Alphabet Series: A is for Awesome

Here goes the start of the much anticipated/forgotten alphabet series (see this post I wrote on July 18th explaining it!) in which my ramblings come tumbling from brain to blog. It is of course your choice whether to read it or not, so I make no apology for it not making much sense most of the time. Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s begin…

A is for Awesome

When was the last time you used the word ‘awesome’? If you’re anything like me, it was probably as an exchange in a text or social conversation exclaiming excitement/agreement/acknowledgement at someone’s comment, for example ‘Guess what, I got a “Frozen” advent calendar* this year!’ ‘Ahh, awesome!’ I will admit to being a compulsive ‘awesome’ user; it is a standard response in my repertoire. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a not-bothered-throwaway reply, more just a word that has shot to the top of my vocab list for exclamations. But I’ve been challenged by its meaning…

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As a Christian, in this season of Advent it is a time of waiting, longing, anticipation and expectancy leading up to the big day – celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th. As I’ve been reading again the account of this incredible story over the last few weeks, something has stood out. There’s the drama of Mary finding out she is with child, the effort of travelling with Joseph to Bethlehem, the uncertainty of having to find somewhere to stay, the joy of becoming parents, and then the welcoming of visitors to see their precious baby. And it is in this welcoming that we witness wise men showing us what it really is to be in awe.

‘On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.’

These men had journeyed for a long time; if I were them I’d just want a cup of tea and sit down before saying hi to the baby. But no, they bowed down to the King of Kings. Having this sense of awe and wonder has struck me as something I don’t do very well or very often. I’m prone to losing sight of the baby in the manger growing up to be a man, and it was He, the very same person who was born in an animal shed, who came as a Saviour. The Saviour of the world. Now that is something worth stopping and thinking about. When was the last time I paused to reflect? Honestly, I don’t know. Taking time to stop isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and maybe not to you either, but here’s a little challenge to find a few minutes over the next week to do exactly that, and be in awe of the ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’.

If you want to hear from someone who says it way better than me, thank Hannah McVeigh in episode sixteen of the 24/7 Podcast Advent series  ‘When God comes near’.

*This is a true fact

 

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25. For one day only

IT’S CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!!

Happy Christmas Day 🙂

Wahey! I’m sure none of you will read this on Christmas Day, but if you happen to, for one day only this website is worthy of existing… https://isitchristmas.com/ see what I mean?

Today we remember the birth of a baby born in a dirty stable, who grew up to be more than just a man wandering the streets saying nice things. The Son of God had entered our world.

Jesus, Emmanuel, ‘God with us’.

15. Christmas is coming…

I think it is about time I go a bit ‘children’s worker’ on you. In fact, I’m surprised I’ve managed to hold back this long. I (probably along with many other children and youth workers) started thinking about Christmas in the second week of September having hardly got over the Space Academy holiday club from two weeks before. Actually, I still have space-dust in my office, but that’s another story. Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier in the shops every year, but I’ve found I’m in the zone planning various school and church activities so far ahead that there can be a danger of losing sight of the joy and celebration of Christmas by the time 25th December finally comes around. So I’m on a mission to keep reminding myself of the birth of a special baby and not become lost in the bagging of sweets and ‘bauble challenges’ that will come round all too soon.

There are some great resources out there for families to use, as well as some other stuff that may be of interest. Childrenswork Magazine have a great article for family ideas this Advent, Christmas and New Year.
This is a great site – click on ‘children’s songs’ and there is a list of lots of Christmassy songs written by those who run the website, all available to use for free. All the songs have lyrics, sheet music, audio samples and lots have videos. Last year we taught ‘The Greatest Gift’ to our 5-11’s at church and they sang it in the family carol service. We’re using another of the songs this year (though it’s still top secret for now…!)

I love how social media can be used so well for sharing videos and ideas. Below are a few youtube things you may find of interest…some are cute, some are challenging, some are just a joy. I thought it might be helpful to have a little list going on (you know me, I love a list), so here’s a start…let me know if you have any other goodun’s to add:

Please do share any other fun things you come across – sharing is caring and all that.