Surprisingly, courage is NOT the opposite of fear. Rather, fear is the journey towards courage.
When we read the Christmas story, the opposite of fear proves to be joy. Angels visit Zachariah, Mary and Joseph. Each time they say: Do not fear. They explain their news, and then they say that it is cause for great joy.
So you can either be joyful or fearful, but not both.
Why is Christmas so joyful? It’s more than just a feel-good, help-the-less-fortunate time of year. It’s the time that Christ lifted off our shoulders an impossible burden. Christ paid an unpayable price. The separation from God that initiated in the Garden of Eden was finally ended. Humanity can now enjoy relationship with the Heavenly Father.
In the gif, Tim Cocker gives what he calls “terrible” Christmas gifts to his kids in 2011: a banana and an onion (she thinks it’s a tiny pumpkin). But the kids are joyful.
Will be joyful or fearful this Christmas?
Why is Christmas joyous? Because Christ came to forgive us our sins, to die carrying out own death sentence so that we might be freed from it. The problem of sin, which dogged humanity from the beginning of time, was finally solved.
Picture source: animationguildblog at blogspot
Jesus says plainly: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven – Matt. 18:3 NIV.
US researcher Robert Provine has found that kids laugh 300 times a day. It sounds to me like Jesus wants us to have more joy (I confess I myself am overly serious).
What’s surprising is that 1 Peter 2:2 exhorts Christians to “grow up” in their salvation. So it’s clear that Christian maturity involves becoming like children: they don’t harbor grudges, they love freely, they laugh.
Turning off your emotions, just because you’ve been disillusioned, solves nothing. We are emotional beings. To try to NOT feel is probably not going to work. There are those who grow bitter, who grow cynical, who numb the pain with drugs, alcohol or another form of hedonism.
Only Jesus will heal your heart.
Joy: when I think of others’ blessings.
I get discouraged by my own circumstances.
But when I think about other rising disciples in the church, I rejoice to see God blessing and using them.
Lesson learned: think about others.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged Bible, Faith, God, inspiraton, Jesus, joy, ministry, motivation, others, pain, self-centeredness
It’s not just a matter of surviving but surviving well.
They didn’t even smell of smoke. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been thrown into the fire by the despot. While inside, they walked around with Jesus and suffered no harm. King Nebuchadnezzar beckoned them out. Astonished, he forgot all about their disobedience in not bowing to his idol. He recognized that Jehovah was the only true God.
They not only survived, but they survived well. No smell of smoke on them.
Joseph survived prison well. He didn’t execute bitter revenge on his brothers who sold him into slavery.
As the years pile up, we pass through evil, wrongs perpetrated by family or friends. The challenge is not go cynical. The challenge is have the light-hearted delight for life of a child still.
These are this year’s students.
Not this year, but last, I had a class in which no one had ever been to the library. Everything is on Internet, right?
They assured me I was wasting their time. Nonetheless, to the library I took them, and the poor librarian had the devil’s day trying to persuade them that more information is actually in books. (You’d think she were describing cave paintings from the reaction of those kids.)
Add some color to your drab life!
So here’s the college-preparatory secret: to do real research, you’ll have go to the library. Good ol’ wiki doesn’t cut it. There actually is stuff worth learning that requires you to get off your bu** — um, bottom — and pay a buck for the bus. You’d be surprised what you’ll find when you break out of your comfort zone.
You’ll be surprised what you find in the depths!
You might discover there’s worthwhile stuff in the Bible. Yeah, like how to reach maximum happiness (have a successful marriage, for example!) in what they used to call the “Good Book.” Nowadays, they call it the “Hate Book,” I think.
Don’t hate the Bible! It’s still good and got great stuff useful for your life here on Earth! And, yes, it also talks about life after Earth, in case you’re interested! Break out of your comfort zone and crack the Bible today! Read a bit. Ask God to give you the revelation as to what it means. Start with Mark; it’s the story of the Main Dude in the whole Bible.
Posted in books, inspiration
Tagged Bible, Christianity, God, happiness, Jesus, joy, Libraries, Library, Mark, marriage, research
All the miracles in Bible have one thing in common. They first were problems.
Big, small, horrible, terrifying – all kinds of problems led to all kinds of miracles. The bigger the problem, the bigger the miracle. The worse the problem, the better the miracle. The more desperate the problem, the more glorious the miracle.
Are you going through tough financial stuff? Start by praising God for the shortage. That is faith. Praise Him for the problem because a BIG miracle is coming. Today you are anguished, tomorrow you will laugh with joy. Start laughing today, rejoicing in what God will do tomorrow.
You can’t see how God will answer. If you could it wouldn’t require faith. And the people of the Bible couldn’t foresee answers either.