Sunday Soliloquy


Luke 2:1-20  – from “The Message”


The Birth of Jesus

1-5About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

An Event for Everyone

8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Midweek Random Ramble016


1.  Did you notice the snowflakes here at Buddy Breathing? Wait for them… wait… there they are!  Aren’t they cool? I even managed to upload a photo as a backdrop to the snow… real Canadian Rockie Mountains… for your viewing pleasure. Yes, it’s winter here. For my friends down under, I will be thinking of you basking in sunshine while we are shoveling out again and again. It’s supposed to be a very snowy winter… La Nina and all that!

2.  #1 Son and I joined the choir at Trinity, our home church. This was to some degree ‘Carpe Diem’ inspired, plus being with #1 Son inspired (he graduates from High School this year), plus watching the choir and saying, ‘Boy, I’d love to sing in the Choir’ for 17 years inspired. Getting to participate in the Christmas Eve Services… definitely inspiring!

3. What is it about renovating and decorating that’s so on steroids? Back in the day I have no recollection of my parents upgrading our family home, other than to paint it from time to time. In their home now, they’ve done a few things, like new flooring, painting kitchen cabinets, even adding ‘wallpaper’, but the trend or the mindset or whatever you want to call it these days, is complete do-overs. Anytime around the 10 year mark of being in a home it’s ‘time to upgrade’. And that usually means ripping things out and starting over. I wonder why? I could easily be swept up into this mindset, consider how my tired kitchen could be completely replaced. But is that really a good and honourable and needed use of our dollars… I mean in light of all the other needs around us in our world. Just saying…

4. My Christmas (Holy-Day) Top Ten Favourite Things;

1.  Picking up a special coffee drink, and meeting a good friend at the local garden centre. Admiring all the lavish decor.

2.  Baking my Scottish Grandmother’s shortbread cookie recipe, dipping them partly in chocolate for something extra special. Eating them with family and friends. Baking other family recipes. Eating them. Ignoring calories.

3.  Planning our family Caroling Party. Thinking up party games that we haven’t played yet. Walking around in the darkness and cold, trying to read the words off the song sheets by candle light. Being greeted by surprised neighbours who sometimes join in the singing. Coming back home to warm drinks and conversations.

4.  Adding Irish cream to our Christmas morning coffee. Having a second cup! (Bob and I, not the kids!)

5.  Setting the table for dinner each Sunday night in December, lighting the Advent candles one by one… then lighting the Christ Candle in celebration of his arrival, so many years ago, and his presence with us, today.

6.  Opening Christmas cards from far away places, like Northern Ireland. Considering how good it feels to hold snail mail in your hand.

7.   Staying up late on Christmas Eve with Bob, wrapping gifts in the quiet of the house. Looking out the window for snow. Listening to  Messiah. Putting the gifts under the tree. Standing back in relief and gratitude that we pulled it together again. Anticipating the kids happiness in the morning. Falling into flannel sheet coziness for a long short winter’s nap.

8.  The smell of the tree (yes, real).

9.  Taking out all the decorations the kids have made over the years and hanging them on the family style tree (nope, no designer tree for us!) Trying hard not to cry.

10.  Listening to Handel‘s Messiah over and over again, at high volume, and singing along wherever possible!

Well that’s all for today, folks. I must complete some out of town gift wrapping and packaging and get myself to the Post Office before the morning is over.

Have fun with your own Christmas favourite things, and why not share them here with the rest of us.

Really, what are your Christmas Top Ten Favourite Things??

Sol deo gloria,

Lesley-Anne

Mid-week Random Ramble012


1. This AMAZING photo was taken by my brother Joel Clements. Super talented and highly acclaimed Graphic Designer by day, Joel still finds time to experiment with his camera along the way, inspiring my son Malcolm with his new camera too! His photos are available on istockphoto and privately. BTW, if you have any need for his professional services, or inquiries about his photography, contact him through his company Brainstorm Studio. He won’t disappoint.

2. Tuesday is Abortion Clinic day at the Kelowna General Hospital. How do I know this? Well, it’s hard to miss all the picketers that haunt the sidewalks every Tuesday, carrying signs that say things like, “Adoption, the only moral choice.”

Just so we’re clear, you should know that I fall fully on the side of Pro-Life, but I don’t believe that picketing is the best way to build relationships or effect change.

I wonder what would happen if those well intentioned pro-lifers were to come alongside the women who are facing these life-altering decisions, perhaps volunteering their time at the pregnancy care centre or offering up financial support for young mothers. Rather than parading up and down the sidewalk hurling written insults week after week after week… just saying… I get this sick feeling each Tuesday when I drive by.

My simple take is that the Tuesday behaviour is not loving, and I’m absolutely certain that Jesus wants us to be that way… loving. And yes, he wants us stand for things too, absolutely, in a loving way, somehow making our voices heard without hurting those who we are called to help.

3. Why is it that you can never find the receipts for the items you need to return? I am drowning in receipts and maybe that’s the problem. Maybe if I had an organized way of keeping them, perhaps in alphabetical order by name of store, or even sub-categorized by way of family member most directly involved, then maybe I’d have a chance of finding those receipts for the things that I thought I needed, but didn’t. Thought they’d like it, but they didn’t, thought was the right colour, but wasn’t, or bought on a whim and got buyers remorse sometime later.

4.  Decision making is never, for me anyway, done with 100% knowledge that I’ve chosen rightly. But, it is done with the willingness to bear the consequences of that decision 100%. Like writing about #2… I feel a little jittery there, but it’s how I feel and I’m willing to say it.

5.  We interrupt this ramble for a stocking footed run through the neighbourhood and orchard to find the brown bullet that exploded from our front door when it was left open just a few seconds too long!  With flashlights waving and voices quavering we call for Emmy over and over again. Slight panic in my heart as I imagine Coyote’s circling our suburb (really, they do!), when suddenly, out of the darkness, two glowing orbs coming closer and closer with a jingle jangle of dog tags and… she’s back! And she’s got something fowl in her mouth that smells like death and looks something like… a goose wing! I try not to gag and take her home, bag the bird (wing) and resolve not to share any mouth kisses with Emmy tonight!!!

6. Only 66 shopping days until Christmas. Hoping I can dig into my reserves of energy and find a balanced and healthy outlook for Christmas this year.

This year, I’m certain it will be fun, and not all about buying gifts. This year, I’m certain that it will be about spending time with those I love, making memories around activities like playing board games and romping in the snow. I’m fairly certain it’s not going to be about making a huge dinner and eating too much, or staying up really late on Christmas Eve to wrap the gifts that I didn’t get around to yet, or forgot about entirely. I’m certain nobody else cares about the silly things that seem to weigh on me, like the decor, or the dirty carpets, or the baking, or the Christmas cards ( yes, I still feel guilty about not sending those)

Ah yes, Christmas. Maybe this year I can sing in the choir, have a cookie baking party for my daughter and her friends, handcraft gift tags and… there goes the perspective and balance right out the window with the need to make a lovely wreath of fresh boughs for the front door.

7. Driving in the car several weeks ago, this piece of music took my breath away… the voice, the haunting feeling, the sadness. Altogether lovely…

Until next time, peace and love,

Lesley-Anne