Saturday, 28 December 2013



 "When the song of the angels is stilled.
 When the star in the sky is gone. 
When the kings and princes are home, 
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
 the work of Christmas begins:
 To find the lost,
 to heal the broken,
 to feed the hungry,
 to release the prisoner,
 to rebuild the nations,
 to bring peace to others,
 to make music in the heart."

 Howard Thurman

Tuesday, 24 December 2013



 Almost now...."God. With. Us. God can't stay away. He comes as a baby because He's done with barriers. He comes as a baby, the most vulnerable imaginable. *Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you.*

John Wesley died with the words, "The best of all is, God is with us" on his tongue. These words could beat joy in our hearts on a night like this.

Ann Voskamp


Painting by Egor Zaytsev (Russia)


Dressing the Christmas tree
Used to take all the family
An hour or two to do,
Back then the house hummed
With laughing children,
As each shiny bauble was hung
On the welcoming fir.
Their shouts of glee
Twinkled like the crowning star
Bright atop the highest bough.

Now she does the task alone,
Her eyes twinkling at memories
Of the full long ago.
Each glimmering trinket
Unlocks some olden scene
Of the family gathered
Around the open fire,
Flames adance
Reflecting in the adorned tree
Light drops of time’s passage.

Gerard O'Shea

Thursday, 19 December 2013




When all the winds were mild,
Mary came to me apart
and laid the Holy Child
here inside my heart.

My heart was made the manger,
and my body was the stall.
And now no man is stranger:
my life goes out to all,

To bring to each of them
this Child of heaven’s light,
to let them enter in, like flames
of candles to the holy night.

 Georg Johannes Gick:

Thursday, 12 December 2013





“To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.

He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him.
He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament.
He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice.

He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence.

To draw a hard and fast line and say, “This is sacred and this is secular,” is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel…
Peter saw a sheet let down from heaven in which were all manner of beasts and four-footed creatures, which he was bidden to kill and eat, and when he refused because they were unclean, he was rebuked by a voice from heaven, saying, “What God hath cleansed that call not thou common” [Acts 10:15; 11:9].

The Lord hath cleansed your houses, he has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables…  He has made the common pots and pans of your kitchens to be as the bowls before the altar –
if you know what you are and live according to your high calling.

You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live.

The sacred has absorbed the secular.”

C. H. Spurgeon

Sunday, 8 December 2013


C S Lewis at Magdalen College

" You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. 
I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? "

C S Lewis


Our Father,
which art in Dixons,
hallowed be thy games;
thy new releases come,
thy videoing be done,
in Nicam as it is in mono;
give us this day our daily emails,
and forgive us for not spending enough,
as we forgive those who spend too little on us;
lead us not into Oxfam,
but deliver us from charitable giving;
for thine is the DVD,
the widescreen and the Game Boy,
for ever and ever,

Rachel Mann

Friday, 6 December 2013


Nelson Mandela 1918 ~ 2013

In the afttermath of the death of Nelson Mandela many tributes have been paid to the man who inspired the fight against apartheid in his home country of South Africa. A lesser known aspect of his life was his Christian faith. This is part of an address he gave at the Easter Conference of the Zionist Christian Church in April, 1994.

“We bow our heads in worship on this day and give thanks to the Almighty for the bounty He has bestowed upon us over the past year. We raise our voices in holy gladness to celebrate the victory of the risen Christ over the terrible forces of death.
Easter is a joyful festival! It is a celebration because it is indeed a festival of hope!
Easter marks the renewal of life! The triumph of the light of truth over the darkness of falsehood!
Easter is a festival of human solidarity, because it celebrates the fulfilment of the Good News!
The Good News borne by our risen Messiah who chose not one race, who chose not one country, who chose not one language, who chose not one tribe, who chose all of humankind!
Each Easter marks the rebirth of our faith. It marks the victory of our risen Saviour over the torture of the cross and the grave.
Our Messiah, who came to us in the form of a mortal man, but who by his suffering and crucifixion attained immortality.
Our Messiah, born like an outcast in a stable, and executed like criminal on the cross.
Our Messiah, whose life bears testimony to the truth that there is no shame in poverty: Those who should be ashamed are they who impoverish others.
Whose life testifies to the truth that there is no shame in being persecuted: Those who should be ashamed are they who persecute others.
Whose life proclaims the truth that there is no shame in being conquered: Those who should be ashamed are they who conquer others.
Whose life testifies to the truth that there is no shame in being dispossessed: Those who should be ashamed are they who dispossess others.
Whose life testifies to the truth that there is no shame in being oppressed: Those who should be ashamed are they who oppress others.” 

Nelson Mandela

Thursday, 5 December 2013



This video based on Ann Voskamp's book,
 'The Greatest Gift' is a reflective meditation
 on the heart of the Christmas celebration.
 In just a few minutes she hits on so many
 essential themes that should occupy our 
minds at this 'busy' time of the year.