Tag Archives: Merry Christmas

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

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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.

 

Jingle Bells. Embracing the Real Season

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   Nancy Virden (c)2013

She stared aimlessly into snowflakes falling all around. Her children were laughing and chasing each other among potential Christmas trees. A snowball hit her side.

“Hey!” she said in mock anger.

“Mom, how about this one?”  Inwardly sighing, she turned to see what tree her family had chosen to adorn the season. She felt empty. Christmas would never be the same. The year had brought with it multiple deaths of persons she loved. Her grief was overwhelming the celebration.

She smiled. “Yeah, that one looks great!”

Dashing through the snow, on a one horse open sleigh…

***

This would be his first Christmas without family. Earlier in the year his wife had left him, and his children lived far away, unable to make the trip. He regretted his decisions of the past and somehow hoped for a Christmas miracle –  restoration of his marriage.  Still, he knew he would most likely be alone on Christ’s birthday, and as the church choir led the congregation in singing carols, he tried not to weep.

After the service, an acquaintance approaches. “Hi brother! How are you doin’?”

“Good, good. How about you?”

O’er the fields we go, laughing all the way…

***

Her business had been her life. She’d built it with her own hands, and for a while it had brought her a sense of pride. Lately though, she’d been losing money. Her choice to close had seemed rather sudden to those on the outside, however she’d lost her spirit for the work much earlier. This Christmas several people would be unemployed including her, due to her final decision.

She paints a happy face over her clouded one and heads out the door to meet a potential buyer.

Bells on bobtail ring, making spirits bright…

***

“My son’s an addict. It’s been rough for a few years now.”  False bravado.

“Will you see him at Christmas?”  Sympathy.

“I doubt it. We do have some conversations, though.”   Hesitant Openness.

“I’m sorry for your pain.”   Empathy.

“It’s hard. It’s been difficult to watch my son throw his life away. Breaks my heart, really.”   Vulnerability

“No doubt.”  Validation.

“Ok, gotta go. I’ll see you later. Merry Christmas!”   Running Scared.

Oh what fun it is to sing the sleighing song tonight…

***

Dark stories are a reality of Christmas.  It’s here to stay… sadness, that is. Recovering alcoholics have to face the parties or stay home alone. Gay sons and daughters have to risk  or accept rejection. Patients in hospitals or those mending at home will have a more solitary holiday than usual.  Someone somewhere is learning they may not see 2014.

Enough drudgery! Let’s get on with the Christmas spirit!

The original purpose behind Christmas was to extend compassionate love on the entire world at great personal cost. Let’s support rather than avoid the hurting ones this year.

 ******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 concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

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*Words in green are the lyrics to “Jingle Bells” written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” in the autumn of 1857.