General

It’s Christmas day and it doesn’t get any more present than that!  I watched a wonderful little video this week called “the Christmas Scale”.  It was about the first couple of bars of the hymn ‘Joy to the World’.  And of course the next few words tell us why there is joy, ‘the Lord has come’.  As we live in the present there is a lot of background noise, there are a lot of demands on our lives, more so if you are a parent and especially around Christmas.  Christmas is an annual reminder of the ‘Joy to the World, the Lord has come’.  My hope and desire for each of you is that today you will take time to remember that Christ was born for humanity and even more so knowing that he was born to die.  He came to die so that we could have joy and peace.  Wishing you all a very happy Christmas.  God bless

Holidays

My Christmas TreeIt’s hard to believe that another year is nearly over and we are back to Christmas already.  It’s tempting to get caught up in all the busy-ness of the season and forget what it’s all about.  I’m usually pretty good at procrastinating, I was the king of it when I was a student.  But for a very special reason I tend not to procrastinate so much coming up to Christmas, well I’m getting much better.  Christmas is that one time of the year I don’t want to get caught up in the shopping frenzy, I don’t want to loose track of how many parties I need to go to or how many friends I need to see, I don’t want to sit down at the end of 25th December and think, “What the heck just happened for the last four weeks.”  I’m more determined than ever to remember what Christmas is all about and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas.

You see, for me when I think about Christmas I immediately cast my mind back to that first Christmas.  Oh to have been a fly on that wall.  Without that Christmas past there would be no Christmas present or future.  Without that baby born in a manger there would be no holiday, no peace on earth, no shepherds, no wise men and certainly no annual nativity plays.  But that is just it, God, in the form of a baby came down to this speck of the universe and was born in a stable surrounded by His earthly family, a bunch of smelly animals and soon no shortage of strangers.  Jesus did it.  Plain and simple, He did it for us.  He did it back then and He has been doing it every day since, working to save mankind from itself.  I know it’s a bit late, but I hope that this Christmas holiday you won’t get lost in all the peripheral trappings we associate with Christmas but take time to reflect on the Christmas past, the Christ child born in a manger.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,  saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”  Matthew 2:1-2, New King James Bible.

General

I recently had the wonderful opportunity of spending a week with the chaplains at Florida Hospital in Orlando.  We had a great time learning from them and seeing what they do.  The Florida Hospital is a Christian hospital sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist.  It is one of the largest hospitals in America.

We saw the chaplains in action and observed them at work.  We learned about the Creation Health programme, more about that later.  We heard about the service done through “No One Dies Alone.”  The chaplains have a group of volunteers who come and spend time with terminal patients who are on there own for various reasons and they are never on their own.

We got to tour several of the hospitals of the Florida Hospital in Orlando and particularly enjoyed going around Celebration Health, right next to Disney World.

I had a great time there.  The weather was great and the company was wonderful.  Here are some photos from my week in Orlando.