thefeminineheart

To Encourage the feminine heart along lifes journey


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HAPPY CHRISTMAS

imageTo all my WordPress friends, thank you for taking the time to read my shared thoughts, I pray that they may have blessed you in some small way. Looking forward to an exciting New Year of inspiration.
Wishing you all a Christmas filled with love, laughter and friendship, but most of all God’s love and peace.
Lxx

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AROUND THE TABLE

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“…………….Pursue the practice of hospitality”. Romans 12:13 Amplified
Today we were privileged to share a meal around a table with friends we hadn’t met. That may sound a little silly, but let me explain.
In the last few months my husband and I have been regularly attending a church after a very long break. It’s actually a miracle that we are there at all as our past experiences haven’t been all that wonderful. 
So, what has been the difference this time ? 
From the moment we began attending we were welcomed, loved and accepted. No questions asked. We were quite broken and carrying a sizeable amount of ” Church Baggage “, skeptical and happy to be uninvolved . Not a week has gone by where someone hasn’t talked to us and made us feel a part of the family. There is no “Special Team ” of people designated to make new comers feel welcomed. Everyone just does, it’s genuine and heartfelt. You can tell the difference you know !
A couple of weeks ago we were given an invitation to ” Come Home For Christmas “. Host families invite others to attend lunch in their homes, everyone gets an invite and visitors on the day are also extended a welcome to a gathering.
We arrived to enjoy a meal with people we didn’t really know, and left having made new friends.
So many times in Jesus life He shared meals with people, He took the time to form relationship in the atmosphere of hospitality, He performed miracles multiplying food in the atmosphere of hospitality, He ate in people’s homes and ministered in the atmosphere of hospitality, The Last Supper, gathered with the disciples He administered the first Communion in an atmosphere of hospitality.
In an age where the simple act of sitting down to a family meal is becoming increasingly difficult the importance of fellowship in an atmosphere of hospitality cannot be underestimated.
When we gather around a table to share a meal we are welcoming those who partake ” into our home”. When people walk through the door of our church, without exception their experience should be ” WELCOME HOME ”

” Love one another with brotherly affection ( as members of one family), giving precedence and showing honour to one another. Rom 10:12 Amplified

A family is made up of different personalities, some family members are more colourful than others, some do things that disappoint us, but they are still accepted, still part of the family. Jesus broke bread with tax collectors, prostitutes and those that many would have considered undesirable, but He sought them out, He supped and fellowshipped with them. 
He is our example, let us as a people and our Church as a family be those who say ” WELCOME HOME ”

Practice hospitality to one another ( those of the household of faith).
( Be hospitable , be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.) And ( in each instance) do it ungrudgingly ( cordially and graciously , without complaining but as representing Him).
1Peter 4:9 Amplified bible
Lxximage
Thank you to our new Church Family for Welcoming us Home. Northlakes Salvos. http://www.northlakessalvos.com.au


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WHY JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA

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I heard this at Church today, I don’t know who the author is, but I wanted to share this piece. It beautifully expresses the eternal and all loving qualities of Jesus. Whilst Santa is fun and festive, Jesus is our Saviour and Friend. What he has to offer cannot be wrapped in Christmas paper, nor can it be discarded once the novelty has worn off. It can’t be bought on credit, lay-byed or returned and refunded. Because if we accept His gift, it is forever, it is a gift that compares to no other, it is priceless.
Why Jesus is Better Than Santa Claus
Santa lives at the North Pole…
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa…
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap…
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”…
JESUS knew our name before we were born. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…
JESUS has a heart full of love
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says “You better not cry”…
JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”
Santa’s little helpers make toys…
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree…
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree…the cross.
We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Lxx


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TRUE FRIENDSHIP

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” Friends love through all kinds of weather……” Proverbs 17:17 The Message
One of the things I love about the festive season, Christmas, is the motivation to catch up with friends where the business of life has intruded upon quality time. As another year draws to a close, and the beautiful spirit of this special time sinks into our being we are reminded of the true purpose of life. Relationship . We stop, and pause, pondering over the year spent. Who has shared our journey, who has travelled in a different direction, who have we lost sight of along the way ?
Just this week I was able to touch base with a special friend. Our lives have taken a very different path and our once weekly catch – ups have been all but non- existent . Work commitments and family responsibilities taking precedence.
An evening of coffee and cake ensued. We laughed and talked, filling each other in on all the happenings. The highs and lows, family, work , church and our spiritual walk. In those few short hours we were able to nurture our friendship. To re-connect and strengthen our relationship. We’ve been through a lot together, shared some of the darkest and most difficult periods, navigated seasons together , and experienced fun adventures. She is my Sista , our paths crossed, through His divine planning in order that we may DO life together. Learn from one another, encourage one another, and sometimes bring one another into check.
Friendship, true friendship lasts through all of life’s twists and turns, forges through hardship, misunderstanding, separation of time and distance and takes advantage of momentary intervals to invest in relationship. 
” Friends come, and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” Proverbs 18:24
Reach into your heart, look into the special place where the emotions of friendship reside. Is there someone you are impressed to re-connect with, have you neglected to nurture a bond, do you need to forgive and mend a bridge ? 
Friendship is not so much about what we can receive but what we can give. To contribute to another’s journey in an encouraging and positive way.
Don’t wait until tomorrow , be a friend today.
Lxx
” The wrinkles of friendship are fine creases left by years of sharing tears and laughter- they are lines that add beauty and grace to this wonderful gift from God…….reminding us of the journey we could not have traveled alone. ” 
– Whispers of Friendship, Barbour Publishing.


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TREASURE…Is yours wrapped in Christmas Paper ?

” Where your treasure is there your heart shall be also” image
As the Festive season draws closer, the hectic pace we already operate within seems to intensify. We are bombarded with images of Christmas as being a time of present giving, advertisements encouraging us as the consumer, to buy bigger, better and more expensive items. Luring us towards the notion that abundance is the only acceptable way in which to celebrate. Scenes of family enjoying ridiculously lavish lunchtime spreads, magazine worthy decorated trees with presents piled high, wrapped in designer paper, everything colour co-ordinated and perfect. Children , and adults for that matter, who already have more than they will ever need, wanting more and more. Luxury becoming the expectation of what is considered normal.
Shopping centres full of people frantically buying, often way beyond their means, using credit, just because that is what is expected. You only have to stop and look, you’ll see the stress and anguish as shoppers part with hard YET to be earned money. Is it appreciated ? Go and observe the the long lines at the return and refund counters after Christmas!
So why do we do it ? Why do we succumb to the pressure of societies presumption as to what Christmas is or should be ?
In today’s standards of excess and plenty we have lost sight of what is truly important. Values have shifted from the Eternal to the temporal , to the accumulation of material wealth as opposed to eternal wealth. We have lost sight of what TREASURE really is. 
” Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Where ever your treasure is , there the desires of your heart will also be. ” Matthew 6:20-21
So where are the desires of your heart ? Are you chasing the illusive promise of happiness and contentment through the acquisition of material possession or do you long for the fullness of the ethereal?
” In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3
We have the most precious and priceless gift to share. The beautiful story of Christmas, the birth of Christ.
” For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ” Isaiah 9:6
We may not come in designer wrapping nor have the gigantic Santa sack brimming with gifts but what we do have to offer is ourselves. Our time, quality time to spend with family and friends sharing love and relationship.
” We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. ” 2 Corinthians 4:7
There are many a lonely sole at this festive time of the year, a friendly smile, a loving word of encouragement, an invitation to a meal, a simple small gift, share the treasure that He has placed within you.
The only thing we will take into eternity are the lives that we have touched. No amount of money can buy the gift we have to share. Remember the reason for the season and experience and share ” A Real Christmas ”
Lxximage