Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas.

We did have a really good time. On Christmas Eve we went to Christingle, at church.The children read very well  We met lots of friends and we had a fantastic time singing carols, praising the Lord for Jesus-Christ,our Saviour!
The girls were there too so I felt so happy.  In the evening, the girls and I made the cafe buche,an old French recipe for a coffee cake in shape of a log.
On Christmas day, we went to another service and we met more friends, sang different carols and it was so enjoyable. 
Somehow, opening presents took for ages. I can't help noticing the difference between the presents I used to receive when I was a child, for example, a home-made jumper and 3 classic novels compared to what is acceptable now! 
Then we had diner later on! I am so lucky, my hubby loves cooking and he prepared everything, smoked salmon, avocado and salad for starter, then turkey and goose with home-made stuffing (with sage and chestnuts), leeks, parsnips, sprouts, roasted potatoes, carrots, then the cafe buche
 Later on we got in touch with other family members, my auntie who lives in Nice and our dad who is in Norfolk. Our sister Pauline who is a nurse and was working texted us too from Wales. Family is so important, don't you agree ?


Thoughts for Christmas

So have you finished your Christmas shopping ? This year I have spent less time going round the shops just because I consider that my time is very precious. I knew more or less what the children wanted and I had to make a wild guess for my husband as usual. Then again, his birthday is on the 31st of december and I knew what he wanted for that. I managed to go on the internet and order early. Two hiccups, the mobile I ordered never arrived on the following day as it was claimed. Apparently the transaction did not take place and I had to reorder it again ! Something else went wrong, the trousers I ordered never arrived, instead, i got an email telling me they were out of stock and my money was refunded. I was going to order some perfume on a French website but I did not in the end, just as well as the Euro has gone up so much.
At the beginning of December, I asked my students what was Christmas about ? The younger said : it's about Santa, it's about presents, lots of them.. Then I said : think again ! So the answers were wiser : it's when Jesus was born. Others remember the three wise men led by the star of David. Who knows if they are going to church on Christmas day ? A few raised their hands. I told them that millions of Christians in the world would gather in churches to celebrate Christmas. A reassuring thought.
Tonight, for the first time, we gathered at the pub and sang carols Come and Join the celebration, Light of the world, the millenium prayer, our Father, Saviour's day, Cliff Richard's song, Hosanna Rock. We didn't know how many people were going to turn up. In the end, about 80 turned up. The children enjoyed singing as well. The vicar was playing his guitar brilliantly, Maureen, superb musician, playing the violin and the keyboard. This was such a lovely evening. Praise the Lord!



Philippians 4 4-5
'Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice. Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon'.
As I was reading this passage again and again, I suddenly realised that this message is so relevant to us. If we were not Christians, we could easily be torn by depression as we are living in such a world where gentleness is dominated by violence, peaceful people are devoured by angry people, even our friends seem to get angry quickly for no reason. We could easily fall into depression. Paul was in jail when he wrote this letter and he could have been extremely depressed too. Imagine being in jail when you are completely innocent, the unfairness of it all.
Now if you are not a Christian and you have just opened your Bible on those lines, you may be wondering what is going on!
Who is the Lord ?
Here is a very simple version of an amazing truth .
Paul's message is that you will find Joy forever in believing that The Lord (who created every human beings and animals on the earth ) sent Jesus-Christ his son on earth, Jesus obeyed his Father in everything and accepted to die on the cross for our sins.
Sins, what on earth does it mean ? We sin when we are forgetting The Lord and not obeying his 10 commandments. Adam and Eve committed the first sin, disobeying the Lord.
Jesus' sacrifice allows us to be forgiven by the Lord and when He comes back, we will join him for eternity in the new world.
Exodus 20
The Ten Commandments 1 And God spoke all these words:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 "You shall have no other gods before [a] me.
4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.
12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 "You shall not murder.
14 "You shall not commit adultery.
15 "You shall not steal.
16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."