Does it ever feel like your prayers bounce off the ceiling? There have been times I’ve wondered if my prayers make a difference. It seems everyone goes through experiences when it’s easy to be discouraged. Disappointments and injustices can knock the wind out of you. But little things still matter – like receiving a text, a notecard, a phone call, or even just a hug with the message “I’m praying for you often.” Knowing someone prays for you really helps. And it takes things to a new level to remember – someone prays for you always!
When you start something – a fun adventure, a new program or plan, a fresh commitment, A NEW YEAR – it’s easy to be excited. Fresh starts are a kind of power launch that thrust you forward. Still, with life demands and problem-solving each day, how can you live with strategies of rest after the newness of a launch wears off?
We are ending one year and approaching a new one! That brings unknowns and opportunities. The coming year will be filled with blessings, as well as challenges and troubles. Still, it’s like a fresh blank page on which you write more of your life story. What a fantastic privilege – and responsibility! What will you write on your fresh blank page this next year?
Best Gift Ever!
What is the best gift you’ve ever received? Was this special present something you received when you were a child? Or does this memory come from when you were a teen? Maybe your most favorite present came after you became an adult. Whenever you received it, you likely still remember it as the best gift ever!
If you’ve ever experienced sadness in the holidays, you know how hard it is to jump into cheer and celebration when your heart is hurting. Sometimes sadness is because life is hard all year, filled with losses, bad news, declining health, broken relationships. At times you can’t even pinpoint why you feel sad. Melancholy lingers even when you are grateful for many blessings. But Christmas is still going to come. So if you are sad, how do you get through the holiday sadness?
In 2006, a song was released that talks about compassion. Everyone Needs Compassion! How about you? Do you need compassion for what you are going through? Maybe you need mercy, kindness, hope . . . and maybe even a sincere hug. Perhaps you think your “mountain-of-a-problem” can’t be moved. Or it’s impossible to be healed from your losses.
What exactly does “in a nutshell” mean? And why talk about it as we approach the Christmas season? According to a phrases resource * I found, it means – “In a few words; concisely stated.” I suggest at this busy, exciting holiday time, getting Christmas in a nutshell might be helpful. So what does that look like?
What do you use to tell time most often? A clock on the wall? Perhaps you wear a wrist watch or carry a pocket time piece. Many people use their phone clock. Some people are blessed to live in a college community with a bell that tolls the hour. Whatever you use – what time is it?
In current culture, what time is it?
If you were to stand in the middle of a busy intersection of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, you’d get significant impressions. Besides being concerned for your safety, you’d also notice it doesn’t always go well. The hair-raising screech of tires and squeal of brakes in a near miss of cross traffic. A motorcycle driver almost clips you with his daring zig-zag around another car. A pedestrian pushes through and almost knocks others over. Someone does lose grip and drops a package. Then there’s the motorist in a hurry and blazes right through a red light. You are almost run over as a bicycler whips by you. On top of all that, there’s the airplane overhead much too low for comfort. You haven’t even thought about a possible pick-pocket.
Scary stories are scariest if you are in the story, but you don’t know what is going to happen. The risk is significant, the outcome is uncertain, and the danger is elevated. All the unknowns make scary stories hold your breath and hope things turn out OK. If you already know how things turn out, most of the “scary” is gone.