The Manger Is Empty.

The Manger Is Empty.

Photo from heritagebooktalk.com

Photo from heritagebooktalk.com

Although it is wonderful to celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus at Christmas, there is an important thing to remember. The manger is now empty. Jesus the Messiah is now not only grown to be a man, he sacrificed himself for us, died on a cross and rose again. He is now seated in glory at the right hand of God the Father. Yet, defying our imagination, he also comes, with the Father, to make a home in our hearts when we love him and obey him. What does obedience on our part require? To believe in him above all else in our lives, to put him above all else in our lives. This leaves me speechless [almost].

But let’s back up to the manger. It was an incredible miracle for Jesus to be born in a lowly manger for our salvation [and according to scripture we don’t know if there was even a stable…scripture makes no reference to one.] The biggest, most amazing miracle for me happened nine months earlier. Jesus, the son of God, who, according to the Gospel of John, was with God in the beginning and was God, and through whom all things were made, Jesus became a tiny human single cell in Mary’s womb.

Human fetus at 12 weeks gestation; Photo from Google Images

Human fetus at 12 weeks gestation; Photo from Google Images

Did the Father say, “We need a human savior who is also God, a savior who will come to earth in all aspects as a human, including starting human life as a tiny cell. And Jesus the Son part of God the Trinity, said, “Pick me, I’ll go.”

The Father said, “You will have to divest yourself of all your glory. No God-attributes until you are 30 some years old and are baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus; “That’s okay, pick me.” The Father adds, “You will have no autonomy even as a human until you reach human adulthood. You will rely entirely on your parents, and they may not always have all they need to provide even a good human life. You will have times of being poor in human terms. They may also make mistakes as all human parents do.”

Jesus; “That’s Okay, pick me.”

So The Father said, “I choose you. You are the chosen one.”

And so it happened. The embryo grew in the womb of an unknown, unmarried young girl who was probably somewhere between 12 and 14 years old. The baby was born in a dark corner of the world and laid in a manger, a feeding trough. His arrival was not announced to kings or religious leaders, but to the lowliest in human terms, shepherds. But his glory was revealed then, in the visitation of myriads of angels saying [and likely singing] Glory to God in the Highest and the good will of God towards humans.

This is Christmas, the Celebration of Christ our Saviour and Deliverer.

Scripture references; Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:2-4, Hebrews 4:15-16, John 14:6-7, 9, 23, John 1:1-5, John 5:24, Luke 1:26-38

Please share your thoughts with us; leave a comment

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Weighty But Delicate Subject

Hi. My name is Diana and I’m addicted to M&Ms and almost all forms of chocolate, as well as cheesecake, and anything creamy and sweet, etc. But with the help of a Higher Power I am going to overcome…

Okay, this is hard…fessing up here for God and Everybody to see. But I have to do it. Challenge myself.

Yes, I conducted a personal and private “intervention” for and with myself [took a lot of selfies over time as well as combed through my past pictures] and made a personal photo album that spans the past ten or twelve years. I can see where I’ve been, where I am now, and face my weight. Ugh.

Me with my little, ie much younger, sister.

Me with my little, ie much younger, sister.

I tried to be positive about it. I reminded myself that recently when I posted a nice current pic of myself on Facebook I was hit on by three different guys [who looked to be in their late 40s to mid 60s]. They all wanted to PM with me [I didn’t know them, they weren’t even FB “friends”] and one wanted my phone number. Wow. Haven’t had that happen for years. Now, mind you, it was a head and shoulders pic. But I can safely say, I have a nice, even pretty, face. [My dear hubby has said it, but it’s nice to get supportive evidence. “smile.”] Being able to say anything positive is very helpful. I also faced that I am very overweight.

Now, in the back of my mind i knew I was overweight, but I was so frustrated with all the diets that failed, all the exercise programs that failed. Okay, at first I lost weight. Then I plateaued. Then I began slowly gaining again [Sound familiar?] If I didn’t rigorously watch what I ate and how active I was, I gained. I’ll be honest with you. At the beginning of this summer I was so discouraged I said F#@$ it, I don’t care. And over the summer I gained. And gained. And gained.  Finally a month ago I had my little “intervention.” I am now back to watching what I eat rigorously. But not so rigorously that I can’t maintain it. At first I lost 5 to 8 pounds. Then a week ago I put on about 4 pounds. Argh!. But I will keep on keeping on. I have combed the internet for info about diets and exercises, especially for overweight people. For instance, I know I can’t right away start with exercises like “The Plank.” I did that a year ago and wrecked my back. Because I carry too much weight in my middle. But I have found some info. I will share it with you here and in upcoming posts, in case you need the same thing.

One of the things that throws a spanner in the gears…oh, I mean a wrench in the works [spanner–my NZ background coming out] is my Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Almost any challenge to my body noways puts me in bed with severe fatigue and malaise, as if I had the flu, as well as severe pain, for the next few days. So I have to approach exercising very carefully.

But, I will do it. I have faced that I have to always watch what I eat and how much activity I have. I cannot just let it go. I know God will help me with this.  I also have the goal of fitness at least as much as losing weight. Research has shown that being “fat and fit” is healthier than being slim and flabby.

I can do this.

Me in 2012, in Meaford. Pic taken by my son. I weighed 50 pounds less here.

Me in 2012, in Meaford. Pic taken by my son. I weighed 50 pounds less here.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment here. 

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rejected, But In A Positive Way.

13-10-20-vacation-147My manuscript for Love In The Storm was refused by the publisher. Sounds discouraging and I had a little bit of disappointment. No matter how often you tell yourself it’s unheard of to have a first manuscript accepted something inside just hopes….

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

My agent told me positive things [I’ll get to those in a minute] and I hope it isn’t just my hope steering me wrong, if you get my gist.

My agent had felt that Love..Storm, which dealt somewhat heavily with the subject of suicide [though it was all positive in the end–there was still the requisite HEA, ie Happily Ever After] was a bit too heavy for a first time, unknown author to offer readers right out of the gate. Tamela [my agent] said she phoned the publisher and they discussed this because Tamela actually liked my writing. [Yay!!!] The publisher agreed it would be best to put Love…Storm on the shelf for now, and we could revisit it later.

Because Tamela liked my writing so much she would like to see something else. I looked over all the stories I have finished or partly finished and they all left me cold. I just felt I’d worked them to death for now [some have already been revised and rewritten a number of times].

However I had a brand new story burning in me, wanting to get out and I felt it would be best to work on a story that’s hot in me. That was a few weeks ago and my story is still hot.

I’m changing how I write. I’m doing a lot less “by the seat of the pants”–called ‘panstering’ in the writing industry–and  a lot more planning and research before I start. I have a sense of what my plot is, although it may change. More about that in a minute.

I have a good idea what and who my heroine is, but my hero felt vague, so I did some back-and-forthing of ideas and decided I’d really like him to be—but I’m not going to tell you yet. He’s hunky. Of course.  08-07-01-al-53-recovered-copy-2
Dark hair, dark eyes, a sort of strong, silent type. But maybe my heroine can get him to open up. He has some wounds, of course. Maybe my heroine can help him find healing. Ultimately his healing is in Jesus. But how to convince him of that. And she needs some healing too, but she needs help to find it. Just like in our real life romances.

So as I get to know my hero I’m getting a much better handle on the plot. It’s almost as if the book is plotting itself. Woo hoo.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work my patootie off [actually I wish I could]; I do. There’s still writing scenes and sequels, sorting out what goes where, pacing, tension–ah, of course I want all of you, my readers to be on the edge of your seats.

So, on that note, I will leave you. More anon [soon]

13 12 12 003

Please leave comments. It makes my day to hear from my followers and whoever else stops by. :)

Posted in Life, Writing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Persecuted But Not Overcome

 

I felt this was a good post given our dissatisfaction with our politics. It’s very timely, and it is of good report [read the whole article below.] The picture did not come with the article [but is related to it]. I am visual so I had to find a pic to go there, The picture is from Jakarta Informer  The funeral was for a one year old killed in a bomb explosion. Yet the people targeted responded with “love” and caring. See article below

Image result for samarinda church

Article Source; The Jakarta Post see link below

Haeril Halim and Liza Yosephine

There is a pic with this but it won’t load/stream for meDeep sorrow: Relatives carry the coffin of Intan Olivia at her parents’ house on Jl Cipto Mangunkusumo in Samarinda before her burial at the Phutak Christian Cemetery in Loa Duri, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, on Tuesday. Intan died from severe burns to her body hours after the terror attack on a church in Samarinda on Sunday. (Tribunnews/Christoper D)

The bomb attack perpetrated by alleged Islamic State (IS) group sympathizers at a church in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, killing a toddler and injuring three others, aimed to provoke religious tensions in the area, an analyst says.

But the terror group will likely fail at achieving this goal, as both Muslims and Christians have condemned the attack, which came at a time when the country is facing a growing threat of religious intolerance.

Instead of blaming a specific religion for the attack, religious followers have left it up to law enforcement bodies to resolve the case, a move that has prevented the emergence of sectarian conflict in the area, University of Indonesia (UI) terrorism expert Ridwan Habib said. [emphasis mine]

The majority of Samarinda’s residents are Muslim, with 841,682 adherents, followed by Protestantism with 52,445 followers and Catholicism with 22,554 followers.

East Kalimantan has never experienced a religious conflict before, but the province saw a bloody ethnic conflict in one of its cities, Tarakan, in 2010. Another bloody ethnic conflict rocked Sampit in neighboring Central Kalimantan in 2001. excerpt; for full article see here 

From Wikitravel

From Wikitravel

Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. The Indonesian part covers some 580.000 km2 (225.000 sq mi), the vast area is home to only 12 million people, so most of the provinces, especially the interior is very sparsely populated, and the vast rain forests here [are] some of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. from Wikitravel [link below]

Image result for kalimantan

Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. From Wikitravel

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autumn Splendor

I love fall. And this fall has been one of the best, one of the mellowest I’ve ever experienced. I’m looking out my window and some trees are still clothed in golden splendor.

dscn4400-3

dscn4301

 

dscn4394-3

Someone unknowingly parked this orange car right here just so I could take a great fall pic.

dscn4412

fall-scene-mikes-place

imagesCAKGKLYT

Remembering all those who have fought in our World Wars, and also those who are in service today. God bless you and keep you.

12 08 14 089

Black eyed Susans, one of my mom’s favourite flowers. I always remember Mom on Remembrance Day because it was always so important to her. She’s get her cup of tea ready and turn the TV on to the ceremonies in Ottawa. [Mom has been gone four years now].

Happy Fall everyone, and God bless you.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment.

NB; the poppy pic I got off the internet. All other pics are my own. 

Posted in Life | Tagged , | 2 Comments