What comes to your mind when you hear these words?
Parties? Dancing? Feasting? Fellowship? Joy? Making Merry?
How about honoring, revering, blessing, praising, observing, remembering?
Celebrating is a time to recognize and remember. It is a time to be filled with gratitude and joy over the subject of your celebration. The act of celebrating is also an act of honoring what is being celebrated. As I think of this season of Christmas, I think of celebrating. Over 2000 years ago the shepherds were told that Good News of GREAT JOY was being given to them...that the promised Savior in the Jewish prophesies was now born in the earth!
As we enter this Christmas season CELEBRATE!! Oh yes, there can be so much stress from obligations, time deadlines (both work and personal), disappointment from others, etc...AND I encourage you to look UP! and CELEBRATE! Don't let the meaning of this season slip from you. Hold on to the truth of the Christmas celebration.
I want to share some photos of joy and celebration. I hope these visions help bring a smile to you and remind you to stop, breathe, look UP, and Celebrate with GREAT JOY this season.
I am one of those daydreamers.
As a daydreamer I can see the potential of things but it maybe 20, 30 or more years before it could come into reality. As a daydreamer one of the challenges for me is the tension between what can be and what is in the realm of real time.The vision that begins to form in the dreaming, can seem so real and so present...like I can reach out and touch it. Then as my focus comes back into this realm where time exists, I am confronted with the distance between the dream and the details to make this dream a reality. For many years I have struggled with this part of me. I like the comfort of being a realist...operating in what I can see and understand...yet I can see things that others don't. I can see the potential; I can see the possibilities; I can see the options. Some people call this "the eye of faith". And this causes a hunger in me to move beyond the barriers and reach for these things that I can see.
After some experiences of sharing my daydreaming thoughts and having them shot down, I began to starve this side of myself. I would not indulge my dreaming as often. It seemed to bring disappointment and misunderstanding. It seemed to just be "pipe dreams" that had no true substance. But in time I began to see some of my earlier dreams begin to take shape. I began to recognize doors opening, and I started making steps that ushered in the reality of these earlier dreams. It was like a seed had been planted in those times of dreaming. Then it had laid dormant until the right season came for the seed to turn into the plant and produce its fruit. With this new understanding, I began to engage in the daydreaming again but with some better understanding this time. My desire is to share some nuggets to help encourage the daydreamers out there and to bring more understanding to those called alongside the daydreamers (friends, spouses, business partners, etc.). (click on READ MORE)
In society today many times people feel pressured to submit to the popular trends of thoughts and beliefs so not to offend. The concept of a standard of excellence and truth can be overlooked and pushed to the side. What has happened to the idea of a plumb line of measurement? Plumb lines are used by painters and carpenters to keep their work straight. It is easy to get off center and begin to go crooked. A plumb line provides that true reference that all work must measure up to so the work is correctly done. As one writer wrote, "A plumb line doesn't change or move according to the whims of the carpenter, it remains true." (www.gotquestions.org)
So what about other areas of life? Can we live however we want? Can we say what is wrong is really right in certain situations. What is to constitute what is wrong? If I feel like it is right...can't it be right? If I have an altruistic motive, can't I do something that is illegal and still be right? A society and a life that is guided by such ambivalence is truly headed into chaos. In such trying times, it takes a voice that is willing to rise and say, "This is the way, walk in it. This is truth. This is right." A voice and a standard that does not change when the challenges come. It takes strength. It takes courage to be such a voice...such a beacon of light and truth.
I think of Abraham Lincoln. I think of the voice he had in the nation of the USA. He saw the wrong of the day even though slavery was well accepted and slavery served a purpose on the plantations of the South. He was willing to raise up a standard for right and truth in the midst of unpopular thought for that day. President Lincoln was strong to stand and make his Gettysburg address. He declared that the nation of the USA was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." What strength it took for him to be a voice for liberty and equality in the slavery dilemma of that day. And what a change his strength and his voice made!
So I encourage you in the day we are living...Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be a Voice for Right and for Truth. There is a plumb line that our lives are to be guided by. There is a right and there is a wrong. There is light and there is darkness. Love well. Love brings light into a dark world. Speak the truth from that motive of love. Be Strong!
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.