The Twelve Days of Christmas


I recently heard that, to buy all these items as a gift for someone for Christmas, would now cost over one hundred thousand dollars, given todays inflated  ‘values’!  WOW!  I have no way of knowing the cost way back when this was first written; I do know however, that it is always a popular song (and poem) at this special time of year. 

Enjoy reading this; even sing it if you know the tune, but don’t forget the real reason for Christians celebrations at Christmas time:  Jesus is the name and it is His birthday that we celebrate. 

Fortunately, in Canada, we are free to celebrate despite many attempts to erase God, Jesus or Christmas from our vocabulary; our schools and our places of business.  It is not so in many countries around the world; and so,  here I am sharing it again!  This was given to me a couple of Christmases ago, and it is still asked for!

From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning:  the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

–         The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

–         Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

–         Three French hens stood for Faith, Hope and Love.

–         The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

–         The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

–         The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

–         Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:  Prophesy Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

–         The eight maids a-milking were the eight Beatitudes.

–         Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

–         The ten Lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

–         The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Disciples.

–         The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

MERRY (Twelve Days of) CHRISTMAS to you, one and all!

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Love or Sin?


We all have the freedom of choice and recently, I chose to commit to a writing challenge.  The goal is to write 50,000 words through the month of November – the biggest challenge has been what to write about.

Someone once said to me, “The world is your oyster” – and thinking about that statement made me realize it also applies to my ‘topic’ dilemma!  It’s all very well saying that but ‘what to choose’ – as in a subject to write about is an overwhelming thought. 

Having considered much and deliberated even more – I decided to write about a successful author (fictional) looking back over – what had been a roller-coaster ride of a life for her and for her loved ones.

In developing this idea, it occurred to me that we all encounter ‘roller-coaster’ situations in our lives and often take advice from the wrong sources. 

The bible gives us simple yet very effective advice:  ‘Love Each Other” – imagine the kind of world we would live in if we respected one another, loved one another and did not judge one another? 

Consider this:

1 John 3:7-10  Children, don’t be fooled.  Anyone who does right is good, just like Christ himself.  Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil.  He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.  God’s children cannot keep on being sinful.  His life-giving power lives in them and makes them His children, so that they cannot keep on sinning.  You can tell God’s children from the devil’s children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other.  (CEV)

1 John 4:16b-21  God is love.  If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and He will stay one with us.  If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgement.  A real love for others will chase those worries away.  The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid.  It shows that we have not really learned to love.  We love because God loved us first.  But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars.  We cannot see God.  So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we (can) see?  The two commandments that God has given us are:  Love God and love each other”.

Sinful folk will not have your best interests at heart!  They will take advantage of you – your situation – your naivete – your weaknesses!  They will laugh at you – will not respect you and will certainly lie if it is to their advantage.  I know this to be fact – because I have encountered such people through my life;  they are very convincing and very manipulative and they will con you out of everything that is good and wholesome in your life.  They will NOT be lovers of God – nor will they believe in Jesus as His Son.  They will scoff at such beliefs; whereas if you choose to take the life-giving, life-saving advice that can be found in the Bible – your life can be immensely changed, for the better.

The Contemporary English Version or The Message are both written in every day language, that can be easily understood.  Try one of them and see for yourself, if you have the inclination – it will be well worth the effort.

 

more commonsense sharing @ http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

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The Noisy Squirrel


Jeremiah 25:7 – Yet you have not listened to Me; that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands, to your own hurt.  (NKJV)

Recently, I was trying very hard to concentrate on reading my Bible passages for the day – but there was a black squirrel outside in the garden, racing up and down the trees loudly admonishing and protesting some unseen ‘adversary’.  Despite my telling it to be quiet (as if it understands!) and loudly ‘shushing’ it – it continues with its’ noisy protesting, oblivious to any scolding from me; which was actually, very frustrating.  My protestations fell upon deaf ears!

 I am fairly certain that many times, we behave in much the same way when God is attempting to get our attention – all those times we are crazily running around doing what we feel needs to be done; when we’re voicing opinions where none are really wanted (or needed).   I can almost hear God trying to ‘shush’ us and have us listen to Him, instead of wearing ourselves out with what we perceive as necessary ‘busy-ness’ and activity which, to all intents and purposes achieves nothing of particular value.  Sadly, His calls often fall upon (our) deaf ears too.

Exodus 18:19 – Listen now to My voice; I will give you counsel.  (NKJV)

I’m thinking now, that this distraction was meant to get my attention – because now that I’ve completed writing this – the squirrel noise has stopped and it has vanished!!

OK – Lord, I heard You.

 Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for the many times You attempt to get our attention – thank you for persevering even though we can often suffer from ‘selective hearing’ and continue doing what we think is most important; when really and truly You are.  Amen.