I must confess that where I used to live, in the Isle of Man, we did not have a Christingle service. If you are in the same case, let me explain what it is about. The tradition of making Christingles comes to us from Moravia, where the first Christingle service was held on Christmas Eve, 1747. A Christingle comprises of
· an orange - This represents the world in which we live that God created.
· a red ribbon - This is tied around the orange and represents the blood which Jesus shed for us.
· four cocktail sticks - These are placed around the orange and represent the four seasons.
· nuts, fruit or sweets - These are placed on the ends of the 4 cocktail sticks and represent the fruits of the earth which God provides.
· a lighted candle - This is placed in the centre of the orange and represents Jesus Christ the Light of the World.
During the service, the candles are lit and the following is read:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
In him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The true light, which gives light to everyone,
came into the world. (John 1:5) Glory to the newborn king. Jesus, the light of the world.
God is light,
in him there is no darkness at all.
Although darkness covered the earth
and the people lived in thick darkness,
God's glory appeared over us Preparing the Christingles takes a bit of time!
and may nothing but happiness, come through your door.
On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed......
On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"
And God agreed......
On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed again......
On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."
But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God. "You asked for it."
So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you. There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service.
Tonight, I have just come across the following website : christart.com full of cliparts and art stuff obviously. Unexpectedly they also have a number of beautiful poems written by talented brothers and sisters. I couldn't resist sharing this one with you. Praise the Lord.
May the Lord bless you in abundance.
Two ninety-year old men, Mike and Joe, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Joe was dying, Mike visited him every day. One day Mike said, “Joe, we both loved rugby all our lives, and we played rugby on Saturdays together for so many years. Please do me one favour, when you get to Heaven; somehow you must let me know if there’s rugby there.” Joe looked up at Mike from his death-bed, “Mike, you’ve been my best mate for many years. If it’s at all possible, I'll do this favour for you.” Shortly after that, Joe passed on. At midnight a couple of nights later, Mike was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him, “Mike! Mike!” “Who is it?” asked Mike, sitting up suddenly. “Who is it?” “Mike – it’s me, Joe.” “You're not Joe. Joe just died.” “I'm telling you, it’s me, Joe,” insisted the voice. “Joe! Where are you?” “In heaven”, Joe replied. “I have some very good news and a little bad news.” “Tell me the good news first,” said Mike. “The good news,” Joe said, “is that there’s rugby in heaven. Better yet, all of our old friends who died before us are here, too. Better than that, we’re all young again. Better still, it’s always spring-time and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play rugby all we want, and we never get tired.” “That's beyond my wildest dreams!” said Mike. “So what's the bad news?” “You’re in the team for Tuesday!”
Some time ago, Patricia and Michael invited us for Sunday diner and we had a wonderful time. It was great to spend some quality time. There was a beautiful log fire in the lounge and we were pampered beyond measure!
We love having friends round, however, finding the right time can be difficult. The week-end before last Pat, Alan and Jason came to ours. You can guess who is the cook! Diner was délicieux and I will extrapolate about the desert!
I was told that best English trifle is made with custard! I was quite happy to make it with jelly topped up with custard..I hear that there is a bit of controversy..so what kind of trifle do you prefer ? When we went shopping on the saturday, Steven put some summer fruits in the trolley but somehow, when he unpacked the shopping, he could not find them, ..checked the bill and he had not paid for them either..Earlier in the week, I bought a pineapple..you can guess what happened...this is a pineapple trifle façon Etienne.
Family and friends, cheerful hearts, are a blessing from the Lord. Praise the Lord.
I am home early as there's been a water leak at my school in the basement and it's not safe to stay there! We taught periods 1 and 2 and at break we told our form to go home! Needless to say that the children were pretty excited! So I shall catch up with bits and pieces at home, admin and I ought to start writing those Christmas cards!
St. Augustine, in his classic devotional work "Confessions", writes of his conversion experience and newfound love for God. Augustine had been a vile and wicked man. His life was filled with revelry, drunkenness, and sexual exploits. But the God of heaven used a most curious providence to draw Augustine to Himself. One day, while in the gardens, he heard some children playing, and singing a song with the words "tolle lege, tolle lege" - "...take and read...take and read..." Under great spiritual compulsion and conviction, he obtained a copy of the Scriptures, and opened it randomly to the book of Romans, chapter 13, verses 13-14. In this passage he read the inspired words of God penned by the Apostle Paul to the church at Rome some 300 years before he was even born, "13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. This was a vivid description of Augustine's life, and the remedy for such a life appeared in the next verse.14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Jesus Christ was his only answer. His life was transformed in an instant, in the power of regeneration. In his Confessions he writes of his lucid transformation, his salvation through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, "You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." After his conversion, Augustine wrote voluminously concerning the Lord Jesus Christ; the Confessions, though, are his most famous work.
What a joy tomeet up with our brothers and sisters of all our Mid-trent churches to praise the Lord in the beautiful church of Gayton on Advent Sunday. Here are more photos as promised.
However, I must note that I did not take a photo of our brothers and sisters previously photographed and whose photos are already on this website on older posts! And again, I did not manage to take a photo of everybody in the service.
Everyday, I receive a daily thought based on the Word from The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources. I must confess that it is so relevant to what I am going through. As in my job, I have to talk all day long, and answer quickly, I must take on seriously the advice given below. Let me know what you think!
Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Jesus said, "I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." Mt 12:36
But conversely words can edify. Words are power things, often underestimated. God left us with His Spirit and with His Word. And "the word of God is living and active." Heb 4:12a
God says of His Word, "my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Is 55:11
Likewise with us. Peter writes, "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God." 1Peter 4:11a
Words influence. Words have impact. So consider carefully what you say. "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Col 4:6
And pray, "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." Ps 141:3
Let us learn to speak by listening to the Lord and receiving the grace given. Isaiah said, "The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Is 50:4
A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and make up.
As she was still in "mid-rant", delayed by the stop light, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, she was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, "I'm sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome plated Christan Fish emblem on the trunk.
.....Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."
After spending a week in La Côte d'Azur, we moved to La Camargue, in Saintes Maries de la Mer. It's an ideal place to observe all kinds of birds, wild horses, steers, insects, beavers, turtles...One day we went to Arles to visit the arenas. As Steven decided to walk round the arenas and take more photographies, Imogen and I thought a pause in a cafe would be beneficial! First she mentioned having a pancake but soon it turned out that the milkshake was more enticing!
Some places in La Camargue were ill-famed for the amount of mosquitoes. Recently dragon-flies were introduced and the result is excellent!
Late afternoon, we visited Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a picturesque village not far from Bar-sur-Loup where my cousin Catherine and my auntie Rolande (my mum's sister) live. If you are not used to mountain roads then take it easy when you drive there. The 'native' French driver being fiery, you may just want to keep tightly on your side of the lane, i mean of the road! We were just exploring those medieval streets when we heard the thunder and had to rush for shelter. As it was not just a shower, we gave up and returned to Bar-sur-Loup.
There are two ways of access to St Raphael, the motorway and the coastal road which is much more scenic but as windy as the one to go to Tourrettes only wider! It took us an hour to get there from Cannes, including traffic and avoiding cars badly parked along both sides of the road!
Here we are with my auntie Rolande in the hospital in Nice. A few days before we were due to leave England, she rang me to let me know she had a mini-stroke and was undergoing an EEG, blood tests and various scans.. She is better now and back home still monitored for her sleep apnea. Please pray for her as she is slowly recovering.
On the way to la Côte d'Azur we stopped in a campsite near Beaune, in Savigny, a deligthful place that happened to be surrounded with well-maintained vineyards and caves. In the campsite, we talked to other tourists like us on their way south or others who were on their way north, only staying one or two nights. We also stopped there on the way back.