Month: December 2010

Happy New Year 2011!

Praying that this new year is a good time for you – a time of peace as you look back and hope as you look forward.
We have much to be thankful for at Activate Your Life –
40 years of creativity, inspiration and work from a fabulous group of Godly innovative women.

Our little Activate team today are looking forward positively to the year ahead –
-that the website will go from strength to strength, full of interesting and practical ideas shared by all our supporters.
-that we will fill our hotel bookings for our March conference, enabling us to stay afloat financially and enjoy a weekend of networking, learning and being blessed together.
-that our Activate supporters will continue to use the individual gifts and talents they have, pouring God’s love into their homes, workplaces, schools, neighbourhoods.
-that people will be introduced to the concept of faith and the reality of the person of Jesus.
-that eternity will be different because of women allowing God to work wonders through them in 2011.

This morning I received the following message from Bible for You – a great daily email service.
31 Dec 2010

“We become more and more like Him” 2 Corinthians 3:18
‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ is what most of us will be shouting at midnight tonight. New Year’s resolutions will be made, hoping a new ‘thinner, fitter, healthier me’ will emerge in 2011. The Bible says, ‘become more and more like Him.’ So how about we make this our New Year’s resolution – everyday choosing to become more and more like Jesus? How will it happen? Well, to make us more Christ-like, God will use His Word, other people, and difficult circumstances. God’s Word provides the truth we need to know, God’s people provide the support we need to grow, and difficult circumstances will provide the environment we need to show Christ-likeness. If you apply God’s Word, connect regularly with other believers, and learn to trust God in every situation, you will become more like Jesus. Count on it – it will happen! ‘God wants us to grow up …We take our lead from Christ …. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love… no going along with the crowd … everything – and I do mean everything – connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you. (Eph. 4:14-24 TM)

Digital Nativity

Looking for a different version of the Christmas story to show at your event? This is brilliant!
A fast moving, clever visual feast that uses all the tricks of modern Internet communication to tell the story of Mary, Joseph and the visit of the wise men. The music is a bit naff but the images are so clever it is worth it! A perfect intro to a mince pies and coffee get together round your kitchen table. A snappy start to your pram service. I like the strap line- ‘times change – the feeling remains the same’.

Nativity Plays – special Christmas moments!

There is something lovely about watching children act out the story of Jesus’s birth. In almost every school and playgroup throughout the land children dress up in tea towels and dressing gowns and take on the various roles from the Bible stories. What better way for them to learn, experience and understand, albeit at a simple level, the ‘greatest story ever told’.
Mums and dads watch, with video cameras and tissues ready, as their children play their part. Recently I overheard a Christian dad moaning about the nativity play he had had to watch involving his seven year old son – I was disappointed in his cynical attitude and hoped he didn’t share it widely, and that his son didn’t find out!
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, Italy, in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving. Staged in a cave near Greccio, St. Francis’ nativity scene was a living one with humans and animals cast in the Biblical roles. Such pantomimes became hugely popular and spread throughout Christendom. Within a hundred years every church in Italy was expected to have a nativity scene at Christmastime. Eventually, statues replaced human and animal participants, and static scenes grew to elaborate affairs with richly robed figurines placed in intricate landscape settings. Puritans banned Christmas celebrations in the 17th century, including banning nativity scenes, plays and mince pies!
In Africa today the plays reflect different parts of the Biblical story, with a larger emphasis on the oppression of the people by the soldiers and authorities.In America nativity plays are quite often acted out by adults, with powerful male protective angels replacing our cute tinseled variety. Have you seen nativity plays in other countries? We’d love to hear your experiences.
My favourite nativity moment came during an adult farmyard nativity in Fife, Scotland. The stable was full of real animals, the shepherds had just arrived and we were all singing ‘Away in a Manger’ quietly when the very real baby in ‘Mary’s’ arms woke up and gazed all around at us. The little boy beside me said, in a loud voice, “Look, Jesus is real!”

This year there is a dvd released that tells in hilarious detail of a teacher trying to organise a nativity play with his class of primary school children – “Nativity”, it is not exactly profound but it is very funny and suitable family viewing.
There is also a natural looking nativity play on Youtube which is popular-watch out for the star and the little king! It is very sweet, the site is linked below.
I wish you a happy Christmas, and that you will find your own moment when it strikes you, whether watching a play or not, that Jesus is real!

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