine walls, lives ended.
Lives of endless suffering, of loss, of fear began in that moment.

Surrendering to her lover she gave herself to him in perfect love and trust.
From their union life sprang forth, a seed planted that day that would enrich lives forever.
Becoming one in love they each became complete, two became one and bore fruit.

Choose your “gods” wisely.
Surrender to the God of love, peace, joy, long suffering brings life.
Surrender to the god of pride brings hurt, suffering and ultimately death.
Let us not confuse the two, Satan is the god of pride, however well disguised, when we look upon others with disdain we surrender part to him, but “God is love” when we look on others with love, compassion, empathy we see through His eyes.
The greatest freedom is in total surrender to God – the right one!

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So many these days fail to appreciate silence. Some even seem afraid of it, or what will catch up will them in its tranquility.
TV/ phones, etc. continually spew forth as background noise, as if silence were an enemy that would devour them, minds constantly needing distraction, no peace within. Many seem to be running through life, ears blocked with headphones, afraid of the sound of silence, the stillness when the soul speaks.
I remember a time when man sat in tranquility, absorbing the silence, at one with nature. I wish my grandchildren to know this peace also.

Is Jesus crying this Christmas?

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wept

Strange as it may seem, I think he cries every Christmas. Sorrow taints his joy all year long to see the pain, the hate, the sickness, the want, but it must be particularly tough at Christmas.

Why you ask? Surely he rejoices in the love and kindness prevalent in the Christmas season’s “conspiracies of love”? Surely he’s made happy by the love and praises of his followers at this time of year?

I’m sure our individual deeds and remembrance of him bring great joy to him, but I think this time must also bring great sorrow, especially this year.

Why?

You see Christmas originally celebrates his coming to earth to be with us, to save us. He came and healed the sick, preached peace, sharing, love for all mankind. He fought the politicians and religious bigots of his day, embraced the poor, the outcasts, the dregs of society and won the victory on the cross so we could be free of the hate, the evil, the fear and hypocrisy. He did it all, he won for us.

Yet as he looks over this war torn world, the evils performed in the name of God/ politics/ greed it must break his heart. Mankind is not free. The same evil forces rule this earth, the four horsemen still ride. He gave us an opportunity to follow, to heal the sick, rescue the afflicted, to love. He gave us power to free the world of evil.

Instead slowly Christianity devolved into a religion, embraced the corruptions of “politics”. Seduced by pride, abandoned pure love and began to operate in the fleshly realm rather than the spiritual. It lost its power to free mankind from the hate and even in some awful episodes became part of that evil.

Given light, mankind chose darkness, chose, pride, greed, hate, some knowingly embracing the powers of darkness most simply deceived, pawns in the game.

I felt a strange sadness in the air this Christmas, the joy more restrained. Every Christmas I spend a day giving out tracts with a message of love. My goal? – to cheer hearts and make folks smile (especially the sad lonely looking ones) and give them each a present from my heart – a chance of peace, of healing, of love. This year was different, many folks were preoccupied as if in deep sadness. Instead of happy smiles and Christmas greetings they looked startled, the smiles coming more slowly as if they thought, “oh yes, it’s Christmas isn’t it.”

I’m sure it has a lot to do with all that’s happened in Paris/ Syria etc. It’s hard to be happy when you know others are in need, when your own world feels threatened. I yet believe in the good hearts of folks. Like that great statement about when distressed by the calamities of the world, wait for the volunteers to pour in (he said it better.) When bad stuff happens you find heroes, selfless souls who go to help.

Even so, like us, I think Jesus knows both joy and tears at Christmas.

to love and be loved

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mother love

The woman is at the heart of the home. Let us pray that we women realize the reason for our existence: to love and be loved and through this love become instruments of peace in the world.
—Mother Teresa

What a wonderful role to play!

I once heard  an interesting thought that the only way to really stop wars would be to put women into all positions of power hmmm…