Tag Archives: Seasonal aches and pains

Words of Jesus preached with authority and conviction and fishes to fry

In the 1970ies our Baptist church went with a motor-coach to a huge stadium to hear the American preacher Billy Graham. It was incredible how he could move the auditory. The audience was incredibly enthusiastic and weeks after we were still talking about what we got to hear and how that man could burn fire in the hearts of the listeners.

The ALS-patient of the blog “Unshakable Hope”, also has the picture in his mind of thousands of people at a Billy Graham crusade walking down to the front after hearing the words of Jesus preached with authority and conviction. Bill Sweeney writes

Even two thousand years after Peter and Andrew dropped their fishing nets to follow Christ, His words still have the power to change the hearts and minds of millions of people. {I’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry}

At the beginning of our contemporary era, it must have been very special around Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Palestine. That young man who could speak so well and who did such miraculous things, that many wondered how he could do that. Though he never claimed honour for himself. He knew very well that he could not do such things without his heavenly Father Who is much greater than him. He was happy that he received the power from God and that way could help people so that they too might come to know the Most High God.

“17  And it came to pass on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who were come out of every village of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was with him {1 } to heal. {1) Gr that he should heal; Many ancient authorities read that he should heal them }18 And behold, men bring on a bed a man that was palsied: and they sought to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And not finding by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But Jesus perceiving their {1 } reasonings, answered and said unto them, {2 } Why reason ye in your hearts? {1) Or questionings 2) Or What }23 Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God.” (Lu 5:17-25 ASV)

“ Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner.” (Joh 5:19 ASV)

“ Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 ASV)

Though Jesus came to bring the Truth, lots of people did not want to know it. Also today lots of people refuse to accept the biblical truth and do not see that Jesus is the way to God. Lots of people have made Jesus into their god instead of accepting him as the mediator between them and the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

“5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;” (1Ti 2:5-6 ASV)

Living on this globe with all its difficulties and our daily pains and problems we can see the light in the darkness by the hope that man has offered the world. With the knowledge that no single man can do what Jesus did, none bringing salvation to us, we can share that hope with those around us, showing that all other sent ones from God, the prophets, witnessed about him who is the Lamb of God and as such suffered also a lot and even gave his life as a ransom for many (including us).

“ To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins.” (Ac 10:43 ASV)

“ And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.” (Ac 4:12 ASV)

“ On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that {1 } taketh away the sin of the world! {1) Or beareth the sin } (Joh 1:29 ASV)

Bill Sweeney writes

Maybe we’re at our best, our most compassionate, our most empathetic and our kindest when we’re in the midst of these difficult times. Maybe this is when we are most like Christ. Yes, I am convinced that this is when we’re most like Christ.

Instead of trying to avoid thinking about these difficult times, I think we should purposely reflect on them and remember all of the things that seemed so trivial. Those things are still trivial in the good times. And, the things that still mattered to us in the hard times, are, I’m convinced, the very things that Christ wants us to build our lives around; these are the bigger fish.

Can you have joy and happiness building your life around these bigger fish?

Yes!

Through all of my really difficult times, especially battling ALS for the last 21+ years, I’ve discovered that building my life around these things that matter, these “bigger fish,” is the secret to true and lasting joy.


But, I still leave room for sports, mindless movies and other little fish.

{I’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry}

 

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The cold hitting in the northern hemisphere

Dealing with ongoing cardiac problems in their younger son, now an adult, who was born with a rare genetic disorder that includes multiple disabilities, the father fights against Stage IV cancer and the mother finds herself struggling daily with feelings of hopelessness that threaten to defeat her natural optimism.  They see that life is hard, and for most of us, it is likely to get harder in the future. Yet it is also filled with blessings and promise.  {About Defeat Despair}

Julia, the writer of the blog Defeat Despair writes

Our wooded lot feels enchanted in winter. February 2010Many of us who live north of the equator have been enduring record-cold temperatures. Some have been hit with a particularly nasty flu or other seasonal aches and pains. Power outages, weather delays and traffic snarls, along with wind chills below zero, can make wintertime something to dread. So let’s get cozy and enjoy what’s good about this season. {A poet in January}

When it is so cold outside, who doesn’t love to sleep in? For many the aversion to getting up in the morning is much greater in the winter, when the cold weather makes a snug warm bed all the more appealing. {Nonetheless}

While winter brings a lazy streak, it also sparks Julia’s inner drive to get organized, set goals and form good habits. She writes

Those winter resolutions, along with the beauty of the snowfalls such as the one I’m seeing right now, are reasons why I love winter despite the discomfort and inconvenience of inclement weather.

I hope you are enjoying January too, whatever kinds of weather it brings to where you are. If you are in the midst of your summer, or live in a tropical climate, enjoy it! Sip an iced tea for me, and go barefoot in the sand of a seashore whenever you have the chance.

If you, like me, are in “cozy hibernation” mode, keep that kettle on and lots of tea, coffee or cocoa handy. Check out some of the many self-improvement articles that proliferate in January via magazines and websites, and dream of springtime. As I keep reminding myself, it will be here before we know it! {Nonetheless}

Brew a cup of your favorite cold-weather beverage. Pull up a comfy chair, light a crackling fire, or if you don’t have that kind of fireplace (alas, I don’t), try switching on your gas or electric fireplace, or just snuggle up with a warm fuzzy throw. Take out your favorite poetry book, or grab your laptop, tablet or phone and go on a poetry scavenger hunt for some wonderful undiscovered gems, or lifelong favorites you can’t fully remember.

If you find anything lovely, funny, thought-provoking or heartwarming, we’d love to have you share it with us here. For every comment that links us to a poem, I’ll answer with a favorite of my own for us to read. Our high school English teachers would be proud!

Let’s bring our virtual Verandah indoors while it’s too cold to be outside. What we lack in sunshine and warm breezes we can more than make up for in congenial online company and realtime hygge.*  Cookies, pastries and savory snacks optional. {A poet in January}

In any case this is the time to enjoy the small things.

A charming display of teapots greeted us at a Pennsylvania bed & breakfast inn, Jun 2015

A charming display of teapots greeted us at a Pennsylvania bed & breakfast inn, June 2015

Despite the deceptively warm days of this past December, cold weather will be our frequent companion for weeks to come. Time for bundling up– or perhaps I should say settling down? for some cozy comforts to chase away the chill. Whether your day will take you indoors or out, be sure to make time for tea.

Note that I said “make time for tea,” not “have some tea” or “drink tea.” One of the great transforming qualities of becoming a tea lover is the inevitability that it will become a centering ritual, calming our nerves even before we take that first taste. Coffee drinkers also understand this, though that beverage is more often associated with busy days and drinking “on the run” — a shame, really, given the salutary benefits of serene sipping.

This winter morning, I invite you to sit down with me for a few minutes of reflective enjoyment. The kettle is on, and there has never been a better time to appreciate the greatness of small things. What are some of the everyday joys you look forward to this week? {Greatness in small things}

January bliss: a comfy chair, poetry, and tea in a lovely cup given by a dear friend. You’re invited to drop in and tell us your favorites– poets, teas, or both!

 


“When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June.”
— Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

 

*

Note: Hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy”, “cosines of the soul”, “the absence of annoyance” to “taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things”, “cosy togetherness” but I think my personal favourite is “the pursuit of everyday pleasures”.

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