If Christmas is Rotten...Written by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Once we are adults, we can point to some Christmases, where we were deeply disappointed. Or we went off to do our own thing, and now feel broken and ugly. Like we don't deserve any pleasant surprises or gifts, and this colours our attitude to festivities. You might not be looking forward to fuss next week.
Echoing in my mind are thoughts that were expressed at funeral I attended today, and I believe they apply right to this problem.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Bible talks of having this precious treasure - this light and power that shines within us - held in perishable containers. In older translations it compares us to broken clay pots.
The first time this image really got to me, I pictured it as a painting, which I still would like to paint one day, of some much-used clay pots off in a dark corner. They have cracks down sides, and large pieces chipped out, so one might think they're useless. But wait, through those cracks and chipped out spots are tumbling bright sparking diamonds and jewels! How light catches them against dark, and forsaken looking pots in corner.
YOU - A Bright Shining Star?Written by Ruth Marlene Friesen
There are about eight stages of our development as effective "translators" of spiritual truth. Our lives shine as an ever brighter and brighter light as we move from one stage to another.
First, we must give Jesus His rightful place at center of our lives. Here we gain FAITH.
As we become more aware of good and evil, and turn away from evil, choosing to do good - because Jesus is now abiding in us and giving us those inner nudges and prompts, we grow more virtuous. That is, you become a GOOD person.
With that comes a deep desire to know more about God's words in Bible. Not everyone disciplines themselves to dig into it as they should, but if you do, your light shines brighter as you understand more spiritual truths. Your basic KNOWLEDGE of God increases.
Knowing God better makes you want to serve Him, and do things that please Him. Which means we want to serve and help others around us. Which also means, we have to deny ourselves time, attention, expense, and so on, resulting in SELF-CONTROL.
Oh but when we try to serve others we'll soon run into situations where we are misunderstood. At times those situations turn into real trials by fire. Yet, if we hang in there and don't despair, we'll add ENDURANCE to our more and more lovely character.