Following my diagnosis with advanced melanoma in 2013, I had a brief flirtation with blogging which didn’t last very long. One of my motivations at the time was to try and document interesting tidbits about myself, likes, dislikes, things I was interested in and so on in a format that would be easily accessible by my kids (and anyone else that might be interested!) when they were older. I was kind of doing it anyway on Facebook but I was a bit concerned about what might happen to the company (& my data) in the future, and I didn’t think that platform was very good for my purposes in terms of its usability. Now that I’m having a more serious crack at blogging, I thought I’d copy some of my posts from there to here.
To get the ball ruling, I thought I’d share some posts relating to Handel’s Messiah. I’ve always loved this piece of music, and expressed as much back in 2011:
“Handel’s Messiah. An awesome gospel set to awesome music…and of course here with my awesome wife!” 10/12/2011
This was at performance of The Messiah at the Sydney Opera House in December, and while it is arguably more about Easter than Christmas, it does seem to get a good workout at that time of year. I would certainly have it on high repeat in the lead up to Christmas and that was reflected in post just after I was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in late 2013. I was now facing what i expected to be my last Christmas:
“Love listening to Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time…even more so this year! Beautiful music, but even better lyrics…the inspired Word of God.” 03/12/2013
I can still remember sitting at the dining table at Mum & Dad’s listening to it during my prolonged stay at their place while undergoing radiotherapy. During this period I started posting quotes from it on Facebook
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
Spoken 100’s of years before the birth of Jesus. 08/12/2013
They then started coming thick and fast…
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
These days calling someone a “sheep” is usually an insult. But i guess it depends on who the shepherd is. I for one am happy to follow this particular Shepherd. 11/12/2013
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Another sheep reference, but this one showing how we have strayed from the Shepherd…but again, even here in the Old Testament, there is reference to God dealing with our wanderings. 17/12/13
…going right up to Christmas Eve…
‘”Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, and ev’ry moutain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah 40:1-5″ A wonderful message of comfort, peace and forgiveness…not sure the Israelites were expecting the glory of the Lord to be revealed in a baby lying in a manger though!’ 24/12/2013
…and then a triumphant finish on Christmas Day…
“The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality…Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 25/12/2013
…with an added quote from Archbishop Glenn Davies to finish it off…
“Christmas without Easter is not the full story. We fail to appreciate Christmas if we fail to appreciate the reason why he came – to suffer death upon a cross on Good Friday, rise again on Easter Day so that the bonds of death may be broken and new life become a reality for all who put their trust in him.”
It remains a Christmas favourite for me to do this day, especially having been blessed with an additional 4 extra Christmases so far!