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Archive for December, 2013

Christmas Oranges

7th Day of CHRISTmas

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During Christmas celebration, it is quite common to give out oranges as a treat inside the Christmas stockings.

Since tangerines are in season right now, we decided to treat children to some “Christmas Orange” delights — savoring Christmas oranges and watching a delightful animated tale on “The Christmas Orange”.

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After the tale, each child was given an orange  – one mini tangy tangerine — to bring home and share among their family members and to retell the spirit of sharing they have learned from the “Christmas Orange” dvd.

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Another orange related goodies I enjoy very much is the classic Christmas Orange Chocolate. I just like the simple taste of the chocolate with a hint of orangey flavor to it.

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To savor this goody, one needs to WHACK the harden orange shaped chocolate on a hard surface;

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only then could the chocolate be separated into segments for all to enjoy!

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What a creamy and satisfying way to celebrate the last day of 2013!

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Oh Christmas Tree

6th day of CHRISTmas

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The Christmas festive song echoes…

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging.

Not only green when summer’s here, but also when it’s cold and drear.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging…

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I used to think that indeed the freshness of the evergreens were so unchanging, but my perspective changed when surrounded by groves of evergreen trees…

And here’s my finding.

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Holly Jolly Plant

5th Day of CHRISTmas

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This green shrub with red-berried is in full blooms during the Christmas season.

This holly jolly branches are used for decoration to brighten the spirit of Christmas.

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly… Fa la la la la, la la la la
‘Tis the season to be jolly… Fa la la la la, la la la la”

Traditionally, the Holly branches were used to weave into a Christmas wreath.
The wreath would symbolize the crown of thorns;
and the red berries would symbolize the drops of Jesus’ blood.

Lest we forget, the jolly hollies do not exist for their prettiness only;
for they are the staple food for the birds during the wintry season as well.

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Down from His Glory

4th day of CHRISTmas

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“The true light that gives light to everyone 
was coming into the world.” John 1:9

I like what Amy Carmichael (an Irish Missionary in Indian) penned belowed:

“Opening our windows toward Jerusalem

And looking thitherward, we see

First Bethlehem,

Then Nazareth and Galilee,

And afterwards Gethsemane;

And then the little hill called Calvary.”

A great reflection indeed to worship the humanity and the divinity of Jesus Christ!

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The Nativity Scene

3rd day of CHRISTmas

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It took me a long time to figure out what “nativity”is.

Oxford dictionary states its the birth place of a person.

These days people understood that the Nativity refers to the model representing the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nativity is also known as the Creche.

It is said that St. Francis of Assisi originated the nativity scene in AD 1223 at a townlet in Italy to a group of peasants.

In her book ” Celebrating the Christian Year”, Martha Zimmerman wrote:

“During the Middle Ages very few people could read. Francis of Assisi wanted to communicate the good news of the gospel to the peasants. He wanted them to understand that Jesus could identify with them because of His own humble birth. St. Francis chose a cave, some animals, and people from his parish to re-create the story. We would call this a tableau. It had an incredible effect and instantly became very popular as an annual event. The idea spread throughout Italy, on to France, Spain, and the rest of Europe. Over the years artists began to make figures, and soon statuary tableaus replaced the live ones.”

Now I know!

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Pretty Poinsettia

2nd Day of CHRISTmas

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I spied with my eyes and spotted this fire flowers.

This flaming blooms is Poinsettia, also known as, a Christmas plant.

The fiery red and evergreen leaves add color, joy and liveliness to this festive occasion.

I always enjoy this popular tale told of the little Mexican girl and her hearty gift of “poinsettia” to Jesus.

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Merry CHRISTmas

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Merry Christmas!

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Soon and very soon…

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Silver bells
Silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring a’ ling
Hear them sing
Soon it will be CHRISTmas day

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City sidewalks
Busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style

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In the air
There’s a feeling of Christmas

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Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner
You’ll hear…

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What a God!

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Back to nature

T’was the last stretch of Autumn!

Children were sent outdoors to reminisce the wonderful creation of God. 

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the warmth of the sun against the blue sky

the white fluffy clouds chasing each other

the colourful leaves dangling on the trees

the chirping birds upon the bare branches

the cool and crisp air tingling the skin

the gently falling leaves swirling in the air

the dewy green grass gracing the field

Ah, the scent of God!

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What is God like?

What does nature say about God?

Why does God make things like this and like that?

Does God have a sense of humour?

Is He a creative God, an imaginative God, a fun God?

What kind of God is He?

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Back to the Bible

Being outdoors allows children to discover God and be in wonder of Him; to feel His presence surrounding them and to experience Him in a free-spirit way.

From experiencing God through the beauty of outdoors, we dashed into the biblical world to hear what King David says about what God is like.  

King David has experienced God personally and intimately all his life so he knows what God is like.  

In his famous kingly praise and prayer (I Chronicles 29:10-13), King David reveals to us what God is.

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He is the God of Israel.

He is from everlasting to everlasting.

He is great and powerful and glorious and majestic and splendid.

He owns everything in heaven and earth.

He is the Lord of the kingdom.

He is exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honour comes from Him.

He is the ruler of all things.

In His hands are strength and power

To exalt and give strength to all.

His glorious name is worthy of our thanks and praise.

Oh, what a God!

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Back to pondering

After pondering what King David has ascribed about God, children contemplating who God is to them.

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Knowing that what they have come from God, children also contributed generously towards the Relief Fund for the Haiyan Victims in the Philippines.

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Glacier Smoothie

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I love this aesthetically appealing “Glacier Smoothie” which a friend brought me from her Alaska cruise.

It has the refreshing scent of grapefruit, which is one of my favorite citrusy scents.

This Glacier Smoothie is handmade silt soap from Juneau where glaciers abound.

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The fine print on the tag read,

“… as rivers of ice, relics of the ice age, slip and slide their way to the sea, a super fine powder of mineral-rich clay is produced.  Each bar of Glacier Smoothie soap contains this amazing silt which has been carefully harvested, heated thoroughly, and sifted by hand.”

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It boasts this silt soap will turn skin “smoothie” and I can’t wait to try!

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Attached to the soap was a beautiful old hymn, and I learned that it is quite common to include a poem or an old hymn in soap packaging.

The one I have is “God who touches earth with beauty” by Ms Mary Edgar.

The original title of this poem was called “Prayer for the Youth”.  Edgar was a lover of camping and she worked as a camp director overseeing many young people, hence this prayer poem was penned for them.

Here’s the lyrical of the poem beautifully sung by the Huston Children Choir.

The spirit of the poem makes me rekindled a great camping experience I had the past September, at the natural beauty surrounding Golden Ears.

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God, who touchest earth with beauty,
make me lovely too;
With thy spirit recreate me,
make my heart anew.

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Like Thy springs and running waters,
make me crystal pure;
Like Thy rocks of towering grandeur,
make me strong and sure.

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Like Thy shining waves in sunlight,
make me glad and free;
Like the straightness of the pine trees,
let me upright be.

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Like the arching of the heavens,
lift my thoughts above;
Turn my dreams to noble action,
ministries of love.

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God, who touchest earth with beauty,
make me lovely too;
Keep me ever, by thy spirit,
pure and strong and true.

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Here’s another great reflection on Edgar’s poem.

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