Child of God

He's got the whole world in His hands!

Tracy, Andrew and me

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Hello again. I hope you are all well. I’ve had a chest infection, unfortunately, but it didn’t last long. Just as I was recovering, I leaned down in church to pick up my handbag from the floor, and felt a horrible sharp, twisting pain, alongside a weird ‘popping’ sensation in my left side!

Long story short, after a visit to A&E the next day, I was told that I have probably ‘snapped a bit of tendon’. X-rays and ECG were clear, thank the Lord, and I just have to put up with it until it heals – maybe not for several weeks. You tend to take your good health for granted, don’t you? But it could have been so much worse and I thank God for His protection.

By the way, apparently the name Immanuel means "God with us". I don't know about you but I find this a very reassuring concept!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

In a time of great darkness, God promised to send a light who would shine on everyone living in the shadow of death. This message of hope was fulfilled in the birth of Christ and the establishment of his eternal kingdom. He came to deliver all people from their slavery to sin.

Me and my friend Kate at Wroclaw Christmas market 2016

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

Jesus means “the Lord saves”. Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do this. Jesus didn’t come to help people to save themselves; He came to be their Saviour from the power and the penalty of sin.

Moffat, Scottish Borders

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

Yes, it’s that time again – Christmas! It seems to have come around again very quickly but I remember saying that last year. I’ve been looking through some of my old photos, thinking about Christmas times from years gone by.

We had a very novel Carol service last Sunday, where the theme was celebrating Christmas around the world, and the room was made to resemble a plane. Andrew was the captain, Tracy and I were the designated cabin crew and she really looked the part. I made an effort and complied with the red and black theme!

Church afternoon tea, The Station, Irlam, 2019

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)

York 2019

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

I hope and pray for a healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year for everyone. It’s one of the times when we focus on the good gifts from God, especially our health and our families.

Love, Ann ❤

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

No Christ, no hope - know Christ, know hope!

Kev, me, Josh, Andrew and Tracy

Durham market square

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:29)

Hello again. We had a weekend trip to Durham – a place that has been on my wish list for many years – and it’s as beautiful as we had envisaged. Unfortunately, it rained steadily all weekend but we’re hoping to go back when the weather is better.

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Saviour!” (2 Samuel 22:47)

The trip was supposed to be to see the Christmas market but we bypassed that and had a look around the shops (and a pub!), stopping for a wonderful afternoon tea on the way. The city is quite compact and well-laid out, the atmosphere is relaxed and the natives are friendly! I’ve always loved the North Eastern accent – it’s one of my favourites.

Durham city centre

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

A ransom was the price paid to release a slave from bondage. Jesus often told His disciples that He must die but here He told them why – to redeem all people from the bondage of sin and death. The disciples thought that, as long as Jesus was alive, He could save them but Jesus revealed that only His death would save them and the world.

We didn’t get around to seeing the cathedral but did catch a glimpse of it as we walked by the riverside. It looked stunning in the dark – like a fairy tale castle.

Durham Cathedral by night

“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)

On Sunday, we went to Beamish Museum, where they were celebrating 50 years of being a world-famous open air attraction. It tells the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s and 1950s.

Attractions include a 1940s farm, a 1900s colliery, Pockerley Old Hall (1820), an Edwardian station, Beamish tramway, and lots of olde worlde shops – even a pub, which looked very inviting but very crowded!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

No apologies for using this verse again – it must be one of the best-known and loved verses in the Bible. I thank Jesus every day of my life for the huge sacrifice He made for me.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

What a promise! This verse does, however, refer to spiritual hunger and thirst. Part of our responsibility as Christians is to help the hungry. I know people are so generous - particularly at this time of the year.

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)

The weather was dismal – raining steadily all day – and this made it quite difficult to get around, as the site is very big; consequently, we didn’t see anywhere near as much as we would have liked. It did give us a taster for our next trip, though, and we would allow much more time, as this excursion was on a coach.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5)

Jesus is the one I cling to through good times and bad. I’ve said so many times that it’s not easy being a Christian, trying to be a ‘good’ disciple. I get it wrong in some way every single day but I remain committed to Him. If I were to give up and walk away from Jesus, where on earth would I go?

That’s why I always say:

No Christ, no hope – know Christ, know hope!

Love Ann ❤