16th December

I mentioned earlier that my niece and god daughter Sile was expecting her first child aroundLMA 023 now. Well Mikey Brown came along at 12.22pm today weighing in at 8lbs 8oz. Mother and child are doing fine, thank God! The event also makes me a grand uncle for the first time. It will be a Christmas with a difference. Here is a photo of Mikey and his father Stephen.

At the Youth 2000 retreat this past weekend, a handout (Love Letter from God) was distributed. All the individual sentences are taken from somewhere in the Old or New Testaments and are woven together into a whole. Read it slowly and reflectively, perhaps even taking a paragraph a day. It all relates to Advent and what the Lord seeks to bring us in his coming.

My dear child, I have called you by name, and you are mine. You are precious in my eyes, honoured and I love you.

I will not reject anybody who comes to me. You whom I have chosen are my friend. I have chosen you – I have not cast you off. Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you; I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.”

Remember not the events of the past. I do not condemn you – from now on do not sin any more. Observe all that I have commanded you, for blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it. Beware that your heart does not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of life – be vigilant at all times and pray for strength, for your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. But do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in me. I am faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial I will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.

Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. If the world hates you, realise that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but you do not belong to the world. I have chosen you out of the world. Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If God is for you, who can be against you? Neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate you from the love of God in Jesus.

See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans to give you a future full of hope. Is anything impossible for me? Yes, I have spoken, I will accomplish it; I have planned it and I will do it. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.

When you look for me you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I have carried you since your infancy – even to your old age I am the same, even when your hair is grey, I will carry you. Do not be afraid. I am with you always until the end of the world.

 

All my love, God.

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