Festive Disaster?

It’s Christmas in Australia, and instead of getting hot like it is supposed to this weekend there have been a few lovely days and then some significant storms… Now normally this wouldn’t bother me that much, but this time I have concerns, perhaps petty and small, but still concerns…

Last week, I decided that Russ, my car would appreciate some assistance getting in to the Christmas spirit, so I added some antlers and a big red nose. And even though Dave thinks he looks still and wrong, I think he looks cute… and hey if there is Christmas music pumping on the inside it only seems right to have Christmas on the outside too.

When I first put the antlers and nose on it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, but now it is not… and the thing that has my curiosity going is this…

If I am in a big storm… am I more likely to be hit by lightening with these antlers?
And if so… what are the chances?

Now, I know I am often a little dramatic and over the top, but I am actually a little concerned about this, travelling out in the open could be risky… and what happens if it does… I have seen an episode for myth busters on a similar theme and lets just say it didn’t end well for the dummy. I am hoping that I will be ok, but it appears that there will be one more big storm before Christmas, so I am just wondering how worried should I be?

Thanks,

The slightly dramatic Curious George.

The Wise Fellas

 

Matthew 2:1-2, 10-11 (NIV)
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

 

The Shepherd Boys

I thought it might be nice to share some meaning behind my next few posts.

This year for the month of December, well the first 25 days at least, I thought I would spread some Christmas cheer by instagraming some of my Christmas decorations, which I must admit has been fun. But as the day gets closer, I thought rather than my tree decorations I would share some of my house decorations… mostly the nativity scene. The reason for this is mainly selfish, but hopefully you will find something in it to. I find it so easy at this time of year to get caught up in the Christmas drama and often, although I am ashamed to admit it, I forget to spend time thinking of the real meaning of Christmas.

So as a way of helping me focus, for the next couple of Days, 7 to be precise, I am going to post a picture of part of my nativity scene and some scripture explaining its significance. They won’t be long, and there may even be other posts in between, but I just thought it might be nice way of bringing it all back to where it belongs… So here is the first one…

 

 

Luke 2:8-12, 15 (NIV)
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 

Really listening

Tonight at church we had our annual carols service. This service is a particular favourite of mine as it brings everyone together and it is always a lot of fun. Tonight was particularly special as I got to be involved in a number of different items, in fact some may say that last night I preformed the triple threat… Dancing with my timbrel girls, Singing with 6pm group and acting as part of Benny’s dramas. It was a lot of fun, and with a vocal number from my favourite group of singing sisters, it was a bit magical too. But this blog isn’t actually about the carols service, but it does give me a nice little segue to my blogging topic… as it is about carols…

One thing that has really hit me this Christmas is the words of the carols. I think for so long I have just been playing, singing and listening to the carols that there meaning had become lost, but a little while ago, actually back in November I was driving between sites at work listening to my Christmas playlist and O Holy Night come on and the words of this really beautiful carol really hit me.

I think it was the first time, perhaps ever with this song, that I had actually take the time to really hear the lyrics as I listened… this is unusual for me as I am actually really into lyrics… I am constantly annoying Dave with songs I want him to listen to the words of, so I was almost shocked that I had never noticed before. Or perhaps I had noticed, and I did know the words but I hadn’t fully comprehended their meaning until that moment in the car. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the lyrics… check them out…

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 soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

It is such a refreshing version of the Christmas story… a reminder of what actually happened and more importantly what it means for the world. I think some of the lines that hit me hardest were:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

And I think that the reason these words hit me so hard were that the words are still true today. We still live in a world that pines for something better than the sin and error that we live in daily, yet we can’t experience that ‘thrill of hope’ which makes our tired and worn out souls rejoice until we allow ourselves to understand the worth of the Christmas story and God’s sacrifice of his son. But I guess what excites me most is that when we know its worth… there is a new and glorious day waiting for us, one of love, forgiveness, peace, hope and joy and that is the reason for all of this.

I guess it is so easy to forget and get caught up in Christmas as a commercial event, one which even without its true meaning can be a satisfying time to stop and appreciate family, friends and loved ones. But it’s so much better when the true joy and hope of Christmas helps the weary soul to rejoice… it’s the way it was meant to be… in fact when I think about the real reason I celebrate, all the other things that make Christmas exhausting seem to fade into insignificance.

I guess the reason that I post this today is to serve as a reminder… mostly for myself, that I need to make sure I have my focus right as the next week get a little hectic.

I’m Dreaming of a White Chirstmas…

It’s snowing on my blog… yep snowing… why because it’s the only way an Australian girl like me can have a white Christmas… Don’t get me wrong I love having a hot Christmas… when the weather decides to do it’s bit, but I guess being a sucker for all things fairytale like the idea of a white Christmas is a bit magical!

So I just thought I would write this little post so that you could all come here and enjoy the white Christmas too…

Boundless Salvation

Commissioning is a massive Salvofest and being the salvo junkie I am, I love it… almost every minute of it.  Yesterday as part of this year’s commissioning service we sang my favourite army song.  It’s one that lots of people tolerate and often don’t enjoy, mainly because it has seven verses, seven long verses.  And the salvos that read this will probably already know what song I am talking about, but I really love it.  The song is called ‘O Boundless Salvation’ and is commonly referred to as the ‘founder’s song’ and I have loved it from the moment I first heard it a number of years ago… I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that the words reflect so much of my experience, in fact I would probably go so far as to say it’s my testimony written by someone else.

So I thought that today I would put up the verses that ring most true to me as an ongoing reminder of where I have come from and where I want to be going… so that perhaps when I look back at this in years to come I will be able to give myself either a pat on the back or a kick in the pants…  chances are though in years to come the words will still ring true…

Verse 4:
Now tossed with temptation,
then haunted with fears,
My life has been joyless and useless for years;
I feel something better most surely would be
If once thy pure waters,
if once thy pure waters,
If once thy pure waters would roll over me.

Verse 6:
The tide is now flowing,
I’m touching the wave,
I hear the loud call of the Mighty to Save;
My faith’s growing bolder, delivered I’ll be;
I plunge ’neath the waters, I plunge ’neath the waters,
I plunge ’neath the waters they roll over me.

Verse 7:
And now, hallelujah! the rest of my days
Shall gladly be spent in promoting His praise
Who opened His bosom to pour out this sea
Of boundless salvation, of boundless salvation,
Of boundless salvation for you and for me.

December

Wow… this year has flown… I know everybody says that, but it really does feel like just yesterday when I was madly planning a wedding, settling into a relatively new job and waiting waiting waiting to marry my prince charming… but now that’s all done…  and while this confuses me, I figure if I actually stop to think about it, I will most likely miss the rest of the year because in case you hadn’t noticed… it’s December…

For me this means a few things…

1.  I can now play Christmas carols when ever and where ever I feel like it.  Previously I had been restricted to when I was alone or in my car so that Dave didn’t get too sick of them, but now that its officially Christmas… too bad… the carols will play.

2.  I will no longer be shunned… stared at… or called strange names when I tell people I have my Christmas tree up, because it’s December and its supposed to be up!

3.  My advent calendar is staring me down when I get up in the morning filled with chocolately goodness.

4.  I now have a really good excuse to watch all my favourite Christmas movies again…

I really love Christmas… like seriously love it… and I am so glad that it is here.  I know for lots of people Christmas isn’t a happy time, but there is just something about it that seems to make me happy, almost giddy happy on the inside… So from now on… until mid Jan… I am going to love everything Christmassy I can.