December 30, 2021

In Everything Teach & Ignite - guest post by Sheri Hathaway



For everything there is a season,

A time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die,

A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.

A time to tear down and a time to build up. 

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a times to gather stones. 

A time to embrace and a time to run away.

A time to search and a time to quit searching.

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend. 

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate.

A time for war and a time for peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8, NLT version

This poem appears in the middle of a great piece of observance and reflection on life written by someone who calls himself the Preacher. We think it’s probably King Solomon because of his references to his life as a king. Nearing the end of his life, the Preacher is taking stock, looking back and reflecting on how it all played out. He records his thoughts as he moves through his memories, most of which bring him despair. He certainly had his reasons, having built a wealthy and powerful kingdom and then see it decline. In the end of his thoughts, he arrives at a conclusion of monumental importance to him and to us: the purpose of our lives is simply to enjoy it! Yes, enjoy what God has given us and praise him. 

The Preacher felt compelled to record his thoughts as they unfolded in his mind. Perhaps writing them down gave him a way to process them, but for us, his words hold lessons and inspiration, leading us to look at our own lives and pinpoint the priorities. 

Isn’t that also the purpose of a Christian writer today? Friends, the year is almost over. The past twelve months or more have had times for ‘every activity under heaven’. I challenge you, pick up your pen or open your Word document, and reflect on this year. Write your God-inspired thoughts with the intention to both teach and ignite praises to God. 

Join with Sheri Hathaway on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (@sherismusing) as she divides her time between writing and watercolour painting, enjoying life on both the Canadian prairies and the West Coast. 

December 29, 2021

Seasons Greetings and a Blessing!

On behalf of this blog's moderators -- and all of inScribe's amazing executive -- we would like to wish each and every one of you all the best in the coming year. 

We value each contributor and appreciate the time and effort it takes to write consistently each month. We value, too, our guests and occasional contributors, since variety is the spice of life! Your voice makes this blog a rich smorgasbord. We are grateful for those who read what we've written and especially appreciate it when you take the time to comment.

A special thank you to Sandi Somers for her years of contribution. She is the one who comes up with the theme list each year and always starts the month off strong. Thank you to past moderators, Tracy Krauss and Brenda Leyland for their hard work and commitment. Thank you to our new moderator, Wendy Macdonald for taking on the task in obedience to God's call.

May God bless you richly in 2022!

To learn more about InScribe, our structure, magazine, programs, and other opportunities, visit our website:

December 25, 2021

Michael by Sharon Heagy


Michael paced over the hills and dunes, searching for the lost lamb. “Dad’s gonna kill me,” he muttered. “I’ve lost yet another one of his precious sheep. Arrgh! At least the glow from the moon is helping me see.” In his desperate state he didn’t realize that there was no moon shining at all.[i]

            Had he looked up (or ‘look-ed up’ as the song goes) he would have seen that the glow in the sky was not the moon but a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.’  But he saw and heard nothing because he was focused on finding this flipping sheep. How he hated sheep. He was always in trouble with his father for daydreaming in the field when he should have been watching the flock. Inevitably one would wander off somewhere.  He had even lost a few to wolves, finding only some fluff and a few bones left over from a lupine feast.

His dad wasn’t even his real dad. His folks had found Michael in a basket by the side of the road and his dad had finally given in to his moms pleading to take the baby home and they adopted him.  His birth dad didn’t want him. His adoptive dad didn’t want him. Nobody wanted him. Sulking he kicked at the sand and stones, his bottom lip slipped into a pout and his face assumed a ‘poor me’ posture. Shoving his hands into his ruddy brown robes he trudged on.  Never once lifting his head to see the miracle in his midst.

Meanwhile, back at the angelic host, Bruce, a young angel felt a nudge from above and turned his head to see a figure tramping across the desert. He looked up towards heaven. “Me?” he questioned. “But my wings haven’t even grown out all the way.”

“You,” he heard God’s say in His ever-loving, peace filled, firm voice.

            Bruce gazed once more at the pathetic figure, hunched over and wandering around with no sense of direction and sighed.  This was a heavy assignment for his first gig. But he knew he had to be obedient, so he left the glow of glory and flew unsteadily toward the wandering shepherd.

He landed a few steps in front of Michael who plodded on doggedly, his head still staring at the ground.  When he saw Michael wasn’t going to stop, he yelled, “Hark!”

Michael’s head snapped up and his feet skidded in the sand. They were almost nose to nose. “Hark?” exclaimed Michael. “Who says hark for crying out loud?”

“Angels say hark,” replied Bruce, “And I’m an angel.”

Michael laughed out loud. “You’re an angel? You’re puny and short and where’s your halo?”

‘Yes, I’m an angel,” said Bruce, folding his arms over his chest, slightly offended. He whipped around to show Michael his stubby wings, one longer that the other. “See, I even have wings.”

“You call those wings?” Michael snorted. “I’ve seen better wings on a buzzard.”  A vision of a buzzard gnawing on a lamb reminded him of his quest for the lost sheep. “Look, I don’t have time for your shenanigans. I’ve lost a sheep and I’m in major trouble if I don’t find it. I gotta get going.”

Bruce closed his deep sapphire eyes and tilted his face heavenward. Michael had turned to go. Taking a deep breath Bruce spoke to his back. “Michael,” he said tenderly but firmly, I’ve been sent to show you a lamb. A lamb who has been sent for lost sheep like you.  Sheep that nobody wants.  He has been sent to give you hope and a future.”

Michael balked. “Don’t you get it? I must find my dad’s sheep, or I am dust! AND I have to get back to the rest of the flock. I don’t have time for this nonsense.”

Bruce waved a wing and suddenly another angel joined them. “Michael, this is Bob. Bob is an angel too. He’s very good with animals. He will look after the flock and he will search for the one who is lost.”

“But” protested Michael.

“Come,” said Bruce. “Come with me to see a lamb who will save the world.  Aren’t you even curious? Come on. What have you got to lose?”

Plenty, thought Michael, my whole family in fact. I could be back on the streets without one but now I’m too big for a basket. Yet there was something in Bruce’s manner that drew him. Something he couldn’t quite put his finger on.  He almost couldn’t help himself. “Ok,” he said quietly, “I’ll go.” Then he added, “Are you sure we can trust Bob?”

“Absolutely,” said Bruce, “and I’ll bring you back in no time.”

“Is it far?” asked Michael.

“Not far. Just climb on my back and I’ll fly us there.”

“Seriously? You expect me to hop on your back with those wonky looking wings?”

“Trust me,” said Bruce extending his hand, “I have come to give you hope.”

“Right now I’m just hoping I don’t end up as wolf bait in the desert after we crash land.” Michael took Bruce’s hand and climbed on board.

After a rather rocky take off, with Michael hanging on for dear life, eyes wide as saucers, they settled into a smooth flight towards Bethlehem.

For the first time Michael looked up and his jaw dropped as he spotted the multitude of angels off to his left. “Where did all those angels come from and what are they doing here?” he questioned.

Bruce chuckled, “That’s what I am going to show you. They bring good news.”

Michael was awestruck and speechless. He watched the angels until they disappeared from view and he turned round to see the torch lights of Bethlehem getting closer.

Their landing was much more successful and gentler than their take off and they both stood on the quiet streets in Bethlehem.  Michael saw they were around the corner from an inn. It was closed for the night but in the stable next door a glowing light emanated. Bruce motioned for Michael to follow him.  They walked in silence to the stable entrance where the scent of straw and manure made him wrinkle his whole face in disgust, but he never said a word.  They peered around the stone doorway and Michael was struck with wonder.  In the middle of the stable was a man and a woman and in the manger before them, nestled in the straw, a baby.  There were shepherds inside. He peered closer. His stepbrother was there and his Father. At least the only father he had ever known. They were both kneeling beside the baby in the hay, marveling at the newborn. Michael drew back. They had never marveled at him that way when he was young. He stole another peek. What was so special about this baby, he wondered. He couldn’t stop staring.

A hand on his arm brought him out of his reverie and Bruce stood beside him.

“This baby is the lamb I was talking about. He has come to save the world. To be a sacrifice for all people. A lamb without blemish. If you had seen and heard the angels in the fields they were talking to your father and brother and the other shepherds you see gathered inside the stable. This is what the lead angel said, ‘Fear not. Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.’ Then the rest of the angels joined him, including me. That’s when God told me to come to you so you would know there is hope born for you this night.”

Michael felt a stirring inside. A warmth and a knowing and a tear gently rolled down his cheek. He wrapped his head around the entrance once more and saw his dad and brother preparing to leave. In panic he turned to Bruce. “We have to go! If they find I’ve left the flock, I am toast.”

Bruce smiled gently and touched Michael’s arm once more. “It’ll be ok but let’s go.”

Michael climbed once more onto Bruce’s back and they ascended into the night and back out to the field where they met Bob. The flock was intact and even the lost sheep was found.

“Thank you, Bruce. And thank the Lord for sending you to me. I’m not sure what to make of it all but I feel a stirring in my heart that I can’t explain.”

“It will become clear.” said Bruce.

They looked into the night across the plain and could see Michael’s Dad and brother approaching.

“I have to go now.” said Bruce, “It will be ok.”

Michael looked into Bruce’s deep, peaceful sapphire eyes and knew he spoke the truth. Then just as suddenly as they came, the angels were gone.

            Michael turned to see his dad and brother coming near. He could see their faces now, still shining from their experience in the stable. His Dad laid a gentle hand on his arm and spoke.

“Michael, my son, we have something wonderful to share with you.”



[i] All Biblical references are KJV or NIV

December 23, 2021

Seraphina - Mistress of the House by Joylene M Bailey


That does it, now I've seen everything. It's not enough that our rooms are full to the rafters. Now this Roman senator, Marcus Metellus, has barged in, demanding the best room in the house. Benjamin told him we were full, but the loudmouth doesn't listen. He ordered his servant boy to carry in carpets and tapestries, to the room at the top of the house. I believe he was called Julius. The poor boy looks half starved. And oy, that ragged tunic! 

Well, what can we do? When a Roman Senator commands, we must bow and obey. I'm sure our leaders could have handled this census on our own. But no, they must constantly check up on us. 

I tell you though, when I saw young Julius cower as Marcus's hand raised to strike him, I stepped in. Yes, I did. Senator or no senator. I received a dark look from Mr. High and Mighty for my impertinence, oh yes I did. But I didn't back down. The poor motherless boy!

Now, Abigail, quick run up and kindly ask Jacob to move his family in with Efren, Ruth and their children. Ach, so crowded they will be! But they will understand. I'm sure they've heard the commotion.

My daughter, Abigail. She is obedient and kind. Such a help to me, though she is only ten. And to have your help now too, Miriam. I cannot thank you enough. Will you make the dough for six more loaves? There are eight in the oven, but we'll need more now that his highness has arrived.

And the stew ... well it will have to stretch. Mmmm ... it is tasty!

To think I didn't even know I had a relative named Miriam until three days ago. Such unexpected times. Two other relatives showed up some weeks past: Joseph from Nazareth and his young wife Mary, who is now heavy with child. She is due any time, poor child. I could not turn them away, and gave them my best guest room, but as more relatives arrived, I've had to move the two of them to make room for nine more. And so, they've ended up in the cleanest corner of the stable. I see I'll have to find another stable corner for young Julius.

Oy! Look at the poor boy, his arms the size of my broom handle. And why does he insist on wearing that ratty cloak about his neck? He keeps tripping on it.


Levi! Help Julius carry his load up those stairs, now!

I have no idea where my other sons are. Thankfully, Levi is always hanging about.

Here, Miriam, set aside a bowl of stew and half a loaf for young Julius before we serve his lordship, for I'm quite sure he is not a sharing sort of man.

Now, I'm going to set a pot of water to heat. That young Julius needs a good scrubbing, and I think Levi can do with one less tunic. 


Miriam, there you are. Thank you for cleaning up and getting things ready for tomorrow. It will get busy before sunrise.

I tell you, getting young Julius washed up was a chore. In the end, he was glad to be clean. And he thanked me over and over for the tunic. His ratty cloak, on the other hand. Ach, what a fight! He wouldn't part with it. Apparently, it was his father's, given to the boy as the father lay dying. After all, it's a boy's last memory of his father and so I agreed not to throw it on the dung heap. I washed it instead. What a job that was! And do you know, it wasn't as ratty as I first thought. It's drying there, by the fire.  

And here is where we will put our bedrolls. Yours, mine, and Abigail's. The last bit of space in the house not occupied by sleeping creatures. And that is some noisy sleeping creature on the top floor, is it not?

What's this? Young Julius, what is it?

Oy, oy! Miriam, get up and put a pot of water to boil. Mary's time has come. Abigail, hand me my birthing kit there, then help Miriam tend the fire. Come, Julius. Show me.


Such a sweet baby boy, Miriam. Something quite special about him. Julius kept to his corner until the baby was swaddled and then he couldn't resist holding him. I tell you, that baby has a hold on young Julius. Do you know what he said to me? "I think he loves me." Bless his heart, the poor motherless boy. When I was done cleaning up, I looked up to see that he had covered Mary with his cloak, fresh and dry from the fire. 


They're all sleeping now, even young--Oy!

What's this? Abigail, go get your father. Tell him there are a bunch of ruffians at the door. Shepherds, I think. What on earth are they doing here? They're going to wake the whole household. 

Are we to get no rest tonight?


I was drawn to write this story by two accounts of life around the time Jesus was born. One article described how it would have been more likely that Joseph found shelter with relatives rather than looking for an inn. After all, it was his ancestral home. This led me to research what a house would have looked like back then, and I discovered that the ground level of the house usually housed a small stable, where the family animals were kept. The other article I read theorized that Joseph and Mary actually arrived in Bethlehem some time before the birth of Jesus. They reference Luke 2:6 - While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 

With these thoughts in mind, I started wondering what it would have been like for the mistress of a house during the time of the census. Busy, crowded, and with little choice but to welcome relatives needing shelter. Seraphina (which, incidentally, means fiery) is so busy hosting and mothering in her loving home that she misses the significance of the birth of Jesus. But poor, orphaned, Gentile Julius does not.

Merry Christmas, all!


Featured Photo from Pixabay

December 22, 2021

Christmas in the Shadows by Alan Anderson

 This post is an effort to give a voice to those unwelcome within the greater scheme of life. Even at a holy time, there are those who live in the shadows.



I am a Leper


I am one of the least of these. No status other than one of no use. I live among shadows. I am not one to be envied, but neither am I to be feared. I am no more a sinner than anyone else.


I wander around the streets at night seeking food from the garbage of pretty people. I sleep often during the day under a bridge or other place of shade. Hopeless, homeless, and heaven less.


“Look at the dirty leper!” “We don’t want an unclean thing around us!” These are words people use to disembowel me as a person. When the Christ child is born. I will matter, I will be seen. I will no longer be alone.


A Magnificent Star


I heard there were important people who follow a star, a magnificent star, like a pillar in the sky, bright and unmistakable in its celestial presence. I looked for many nights, then one cloudless evening I saw it. Yes, like a gigantic candle illuminating my path. I felt so humbled to witness this God-sent object in the sky. By faith, as if prodded by the Almighty, I followed the star.


I Saw Him


I saw Mary and Joseph as they completed their journey. They entered Bethlehem. My faith walk worked. I am pretty sure they didn’t see me. I would never embarrass them by introducing myself. I can’t compete with shepherds and wise men or angels.


From the shadows, I also saw Him. A baby held in the arms of the blessed Virgin. This is the Baby born to be The King. I fell to my knees and, from a feeling deep within me, I cried. He has come!


From the shadows,

I now dance and sing,

For in God’s mercy,

I see The King.


Now I see Him. He is the only One who loved me before the foundation of the world. One day, when I walk out from the shadows and not as afraid of people, I hope He touches me. His touch of love is all I need.


Everyone else may run from me. I am more than familiar with people who throw stones. They laugh when their stones break my skin. Hugs from friends are foreign to me. Darkness is my only embrace.


I know He will not chase me away. He came for the unlovely, of whom I am one.


His touch is all I need,

then I will be freed.

        Only this,

The Saviour’s kiss.



A Personal Reflection


My words wept as I wrote this post. In reflecting on this special time of year, my thoughts drove me to the condition of people today. I hesitate even now to write the concluding part of my last message of 2021.


The life of a person shunned by other people is lonely. Their lives result from bigotry, fear, or some other trait of darkened hearts. They may live in the shadows of life hidden from “pretty people,” those accepted by society.


My heart is heavy in the knowledge Canada has created its own “lepers.” A class of Canadian citizens shunned even by the politicians they elected and other loud voices. In this time in our collective history, all too prone to a trail of negative narratives, we need The King.


Even so come, Lord Jesus!



Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He is one of the spiritual advisors for InScribe. Alan contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog:

He has written posts for our InScribe blog since 2015.

December 20, 2021

The Chosen Star ~ Valerie Ronald

 The Milky Way in the night sky highlighting the beach at Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

                                                                                                (photo credit: © Alyn Wallace)

 I am called Al Na’ir, the Bright One. This is my story of how Elohim, Creator of all, called me from among the stars of His universe to perform a most sacred task. Countless are we who light the night skies, though not by Elohim, who determines our number and knows each of us by name. I will never forget His voice calling me, like the sound of a rushing mighty wind.

I was formed in the Pleiades cluster, one of a group of stars with a common motion through the firmament. Each of us were made unique, differing in splendour from star to star. Our voices, if that is what the sound of stars can be called, sang together at the dawn of our creation with praises to Elohim.

A frisson of expectation had been rippling throughout the heavens for some time when I first heard Elohim’s voice. I dare not venture to know why He chose me to be a herald for the advent of His most pivotal epiphany. Pride has no place in such a holy service to my Creator.

Specific coordinates of my position in the heavens caused my luminosity to be particularly evident to astronomers throughout Babylon and Mesopotamia, during the reign of Phraates V. Influential men of those lands, known as Magi, read the night skies for portents of what was to come. They gathered knowledge from cultures far and wide, including the Jews. As my light grew, the bright glimmering recalled to their minds the foretelling in ancient manuscripts of a Jewish Messiah, an anointed king whose birth would be confirmed with the sign of a star.

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near. A Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.”

Elohim stirred a desire in the hearts of certain Magi to undertake a journey to see this king for themselves. The wise men and their retinue traveled many days from east to west, across deserts and mountains. Their destination was Jerusalem, the Jewish holy city, where they inquired, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

So this was my calling! I, Al Na’ir, had been raised by Elohim to herald the birth of His son, the Messiah, foretold for centuries as the coming King. Could any star be given a more profound mission?

Disturbed by the Magi’s inquiries, the reigning king, Herod, discovered that the small town of Bethlehem of Judea was where this Messiah was to be born. He sought out the Magi to find out exactly when they first noticed the sign of my radiance shining in the night sky. Then he sent them to Bethlehem to search for the child and report back with his whereabouts so he could worship him also. In fact, he was plotting to destroy this perceived threat to his rule.

Nightfall revealed swaths of twinkling stars flung across the ebony sky, as beauteous as a sea of diamonds. I rose high among them, proceeding across the cosmos to guide the Magi to the objective of their search, where I stopped. Their joy at my appearance caused me to glimmer and shine all the brighter, just for them. Beneath my beams stood the house where the child resided ˗˗ Heaven’s glory now abiding in a humble village home tucked in the hills of Bethlehem ˗˗ Elohim wrapped in newborn skin ˗˗ God incarnate. As miraculous as I knew the endless expanse of the universe to be, it paled in comparison to the wonder of God becoming human.

Bowing down before the child with His mother, the Magi worshiped Him. They knew His significance, though many before and after them would deny who He was. They knew He was not just an earthly king, but One who had come to be the Savior of the world. Their costly gifts signified what God had revealed to them. Gold to honor a king, frankincense, often sprinkled on temple sacrifices, and myrrh, an unusual gift for a newborn king as it was used in embalming the dead. All were gifts testifying to the child’s royalty, His deity and His eventual sacrificial death on behalf of humanity.

My mission in that epoch of time is complete. I am most grateful to Elohim for choosing me to light the way for the Magi to find the newborn Messiah. Celestial celebrations mark His birth, yet I am sobered by the knowledge that He came to be a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. As a heavenly luminary, I am but a pinprick of light compared to the glory of the Morning Star, Jesus Christ, destined to live again as eternal Lord and King, whose light will shine forever. Praise His holy name! 

1  Numbers 24:17 NKJV

More of Valerie's work can be read on her blog:




December 14, 2021

December Mid-Month Moments by Connie Inglis

 Mid-Month Moments

Isaiah 7:14. "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

Immanuel - God with us. Did you know this is the first time that word is used in the Bible? And after that, there are only two other times it's used. Once more in Isaiah (which I won't expound upon here) and then in Matt. 1:23 with the fulfillment of the prophecy: "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel..”

God's presence. It came in the form of a baby boy, bringing with Him the promise of His presence to those who believe. Even in John 14, when Jesus tells His disciples that He will be going away, He doesn't leave them without God's presence and promises the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, 17a Jesus says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth."

Because of the arrival of Jesus, Immanuel, God's presence is always with us.

But there are instances in the Old Testament where God DOES remove His presence, or threatens to do so.  In Exodus 3, when God calls Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, God says in vs 12, "I will be with you..." Immanuel. God's presence went with Moses and stayed with him and the Israelites all the way until they reached Mount Sinai. But then the Israelites built and worshipped the golden calf. God is so angry with the people that this is what He says in Ex. 33:2, 3, "I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

The people were so distressed by this that they began to mourn and not adorn themselves. They realized the seriousness of their sin. To be away from God's presence was unthinkable! So Moses entered The Tent of Meeting to plead before God for the people.

Ex. 33:15-17: "Then Moses said to him, 'If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?' 17 And the Lord said to Moses, 'I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.'”

Immanuel. God with us. Moses understood the gravity of the situation; he knew that without God's presence, they were just like every other nation in the world--that there was almost no point in going forward.

This causes me to stop and reflect. Do I have that kind of perspective on the importance of God's abiding presence? Do I understand the power and the purpose of Immanuel--God with me? And if so, what is my response? Am I giving God all the glory due His name, thankful that He sent His Son Jesus, to give me His eternal presence? And do the people around me look at me differently because God's presence is always with me? 

During this Christmas season, I pray that we will all take time to stop and think about what it truly meant when Jesus came to earth to offer us His Immanuel presence. And may we consider how we reflect that to the world.

Heb. 13:5b (AMP version): for He [God] has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”

With a grateful heart,

December 12, 2018

Mid-Month Moments are past devotionals written by Connie Inglis that she shared each week when she was InScribe's spiritual advisor. (Originally called 'Mid-Week Moments') They are shared from her archives with permission in the middle of each month. 

December 13, 2021

The Shepherd Girl by Wendy L. Macdonald


The sheepskin bag Mama and I made slapped heavier than usual against my back. What did she put inside it? Increasing my gait to a not lady-like sprint, I was now within seconds of reaching the stray lamb. Its bleating was the only beacon on this dark evening, growing louder as I approached the shadows of several bushes that grew alongside a pile of rocks. 

Why was the runt always running off on its own? Even as I asked this, I knew we were kindred spirits who weren’t satisfied with staying close to home’s fire. After catching up to the runaway, I swooped it into my arms and hugged her close to my chest, offering warmth to calm her trembling limbs.

“Well, no wonder you’re cold. Your coat is thin and so is your belly. You’re coming home with me later.” I smoothed its scraggly coat with fingers just as rough and stained. My brother obviously hadn’t realized the wayward lamb needed rescue. Doesn’t he count the flock, like Papa taught us to? Maybe I should also stay with the sheep tonight? Surely Mama would understand. I’m old enough now. My brother has proven that being a boy—or being older—doesn’t necessarily mean one is more responsible. 

Papa said that each lamb matters to a good shepherd. And that people are equal in God’s sight too.

Thinking of Papa resting with his own father didn’t bring me comfort. It hadn’t quite been a year since he died, and my mourning was just as deep as it was on that evening when I came home from the fields and found him crumpled beside the well. Mama hollered with grief after she spotted me kneeling on the ground beside him. I tried to find out if he was breathing. Her wailing was so loud that neighbors soon arrived to help. 

But it was too late.

It was getting late tonight too, soon brother would return to take over. Carrying the lamb, that smelled of earth, back to the makeshift pen that we made around the mouth of a cave, I placed her beside the nursing ewes. One by one they rejected the stray. Doubt it was theirs also crept into my heart.

Papa said never doubt the love of our Creator. He said the LORD never failed to watch over us. He often compared tending sheep to God’s tender care for His people. He said it’s we who wander astray, not the Good Shepherd. He always leads the flock to fields where they may feed.

Slouching beside the sheep, I reached into the bag and discovered several smooth stones. Why would Mama put stones with my supper? My fingers dug around the bag for a clue and grabbed onto what felt like a sling. It was bigger than the one I made for myself. Tugging it out of the pouch, tears threatened to form when I recognized it as Papa’s. Mama had promised it to me when she believed I was ready to be a full-fledged shepherd alongside my brother. Like Papa, she realized I wasn’t made like the other girls. My heart craved to be out in nature.

There was no longer any need for me to bring the lamb home, I could stay with the flock and find an ewe who would feed it.

An aroma of bread and cheese drew my attention back to the meal. My stomach growled with hunger. But before my hand reached the food at the bottom of the bag, a flash of brilliant light shone so blinding that my hands flew to my face as shields. Moans of fear from neighboring shepherds begged me to open my eyes. A strange creature dressed in white floated above us like a piece of wool at shearing time. 

Words sounded, reassuring us not to fear. And then, what I can only describe as heavenly angels gathered around the speaker and sung a song so glorious, I shivered with awe. Papa was—no doubt—already used to seeing such wonderment where he now rested with Grandpa.

I didn’t understand what the other shepherds were talking about when my brother arrived, but when he didn’t want to go with them in search of a manger the angel had mentioned, my legs obeyed a mysterious pull. Carrying my lamb, I followed the men and boys all the way to the spot where a mother and newborn rested. Her husband asked me about my lamb and then offered it a spot beside a nearby ewe. It was received with kisses of kindness. Soon it fed alongside the other lamb.

And that’s when the message spoken in the field made sense to me. The baby came to bring food to the hungry and favor to those craving belonging. Papa said that a Messiah would soon come. He warned me not all who have gold are rich and not all who have none are poor. We must rely on God to reveal valuable truth to us. And in this case, God spoke to lowly shepherds through the lips of glorious angels. 

He was right: It’s the poor in pocket who have the most to gain because they’re more likely to hear and believe a messenger God sends to us.

I can’t wait to tell Mama and thank her for Papa’s sling. But first I need to convince my brother to come and see the newborn King. 

~ Merry Christmas ~ 

Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Her main website is where she enjoys interacting with readers.

December 12, 2021

Regifting - guest post by Sheri Hathaway

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

I love the way 2 Corinthians 9: 15 is worded in the NIV version. Indescribable means something is too wonderful for words. (So remember that the next time you can’t think of the words; praise God and say, “It must be indescribable!”) But seriously, have you ever wondered what this world would be like if Jesus hadn’t come?  Now that, friend, is indeed indescribable. Not wonderful – it’s too awful for words. 

So here we are, approaching Christmas when we thank God for his indescribable gift, his son, Jesus Christ. 

It’s times like this that I wonder other thoughts. Thoughts like, what gift can I give back to God? My heart, of course. OK, but what else? Well, my writing seems like an obvious answer. And in giving my writing back to him (Speaking of re-gifting – oh, were we? No, but we are now) I am also giving something to the world. 

I’m always amazed to realize that a total stranger read something I wrote. It’s as if I forget that once I send my writing out in an email, I don’t realize that it actually goes somewhere, is read by an editor, and is printed where complete strangers can read it – other actual inhabitants of this earth. On occasion, those readers email me. They tell me that they read my piece (most like it, in case you wondered). At that moment, I’m deep in thought over the next piece and am jolted back into the past to when I wrote and submitted the thing they’re talking about. That’s when the reality of being a writer hits me. That’s when I am reminded of the responsibility I have to others. Of course, God gave me this desire and ability to write so I have a responsibility to Him, too. 

So thinking of all this at Christmastime, I have a private conversation with God. Of course, the first thing I do is thank him for his gift to me, the indescribable gift of his Son. Then I thank him for this gift of writing. I also thank him for keeping me alive long enough to write full-time after retirement because before that, it didn’t happen often, no matter how much I wanted to do it. Then I ask Him for another gift – I ask him to keep giving me the words He wants me to write because I am only the instrument, his pen to write his words. After all, I don’t want everything to be indescribable. I want to be able to keep giving to the world, and him, what He gave to me. 

Regifting and regifting and regifting, over and over again. 

Sheri Hathaway is a freelance writer and watercolour artist living in Saskatoon. She writes historical pieces focusing on farm and family. Her writing has been published in the Western Producer, Neighbourhood Express, Freelance magazine and others. Her online home is and on Facebook at Author Sheri Hathaway. 

December 11, 2021

The Shepherd's View of Christmas by Carol Harrison


Hey everyone. Listen to what happened tonight. You’re never going to believe it but it’s all true. I don't have a good enough imagination to make this kind of thing up. I was with the other shepherds in the field outside Bethlehem just like every other night. It wasn't easy to stay awake during the blackness of the night. The job required it. Someone had to keep watch over the sheep and make sure they stayed calm not to mention keep the wild animals from snacking on them.We needed to sell all the unblemished ones for the sacrifice.

Once the sheep felt secure and rested quietly, I had settled in by the fire to wait out the long, dark hours of night. Hadn’t heard of bears or anything in the area so figured it would be a quiet night. I wrapped my rough cloak around myself against the chill of the night air and slid a bit closer to the warmth of the fire.

Suddenly the night sky lit up. An angel started talking to us. I rubbed my eyes but I was awake. This was no dream. It was like the glory of the Lord Almighty filled the night sky and a bright light shone down on us in that field. I was terrified. I hid my face and started to shake. I lifted my head to take a quick peek. I noticed my companions also hid their faces. I must not be dreaming. What was happening?

I listened to the words the angel spoke. He told us not to be afraid. Easier said than done I thought but the more the angel said, the less fear I felt. I started getting excited about the message.  Good news. Could sure use some of that. For everyone. Even me, a shepherd that no one had any use for. The Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. Israel had waited for centuries for this promise. But a baby as a Saviour?

How strange that we'd find this baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Wouldn't the Messiah, the Saviour come as a king to rid us of Roman oppression and right all the wrongs? How could a baby do any of that? Before I could figure any of it out, more angels than I could count joined the first one. The entire sky filled with light, The angels sang Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to men.

Peace would be nice. The Romans kept us under their thumb. Even our own people didn’t trust us shepherds. They figured our word meant nothing. Life was hard. This beautiful sight and the amazing singing filled me with wonder and hope. As quickly as they came they finished their song of hope and disappeared. The stars twinkled overhead just like any other clear, cold night. The night seemed blacker and more silent after the angels left. Yet in all of this our sheep felt no fear – they kept resting.

 “Come on, let’s go! What are we waiting for?” I shouted to the others. “Let’s see for ourselves if this is really true.”

 I jumped up and started running into Bethlehem looking for the stable the angels told us about. The others could follow or not but I knew I had to go and find this Saviour. I found the place and there he was, just like the angel said he would be. A baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. But in my heart I sensed this was the one the angels had proclaimed to us. He was no ordinary baby. 

I couldn't get the words out fast enough to tell Mary and Joseph everything I had seen and heard that night. I told them everything – about the angel and what he said and the choir of angels.

It still seems hard to believe that the God of heaven and earth told us first – lowly shepherds shunned by others. He sent us to see His Son, to be the first visitors to worship Jesus. I have to go tell more people. I want to tell everyone this wonderful news. Our Saviour is here – he was born tonight. He’s here – in that stable, lying in the manger. The wait is over. Thank you God for giving us the message of hope. Thank you Lord Almighty for letting me come and worship your son.

Glory to God in the highest. His Peace has come to the earth.

Come. You need to see for yourselves our Saviour is born. What are you waiting for?

Luke 2: 9-20

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ. the Lord. This will be a sign to you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger, suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising god and saying.

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven the shepherd said to one another, let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherd said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherd returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Carol Harrison writes from her home in Saskatoon where she lives with her husband and youngest daughter. She has always loved Christmas and the message of hope only available through Jesus.