Wednesday, 6 December 2017

It's so easy to get wrapped up (literally!🎁) with the Holiday Season. After all, it's the best time to eat cake, wait for Santa, eat cake, see friends, eat cake, go sledging, eat cake, sing carols, and - did I say eat cake?

     Unfortunately, many Christians give up the true meaning of Christmas for the worlds one (and I'm sure you'll know it all too well) - Santa, presents, treats, friends, laughter, memories, etc. Our family doesn't do Santa, but that's another topic. The point is, these things are all okay, except when we replace Jesus with them

     Even the true meaning of Christmas is often altered. For example, when the Wise Men came to Jesus, He was not still in the stable, as a lot of Christians seem to think. Though these people should not be condemned, we should make our own decision over whether we should believe this or not.

     Though we do not have these at the centre of our Christmas, we still have traditions every year. For example, our Advent candle (main picture), our Nativity Scene (pictured above), which was from The Leprosy Mission, a wreath or garland, stockings on Christmas Eve, singing carols, decorating the house... these are all simple ideas that are fun and easy to do.

     So, keep Christ at the centre of your Christmas, and a blessed Advent to you all! 😊

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

I like books. Okay, love them! Ever since I was tiny, reading has been one of my favourite hobbies. However, since I became a Christian, I began to realise that I needed to limit my literature to worth while books. I think I started to understand Romans 12:2 a bit better. Here are some of my Christian favourites:

Do Hard Things

by Alex & Brett Harris

This was on my book list when I became a Christian. It really shaped the way I thought, and how I could show the world that young people are not adolescent.

Joyfully at Home

by Jasmine Baucham

Though now out of print is still available on Amazon. Written especially for young women living at home and pondering beginning a career, Jasmine questions whether we really need leave home, some downfalls of doing so before marriage, and how to live joyfully, at home.

Before you meet Prince Charming

by Sarah Mally

prepares young ladies for their future husbands, staying pure, and other issues Christian girls must deal with. With tips, funny stories, Bible verses, and more, Sarah shows how you need to be ready before you meet your Prince Charming!

A Kind of Courage

by Mary Burkholder

Challenges young people with the thought that who you are now will affect you when you are older. Through funny and challenging stories, Mary both encourages and warns.

Wings Like a Dove

by Hope Marston

This is historical fiction, my favourite! Through the life of Jeanne D'Albret, the writer encourages Christians while telling history in an exciting and unique way.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Some of the most trying things that will shake a Christian's faith are pain, grief, and hurt. Perhaps it's because our sinful human nature blinds us from seeing to the other side of the darkness. But, the Lord Jesus is with us all the way (Psalm 10:14). 
     Staying loyal to Jesus when things are hard can be difficult; it can just be so easy to blame God for everything. But, He knows how much it hurts: He was here just like we are. He experienced the same things we do, such as pain, temptation, sadness, the sinfulness of our fallen world (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 23:26-55, John 11:35, Luke 11:37-54). In fact, He experienced all of these at the very end when He died for our sins on the cross. He knows exactly how we feel.

     Once when my family were on our way to Church, we saw a bad car accident. Less than a minute away from where the accident took place, a wedding couple were having their pictures taken. Less than a minute away... and yet two extremely diverse situations; both changed the lives of the people involved.

     So how does God love us all, if there are certain people He knows will be mourning while others are rejoicing? How is it possible if He isn't showing favouritism? Well, God's ways are above our ways (John 3:3). And though bad things may happen to us, He does not forget us or not see us when we fall, just like the sparrows (Matthew 10:29-30). He still cares for and loves us.

     One of the most scary things for me was when, several years ago, some of my relatives died. I was shocked. My grandma, especially, was a devout Christian, and I still miss her. I could not believe, back then, that God let her have cancer. I saw her struggling to walk, then in a wheelchair, then in bed. And yet, through the pain, she praised God to the last. Her favourite psalm was Psalm 23, and I still get emotional reading it.

     When I heard that she had died, I ran to my room crying. I am still sad she is no longer here, but I have hope, for soon, when Jesus comes, I'll get to meet her again! Isn't that exciting! I am so thankful that the Lord made me realise that all I needed in life was Him.


Thursday, 9 November 2017

The November moon is a very beautiful sight. Last night, my brother and I went outside our backdoor, kitted out with tripods and cameras, to photograph the full moon. We were freezing cold, our noses running and our breath like white steam, but it was very enjoyable, and we were even rewarded with some amazing photographs.

    I am always overwhelmed by the stars and the entire Universe. So many trillions of galaxies, stars, suns, systems... it's incredible, and we can't even begin to imagine it all. And yet, God is even more amazing.

          "He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name."

Psalm 147:4
        Isn't our God truly awesome! He has a name for all the stars, which we can't even begin to imagine. Our God is a great big God.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

This year, on the 31st, it is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses on the Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Sadly, this important day will be viewed mostly by people just as Halloween.

   Halloween is often (unfortunately) celebrated by many Christians aswell as non-believers. Many Christians just shrug their shoulders and say, "well, what's wrong with it? After all, we aren't worshipping it or anything."

   But are we? Are we putting God's Word second? 'Halloween' is actually short for 'All Hallows Eve', the day before All Saints Day, which was made by early Christians to replace the pagan festival. 

    Most ignored this, however, and so Halloween carried on over the centuries, though its name has changed. Guising, fancy dress and sweets seem pretty innocent at first, but when we get down to the horror movies, zombie masks and grinning skeletons, what are we really celebrating? Scary things, evil and witchcraft seem to be what people are deeming as 'fun'.

    This is why my family does not celebrate Halloween. At the end of James 1:27, it says, "... keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Another verse in James states that we should resist the devil (James 4:7). Are we really being different from the world if we allow ourselves to wallow in the same sin?

    Of course, you may be wondering what to do in Autumn if you stop Halloween in your home. Well, the next step is to replace it (Romans 12:21). You need not do these things on the 31st, but they will help kids appreciate Autumn.

    Make pumpkin pie with your younger siblings, go on a chilly walk through a forest, make bark rubbings, press or dry leaves for a vase or picture frame, harvest a crop, go birdwatching! There are endless ideas for Autumn fun, and these approaches to replacing Halloween are mentally and physically safe, fun and healthy. They will make good memories. 

    So, have fun, be safe, and most importantly, keep Christ at the centre of your Autumn. He can help you be the difference in a sinful world. 🙂