Friday, December 26, 2008

New Beginnings

Over at Faith Lifts this week I shared a bit about our Australian Christmas and a few 'new' things we can learn from the shepherds on that first Christmas.

Want to check it out? Click Here

And have an AWESOME Christmas and a great NEW year.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to pop in and say

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Is

If you've been here long you'll know I have been trying to purposely focus on the real meaning of Christmas this year, instead of being so consumed with presents and decorations and preparations that it does become a bit like 'Xmas' ~ Christ is missing!

I have a real sense that this world is moving away from God at an alarming rate, and it makes me want to hold on to what is true all the more. I wrote this poem to help us remember what it's all about.

Christmas Is...

Christmas is a day each year that most on earth uphold
As a holiday and celebration, but the truth is seldom told

More than wishing Merry Christmas and spreading Christmas cheer
It's feeeding the hungry and helping the widows all throughout the year

More than pretty wrapping and present tags signed 'with love'
It's remembering Jesus birth - the Gift to us from God above

More than exciting children with a new bike or toy
It's teaching them the reason for our overwhelming joy

More than how you fill the stockings, but how you fill your mind
More than giving token gifts, but helping others out of a bind

More than expanding stomachs with a scrumptious Christmas feast
Its thanking God for providing us with everlasting peace

More than spending hours making sure the Day is nice
It's spending even a few minutes each day remembering your Christ

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Australian Mindset

You know the song - Bob The Builder - Can we fix it? Bob The Builder - Yes, We Can!

Well my son sings it with a slight Australian flavour.

Bob the Builder
Can we fix it?
Bob the Builder

I'm not saying Australians put things off till next weekend what can be done today...OK I am, but my husband is a Kiwi, so I can. :)

And I can also post this, cause in true Australian style, we like to pay out on eachother. (For my international readers, these kids are from New Zealand and 'Jonesy' is the 'Aussie Kid').



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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rats! (Take 2)

It is a year to the day that a friend shared this story with me, and being the festive Christmassy person I am, I just had to share it with you again.

Remember this one?...

"Just a few days ago a family were eagerly awaiting for Grandma to arrive for the traditional decorating of the Christmas tree. Grandma was due to arrive as expected and Dad was sent to retrieve the Christmas tree from the garage.

Surprisingly, the Christmas tree was not all they found in the box. Somewhere between Qld and Vic, a large rat had stowed away with the Christmas decorations and had since passed on. There wasn't that much of the visitor left, but he did leave a covering of hair over the Christmas tree.

Well that brings us to the rather foul smelling dilemma this family faced. There was no time to buy a new Christmas tree, or even adequately disinfect the current one so the tree was taken outside for a quick hose-down. The kids were slightly amused and shocked at this development, and the parents were understandably embarrassed, but Grandma was coming, what else could they do?

So with a mountain of fake spray-on snow and some lovely tinsel and pink and silver baubles, the tree was decorated and looked like it had come straight from the department store. The saving grace in this particular situation is that Grandma has no sense of smell, so while the room smelt a tad 'musty' and even though the kids were dry-reaching while decorating the tree, Grandma was happily enjoying the Christmas celebrations.

My friend who was brave enough to share this story with me, had an interesting thought about how this Christmas tree relates to us. No matter how nicely we present ourselves, we all have a sin nature which is ever present and ever intruding into the rest of our lives.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but i cannot carry it out." (Romans 7:18).

Romans 8 goes on to explain that we are set free from this nature through forgiveness found in Jesus. When we trust in Jesus, our sin is removed "as far as the east is from the west" (Ps 103:12) and God "remembers it no more" (Is 43:25). Never. Ever!

God doesn't just cover up our sin, like the fake snow slightly covered the smell of the dead rat, it is totally taken away from us. We still have that sin nature, that tendency to go our own way, but as Christians we are now "controlled by the Spirit" (Rom 8:9) and "being renewed day by day"(2 Cor 4:16).

When we become Christians, when we choose to follow Jesus, we are given a new nature. In Psalm 51, David prays "purify me from my sins and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow" (NLT) and then says "create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (NIV)

God hasn't deoderised your sin, he has destroyed it! You have a new life, a new spirit, a new nature and a new start. And he will daily, hourly, moment by moment give you forgiveness and strength to live this new life. Start this Christmas with a new tree... come to Him, confess your sin, accept the new life he offers and then live in connection with Him, with the Spirit he has placed in you.

Want More? Read Romans 8 and Psalm 51!"

Donna Savill

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