For this I have Jesus

Like many of you, I always find New Year a time of reflection of the past year, but my thoughts are mainly of the year ahead – what will it hold? Sometimes we know, we may have plans, things to look forward to, there may be specific events already on the calendar, but from the day-to-day we often don’t know, the unexpected comes, our plans are thwarted or what looks like a blank calendar fills up all to quickly, or maybe not, maybe it stays blank for a long time.

I am reminded of the words of Graham Kendrick’s song ‘For this I have Jesus‘ and I am comforted that no matter what happens I have Jesus. No matter the highs or lows Jesus will be there beside me and I am thankful for such reassurance. I pray that you too will know, that know matter what ‘for this we have Jesus‘ all through this next year of 2019.


For the joys and for the sorrows
The best and worst of times
For this moment, for tomorrow
For all that lies behind
Fears that crowd around me
For the failure of my plans
For the dreams of all I hope to be
The truth of what I am

For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus, I have Jesus

For the tears that flow in secret
In the broken times
For the moments of elation
Or the troubled mind
For all the disappointments
Or the sting of old regrets
All my prayers and longings
That seem unanswered yet

For the weakness of my body
The burdens of each day
For the nights of doubt and worry
When sleep has fled away
Needing reassurance
And the will to start again
A steely-eyed endurance
The strength to fight and win

Graham Kendrick 

In the Lowly

As I read the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke chapter  2, I am struck by the simplicity of it all.

We are rushing round decorating our houses, buying presents, shopping for food,  buying outfits for our parties and yet there was Jesus in the backwater of Bethlehem, away from the hustle and bustle even of the Inn, born, wrapped in cloths and laid in a manger!  The difference is stark!

We are looking for the luxury, He came in the lowly!

For those who find our version of Christmas hard, for those sad and broken-hearted, take comfort for it was for You He came! Not in razzmatazz and glory, but in the stark and lowly.  He left His place of glory and came to the place of lowly.

For the sad, the lonely, the hurting, the broken, Jesus came.  You may not feel like celebrating Christmas, and that is okay, but You can come to Jesus, born in a manger, born in obscurity, born in simplicity,  born in starkness, born lowly.  And indeed you will be more blessed, because you don’t have to hunt for Him through all the trappings, or through our self-sufficiency, but you can find Him in the lowly, in the starkness of the reality of your life .  And  be assured He will find you and reach down to you in that lowly place!

So whatever our Christmas may look like, may it look like us being glad we have a Saviour, one who chose to come from the holy and chose to come to the lowly and in our self-sufficiency not forget our need of Him.   God bless you and yours.

One Moment at a time

In moments of stress or panic I often recite the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Did you know there was a second verse?  It goes like this:

Living one day at a time

Enjoying one moment at a time

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace,

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, and not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him

forever in the next. AMEN.

Yes, it is little known and little prayed probably, but I find it really helpful to ‘ground’ me, to keep me in the moment.

Living One Day at a time – not over thinking things, worrying about the ‘what ifs’, or taking tomorrows concerns into today.

Enjoying One moment at a time – being in the present, being in the moment or as it is otherwise known – ‘mindfulness’.  Enjoying, relishing the moment, breathing it in and out.

I was thinking of this in connection with all Christmas preparations, activities, gatherings etc.  just to relax into them, enjoy them for what they are and not stress about the next thing.

There may be some things we do not like, for example shopping in warm, crowded shopping centers, but we can still take a moment to stop and breathe and look around.  A moment of mindfulness, that this is what we are doing and not the other thing.

Christ has given us this moment, we are not promised the next.  So enjoy.  Enjoy the preparations, enjoy your times with friends, enjoy the cooking and decorating, enjoy the moment.  Now that my children are grown and away, I regret all those missed moments when I was too busy, I miss those special moments with them now.

One moment could be a defining one in your life – you don’t want to miss it.  That moment may be all you have of someone’s company.  That moment may bring sweet blessing.  That moment may be the one where you breathe deep and find your strength.  That moment to stop and take stock.  To take that moment to breathe calm, to take that moment to feel eternity near.

Life is made up of moments.  Let us not waste them, neglect them or let them slide by without noticing.

Living One day at a time  –  enjoying one moment at a time.