Monday, 30 December 2013

Thankfulness, Goodness, Love

HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  to our daughter  LINDA

This is the first time you have been away from us for your birthday in all these 26 years.

The first time the boys have not had to complain that you get a day completely devoted to you and they never do because they are at school or work on their birthday.
Not that they ever minded because it was always a complete family affair.

The go-karting
       The ice-skating
              The bowling
                     The cinema   .........
                             and of course always dinner in the place of your choice.

First time apart might as well be on the other side of the world - yes South Korea fits the bill.

In church last night Pastor spoke on Psalm 107 v 1  and I think it is very appropriate for you.

Of course it is appropriate for all of us.

Let's take some time today to focus on this thought from the verse.

         We should be THANKFUL 


    Because  God's Love endures forever so He can NEVER STOP being GOOD!

Isn't it great that no matter where we are we can know that God will never stop being good because He will never stop loving us?

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 24

The last day of Advent.

The last time to consider the four words we have looked at through this time of Advent.

Our last update on the Advent reading plan 

Day 24.        1 John 3:7 & 8

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus came into the world to help us to stop sinning and to be our substitutionary sacrifice, taking away God's wrath if we do sin.

We received a lot of cards which wished us a Merry Christmas and some took words from a carol or mentioned the shepherds, wise men, angels, star etc.

Here I have picked out 4 of the cards we received which highlighted the four words of Advent





May I wish you the true Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that Jesus brought on the first Christmas and still brings to us as we trust in Him.

Merry Christmas

Monday, 23 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 23

  The last Monday of Advent.

Another card arrived that I loved.  
It matches in with the "Away in a Manger" one that I featured in an earlier post.  Then when I opened it I discovered it was from our son and new daughter-in-law, so love it even more now.

Presents are all wrapped now and Fred, Jonathan & I have had a good deal of relaxing time today watching the Danish TV Series of Borgen.    
We finished the first series and are hooked.

Even got time to do a bit of graphics work on pics I had taken, nice not to be too rushed and busy.

Jonathan & Fred have both been playing the guitar and the Sing-along that I mentioned in an earlier post has been playing when they haven't, so plenty of Christmas music today.

Time for a little update on the Advent reading plan since Day 19

20.  We know that Jesus came to destroy the works of satan.
21.  We know that Jesus came to bear witness to the truth.
22.  We know that Jesus came so that we can believe in Him and have life in His name.
23.  We know that Jesus came to reconcile us to God.

Do you know why Jesus came to earth?

Are you glad that Jesus came?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 22

  This is the Fourth & last Sunday of Advent.

In church today we sang the Christmas Song  "Tis Christmas" with the children.

'Tis Christmas, 'Tis Christmas
The Christmas Bells ring
The Birthday of Jesus our Saviour and king
Tis Christmas, Tis Christmas
Our Bible recalls 
The Birthday of Jesus 

God's Love Gift to all. 

We had already looked at Hope, Joy, & Peace being three things that Advent makes us anticipate and the other one of the four is

 So what could be more fitting than singing about Jesus as God's Love Gift to us because that is exactly what Jesus is.

Tonight in Church we are having a Baptism Service where some young adults are getting baptised in response to the Gift of Love they have accepted from God through the Saving Grace of Jesus.

Here is another very short video for Advent

Do you know this Saving Grace of Jesus?

Have you accepted this Gift of Love from God?

Saturday, 21 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 21

The last Saturday of Advent.

Walking along the promenade in Newcastle, Co. Down is not the thing I would normally plan to be doing just a few days before Christmas.

Two things happened within the last few days that meant us taking the half hour drive to Newcastle today and I was looking forward to walking the promenade while there.  However it was just too cold and wet and blowy that we didn't have our walk.  Instead we just sat and admired the seaside view for a while and took a few pictures and short videos of the waves.

A great example of the nature that God has created.

One of the books I got in the ICM Bookshop yesterday was for the younger kids in our Sunday School.

It can be read to young children and then as they get a bit older they can read it for themselves.

This book has had great reviews by parents which is a very good recommendation for it and is unusually written by a Theologian, James Hamilton.  He wrote it primarily for his son but was then encouraged to get it published which he then did through Christian Focus.  On sale at the moment in ICM Books.

On the journey back today we discussed the presents for Christmas.

It has been agreed that I have nearly everything sorted out fine now.
I just hope the recipients of these presents agree with us.

Were you able to take time today to appreciate God and His creation amid the hustle and bustle of Christmas presents?

Friday, 20 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 20

  The last Friday of Advent.

This morning was  
"Shopping in our town with our grown up son" time.
Cold, windy & wet day but it's a small town so not that far to walk between car park and shops.
He kept comparing it to the large city he lives in, parking much cheaper here and streets less crowded.
We also got our turkey and ham for Christmas.

This afternoon was  
"Shopping in the Christian Bookshop with our grown up son" time.
One and a half hours can pass quickly when we are somewhere like this.
The ICM Bookshop outside Lurgan is enormous.
They also have a good website with great prices and lots of free shipping to anywhere in the UK, so have a look at their site

This evening was  
"Shopping in the Sprucefield Shopping Centre with our grown up son" time.
A few last minute presents, and a nice wander around in the festive but not-too-busy shops.

After all of that today we need to remember that shopping is not the main thing that's important at this time of the year

We need to make sure that Jesus Christ is still in our Christmas, just like the words of this song that our friends sang to us in church last Sunday.

Unto you is born this day a Saviour
A baby boy was found there in a manger
The blessed truth of Christmas let us hear
Let's put Christ back into Christmas this year

Christmas is the birthday of our King
The greatest gift of all He came to bring
He's the Prince of Peace let's show Him that we care
Let's put Christ back into Christmas this year

On this day the wise men saw a star
They followed it with gifts and travelled far
And praised the baby Jesus lying there
Let's put Christ back into Christmas this year

Let within your heart His praises ring
And celebrate the day our Saviour came
May peace on earth at Christmas time appear
Let's put Christ back into Christmas this year
Let's put Christ back into Christmas this year

Are you making sure that Christ is still in your Christmas this year?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 19

Today is the last Thursday of Advent which means that Christmas Day is fast approaching.

Christmas Food order delivered this morning.
A very important aspect of our preparations for Christmas as we all do want to enjoy our Christmas meals together.

Then there was the Hairdressers this afternoon.

And of course the frequent cuppas with Fred and Jonathan.

The only problem is there is too much chat goes on when there is another one of the Black Family in the house.

And then when another one of the family decides to face time from South Korea, the big question is who gets talking when? 

It is lovely to talk to our kids and see them chat and laugh together even though they are miles away. 

 I'm sure God smiles when he sees us enjoying those times together but He also smiles when we enjoy times together chatting to Him.

Time for a little update on the Advent reading plan since Day 15

16.  We know that Jesus Christ is Lord
17.  We know that God gave Jesus to bring freedom and Joy 
18.  We know that Jesus wants to send us to others 
19.  We know that Jesus has the power over satan so that we can be free

Are you still enjoying this time of preparation in the run up to Christmas?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 18

It's Wednesday and it's the 18th day of Advent.

It is also the day our oldest son Jonathan arrives from Leeds!

So you can all guess some of the things I was up to today but some of the others might surprise you.

  • A bedroom had to be dusted and hoovered.
  • An ensuite had to be cleaned.
  • A bed had to be made.
  • A check of "plain biscuits" (this son nibbles on plain biscuits regularly throughout the day).
  • A check of "Northern Ireland Tea" (this son always goes back home with a supply of Northern Ireland Punjana Tea which is hard to get in England).
  • A certain Agatha Christie Poirot novel had to be started (the two of us are looking forward to sitting down one day to watch "Curtain" which I recorded when it was on ITV a few weeks ago and we had decided to reread the book first).

I bet you didn't guess the last 3 things!

It will feel even more like Christmas once Jonathan arrives as no doubt there will be renditions of
                                                                                      which is His favourite Advent hymn.

I think there may also be

Lots of talk about blogs as he is also a blogger.
Lots of talk about church as he is a Pastor.
Lots of talk about books as he is an avid reader.
Lots of talk about food as he loves to eat.

Of course I can say all this because I know him so well.

Which makes me think about something Fred & I and a couple of friends were talking about last night. 

How can we express ourselves towards Jesus if we do not know Him well.  
Surely we will run out of words to describe Him, to praise Him and to worship Him.

Do you know Him well?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 17

This is Tuesday our 17th day of Advent

I took some time today to sit and listen to an old Christmas Music collection that my son had found on YouTube.

It was a compilation of Christmas songs by Max Bygraves which my kids used to listen to on the way to school with their cousins.  Their uncle played this same album in the car all through December every year and they all used to moan and groan about it but now it has turned into a fond Christmas memory.
On You tube it is in several parts to cover the whole album, the first part is here if you want to have a listen.

I was writing about memories on Friday and I am back on memories today again.  

That is something that Christmas does in us, it stirs up memories.

Today I was thinking about how the memory of the first Christmas with Jesus coming to live on earth in God's plan of Salvation brought Mary to the anticipation of this Salvation.

Then how the memory of working alongside Jesus and knowing Him gave the disciples the faith to proclaim the Saviour and that He would return one day.

And because we know God's word came true about Jesus coming to be the Saviour of the world then we can trust that His word will come true about the return of Jesus too.

So the first Christmas leads us to the anticipation of the return of Jesus hence the celebration of Advent, where we are awaiting His Coming.

           Advent means arrival or appearance

Are you awaiting His arrival or appearance ?  

Have you trusted in Jesus and believe when He said He would come again?

Monday, 16 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 16

It's Monday again and our 16th day of Advent.

So what did I do for Christmas today?

Those last minute cards went off today.
 You know the ones that had a change of address since last year or the ones for which I just didn't have the address where I thought I had it.

I also got our daughter's birthday card off to South Korea because her birthday is a few days after Christmas.

Then some more Christmas presents got sorted out.
Unfortunately not all of the presents are sorted but then sometimes technology does let me down.  A website of a leading department store would not let me buy something at the weekend at the special sale price they stated for the weekend and then today it was up to full price again but the site still was problematic, hence one of the presents I thought was not going to be a problem is now not sorted.

                       New inspiration Please!

 So preparations for Christmas are progressing just okay.

However it is nice to not be too rushed about things and to be able to sit down and relax with a DVD as we did tonight.

We can also enjoy the Christmas cards and letters we have received so far.

Here is one from my cousin, I think it is gorgeous and would love to be able to design something like this

Here is another Manger scene card from friends back in our home town

Don't you just feel peaceful looking at these cards?

Time for a little update on the Advent reading plan since Day 11

12.  We have a true high Priest in Jesus
13.  We have a Saviour who is at the right hand of God
14.  We have a mediator in Jesus
15.  We have life because Jesus came 

I hope you are having some rest and peace during your preparations for Christmas too.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 15

This is the third Sunday of Advent

The other day there was a small explosion in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland.  A bomb had been left outside a restaurant very close to St. Anne's Cathedral and and warning phoned in to the police.  While the nearby residents and the diners in the restaurants were being evacuated part of the device blew up but not enough to do any real damage or injury.

The Cathedral and all the people nearby were safe and sound but by the comments of people there at the time there is now anger and unrest about whether we really do have peace in Northern Ireland.

We are in the time of the year when 

 is one of the things we talk about, Peace on Earth, wishing you Peace at Christmas, Have the Peace of God in your hearts.  Today in church I spoke to the children about Peace because the story in Sunday School was about the Angel's Proclamation to the Shepherds.  

But so many people are going around every day without this peace in their hearts.  

I believe this is simply because they can't believe that Peace is an easy thing to have. They think that it would be a complicated matter to make this type of change in their lives.  

Thankfully God has made it easy for us because He is the one who brings about this Peace through His Son Jesus.  

Our easy part is just to stop resisting and accept that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to be our Peace.  Of course if we keep edging Jesus out of the picture at Christmas then it is harder to even draw our thoughts to Him let alone trust that He will be the way to Peace this Christmas.  

A couple of years ago I chose this Christmas card (below) that has the message I wanted to send, a message that I feel strongly about and also I loved the look of the card, simple but eye-catching at the same time.  I loved the card so much that I kept one so that each year I can display it.  I have even written on it from Fred & Sandra, because I want to continue to send this message to myself as well.

So this card is sitting at the front left hand side of the TV this year and will remind us of that special message.

   There is no Christmas without Jesus and there is no Peace without Him too.

Here is a very quick Advent video on Peace.

Do you keep Jesus at the heart of Christmas?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 14

Another Saturday during Advent and a very wet one here in Northern Ireland
My family all know that I hate supermarket shopping

It may be the lighting they use in supermarkets or I might just be lazy; but my husband Fred is the one who pops into the supermarket to get the bread, milk,& bananas and any other fruit or veg we may need.  Easy enough for him because he works from home and easy for me as I just sit at the computer and do a large monthly shop on-line.

We have a good sized Tesco Supermarket within 2 mins drive from our house but I only go in if we are on the way home after something in the evening when I know it is very quiet and I'm only going in with Fred for something quickly.  

This Christmas I noticed the Tesco logo and have to admit it is a good one.   A brief ad, to the point and about the thing that is always on our minds at this time of the year -  gifts.

It makes me think of how the best Gift of Christmas, the real Gift that is worth giving, is still getting overlooked year after year.
We would not even have a time of Christmas, which we all enjoy so much, if there had not been the original gift from God.

The Gift of His Son Jesus.  

                    All because God loves us.  

                                        He gave us the perfect gift to show His Love.

Renee Swope has written a poem to help us remember this and help us to be thankful for this gift.  You can read it or download it here     "The Christmas Prayer"  

This week the leaders of the graphics course I am doing set us a challenge to design something on the theme of LOVE for a magazine they have started for the iPad.  Of course they wanted this for the February edition of the magazine but I got carried away and made one for Christmas as well.

What would people think if they saw something like this in the newspaper or on a billboard?

Do we even realise that we should be extending God's gift of Love to others at Christmas?

Friday, 13 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 13

It's Friday and our 13th day of Advent 

Today along with the housework I got to thinking of "Our Christmas Memories".

Londonderry, Northern Ireland
The kids were young and each year my sister and I would take it in turns to host Christmas Day for both families and our parents and then the other would host New Years Day (just an excuse for a second Christmas Dinner really).
My second boy is only 6 months older than my sisters first boy (she had a girl & 2 boys while I had 2 boys & a girl) and they have been best friends all of their lives.
Well one year her boy Glen got a Ghost Busters outfit and backpack thing as part of his Christmas presents and we often laugh when we remember how our boy Daniel had taken the backpack and poor Glen was running around our lounge pleading with Daniel to give it back.
Why do kids often enjoy playing with someone else's present more than their own?

Delaware, USA

At the back of our house in Delaware 

We moved to Delaware at the start of November 1992.  So we were not long in the house there when it came to Christmas.  This was the first time we were away from family for Christmas and it really seemed so different and very quiet with only the 5 of us compared to what would have been 10 if we had been back home.  Also it was the first Christmas for my sister's second boy Lee as he had only been 6 months old when we left NI so we missed him especially.
2 years later my Christmas memory was that of telling our oldest boy that we were Santa but then having him help us as we prepared the Santa sacks for his brother and sister.

Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Our House in Londonderry with the 3 kids washing the car

Something I loved each year there was the fact that Fred would put coloured Christmas lights around the arched doorway and arched window of our porch.  This looked as you drove along the main road past our house and I always found it very welcoming when I would arrive home on a dark wet day (and we are talking of NI here so there were many of those types of days).
I miss the fact that we don't have any arched windows now because I love arches and we don't put lights round our doorway.

Tervuren, Belgium

December 2010 when we were leaving Tervuren

We lived here for 6 and a half years but the two memories that immediately spring to mind are to do with other people.
One year we decided to invite people from church who would be on their own for Christmas.  So along with the 5 of us we had a lady from the Phillipines, a girl from Kenya, and a young man from South America eating a regular British Christmas Dinner with us.  We still tease the Kenyan girl about the vegetables as she was not a great vegetable eater just like our Daniel.
Another year we had Sharon come to stay with us for 4 weeks over Christmas because her home was in South Korea and she was studying at the Bible College that our oldest son Jonathan was at.  The college closed up for the holiday and it was too far and too expensive for her to travel home. Sharon introduced us to Bulgogi and vegetable pancakes which we loved and we introduced her to Roast Potatoes which she loved.  During that Christmas we all went to see the nativity in the Grand Place in Brussels and lost Sharon in the crowd and that story has been told on a great number of occasions.

Banbridge, Northern Ireland
December 2010 when we moved to Banbridge
This will be our fourth Christmas here and the best memory is probably that of how last year we had all of us and my sister's family here with us including our niece's husband and their 6 month old baby boy (after 13 years of marriage).
Then this year we will make 2 new memories.
This will be the first Christmas without our daughter Linda who is now working in South Korea (and sees Sharon there).  Linda will also not be with us for her birthday for the first time too as it is a few days after Christmas.
The other memory will be that this is the first time we have a new member of our family with us, our daughter-in-law Suzie.  So of course then it also leads us to wonder when we will have another new member of the family with us for Christmas?

Tonight Fred and I put lights up on the Christmas Tree that is outside the front of our house.  
The house we bought here has a Christmas Tree planted in the garden and it is quite tall (you can see it in the picture above).
Each year I have said we should get lights for it but Fred didn't seem interested, then today he suggested we go buy lights and now we have blue and white lights outside our dining room window.

                      So I guess we have yet a third memory included for this house now.

The event we are meant to celebrate at Christmas is not a memory for us.
We were not there when it happened so we cannot remember the event but just because we were not there does not mean it was not important to us.
In fact it was one of the most important events for each one of us, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came to earth to live like us so that he could then die a human death in our place.

I am always amazed that this event is crowded out so much each Christmas as people want to have a special time of giving and receiving but they are not giving and receiving the Saving Love of Jesus.

Do you know the Saving Love of Jesus?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 12

Today is Thursday and our 12th day of Advent.

Back to the Christmas Cards again today and I wrote all the ones for people at church.
Again nice to sit and pray for the people as I write the cards.

Then I wrote the cards for the children at church.
Fred and I pray a lot for the children because of being so involved in the children's ministry in church but here was another opportunity to pray.
The theme in Sunday School this December is about the role of the angels in the Christmas story so I had chosen cards for the children around that theme as well.

All the cards are now written so only the ecards to be sent off next week.

The rest of the day was spent thinking about rearranging some things in a couple of the rooms with the view to where family will be staying when they come over Christmas time, and making some space in wardrobes.
Practical, time consuming things that have to be done before our son arrives next week.

I've included a very short video about Joy at Advent time for you.

Are you still enjoying the hope & joy of Advent or is it getting lost in the midst of all the practical things?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 11

It's Wednesday and Day 11 of Advent.

Time is moving on and I really had to get on with the presents so part of today was devoted to getting as many of the presents sorted as possible.

I like to get presents that people will like but I'm always conscious of the fact that my taste my not be the same as everyone else's.

By the middle of the afternoon I had really progressed with my presents list and was feeling very positive about it so I took a break.

Also, because I have to agree with Costa Coffee this year about little moments of Festive Fun, I had a coffee and did some blog hopping.

The only thing missing was the Lemon & Poppyseed Muffin which I love from Costa Coffee but there are just so many calories in it and I have to be good, sometimes.

Then this evening it was time for the second stage of the Christmas decorations.

This means that we now have also done the dining room and the kitchen as well as the lounge and hall from yesterday and again a nice easy going time.

Again a lovely happy memory from another decoration.

Another one that we were given in Belgium shortly before we left from a young couple and their little boy who we had grown to love in just a few months.  Thank goodness we can keep in touch on facebook etc.

Time for a little update on the Advent reading plan since Day 7

8.  We have joy because we worship Jesus the King
9.  We have joy because we know about Jesus
10.  We have joy because we are led to Jesus
11.  We have joy because Jesus has the victory over satan

I am thankful for the Hope and the Joy that we are reminded of during this Advent time.

Are you making time to remember the Joy of this Christmas time in the midst of the busy days?

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 10

It's Tuesday again and our 10th day of Advent.

This morning I got the Christmas Cards for the UK written and off in the post.

I always feel I'm getting on better once the majority of the cards are off.

Then the next thing on the agenda for Christmas really had to be the decorations.

We do not put up as many decorations as we used to and have given away several of the more childish things as the kids have got older, but still every year Fred will say

"Let's not put up too much this year."

He is usually rather predictable this husband of mine but when I said about the decorations tonight he just asked which boxes I wanted him to bring in from the garage to begin with.

I thought we would start with the Lounge and then the Hall so he brought those 3 boxes in and we worked together nicely putting up decorations, discussing where we had put certain things last year and then realised we were putting them in completely different places this year.  For example the kids Santa hats from when they were small are now always put out as decorations and we couldn't understand why we never thought to put them in this place during the other two Christmases in this house, but now we think this is the obvious place for them.

The kids Santa hats alongside their picture from Primary School

After we had done those two rooms and had packed the other ornaments away we decided to just leave the rest for tomorrow.

So that was our job this evening after an early dinner and now we can relax

One of my favourite decorations is a little nativity scene with candles that the members of our church homegroup in Belgium gave to us as a farewell gift when we were returning to Northern Ireland in 2010

Special because it centres around the birth of Jesus and special because it reminds us of dear friends with whom we spent quite a few years and many times of worship.  I am thankful for these friends and thankful for the great memories.

The candles are lit and then the hot air from them rises and makes the windmill type top rotate, which also rotates the manger & Mary & Joseph.

Do you have a decoration that is special to you because of the memory it evokes?

Monday, 9 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 9

Monday is usually our Kids Bible Club at one of the primary schools near our church but today was special as we had our Christmas Party.

Food galore for the kids, followed by quick recap on some of stories of Jesus we had covered this term reminding the children of how special Jesus is yet He still loves us and came to earth to die for us.  Important to make sure the focus of Christmas is Jesus as most of the time it is presents and food for these kids.

Then the games which are the highlight of any club with the kids.

It is difficult to tie in games with the theme of a day but we try and sometimes we are successful.
For the day that we told about the miracle of the Feeding of the 5,000 we had a relay game with paper bowls in which they had to put 5 small pics of loaves and 2 small pics of fish and run without dropping any of them out of the bowl.
For Jesus healing Blind Bartimaeus of course it's a game of Blind Man's Bluff and of course Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose is great because all you have to do is change duck and Goose to two other words to fit in with a variety of stories.

Today it was pin the tail on the donkey and the trunk on the elephant.  Then the old favourite of pass the parcel, followed by Musical statues.

I had some Christmas balloons so we had them blown up and placed around but when you are meeting in a school gym and only have 10 mins to set everything up before the kids come in there isn't enough time to do a lot of decorating.

Some prizes for the ones who did best in the games and then off home with notes to say when we would be starting back after Christmas.  A good afternoon,  happy kids and happy leaders even if tired and maybe the odd sore head?

Back home with a coffee and my Advent Reading Plan for today and a little time of relaxing before I need to make dinner and get ready to head out to another meeting at church tonight.

So really not enough time to tackle the decorations today again!  

This means plans are a bit behind but I am always willing to be flexible and a really a bit of downtime is needed now and again.

Are you behind in what you had been planning for this run up to Christmas?
Or did you have your decorations up nice and early and everything else running smoothly?

Sunday, 8 December 2013

What are you doing for Christmas? Day 8

This is the 2nd Sunday of Advent

During Advent we think of various things about Jesus coming to earth as He did at His birth and as He will again in the future.

Just a little update on the Advent reading plan since Wednesday Day 4

5.  We have hope because Jesus came to earth as one of us
6.  We have hope because Jesus brings Peace
7.  We have hope because Jesus is The Messiah

One of the things I have already thought about in the previous posts is the Hope we have because of Jesus but today I want to consider the

 we have in Him.

The children in Sunday School are into their first story leading up to Christmas.  They are looking at "Reassured by an Angel" telling the story of the angel message to Mary, then the angel message to Joseph and the birth of Jesus.

So when I was doing the children's slot at the start of our service this morning I talked about Joy because the messages by the angel to Mary and Joseph resulted in great joy for them.

We sang two choruses about Joy.
One is an old one but it doesn't matter about whether things are old or new but whether they help to teach our children about the truths in the Bible.

The other is a Christmas one about Joy which is sung to the tune of "Jesus loves me this I know" 

Are you full of Joy as you think of Christmas?