In the scripture when we read about the birth of Christ, we see the example set by the Wise Men to bring gifts to our King. Over the years this has been replaced by some who say WE are the gift. Really? With all of our sins… WE are a gift to God? Hardly. When approaching an icon of the Mother of God for a request, why not bring even a small collection of flowers? Does your home altar reflect reverence and devotion or is it more than a little bit neglected?
Light your candles (but do not leave them unattended!). Light and burn incense. Dust it. Place flowers or other offerings upon it. We see examples of offerings being brought in the OT. Jesus was the SIN offering but that does not mean He cancelled out our bringing other offerings of gratitude, love, affection, joy, etc.
There is no one way set in stone to worship the Lord. We hear and see this all of the time so why balk at showing outwardly your love and devotion by bringing a gift to the altar?
This is in the NT, not the OT. Where is your gift?
Perhaps it’s just me, but there seems to be an over abundance of negativity these days. We have so much information these days that many people seem themselves as ‘experts’ on a topic but what they’re really doing is quoting someone else’s work, describing why your great idea or plans will fail all while thinking they are doing you a great service.
Want to know what to do when people try to deliver their negativity to you?
Here is an example: You have a great idea for a business, or you want to move to a smaller/larger city. You tell someone you think is your ‘go-to’ person for positive reinforcement. Instead of receiving positive, supportive feed back from them, they rain on your happiness.
Oh… I have an example. I told someone I wanted to learn how to ring the bells at church. Their reply?
“I thought you hated loud noises?”. What has that to do with a desire to learn something new and WHY, oh why bring it up?
While it is true that a couple of years ago I had one of my ear drums wrecked when the puppy yelped loudly near it and now that particular ear is ultrasensitive, that is NO reason for this person to bring such a thing up other than to be a Debbie Downer.
I think people who do this on a regular basis are mentally ill and/or broken. This is my unprofessional OPINION, but think about it for a minute, especially if you’re someone who does this. There are many benefits associated with why someone wants to do something but the most important thing is that THEY WANT TO DO IT! You have only one job as a friend or family member, support them. They are not telling you their dream so that you can rain on it. They are telling you because they are happy and want to share their happy with someone they love… you.
Just because you have no imagination, no ambition, just because you are content with staying at home all of the time and never taking a risk does not give you the right to keep everyone else around you down.
I hear people sniping at other people all of the time just for wanting to do something the sniper deems unpleasant or unworthy of themselves. fine, do not do the thing your friend is excited about but please, in the name of love stop verbalizing your negativity!
There is SO much negativity going on right now. It is its own disease but you can fight it!
Remember when Jesus told the mourners to leave before He rose up Lazarus from death? He had to get them out of the room so that the atmosphere could be changed. having a bunch of wailing people in the room when you are trying to perfomr a resurrection makes it tough to get the job done. Silence is better than negativity or forced joy. Jesus knew they could not be supportive because all they saw was death. he made them leave in order for their perspective not not interfere with His plans.
sometimes, we must do the same thing. We must prune our relationships in order to get what we need out of them.
If you think you are the smartest person int he room and no one can function without your ‘wisdom’ and yet your pool of friends is slowly shrinking, perhaps it is time to step back and review your words over the last few weeks, months or even years.
Now more than ever, people need encouragement. Let them make their own mistakes. If you are beginning to feel left out, perhaps it is time to take some risks of your own?
We hear so much these days about ‘self-care’. We used to be focused on self-improvement. I think things have a way of getting out of hand if there is no, ‘God plan’.
As Christians, everything we do should be with God in mind. Scripture is a great way to understand God and His will (did you get that… HIS will (for our lives.
One of the great warriors for God, and self-improvement… biblical self-improvement is, Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I love listening to, Rabbi Daniel Lapin. He gives great, biblical based advice in a loving, fatherly way. I’m not Jewish but he’s ‘my’ Rabbi.
Here is a video of his. I plan to implement some of the things he advises. I am picking and choosing what to do because taking on too much, even with good intentions, can backfire and end up defeating the purpose.
The things I am going to do for the next week at least?
No t.v.. this is a big deal for me because I love stories and I love t.v. and movies. So no cheating. I will not be watching Amazon Prime or Netflix. I will allow myself Rabbi Daniel Lapin or Orthodox videos.
read more. I love to read and I do so in between other tasks and even on commercial breaks during t.v. programs. Not for the next week. I will be committed to dedicated reading and reading out loud to one’s self is something he recommends. I will be doing that 3x per week for 20 minutes.
Last, but not least, I will commit to daily journaling. I will occasionally write here to there in a journal, if I can find it. My commitment is to write on my planner daily the 5 things for which I am grateful.