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Christmas 2018

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Dear Friends,
I want to take this time at Christmas to thank you all for the encouragement and support you have given me by subscribing to and/or reading my blog.
For some, Christmas is a time we look forward to and enjoy. For others of us, it's a painful and difficult time of the year for one reason or another.
However this finds you today my prayer for each one of us is this:
"May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you his peace." Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)

May you know the peace and presence of God with you this Christmas


Vicki

Symbolism in the Candy Cane

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If you would like to listen to today's devotional, please clickhere

Dear Friends,
Each year at Christmas our church gives out a candy cane with a copy of the Christian message attached to it. It's a great way of sharing the message of Christmas with those who don't know the true reason for Christmas and is also a great reminder to those of us who do, to keep Christ at the centre.
The letter J for Jesus: The candy cane is shaped in the letter 'J', and is a reminder to us of Jesus, the Son of God, who came to earth to save us.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Luke 1:30-32 (NLT)
The Shepherd's staff: From one viewpoint the candy cane is the letter 'J', but turn it the other way round and we have the shape of a shephe…

The Nativity...and Santa?!

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Dear Friends,

My Dad heard the following Christmas themed dramatic reading last Christmas and shared it with me. I don't know who the author is, so if it's familiar to you, please let me know. I've changed it a little but kept the message the same. Please excuse the poetic license taken in this skit.
"Hello, hello. I hope I'm not interrupting. I'm from the Bethlehem Herald and I'm here to take a photo of the new baby.

Ahh, there he is. And you must be Mum? What's your name? Mary, is it? And what's your baby's name? Ah, Jesus. He's a fine looking baby and sleeping so peacefully. Well, that makes my job so much easier.
Now then, let's get you positioned for this photo. Mary, could you be looking down at your baby in the manger, please? And Dad? What's your name sir? Joseph. Ok, Joseph would you just stand close to Mary, place your arm around her shoulders. That's great.
Oh, who's that knocking at the door? Shepherds? OK, come in, j…

Jesus Invites You to Rest

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Dear Friends,



Today's devotional first appeared in the Advent/Christmas 2018 'COME (Christians Overcoming ME) Together' Newsletter. I want to share it with you all here too as there are valuable truths for each one of us.
The word “REST” has been on my mind a great deal lately. Probably because at the time of writing this I really am not feeling at all well and need more rest than usual. But rest is something we all need, whether we’re in poor health or not. 
For too long, society has encouraged us to be busy, keep doing more, keep adding to an already full diary, keep taking on more responsibilities. In the past, in many churches, particularly in the ones I grew up in, works and serving others was emphasized as being vitally important, as was attending all the church meetings, not just on a Sunday morning but during the week too. This was the way I used to live, and my relationship with God was put in second place, although I was unaware of this at the time. 
Many of us have …

The Gift of God's Presence

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If you would like to listen to today's devotional, please clickhere

Dear Friends,
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He travelled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. Luke 2:1-5(NLT) 

Here’s my creative retelling of part of Mary’s story before Jesus is born. As you read, listen to what God may be wanting to say to you through it.


It's been almost nine months since I said yes to God. This time has not always been easy. Being misunderstood and judged by those around me has been incredibly painful at times. But, I am learning to hand over my pain to God, who knows and loves me.…

An Excerpt from "30 Days with Mary" and a Giveaway!

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Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to have Emily Owen with us today. You may remember I reviewed her latest book, 'The Power of Seven'. If you missed my review and would like to read it please click here.

Emily is an author and speaker. She is the winner of the Association of Christian Writers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Christian Publishing 2018. Her books are available from various stores and online. She has written several '30 Days with...' You can check out her books on Amazon.

Today she has provided us with an excerpt from her book '30 Days with Mary: A devotional journey with the mother of Jesus'. Just right for Advent. As you read and meditate on the excerpt below I know you will be blessed as I have been. 

Not only that, Emily has also generously provided a free copy of this book to give away to one person. Which I'm very excited about. 😃 Anyone who leaves a comment at the bottom of this post by Sunday 25th November 6pm will be entered into the give…

Book Review: #Niteblessings by Malcolm Duncan

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Dear Friends,

I first came across Malcolm Duncan’s #niteblessings via his Facebook page and Twitter. He shared on these sites that his blessings were going to be put together as a gift book. So, when his book became available to request through NetGalley in return for an honest review, I jumped at the chance to read it. I was not disappointed.
There are 365 blessings to be read. They have the day and the month so you can either can dip into the book and read whichever one you like or, as I prefer, read the blessing for that day. They are not dated for a particular year so they have the added bonus for being suitable for any year which means they can be read and re-read.

I read this on my kindle but, in my opinion, it is far better as a hardcover book, especially as it includes photos throughout. I like the idea of having it beside my bed for easy reach as I settle down for the night so that it is the last thing I think about before I shut my eyes.

For the majority of us, life is busy a…

National Self-Care Week

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Dear Friends,
Were you aware it was National Self-Care Week this week? I only realised it myself when I was scrolling my twitter feed a few days back. But it got me thinking. What does self-care mean from a Christian's point of view, or at least from my point of view as a Christian? Should a Christian even practice self-care? Shouldn't my life be spent caring for the needs of others not taking care of number one?
Well, here are some of my thoughts. 
I believe that unless we first practice and incorporate self-care into our daily lives we will not be able to care for anyone else. The Bible tells us:
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.' Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT)



Everything we have has been given to us by God and this means we have a responsibility to care for all that he has given us, which includes ourselve…