Shauna captures it well:- “…..this season I’m not trying for perfect.  I’m just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness.  Let’s be courageous in these days.  Let’s chose love and rest and grace.  Let’s use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or shushing them while we accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing.  Let’s honour the story – the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth, with each choice that we make”.

So Father, Thank you for the never failing story of sending your Son. Thank you for giving us eyes to see your wonder in His mundanity and Your strength in His divinity. Open our eyes this Christmas to the importance of being presence, of breathing and pausing more than rushing and fretting. Thank you that in your grace we have many blessings. Give us ears to hear your voice, and attentiveness to your nearness.

Thank you that you know us better than we even know ourselves and give gifts that we need before we even ask for them. In the waiting, we will be found. In the seeking, we are yours. Amen

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“Pay attention to the things that bring a tear to your eye or a lump in your throat because they are signs that the holy is drawing near.” Frederick Buechner

1 Emma Scrivener’s helpful Jesus prescription. Compelling and clear.
2 Five ways to kill your partner and ruin your marriage. Important stuff.
3 Advent searching…..”Keep digging until you find you’ve dug deep into the heart of God.”
4 David Fitch’s reflections from around the table. Insightful.
5 A great grab of Alan Hirsch’s missional thinking…. Worth watching.

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“… without the incarnation, Christianity isn’t even a very good story, and most sadly, it means nothing. “Be nice to one another” is not a message that can give my life meaning, assure me of love beyond brokenness, and break open the dark doors of death with the key of hope.

The incarnation is an essential part of Jesus-shaped spirituality.”
― Michael Spencer

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Might seem highly unlikely…..for Christmas isnt’ just busy but exhausting. Here’s five tips that will help you to stay sane and to enjoy the Christmas season. From a seasonal mailing bulletin: here’s the fuller resource.

Tip 1: Remember to enjoy the message of Christmas personally. see Luke 2 v 19 for more…

Tip 2: Remember that it’s all about Jesus, not about you. John 1 v 20 for more….

Tip 3: Remember that Jesus is in control. Isaiah 9 v 6 is on point.

Tip 4: Remember that God is in our interruptions. Luke 1 v 38 is the right kind of attitude.

Tip 5: Remember that all the busyness is worth it. For in it is great joy: Luke 2 v 10

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“The Christian mission was not directed merely at centres of power. It was consciously aimed at the common people, and the ideals of simplicity and humility were never far from the minds of those who had to propagate their faith…..”

Henry Chadwick, The Early Church

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“You don’t follow Jesus like you follow someone on twitter, where you are free to take or leave their thoughts at your leisure. Following Jesus is not letting Him come into your life to be an influence. Following Jesus means submitting to Him in all areas at all times regardless of whether you agree with what He says or not.”  J.D. Greear

1 Baby Jesus takes on John Lewis in battle for the soul of Christmas. At least we’re naming it!
2 Take the risk and fly….. yes it’s invited.
3 Here’s some of the reasons why pastors ‘vanish’
4 Questions from Richard Baxter’s Reformed Pastor, that old puritan classic.
5 Peace and Pax from DH Lawrence and Simon.

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“Christian community is not and never can be about us. When our dreams and convictions about what we think community should be are dashed against the jagged reef of human limitations and failure to live up to one another’s needs and expectations, then and only then are we ready to accept the fact that Christian community is not about us at all. It is about the transforming presence of Christ—all he will do in and through and for each of us.” Life Together in Christ by Ruth Haley Barton

1 Four patterns learnt from the life of Jesus. Core stuff. 
2 Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers some significant thoughts on complimentarity
3 Sam Allberry’s costly, ‘Discipleship is not always easy…….’ 
4 We all get to choose ‘doxology or dark’ in a lifestyle of gratitude.
5 New favourite song atm from David Crowder, “for earth has no burden, that heaven cannot heal.”

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