Saturday, 29 December 2012

Times and Seasons

When God creates, He does so wonderfully. I love the way that he’s arranged the times and seasons in the world. Our calendar, which is based on the scientific rotation of the planet around the sun, is an example of this.

Because of the arrangement of days in a week and weeks in a year, we never experience the same date on the same day in subsequent years. I think this is a comforting thing when considering unpleasant anniversaries. We are reminded that the anniversary on the following year, e.g. of the death of a loved one will be the same date but a different day. It’s a small reminder that we don’t relive things in quite the same manner, that there can be small but positive changes for the better.

The seasons too, as the earth rotates around the sun, remind us that life changes. God in his wisdom did not make the weather the same all year around but gave us four seasons to enjoy. We delight in the emerging shoots on a dormant bough in springtime. We revel in warm days and beach picnics in summer. The tones of autumn tress delight our eyes. For those lucky enough to experience snowfalls in winter, we are never too old to throw snowballs!
Some people see the seasons symbolic of the seasons of life – childhood, maturity and fruitfulness, reaping and reflecting and old age. We are reminded that change is a part of life and that each season in itself is full of blessings and joys. As I write this I’m enjoying the summer sunshine and tropical fruits in Australia, whilst friends in the United States are shivering in the winter snows. There’s something comforting to know that summer and winter, joy and pain, youth and maturity are found in this world together.
Just as spring inevitably follows winter, so we who trust in Christ know that old age and death is not the end but will be followed with a glorious new Spring in Heaven, praise God!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Christmas Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father God, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, blessed Trinity, we acknowledge You and give You praise.
Thank You Father, for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to Earth, to be born as a baby in Bethlehem and to live amongst us, teaching us of Yourself. Thank You for His sacrifice upon the Cross at Calvary, honouring You and making a way for sinful humanity to be back in right standing with You through repentance and faith in Jesus. 
Thank You Father, that this was not the end, for Jesus rose again and ascended into Heaven, where He waits for us who have committed our lives to Him for eternity. 
Thank You that You did not leave us alone in this world, but soon after Jesus had ascended to Heaven, You sent Your Holy Spirit, the Parakletos, the One who comes alongside,to be with us as our Counsellor and guide throughout this life.
Father, as we approach Christmas, I pray that all our celebrations will be touched with the love of Christ. As we rejoice in Jesus' birth, may our love for You help us to reach out in love to one another. 
Especially Lord, may those who don't yet know You be touched by the truth of your existance and be drawn to relationship and new life in you.

I pray Lord Jesus, for repentance to fall afresh on this hurting world.
I pray for revival in Your church to minister where it is needed.

I pray for peace on Earth and goodwill amongst all people.



Thank You Father God for being our Creator, Saviour and most beloved relationship that we could ever hope to have. We worship You and give You all the praise and honour and glory that is Yours alone throughout eternity.

Thank You to everyone who has supported my venture into the world of blogging over the past eleven months and who have sent messages via my email

Everything I write is only for God to minister to whoever He has planned to be touched and blessed by it.

I pray that everyone reading here will be blessed with a very happy and holy Christmas with your families and safe travelling throughout the holiday season. 

Thank You to my husband and family for your ongoing love and support.


Only 40 more sleeps to go.....


Sunday, 9 December 2012

A Christmas Story for You

The Innkeeper’s Wife

“Mattias, stop!
Martha stood in front of him, barring the passageway. His thick black eyebrows knitted together into a scowl and she knew she risked the onslaught of his rising temper.
“You have to help those people.”
“And what would you have me do woman? They came to the front entrance. Then they came arount to the back door. Still I tell them the same thing. There’s nowhere left for them.”
“But the girl, Mattias, surely you can’t let that girl go out into the night, not in her condition.”
“They’ll find somewhere else. There’s enough for us to think about right here.”
She could hear the clatter of dishes in the dining area as Zerah, his sister’s girl, ran in with steaming plates and out again with empty ones. They had not been as busy in many a long year.
“There is nowhere else, you know that. Everywhere is filled with travellers for this census. Would you have that woman sleeping on the bare ground this night?”
Behind his shoulder, through the open doorway, she could see the trio - man, woman and donkey, moving silently, wearily, across the yard of beaten earth. The man had been persistent, asking twice for a place to sleep for the night, polite with a gentle voice, walking away with a quiet dignity to his stooped shoulders.
His wife was swathed in a long cloak but Martha had noted with quick eyes the protective hand that the girl held across her bulging stomach. She’d glanced up from beneath her mantle as the innkeeper refused them, and Martha had caught a glimpse of her face before it disappeared back into the shadows. For a brief instant their eyes had met, the girl’s expression mutely pleading, exhausted and scared. Yet she had such a beautiful face, a compelling and lovely face. Why, the mother-to-be was little more than a child herself.
The donkey moved slowly in the moonlight, bearing the weight of the woman and the bulging side baskets. It must have plodded many a lonely mile that day, poor creature. Martha had always been fond of donkeys. How often she chuckled inwardly as her own jenny willfully refused to move to Mattias’ impatient commands but responded trustingly to her gentle coaxing, its furry grey muzzle nudging the palm of her hand for hidden treats. It was safely bedded down for the night with the cows in the stable. The stable!
“Mattias, the stable! Let them at least rest for the night in the stable.”
His raised his hands as if to shrug off the whole affair, then, seeing her determined expression, just as quickly dropped them.
“All right, if that’s the only way to stop you wasting time when you should be attending to your cooking pots, wife.”
She heard their voices carried on the night air through the window shutters, as she stood at stove, stirring the broth. The young man was remonstrating that they could pay for the use of the stable. Thankfully her husband refused. He was kind at heart, even if quick-tempered. They would make enough as it was with the extra visitors without having to charge for a straw bed.

“Martha, there are two bowls of lentils at the back of the stove there.”
Martha smiled to herself. Her niece noticed every detail. Perhaps she had taught her too well.
“I know Zerah, I’m keeping them for later.”
“And that platter of barley cakes and fruit, are they to give to the customers? There are so many people coming in this evening we will run out of food.”
“Hush dear, there will be enough without that platter. I have kept some supper for myself for later.”
“But two bowls of lentils?”
“You ask too many questions, sharp one. All right then, I may just be going to share with someone who has need of nourishment. Be thankful that we have enough to fill our bellies against the cold night. Now stir this soup while I check on our diners.”
When the hubbub had died down to a murmur and the customers ambled to their rooms or sat together in twos and threes on the reed mats, talking and telling stories or drowsily listening; only then did she slip across to the stable, carrying her offering.

There was a day in her childhood, a perfect day, so wonderful that it still returned to her, remembered in dreams, especially when she fell into an exhausted sleep after working long hours. She was a child again, by the Sea of Galilee, walking down the grassy slopes, dotted with flowers, to where the rippling waves broke gently on the shore. Her elder brother Stephen was there, busy as always, mending his fishing nets.
“Come Martha, little one. Would you like to come for a sail in the boat?”
He’d never before taken her with him. For a few idyllic hours she’d delighted in the lapping water, the birds wheeling around them, the cool freshness of the wind in her long dark hair, the gentle rocking of the boat, rocking, rocking...
The rocking became violent. There was something wrong.
“Martha, Martha. Wake up!” The mounting waves became Zerah shaking her awake in the darkness, whispering urgently. “Martha, you must come.”
“What’s wrong dear?”
“That man’s at the door, the one from the stable. It’s his wife. He says she’s going to have the baby.”
She was instantly alert and on her feet, pulling a gown around herself. “I’ll go to her. Get me some rags and some water from the kitchen.” She started towards the doorway, then hesitated, remembering the young wife’s face.
Even in the darkness Martha knew every corner of her room. Carefully, so as to not wake her snoring husband, she lifted the lid of her cedar chest and easily found what she sought. The length of finely woven linen, so pure and soft, was what she was saving for a garment to wear at her cousin’s wedding in the spring. Ah well, she would make something else. The babe might be born in a stable, but it would not be swaddled in rags.


He was standing in the doorway, looking, Martha thought, as most expectant fathers did, anxious and utterly confused. She brushed him aside quickly.
“Go into the inn and wait, Joseph. I’ll call you when we’re ready for you.” Seeing the loving glance that he cast back towards the stable, she added gently, “It will be some hours.”
The girl’s face too, held an easily recognized expression – fear. Martha gathered her in her arms. What a place to give birth, with not even a comfortable mattress to lie on, away from home and her mother.
“Have courage, my daughter, you have much hard work to do. Let’s make you a soft bed.” She grasped armfuls of fresh, sweet smelling hay as the donkeys blinked in the lamplight, wondering.

Afterwards, as she returned across the courtyard to the inn, Martha could not help but pause for a moment.
It must be almost dawn, she thought, the sky is lightening. Yet, as she looked upwards, the stars were still shining. Above the stable there was one brilliant, pulsating star, like a jewel in the inky blackness. The beauty of it struck her to the core. Surely it had not been there before?  She was not surprised. Somehow it was another indication of the strangeness of that night, of the loveliness and wonder and humanity of the baby in the stable.
What was my part in all of this? She pondered silently. My hands delivered him and gave him to his mother. My hands bathed him and stroked his hair. I held him close, then he looked at me and oh! I was in love with him. I may be a foolish old woman but it really seemed that when he looked at me, if he could talk, he would tell me that he loved me too.
The cold, predawn air bathed her with its freshness and a great, hushed stillness lay upon the earth. It seemed, she thought, as though the whole world was made new.
Soon the light would break over the low smudges of the hills and the cockerel would crow and the daily chores would begin again, but she would carry the memory of this night with her always.

In the years to follow, whenever she told the story, and that was seldom, Martha would recall “Without being disloyal to my own children, who, of course, I love with all my heart, without a doubt He was the most perfectly beautiful baby I have ever seen.”

(copyright Josephine Collett 2012.  For personal use only. Writer asserts the moral right to be identified as the auther. Feel free to read to others but do not republish or reprint without prior permission. Copyright independently validated as per Copyrights Act with original copy.  )

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Seven Days of Creation

Light and darkness,

Water and sky,

Dry land; green plants.

Sun moon and stars go glittering by,

Fish in the ocean, birds in the sky.

Animals and man,

God's rest was in His plan.

Copyright Jo Collett 2010

This was a little song I made up to help anyone learn the seven days of creation and what was created on each day. Kids can count off the days on their fingers for reinforcement. There is a tune, which I will try to explain below in the absence of finding any easy software to create and include it (it can be easily played by anyone on a child's descant recorder):

GG  E  G
F D  E  lowC

(where notes are grouped together they are quavers, and you might need to draw out the last note at the end of the phrases - if you match the notes to the syllables of the words there should be no problem)
Some writers refer to the "six days of creation". Because the Bible refers to the seventh day specifically in the context of the account of creation in Genesis 2:2, many people refer to the seven days of Creation. The concept of resting following activity is an important one and has spiritual parallels in the concept of entering into "God's rest" which is developed in the New Testament e.g. in the book of Hebrews, chapter 4.

For more information regarding creation- the creation vs. evolution debate, modern science and the Bible accounts of creation, I recommend visiting the website of Creation Ministries International at
www.  (link on this page)

Flame trees blossoming after recent rains.

Christmas presents

How beautiful the presents look under the tree! Wrapped in their pretty paper with ribbon and bows, all different shapes and sizes, they appear so promising and mysterious. Some people think that presents should be left unwrapped because the anticipation they bring often outweighs the revelation of what lies beneath. Yet we open them, and are pleased by our gifts and the expressions on the faces of our loved ones as they see what we have given them.

God’s saving love through Jesus Christ is life’s most precious gift. Don’t look from afar at the promise of what He has to offer. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Christianity is applicable only to the time following your earthly death. All the externals, the way we do church, the way we worship, the buildings and programs, these are the frills, the glittery wrapping paper. God delights to see us receive our present and discover what lies underneath the packaging – the gift of a moment by moment walk with Him, a life of relationship and hope.

Unwrap your gift. Unlike earthly ones, it exceeds all expectations and lasts forever.

John 10:10

Amplified Bible (AMP)
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).