Category Archives: Quotes and Reflections

A Christmas Carol

A while ago, someone contributed a piece here about music or singing in a choir; I pondered whether I might submit my own attempt at a song one day. Here is that song and its story.

Back in 1992, at the suggestion of a composer friend, I wrote the carol below. The following year, he had set the words to music and led our village choir to sing it during the candlelit village carol service. This year, surprised at how long ago I’d written them, I sent the lyrics to our village newsletter for the December edition. (An acquaintance stopped me in the street the other day to say how much she liked them – that was a treat!)

There are many common themes in the carols of different Christian churches. I’d wanted to get some New Church ideas of what Christmas is about out into my part of the world, so anyone with an open heart might recognize whatever truth I managed to encompass in the words. It needed to be fairly short. It needed to touch on some of those common themes, but in a new way. I wanted to sow little seeds of New Church thought without being obvious about it. And I wanted it to feel positive. So with that in mind, do you think I accomplished what I’d hoped to?

At Christmas, at Christmas do we really know
Why the celebrations give us such a glow?
Can we sense the angels joining earth to heaven?
Have we understood yet why this gift was given?
Let us learn a lesson from that tiny boy – innocence and wonder open us to joy.

At Christmas, at Christmas God came to the world.
Quietly, in darkness, wonderment unfurled.
Lowly manger baby, Jesus – gift of gold –
Brought his love to guide us safely to his fold.
Let us learn a lesson from that tiny boy – innocence and wonder open us to joy.

At Christmas, at Christmas life can start anew
If we change the pattern seen in what we do.
Show good will, and cherish those we come to know.
Nurture love for others – heaven’s peace will grow.
Let us learn a lesson from that tiny boy – innocence and wonder open us to joy.


Editor’s Note: On August 21st a solar eclipse occurred over much of the United States. Following are reflections by Annina inspired by this event.

Today I was thinking about how much I take for granted daily miracles. I assume the sun will rise–that it will shine. Monday’s eclipse had me looking in the Word about the sun being darkened. It struck me that an eclipse is a special opportunity to think of all the Lord does for us daily and in every instant–His Heat and Light flowing down unendingly–as we watch an earthly picture of something out of the ordinary–we see what it would be like without the life-giving sun.
Continue reading Eclipse

Choose Your Own Adventure: Heaven or Hell

God leaves us in freedom to choose heaven or hell – even in every moment of daily life, and going on to eternity. We are spiritual beings, and as such have connection to heaven and hell while living on earth. We are able to choose which direction we turn for our influence, as the quotes below describe.

“Each of us is a spirit. That is the source of our thinking and intending. This means that the spiritual world is right where we are, not distanced from us in the least. In short, as far as the deeper levels of our minds are concerned we are all in that world, surrounded by angels and spirits there.”
Divine Love and Wisdom 92

Continue reading Choose Your Own Adventure: Heaven or Hell

We Must Fail To Succeed

We each fill many roles. There can be a lot of pressure to “get it right” in every aspect of life. The pressure can build to succeed in any role – student, wife, mother, co-worker, sister, friend, daughter. Sometimes it builds up in many places simultaneously and can be crippling. But, so long as we continue looking to the Lord and striving towards the long term goal of growing in love towards a heavenly life, “failure” is a useful necessity. For our Easter Sunday church service at New Church Westville that was the point of the sermon, which you can listen to here. In some ways even Jesus had to “fail” to accomplish His long term success. When we focus on moving forward and following the Lord failure helps us to grow in ways we never could otherwise and ultimately reach our heavenly goal.

“The fact that those who are being reformed are brought into a state of not knowing any truth, that is, into a state of desolation, insomuch that they experience grief and despair, and that at this point for the first time they receive comfort and help from the Lord, is something that is not known at the present day for the reason that few are being reformed. Those who are such that they are able to be reformed are brought into this state, if not during this life then in the next…. Continue reading We Must Fail To Succeed