Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday thoughts . . .



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This year I am going to try to honor Christmas and the true meaning of it every day of December.   I was shocked at the recent photos and film of the so called "Black Friday" events here in the UK.  It isn't something that we have ever really done over here that I had noticed, but this year it was pretty difficult not to.  People were behaving horribly all over the UK, so much so that in some of the shops they had to call in the police.   Black Friday . . .  I do not believe it brings out the best in people and it is not what I want my Christmas to be about.  It smacks of commercialism in the worse way.   My Christmas is not going to be a commercial one.

So to that end . . .

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We have this little book about anticipating all of Jesus in the Advent.  It's like a daybook and it covers every day from the first of December to the twenty fifth and we will be studying it together as a family and truly bringing Christ into our Christmas.  After all HE is the reason for the season!




I will remember each day that HE was, is and always will be the most important gift of the holiday season.

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We were challenged by the Missionary Sisters to keep a gratitude journal throughout December and try to find five things each day to be grateful for, and then to thank our Heavenly Father at the end of our days for them one by one.   I will be doing that.   Mind you, I find things to be grateful for each day anyways.   I just don't always remember to thank God for them.   I will be changing that.   I can think of one thing right now.  I am thankful that I do not have a red nose and I am thankful for a childhood that included Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!  I never hear the song but what I am a child again.

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As the days grow shorter and colder I will remember all of God's creatures in my actions and prayers.   We do feed the birds and that is a good thing, especially in the Winter months.  I will not grumble when I see flocks of starlings descend upon our feeders emptying them in very short order.  They are God's creatures too.   I will try to do at least one kind thing for another when I am out and about each day.   Perhaps it will be something as simple as letting someone go before me in the line at the supermarket, or calling up a friend to ask them if they need anything before I go to the supermarket.   It is the gift of giving and it doesn't have to be tied up with ribbons or bows . . .  but with heart strings and sincerity and love.

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I will remind myself each day that I am very lucky to be living in a country where I have the freedom to do these things without fear of reprisal or condemnation.  Where I am free to have views and opinions and the priviledge of worshiping as and when and how ever I want to.   I have been so blessed to have been the recipient of a free education . . .  so many have not.   I have been blessed to have never truly known hunger or any of the other challenges that people in third world nations have to deal with every day of their lives.   To have been born at a time when I have been able to live my life in relative safey and security . . .  and luxury.  Even the poorest of us living in these Western nations do not truly know real poverty.

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There is none so poor as those who are poor in spirit.  That is true poverty.  I will be grateful every day that I am not poor in spirit.  This is a gift.  To be strong and wealthy in spirit.  To be able to count your blessings . . .  even in the things which don't always immediately seem like blessings.  There . . .  but for the grace of God go I.   I will not judge another man without having walked first in their shoes.  Nobody knows the heart of another  Only God knows these things and it is only my place to reach out and to help and to love . . . unconditionally.

If I can master this.   I will have received the greatest gift of all.  I am truly a work in progress. ☺

There will also be plenty of cakes and cookies and chocolates, Christmas movies and Christmas Carols, Ho Ho Ho's and Fa La La's . . . .  coz that's how this gal rolls.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

❥✻❥.¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥.¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥
I believe in Christianity 
as I believe that the sun has risen: 
not only because I see it, 
but because by it 
I see everything else. 
~C. S. Lewis༺❀༻༺❀༻
 ❥✻❥.¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥.¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥  


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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . . Pot Roasted Chicken with Raspberry Cider.

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Have a wonderful Sunday!


11 comments:

Suze said...

Enjoy your Sabbath Marie.

I truly struggle with Christmas now. Mum is already upset about Christmas Day...what shall we do? Whenever a plan is made it is soon vetoed. Miss B always chooses to travel as she hates the atmosphere. I ca go on and on. There is little thought beyond food sand presents here. So I will quietly do the journal idea because Christmas is not about things etc. It is about a wee babe; born in the rough; complete and loving sacrifice.

Sorry to be on a downer. The memory of my brother and his passing was yesterday and an ill Suzan struggles.

kate hazlehurst said...

What a lovely post Marie. I too couldn't believe what I saw on television on Black Friday. I only remember it from last year, I'd never heard of it before then. I only hope the retailers look at what happened and have a re think for the future. Unbelievably peoples lives are at risk. We all need your timely reminder of what Christmas is about. (Dear Suze, although we've never met you're in my thoughts and prayers today x) Lots. of love to you Marie. Xxx

Marie Rayner said...

Suzan, I am sending you lots of extra love today and always. I hadn't realized yesterday was the anniversary of your brother's passing. (((((hugs))))) Losing a loved one is something I don't think we ever have an easy time coming to terms with, but when it is in the way your brother went it is even more difficult. Love you. Keeping you in my most heartfelt prayers. xxoo

Thanks Kate! You are so right. It's not about the profits, which sadly retailers forget all about. This is their biggest time of year. It's so sad as this isn't really what God intended I don't think. xxoo

Suze said...

Thanks Marie.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is so hard to believe that there are now 4 short weeks until Christmas. Advent is a wonderful season. I always think that the preparation for a holiday is half the fun. Hope your Sunday is a wonderful one !

La Table De Nana said...

Of course we saw that too..bad news travels so fast doesn't it?

In the US and Canada the frenzy has tapered because black friday sales start the week before..Have to tell you I am not sure this is the way to go..Halloween was out same time as Christmas..Valentines will be out soon.
Ohlala.
Then there is cyber Monday after black Friday..Boxing day in Canada after Christmas..
Bah Humbug for that.
Love the season for everything else.
I too think the preparation is halfthe fun..
Marie a friend showed me how to make paper start decorations..will try and share next week..
Exerciese the mind and they are cute..
In fact why don't I just share the link now to you..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rr34gOba5Q

There are 2 parts..
I think you could just cut out strips of paper..long though..

Marie Rayner said...

Pam, I am sure these next four weeks will flash by quicker than the blink of an eye! I love the preparation for the holidays the most fun of all too. Hope you are having a blessed Sunday! xxoo

Monique. I have watched the videos and I am going to try out those stars! Thank you so much for showing them to me! They look like they would be a lot of fun! I can't wait to see yours! xoxo

Valerie H. said...

I really needed to read this post tonight Marie. You hit it right on the head. I really don't want to be caught up in the commercial part of Christmas. I don't want that to be the focus at all. I think the Missionaries gave a wonderful idea about the gratitude journal. I do this sometimes and I will also keep one for Dec. Thanks for mentioning that. :-) Can't believe tomorrow is Dec. 1st. already! Love and hugs! xoxo

Marie Rayner said...

I know! It's crazy. December has crept in by stealth! It's here now. We best enjoy every minute of it! xxoo

LeAnn said...

This was such a lovely post. You have such a sweet and loving heart. I liked the missionaries challenge so I may do it myself.
It is the simple precious moments of Christmas that I love the most. The giving not getting.
Blessings for you during this special time of year. Hugs!

Marie Rayner said...

Thank you LeAnn. Your sweet comments always make my day. Blessings to you and Roger as well. xoxo