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?
As a wordsmith, I’ve always envied the simple and compelling power of pictures. This one, of a gaunt, starved African child’s hand, speaks volumes to Westerners about the blessings we take for granted. No matter how poor you are, compared to other nations, you are rich, simply because you live in the First World. We ought to be grateful for the blessings GOD has bestowed on us.
Posted in Financial Talk
Tagged Faith, general, God, gratitude, inspiration, Jesus, life, lifestyle, random, thankfulness, thoughts
With Thanksgiving approaching, I want to say things for which I am thankful to God. My son Robert wants to be an engineer. He plays club soccer, and he plays in worship at the church. What else could a dad want his son to do?
What are you thankful for? I encourage you to blog your gratitude. Let’s infect the web with gratefulness.
Pic from gratitude-alittlegoesalongway.blogspot.com. I don’t own the rights to this image, nor am I making any money on it.
No sooner was the cupbearer freed from jail than he forgot his promise to help Joseph, who had interpreted his dream. Joseph had been imprisoned under false accusation. God was with nevertheless, even though the cupbearer forgot his debt for Joseph’s interpretation of the dream that Pharaoh would free him.
TWO YEARS LATER, Pharaoh has a dream that none of his sorcerers can interpret. Only then does the cupbearer remember his faults and tells Pharaoh about Joseph, who is promptly freed, washed, shaved and ushered into Pharaoh’s presence. He interprets Pharaoh’s dream, and his fortunes are changed.
Sadly, most of us fall in with the cupbearer. God has given us so many good things, and we don’t want to remember or acknowledge our debt of gratitude to Him.
Photo thanks to PunkDrunkLove
… you didn’t get so many gifts this year, is not the recession.
May the gift of laughter — as well as the gift of gratitude — be with you this year. Merry Christmas!
(That pesky NRA!)
Posted in Christmas
Tagged children, Christianity, Faith, family, God, gratitude, home, hope, humor, inspiration, Jesus, marriage, relationships, youth
Actually, I love Thanksgiving. It’s the one holiday where you gorge until you think you’re going to pop.
At my church, they were talking about growing in pie-ity. I was real interested in this. I’m going to ask Mom if in addition to pumpkin pie and apple pie if we can have chocolate cream and cherry pies. That would be a good way to become more pie-ous Christians.
No, this is not me, Manuel. But I certainly can relate to this guy. Thanks to my friends at the 13/13/13 Sketchbook Project for the photo.
They also talked about giving during this time. So after I’m done eating all I can, I’m going to ask Dad if we can send the leftovers to the poor children of Africa. I think that would be a good way to show our thankfulness, giving away the leftovers.
Sometimes it’s real easy to forget all that God has given us. For example, if my parents relent and buy me Black Ops 2, then I’ll be really grateful. I might even praise God — if they buy it for me. I’m going to be on my best behavior.
Posted in inspiration
Tagged Christian youth, Christianity, church, church kids, God, gratitude, humor, piety, thankfulness, thanksgiving, wimpy Christian, wimpy kid
Pretty much everyone has been annoying me about my attitude. First let me say, there is nothing wrong with my attitude. Second, to prove to you all how appreciative I am, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I grated a whole block of cheese. So anyone can plainly see that I am “grate – full.”
Posted in Christianity
Tagged attitude, bad attitude, Christianity, church, church youth, community, God, good attitude, gratitude, thanks, thanksgiving, youth
The difference between the USA and Guatemala can be seen in flyers posted:
In the USA: Reward offered to help me find my dog!
In Guatemala: Reward offered to help me find my daughter!
Maybe you should count your blessings today and not your complaints.
Lionel Messi is arguably the best soccer player in the world at present. In 2,009, 2010 and 2011, he won FIFA’s best player of the year award. He has won five Spanish league titles with his club FC Barcelona, as well as three Champion’s Leagues. A lefty, Messi weaves through the world’s best defenders as if he lived in another dimension.
Strangely, he is humble.
The Argentine feels awkward when given an award at ceremonies, and he never talks trash about competitors. He always recognizes a debt of gratitude to his club, FC Barcelona, because it paid for his treatment of growth hormone deficiency when he was 11 years old.
In an post-Joe Namath age when super-athletes trumpet their own greatness, Messi is breath of fresh air. He is an example of Christian character even though he is not an evangelical Christian.
Why? Because he is grateful and humble. When we pray for finances and revival, we must remain grateful for what God has already given us, we must remain humble in patiently praying and waiting on God. Prayer is humility — it is an acknowledgement of our inadequacies and our dependence on a Higher Source.
Like with so many things in life, attitude is everything — in prayer.
Of 10 lepers healed, only one came back to thank Jesus. (Luke 17:17-18) Gratitude for what we already have is important as we ask God for more. It should not stop us for asking for more, but praise and thanksgiving should accompany petition. By prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God. — Phil 4:6 KJV (my caps)
Another pitfall is trying to convince God that OUR plan ought to be HIS plan. How ridiculous! Yet, we are guilty frequently. First accept whatever God’s plan is, and then pray for better circumstances. Even Jesus said, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Upon entering your prayer closet, examine your attitude. Are your prayers desperate cries of faith or selfish complaining? Do we have the things of God in mind or our own things? Remember: it is not the right words you say in prayer but the right demeanor. A correct attitude leads to correct prayers leads to answers!