Sunday, 25 December 2016

It's coming to an end

You know, this is really a remarkable story. Its so complete...why update it? Why try and modernize it? I am going to phone Mr Dunwoody. Grrrr!  voice mail! Oh well, I will give him a letter. This is what I ended up writing to him. "Dear Mr Dunwoody, I've come to come the conclusion that the nativity story is perfect the way it is. It doesn't need to be updated. The kids will understand it just fine. God got it right the first time. Thank you for letting me do some advent writing this year hopefully I can do it next year. With warm regards, Rebecca"

The end. No, wait. The beginning.

What a story. The God of Creation voluntarily becomes a helpless baby. This really was the beginning.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. The government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called…

The Mighty God.
The Everlasting Father.
The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.

Well hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Have a little merry Christmas.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Are you ready for Christmas

Well it's getting close to Christmas. Are we really ready for Christmas and welcome Jesus? Your probably busy getting things all ready so today it would be a small poem. 

"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily sat for a moment and read
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas!  What do you Mean?
When only last week
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street."
"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge!
Perhaps you better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and filled with pride?"
"Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared!
So little he asked, he could have been spared."
"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do."
"Ready for Christmas, your circle's to small.
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all."
She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair.
"There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
Oh, Father, forgive me, I see what you mean;
To be ready means more than a house swept clean."
"Yes, more that the giving of gifts and a tree,
It's the heart swept clean that he wants to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness, sin,
Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Shepherds story

 So we had Mary story, Joespeh, and the sheep tale.

Yes Mr Dunwoody, I know you told me to write a story for the children and young adults. Though don't we want the adults to take something from Advent.

Bernie the Shepherd told me wanted to tell a story. I cannot say no. (It means I can have a day eating Christmas cake well actually make a last minute one and lick the bowl.)

Good morning, or when ever you are reading this. I asked Rebecca really nicly if I could write a stoty for you. I haven't introuduc myelf yet, well it's a bit complicated. I am called Bernard though my friends call be Bernie though I hope I can be friends with you.  I'm a Shepherd and I must admit that this is kind of a new experience for me. I am seldom asked to speak to a group of people. You see, where I live nobody really cares what a Shepherd has to say. In my neighborhood, a Shepherd occupies one of the lowest rungs of society.

People don't trust us. They think we can't tell the difference between "mine" and "yours". Now, it is true that some Shepherds are less than ethical in their dealings, and some ARE scoundrels, but most of us are honest, God-fearing guys. I guess it is kind of like your politicians. A few are crooks and so all are seen as being dishonest. The tax-collectors have the same problem . . . but they deserve it!

Anyway, most people stay away from us because we aren't thought of as being as good as everyone else. You see, we aren't able to observe all the prescribed ceremonial washings that the religious elite observe. We can't maintain that sense of purity they insist on. So, we are disqualified from many of the religious opportunities. This doesn't make us pigs! We can't help our situation. . . we're Shepherds. What are we supposed to do?

Most of the people think we are odd. The truth is, we Shepherds probably are a different breed of person. O.K. maybe we are a lot different. Our closest friends are sheep! They are special to us. We are committed to protecting them. (Haven't you ever had a pet?) Sheep are very vulnerable, you know. They are easy prey to wild animals and they aren't very smart. If you don't keep an eye on them, they'll wander off before you know it. They need us. (Remeber what happend in the sheep tale?)

When I say we are committed to our sheep you need to know what I mean. A good Shepherd would not only risk his life for his sheep, he would give his life for his sheep.

We take great pride in what we do. My friends and I have a very special job; we care for the sheep raised for temple sacrifices in Jerusalem. Every morning and evening a lamb without blemish is offered in sacrifice. Those lambs have to come from someplace. That someplace is my flock.

At Passover time we are as busy as Turkey farmers at Thanksgiving. It's important we not only protect the sheep but keep them in the best of shape. If we don't do our job, others will be unable to worship.

Most of the time we work alone. So, we talk to our sheep a great deal. We develop a relationship with the sheep. I know, it sounds like we're one bagel short of a basket, but, haven't you ever talked to a family pet when no one else was around???

We talk to our flock so much that it gets to the point that our sheep recognize our voice. All I have to do is call the name of one of my flock and he or she responds instantly. (SURPRISED) You mean you didn't know we had names for all our sheep? We do. You could call their name and you wouldn't get any response at all. They don't recognize your voice. They will respond instantly to my voice. That's why at night I can combine my flock with several other flocks and can take turns at watch. In the morning we simply call for our sheep and they follow their own shepherd. If you've never seen it before, it's really quite an impressive demonstration.

Well, anyhow, the night Messiah was born we had combined our flocks and were taking turns at the watch just outside of Bethlehem. A few of our group were already asleep. I and a couple of others were sitting by the fire enjoying a late night snack of cheese and lentils and swapping a few sheep stories. What happened next is something I will never ever forget.

Suddenly, standing before us was a figure that was radiant and unlike anything we had ever seen before. Instantly, we knew it was a messenger from God and just as instantly we were all petrified. We didn't have to discuss this . . .we just knew. We couldn't even swallow. I think we may have been holding our breath!

We were afraid we were going to be destroyed. Everyone of us knew that no one can see God and live. It was as if we had been turned inside out. Everyone was fully awake and we were so afraid we couldn't move a muscle.

The angel spoke and said, "Don't be afraid! I come to bring you good news, news which will bring joy to everyone. Born to you today in Bethlehem is the Savior, he is Christ the Lord and you can find this baby wrapped in cloths and laying in a manger."

"Born to us?" the Messiah? Was this some kind of Heavenly message to the wrong address?

The sky was suddenly filled with angels who were chanting, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests." It was incredible. I'm sure we all stood their with our moths open and our eyes as wide as saucers. I'm still not sure any of us had taken a breath. It was unbelievable, and yet none of us doubted it was really happening.

We could have sat mesmerized all night, and yet, at the same time  it was so intense it was almost painful. And just as suddenly as the angel had appeared the host of Heaven retreated into the sky.

For several minutes we were silent. No one spoke, no one looked at each other, we were all numb and completely absorbed by what had just happened. We were all standing close to each other and felt warm, wonderful, loved and . . . . changed.

The silence continued until, Zarius broke the silence by saying simply, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." What followed was what could best be described as a brief time of worship.

I spoke out next and said, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see the Messiah. I think that is what the angel wanted us to do." And we began walking. It wasn't at all strange then, it was the natural response to what had happened. But looking back, we realize how out of character it was for us to just get up and leave our sheep. Normally we would never leave our sheep without someone there to protect them; but we weren't worried about that then. Maybe we knew instinctively that the God who summoned us, would protect our flock.

It's really not that strange you know. I'm sure you know what I mean. When you meet God; time, other concerns, even your own self fade into the background; you become consumed with the glory and majesty of God. The only thing that matters is Him. And the only response is obedience. I suppose for you who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within it is a common experience, but for us, it was unique.

Most people think it strange to walk off like we did, but, if you knew God wanted you to do something, wouldn't you do it?

It was late at night but we found the manger with little difficulty. It was strange, as if someone was guiding us to the child. I suppose that is exactly what was taking place.

When we walked into the stable there was a strange sense of God's presence in the place. It looked like an old dirty stable but it was also like stepping into Heaven itself.

We were startled in some respects by Mary and Joseph. They seemed so young, so ordinary to play such a prominent role in such an awesome event. Mary looked tired. Joseph was beaming. The baby had just finished nursing and was now asleep. In so many ways the baby was ordinary: rosy cheeks, little tiny fingers, eyes unfocused and seldom opened, arms stretching. But at the same time, we sensed that this was something beyond an ordinary birth. I can't explain it. I guess it would be like that moment when you first realize that Jesus was not THE Savior, but MY Savior. It is an instant that only comes from the Spirit of God.

Mary and Joseph were surprised, maybe even a little frightened to see us. But maybe it was the way we looked at the baby; they relaxed almost immediately. It was like we were all a part of a very special secret.

We asked, "Is this the Christ child?" They looked startled at first, but then smiled. We told them about our experience in the field and they listened with rapt attention. They wanted all the details and wanted to hear the story several times.

I don't know how long we were there. It seemed like minutes, but I'm sure it was hours. All I remember was the profound reluctance to leave.

As we left to return to our flocks, we couldn't help but stop everyone we saw and tell them about the baby. Yes, we shy uncultured shepherds were walking up to strangers and telling them our experiences. You should have seen the looks on people's faces! I'm sure most of them thought we were crazy. But their looks did not stop us from telling our story. We have been telling the story ever since. I mean, when you meet the Savior, the joy is not something you can keep to yourself. . . I know you know what I mean.

I can't imagine anyone who would not be transformed by what we had just witnessed. We had to tell them . . . it was too good to keep to ourselves, "The Long-awaited Deliverer" had come! We had a responsibility to share the news.

Many people looked at us like we were drunk. Some laughed. Others called us ignorant. But it didn't matter. There were some who did listen and some of them went to the stable and they looked, they saw, and they were changed.

When we went to Jerusalem we told people about our experiences as well. Most of them laughed. One man, named Simeon, asked many questions.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Shepherds and Angels

I better give the shepherds names otherwise it get's a bit confusing. So you have three shepherds which are called, Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar.

So after the story with the inn keeper it's the shepherds and angles than come after. But for some reason the sheep fancied being in the story. I know have that song in my head,  'I saw three sheep come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day…'. I will be singing it all day that is if I don't get told to stop singing.

OK, three angel. Now........please bare with me while I just consult the bible.

Boo! Gotcha. You know bear's they play peekapoo with you and I said bare which sounds like bear. Anyhow the bible says, ""And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

Balthazar asked the other Shepherds asked the other guys if they counted the sheep yet Though Melchior replied back saying "I keep trying, but I fall asleep every time!" Now that's kind of funny because when you cannot sleep during the night you get told count sheep. You can tell I am having far to much fun writing this?

Balthazar asked the other shepherds this question, "Are you guys ready to cut the wool off the sheep tomorrow?" Melchior replied back saying, "It will be a shear pleasure. Yuk yuk yuk!"  Balthazar said, "anyhow I will be moving the flock in the morning." Melchior said, "So I herd." Get it herd. Fine I will stop doing the puns and jokes. I'm only using them so I can practice for my English as you have use techniques like puns to make the reader enjoy the story better. Fine I will use them less that I am doing.

Caspar said said to the other shepherds this question, "Gentleman, I have a question....." Nope that is far to formal. Too polite. Come on think a little bit informal, Rebecca.

Ah, informal. That is not my cup of tea. But I will try. How about "All right…listen up, bozos…" Nope that is far too harsh. Who uses that as a greeting? I did say speaking informal is not my cup of tea. So don't expect me taking informal. Formal, yes. So, good morning, please to meet you. Is what I would say when I greet people.

Right, so I am getting formal and informal. I just need to think of the three bears. You know the story. The little bear is just right.

Ah, the little bear would say something like this  "Hey guys, can I ask you something?" That's better. We should rely on the little bear more.

Melchior replied back to Caspar with this, "sure what is it?"

Caspar said, "Have you ever an angle before?"

Balthazar said, "No why do you ask?"

Let's see.... in the original, it says "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

Writer: Hmm…let's tidy that up a bit here…

Angel said to the Shepherds, "Relax fellas"

Oops…Took it too far…try it again here…Why do I keep going to far? Any ideas would be appreciated!

How about this, " Don't be afraid…I bring you great news. It will change the world. The Savior has been born tonight in Bethlehem; he is Christ the Lord."

Balthazar said to the angel, "How will we find him?" The angel said, " I'm getting to that part!" People these days, need to patient. Yes that includes you. You just have to wait for another day to see how they find the savior.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Sheep tale

What a commotion there was out on the Bethlehem hillside that night! Bright lights, heavenly singing and that amazing message! God's special rescuer had come. Everyone in those days knew that Messiah was coming one day, so these local shepherds realised straightaway that this message was important.

History was coming to a huge turning point. This really was a special moment and they, mere shepherds, were the first to know about it! They would be first with the news - what a scoop! Can you imagine their excitement, amazement and joy? They were just nobodies - in fact more than likely just hired shepherds taking the night shift for someone else - but God had chosen to speak to them. Mind you, I don't think it was by chance that God chose to go to shepherds first. Shepherds have always been very important to God and a shepherd had of course long been a picture of God's character.

So off they went to Bethlehem - running, dancing, tumbling and… leaving their sheep! It must have been important. Fancy leaving their livelihood behind - unheard of!

And I wonder what the sheep thought of all this? Let's use our imagination.

Take these three for example. They look pretty puzzled, don't they? Let me introduce them to you. They have names. Yes, listen:

30 Megabytes [of Ram]

Potters [Bar]

and Lionel [Blair]

Well, they're certainly upset at losing their shepherds. Who will feed them and protect them? What should they do? There was no question about it. They would have to follow… a very predictable thing for sheep to do. So off they trotted down the hill.

In fact it was so steep that they fell… almost flew… down the slope. So much so that one local neighbour, who saw them tumbling past his window, was inspired to write the first Christmas carol ever! You know the one: 'I saw three sheep come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day…'.

They arrived in the outskirts of the town. Well, where next? Where should they look for their shepherds? They hadn't really understood the angels' message, except that they had gathered that someone special was in town somewhere. So, if they found that someone, then they were sure to find their masters, wouldn't they?

30 Megabytes ruminated: 'If this special person is some sort of new god, then he's bound to be in a holy place. Perhaps we should try the local synagogue. Come on, let's go.'

Off they went to look, but they had no luck there. It was shut up, dark and empty - no one at home.

Then Potters baa-ed: 'If this special person is some sort of new king, then he's bound to be in an important building. Come on, let's try the town hall.'

So off they went, but it was no good. That was all shut up too: closed for business till next Tuesday. Typical!

Then Lionel bleated: 'If this special person is a new leader of some sort, then he's bound to be with the soldiers at the guard post. Come on, let's go.'

But they had no luck there either. They found just a few centurions warming themselves by a fire. No sign of any special visitor and no shepherds.

Where can their shepherds be? Where should they look next? They wandered about for a while like… like… like… lost sheep!

Eventually Lionel sighed: 'I'm hungry. Let's find a place to eat'.

So they began sniffing around for some animal food. They left the main streets and went down the back alleys instead. All of a sudden an old cattle shed caught their eye. It looked rundown but some lights were on and people were talking. They drew close and peeked in at the door, and guess what? There were their shepherds.

Lionel pushed in first and when his master saw him, he picked him up and held him close to a straw-filled feeding trough. 'Ah, food at last,' thought Lionel. But no - there was a baby lying there!

The three sheep, however, were missing the warmth of the camp fire on the hillside by now and were getting rather cold. 'We could do with something to wrap round us,' said Lionel. 'I wonder if there's a Woolworths in town?'

Friday, 16 December 2016

No room in the Inn

Joseph goes to check on a room at the inn. Let's see what bible says. Bare with me please.

BOO! Gotcha haven't I. Bear goes boo and I said bare. HA! Right back on track, if I eat another cake please tell me to stop otherwise you would receive bad jokes. It a joke or a pun. Oh I don't know. The bible doesn't describe the exchange where Joseph knock to see if the inn's have any room for two people. I guess I'll have to wing it.

Joseh asked an inn keep this question, "hello....are you the inn keeper?"

Well who else would open the inn door, certain not King Herod! Hmmm........well, Mr Dunwoody said to add some humor. Don't look like that at me.  The Christmas cake is still intact. Mum must of hid it so I cannot turn anymore crazy than I am.

Maybe adding some humor here would work? Joseph could of said "We just flew in from Nazareth.....and boys are our arms tired!" No.....that's ridiculous even Ron Wesley would agree with me on that.

How about.............Take my wife please! It's better than the previous idea. Though it is still very rude to the inn keeper if the Manners Man would be very unhappy with me.

Let's get to the point here......are you the Inn Keeper? There we go that is more polite in case it was a one of the guest that opened to the door for Joseph you can not make assumptions. That would lead to you trouble.

Now that the greeting is done. How can Joseph kindly say "I am in need of a room because Mary is having a baby soon." That it, "I'm in desperate need of a room because my deer wife is having a baby." Though Mary wants cable for some reason, best known for herself.  No, that won't work. Just leave it as the question ask it is polite and not to ridiculous.

The Inn keeper replies back to Joseph  with,  "I  wish could help you, sir. But we have no rooms left. Christmas is our busiest time of the year. Unless you have a reservation, you'll have to go elsewhere."

GRRRR! No, no, no! Man, humor just doesn't seem to fit here. I told you adding humor is rather difficult to such a serious story. I told Mr Dunwoody we should of write an advent story with Joseph perspective for adults to read so they can get engaged with the story and the story for children from sheep perspective. That would make sense. Though it is far to late to get another story made. I just have to suck it up and keep going.

Let's try this....... "Well, we have no room in the Inn left, but we do have a stinky barn in the back. £31 a night." That not to bad. It's quite reasonable not like £100 pound a night a hotel charge or even more because it's a Christmas.

Though Joseph thinks the inn keeper thinks (got that) they Joseph and Mary look like Cattle.

It's just not a funny story! How can you take this story and try to make it funny? It's too serious. It's not supposed to be funny. It has to be funny, or children won't read it? Come on, that's not giving today's children any credit. I can keep it serious.

Joseph tells the Inn Keeper this, "Well, can you at least call me a cab?" So the Inn keeper, thought to himself maybe it was harsh to call Joseph and Mary a cattle so he said to Joseph, "'re a cab." GRRRRRR Why does it have to be so hard to write the dialog between Joseph and the Inn Keeper?

Right obliviously I am no good at writing the dialog. Hope your imagination skills are good. Lets test them. Imagine Joseph help Mary walk, as they approach the Inn Keeper. There is no dialog, Joseph "talks" to Inn Keeper, motioning toward Mary. Inn Keeper shakes his head, and points to manager, then leads them over, with arms crossed, shrugs shoulders in a kind of "take it or leave it" gesture. Then the Inn Keeper walks away. Joseph and Mary stand looking at the manger. Mary covers her face and weeps on his shoulder, he consoles her briefly. He helps her sit down.

 Ok, that will work. I like that without dialog. Ok, what's next?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

How would Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem

OK, so Mary is pregnant and just about to give birth. How can they go to Bethlehem safely?

How about an their own private airplane? That won't work as they don't accept Mothers to be unless they are less than 7 months pregnant. Though I wonder if that law would be entitled to Mary if she used a private jet? Who knows. But that won't work.

How about walking? OK, they cannot walk all the way as that is crazy! In fact why I am saying walking is crazy especially when I walked to college to and from. Well it was a sunny day and I wanted to explore Newcastle countryside. But still! That was four miles and Mary would have to walk nearly 100 miles. So you get my point.

I know, a hoverboard. Hang on, that's not invented. Who says it has to be invented? It's a story it can be made up. By no means, is the nativity scene made up though is real. Yes honestly.

We just have to use a donkey then.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Just a random update

As I got a few minutes of doing nothing. I thought I got upload something that isn't part of my advent writing. So here you go, I did tell you it was going to be random.

Last Sunday was the third advent. I had a different minister speaking the sermon and we watched a short film of children doing the nativity scene with  different approach where God want a son. And you have a comment that God makes than the children playing different characters and they don't go "they won't expect that!" That was the phrase for the sermon which really made my ears prick up. I started thinking about my personal life. A year back, I was at Farnborough college of technology studying level three health and social care. Now I am at Newcastle college studying digital design. I was expecting that last year. Last year I was living in Olwsmoor surrounded with my close friends. Now i'm in Westerhope not surround with close friends but I'm making wonderful relationships with people i.e. Alex from college. I was expecting that. Then on a public note, we had the EU. Most people thought we would stay in though the outcome was very different. We weren't expecting that. Then you have the US election. Donald was elected. We weren't  expecting that. You think you know what life throws at you. You prepare but something else throws you off guard and you didn't see that coming.

I have no more boxes to unpack. Yeppe! In fact, I was getting fed up leaving my book on the floor and waking up to turn that buzzing alarm off I kept tripping over my book. Least I was awake. So I thought, well no side table. Why not turn a box upside down and use that as a side table? As its a box least you get extra storage. So boxes might be annoying to unpack though at least they have there uses as a side table.

I have watched films. And actually watch them. Not knit while I watch them. Or cross stitch. Actually watch them. OK I watched films at my college. It's part of my college course. How cool is that? I watched Fantastic beasts and where to find them with my parents I truly enjoyed it. I might even watch the new stars wars with my Grandma or with my friends. I'm getting to enjoy watching films just stare at the screen and go on adventure. Normally I get really bored and have to do something to keep watching them. You never know, I might start watching films like I do reading my  books. Though don't bet on it! I love reading.

Right, that is all the time I have. Now I'm going to have a drink of coffee and read my book. Though I won't trip over my book. Not tonight anyhow.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Who is exactly Caeser Augsustus?

I asked Mr Dunwoody, the question "Who is exactly Ceaser? As, if I don't know the chances are the children or even you don't know.

Mr Dunwoody very kindly decided to go for walk by the river tyne with me in the chilly morning.

2000, years ago, everyone returned to their hometown to register and it was Caeser idea he gave the decree that all the world should be taxed.

After our very cold walk, Mr Dunwoody and I fancied a coffee to warm ourselves up. That carrot cake looks so lonely on it's on. Even better when someone else is paying for it, and since I ate the carrot cake it counts one of you five a day because it contains a vegetable.

We got our bibles out and read Luke 2:1-5. In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

OK, I now understand why Caeser is important character in the play but was did he ordered to for the census.

Mr Dunwoody, replied back to my question by saying, " It was done because the Roman government wanted to make sure that everyone in the Empire was paying their taxes correctly. The census was carried out all over Empire (most of Europe): but in Palestine, it was carried out in a Jewish way rather than a Roman way. This meant that families had to register in the their historical tribal town rather than where they lived. This also meant that Joseph and the very pregnant Mary would have had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as this was town that Joseph's family (the royal family of David) originally came from - a journey of about 70 miles (112 kilometres)."

I think it might have been quite good for the family to go to Bethlehem as no one there knew them, so people would not have talked about the fact that they were not married. It's also possible that Joseph had distant relations in Bethlehem, but they still wouldn't have know Mary and Joseph very closely.

So there you go, I learned something new. Hope you did to!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Joseph's perspective

Mary came to me one day with disastrous news. She was pregnant. Now I know that you young folks don't think so much of something like that anymore, but in my day, sex before or outside of marriage was unthinkable. And a betrothed woman who turned up pregnant before marriage was totally disgraced, especially if her husband to be was not the father. Her life was ruined, and any chance that she might have had for marriage was done for. She would be socially marked, outcast by friends and family, and treated as little better than a common harlot by anyone who knew about it. And thanks to gossip, everyone who was anyone would know.

At first I was furious, my wife to be had been with another man. I was also heartbroken, both because I felt betrayed, and because I knew what would happen to her because of it. I would be expected to break off the betrothal and put her away from me in a formal divorcement. I stood there speechless, looking at her, wanting somehow to change the world so that we could still be together.

While I stood there speechless, she begged me to permit her to explain. I was shocked. How could anyone 'explain' this I wondered. Any other woman in a situation like this would be begging forgiveness. But not her, she seemed certain that if I heard what she had to say, that I would understand. Unable to say anything, I simply sat down and looked at her attentively. Mary told her story. Quickly at first, almost in a panic, trying to get it all said as fast as she could. She told me of meeting an angel, who told her that she was to bear a son, and that this child would be the son of the most high.

To say that I couldn't believe her would be an understatement. I could only believe that she had lost her mind. We were both quiet for a long time. The only thing I could think of was that I would have to put her away, but because I still loved her, I decided that it would be done as quietly as possible. There was no way that we could be married now, but I couldn't bear the thought of destroying her as this so easily could. My decision made, I went home. Sleep came slowly that night as I turned this over in my head again and again. I didn't want to do what I knew society would expect. I wanted to scream at the world, "I don't care what you think! I love her and I'm going to marry her!" But I knew that if I married her anyway and this came out that I would be every bit the pariah as her. My career would be over. No one would do business with me, my family would abandon me like I had social leprosy. Life would quickly become very difficult. Finally out of sheer emotional exhaustion I slept.

I had one of those really vivid dreams, the kind where you know you're asleep and dreaming, but cannot do anything to change it. I was working in my father's old workshop. The smell of fresh-cut wood filled the air. Suddenly all sounds of the workshop faded as the air was filled with music like I had never heard before. The beautiful music faded into a quiet background as I saw him. He was tall, with a large powerful build. Dressed all in white with a large sword sheathed at his waist and wings visible over his broad shoulders. "Joseph, descendant of the house and line of David," he said. "Do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife because the child is conceived in her by the power of the Holy Ghost. She will give birth to a son, and you will call his name Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins."

Friday, 9 December 2016

Mary visit Elizabeth

This story can be found in Luke 1:42-45

It all happened a very long time ago, but I remember how happy I was when God told me I was going to be the mother of Jesus. I just had to take a trip to see Elizabeth, my relative and friend, and tell her my exciting news!

Elizabeth was going to have a baby. We were both going to have babies! Her baby was going to be called John.  John would become Jesus’ relative and friend.

 I could hardly wait to see Elizabeth. As I walked into her house, she was very happy to see me! She said that when she heard my voice, her baby jumped inside her! (Luke 1:42-45).

There was so much to talk about, and so much to do to get ready for our babies, that I stayed at Elizabeth’s house until it was time for her baby to be born. I enjoyed being able to help Elizabeth with her work. I was so glad I could help my friend. We had to carry water from the well every day. We cleaned the house, washed the clothes and cooked the meals. We also prayed together every day and worshiped God. Many times we visited with Elizabeth’s neighbors, talking with them about our happy news and about God. We loved our long visit together. We loved being friends.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A visit from heaven

I thought wouldn't it be good if adults can get involved with the nativity story. So I wanted to try and be in Mary's shoes when she had the angel saying to her,  “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”  This passage can be found in Luke 1:30-33

It was during this time of waiting that I had the strangest visit. An angel who called himself Gabriel suddenly appeared to me. “Greetings, you who are highly favored,” he said, “The Lord is with you.” To say I was greatly troubled at his words would be a huge understatement, and I wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to me, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” I asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” I said. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left me.

Well what do you say after a conversation like that? I was stunned! Speechless! And anyway who could I tell? There was only one person in the world who might have even an inkling of what I was going through; my cousin Elizabeth. Though much older than I, she was just now experiencing a very similar shock. Having been barren all her life, a huge embarrassment for a woman in my time, she was going to have a baby, too. And it was also the Lord’s doing. I had to go and visit her, even though it was several days journey in a time when travel was a major undertaking.

Monday, 5 December 2016

What would Mary say

Mary says, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word." No that is far to formal that reminds of William Shakespeare yes my dear friend. The way he speaks makes sense. But young people in our society doesn't agree with me. Though the problem with William plays it's a play not a book. You are not meant to read his play it is meant to be watched.

Right back on track, hmmmm let's see. Nowadays Mary would say, "I'm your lady!" Nope that does not sound right and anyhow who speak like that.

How about this, OK, where do I sign? Nope that sounds far to blunt. Don't look like that me, I am not that blunt. I tell what you that is blunt is that knife over there, that I spread butter on my toast for cheese and toast this morning. I thought I would have few days where I don't have any sugar as that might help me make this story more focused and I might be able to think better.

So if where do I sign is to blunt how about bring it! Come on, man! Let's try not to be disrespectful here! How would she accept the idea..........

I cannot stay focused this morning, maybe I should go for a walk. You are more than welcome stay here and make yourself like home. If you like you can go with me.

Oh look at the cows they are so big. Oh no! There are exactly where we want to be. Let's walk back and go home. What you think we should we carry on walking straight ahead where the cows are? That's a stupid idea.

Oh hang on, if it was God's idea than it should happen.

Ah I got it. so Mary should reply back saying this, "Behold God's servant. Let it happen according to his will." Fair enough, probably best not to tamper too much with the original there.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Monthly Musings: November

I have straight hair!

Another month zoomed past.

 I looked at my camera and found no pictures been taken nor my phone apart from when I went to Jesmond Dene. So I have to remember what I did. A memory like a gold fish is going to tell you what I have been doing.

This month involved lots of walking, one weekend a trip to Jesmond Dene. (another blog post, one day) Another weekend I had Rachel from Germany over and we had a trip to Durham Dales. It's was very cold though worth it despite walking eight miles. And Rachel as got a photo of me having a chocolate mustache though that won't be in public view. Told you the cold walk was worth it.

I have been doing some magic in the kitchen while my parents went away. I had a dozen of cupcake brownies to myself. Result! Though they did had cherries in, so it did count to my one of a day.

Don't Dad and I look adorable?! (This is what you get when you have Grandad and Mum with her phone)

I had a evening out with my parents and my Granddad at Chiquitos. That meant one thing! You can free sombrero, it counts entertainment if you have two hats on instead of one right? Even better, you have to wear a sombrero and a wholly hat on, on a bus. Now that is what I count entertainment! I didn't even know my Dad put my beanie hat on my sombrero until he looked at me and started laughing. I saw him putting his grandpa hat on top of his sombrero.

I received feedback for my unit one and unit two project and got outstanding. Been watching films as part of my course. Good films and films that is not my cup of tea though it was entertaining.

That has been it. Or shall I say, that is about a goldfish memory can actually remember. Next month would have lots of photos. Hopefully a picture of snow.

Make Christmas A Part Of You

I haven't been doing any poems recently. I thought it's about time to do a poem. 

You might be part of Christmas
But is Christmas a part of you?
It’s fun to run with Santa
With friends and family too.
But the magic part of Christmas
Can make your heart brand new
So please be part of Christmas
Make Christmas a part of you.
Have fun, go on and decorate your tree
Eat, drink, be merry, generate some glee
Then think just why you celebrate this day
And join with us to say
The magic part of Christmas can make your heart brand new
So please be part of Christmas, make Christmas a part of you. 

Mary heard the greeting

"Mary heard the greeting, and was bothered by it, wondering what strange type of greeting it was."

Angel said to Mary, "Don't be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive and have a son, and his name will be Jesus. He will be great......

Grrrr! Think Modern! How would he say it today? Mr Dunwoody want it to be more modern even though I keep thinking the old story is far to good to change it. But I got to  do what Mr Dunwoody want to otherwise he won't to share it with the church congregation and my creativity time would be wasted. Well not really, as I am actually having fun writing if you haven't already noticed.

I think I got it it, how about His name will be Jesus. He will be bomb! Nope, that is far to informal to say that to young girl with an unusual greeting Mary just had with the Angel.

How about this, then? He will flat our rock! No, no, no that is still to informal to say to a young girl. How hard can it be, to modernize a nativity story? Right, I'm going to have a nice strong coffee.

It's surprising when you drink coffee you actually think better. Oh, just me then. I think I got it, the angel should say this to Mary. "He will be seriously great! It's nearly there. See drinking coffee helps. I wonder if I should drink more, you never know I might get more work done which means that I won't get any sleep.

Right, I keep getting side tracked today, it's all the mince pies and cupcakes I am eating. Overly indulging but who cannot resits those red velvet cupcakes with a lovey cheese frosting white as snow.

Come on, Rebecca. Stay focused If you take out a 'seriously' out for a second here that I guess that would be idea.

So it would be the following "His name will be Jesus. He will be great, and be called the son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.

See I can stay focused. Right I'm off for a run to burn all the sugar and more.

Friday, 2 December 2016

The angel greets Mary

Now it's time for the angel to greet Mary.

Angel might wish to say, "Hail, thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women." Well first, off, sorry king James, but no one talks like that anymore. We might use the word thou because it’s  in song Be thou my vision. That is probably it and anyhow children don't tend to sing hymns for enjoyment they listen to other music. Oh what it that person called, unless you are 18 and under you might know it? Don't bother even ask me. I think it's Melanie Martinez.

Let's try this, "Hello, Mary you are..... Highly favored?" What would he say today? "Highly favored". Hmmmmm I don't think the young people talk like anymore.

Let's try, "Hello Mary. You are greatly esteemed." No that still doesn't work. Oh come on Rebecca. Try harder. About about "you're just great!" Well no but Mary is great. How about Awesome, young people still do use that right. Seriously do they have their own dictionary or something so adults cannot understand them. It's like they are speaking in a different language. Oh hang on. don't they use that text speech. I remember I have google  the meaning of tbh (to be honest). Don't look at me like that.

So if awesome won't work how about "a cool women." You know get cool for the children. OK, I will get real! At least try to.

Right so far I got. "Hello Mary. You are highly favored." Actually, I kind of like the original. "Highly favored" it is. See I said to you I will get real.

Ok... "Blessed art thou among women." hmmmm

Though the angel just cannot say that. He needs to say something else. How about "you are seriously blessed!" No..... How else can you say it?

Oh, you think the angel should "When it comes to blessings. lady, you take the cake" No I don't like at all.

How about, "among women, you are the cats' meow" Come on, Rebecca, think, think. Think like you are serious.

This has to be it, "Hello, Mary. You are highly favored, and the Lord is with you. You are truly blessed among all women.

Once again the original sounds good to me.