Tag Archives: Joseph

Merry Christmas to the World

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

merry christmas sign
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If you could wish anything for the world, what would it be?

This question floated around a gathering last Friday. Answers included justice, food, infrastructure, non-corrupt governments, and acceptance of those who are different from any one person or group.

What are you personally doing to make your wish come true?

As we discussed this, one person said, “I am more quick to speak up when I hear people saying racist or sexist things.” Another said, “Writing letters to Congress and the President and other leaders.”

The favorite answer I heard was, “serving people.” This person said it is easy to write a check, but helping others with needs or time are some of the most valuable gifts we can offer. A listening ear, visits, phone calls, texts, rides, running errands –  each of these we can do through nonprofit volunteerism or one on one.

2000 years ago, Jesus set the example. Giving up equality with God in heaven, he took on the likeness of a human baby.  We refer to his birth as a miracle because his mother, Mary, was a virgin. God, not his earthly adoptive dad Joseph, was his Father.  

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Did you know Jesus was around from the beginning of this earth? In fact, John chapter 1 tells us that he created everything. Try to comprehend what it must have been like for the Creator to be made subject to his creation’s care. Yet he did this on purpose for you and me and everyone else. Jesus said he did not come to be served, but to serve. 

He healed the lame and made blind men see. A woman touched the hem of his garment and became well. Jesus raised young and old to life, made lepers whole again, and forced demons to leave those they possessed.

Everywhere he went, he encouraged people to have faith in him as the anointed one God had promised to send. Jesus forgave sins, warned against further sin, and announced he is the way, the truth, and the life. Unabashedly, he said no one comes to the Father except by Jesus, himself. 

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He called out and shamed religious hypocrites. As a result, a jealous few plotted to take his life. In the end they were foiled, for Jesus offered himself to them freely. Then he rose to life again and returned to heaven.

This is why he came – to die as a final sacrifice for our sins.  All we have to do is believe and repent, and we will also live in heaven forever. 

Talk about a life of service! Jesus changed the world and eternity in thirty-three short years. Without a doubt, I wish the whole world knew him as the Savior. 

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He is not a baby in a manger anymore. He is also finished with the cross.  He is mighty and radiant, a warrior who has won over death and will win over evil!  King of kings, and Lords of lords, he is the answer to all the world’s deepest needs. 

Merry Christmas indeed.

Today’s Helpful Word

Luke 2:8-14

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.   And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.   And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

 

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

 

Stand Your Ground

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2012 Nancy Virden

 (1) Tony was the kind of kid who would torment his neighbor’s Rottweilers. These huge dogs, weighing in at an average of about 120 pounds each, were locked in a large kennel in a backyard near Tony’s home.

Unsupervised from a young age, he found destructive ways to entertain himself. The dogs were a few of his victims. He threw rocks and taunted, and poked them with sticks. This was great sport to Tony I’m sure, because the dogs were helpless to reach him or escape.

One afternoon after a few years of this, the dogs’ owners decided to take them for their daily walk. Only this time, Tony was in his front yard. He couldn’t have cared less how close they came to him because he had learned to trust the dogs’ inability to seek revenge. As he waited “innocently” for them to pass, one leaped and bit him on the face.

His parents sued the Rottweiler owners and won. Their son’s abusive behavior provided them with a large screen television among other expensive toys.

(2) Tony was involved in more situations. A second neighbor was taking her groceries into her house and set her keys on top of the car. Tony saw an opportunity to run her keys down the side of her vehicle, causing a long, very visible scratch. When the woman emerged from her home she saw only the damage, and no culprit.

It didn’t take much time to surmise who did the deed. She walked over to Tony’s house to speak with his dad.

“You shouldn’t have had the keys out where he could find them,” he said with a shrug. No restitution was offered.

(3) Another young man was sold into slavery after his brothers tried to murder him. Joseph of ancient times, made himself useful and worked hard, earning his master’s trust. Soon he was chief of staff as it became his job to run the entire household. He was an exemplary manager.

One day his master’s wife approached him, and likely with a flutter of her eyelashes, grabbed him and demanded he sleep with her. Startled, Joseph ran from her clasp, leaving behind an outer piece of his clothing in her hands.

When his master arrived home, his wife showed him the garment she had stolen off Joseph’s back and accused Joseph of attempted rape. He was mercilessly hauled away to prison where he spent many years.

In both Tony’s and Joseph’s lives innocent bystanders were blamed. In a similar way, when our emotions are unstable or extreme, there will be those who do not understand and will accuse us of wrongdoing.

Some comments might be, “you’re being lazy,” “you did this to yourself,” or even a slightly more sympathetic, “you don’t have anything to be sad or anxious about.” Some of the worst false charges come from religious folks who believe certain sweeping statements will fix us. These judgmental remarks imply failure at having our mental, physical, and spiritual selves under control.

Quite a few states in America have a “Stand your ground” law which was originally intended to allow someone whose property was being trespassed to defend himself against a threat on his life. When our mental health and emotional well-being are under fire, it is best to stand our ground.

Maybe we will not have the energy to teach less understanding people  what our struggle is, that’s ok! However, we can refrain from negative self-talk. We do not need to join those who would shoot us with their words.

The dog owners, neighbor with the car, and Joseph were doing what had to be done, just going about their business when false accusation came their way.  In our fight against stigma, we can stand our ground and win.

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NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or if you are concerned about someone who is,  please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*photo from qualitystockphotos.com