"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Gift: Revisiting Christmas

Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

The Gift 
(written on 11.1.13)
James 4:3 (Read the Chapter)

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

 Central Thought:

The source of all good things is God. {And}, in knowing this fact we come to realize that God loves us too much to give us everything.

Christmas is approaching. Quickly. In 55 days families from all around the world will be huddled around their Christmas tree quietly wondering and not so secretly hoping that they will be receiving the "perfect gift." Most of those who will be waiting for that perfect gift will be children. The other part of the equation will be those "not so little ones" who are hoping that they're giving that "perfect" gift. The holidays can create high levels of anxiety. They can cause consternation and high levels of stress for many people because they fight unrealistic expectations and limited funds, like people who fight crowds on "Black Friday." It can often be a season of torture for many.  

So what constitutes a good gift? 

Before we can answer that question I think it's important to understand its true definition. Webster defines the word "gift" in these terms: "Something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present." 

When it comes down to it a gift is a sign of favor. {And} who doesn't like favor? 

Unfortunately many people often open the sad gift of disappointment every day because their wants exceed reality and they hold within them improper motives. My mother's words from my childhood days still ring profoundly in my head; "You don't get everything you want." 

That is a true statement for good reason. 

In the end, any good parent realizes that it's not a good thing to give their child everything they want. We know this because our heavenly father operates in the same manner with his earthly children. James 4:3 shares with the reader that "when you ask, you don't receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." God does this to protect us from ourselves and our evil nature.

Left to many of our own vices and desires we often fail to display virtuous living that is pleasing to God. 

As Christmas approaches be mindful of the perfect gift that God gives to each and everyone of us if we are willing to accept it - the gift of eternal life through salvation. Take notice of God's perfect gift which is threefold. Direction. Correction. Protection.

God blesses all those who are willing to follow Him with proper direction that He has gifted us through His Word and the Holy Spirit. He provides correction like any good parent would do to teach us and to train us up in the way we should go.

Lastly, his correction is about protection. 

God protects us from ourselves and the devil's schemes that are intended solely to devastate and destroy our lives. His protection is wrapped up in His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love. 

This holiday season as we are shopping for that perfect gift for our loved ones remember that the best gift we can give is one of appropriate and wise direction, fair and reasonable correction shared in love, and behaviors that protect the innocence and fragility of the many vital relationships we are involved in. Remembering all the while that the only source for which all is good is God, and the most precious and perfect gift that has been offered to all of us is His son, Jesus Christ.

sbb 1.11.13

No comments: