Beyond all expectations

manger nativity PJ

Beyond expectations

There was no theological precedent

for this, no earthly reason

for God to present His bliss

within the folds of swaddling cloth

When one of valour and of might

was anticipated as bold warrior-slayer,

who would expect a starry night

to bring a babe of lowly birth to be

heaven’s chosen Messiah-King on earth?

An unconventional beginning

to His reign, where weakness

became perfect player for His power

and strength was seen in holy purity,

integrity and inner grit to steel

this humble soul for painful death

prepared by prayerful blood-sweat tears

witnessed within His dying-rising

hour at close of earthly years


Dear reader, bless you for being here to read, comment and share this space together. I’m truly thankful for your company and I appreciate each and every one of you and the interactions we’ve enjoyed.

As I take a brief break to spend time with family, I want you to know how much you’ve blessed and encouraged me this year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, blessed New Year to you, lovely reader!

I plan to pen some more poetry here in early January.

Meanwhile, feel free to browse the archives here or over at my other site, Words of Joy.

Looking forward to being back with you soon.

With blessings and love, Joy Xx ❤

PJ christmas greeting

The story starts with a seed

from a seed - PJ

In Advent we look forward with anticipation to an event of great magnitude.

Remembrance and celebration of Jesus coming to earth for us.

Entering our fallen humanity with the purpose of being the only acceptable, possible sinless sacrifice for our sin.

Beginning in a humble place, with a message of universal hope and grace.

And like all historic occasions, as we look back we can see the seeds of it happening, the roots of origin revealed.

In the poem below I am trying to capture an essence of the foundations for God’s plan of salvation.

Because marvelling at Jesus coming to earth doesn’t stop (or start) with the babe in the manger.

It transcends time itself as part of God’s foreknowledge before we ever knew of it.

All stories start with a seed, a germ of an idea, a creative spirit.

This is the greatest story ever told. One we repeat with awe. God incarnate, come as one of us.

The story starts with a seed…

From a seed

dark seeds

Eve was deceived and

sowed a seed of destruction

leading to mankind’s expulsion

from heavenly joy into a darker

employ of labour and toil

fear, pain, guilt and shame

Yet hidden within her

human skin lay a dormant

seed-carrier capacity

a foretaste of the future

when sin’s enormity

would require a Saviour

And Mary became Seed-bearer

for the human race

to be redeemed by love

and set free by grace

by the birth of God on earth

constrained into a human frame

Her child – Jesus, our Messiah

Saviour, Servant-King and Lord

to whom we bring faith-seed offering

of a heart willing to believe

a mind receptive to receive

a spirit to praise and to adore


I’m sharing my chosen five-minute-friday word ‘seed’ and the poem that came from it with fellow word-wrangling wordsmith friends at Kate Motaung’s site, with Mel at essentialfridays and with Barbie for Weekend Whispers. You are very welcome to join us or to stop by and be blessed by reading the posts we share.

Mary as Seed bearer - PJ

Reflecting on the light

reflecting on the light - PJ FMF

These are days when I avoid more than a fleeting, perfunctory glance in glass.

Checking for unruly hair, smudges and smears while avoiding noting the passage of years.

It makes me sad and discouraged at times to mark the passing of time and all that’s left undone as another year closes.

So this is a season of seeking to see myself more in the mirror of Christ and to lean toward His glorious light.

Aiming during Advent to focus more sharply on His image rather than my own.

I want to be awed and amazed once more as I become immersed in His grace and glory-story.

I want to reflect more deeply on the light of His coming and the gift of His presence.

With these thoughts in mind, I share my best poetic five-minute-friday offering with you.


I gaze into glass and it reflects back

a clear-eyed image of me

with uncanny accuracy

My present and past lay revealed

yet I feel it doesn’t really see

deep inside the whole of my soul

It reflects back the way years, pain and tears

have etched their stain hard on my visage

and how I’ve been beaten down by care,

wearing signs of sickness on the surface

So I turn instead to the much-thumbed

book beside my bed, and begin

to read as it continues reading me

I see myself with startling clarity

It reveals who I am in the process of

becoming when reflected in its depths

Here I am mirrored in Christ

shining forth His life

And it reflects all I can be as I

live out its truth, surrender

my time, my years, my life

Now I turn gentler toward

the mirror of glass

knowing its image is transitory,

passing, nothing that lasts

Because the only thing

that fully reflects my

passage on earth

is my faith in Christ

through the ever exalting

state of new birth


Reflection poem pin

Joining with fellow word wranglers at Kate Motaung’s site today as we wrestle to pin them to a page in 5 minutes flat. This week’s prompt is ‘reflect’.

It’s a lovely, encouraging, supportive community who meet there every Friday. Come join us? You’re very welcome to take part or just drop by here to read the words being shared.

A Man for all seasons

advent- light of the world PJ

It’s that time of year again when a lot of us become overly distracted, caught up in a browsing/buying/bingeing frenzy even as we want to still our souls and focus most on the presence of the Light of the world within.

Some just want to disappear, pull the duvet over their head until it’s all over and life can get back to normal, please.

Each season brings its own charm and challenges, doesn’t it?

I love slowing down to have a deeper appreciation of Advent. Maybe you do too.

It’s a waiting, watching and wondering period of remembering how and why our Saviour came to earth.

Becoming a tiny babe in a earthly frame at the start of an arduous journey toward the cross.

His sole purpose was to hold out loving arms willing to die for us, to bear the burden of sin we carry within.

I can’t help but think how crazy-busy, sad and mixed up this season can be. Many are in physical or emotional pain, desperate, dying on the inside, others literally in fear of their lives.

As we sit heavy with a world’s sadness, sorrow and pain, we can breathe in sweet remembrance of  the Reason to savour the joy of our salvation, of our brokenness being made whole.

What if we primarily saw this season as a grace invitation to lean harder, listen closer, open our eyes and hearts to the Man for all seasons who stands ready with arms wide open to receive us?

A Man for all seasons

holly - for all seasons PJ

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Fa la la la la la la la

‘Tis the season to be jolly

Fa la la la la la la la

But what if…

you feel the sharp prick of painful

circumstances bleeding into your days

or sway inside as you sip a bitter

cup bearing berries of unforgiveness,

or have grief eating you up within;

how can we celebrate a season of

consumerism or avoid its slick

perma-present ‘buy this’ rictus grin?

There is a way because there is a Man

for all seasons, a Son and Brother

who is our soul’s Lover; He stands

ready to ignite a fire to thaw all cold

and burden-heavy hearts

He sees the season we are in

and His gift offering invites us

instead to focus our blurry,

world-weary gaze on Him

It may feel wintry-chill within

our fearful souls but His Love’s warmth

seals against all ills as it permeates with

laser grace to revive and make us whole


I’m warming my heart today by having fellowship with fellow wordsmiths sharing their five-minute-friday offerings on the word prompt ‘season’ over at Kate Motaung’s place and with Mel and friends as we focus on the essential things of life and faith. You’re very welcome to join us.

for all seasons poem PJ