Rosie’s Devotions

Christmas Is…

Christmas is here; at least, a shopper’s Christmas is here. Christmas trees, wreaths, ornaments, and toys are proudly displayed in store windows and shelves — beautiful, shiny objects to attract and entice the consumer. Well-thought-out advertisements in the local newspapers and magazines feature the latest in gadgets and toys.

But Christmas is not about running around at the last minute getting “just the right gift” or getting the latest version of a cell phone or buying the latest edition of a computer software product. Christmas is about a Baby.

You’ve heard the story many times. Over 2000 years ago, an angel tells Mary, a virgin, that she will give birth to a baby and to name this baby “Jesus”. Joseph and Mary, as part of a census, travel to Bethlehem to look for a place to stay as Mary’s time to give birth is imminent. But because of the census, rooms at the inns were all taken. A kindly innkeeper offers them a stable where Mary gives birth to Jesus. Angels proclaim Jesus as a Saviour for all people. Shepherds come to adore Him, and wise men bring Him gifts.

Now imagine: if the kind innkeeper had not offered his stable, Mary and Joseph would have been homeless. Jesus would have been born outside, underneath the stars. Perhaps the night would have been a little cold also.

This Christmas season, may we be so bold as to step out of our comfort zones and help out in our shelters by preparing hot meals and offering a person who is without a home, a place to lay their head and keep warm for the night. If that isn’t possible, perhaps donating food items to the local food bank or hosting a turkey dinner with all the trimmings at your local church for people without homes are other ways of giving. If you are unable to do that, then consider sharing your gift of singing Christmas carols with the elderly in an old age home, a long term care home or in the local hospital.

John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (NASB)

As the season of Christmas approaches, let us share our time and gifts with each other.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the wonderful gift of Your Son, Jesus, who willingly sacrificed Himself for our sake. He shared His life on earth to tell of Your wonderful love for us all.

by Rosemary Hagedorn


Annie’s Journal by Annie Warner Donnelly

Back in June, I wrote that once my paperwork was finalized, I’d be travelling to Mugeta – a rural village in Northern Tanzania – to teach in the Mugeta Children’s School.

Every call of God comes with its own set of circumstances. At first, I didn’t understand why the timing of my departure was delayed, but that was just the point: it was my timing. The Lord had His timing all worked out. Finally, based on His timing, I have a departure date!

As it turned out, the day in June that I thought I would be flying across the Atlantic to Tanzania, was the day I received news that my nephew had died. How blessed I was to be able to be with my sister to grieve with her over his death. I am grateful to have been here for other events throughout the summer and during the fall.

Many events in life cause us to wonder why things are taking so long. Maybe we’re slow to recover from an illness. Maybe we’re hoping for a new job that that seems impossible to find. Maybe we’re waiting for someone to apologize; or someone to recognize our loneliness and invite us in; or someone to understand our current need and be willing to meet it. Have events like these tested your faith?

When James sent his greetings to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations, they were facing problems that were testing their faith. We can be encouraged by the words he wrote to them. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

God keeps His promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Here are the lyrics to a song I wrote as a reminder that He is with us, moment by moment; that we have nothing to fear. He will see us through.

We wonder how we can forgive when our hearts are filled with pain,

And we can’t sleep; we toss and turn ‘til morning comes again,

And then the moment comes,

And in that moment, You show us what to do.

In each moment, You always see us through.

There’s no fear when You are near.

Faith is in the moment with You.

Where can we find comfort when we feel all alone?

Tears fill our eyes. It’s hard to breathe. Who can we trust?

Jesus, we ask for faith, faith to believe.

Jesus, our hearts have room, room for You. Please come.

And in that moment, You show us what to do.

In each moment, You always see us through.

There’s no fear when You are near.

Faith is in the moment with You.



What Dreams are Telling Us

Dec. 3, 2023 – Dreams are one way for our subconscious mind to communicate with our conscious mind. The subconscious does not communicate directly, however. It is more like a game of charades, in which the subconscious ‘acts out’ a message which the conscious mind may or may not pick up. If we are not ready to deal with the issue, then we attach no importance to the dream.

This is especially true when it comes to recurring dreams. If they are painful dreams relating to the past, this means there is healing that needs to be done. If they replay traumatic incidents, you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and professional help is advised.

The subconscious is where our deepest feelings, desires, fears, and vulnerabilities reside. The conscious mind is more like the part we ‘dress up’ to take out into the world, while the subconscious runs things ‘behind the scenes’.

The subconscious can certainly sabotage our conscious desires and goals, so it is a good idea to pay some attention to it. If we can decode its messages, there is a greater likelihood that we get all parts of our consciousness working in the same direction.

If you dream of being afraid, of being unsafe, or being chased, the dream may be reflecting your deep feelings of vulnerability. You can look at your waking life and consider in which areas you may be feeling vulnerable. Then you can see what you might do to make yourself feel a little more grounded and secure in that situation, or to look at how you would still be okay even if your worst fears materialized. Is it that you are in a relationship or job that triggers insecurities? If the situation is draining your confidence and you have tried to communicate this without any change, it may be time to move on.

If you dream of being lost, or missing a flight, it may be that you are ‘off track’ in terms of what you really want to be doing in this lifetime. Dreams can also give hints about where our soul really wants us to go, literally or figuratively. I think of the soul as the core of our being, like a flower that wants to blossom. Are there parts of you that want to be expressed?

If you dream repeatedly of the countryside, or of mountains, it may be that your soul yearns to move there. If you dream of flying, it may be that it is time to give ‘wings’ to your waking dreams.

Some people say they do not remember their dreams. Sometimes just giving yourself the message, just before you fall asleep, to remember your dreams is helpful. Keeping a notepad by your bed and jotting down even the briefest fragments of dreams can be helpful in recalling them. Once you get up, they may be lost.

Pay attention to your dreams, for there may be important subliminal messages in those ‘nighttime videos’.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for inspiration.


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