The Coca Cola Truck

Most children nowadays seem to connect the above truck and Santa Claus with Christmas, I even seen one for Aldi supermarkets and The John Lewis advert (and yes as a young Christian I to also thought santa was real until one year my mother and father decided to put central heating in the house blocking off the chimney.

Whilst I am out carolling each year with The Salvation Army Band I am always amazed by the amount of people adults and children alike stop and listen even if it is for a few moments.

Let us not forget that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ a baby born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem

Mathew 1 V 21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

CANDLE OF HOPE

Romans 15:13

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13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today is the first Sunday in advent ‘The Candle of Hope’

Isn’t it strange how at the lead up to Christmas you start to see adverts for donations to several charities whilst at the other end of the spectrum you see a house decorated like the one above.

Though having said that there used to be a person who lived in a nearby village to me decorated his house at Christmas to raise money for a ward in the local hospital.

My Child

My child, I see your weakness

My child, I see your pain

And yes, I understand it

The trials in which you strain

I see your heart within you

Your love for Me, I see

My child, you are most prescious

And beautiful to Me

Beyond the flesh of failure

Beyond the body’s strife

My Spirit now transforms you

You’re held within my Life

So when you’re poor in spirit

And mourn for grief and sin

My child, I Am most near to you

My heart with yours, within

By Lisa Lawlor

When I look at the lyrics Lisa penned I am reminded especially by the last verse of the Charles Wesley hymn Gentle Jesus meek and mild

Reblog – A Song of Consecration

John 15:15-17 New International Version 

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus, tender lover of my soul,
Pardoner of my sins, and friend indeed,
Keeper of the garden of my heart,
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

Jesus, Thou art everything to me;
Jesus, Thou art everything to me;
All my lasting joys are found in Thee;
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

What to me are all the joys of earth?
What to me is every sight I see,
Save the sight of Thee, O Friend of mine?
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

Here I lay me at Thy bleeding feet;
Deepest homage now I give to Thee;
Hear Thy whispered love within my soul;
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

This lovely song of consecration was written by Edward Henry Joy – an early-day Salvationist born in Canterbury, England in 1871. Later, he was a bandsman at Folkestone Corps before becoming an officer in 1894. He had only one corps appointment – at Tunstall, where he was also responsible for Golden Hill outpost. After this, Joy served in local administrative appointments until 1917, when he was transferred to International Headquarters, as Under Secretary in the Foreign Office. After some international travels, he was appointed to Western Canada as Immigration Secretary, and then Editor-in-Chief. In 1932 he became editor of The War Cryin South Africa. Colonel Joy retired in 1938 and in the following year returned to England, where he died in 1949.

Listen to Jesus

Proverbs 8 New International Version

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.

34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
    and receive favour from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.”

Although this passage of scripture indicates that Jesus is talking to children, the passage really refers to us all. We must keep listening because it is only by listening we become wise and are blessed

Redemption through Christ

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Ephesians 1 New International Version 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to son-ship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Jesus Lives

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Romans 6 New International Version 

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Whilst reading this piece of scripture i am reminded of a chorus well known in The Salvation Army

It’s no longer I that liveth,
But Christ that liveth in me,
It’s no longer I that liveth,
But Christ that liveth in me.
He lives! He lives!
Jesus is alive in me.
It’s no longer I that liveth,
But Christ that liveth in me.

Hypocrisy

Matthew 23 New International Version 

A Warning Against Hypocrisy

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.Related image

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Reaching Out

Matthew 14:22-33 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Jesus walks on the water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

28 ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

29 ‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’