All posts filed under: z168

37 | The other Christmas story

A few days before Christmas, and my wife and I were out doing my most favorite past-time at Christmas, returning an item we had bought a few days earlier when we saw a brightly decorated yard that not only included an inflatable Santa and reindeer but also a six-foot inflatable red and green dragon. When did dragons become a Christmas decoration? Well believe it or not there is a dragon in one of the Christmas stories recorded in the Bible. It is just not a story we often recite a Christmas.

Forgive and Love

Forgiveness is a tough thing. It is like it has a mind of its own.  There are even times in which we can say we forgive someone and actually believe we did forgive them only to find ourselves angry at them and replaying the hurt over and over again. There are people who seem to forgive every offense. On the other end of the forgiveness spectrum are people who never forgive. They remember every hurt and wear their anger as armor to protect them from further hurts. The first group allow themselves to be trampled upon and the second group do the trampling. There are many formulas written about forgiveness including steps to forgiveness, rituals to help us forgive, and even face to face meetings set up with the ones who hurt us. Most of these are external and miss what the Bible says. Forgiveness is based on the greatest commands of Jesus. Commands that sum up all the laws and prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus said, “Love your God with all your mind, …

Embrace your journey

Sadly, for many years I believed that my purpose was tied into some far off destination that was going to drop into my lap someday. And, I stumbled over my wondering and worrying about what my purpose was and what my goals should be to help me accomplish whatever my purpose was. Even though I was married, had a family and worked part-time, I somehow excluded all this from being part of my purpose in life. Therefore discovering my purpose in life was on hold. It had to be on hold because I did not have the time nor energy to pursue anything else.  My hands were quite full. Then I made the fatal mistake of comparing myself to other women, who worked, had families and were in leadership roles in their community and accomplishing great things while successfully raising their kids and supporting their husbands. As former US President Teddy Roosevelt once quipped,  “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparing myself to these women caused me to stumble over what was right in front …

We’re Fantastic!

I recently did a Google search on fantasy. You probably will not be surprised that the overwhelming majority of web posts have to do with sexual fantasies. There are other fantasies that are way more subtle and way less guilt ridden than these. There are two types of fantasies in which we take part. These are not daydreaming which are usually short-lived imaginations about people or events. The purpose of daydreams is to escape momentarily from our lives and allow ourselves to visit the land of what-if. Fantasies tend to be either forward-looking or backwards reaching. In them we rehearse what could be and what was. They are either negative or positive and often include fulfillment of goals or visions of potential disasters. An example of a negative fantasy is rehearsing past mistakes. When your fantasy has much to do with the phrase, “I should have…”, chances are you are replaying a past event. Your mistake could be real or perceived. This fantasy reminds you that either you were wrong or you were wronged. Emotionally …

What is Happening in India?

We should all know about the riots and demonstrations that are happening in India. At this time, more than twenty people have been killed, property has been damaged, and the reputation of the nation is at risk. The problem is a kind of civil war between religious groups, Hindus and Muslims. I am writing about this as a Christian, and I don’t want to take sides. I hope the people involved can find a solution for their disagreements. India and Pakistan have a history of violence between Hindus and Muslims, and millions have died. RELATED: Death toll in India citizenship law protests climbs to 23: CBC Father Raymond de Souza: Is India abandoning secularism to exclude Muslims?: National Post In the most recent violence, the Government of the nation has been accused of discrimination against Muslims. The party that governs India is composed of Hindu nationalists, and the troubles can be seen as a religious argument. The Government has passed a bill to give citizenship to refugees who escape from three neighboring countries. Those neighboring …

It’s up to you, not them

Christmas is often the time of year when unhealthy feelings towards others are exposed and maybe it’s the pressure of the season that makes these ‘triggers’ more volatile. Lately I have been developing clear principles to follow when ‘I am offended.’ How to forgive and keeping myself in the mindset of ‘forgiveness’ often eludes me.  For me, it has to be simple, as my mind grasps concepts best when they are easy to remember.  First, I needed to get a grip on my ‘trigger’ moments when I find myself suddenly engulfed in waves of emotions that carry me to places where I don’t want to go. Fundamentally, forgiving is a choice we make to step forward and away from the feelings that hold us hostage to the unhealthy energies of anger, bitterness, resentment and offense.  One key principle that has helped me immensely this past week has been allowing myself to feel the emotions and acknowledge each one as they roll around in my life. It doesn’t do us any good to stifle what we …

Why do people hate themselves?

England’s Daily Mail reported on a disturbing trend among young people in England uncovered by researchers from the University of Warwick. And if it is happening in England, I suspect the same trends are taking place in North America. According to a survey of 19,000 teens aged 14 years old, the research team led by Dr Dimitra Hartas discovered that over 15% had intentionally hurt themselves in 2018. Also called self harm, it refers to the secretive practice of people directly injuring themselves. This can be done by hitting, scratching, burning and arguably the most common method, cutting. Equally concerning is that girls accounted for nearly 75% of those instances of self harm. Their research also revealed there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people conducting self harm over the last 20 years. Their study, reported in the Research Papers in Education, revealed that the number of people aged 16 to 74 who intentionally hurt themselves has nearly tripled between 2000 and 2014, from 2.4% of the population to 6.4% in 2014. …

Who were the Magi?

One of the tough questions surrounding the story of Jesus’ birth revolves around the magi. Who were they? Well looking at the Biblical account of their arrival only recorded in Matthew, we can determine several things: First we don’t know how many there were. The plural version of this word is used in Matthew, so we know there was more than one. Though they brought three expensive gifts — gold, myrrh and frankincense — it doesn’t mean there were three of them. Some believe this involved a larger group, as many as 12. For sure, they would have been travelling in a caravan for protection. Secondly, they were important enough that King Herod eventually requested a meeting with them. Their gifts express wealth or political connections and probably both. In fact, we read that Herod and all of Jerusalem was troubled by what they had to say about the new king (Matthew 2:3). In other words, Herod respected their opinion enough to be very concerned. We know that thee magi did not arrive at the …

How God paved the way for a marriage with a prophetic vision

I read an interesting story by Joshua Rogers of the unusual circumstance that led to him getting engaged to his wife Raquel. Joshua is a believer and a regular contributor on Fox News. He believes in God. He believes in marriage. This story reveals God’s divine and prophetic intervention that prepared the way for this event. When Joshua approached his future father-in-law, Charlie, to ask for permission, Joshua said there was initially lots of resistance. Joshua and Raquel had only been going out for three months and this would result in red flags for any parent. Joshua said the two talked in circles, with Charlie expressing his concerns and Joshua trying to answer them. And after a conversation that lasted about 90 minutes, Charlie said that he wasn’t really comfortable with Joshua’s plans, not that he was opposed to them getting married, just not right now. Charlie described his resistance as a yellow light. But in a matter of a few seconds, everything dramatically changed when Charlie asked when Roger was planning to ask Raquel …