Sunday, December 17, 2017

Thw Star of Bethlehem

The Light of the world stuns our gaze with masterpieces of breaking day...

Do you ever feel the weight of your mortality?
Do you find comfort in the Light that lights the Way from mortal to immortal?

It beams its Everlasting Light
Across a dying race
In streams of Mercy, Hope and Might
And immutable grace

That Hallowed Star of Bethlehem
To all who look and see
Invites ‘the very least of them
To witness Majesty

The wise men, when they saw the Star
Come, let us follow where we are
The Light that will not dim

And though we have no gifts of myrrh
May humble joy and worship stir
A gift fit for the King

And may we fix our eyes with awe
Beyond Time’s wish and whim  
And trust the Light the wisemen saw
To lead us Home to Him

© Janet Martin

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life."
John 8:12 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Because It's Christmas, Let's Celebrate!

Just because its Christmas, trouble does not disappear
How then do we find true joy? Who can give us Christmas cheer?
Life is filled with strife and stress
How can we find  happiness?
The answer will always remain the same
Joy, cheer, happiness; Jesus is His name

Nothing sparks wonder like gazing at the Story of Jesus!
(the Nativity scene, hands down, is the highlight for children when they help me decorate)

...and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Loneliness, heartache, grief, care
Discouragement, vanished goal
Fatigue, longing, fear, despair
Pain of body, heart and soul
Christmas does not heal the man
But the Author of it can

Cheery wreaths and colored balls
Twinkly tree and sugar-treats
Fa-la-la and deck the halls
Cannot bring goodwill and peace
Glitter-garland, tinseled glam
Cannot outshine Bethlehem

Life is hard and so is love
Hope and joy, ah, who can find
But in He who came to prove
Love suffers long and is kind
Ah, herein begins a cheer
We can celebrate all year

Ring those bells and sing and sing
What of dark days that we dread?
What of what Unknown will bring?
Hope and comfort are not dead
They came from Heaven to earth
Through the Christ Child’s humble birth

Jesus, then help us trust You now
 Help us to believe your Word
Saviour of the world art Thou
Angels sang and shepherds heard
Then, let us make haste like they
To see where the Christ Child lay

Janet Martin

© Janet Martin

Friday, December 15, 2017

Of Mixing Bowls and Manger-wonder...

 As we mixed, stirred, cooked and baked, turning what looked like chaos
... into soup, salad, cookies, cake, etc, made me think that raising families and cooking have a lot in common. 
Often it is messy, noisy, doesn't seem like a pinch of this and a dash of that is too significant but in the end it can make all the difference, the little 'dashes' add up to something far bigger!
 Stories nurture dreams, prayers and devotions teach faith and worship, singing wakens joy, reprimand teaches right from wrong, conversation teaches communication,
 compliments build confidence, and so forth...
What is in your 'mixing bowl'? (For some Delicious cooking ideas click HERE!)
and remember, its not the middle but the end result that its about so we should use lots of 'Good' stuff  for the finished product to be 'nice'!
And of course, we learn through trial and error:)
It's good for all of us to re-evaluate our 'ingredients' from time to time
What better place than kneeling at the manger?!

...where Majesty came down from Heaven
To a stable, poor and cold
...where Bethlehem was the beginning 
Of the Greatest Story told 

...where, mongst ox and lowing cattle
And the bleating of the lamb
Laid the Victor of a battle
Helpless babe clothing I AM

...where, the Star that led the wise-men
Did not lead Belief astray
But beamed faithful through the journey
To the place where Jesus lay

Where Herod could not deter Him
Though with evil scheme He tried
For the little boys who died

Where Jesus, knowing the horror
Of the road that lay ahead
Did not turn away in sorrow
But suffered(how He suffered) in our stead

Where those who first beheld his glory
Gazed at Holy Mystery
We unlike they, know the full story
First Bethlehem, then Calvary

  (God forgive us when we doubt)
You, the Author of Salvation
And Love we cannot live without

Oh, let us ever praise you, Jesus
For triumph's banner unfurled 
Where this earthy death transports us
To the Saviour of the world

Janet Martin

Aren't you glad one of the best ingredients we can put in our mixing bowl is laughter?
The boys that come after school on Thursdays have a 'rule' that all leftover lunch must be eaten before any Janet-supper may be tasted. 
I thought all three of them had their carrot-sticks chewed and swallowed, but after supper I discovered Youngest's carrots on a cozy sleigh-ride with some country-mice!!!

Guess who had a re-dessert of carrots?:)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Deadline Season?

 This fellow has no deadlines or cares. No wonder we are told to behold the birds of the air...

Here is a glimpse at deadline details:)
Believe it or not when I got up my sink was empty and counters clean and clear!

It feels like deadline season; to-do lists tap at our brains
And we are torn twixt stress and happiness it seems to bring
But friend, take heart for oh, the part that matters thus remains
There is no deadline for the joy of worshipping the King

It feels sometimes like days are shorter than they used to be
Seasons slips through our bearing like a breeze or blip of song
But oh, then gentle kindness soothes thought’s sentimental spree
The love we feel at Christmas is in season all year long

…so, in the hustle-bustle that comes with planning and prep
Let’s try to keep in mind more than the chore and shopping list
And think of those that wish we’d slow our gotta-go-go step
Lest things that matter most somehow becomes the part we missed

It feels like deadline season; my the twenty-fifth comes fast
As hours melt like snowflakes on a sun-kissed windowpane
And we are caught between the dream and sheen of shadows cast
Where season hinged to season weaves an ether echo-train

The youngest and the oldest need our time rather than stuff
There is no deadline to The Gift that everyone can bring
So let The Reason for the Season fill our hearts with love
And peace, for there is no deadline for worshipping the King

© Janet Martin

 The youngest and the oldest need our time rather than stuff..., as if to challenge me to add substance to these words just now Little Girl asked
"Will you read this book to me?" so we did... 

 "I love Baby Jesus" she said when we finished reading the book
and singing/listening the song below...


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Come. Let US Adore Him!


He came; the angels hailed His birth
The shepherds heard and blind faith led
them to a place of low estate
to gaze upon a manger-bed

...and though they did not understand
The grand details of what-why-who
They trusted God and simply went
To where the angels told them to 

...and when they saw that it was so
They spread the 'glad tidings of joy'
and all that heard it were amazed
as they told of this Baby Boy

...come, let us kneel and 'see' Him too
Let us let blind faith lead the Way
Let's leave our work to gaze into
The holy place where Jesus lay

...then let us spread the gladsome news
lest some as yet have not been told
Jesus, the Saviour of the world
Is the same as in days of old

The Reason for the Season lives
In humble shepherd-hearts of we
Who do not fully understand
But hear the Good News and Believe

Janet Martin

...and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:7-20

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Heaped With Wonder

 Does this no-two-ways-about-it verse not heap your heart with wonder?!

"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

 Nature's decorator has been busy creating wonder as well!

Barren sweep is heaped with wonder
Nature’s decorator wins
With a wash of soft white plunder
Earth is festooned for Her King

Barren deep is heaped with gladness
Mercy’s mediator wins
White as snow redemption’s promise
Prepares hearts to meet Their King

Barren hills are filled with worship
Barren will reborn through Him
Like a barren earth replenished
With the beauty of the King 

Sing a song of purest wonder
Like the snow, grace covers sin
Turn your heart into a manger
Humbly holding Christ the King

© Janet Martin