Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas. Sixth day.

Today is a day of parting.
Sweet son leaving,
resuming his grown-up adult life.
We miss his joy-giving presence.
Now we adjust once more
to long-distance relationship.

I wonder, did shepherds return
to that scene of joy
amidst the squalor? Could they bear
to leave Him behind? Or
did they carry him in their hearts?

Christmas. Fifth day. A word for 2014: joy!

I am wondering if my word for this year should be joy, in the hope that I will experience it more this year. 
Michelle LaChapell had written an interesting post: she says

"all of us long to be the apple in someone’s eye, or experience moments of consolation after long desolate journeys. We were actually made to crave it and be nourished by it - by JOY. That is what gives us the strength to journey on and live the life we were made to live. It’s what helps life make sense. And, while joy is built through relationship with others, it is ultimately built through our relationship with God. Joy grows between us and God through shared moments. It happens as we set our eyes on him and find his smile. Over time we develop an ongoing sense of well-being learned through the goodness of God."

Mary had that Joy. Would
that have been her baby's name
had the child been born a girl?
As Jesus grew, did she gain joy
through every precious shared moment?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas. Fourth day.

Bittersweet are the days after.
Celebration tinged with sadness.
A gift of myrrh is like a portent of death.
Could have been a shroud. Or a coffin.
How did Mary live with that knowledge in her heart?
I too feel this grief in these dark days after.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas. Third day.

On the third day, we turn to faith.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)

The Message says: The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. 

The excitement of Christmas Day has come - but not gone. For this is just the beginning.

We know the earthly end of His Story - but what does our 'faith' mean?

Faith means
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord i
n the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart 
and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13 - 14)

Philippians explains our confidence so beautifully:
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

Verse 14 says: the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah...There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (NIV, The Message)

This is our faith. God and Jesus. Faithful to us.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas. Second day.

Together. Yet alone.
Mary and Joseph. Together with Jesus.
No relatives to take them in, so they had to find shelter on their own.
A common stable where they had to stay: together with the animals.
We don't hear of relatives visiting: only rough, uncouth shepherds. Lonely, self-sufficient men who spent much time alone, away from society.
And then there were the foreigners. Did Mary and Joseph understand a word they said?
What strength they must have found in being together. A family.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado

I am reviewing this for Booksneeze, which generously gave me a free copy for my Kindle. I'm in the middle of turbulent times as it is, but this is a book I have already reread and will do so again.

In his typical fashion, Max Lucado writes with grace and truth, combining words and phrases with such elegance that wisdom seeps out through them almost unnoticed. His message is simple: you’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good...With God’s help you will get through this.

The book is based on Joseph’s life – with encouragement from other Bible stories thrown in for good measure. Max Lucado reminds us of eternal truths: that, whatever else is taken from us: health, wealth, relationships...we cannot lose our destiny as loved children of an almighty God.

Neither should we try to escape from God, recognising that God can use our difficulties to test our faith and train us, like children. Patience can be learned through waiting; an attitude of gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. We CAN rely on God.

Lucado tackles those difficult questions: is God good, even when life isn't? How can I find healing? Where can I find forgiveness in me?Can I ever forgive...? How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

Each chapter in itself could have been a book. There are, as we discover near the end of this book, no easy answers. Max Lucado offers a little encouragement along the way: not to give up hope. The book is an effortless read because the style is so easy, but it is not undemanding. Some phrases, some chapters will annoy you. Stop there, and consider why. Use the discussion questions at the back. Pray. Pause. Reflect. Let God speak truth into your life through these little challenges: stay with Him, and find help and healing along the way.
I review for BookSneeze®
Product Details

Christmas. First day.

I want to see God move in unexpected ways.
When Mary and Joseph took Jesus, as their first-born son, to be dedicated at the temple, they met an old man named Simeon.
"In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:
God, you can now release your servant;
    release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
    it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
    and of glory for your people Israel.
Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,
This child marks both the failure and
    the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
    the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
    as God reveals who they really are." (Luke 2:25 - 32)
Simeon saw not just a baby; he saw who the baby truly was and would become: a man of God who would bring peace between all men and God. Simeon’s years of faithful prayer and devotion to God had resulted in a deep-held conviction that he would see the Messiah, the king who God had promised would come to save Israel. Perhaps Simeon was surprised to find himself declaring that this was not only Israel’s saviour, but would bring the light of understanding to non-Jews as well.
We, too, often pray with firmly held beliefs in God’s power and promises, often with specific requests and answers in mind. Sometimes we may even have a deep knowledge of how God is going to answer our prayers. Most importantly, let us follow Simeon’s example, learning to look at God and see Him for who He is, with a sense of expectation in our hearts.

Lord Jesus, open my eyes and heart to truly see you in all your glory. To see you when my eyes have no hope in them and my heart is hurting; to see you when life is good and I am happy. Keepme looking, Lord. Amen.

Written for Bob Rasmussen at 42 days of expectation

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


This was the beginning
of a life of wonder.

There had to be something
very special
about a child whose birth was announced
by heavenly beings.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas comes...

Thousands visited HTB Church, the home of Alpha, in London for the Alternative Carols event with special musical guests and a stirring Christmas message from TV Adventurer Bear Grylls.
As a former guest of Alpha, Bear shared personally about his faith with a message first published in a waterproof Bible, issued to New Zealand Defence Force recruits earlier this year:
When we pursue an adventurous path through life, inevitably we are going to have moments of hardship, doubt, struggle and pain.
He continued, 'For me, my simple faith has so often brought light to a dark path, joy to a cold mountain and strength to a failing body... Jesus said: I have come so that you may have life, and have it abundantly. It's about a friendship, not an institution.

Advent. Grace.

Christmas: in its own way

We know what happened.
Our traditions are familiar.
Routines are kept from year to year.

Today, I was surprised by joy.
An unexpected gift has so gladdened my heart
that I cannot stop smiling.

Was it not so with Your coming?
YOU were expected, yet
we were astonished by the manner of your birth.

The warming of my heart
from those anonymous flowers
reminds me of Your grace.

Unexpected. Unmerited. Freely given.
Pure delight.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Advent. Connection.

In the heart of every man/woman/boy/girl
in the heart of every one
there is such a deep longing
that its depth cannot be measured.

We miss You.
We miss Your presence
with us
in us
beside us
alongside us.

May we know
You in our lives

Today. Tomorrow. Every day.

Advent. Rejection?

The time is coming. All creation
groans in anticipation
of Your return.

Yet it has already happened. Your
birth, noticed but not accepted
by those who 'matter'.

An evil king sought to destroy
the promised One. We recognise
his motivation.

But what of all those priests and teachers?
Did they not believe the Scriptures?
The written word?

Sometimes I, too, doubt Your promises.
Your words run over my soul
without soaking in.

May I know with deep deep certainty
that the tension in the waiting
is real. You come.

Advent. Welcome.

In the gathering of Your people
there were many friends.
Familiar faces
sprinkled around
the building we call church.

After hearing of your gift of love
and singing songs to welcome You
my heart rejoiced,
connecting with
dearly loved companions.

In the gathering of Your church
there were many strangers.
Friends I did not know.
Between conversations,
I stopped to talk.

In these random, unplanned, link-ups
I met searching hearts.
Feet, unknowing
had brought them here
to hear Your good news.

In the gathering of Your followers
I searched for old friends,
but found myself
stretched out to meet
new acquaintances.

I have a simple prayer.
That those who do not know
the joy of being
loved by You
knew Love last night.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Advent. Watching.

Once, there were shepherds.
Keeping guard with vigilance,
as if over prison inmates.

A job quietly,
so unobtrusively done.
Accepting of a humble life.

When they were alone
on that dark, lonely hillside
did they remember prophecies?

Living simple lives
of hardship and solitude
there was only obedience.

May I too keep guard
against selfishness and greed
so I, perhaps, might hear angels.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Advent. The Beginning.

Just a few days more. Christmas arrives.
Our celebration that the King has come.
Mary waited long for Jesus, but
this was just the Beginning of his time.

When a child is born, we look forward
to each new step in life development.
Smiling and laughing, walking, talking,
new teeth, learning, ever-growing, changing.

Christmas is not an end in itself,
but the start of a wonderful journey
in life with Jesus, talking, walking,
as new hearts turn towards the Lord of life.

As Jesus grew in stature, wisdom,
in family, with friends, community,
so we, too, continue in his steps
learning to live life and love as he did.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Advent. Familiarity.

Christmas ornaments
surround me 
with their familiarity.

Cherished memories
shout from the tree,
nestling in my heart.

Long-established routines
remind me
of their presence and demands.

The Christmas message
Christ child coming
has become too comfortable.

Oh Lord, may I never
lose the wonder
of your audacious love.

Shock my heart, open my mind
to  see and feel
this marvel beyond understanding.

My tongue is stilled
in wonder
at this unimaginable event.

Advent. Seeking.

Deep in my longing heart,
constantly, continually,
I seek Him.

Deep in the busyness
of a hectic life,
I seek Him.

Smothered underneath
my Christmas shopping
I search for Him.

Hidden among
familiar carols
I listen.

Beneath the fluster
of decorations
I glimpse Him.

Stilling my heart
in the midst of hurry
I find Him.

Wise men still seek Him.
I AM wise when I
stop to look.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Advent. Confusion.

In the dark of silence and waiting
my heart flutters
with second-guessing and anxiety.

In this eager time, looking forward
to Your coming
I am set about, bothered, hard-pressed.

As I strive to follow your calling
I realise
I fail. Over and over again.

I slip and slide backwards, not ever
achieving 'goodness'.
You have done that. You save me from myself.

Perhaps, then, preparing my heart today
just rests alone
on giving all my needs, wants, rights...to You.

Looking to You, stills my anxious heart and
dispels confusion.
You ARE my lord and I am your servant.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Advent. Success.

Straining ahead, ever looking forward
to achieve, we run, walk, stumble, crawl
life's race.

This season, even so much more.

And I wonder, on that journey so far
to Bethlehem, how did Mary think, dream, ponder
her aims?

That season, waiting for her child?

Surely she, beautiful with God's grace
and blessing, went heart-skipping, soul-dancing

That season, resting in his love.

So I take heart, on this God-given day,
with hope, and faith and love,
I laugh.

This season, I smile at the future.

I leave all behind, for that which truly matters
for success, can not be striven for

This season, God is my Saviour

and Heather Rasmussen says:
Scripture: "He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."(Psalm 91:5)

"...we need expectation in our God. We wait on Him for life. We are going through the winter season, which visually teaches us something spiritual. When everything is dark and cold, it is the Christmas lights and the home stove fires that we draw near to--the comforting warmth. This teaches us that during spiritually dark times we need a light from God. A light of hope, deliverance from the darkness. The light that keeps our spiritual blood pumping. Our God is called creator, healer, protector, provider, and many others. ...our one God, has many names, all of which will assure that He will meet our needs, the aches within us, and our struggles. One of his names will provide for that need and be a balm for that wound.

The name of God I'm going to focus on is Yeshua. Yeshua in Hebrew is verbal derivative from "to rescue", "to deliver" (Brown, Driver,Briggs Hebrew and English lexicon). In Psalm 91 God says of us, His children, "He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."

It is God's character to rescue us, HIS children. Since the moment before he created the world, your name was in his Spirit--to be his child, his possession, a part of him, a part of his blood veins. You are in his mind and heart, and he will rescue you. I want to propose to you, in addition to the obvious way of rescuing, delivering, which is also included- a couple different 'out of the box' ways that God wants to be Yeshua to you.

1) Sometimes he wants to be quiet in the moment with us, in trust, and his companionship rescues us.
2) Sometimes in a painful moment he wants us to acknowledge him, and welcome him to share it with us--and sharing rescues us.
3) Sometimes he wants to tangibly, physically deliver us and rescue us. And in this instance he is showing us his mighty, rescuing, championing God-self where his character and actions deliver us.

Yeshua is our deliverer. Yeshua is our friend. He's our Lord. He is walking this life with us.

And just to enhance, to seal, to assure our trust in him, our friend David who wrote the Psalms that so many of us bleed with, who always calls out to Yeshua over and over for rescuing, help, answers, with a bleeding heart—just like the spirit of so many of us. Well, we hear David, as an old man, when all his life has passed, when he is looking behind him at the path he has walked, stumbled, climbed and run with the Lord, we hear him say this on his DEATHBED, included in an oath he gave his wife: "the Lord, who has delivered me from EVERY trouble," (1 Kings 1:29) and he continues his oath to her. The Lord will always rescue us. His name is Yeshua.

Advent. Light.

In the midst of the darkness,
hearts craving for light,
we hear You.

You call to us from above,
sending THAT bright star
to tell us.

Your light comes into our world,
giving us such hope
in our gloom.

You, Lord, are the One who saves.
Our eyes are dazzled
by your brightness.

Now we can see by Your light
there is no return
to darkness.

Hearts steadfast on you
lead sombre thoughts
out of sorrow.

In the midst of the darkness
our soul eyes see you:
we rejoice.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Advent. Darkness

In the darkness
of the late afternoon
a heavy sadness
comes upon my soul.

This Advent is a lonely time.

Loved ones so far:
my heart longs to see them.
I am so burdened
by this sense of distance.

This Advent, I long for peace.

Mary, without
mother, sisters or friends
waited all alone
for the coming babe.

This Advent is a waiting game.

In the darkness
of the late afternoon
I give Him my pain
and look up with thanks.

This Advent will be a joyful time.

I keep my eyes
fixed hopefully on Him
who is my Saviour
in these troubled days.

This Advent, I choose to praise.

Louie speaks of waiting.  Lisa writes so beautifully of waiting in the dark:

There is a time
in that long last hour
we begin to believe
it will always
be night

In the spreading pool of dark
there is a silence
so profound
it carries

And cold?
It fills us

Immobilized by
this invading
lack of

We are numb

Speak to the night
my heart

Speak to the night
a word of hope

This bitter blackness
This copious and
convincing cold

Will not
Shall not

Hold on
to this


-lisa, 15 December, 2013

Saturday, 14 December 2013


Seeking true meaning
I am enthralled
by others' words.

Bob's "42 Days 
of Expectation"
offers such nuggets.

Day One: Jesus is alive and active every day. He is always intervening in our lives through the Holy Spirit. He provides and protects in ways we sometimes fail to notice. Our desire in these days of journeying together is to heighten our awareness and stay alert to what He is doing. We want God to be pleased by our attentiveness to His kindness. Let’s stay awake and watch!
And so, my hope is to see God's glory in my life.

Day Two: “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life” (Prov. 22:4)
God calls us to keep our focus on Him. Walking humbly with God is always appropriate for any season. The people in our lives are a priority worthy of our time. Listening to God and to others is the best gift we can give.
Our prayer is to stay mindful of His presence. May we not be tempted by any plan or purchase which would dethrone Him. 
Hebrews 12:2 - my 'go to' verse: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...

Day Four: Dec 13, Meeting God in solitude
Scripture: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk. 2:19).
Joseph and Mary were in the middle of the greatest and toughest transition in their lives. Think of it: A visitation from an angel. A prophecy of a virgin birth. Arduous journey while pregnant. Humbling accommodations in unfamiliar village, with exuberant visitor-shepherds! To Mary, the way to cope with it all was to meet with God privately in her own soul. All she could do was mull over all this chaos with the God who asked her to take this journey. And for us, the best or only place we can encounter God is in the solitude of our heart. Find some time today to ponder the path God’s will has led you on. As you still your thoughts, let the Spirit of God remind you of your calling.
Prayer: God, though the world around me is confusing and changing, and though I do not understand what You are doing, I cling to You today. Let my heart be still, for You are my God. Amen.
What a timely post! In transition - and this again one of those times - I look back on how God has brought me through difficulties in the past, remembering that, however uncertain things might appear, God loves me and has good plans and purposes for my life.

Day Five: "You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." (Psalm 32:7)
God is a safe place in difficult times. This is not limited to physical safety but includes the emotional and spiritual arenas as well. Have you considered lately that the One proclaimed ¨Wonderful Counselor¨ is the safest place in the world to pour out all your stuff? He can take it all – unedited, unrehearsed and raw. But what also makes Him a Wonderful Counselor is that He is also in the business of deliverance. However, we must get ready to pay attention because His idea of deliverance can look very differently than ours! We are generally anxious ¨to get it over with¨. We would love Him to rush in with strength and a sword and cut our troubles away! It may seem strange to you that one of His tools of deliverance could be the beauty of songs. Yet God knows there is an important process to be journeyed through that must be gently sung over and not quickly cut off.
Be listening expectantly these days for His songs of deliverance over different areas of your life. This Scripture proclaims that they surround you. He will sing songs that are perfectly suited for you and your situation. These songs deliver your very soul. Listen for them.
Written by: Pam Sider of OC International, Spain. Follow Pam at: http://www.alifeofinterest/[dot]com

Day Six: “ and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:4-6, ESV).
... in the midst of this season of expectancy, as we celebrate the coming of Jesus, we often forget that sweet and gentle whisper that God sings to us in our ears when our world is filled with so much noise and distraction- “I love you”. Out of God's mouth speaks those precious three words. We hear that God loves us so often, that we forget that simple truth. The New Living Translation writes, “For we know how dearly God loves us” and thus hope does not disappoint us and we can rejoice in the midst of our problems and difficulties.

Advent. Choices

Zechariah chose to listen - eventually.
Obedience brought true a promise.

Mary chose to listen - immediately.
Obedience fulfilled the Promise.

Joseph chose to listen - while dreaming.
Obedience provided for the Promise.

Wise men chose to watch - stargazing.
Obedience brought precious gifts to the One promised.

Shepherds chose to visit. Watching
the coming of the Promised king.

Good choices, wisely made.

I think of choices. I think of Daniel, who chose to worship. He chose to recognize that God loved him. He chose to keep community with others and to serve his oppressors, even when everything had been taken from him. Even his name.

This, then, is how we live. To choose God. Every day.

"choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Friday, 13 December 2013

Advent. Silence.

It was a long time in the coming.
Hundreds of years, not being exact.
Promise upon promise, yet nothing doing.
For four hundred years, there was Silence.

Then, suddenly, it all began happening.
In nine months, or thereabouts, there were
angel appearances in dreams and daylight.
Miraculous pregnancies. The Promise kept.

In this Advent season, I, too, experience Silence.
Nights are dark, quiet, lonely. I hear nothing.
I cling to promise upon promise, hoping in faith.
My heart strains to hear His voice again.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Advent. Excitement.

Christmas came to school today.
Christmas decorations. Hats.
Party lunch. Delicious food.
Pretty clothes. Children's excitement.

In my heart it was too early
to celebrate. Your arrival
is yet to come: remembering your coming
now, and later for eternity.

But I smiled and laughed,rejoicing
in the children's happiness
and sense of fun, eagerly anticipating
presents and yet more merriment.

And in it all, I strove
to bring them close to you.
We watched Nativity films, presenting
You to the whole world.

There is no Christmas without Christ.
Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
The Saviour comes to save us ALL.
Let Christmas party hearts receive Him.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Advent. Humility.

I turn my eyes to You
in the quiet dark of the morning.
You bring me peace.

I look back 2000 years
to the noise of your arrival.
You make me wonder:

I hear the sound of animals,
while cosmic explosions
announce your coming.

I am stunned.
You, the Prince of Heaven
show me such humility.

The inferiority of your birth,
a life lived focused
on your purpose.

A death at the hands
of evil men, your
rights surrendered.

I turn my eyes to You
who gave me life
by giving up Your own.

Advent. Distraction.

This Advent, as with many other Advents,
crowds out anticipation from my heart.

This Advent, unlike some other Advents,
crowds out expectation from my mind.

This Advent, I decide I will
to fix my eyes on the One who is my Saviour.

Who rescues me from preoccupation with busyness
and delivers my mind from worry.

This Advent.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Advent. Exhaustion

Your coming should not be like this.
This long-awaited event
accompanied by exhaustion.

A bone-wearying tiredness
arising from illness
and busyness and mental stress.

Yet in all this confusion
one thing remains clear.
That YOU are LOVE.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Advent. Family

This season, this season
of expectation,
so many look forward to family reunions.

My heart saddens. I do not have
these wildly wonderful extended families
beloved by many.

And while I thank Jesus
for my own little family
which I love to talk of

I know that for so many others
there IS no family. Brothers,
sisters, parents are far-flung – or not even there.

So why do we talk so much of FAMILY
when Mary was alone, shunned,
disgraced by the news of unwed pregnancy?

No relatives took her in.
We do not hear of visits, except from strangers.
Not for her the cosiness of a warm, welcoming home.

Let us be sensitive. This is a joyous season
for this only one reason: HE comes.
Our saviour, our rescuer, our friend, our brother.

THIS is the cause of our celebration.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Advent. Questions.

Mary, did you have 'off' days?
Grey days, 'down' days,
days in those long nine months
when, perhaps, life was more of a struggle than usual?

Days when you woke feeling sick.
Perhaps nauseous.
Perhaps sick with anxiety.
Perhaps just plain 'under-the-weather'.

Or did you rejoice
that your body was reacting to that tiny life within you?

Did you quickly
turn your fears over to your loving Father?

Did you ask
for strength and 'good-enough' health?

Mary, your apparently instant acceptance of your mission
paints a picture of a strong and humble and serving woman.

Did you constantly reflect this godly attitude?

Or did you have 'off' days like the rest of us?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Advent. Satisfaction.

The end of this day
full of action, laughter,
brought ponderings and a deep, deep sense of peace.

In my class,
questions of faith
became generated
by those who have little understanding of what is true and holy.

Minds were prompted
to consider
possibilities far beyond
this present world of eating, drinking and making merry.

Preparing to bring
good news to these children
I think of Christmas things.
Carols, candlelight, Christ in rags and baby scent.

My mind and heart
are filled with a desire to serve.
At close of day it is a joy
to bring a little help to one of ours who has little.

Being together,
working in weariness,
offering strength of arms and time,
brings us, a band of brothers,  great joy. And smiles.

At the close of this week
the beginning of Advent
there is a sense
of completion and satisfaction. Peace.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Advent. Action

Every morning
I turn my eyes to Jesus.
I give Him my day
in the hope I will think of Him
just a little more than yesterday.

Every morning
I arrive at my work
my wonderful, fulfilling
fun job of teaching children
who are still in the stage of wonderment.

Every morning
I get so involved
with other demands and wants,
both colleagues and children,
that I don't give Jesus a thought.

Even when, while marking
books, preparing lessons,
praise and worship music
fills my ears but not my heart:
my mind is so absorbed with others' needs.

And I wonder:
surely Mary kept her
heart fixed firmly on that little
life within her. Hands busy,
mind pondering the mystery of God.

And so, surely
I too can turn my mind
to Christ, my pupils' Saviour,
sharing this greatest news
with a world that is full of hurt and riches.

Every evening
I turn my heart to Jesus.
I give Him back my day
in the hope I will think of Him
just a little more tomorrow than today.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Advent. Patience.

demands patience.

Hard lessons learned
in the school of life.

is but a date

this wonderful gift.

Really, every day
is to be looked for

Christ returns
to claim His people.

And as we wait
patiently, longingly

we remember
that first Christmas

and a Father

from Heaven's prince,
darling of all.

And surely
our father's longing

for His son
is far greater

than we can
only imagine.

Advent. Hope.

Children sang this evening
joyous that Christmas time is a season to sing and celebrate

and as they sang
of trees and candlelight and holly and mistletoe

my heart clenched as
I thought of poverty and hunger and fear and sorrow.

yet I have hope
in light and life and promises of a Saviour.

He comes. Jesus. He comes.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Advent. Waiting.


Waiting for the King to come,
our hopes fulfilled.

Waiting for health to return,
spirits to rise.

Waiting for dreams to come true,
joy to return.

Waiting for relationship restored,
hearts rejoined.

Waiting for loved ones' return,
aching for embrace.


We wait. In hope. In His hope. In the hope of Him.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


The King is coming.
Light will flood dark places.

Yet life is busy.
Darkness tries to crowd out

But now on THIS day,
This Sunday day of rest

remember Jesus
who comes to all who ask

Advent starts today.
The coming of our king.

So today I choose,
readying my stubborn

letting Him clean out
the darkness with His grace

The King is coming.
We wait eagerly for

Lisa says:

It should be a simple task

Slow downPrepareMake room

It should be a welcome time

This act of anticipationThis rhythm of expectationI should hail with happy heart

ShouldShould Should

In truth, reality is a bit more grimThe invitation to draw asideto reflect and expectis lost in the mess of daily lifeand rank trappings of all this is not

The people living in darknessThe people living in darknessYes, the people living in darknesshave seen a great light

On this first daymy question is simple...

How might I un-clutterin hopes of glimpsingthe promised light?

-lisa, 1 December, 2013