Tag Archives: hope

Content or Complacent?

This morning our lesson in Sunday school (or for the modern church they are called Weekend Groups) we discussed a passage in Philippians about being content.

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:10-13New International Version (NIV)

While the passage focuses on being content no matter what our human situation is, the lesson made me think of two things. First what is the difference between being content and being complacent?

lazy manBoth definitions include the phrase “being satisfied”.  The difference is that the definition of content indicates not needing more and complacent includes not wanting more. I agree with the author here that when we fully rely on God, we can be content in all earthly situations that come our way. But what I wonder is if we get complacent, do we stop seeking Him? Do we stop stretching ourselves in order to grow in our faith?

The other thought I had was about the things God doesn’t want us to be content with. This list would include the eternal. I don’t think he wants us to be content with where we are today in our faith. We should always strive to grow more in our faith. I don’t think He wants us to be content with our current knowledge of His word. The Bible says to meditate on it day and night. I don’t think He wants us to be content with how strong our witness to others is today. Every person we encounter needs to see Jesus in us.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:3 – 8

Can we do all of this perfectly? Never. But at the end of the day, when we fail in our human efforts we take comfort in the fact that His mercies are new each day and the words of Paul in second Corinthians 12.

But he [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 New International Version

Be encouraged.

KK

It’s Friday, today is not where we find hope, Sunday’s coming

Good Friday.  For the believer this represents the day our savior was brutally murdered; but he let it happen willingly.  No doubt his human side and his Godly side did battle all day. He could have stopped the scourging.  He could have destroyed those who thought they were destroying him.  But he didn’t.  As mean and painful as it got, he stuck to the plan.  The plan that he knew from the beginning of creation would come to this day, these hours of complete distress.  His Father had prepared him as much as possible.  Just as he tries to prepare us for the storms.  But we don’t listen always the way Jesus did.  In the midst of every human friend turning on him — the emotional pain; in the midst of being spit on and fists waved — the humiliation; in the midst of having is Father turning from him — the spiritual loneliness; our Jesus still fulfilled his purpose, he willingly gave up his life as the ultimate sacrifice. The world thought they won, but they didn’t remember, that Sunday was comin’…

Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YByT6wfdhJs (Don Buck P Creacy)

Every time we find ourselves feeling lonely, betrayed, and hopeless, remember, Sunday is coming, again.

Blessings to you,

KK

Santa Claus – The Man the Legend…

The Legend of St. Nicholas
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. (ref. http://www.history.com)

Throughout the years and across cultures, St. Nicholas has taken on new looks. After the American Revolution, the term Santa Claus was adopted by Americans from the Dutch. Artists and poets began to paint the picture of a jolly giving man with a red suit.

My favorite image of Santa is the praying Santa. This for me encompasses the truth and the fantasy we find at Christmas. Please praying santaunderstand that the MOST important reason for any celebration at Christmas is the miraculous birth of the Lord; that being made the priority, consider how Santa can fold into this time and celebration.

As stated above, the man of Saint Nicholas was a faithful, giving man who looked out for “the least of these.” He gave up his wealth in caring for others. Sounds like characteristics he modeled from Christ.

As far as allowing our children to believe in the “jolly elf” who comes down the chimney, ask yourself this: in our world there is so much joy-robbing, negative, fast-paced, cynical information and attitudes why not allow our children the magic and fun of Santa Claus coming to bring gifts? We allow our children to have imaginary friends and pretend tea parties; why not allow them to enjoy the fun of Santa? As our children mature they outgrow those wonders of childhood anyway. With the right guidance there will be the appropriate shift from the fantasy of Santa to the forgiveness of Christ.

I do believe in all that Saint Nicholas lived for and the Savior he followed. I have learned to manage the hustle and bustle of this season to make room to remember the wonder of Christ’s birth; to truly take in the profoundness of His birth that set motion a new destiny for eternity.

Think about it,
KK

There is Hope

There were several ideas I worked on for this week but nothing that excited me. Today, January 29th, it was a windy, cloudy, humid, balmy 67 degrees and so I strolled the yard to see how th20130129-220506.jpge garden was wintering.

There among the dead remnants of last summer’s colorful splendor, I found hope for the coming spring. It seems the tulips have peeked out to check out the situation for further growth. The site brought immediate encouragement that in spite of the crazy weather — up and down temperatures — the renewal of spring will come.

So, my friend, take a deep breath and relax, the gray blustery, non-snowy winter will serve it’s purpose and move on at the insistence of spring’s arrival.

All the best,
KK