Monthly Archives: December 2012

Fear Not

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.

Luke 1:30 (ASV)

I love the message of this verse! It is powerful and life changing. As part of our family tradition, we read the Christmas story on Christmas morning and this verse was read. No doubt Mary was frightened when the angel appeared. Who of us wouldn’t be? The angel spoke quickly to allay her concerns. If only we had to be afraid of angels, life indeed would be closer to paradise!

Today those words still soothe the Christian’s soul. Sometimes these words are shouted to us; at other times, they come in as a whisper. I pondered this verse this morning and felt inspired to write.

 

My dear reader, if you are…

Dealing with the loss of a loved one? The Comforter whispers, “Fear not.”

Lost a job and afraid about making ends meet? The Provider speaks, “Fear not.”

Nervous about job performance or worried about a new project? The Balm in Gilead gently breathes, “Fear not.”

Caught in the storms of life and swept up in turmoil? Over the tempest, listen. Can you not hear the Creator of the wind and the seas authoritatively command, “Fear not?”

Struggling below clouds of deep despair and misery? The Son beams His message, “Fear not.”

Away from home and missing your loved ones this holiday season? The Father comes alongside and with an arm on your shoulder lovingly says, “Fear not.”

Angry at life and the rejection of friends? God longs to soothe your hurt and bitterness and invitingly, He calls to you, “Fear not.”

Afraid of the looming “fiscal cliff” and your own personal financial straits? The Owner of the cattle on a thousand hills murmurs, “Fear not.”

 

Yes, He who rules it all, who has the whole world in His hands, longs for us to relax in His love and delight ourselves in His joy. He calls us to turn from fear and trust Him for the future. As John 3:17 says, God’s mission in coming to this earth was not to condemn the earth but to save the souls of mankind. We do not need to continue under the oppressiveness of fear.

In the kingdom of Heaven, humility characterizes a life of no fear. Not so with the kingdom of this world. Those big, jacked up diesel trucks clad with knobby, mud-slinging tires, chrome exhausts and portraying “No Fear” proudly across the back window exude an arrogant self-confidence. In their fearless attitude, they wrongly portray that they have everything under control. This is natural man’s attempt of saying that nothing bothers him….

…but this is not the attitude of the Christian. A Christian life of no fear is not a reliance on frail man’s strength; rather, it is complete trust that God, the Supreme Creator of this universe, is so big that no problem of mine is beyond Him. It is a lived out faith that as His child, I’m important enough to garner His attention to my needs and problems.

It sounds so easy. Just swap out one negative emotion (fear) for a positive one (joy) but it is a deep seated struggle that is never terminated. Or, I should clarify, I haven’t found resolve to this conflict. So this post was just as much written for myself as it was for whoever might benefit from it.

Cheers, and a Merry Christmas to all!

EJ

Categories: About life | 1 Comment

2 Pics From Nature

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On a day that is strictly for myself, I am empty of inspiration. I sit here, trying to think of something to say; something that is brilliant and reflects on all my studies this past semester. However, I am failing to do so. Nothing comes. So, as a easy copout, I’m posting these pictures. Taken over 2 1/2 years ago in the sun-drenched country of Paraguay, there is nothing outstanding except as a demonstration of aperture control.

Just a little public snippet of a place I once visited and for now, that’s all.

EJ

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A God Needed

In our Christian propriety, we shrink from saying we need something. I know in reading Lewis’s breakdown of terms between Gift and Need love that I wanted to squelch the idea that I need love. However, in Genesis, God does say that “it is not good for man to be alone.” Many times, this is used in referring to a marriage between a man and a women. That is true but it is not selfish to want to seek out my own company, to be with my kind of friends. I need that every now and again. This desire does not make me selfish; rather, it proves my normality by showing up in my life as a desire. It is the abnormality, Lewis says, to desire to be alone.

More than I need my friends, I need my God. Unlike a friend who at times maybe be inconvenienced by my desire to spend time with him, God never is. My love for God is never disinterested. I always have a need of Him, of His righteousness for my penitence, His grace for my weakness. The beauty is, this is what God wants. He asks for it. In the Old Testament, He says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Two words jump out of that phrase. The first word is the word wide. Make room, I am going to bless you, says God. The second word is fill. Not just a small quantity but full and to the brim. Yet all this is contingent of me opening first my mouth, preparing myself, to receive His blessing. I need to do my part and prepare for His giving. I do that by recognizing my need of Him. For myself, a growing question in my mind is my love for God. Is it where it ought to be? Do I love Him like I ought, not necessarily for saving me, although that is nice, but for what He does for me and for helping me live above my carnal self? How passionate am I really? I think what Lewis says may be the first place to examine myself. Am I prepared to receive? Have I recognized my need for God so when He does meet my need, I can love Him for what He gives to meet my need?

(pulled from a response paper to the writings of C. S. Lewis)

EJ

Categories: About life, Just me | Tags: | Leave a comment

Getting Good

If we would get good by our troubles, we must notice the hand of God in them

Studying for a end-of-term essay, I discovered this phrase. The verb usage grabbed my attention. Get good. The writer wants to imply, “If we would profit…” but uses the word “get” to put his point across. That word brings the picture of a baby to mind, reaching out and grabbing, getting all that he can. Christians aren’t babies; however if we want good, we should “get it”. Pay attention to what God is doing. Notice His work in our life through the blessing of a friend. Try to identify what He wants us to learn from our antagonists.

Are YOU getting it?

EJ 

Categories: About life, Praise, Quotes, Rants and Randomness | Leave a comment

Sundays Musings 12/2

Today is another Sunday and it’s a dreary, rainy afternoon. Later on, our choir will be singing in a state prison a hour away from here. But I’m still chewing on the message from this morning. Commitment, that was the theme.

The “I wills” that we make and keep, define who we are.

Disappointment is not a reason to “decomit”, to back away from what we promised we would do.

The cost of deep commitment is not what I have to give but what I have to give up.

Deep passion comes from a deep commitment. Passion doesn’t breed commitment; commitment breeds passion.

So how deep is your commitment?

EJ

Categories: About life, Sunday's Musings | Leave a comment

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