I love my jewels of winter! Hmmm… How more brilliant are the gates, streets, and walls of Heaven? Will I care when I get there? Will His brilliance outshine them all? (Revelation 21)
ONE CANNOT BE ALL, DO ALL, FOR ALL.
This I must remind myself of daily otherwise, how can I expect to cope with the challenges and opportunities of life if I don’t back away every now and then for rest, reflection, and, most of all, prayer? Even Jesus realized it is not a bad thing to retreat from life’s pressures for spiritual, physical, and mental refreshment so He could do His best for others. (Luke 5:12-16)
Who am I to think I do not need to do the same?
There is no doubt clichés exist in the Christian world. How many times have you said or heard,
- “I’ll pray for you.”
- “Praise the Lord!”
- “I am burdened for you.”
- “I’m just being a good steward.”
- “We are of one mind.”
Does the overuse of such words or phrases minimize the truth they contain? No! However, the environment surrounding them does. If a complete trust or confidence in the Creator is lacking, then such words are meaningless, for without faith we do not have life. (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Philippians 3:8-11; Hebrews 10:37-38)
- Abigail and Esther kept the faith while intervening for their people.
- Stephen kept the faith while being stoned to death.
- John kept the faith while in exile.
- Peter kept the faith while in prison chains.
- Mother Teresa kept the faith while meeting the needs of the poor in Calcutta.
- Jim Elliott and Nate Saint kept the faith while taking the gospel to the tribes in Ecuador.
Each nourished a complete trust in God by spending time with Him in prayer and Bible study, quietly waiting for Him to speak and doing what He asked of them. They kept the faith! They did not give up hope! They did not quit in the face of adversity! They stayed the course!
For those who are confident in Who God is and His promises, “Keep the Faith” is not a cliché, it is a way of life! It is a battle cry to persevere in the fight for sharing the story of the One who died on the cross for you and me. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 2 Timothy 4:2-8)
In the words of my Pastor, “We are not defending the Alamo; the Alamo fell! We are defending the Faith and the Calvary is on its way!”
KEEP THE FAITH!
“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts, which is not a good thing for a stress-eater like me. Oh, another hmmm just popped in; it’s time to chew on it for a bit.”
That reply to mtsweat caused my pondering, why eat stress? Why consume that which has a detrimental effect on my health? Stress-eaters munch, chomp, and gobble even when not hungry, craving food when stress is unrelenting. The bodily and mental tension caused by the daily challenges of life affect us all by disturbing our equilibrium leaving us anxious, depressed, fearful, exhausted, and overweight. Yes, you read correctly, overweight; not from devouring everything in the pantry, but from the release of the hormone cortisol. When under intense pressure, cortisol gives us the energy to handle the nerve-racking situation. However, it also raises blood sugar levels causing the release of insulin, which can cause us to store more fat. So, instead of running for that dessert, or for this muncher the crunchy carbs, why not choose to grab a plateful of His Word; leisurely chewing and swallowing His goodness for its nourishing benefits.
Next, I give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Freedomborn. Anne is a giver with a never ending supply of support and encouragement from down under who has this uncanny knack of knowing exactly what I need to hear and when. Well, there really is no mystery to her talent; she stays in tune with her Creator Who directs her. Like David of the Old Testament, this Aussie is a girl after God’s own heart and I feel privileged to christen her as one of My God Chicks.
These award buttons will hold their sidebar space with others like them under God In The Spotlight, giving God the glory while recognizing those who paid them forward. To see the giver of each award, hover your cursor over an award button to reveal their link. If you have not already visited with them, please do so. I’m sure you will be blessed as I have by what they have to share.
One of the most common sights of this festive season is the candy cane. While I am not a fan of peppermint, I do love the effect this charming tasty candy gives when hanging on the boughs of my Christmas tree. Hmmm… red and white hanging on a tree. I wonder if this is the reason for many poems and tales written about the meaning of this seasonal treat, including a book written by Lori Walburg titled, The Legend of the Candy Cane. Even though Snopes.com dismisses the validity of any legend written, the use of this ordinary minty flavored stick adds such sweetness to the real reason for the season.
The Sweetness of the Candy Cane
Hard Candy – Reminds us that Jesus is like a “ROCK”, strong and dependable
Peppermint Flavor – Is like the gift of spices from the wise men.
White Candy – Stands for Jesus as the holy, sinless Son of God
Cane – Is like a staff used by shepherds in caring for sheep. Jesus is our “Good Shepherd”.
The Letter J. – Is for the name of Jesus, our Savior.
The Color Red – Is for God’s love that sent Jesus, and for Jesus’ love in giving His life for us on the cross.
The Stripes – Reminds us of Jesus’ suffering – His crown of thorns, the wounds in His hands and feet, and the cross on which He died.
Can you believe it will soon be time to begin the many preparations for the holiday season with its oft-repeated groan, “why do I always do this to myself (eat so much)?” And, that question is usually followed by, “I won’t eat so much next time.” It is a time when my father will sit back in his chair, rub his belly and say, “I have had an elegant sufficiency, and to eat any more is an overflow of abundancy.” Then there is my brother-in law’s mother, “ I am full to the quitty quatty, and to eat any more would be obnoxious.“ You know you over indulged on the holiday meal when…
- Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the EZ-Boy.
- A guest quotes a Biblical passage from “The Feeding of the 5000.”
- That rash on your stomach turns out to be steering wheel burn.
- Representatives from the Butterball Hall of Fame called twice.
Merriam-Webster.com describes gluttony as:
- excess in eating or drinking
- greedy or excessive indulgence.
Hmmm… Food and drink are not the only things we use to stuff ourselves. There is shopping, video games, television, and hobbies to name a few. These things in themselves are not bad for us but how we relate to them can be. When we realize our fixation is harmful, we tend to moderate our behavior, even going cold turkey. But is parsimony the answer to gluttony? Or is the knowledge when enough is sufficient? There is one obsession we need not withdrawal from – time spent with God in prayer and studying His Word. He is more than sufficient for all we ever need or want. So, go ahead, stuff yourself. (I Corinthians 6:12 NIV, 2 Corinthians 9:8)