Photo credit: Blind Hen ⁑ Blind Höna / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
I’ve admitted to you that I’m a fan of Downton Abbey, so when a personality test based on the characters of that appeared on facebook I couldn’t resist. Strangely, I was pleased to discover that I’m like Mr. Carson, the stoic, deep-voiced Butler full of honor and a strong sense of duty to the family. But, he’s a softy when it comes down to it. He’s a strong leader of the large staff and stubbornly protects the family and principles that give his life meaning.
Then there’s the Star Wars one where my personality best resembles Princess Leia. Sadly, this one is probably more accurate because it’s based on my Myers Briggs results (ENTJ). But don’t worry, I’m not going to start wearing my hair like two jumbo-sized ear muffs and sing “Swing low, sweet chariot” in my Death Star prison cell (Oh wait, that last part was the princess from Spaceballs. Sorry.)
Photo credit: Princes Milady / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Okay, the guys in this picture haven’t figured out how. Have you ever washed someone’s feet? How about spending a year’s salary on the perfume and using your hair as a cloth?
Steve Lewis is a good friend of mine who had the courage to lead the Bible Study at our house last week. He did great research onJohn 12:1-8, the story of when Mary, the sister of Lazarus, washed Jesus feet. He pointed out that Mary washed Jesus’ feet and the Lord responded by saying her act would be remembered for all time. If it pleased God that much, we should do the same. So our group discussed how we might be able to have the courage to wash Jesus’ feet with our hair.
Since we can’t do what Mary did literally, we needed to get at the essence of what she did so that we could replicate that. Steve challenged us to view this scene from Mary’s perspective. With facts provided by Steve to lead the way, our group came up with these steps:
People can’t make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them. That’s a concept that has helped people who struggle with poor self-esteem to develop a healthy outlook about themselves.
What if the reverse of that concept could be useful as well? I don’t mean that I can only make someone else feel bad if they let me do it (though that is true). But what if it’s true to say that other people can’t make you feel good about yourself unless you let them?
Guilt is a powerful emotion that is unnecessary for Christians. When you were saved you were freed from all the burdens of sin, including this one.
God never punishes us. That’s what Glenn Beck said on the radio on Friday, November 9.
There are some who classify him as a right-wing nutter. I listen to his show (obviously) from time to time whenever I’m in the car between 9 am and noon. I listen because he can be very funny. He and his team make some good points as well, though I don’t agree with everything.
Somebody I had coffee with last week noted his own propensity to challenge the validity of everything he heard. He was apologetic. I assured him that his approach was a good thing as long as his purpose was to search for Truth instead of making truth fit his desires. I told him that because I’m the same way, and I’ve learned that this approach is far better than to just accept everything someone tells you.
By far, the most injuries I’ve had in my life revolve around sports. I’ve had two root canals because of an accident during a High School baseball game. I’ve torn ligaments in both ankles numerous times playing basketball in my younger years. One of my teeth that had participated in the aforementioned baseball accident was knocked out playing football a few years later at camp, and I just kept playing.
That beauty you see in the picture above is the result of a basketball encounter from Monday night. When it happened I had a feeling there’d be a mark. Kept playing. It wasn’t that I felt pressure to look like a man in front of the other guys. Okay, there was some of that. But, my major motivation was simply that I didn’t want to stop playing.
There were basically two kinds of reactions in this clip: those who looked first and those who ran and then looked. The woman with the white jacket at the beginning stood still and looked for the accident as four people around her dove for cover. But some people jumped for cover even when they didn’t know where the danger was coming from. My favorite is the older gentlemen towards the end who keeps right on going, gently hurdling minor obstacles as he made his way a safe distance from the perceived disaster.
It’s an interesting example of how people react to danger that isn’t real, and I think it has New Year’s implications.
A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph Tidemand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Jesus, I’m sorry. I’m sorry because I continually make the same mistake in my spiritual journey – and it throws me off. But it’s so easy to do! Especially during the Christmas season.
Sadly, nostalgia is waning in this great country. But Christmas has remained a great theater for remembrances of the good ol’ days. Is that by your design? We are drawn to Christmas, perhaps subtly, by more than an excuse for extravagant spending. I think that maybe adults still have a child in them who desires, whether they know it or not, for these great gifts than only you can give to them.
Zechariah meets an angel, Fordham (Photo credit: TheRevSteve)
I love scaring my kids. Creeping ninja-like to avoid the sound of creaky floorboards . . . waiting in silence for several minutes at just the right spot, and then . . . “Raaaaaaa!” Recently, my daughter Jess jumped and threw all of her laundry in the air, and she and her accouterments fell to the floor. I’ve taken to getting video records of their reactions (which are hilarious), but I won’t share them with the world so as to avoid expensive therapy.
Zechariah, who would become the father of John the Baptist, was performing his priestly duty when an angel crept up on him in Luke 1. It was his turn to offer incense before the Lord alongside the daily sacrifice. It’s an honor that priests had only once a lifetime, if they had a chance at all.
Let’s face it, the reason most of us came to Christ was because our lives were so screwed up. And that’s not a bad thing. After all, lots of people came to Jesus because they had oppressive circumstances that only he could alleviate. God has a habit of using our rough times to direct our attention his way.
However, continuing with that M.O. makes for a shallow Christianity.
Though I know better, I still hope for a premature happily ever after experience. Maybe we love the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) because those salvation stories seem to end at the same place in the fairy tale where the slipper fits and Cinderella ends up marrying the prince. I think it’s Les and Leslie Parrot who write about how that fantasy doesn’t take into account the difficult road Cinderella will have learning how to be a princess, having servants instead of being one and, of course, being married to a guy she hardly knows. We want to be saved and slide right into our hunky-dory Christian experience.
English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here’s a thought my daughter Jessica brought home from school a couple of weeks ago. It goes something like this: Only in America do we take a day off to thank God for all that he’s given to us and then take the next day off to fight each other to get more.
Of course, that must have been written before this year. Like that old movie The Blob, Christmas has been surrounding and absorbing its lesser celebrated holiday neighbor for some time now.