Tag Archives: Christmas

They can’t wait

Standard

Downstairs a little later on Wednesday even though I was up and out of bed before eight. Being a woman it takes longer sometimes to get ready for the day! Still, I wasn’t dressed in my day clothes when I did get downstairs, I was dressed for working out on the treadmill or other things. Although I wasn’t really in the mood for running I made the effort as I always do and as I always do I feel great for doing it. It’s psychological I suppose. Anyway that done it was time for breakfast after which I got ready to go for a walk. Wednesday was a lovely sunny day but it was cold at 5 deg C with a slight northerly wind making it feel even colder. I was well-wrapped up though and prepared to enjoy the walk despite the cold. Part of the walk included my ending up at the pier. There were very few people out and about, especially down on the sea front where it was exposed to the wind. It didn’t matter to me, I walked the length of the pier, which in Southport is quite a long way….
Southport Pier is a Grade II listed pleasure pier located in Southport, Merseyside, England. First opened in August 1860, it is the oldest iron pier in the country and spans a length of 1,108 metres (3,635 ft), making it the second-longest in Great Britain after Southend Pier. Although at one stage reaching out 4,380 feet (1,340 m), a succession of storms and fires during the late 19th and early 20th century have reduced its length to that of the present day. (Extract from Wikipedia)’

At the time of writing the pier has been undergoing extensive maintenance to its ironwork and the work has been in progress for a couple of months. It will take a few more months I guess to complete the work. I spoke with one of the guys working there who told me that although the work is good (you’ve got to enjoy your work!) it was ‘Bl***y freezing’ he quipped! I left him to it and started back home which would be to the right along the shoreline and off the picture above. On the way home I paid a visit to the pub as I wanted a drink and the use of their toilet, though not necessarily in that order! It was packed with diners inside in the warmth. I stayed at the bar and off the carpet as I was wearing dirty boots. It was decorated for Christmas inside with two very large trees. It was still November. I thought it too early for Christmas decorations but it seems with each passing year it gets earlier. I suppose people are just too keen to begin the Christmas festivities. It’s a pity many don’t believe in Christ. He seems to have been left out of His own birthday celebrations (at the pub) once again, for nowhere could be seen anything to indicate the reason for the season. With a sigh I left for home and dwelled upon the weeks ahead and all that will go on during that time and into the new year.

Shirley Anne

Advertisements

Resisting

Standard
How to Get Ahead in Advertising

How to Get Ahead in Advertising (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Maybe should read How to get ahead without advertising!

 

My intentions over the Christmas and New Year period has varied somewhat over the years. Sometimes I would work whenever I was asked and just had the minimum of rest days and at other times I would take as much time as I could free from work. Over the past few years I have tended to work right up to Christmas Day and then not return to work until after the first week of the new year. This year I extended that until half-way through the second week by submitting my advertisement on 11th January, a Wednesday as that is the day the newspaper is distributed each week. However not all goes to plan in my life and despite not advertising I still get requests for my services. Usually they are from existing customers who have my card or details from my last visit. As my previous customers are many I can expect one or two calls at any time irrespective of my advertising or not. I’ve had a couple of requests already but have resisted the urge to do them though one I will have already done by the time you read this and there may be more. It is all about boredom and having something to do. I have just returned from answering the house telephone call I received when writing this post at the end of the last sentence! It was from a woman who had jotted down my details from an earlier copy of the newspaper and was asking if I did house rewires. After explaining why I no longer do rewires she asked what would be the cost of such work and I gave her a rough idea. That is one of a couple of requests I have had today, Wednesday, both of which I have declined. Though the other one had been a much smaller request I resisted the temptation to do it. If I get any more requests in the forthcoming week or so I doubt I’ll be able to resist so I’ll probably end up taking them on board. Though I have work to do in the gardens it has been very cold and frosty and therefore off-putting. Why should I be uncomfortable when it is unnecessary? The work can be done at another time.

Shirley Anne

Well did I?

Standard

Or didn’t I? That is the question and the short answer is yes. I was rambling on in yesterday’s post about whether I would get some garden maintenance done because the weather had been forecast as warm but a little windy. Well it was a little bit windier than just a little though not as it was on Christmas Eve. I came down quite early and to my surprise E had pipped me to the post and was just about to eat her breakfast. She hadn’t gotten back home until very late and didn’t get upstairs to her room before one o’clock. I knew that because I was having difficulty nodding off in the heat and humidity inside the house. Three times I had to get up and open the window fully just to stand in the cool breeze and help chill the room down a little. I must have dozed off around two o’clock but was up at seven-thirty after a sound sleep. E’s good at finding things for me to do and Christmas morning was no exception. Evidently her garage door had once again stuck in the open position and wouldn’t drop down. After breakfast I put on my overalls, for I was going to do some garden maintenance anyway and went out to check the roller door. The real problem is with the tracks, one either side, in which the roller door runs. If it catches something the motor continues to unwind the rolled-up door and it all becomes loose. The cure is to disengage the motor using the installed lever and then pull down the door manually until it reaches the floor. Once there the motor is re-engaged and all is fine. I applied some lubricant to the tracks using furniture polish. Yes you read that correctly, it has bees-wax in it which is the recommended lubricant. Now I could get on with the garden work. The first task was to dig out the bluebell bulbs I had missed when redesigning the flowerbeds in Summer, though only one had bulbs in it. I must have done a more thorough job in filtering the soil in the other! That didn’t take long and then it was time to pull out some Montbretia and begin to take down little by little an overgrown tall shrub growing in the border. This is the picture I took after I had cut down half of it…….side-border-1

it is the one standing immediately next to the large holly tree on the right. The problem is that this shrub likes to grow fast and weaves itself amongst other plants. I left the other half to chop down for another day as by that time I’d had enough. Here is a picture taken near to its base which will also have to be removed in the near future….side-border-2

When I had tidied up I went into the rear garden and cleared away more leaves that had found their way there, almost half a wheelie bin of them when loose. Naturally I pressed them down to get them in. I had thought I’d seen the last of fallen leaves in the gardens. It wasn’t to be. It was time for lunch when I had finished but this year I broke with tradition (beans on toast) and had eggs on toast instead. E had cooked a chicken to compliment other roasted foods her mom would be cooking and soon she was off out with it to Christmas dinner with her family, and half of my family too! Why didn’t I go? I wasn’t invited as usual.

Shirley Anne

Friday and the long weekend

Standard

‘So this is Christmas‘ as John Lennon sang in the well-known song. When I was young it wasn’t so much the day itself but always the approaching days which held the excitement, in fact the day itself wasn’t as exciting as I remember and sometimes it turned out a little disappointing. I find that happens a lot in life, we expect something to be exciting and we find we are somewhat disillusioned when the time comes. Sometimes we expect too much and when we do we get let down. Not always though, no, there are things which satisfy in life but I think you’ll agree, they don’t last and soon we are looking for another thrill, another exciting event. This pretty much sums up Christmas for many people but it doesn’t have to be that way, there is more to Christmas or rather the message it contains that will never disillusion if taken to the heart. Who cares? Many simply want to enjoy the time without the ‘religious’ theme but without the religious message the whole event becomes meaningless, just another event in the calendar we look forward to for enjoyment. Well Christmas is a time to rejoice and be happy, a time for people to get together in love and friendship though for some that isn’t their lot. Tell people that God sent His only begotten Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit by a virgin to be an atoning sacrifice for those who have turned away from Him and they will laugh, they will scoff, they will not believe, but that is the message that Christmas brings. It is the gift of God, a free gift and it doesn’t arrive on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and driven by a guy in a red outfit! The truth of the matter is we ALL need salvation for we ALL fall short of the glory of God. God is waiting for those who will turn to Him in repentance, who will accept His free gift of life that only comes through Jesus Christ, the babe in the manger lost in the secular version of what should be a Christmas centred around him and the reason he came.

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...

Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 7

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Immanuel means ‘God with us’

Remember what Christmas is really about.

Shirley Anne

A real concern

Standard
A Christmas Without Snow

A Christmas Without Snow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have just written a comment on an article posted by AOL regarding snowfall at Christmas. Our weather forecasters seemingly cannot say with certainty if we in the UK will get a white Christmas. My comments centred on the fact that I thought it utter nonsense that people yearn for such things forgetting as many do what Christmas is supposed to be all about, the birth of our Saviour and not the fact that we might or might not get snow!
I was at work on Saturday afternoon. I had no work in the morning but had arranged to work in another town for someone in the afternoon because they had no free time during the week. I didn’t mind, after all it is Christmas as they say. Anyway the work was to replace a few light fittings with sparkling new ones. The lady for whom I was doing the work began chatting with me. Usually it is off-putting when people won’t just let me get on with the work but on this occasion I didn’t mind. I was taken a little by surprise because her questions all centred upon me, my family, friends, about my faith and about Christmas. I am not forthright in opening up to people regarding my family and friends my faith and beliefs unless they ask of course but if they do I don’t hold back. She began by asking what I was doing over Christmas. When I replied ‘nothing different from usual’ she was intrigued and wanted to know more so I explained, telling her that I don’t think Christmas is celebrated for the right reasons these days and it has become a secular and commercial machine having nothing to do with Christ. I also told her that my family have all but distanced themselves and my friends all live afar, not that I can claim having many friends as I don’t which means I couldn’t celebrate the holiday with them as they do even it was my wish to do so. My social life is just about zero too but that’s another story. She became very concerned and it prompted more questions which I answered as honestly as I could. She couldn’t believe I don’t celebrate Christmas as I once did, in fact I don’t celebrate it at all. The look of concern upon her face was evident. She asked if I was a Christian, a question I usually end up asking of those I talk with rather than it being asked of myself. Asking what church I went to and discovering I don’t prompted her to ask why. The answer I gave made her feel sad for me and she said she thought it was sad that I wasn’t in a fellowship and no longer felt the urge to be in one. I was more concerned about her feeling a sadness for me instead of just accepting the way I feel about things as being my own choice. I have to admit I haven’t felt such a concern for me for many years, not even from those closest to me, my own family. I am more concerned that people should believe in God and Jesus Christ rather than be concerned for me and never mind whether it will snow or not.

Shirley Anne

The days grow long

Standard
English: Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: ...

Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: Birth of Christ Locality: Heiligengeistplatz Community:Klagenfurt  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere of our Earth the days begin to lengthen, that is the hours of daylight. At the same time of course the nighttime hours get shorter. The day is almost upon us, the celebration of the birth of our Saviour and many will be marking the day in their usual way. Before I became a Christian believer I had another faith, I was an atheist, I didn’t believe in God or Jesus Christ and I’d never heard of the Holy Spirit. I followed, like many others, in the tradition of men, celebrating Christmas as non-believers do. People around me would say, Christmas is about family and it is a time for children. Children were told, as they still are, that Santa Clause would be bringing them toys if they were good. Why are children told such lies? There is no harm in make-believe I hear you say but it is just as easy to tell the truth is it not? Children end up growing as non-believers and the lies are perpetuated. If you are going to celebrate someone’s birth surely they will be at the centre of it won’t they? No-one goes to a birthday party that has nobody there whose birthday it is! There cannot be a party without its host. There cannot be a party without an invitation to join-in either, that would be stupid, yet it happens every year at Christmas. If Christ is not in Christmas there is no birthday party to celebrate. Time is short and Christmas will be upon us in a day or two. Time is short for us all and one day we each of us will pass away. For those who believe there is a party in Heaven that will last for eternity and Jesus will be there to greet them, he is their host and will welcome them in because he knows them. Do you know Jesus? Is he the host at your party? Without him there is no real celebration. The invitation is there…..are you going to accept it?

I no longer celebrate Christmas as I once did, the way the world does but I celebrate in my heart each and every day for what Jesus did for me and praise him.

Shirley Anne

End of the week

Standard
It Ain't My Fault

It Ain’t My Fault (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Was I going to get Friday (9th) all to myself? Well sort of. I managed a little bit of a lie-in for a change though even then I was up and dressed well before eight-thirty. I had no work so I decided I would walk into town and deposit some more cash at the bank before it started to burn a hole in my purse! I had just finished breakfast when someone called to ask if I could check why their shower wasn’t working. I was free so I agreed to drive there and sort out the problem. The drive took me to another town which doesn’t have a branch outlet of my bank so I would have to wait until I could drive back home before making my deposit. The fault with the shower lay in the ceiling pull-switch which had jammed open, an unrepairable internal fault meant it would need replacing. I carry several types of switches in my van stock so I was able to effect an immediate replacement and was soon driving back to my own town. I parked the van in the same road I always park in when I have to visit the town centre but only wish to walk part-way there. The bank uses machines for making deposits so I took out the bank notes and placed them into the receptacle for the machine to count and verify them but half were rejected as being unrecognisable! They were all twenty pound notes £500 worth. I walked over to the girl at the help desk and she tried them in another machine with success. I could have done the same thing myself but at the time no other machine was available and I had thought that maybe there was an actual problem with some of the notes and perhaps they were forgeries. It wasn’t my fault was it? It would be quite possible after all for my customers pay in cash (I won’t accept cheques) and who knows where they got them from? There are forgeries at large. Anyway all was put right and the deposit was made. Now I have known this ‘girl’ for quite a few years but actually she is a middle-aged woman. We took a little time to catch up with each other’s news. She told me she was dreading the introduction of tablets for the staff to use when assisting customers. We ended up chatting about technology and the way it is beginning to take over our lives. She and I are both of the same opinion it seems for we both hate it, technology that is. I mentioned ‘the sign of the end times’ when nobody would be able to purchase anything or conduct any business unless they had on them the mark of the beast (which is metaphorically 666). In other words if we haven’t fallen in line with the ‘system’ we will be outcasts. On the other hand God says that whoever has the mark of the beast upon them will be cast out of His presence too. People may not see the future but future has its beginnings in the present. She actually informed me that it is planned that access to banking facilities will one day all be carried out on a smart phone to which I replied, ‘What if you haven’t got or don’t want a smart phone’? Get my drift? We also chatted about Christmas and the hype that surrounds it nowadays. It is surprising what you can chat about in five minutes isn’t it? I had to let her get back to her work but not until she had provided me with the bank’s  contact number for their special services. I had told her that I wasn’t impressed with the bank having closed their branch in my village for it meant an inconveniently long trek into town to make deposits. On my way back through town to collect my vehicle I walked through the high street church grounds as they are open to the public and was approached by a lady running the church stall outside the church building. She wanted to know if I had ever used their cáfe to which I replied I had. She wanted to press upon me a couple of tickets for free drinks but I refused them. She then mentioned something about Christmas but I told her that although I was a Christian too I didn’t celebrate it. She was taken a little aback at that while I continued to say that nothing that was on her display, Christmas tree, decorations, wreaths etc. had anything to do with Christ, it was all heathen symbolism. She didn’t have a reply as I bade her farewell. Maybe she (a sister in Christ) will have something to think about in the weeks ahead. When I returned home I phoned the number I was given in the bank and I was able to register to have the branch of the Post Office in my village receive deposits on behalf of my bank. They will send me a book of deposit slips which I will receive in due course. It will mean I will no longer have to walk all the way into town just to put money in the bank. After lunch I received two calls for my electrical services, one I took on board but the other I rejected as it would involve too much work. The one I took on was for another of my regular customers and I would do that work on Saturday morning. I wanted to accommodate them by working on a Saturday because they had a very busy schedule ahead of them. It would be nice to see them again anyway. After their call I drove off to the electrical supplier to purchase a few items and that about summed up the day.

Shirley Anne

First Monday

Standard
Come Monday

Come Monday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So now we are in the first Monday of the new year and I am off to do some electrical work with other work in the pipeline. Although I hadn’t advertised over the holiday it made no difference, I still got calls from people from whom I had worked before. Well it’s nice to know people do keep my cards or details for it also means they liked my work. It has seemed strange over the last couple of weeks not being involved in my usual routine and every day has felt like a weekend, in fact I have never been sure which day it was on occasion. I had been expecting some action toward the roof repairs last week for I had been promised the work would commence on Tuesday or Wednesday, at least as far as erecting the scaffolding was concerned. Alas, nobody turned up but I had half-expected that with it being so near to the new year. Had the scaffolding been erected on Tuesday I doubt any repairs would have followed the next day because the weather had made a turn for the worse again and it didn’t cease raining. As I write this on new year’s day I very much doubt we will see anything happening before Monday and if it is raining I doubt it will start then. As it is now Monday I am expecting at least a call. I shall be working for a couple of hours and perhaps longer if I get another call so I may not be available should anyone call to the house. E will have to take charge as it were but she is equally as capable of making coffee as I am for that is all that will be required and probably all my involvement if I was there. I resisted the temptation to do any gardening as I thought I might do over the two-week break and in any case the weather hasn’t been that favourable except for one or two days. I even thought I might get something done on Christmas day and would have done had it not turned out so wet and windy. It is to be expected I suppose at this time of the year. At least the electrical work will be indoors but if it isn’t even that will have to be rescheduled until the weather improves. I can’t believe the cheek of some people who really do expect me to carry out repairs outdoors when it is raining. One lady called me on New Year’s Eve asking if I could do some work for her, repairs to lighting and replacing lights in the evening because she worked during the day! I put her straight about that one and now she is arranging for someone to be at home at nine o’clock in the morning when and if I do the work. The only time I would work in the evening is if it was an emergency. Nothing changes does it?

Sober as a judge

Standard
Clean and Sober

Clean and Sober (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am as sober as a judge as the saying goes for I don’t drink alcohol anymore and haven’t done for three years. Neither am I feeling bloated and stuffed silly with rich food from over-indulgence for I have resisted that temptation for a number of years too. As I mentioned in a recent post I no longer partake of such things. Each to their own I have to say for there is no persuading people from giving up what they enjoy, even if sometimes it is self-destructive too (see tomorrow’s post). Yesterday was different for me, in fact no different from today or any other day in my life for that matter. Each day is the same for me. I can work if I want to or rest if I want to, it makes no difference. I am happy being the way I am. Maybe my readers feel the same about themselves. Maybe my readers don’t give a toss and simply wish to enjoy themselves in whichever way they feel is right for them. Today I woke up without a hangover, a mouth so dry it felt like unused blotting paper or bruises I knew not how I received. Today is like any other day in my life. My health and well-being have improved since the days I gave up on those things which were slowly destroying me. I discovered God, I found Jesus, my life changed for I saw the truth that is in him. My heart goes out to those who are now in the same position I was before The Lord changed me. Life took on a new meaning and I discovered it wasn’t all about self-indulgence and high living, these things destroy. Today I am as sober as a judge in both my flesh and my spirit. I wanted to get out in the garden yesterday and do some work, pruning trees and such but it rained down so hard it was impossible and today’s forecast isn’t promising either. I guess I will just have to find something to do indoors instead.

Shirley Anne

Beans at the ready

Standard

It has become somewhat of a tradition for me over the last few years, having beans on toast for my Christmas Day dinner.

English: Beans on toast

Beans on toast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usually though mine will be topped with a lightly fried egg. Since I no longer celebrate Christmas as I once did, at least in the way that has become a tradition in the homes of many throughout the land and around the world, I have no need for the rich food and drink that came with it. I celebrate Christ‘s coming of course I do, as a Christian this is quite a normal thing to do but I do it in another way. I have turned my back upon the hedonistic celebrations that have no part in the meaning of the birth of our Saviour. People say they honour Christ in the celebration but in fact the opposite is true. The worldly celebrations are self-centered, self-indulgent and dare I add selfish? People who believe in God should believe in what He has to say about things. God really hates our festivals and our rituals, what He requires of us is that we should look after the widows and orphans, the poor among us and live holy lives before Him. Listen we are all sinners, me included, I try to live as I should too and I guess I miss the mark often enough but Jesus came into this world from Heaven, in order to save the likes of me and you. Without the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross we would all perish and end up in hell. Those who repent and accept Jesus have their sins forgiven and have eternal life. This is the real reason for Christmas, not an excuse to revel, get drunk and party. I am glad I have Jesus as my Saviour for surely I need him. I thank him too for many other things, hey, and not least of all baked beans on toast. I wish everyone reading this will enjoy their holiday (holy day) but give thought to what it should be about.

Shirley Anne x

Thursday didn’t happen

Standard

Now the day has gone what was all the fuss about? Was it all worth the time and effort, the cost, the worry, the extra food that never got eaten, the hangover on Friday morning? If you had said yes I have to assume you went with the flow, did it all because it was expected of you. Well everyone else seemed to be doing the same and you didn’t wish to be different, besides you really enjoyed it all and why shouldn’t you? You worked hard for it. Now is the day for reflection. Now is the time to consider what it really was all about maybe? If I went to a birthday party I would presumably take a gift for my host. Did you bring a gift to the host of your birthday party?

Isn’t Christmas Day for remembering someone’s birthday? If it isn’t then what is it for? In reality there isn’t a gift you could have taken but there was one that you could have received! God offers you right now where you are a free gift, the gift of His Son and all you have to do is take it. Who would refuse such a gift? This gift however is an everlasting one, one that never wears out, it is for eternity. You see we are all separated from our Maker because of our disobedience, our sinful ways, our selfishness, our greed, our unbelief. The list is long. By taking Gods gift we can put all that right, not us ourselves but Jesus does it for us. He paid the ultimate price for each and every one of us. All we have to do is accept that fact, repent and turn to him. That is the best Christmas present anyone could receive.

Post Script~ I did go out into the garden in the afternoon and I moved all six of the gooseberry bushes from behind the laurel shrubs next to the patio (for those who have been following for some time). I ended up with seven bushes though. After repositioning them I dug out the soil to lay some pieces of flagstone between the laurels and the gooseberries which are now something over a metre and a half apart. See earlier recent post regarding what I might do on Christmas Day (Dec 22). I held back from finishing the stonework around the ‘mound’ though. I didn’t want to be working all afternoon!

Shirley Anne

The real meaning of Christmas

Standard

For some time now I have not celebrated Christmas as I once used to. As a child I was brought up in the traditional ways of Christmas celebrations, decorations, trees, lights, tinsel, presents, Christmas fayre, festivities, and the like and when I became an adult, alcohol and parties too were all part of what Christmas was about. It was simply a time of year to do these things and ‘live it up’. It was only after I became a Christian that I began to question many of these traditions. Why do we do these things? What is it really all about especially if Christ is left out of it all? The real answer to these questions is that Christ wasn’t in them in first place! All of what we do, if we do these things hasn’t anything to do with Christ or the celebration of his birth, they are all simply man-made traditions and are the ways of the world. If people wish to celebrate in this way then I say let them but don’t pretend it is a celebration of  Christ’s birth, it isn’t that. So I choose not to be a part of it but am encouraged to comply wherever I look.

 

Thank God for Jesus Christ but we have to thank the ways of the world for all the rubbish that is supposed to be for His birthday celebration.

Shirley Anne

A forgiving God

Standard

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

……………

Everything You Want for Christmas

Everything You Want for Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I will be the first to admit that I am a sinner and that my life is a constant struggle against sin. I fall short of succeeding in that sometimes and I hate myself for it. My God sacrificed His only begotten Son for me that I might live, that my sins might be paid for, my debt done away with and forgotten. When therefore, that I do let slip, my shame overcomes me and I am sorrowful for having succumbed to temptation. It is because I have let my Saviour down that I am remorseful for He paid such a price for me. Praise be to my God and my Saviour, He who came in the flesh, He for whom the Christmas celebrations are intended. It is such a shame that some who celebrate Christmas do so for all the wrong reasons. Let us remember why we needed a saviour in the first place. I praise my God for He is a forgiving and merciful God. You can know His love, forgiveness and salvation too. Turn to Him this Christmas, turn to Jesus and know real love and real forgiveness.

Shirley Anne

I’ll be glad when it’s over

Standard

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since my birthday on 21st November we have been bombarded with advertisements mostly centred around the forthcoming ‘festive season‘. That term in itself embraces what Christmas has metamorphosed into, no longer a celebration of the birth of a Saviour for many who indulge in it do not believe anyway. The (man-made) holiday (holy day) has been hijacked by the unbeliever in fact. Christmas somehow became ‘magical’, a time to drink to excess, eat to excess, spend money on non-essential things, often falling into great debt for that privilege. Why? Because everyone else does it. We are encouraged to do all kinds of things but never are we encouraged to find out what the celebration is supposed to be about, not by the media at any rate. The media are geared to the ways of the world and everyone is encouraged to follow and keep the wheels of commercialism turning at all costs. I really hate this time of year for it is difficult trying to isolate myself from it all. What I find hard to understand is why people think it is vital that they should over-indulge. When I was younger I did the same thing but there came a time when it all changed and I stood back and saw the stupidity of it all. Now before I get comments saying that I am a ‘stick-in-the-mud’ I have to point out that is not true. I like having a good time just the same as others but refuse to treat this special time as I might do at other times in the year. Not that I over-indulge in anything these days. I no longer drink alcohol but will still socialise, I have no need for stocking my larder with food I don’t need because it is what people eat at Christmas. Christmas is a time to reflect upon my salvation, what my Saviour did for me and more importantly why. Then I think to myself, I do these things every day! Real celebrations should be about what Jesus did for us all but unfortunately this falls on many deaf ears. I pray for such people every day. Without God, without Jesus, life is meaningless, celebrations are meaningless and everything we do is futile and meaningless. The world couldn’t care less and shows it. Come out of the world and seek your Saviour. Your eyes will be opened and you will see.

Shirley Anne

I’ve opted out but she still did it!

Standard
Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So at last the end of yet another busy week which turned out to be the busiest and most profitable so far for the entire year! I’m not about to complain though. Friday morning then was hopefully going to be the last time I would work in the week but from what my client told me over the telephone I was expecting the work I had scheduled to be a little messy. My client, a lady about the same age as myself, mentioned something about lowering a power outlet to allow more space in which to fit a wall-mounted electric fire. I had asked her if the room had solid flooring, concrete for instance and she confirmed it had. That meant the wiring to the outlet would be either coming through the wall from behind or else it was coming down the wall from up in the ceiling. It was hardly likely to be coming up from the floor and that meant the existing wires would be too short to move elsewhere. A new cable would have to be run down the wall from the space above the ceiling and sunk into the wall itself, hence the messy job. As it turned out the job was entirely different. The ‘room’ was a glass conservatory that had been erected against the gable end of the house and the wall was built with bricks. The power point didn’t require repositioning as there was just enough space alongside it to mount the fire. My task it seemed was to fit the fire too, which I did. Not only that but I repositioned the glass shelf that had been fitted over the old fire which I also had to remove before fitting the new one. All the cabling was then  neatly hidden in the trunking I’d fitted to end up with a really professional job. The lady was very much impressed and told me that was why she employed a woman to do the work. What can I say? I was accordingly paid well for my efforts but stayed a while to chat with her over a cup of coffee before driving home. I made a slight detour to purchase one or two things from the supplier and soon after midday I was home. Whilst having my lunch the doorbell rang and E, who had not yet joined me at the table, answered the door. I heard her speaking with whoever it was before she entered the room carrying some gifts wrapped in ‘Christmas’ paper. They had been presented by our next-door neighbour. It was only a week or so ago we had taken her a huge bunch of flowers on the anniversary of her husband’s passing. On that evening we chatted about many things, one of which was Christmas and the giving and receiving of presents. She had asked me if I do anything at Christmas and I told her that no, I didn’t and in fact I don’t celebrate the day nor do I give presents or wish to receive any. I explained that I had opted-out of the world’s version of Christmas and the materialistic and hedonistic revelry that passes to commemorate the birth of our Saviour. I have not partaken of such things for some years now. I celebrate the event in a totally different way. Well what I had told her must have fallen on deaf ears for the presents were for E and myself and she had told E that we were not to open them before Christmas Day! Yeah, sure, I was going to do that! I duly opened them to see what they were, a pen (?) and a very large and beautiful silk-like scarf. Now one of the other things I had mentioned when we had visited her was the enormous amount of scarves I possess but hardly ever wear! It is a case of not getting much of an opportunity to wear most of them. What was she thinking? Naturally I shan’t say anything to her but I will thank her for the thought when we next speak. I will insist that she doesn’t give me presents again though, I don’t want them from anyone. It is enough that people are there, they have no need to ply me with gifts to know that they are appreciated or that I am to them. I will not be tempted to reciprocate and fall back into the ways of the world. To me it is totally meaningless. So no Christmas cards from me or anything else for that matter. It has been that way for quite some time.

Shirley Anne