Merry Christmas!

To all my friends (aka awesome readers),  I want to wish you a wonderful and very

Merry Christmas!

I’m so grateful for the hope that we can celebrate this time of year.  The most precious gift ever!

I hope that your time is filled with family, friends, love and joy….

and food!

Mmmm, food!

Thanks for walking on this journey with me. I love hearing from you and just knowing you’re out there.

~Sarah

Christmas 3

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National Post editorial board: The form of a servant

While it may not all be quite right, this is a beautiful post about Christmas. I love the comparison to the ‘gods’ of old and their constant desire for more and more power at the expense of humanity.

“At Christmastime, Christians mark the greatest relinquishing: the omnipotent creator who chose to enter his creation as a helpless baby, the infinite accepting the finitude of time and space, the eternal constraining himself in history.”

~Sarah

Christ Emptied Himself

Merry Christmas!!

To all my friends (aka awesome readers),  I want to wish you a wonderful and very MerrChristmas!

I’m so grateful for the hope that we can celebrate this time of year.  The most precious gift ever!

I hope that your time is filled with family, friends, love and joy….

and food!

Mmmm, food!

Thanks for walking on this journey with me. I love hearing from you and just knowing you’re out there.

~Sarah
Christmas banner 2

Noel: Two week update!

Happy Two Week Birthday Noel!

Noelfamily1

Two weeks ago, God blessed Caleb and Alex with a beautiful baby girl.  The doctors had no hope for her… yet, here she is!!  You know why?

Because our God is a God of hope!!  There is always hope, because there is always God! 

He has proven himself over and over throughout history… and over and over in the life of this precious little girl.  One of Alex’s dearest friends, Jennifer, posted some beautiful thoughts on Noels name and I wanted to share it with you!

Noel WordsI watch as people visit my blog from all over the world and I know that this wonderful little girl is touching people everywhere.

Today Noel’s family is giving her an increase in formula as the nurse has advised.  Sadly, it won’t be cake or ice cream but it’s still a wonderful thing!!

Noel is too young to understand this, but we aren’t.  God… the God who placed the stars, He is using her in His plan.  I don’t know why it is under these circumstances but He is reaching out, through her, to so many.  Please continue to pray for healing and expect with me to see Him move mightily!!  Thank you again for all your prayers, are your thoughts and all that you have blessed this family with!  They are feeling your support and are so grateful!

We praise You, Lord, for these two weeks as Noel has grown!  What a blessing she is to her family and to us.  To watch You work in her life and see Your great power is so amazing.  We praise You for she is fearfully and wonderfully made!  You created her and You are sustaining her.  We trust in Your unfailing love and we know that You have a plan for Noels life.  A plan that we are watching unfold and a plan that is drawing myself and countless others closer to You.  We pray that You continue to work in her life and may she have many years with her family to come!  We pray for Your hand of healing to be on her.  Mend all of her, Father God.  Show the world Your power as so many eyes are on this little girl!  Be also with Caleb, Alex and those who are caring for her 24/7.  Please give them energy and wisdom!  Amen.

Noel26Seriously adorable!

Love, Sarah

Here are the other posts for Noel:
Noel at home

Happy One Week Birthday Noel

Blessings

Two Week Update

Urgent Update

Sorrow and Comfort

Until We Meet Again

Memories of Noel: The Darkness and the Light

 

Merry Christmas!!

To all my awesome readers:  I want to wish you a wonderful and very Merry Christmas!  I hope that your time is filled with family, friends, love….

and food!  

Mmmm, food!  (I must be hungry!)

Thanks for walking on this journey with me.  I love hearing from you and just knowing you’re out there.  

~Sarah

Merry Christmas 2

Faithful Forever

Shattered

Three years ago, our world changed.  It wasn’t as dramatic as a death in the family but it felt sharp, devastating.  Parts of life splintered… like old wood that just can’t hold itself together anymore.

Things we thought were strong and well kept, shattered from misuse.  Things that had shown fractures burst apart and left pain in the wake.  Words were said, arguments were had.  The external explosion left us feeling stunned.  The illusion that all was well, was gone.

When the stunned feeling passed and the pain flowed afresh, we turned to the Lord.  Some days all I could pray, over and over, were the words ‘Please help us Lord.’  As we shored up our defences against the plans of the enemy, we felt the arms of the Lord.  We rested in His promises.

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  This isn’t the peace that we know.  Not the peace that comes from say a clean house, this is Gods peace.  Far reaching beyond anything we can get ourselves.

Psalm 55:22 ~ “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”  He will sustain you.  What a promise!  He will provide a sufficiency of strength, as life is sustained by food, so will you be sustained by the Lord!

Psalm 62:8 ~ “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

Psalm 94:19 ~ “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

Psalm 46:1 ~ “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

He hasn’t promised that it will always be easy, in fact, it rarely is.  He has promised those who love him that He will be there though, through it all.

I will admit that there were times when I doubted.  I know that the Lord can do anything… I just didn’t know if he would.  I cried so many tears for healing over the situation. There were times I was sure that my heart was going to shatter into dust.

For two years Christmas has felt like a fragment of what it could be.  We still celebrated the arrival of the saviour, but the joy was shadowed with sadness.

GOD IS FAITHFUL!  Through it ALL, He was faithful.  He is true to His word.  He sustained us.  

As an added blessing… He has made things new!!  Working, as He does, behind the scenes.  

This year, Christmas takes on a whole new dimension.  This year the joy flows!  What once was lost, has now been found.  What once was in pieces, has been made whole…. well, as whole as things on earth can be.  I better understand now the parable of the ‘Prodigal Son’ that Jesus told.  (Luke 15:11-32) I used to only identify with the prodigal son himself (and, too often, I still do).  Now, I’ve had a glimpse of what it must have felt like for the father in the parable.  The agony, the longing… the waiting…..

Then, the abundant joy and gratitude as the Lord moves and heals and draws together!!

Seldom a week goes by that I am not drawn, numerous times, into breathless (and often emotional) thanksgiving for all He has done.

I know that there will be trials ahead.  They may be much harder, but God has proven time and time again that He is faithful and always will be.

This song has been stuck in my head since Sunday.  It is the banner song for this post.  ‘Sovereign Over Us’ by Aaron Keyes.

 

How about you?  Have an awesome story of God’s faithfulness?  I’d love if you’d share it!  🙂

~Sarah

Joy

‘Keening for the Dawn’ by Steve Bell ~ Beauty and Longing

When I first popped this CD into my stereo, I knew I was in for a treat.  I have enjoyed Steve Bell’s music since I met him as a child.

I enjoyed the first song and then as the CD played on I realized that although I know Steve quite well, this is not the album I expected.  Steve’s albums are comfort food for my spirit and this album stirred my soul with a rawness… a keening for the reason for the season.  Not the baby in the manger reason but the longing of the world for the arrival of the Saviour, both then and now.

This album takes us on a journey, musically and lyrically.  Steve and his guitar, as always, are wonderful.  In addition, there are striking moments with mandolin, harmonica, violin, viola, cello and bass.  All combined with thought-provoking lyrics.

Beginning with Advent, ‘The Coming’, with expectant waiting and preparation for the arrival of the Lord.  ‘Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel‘ is infused with beautiful spoken words by Malcolm Guite and gives a whole new sound to a traditional song.  We also get a wonderful classic from Steve in ‘Fashion For Me‘.

Into the Nativity, where we feast on the beautiful ‘While Shepherds Watched‘ and some beautifully poetic songs to make the heart sigh and soar.

Lastly, the Epiphany, the ‘revealing’ of Jesus.  As I write this review, I’ve been trying to figure out which section touches me most.  The whole CD is wonderful, but I think that the songs contained in this section are the ones that ring the most in me.  While we celebrate with joy the arrival of the Saviour, we are reminded that His was not an easy life but He came anyway.  That He knows that ours is not an easy life and walks with us.  He calls to us.

This beautiful, poignant album has caused me to long more for Him and not the ‘Christmas’ that I am accustomed to.  Not the hustle and the bustle.  Not the gifts, and not even the family-time.  (Though I still look forward to those things.)  I am reminded of my longing for the Lord… and even more touching… of His longing for me.

Thank-you Steve and Malcolm.  I will treasure this CD and it will be listened to year-round.

~Sarah

Please visit Steve’s website (where you can get this fantastic CD): http://stevebell.com/music-video/discography/

Also, here is Malcolm’s blog: http://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/blog/