Don’t Waste Those Christmas Cards

We sing our Christmas carols
and pray our saintly prayers—
We decorate our Christmas trees
and share our Christmas cheer.

We are tempted to dispute,
a waste on Christmas cards—
Buy a ten-for-a-dollar pack
and write some worthless words.

Do we ever take the time
to choose a better card?
Do we really want a Santa
who drives a flying sleigh?

There’s something more to Christmas
than dashing through the snow—
A message of the new-born King,
is what I want to see.

Scenes of Mary and her child
with shepherds kneeling near—
Angels in the realms of glory,
announcing Jesus’ birth.

Do you see the Christmas star
reflect against the sky?
Those tiny specks of glitter dust
bring gladness to my heart.

Treasures of the Saviour’s birth
displayed upon each card—
To decorate our mantle shelf
and hung in every room.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
three very special gifts—
Each to honour the new-born King,
asleep within a stable.

I want to share the joy I feel,
with every card like this—
Each one affirms our Father’s gift
and hope to all mankind.

So precious is our Savour’s birth,
we need to spread the news—
It’s time we took a stand
and share Him with the world.

Take some time to choose a card
it’s really not that hard—
Perhaps you could design your own,
but make it from your heart.

Come; let’s rejoice in His birth,
spread the news, Christ is born—
Choose a card that declares the truth;
don’t waste those Christmas cards.

© Chrissy Siggee

Archived in: 🦋 Christian Reads

Mary

Luke 1:26-28 says “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

The New Testament begins its account of Mary’s life with the visit of Gabriel the angel who was sent by God as His messenger. The Lord God himself selected Mary to be the mother of Jesus. The Bible records Mary’s role in key events of the life of Jesus from his virgin birth to his crucifixion.

Christians acknowledge Mary as “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42) but we do not all agree that Mary is to be venerated. She is considered to be an outstanding example of a life dedicated to God.

Luke 1:38 says “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

Mary used the word “handmaid” which is usually translated as “bond-servant” or “slave”, which refers to someone whose will is consumed by the will of another—in this case Mary’s will is consumed by God’s. From this I see her attitude being parallel with what John the Baptist said in John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease” (KJV) or, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (NIV).

Whichever argument you choose, or doctrine you follow, Mary had to have been one special lady for God to choose her to be the mother of Jesus. She was a handmaiden of the Lord.

This Christmas let us remember that we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth as a human child. It was Jesus who died for our sake and put our sins upon himself. He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

He was born of Mary—a servant of the Lord.

© Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the King James version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.

Archived in: Christian Reads

Bird Watching

These two Rosellas have visited the past four evenings. I think they just might be regulars now. I’ve been so looking forward to photographing birds in the garden.

Photos by Norm & Chrissy Siggee.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

PIRATES, HIDDEN TREASURE AND …

Fourteen-year-old Electra sat perched on the edge of her chair facing the small group that sat cross legged on her bed.

‘It happened a long time ago’, she began, ‘but it seems like yesterday—probably because I’ve told the story so often. The only reason why I tell the story is because it’s why my family is the way it is. You see, we are a family with roots. Oh, you think your families has roots too? Okay, let me explain what REAL ancestry means.’

Electra put the empty popcorn bowl on the floor before continuing.

‘In 1801, my great, great, great, great grandfather, built this house. He had been a pirate ever since he ran away to sea and became a captain’s cabin boy. The ship was called the Black Raven… its captain’s name was..’

‘Electra! Will you please stop telling that tale.’

‘Aw…Dad. Why not? It sure beats the real story.’

‘There’s nothing wrong with our family’s history, or your family home. And, don’t forget the reason why you were named Electra.’

Sandy, one of the girls at the pyjama party, bounced off the bed. ‘Tell us, Mr Chapman. We really want to know about your house and your family.’

The other girls joined in the pleading.

Electra stood and took the freshly made popcorn from her father, pointed the bowl toward her chair where she had just been sitting, and motioned him to take over the narration.

‘Electra was right about the year. That’s when the house was built, but that’s where the truth of her story finishes.’ He waited for Sandy and his daughter to join the other girls on the bed. Electra passed the popcorn round before he continued.

‘Basically, my father wanted to save this house from being bulldozed. The locals wanted it demolished for safety reasons. He pleaded his case and renovated it. It’s been our family home since I was a boy. There are a few rooms that have never been restored but it’s stable.’

Sandy stared at nothing in particular. ‘You mean those rooms could be haunted?’

Electra burst out laughing. ‘You must be kidding.’

‘Please continue’, one of the girls requested, her eyes focusing on Electra’s father and ignoring his daughter’s outburst.

‘No, the house is not haunted—not that I know of. The rooms have just never been needed. There’s no great mystery, only the history gets a bit confusing. A few generations back the family lost most of their fortune and the house was left empty for years.’

Sandy looked puzzled. ‘Is that it? Electra, I think it’s a great story. Tell us Mr Chapman how did Electra get her name.’

‘It’s not all that interesting,’ Electra commented casually, wriggled back against the bed board and stuffed popcorn into her mouth.

Her father paused and took a moment to continue. ‘Electra’s mother was beautiful. She had red hair…’

‘That explains your hair,’ Sandy teased.

Electra pushed Sandy playfully off the bed, causing Sandy to squeal and the others to laugh.

‘She died in child birth’, he continued unperturbed. A hush filled the room before he continued. ‘I didn’t know what I would do or how I would bring up our little girl on my own. I brought her back here to my family home where my parents helped until they passed away. Not only was Electra born with red hair but she looked like she had a shock that caused her hair to frizz. Her grandmother named her. Over time her hair lost its frizz… but the name stuck. Her hair still reminds me of her mother.’

He stood and left the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

The girls remained speechless. Electra climbed off the bed and placed the popcorn on her desk before anyone spoke.

Sandy followed Electra and stood behind her, hesitating before speaking. ‘You’ve never told me the real story. Why wouldn’t anyone like the true story about your family and this house?’

Electra turned; her eyes glistened with tears. ‘I wish I knew my mother but I do know a lot about her. Dad and my grandparents made sure I knew everything about her. Every birthday I tell my pirate story so I don’t get sad. I guess I didn’t realize, until today, just how sad my dad gets.’

The girls gathered around their friend for a group hug. ‘Your family sounds wonderful,’ Sandy exclaimed. ‘Your family home is beautiful. Why don’t we ask your dad to show us around?’

Electra smiled and wiped her eyes. ‘That’s sounds like a great idea. Maybe we’ll find some pirate ghosts or some lost treasure’, she added with a giggle. She took Sandy by the hand and led the girls from her room in search of an adventure.

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Younger Teens

Carla’s Big Chance

Carla answered her mobile phone after the second line of her special ringtone “Nobody Weird like Me”, Travis’s favourite song. ‘Hi, Travis. What’s up?’

‘Not much, I just wanted to see what my baby sister was up to.’

‘Oh fine, I guess. I just wish Dad would ease up on me.’

Travis chuckled. ‘Still skipping classes?’

‘You know I hate school, Travis. Why do I need an education to be in movies? It’s…’ Carla’s voice trailed off.

‘I know, Sis. You just want to hit the big time now.’

‘Yeah, as if that’s going to happen when I’m in a stupid Math class or something. What have you been up too?’

‘I had a few minutes. Just wanted see how my kid sister was doing before I ironed my uniform, polished my buckle and shine my boots. You know how it is.’

It was Carla’s turn to chuckle. ‘OK, have fun at boot camp. Don’t let them catch you with your mobile phone.’

Carla rested back on her pillows and sighed. She missed Travis; missed his loud music and after school visits with her to the youth centre to play snooker when she was supposed to be doing homework.

Her phone buzzed. ‘Hello,’ she answered without checking the caller ID.

‘Hey, Carla, you up for some fun?’

It was Toni, a girl she’d met a few weeks ago at the youth centre. Toni wanted to be a model and Carla liked her right off.

‘What kind of fun?’ Carla answered half-heartedly.

‘Remember Kevin?’

‘Yeah, he’s the nerd that was playing chess at the youth centre. Goes to that snooty school off Main Street.’

‘Yep, that’s him.’ Toni sounded excited. ‘He’s making a video for his school. Kevin’s uncle is on the school board and has heaps of money and some neat video equipment. He likes Kevin’s script and wants to enter him in a junior filmmaker’s competition in Hollywood!’

‘So, what’s that got to do with me?’

‘Kevin needs a couple of girls to do some acting for him.’

Carla sprang from her bed. ‘You’re kidding! When?’

‘We’re meeting them at the youth centre in half an hour.”

‘I’m on my way.’ Carla ended the call. This could be the break I’m looking for. If Kevin wins the competition, Toni and I could be on our way to Hollywood.

It took less than a minute for Carla to see Toni talking to Kevin near the snooker tables. They were talking to another young guy who was leaning against a soda machine. Carla smiled at the handsome young man. He reached out to shake her hand. She was mesmerized by his presence.

‘Hi Carla.’ Kevin broke the spell. ‘My uncle is waiting for us at his home. We’re doing the video there.’

Kevin’s uncle’s house was a few blocks from the youth centre. On the way Kevin explained his script. ‘It’s a film I’m doing for my photography and visual effects class. My uncle offered to help with his equipment.’ He laughed. ‘He doesn’t trust me with his precious stuff.’

They arrived at a huge two-story house surrounded by an immaculate garden. They climbed the front stairs and Kevin unlocked the door.

Carla was elated as she stepped into the impressive entry. She looked beyond an archway where two video cameras and a still life camera were set up on tripods facing a sofa… a sofa covered with cushions and satin sheets. Toni grinned at her and winked. The boys walked on past the girls and headed to one of the cameras and began to adjust some dials.

‘What’s going on, Toni? Where’s Kevin’s Uncle?’ Carla began to panic.

‘Who needs his uncle? They have the equipment and we have the opportunity of a lifetime right here.’

Steve returned to Carla’s side and skimmed his index finger down her cheek and flicked her hair. ‘Hey Carla, don’t fret. Isn’t this what you wanted? Glamour! Fame! It’s worth a hundred bucks.’

Carla’s heart raced and her breathing quickened. With one sudden movement, she turned and ducked through the still open front door. She raced up the path and onto the street turning her head to see the three of them standing outside. They were laughing at her. Carla gasped and began to run.

When Carla was sure she hadn’t been followed, she slowed her pace. Tears and sweat streamed down her face. She drew in deep breaths and swallowed repeatedly trying to regain control before returning home. Maybe I should wait a few years before I think about Hollywood. She wiped her brow with the sleeve of her sweater and wished for some big brother advice.

‘I’m home,’ Carla called from the front room. ‘I’ve got an assignment due. I’ll be in my room.’

‘OK,’ her mother called back. ‘We’ll be eating at seven. I’m running late.’

Carla entered her bedroom and closed the door. She took her mobile phone from her pocket and hit Travis’s speed-dial. Taking a deep breath she struggled to fight back more tears.

‘Hey Sis, you just caught me. What’s up?’

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Younger Teens by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

Misty, hazy days

Too much rain lately but the heat is still causing growth in all areas of the garden. Pumpkin vines are weaving their long arms around and between the vegetable plots. Yesterday afternoon the air was steamy creating a haze throughout the garden. The new arch is beginning to blend into the back and foregrounds of a lot of the photos.

The Poinciana has finally come out of it’s winter’s rest. It’s branches are thickening up after it’s 2nd year in our garden pots. We won’t be re-potting again. I think this one will be big enough. 🙂

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Finally found…

After two years of creating our garden, we finally found the perfect arch.

While taking a photos of the arch something caught my attention.

I have been waiting for a year and a half for birds to come in to the garden. We sometimes had minor birds that we would shoo away but at long last the bird feeder is finally being visited. 🙂 I’m so happy.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Rest

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Ah yes… it’s one of those “let go and let God” verses. It takes on a new meaning when we learn to rest and let Him work on our behalf. We need to trust God in all our circumstances and wait expectantly for the peace that follows.

I think sometimes we pray for God to help us, to lead us, then we walk away trying to do things one our own just as we did before we went to the Father. We need to rest in knowing He is in control even if it’s not an instant answer.

I read once in a daily devotional book by Susie Larson that God doesn’t make things nice, He makes things new. How right she is. Thank you, Susie, I needed to read that.

Resting in God is the key to let Him do what He has planned. Don’t take the burden back up and carry it around with you when you have left it with the Father.

Father, thank you that when I’m weary and burdened down with circumstances in life that I can come to you in pray and lean on you. Help me to rest in you know you will make all things new. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee  2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Christian Reads

Police Embarrassment

‘This is the Police. Come out with your hands in the air!’

Three police cars parked strategically around the front of the gas station. The alarm had been activated and the police were called in. There had been a spate of break-ins and they had finally caught the culprit in the act. Firearms used in the previous two robberies made the police nervous. They guarded themselves behind their cars where the faint smell of body odour and heated engine oil mingled. Neighbours awakened by the early dawn invasion, gathered cautiously outside their homes to observe the commotion.

‘Do you hear me? This is Police Officer Brody. Come out with your hands up!’

The door opened slowly, revealing a small laced-up boot. The officers dropped down behind their vehicles, guns cocked.

‘Please don’t shoot’, a quiet trembling voice responded.

The door opened a little further and an elderly woman hobbled out. She was stooped low and walked with a cane.

‘What the…? Please step out into the open and put down your—cane.’

She dropped the cane and raised her hands as far as her skinny arms would allow.

Officer Brody stepped forward to access the situation. He motioned Police Officer Mandy Walters to carry out a search. Brody steadied the shaken old lady with his powerful hand under her elbow. Officer Walters placed the crooked walking stick back into an arthritic hand. She obviously didn’t want to embarrass the startled petite woman any further by searching her.

With an indignant expression, the woman faced the officer in charge. ‘I think there has been a mistake. You see, I left my keys in the bathroom and when I went back in, I noticed I had grease on my clothes.’ She rubbed at the spot on her weathered skirt.

‘I tried to wash it, but I had to take it off because the skirt wouldn’t reach the faucet. I locked myself in so no one would disturb me. Unfortunately, I think the nice man at the counter must have closed up for the night and didn’t realize I was still there.’

‘Where is your car?’

‘Sir! I don’t own a car. That’s my motorcycle.’ She lifted her cane and pointed with her bent fingers past the police cars and confused police officers. A Harley Davison that sheltered under an ancient oak tree glistened in the morning sunlight.

‘I find this all hard to believe. Tell me how you were in there all night without triggering the alarm?’

‘Well, you see…. I sat on the toilet seat to adjust my tights and I slipped off into the corner. I was stuck and didn’t have the energy to get up until this morning. When I left the bathroom, I was aware that I couldn’t get out so I shook the door. That pesky alarm just kept screaming at me.’

Brody scratched his head, completely mesmerized while she shuffled towards the Harley across the road. She mounted the motorcycle with a little difficulty, but unwavering. She placed an opened-face helmet over her greying, outdated hairstyle.

Using her key, the engine started up with a roar. Poking the cane into a side pouch, she flipped the kickstand up and drove off in one smooth movement. Officer Brody glanced at a smug-faced Walters before replacing his gun into its holster.

‘What are you looking at? You can do the report when we get back.’

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace