Christmas Time is Miracle Time

Re-reading the Christmas accounts recently I was alerted to two miracle birth stores that are foundational to the event we call Christmas. The whole story is actually one huge miracle that has impacted our world like no other. The Son of God – The Word, who spoke our universe into existence – became flesh and entered this world as a tiny babe via the womb of a teenage virgin. We read in the Gospels about Mary and her cousin Elizabeth and the miraculous birth of their boys.

Just two ordinary women, going about their daily lives, suddenly interrupted in their routines with the startling angelic message that they would bear significant sons.  One boy, John, was destined to pave the way for the other, Jesus, who would change the course of history. 

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The Democracy Bird – a poem

I don’t usually comment politically as I want to keep this blog page about encouraging ourselves to find that sweet spot of connection and closeness with God. That still place – where we find our peace and the encouraging challenge to better ourselves – is important for our emotional and spiritual health. However it has been impossible to be unaware of the political turmoil in our world. Or to be untroubled by the tension we see all around us. I have been particularly aware and uneasy about the huge gap that has emerged between those who favour the left wing and those who support the right wing. It seems everyone’s leaning is more pronounced than ever, and shock! horror! if you mention anything positive on the opposite side. The tension and verbal attacking has blown out into hostile actions and our democratic world is sitting on a powder keg. There is no respect for views other than our own and the idea of listening to each other and assessing or readjusting our position even slightly is arrogantly shunned.

Photo by LT Chan from Pexels
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
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Creation declares God’s glory

Well I’m back after a month or so to continue our series on finding out about God from his creation. My focus has been elsewhere, and I’ve been busy, but now I’m ready again to continue blogging.

Order & Interdependency (connectedness) 

Just as God created the galactic worlds to be ordered and connected and to work harmoniously, so also he has created interdependence among life on earth.  Everything flows in an ordered manner. Order occurs when everything is in its correct and appropriate place. Sustained order is needed so that the whole of God’s creation flows and works together in a balanced manner.

Ecosystems are communities of living and non-living things that work together.  An ecosystem can be as large as a desert or a lake or as small as a tree or a puddle.  The water, water temperature, plants, animals, air, light and soil all work together. If there isn’t enough light or water or if the soil doesn’t have the right nutrients, the plants will die. If the plants die, animals that depend on them will die. If the animals that depend on the plants die, any animals that depend on those animals as a food source will die.  All the parts work together to make a balanced system!

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When Life Gets You Down – Look Up

The Heavens Declare:  God’s grace and favour and faithfulness 

When life’s big questions puzzle us; when life gets us down and we can’t make sense of our circumstances; it helps to pause and look up.   Literally.  Look up to the sky above. 

We are taking time over several blogs to look up and around us; to contemplate God’s creative work. For in his handiwork we see his splendour and majesty, and gain glimpses of the nature and character of God himself.

The Psalmist David found this helpful and wrote about the inspiration he saw there.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words;  no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,  their words to the ends of the world  (Psalm 19:1-4)

We have looked at how BIG God is by considering how vast is his universe. Then we considered his constant and DEPENDABLE nature revealed in the heavens and his awesome POWER. Today we shall ponder how this big dependable and powerful God is also gracious and faithful to all his creation.

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When Life gets you Down – Look Up

The Heavens declare:  God is exceedingly powerful

When life’s big questions puzzle us; when life gets us down and we can’t make sense of our circumstances; it helps to pause and look up.   Literally.  Look up to the sky above. 

We are taking time over several blogs to look up and around us; to contemplate God’s creative work. For in his handiwork we see his splendour and majesty, and gain glimpses of the nature and character of God himself.

The Psalmist David found this helpful and wrote about the inspiration he saw there.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words;  no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,  their words to the ends of the world  (Psalm 19:1-4)

We have looked at how BIG God is by considering how vast is his universe. Then we considered his constant and dependable nature revealed in the heavens. Today we shall ponder his awesome power.

Continue reading “When Life gets you Down – Look Up”

When Life gets you Down – Look Up

The Heavens declare:  God’s unchangeableness (Immutability)

Malachi 3:6  I, the Lord, do not change.

We are taking time over several blogs to look up and around us; to contemplate God’s creative work. For in his handiwork we see his splendour and majesty, and gain glimpses of the nature and character of God himself.

When life’s big questions puzzle us; when life gets us down and we can’t make sense of our circumstances; it helps to pause and look up.   Literally.  Look up to the sky above. 

The Psalmist David found this helpful and wrote about the inspiration he saw there.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words;  no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,  their words to the ends of the world  (Psalm 19:1-4)

Last blog we looked at how BIG God is by considering how vast is his universe. Today we will consider his constant and dependable nature revealed in the heavens.

Continue reading “When Life gets you Down – Look Up”

When Life Gets You Down, Look Up. – God is Bigger than You Think.

When life gets us down and we can’t make sense of our circumstances, it helps to pause and look up.   Literally.  Look up to the sky above. 

The Psalmist David found this helpful and wrote about the inspiration he saw there.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words;  no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,  their words to the ends of the world  (Psalm 19:1-4)

Maybe life has become mundane and monotonous. Or perhaps it has closed in on you with pain or disappointment. It could be that you are locked into a fast-paced enterprise, the pressure of which, threatens to overwhelm you.  We all need to pause and breathe and re-centre ourselves.

When we take time to ponder the heavens we find it silently speaks volumes. The timeless message of the skies can lift us above the all-encompassing situation that threatens to overwhelm us. 

In the scheme of things our planet is really very small and our personal world minuscule in comparison to the reality around and above us.  To look up is to see the smallness of our circumstances. It brings perspective. We are reminded that we are not the centre of the universe and that there is a higher power working beyond what we are presently encountering.  To look up is to gain hope and help and perspective.  We see our Creator’s formidable might and power and realise that he is still there taking charge of all things.

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Let God sing his song over you

Have you lost the song in your heart? Difficult times have a way of crushing our spirit and we find ourselves feeling melancholy and sad. Instead of giving in to these feelings and allowing them to dominate us, we should take note of what David said when he was feeling distressed and oppressed.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him (Psalm 42:11 ESV).

Finding the song in our hearts

Some days it is hard to find the song in our hearts.  But the song is there in the deep recesses of our being and we do well to push aside all the depressive moods to allow it to rise within us. 

We can’t control everything that happens in our days, and people may annoy us and circumstances may be adverse.  Too often we find being cranky and testy the easiest option to choose. It’s a habit we need to break if we want to live in a peace-filled environment.

If we want our song to surface cheering our hearts and the atmosphere around us we need to take charge, with God’s help, of our emotions. 

Listen for God’s Song

Life may have dealt you a heavy blow and because of sadness, or grief or disappointment, the song in your heart has been silenced.  Perhaps for weeks….even months. At these distressing times we may need to quieten our troubled hearts, find that still place, and just listen to the song that God sings over us. 

Oh yes, God does sing over us.  He rejoices over us with gladness, he quiets us by his love; he exults over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).  

In those seasons of weeping and deep sorrow we can rest in the arms of our loving heavenly Father and listen to his song of comfort.  As we tune into God’s song over us, our hearts are comforted as he quiets us with his love.  Before long we find our own song rising in response….. Maybe hesitantly at first, but nevertheless rising. 

Whatever the circumstances of life today, let us not give in to pessimistic feelings, but push through to find our song.  Slipping into easy conversation with God feels like a warm hug.  And before I realise it I find the tension easing and a song stirring in my heart.

Life – it’s really quite a puzzle

I  recently worked on a jigsaw puzzle during this sheltering-in-place time.  I wiled away the hours placing the pieces together.  Despite being frustrated and mystified by the shades and shapes, the picture slowly emerged.  It took patience, time, trial and error, but I did it!

As I worked away at the puzzle, I thought about my life and how over the years it too has slowly evolved despite my being bewildered and mystified at times.   Some areas have come together easily; other areas are still messy and incomplete; and still other areas, although challenging, are beginning to take shape. 

Missing the Glorious Messy Human-ness of Church Community

 

If there is one thing this global pandemic and sheltering at home situation has highlighted to me, it is the need for us as humans for community.  These past several weeks is beginning to take its toll.  I just want to go shopping and walk around my neighbourhood without mentally measuring the distance between me and others.   I feel like I’m treating people like lepers.  I want to rub shoulders with strangers, hug my mum and get on a plane and cling-hug my children and grandchildren.

I’ve often said that I could easily become a hermit with intermittent catch-ups with friends. ….Ha.Ha….. If anything these past few weeks has taught me is that the opposite, in fact, is true.  I need people in my life with intermittent times of aloneness.

My main community involvement these days is my church family.  And I’m missing the physical interaction of gathering together with the people I have developed relationships with over the past 10 years.

Online church is just not the same.  I am thankful for technology which enables us to keep in contact, but I long for the connection of being face to face in the same room with people I have come to know and love.

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