Happy New Years and Yes Merry Christmas!


#Merry Christmass #and #Happy #New #Years! ¬†“Have you lost your mind; #Christmas was last Monday; its just Happy New Years now?” No doubt this is what a lot of you are thinking right now, but no, I have not lost my mind (I thinkūüėĄ) ¬†it really is still Christmas, at least for the Christian (for everyone). Have you not heard the song twelve¬†days of Christmas? We are on the seventh day of Christmas, for the Christian, Christmas day is only the first day.

I am getting my inspiration for this post from the sermon of the guest priest who served my church today (thank you, Virgina). In it, she remarked about how “isn’t it great that we can still celebrate Chrismas going into the New Year? ” And I have to say #yes, it is indeed great that we can do so!¬†Celebrating ¬†Christmas (besides for the Christian celebrating and remembering¬†the birth of the savior of humanity and God becoming flesh and human) is about celebrating hope. What is life without hope; Hope for one’s future, the future of one’s family and community, hope for good times ahead, and the hope for an end to suffering? And of course the hope for a new and better year ahead.

I talked about this in my last post “A time to Cherish” about all the things we hope for and how because Christmas is a time where we feel more than ever that our hopes can and will be fulfilled someday it is indeed a time to cherish. Because of this and because of all the good feelings that just seem to be contagious during the Christmas time and the time leading right up to it; we a lot of times wish for Christmas to last all year. (I know I do.ūüėĄ)

It is then indeed great that Christmas does continue into the new year. It starts at the end of the old and goes into the new. Thus, as we end one long year with all that it brought us (good and bad) and look forward to and start a new promising year we are filled with hope for what is to come and that perhaps, in the end, things will be alright come-what-may.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, Everyone! May we all have hope!

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share; they are indeed very much welcomed and wanted, no matter what they are!

 

 

 

To Create


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Create” by “The Daily Post.”

I love writing, it truly is a joy for me, whenever I sit down at my computer or in front of my journal with pen, and insperation just flows from my mind. I also enjoy as a hoby to cook my own meals from time to time. There is just something about taking a whole bunch of nothing (recept ingredents) and making something spectactular as a result. Writing is the same way I find, the ability to creat something and then enjoy the “fruits” of your work is undescribable to me.

But for me it is not just the finish product, but the actural creating that I enjoy so much. The coming up with ideals to write about, the researching, and finding the right ways to say what I want to say and express. To be able to see it all come together as it is coming together, truly is the greatest joy for a creater! 

I also find that when I am writing, when I am so deeply into it, that the rest of the world around me is drowned out, I find that I am intuned sometimes with “my creater” and I know then, better than I have ever known just why “He” loves us and all of “His” creation so much. Jesus loves us beacuse he was intamentlty invloved in our creation, as we all came to be step by step in the same way I am invloved step by step in my writing.

To create is much more then bringing something into exsistence, it is about having a “relationship” with what you are creating, to be able to feel the “life” you are “breathing” into it as you work deligenitly to bring it about. When I am writing, I am bringing life so to speak into what I am telling. Life that will flourish and grow as it is read and enjoyed by others. When one is creating something you become a part of the suceeses and/or failars of your creation in “its life.”

So what do you create in your life? What does your act of creation mean for you? How is it enjoyable for you; and do you take in all the processes that go into making your creation? If you don’t creat anything or never have; why not? Actually, you probally have but just did not realise it or considered it as an act of you creating something. So, think back through your life on all that you have done; and I think the results will surprise you. What are your thoughts on creating? Please share!

The Aesthetics of Life


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Aesthetic” by “The Daily Post.”

Do you see the beauty in life? Is your world filled with the beauty of God’s creation? It is for me, I can’t go a single day without seeing at least one example of such beauty in the world even with all its ugliness, there is still much good. But the most beautiful thing about it all to me, is that you don’t have to go far or look for long to find examples of beauty and wonder in God’s creation. It is all around us, if we but just look for it and appreciate it more.

Life no matter how good or how bad it gets is all about the “little things” in life and enjoying what it offers. Part of this is taking in the beauty of life and all of God’s creation. Why is it, that throughout human history and throughout human civilizations that we have had art and art that focused on nature? It is because of a need to capture and understand better the beauty of creation.

So do you see the beauty in God’s creation? Do you take tiem each and every day out of your busy lives to enjoy such beauty of the “little things” in life? If not, why? You will find life so much more enjoyable and learn so much about life when you do. So go out and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, and the Aesthetics of life.

 

 

Running "Marathons" of Life


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Marathon” by “The Daily Post.”

When one thinks of marathons, the image that comes to mind is of a group of runners going a very long destence on a hot sunny day and swetting perfusly at the end of it. But that is not the only kind of marathon in exsistance. A marathon could be anything or goal you have and have to deal with. As with a marathon, it is often extremly tirering and hardwork, but offering a very rewarding experience at the end.

If you think of it, one’s life is just one “big marathon” with lots of “little marathon’s in it. A lot of times we do not know what we will get in life, or what will come of all our efforts, and we are offten “let down” a lot (at least I am). Yet, we still push on and continue on the paths that either we had set for ourselves or had been set for us, or we make a course correction mid-way onto another path.

We do not let the difficultly of what we face in life hold us down or stop us from reaching the finish line, because despite it all we still have in our “mind’s eye”a picture of what could await us in the end. ¬†At least that is how I have always looked at it, and hope you do too. For what is life, and all of the “marathons” we face if there is nothing to show for it.

So what kind of “marathons” have you had in this life? How difficult have they been and did you give-up, make a course correction, or pushed onto the finnish line? What did you get/learn from the experience, and was it worth it? For me the experiences have always been worth it, and will continue to be so, even in the most difficult and pain filled “marathons” of my life. Because I know that in the end something greater is waiting for me, and all that I experience is leading up to that final “finish line.” That being a relationship with my God, through Jesus Christ. So push on and finish the “marathon” of life.

 

I Am Hopeful For A New Year


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Hopeful” by “The Daily Post.”

So once again, the old year ends as a new one begins. This is a part of the natural order of things, with the old ending and making room for the new. All things must come to an end at some point; so that new things, can come in and refresh and renew the world and all in it. Don’t be afraid of the new, but embrace it for what it is, an opportunity.

Despite all that has happened in this chaotic and eventful year of 2016, and despite the uncertainty that we face in 2017; I am very much optimistic for the new year. I am optimistic because I know that whatever does happen, no matter how good or bad, especially bad, things will turn out in the end all right, for God is indeed in control and he loves us all. No matter how bad things get, he always corrects things and makes them better.

So yes, I do indeed look forward to the new year with hope and optimism for whatever¬†it brings. I will do the best that I can to make it a good year for me and those around me. After all, that’s all I or anyone else can really be asked or be expected to do. We cannot really control¬†how or when things happen, but we can control how we respond to them and what we do as a result.

 

 

 

 

"The Christmas Shoes" Meaning Of Christmas


Every year at the start of the Christmas season or as those of the Christian faith call it the “Season of Advent” when Christmas¬†songs start playing all the time on the radio, I always look forward to my favorite Christmas song “The Christmas Shoes.” This song really does most aptly and wonderfully pick up what Christmas is really all about and what it is not really all about but seems to be a lot of the time.

Christmas, besides for Christians being the time to celebrate the birth of our “Lord and Savior” Jesus Christ; it is a time of hope, optimism, and caring for one’s fellow human beings. And while it is true that one should be caring for their fellow human beings all year long; the Christmas season has traditionally¬†been very special in just bringing out the caringness of people more than usual.

Unfortunately, that is not all we get during the Christmas season. We get overspending, crowded stores, and people rushing about this way and that, and not caring about the person next to them or in front of the line to the cash register. Yes, we all want to make sure we get the right gifts for our family and friends in time, but we cannot forget what the “spirit” of Chrismas is all about. Even if you are not a Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas for the birth of Jesus Christ the “Lord and Savior” which I am and do; you can still celebrate Chrismas for the joy, Caringness, and the fellowship of humanity that it can and often does bring.

Sometimes it is the “little things” such as a song that make us remember¬†these important “big things” such as the true meaning and “spirit” behind the Christmas holiday season. But when we do, those “little things” are all the sweeter, and we enjoy ourselves and those around us more. ¬†So as you do your Christmas shopping¬†and chores, remember to take in the “spirit” of Christmas and help out those in need. Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Beware The Idols In Life


“Little Children, keep yourselves from idols.”¬†1 John 5:21 NRSV

Idols are everywhere in today’s society from the obvious to the not so obvious, that it is really hard not to have idols. In striving to keep away from idols it is important to remember that they are not just objects but can be people as well. Idols are anything or anyone that becomes a focus of “worship” but not truly loved or appreciated for what the item or person really is.

We see idols in pretty much every aspect of our lives, around us from the products we buy in stores to celebrities and unfortunately even politicians. With so many examples of idols around us all the time, our lives are just saturated by them; it is very difficult to stay away from them. How do we keep away from idols when we have so many in our lives?

We keep away from idols by focusing on the real things in life. For the reason why idols are to be avoided in the first place is because they are all things fake in the world. They offer only temporary happiness and joy. So the key to avoiding idols and the pitfalls associated with them is to focus on what is real in your life, on family, friends, loved ones, and especially God.

When we do this, when we focus on what is real in our lives, we are less tempted to go towards the idols surrounding us, because we are more fulfilled in our happiness, which does not end. My time spent with my family is something that always fills me with so much happiness that can never come close to anything I may buy. It is only through real things in one’s life such as family and God that one can find true happiness. With idols the only happiness that one gets is hollow, fleeting, and only causes you to seek out more, but not with things that are real.

Focus on that which is real in your life, no matter what that is, be it God, family, friends, or all of the above. Stay away from fake idols of life. 

Dead To The World, Following The Crowd


“You were dead¬†through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the¬†passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature¬†children of wrath, like everyone else.”¬†Ephesians 2:1-3 NRSV

Are you dead to the world? Do you find yourself just going through the motions in life? Do you find yourself just following what others do? That is what struck me about the above passage of scripture, that Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians when he was talking about being “dead to the world.” If we are just doing whatever we do, but are not paying much attention to what and how we do the things that we do, and if we are doing them because they seem to be the “papular” thing to do at the time, then we are “dead to the world.”

I can relate very much to this because there have been times I did things but was not really doing them, I was just on auto pilot. Before I had put my focus on God and Jesus in my life, I was doing so a lot, just going through the motions, but not really living; I was “dead to the world.” This I think is¬†very important, when we put our selfs first and not something greater then ourselves (the bigger picture/others), we are not really “alive.”

We are not “alive” because we focus on ourselves or the “flesh” as Paul says; we tend to never be satisfied with whatever we do and as such keep doing more and more things without thinking, but automatically. This is when we become “dead to the world” when we get so in the motions of what we do every day, in pursuit of only what is good for ourselves that we ignore everything else.¬†Even if and when we may do something to help others, we aren’t doing so because of the goodness of the act, but because others are doing similar things and thus do so in return. We are “dead to the world” by being a follower of the world in all that we do.

Deal heavenly father, please help me to not be dead to the world but to take everything in and to be aware of you, and what you want me to do. To not focus on my wants but your wants and not to be a follower of the world but a follower of you, Amen. 

 

 

 

To Doubt


And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”¬†Matthew 27:46

This passage from scripture is a very important one that is often overlooked and not paid the attention that it is due. Here we basically see that even if it is only for a millisecond, Jesus is doubting God. Now he quickly brushes it off, but the fact is that he did. This is good news us and for anyone who has experienced doubt in God in some of their most trying times, it means that we can be and will be forgiven that doubt.

We see that Jesus brushes this very brief doubt off in the Gospel of Luke: Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I command my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.¬†Luke 23:46

These passages in scripture also shows that no matter how trusting and believing we are in God, no matter how committed we are to our heavenly father, there will always be that one minute where doubt creeps in. The important thing is not to, not have doubts, but once they show up to brush them off. To not let doubt sink in and find a home in our hearts.

Look at the situration that Jesus is in when he does cry out to God in doubt, he does it while he is on the cross not long before he finally dies. With all the pain and suffering that he was enduring, (for us) the fact that all he did was one little cry out when it is highly doubtful that you or me or anyone else can endure what Jesus did without acting out more is itself telling.

As Jesus shows us, doubt will at some point come to everyone. To doubt while not good is ok as long as we do not keep that doubt. In fact in some ways a little doubt may perhaps be a good thing in the long run when it comes to our relationship with God, for it teaches us. We learn form that experience of doubt and once we overcome that doubt we and are faith become stronger because of it.

Even when Thomas doubted at first Jesus’s resurrection, Jesus does indeed adomdish him, but Thomas is forgiven as soon as he does believe (John 20:24-29). ¬†As John tells us after Thomas overcomes his doubt (with a little telling to from Jesus) his faith in Jesus became stronger, “My Lord and my God” John 20:28. Doubt when it does not hold you down, but teaches you and you learn from it can become a good thing. Now it is still better to avoid having doubt in the first place, but as is so prevalvent throughout holy scripture, it is possible to turn a negative into a positive.

My heavenly father, and Lord Jesus Christ, help me to not doubt you and to always follow you and walk in your ways. Help me to make my path straight. But when I do stray and or have doubts as is bound to happen, help me to quickly brush those doubts off as you have done and to learn form those doubts and to actually increase my faith in you. Amen! 

 

What is Precious To You?


What does it mean to have something or someone that is precious to you? Merriam-Webster defines precious as rare and worth a lot of money, very valuable or important: too valuable or important to be wasted or used carelessly, and greatly loved, valued, or important. For me, though, something precious can never be something with a monetary value or something that I could buy or sell. The second and third definitions by Webster works the best for me because there is meaning there.

To have an item or a person that is precious is to love it so much that it holds a very special place in your heart. If you buy something, you can like it very much but you could never love it in that way. Though you can for a friend, for a love one, for a wife, and for your child. Items with monetary value can change in that value and can be discarded over time but the love for a child or wife, for example, cannot, they will always hold that special place in your heart even long after they have left this world.

Being precious, to hold a spacial place in one’s heart that will never change, the value of that love will never decrease and never increase because it is not phiscally posible to have more love than one already does; this is exactly the relationship that each one of us have with God. He loves each one of us so much and we mean so much to him that we each have a spot stiched into his heart. That love has always been there and will always be there and will never change and has never changed.

The love that is represented by holding something or someone to be precious can neither be added to or subtracted to because once again it has no monatary vlaue. It has no monatary value becase it transends monatary vlaue. To be precious to someone or to have someone be precious to you means that the amount of love is just right. It is hard to expalin but it just is, love cannot be quantified.

So the next time you think or say that something is precious to you, think to yourself is it really? Does it hold the special place in your heart that will never change. Compar it to what you know really is precious to you such as your children and Wife or other family members and you have or answer. If you make everything and everyone precious to you then nothing is precious, only God has the capaciety to do so without taking anything away from what it means to be precious. For us, being precious means so much because of its limitedness to application by us, yet we all yearn for that limitedness even when in reality there is no limitedness of this preciousness because God has so much of it for us.