The Bride

Do you agree that every bride is beautiful on the day she meets her groom ? Women make many preparations for their wedding day.

In the Bible, there are references to Jesus being the divine bridegroom, who loves his bride, the church, or the Body of Christ. This is composed of all true followers of Jesus who have trusted him for their salvation.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, a time for Christians to anticipate the birthday of Christ.

It is also a time to prepare our hearts for the Second Coming of Christ, when he will meet his bride, the church.

No one, of course, knows when this event will take place. However, we know from Ephesians 5: 27, that Christ will meet a bride that is spotless and without blemish. In the meantime, despite her imperfections, we are assured that Christ loves his bride unconditionally.

Although the great purification process taking place in the church is troubling, it should not surprise us.

One day there will be a great celebration at the wedding feast of Christ and his bride. (Revelation 19: 3-6).

May the Lord grant us peace and a sense of anticipation and joy as we prepare our hearts during this holy season.

Anti-Aging Tip

Are you familiar with the term ‘fuddy-duddy’ ?

This refers to a person, usually an older person, who has become set-in-their-ways, intolerant, fussy, and guilty of rigid thinking patterns.

Last week my husband said I was becoming somewhat ‘fuddy-duddyish’, especially in my steady refusal to watch his new Smart T.V. , thinking it had nothing to offer me.

We should always listen to the constructive criticisms of those who love us and know us well.

Yesterday, he called me to watch something on YouTube that he knows I would love. He was right !

On the screen, I saw adorable Golden Retriever Puppies playing !

These dogs are amongst the most beautiful of companion animals. We have had the pleasure and companionship of two Goldens, and are looking forward to adopting our third in the Spring.

After watching the puppies, on video, my husband showed me how we can also watch travel videos, which we both enjoy.

May God grant us the grace to continue to explore new technologies as we age. Often new developments will enhance the quality and enjoyment of our lives.

May we continue to maintain a child-like curiosity of the many wholesome things God gives us to enjoy.

May we never become intolerant, and set-in-our ways, but keep considering the needs of others around us.

Pictured is our dog, Paris, at 12 weeks of age.

The Joys of Aging

Did you know that aging can be an especially joyful experience ? One of the things that pleases me immensely is that I am now largely able to shield myself from negativity.

Earlier on, in my career, I encountered, and dealt with negative people on a daily basis. I remember how exhausting that was, and how hard it was to protect my personal boundaries so that I was not influenced and dragged down by negativity.

Reasons for people being chronically negative are complex, but often, displaying a negative attitude is a learned behaviour. Learned behaviours can also be unlearned, if a person is willing.

I am well trained now to recognize people with negative attitudes within 10 minutes of meeting them.

And, I now have the liberating option that aging can bring; I choose to stay away from such individuals, although I do have compassion for these folks, knowing that they are generally unhappy.

It is preferable to surround ourselves with cheerful people. How do I stay positive? The joy of the Lord is my strength ( Nehemiah 8:10).

I also never watch “The News”. People find this strange sometimes and ask if I don’t want to know what’s going on in the world. I reply that I already know enough about the bad stuff that : The News” reports.

We are wise to follow the counsel of Philippians 4: 8-9, and think about things that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, and excellent.

In doing this, we receive the peace that Christ promises.

Pictured is the landing site of John Cabot in our town in 1497.

Health Benefits of Singing

Did you know that singing has health benefits ? Many of them are listed on the internet, and in summary, singing promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being, it can boost immunity, and can help in toning the muscles of the face.

On a spiritual level, our ability to sing was created by God to praise Him. The Bible is filled with phrases encouraging us to sing, to offer praise to God.

The most sacred musical instrument is the human voice, and thus, for the first 600 years or so of its formation, the Christian church only allowed singing during worship services. All other instruments were strictly forbidden. Gradually the organ was introduced to worship, and now many instruments are used during church services as well.

I sing, and play my guitar every day , overlooking the sea. This instrument is a modern descendent of the lyre, which King David played.

As St. Augustine said : He, ( or she) who sings, prays twice. God inhabits the praises of his people.

I posted this picture today, and the grass is still relatively green in Newfoundland.

Where Old is Celebrated

How do you feel when you hear the word ‘old’ ?

Many of us probably prefer the word ‘young ‘, or the word ‘new’ .

Not so, in our little town, where old is celebrated.

Buildings are lovingly restored, sometimes board by board, to their former glory of the Victorian Era.

Natural building materials, like spruce and cedar are used. Historically, Newfoundland had no brick factories, and it is extremely rare to see a brick building on the island.

There are no stoplights in town, and thousands of global tourists visit each year to enjoy a pace of life that is relaxed and slow.

There are many blessing too, to being an older person, especially in a town where old is celebrated. Aging brings some wisdom, a sense of perspective, and a sense of not taking anything too seriously. As an older person, I can see how God has helped me through many difficulties. He is always faithful to those who seek Him.

It is impolite to offer advice to someone unless they ask for it, but if someone should ask me the secret of aging happily, I would tell them stay to close to God, and seek Him first above anything else. His commandments are never old, and his mercies to his beloved are new every morning.

Denmark and Newfoundland

How are you enjoying these long nights ?

Here in Newfoundland, we are following the practise, from Denmark, of hygge, ( pronounced hue-ga) which is a cold weather lifestyle choice of coziness, comfort and ambiance.

Hygge involves the use of comforting things such as warm socks, cuddly blankets, soft lighting, and candles, either real, or battery operated.

Comfort foods such as hot chocolate, pastries, and warm soups and stews add to the feeling of relaxation and contentment for us and our loved ones.

The dark season is a time to grow closer to our loved ones, as the season encourages us to nurture ourselves and each other.

In addition, this is also a time where we can draw closer to God. There are fewer distractions during this quiet time of year. It is time where we can listen closely to what the Holy Spirit may be saying to us.

Everything in life is a matter of attitude. We can either grumble about the dark, or we can embrace it through creating ambiance and warmth in our homes.

God always appreciates an attitude of gratitude.

Driving and Birds

Do you enjoy driving a vehicle ? Chevrolet Canada chose our charming town as Canada’s Most Road Trippable Town !

Usually I walk around town to do my errands, but the other day I was inspired to drive to the Dollar Store on the other side of town to buy some Christmas ribbon.

About two minutes into my drive I was distracted by the town’s pigeons putting on a magnificent flying display above the harbour.

Then I noticed some other frustrated pigeons trying to drink from a frozen water puddle. I understood that the pigeons are gathering to fly South.

In the store’s parking lot, I noticed another driver smirking at me, because I had parked badly. I was laughing at two fat crows on the ground. One was eating the remainder of a submarine sandwich, while the other was drinking coffee from a spilt container.

By the time I emerged from the store with my festive gold ribbon, I remembered that driving is the most dangerous task that many of us will perform, and it requires our full concentration. Distracted drivers can cause disasters.

I drove home safely, with no distractions.

On our pilgrimage through life, the world is going to throw many distractions at us. These will confuse us, and disturb our peace.

Let us ask for the grace to stay focused on the Lord, and remember his constant love and care for us.

‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee ‘

( Isaiah 26:3)