Tag Archives: Savior

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.  

shallow focus photography of religious figurines
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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. 

man holding sheep statuette
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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. 

sky sunset person silhouette
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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.

 

God, Served On a Platter of Silver and Marinated in Honey Mustard Sauce

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

foodToday’s extra edition of this blog is diverts from the usual conversation about mental illness. There is much rhetoric about religion and God these days. Apparently, according to public discourse, he is who we want him to be. Please excuse or enjoy my sarcastic flair.

He is a hungry lion, ready to pounce on the weakest member of the flock. He is a snake, slithering through our existence looking to swallow us whole. He is a flighty genie with a propensity toward trickery, and on again-off again willingness to grant our wishes.

Or he is a planet or star, distant and uninvolved with the matters of earth. He is a changeling, transforming indiscriminately into trees, the sun, love and peace, and the goodwill of humanity. He speaks through channeling, the whisper of the wind, in signs and wonders, in our “Light within.” He is anything and everything we think we need him to be – even nonexistent.

He is made-to-order, custom designed, distinct from us only in that he is our product. We are his creators, his kings and queens, and lords. We expect him to obey us. When he does not satisfy our cravings, we exact punishments of silent treatment, angry rants, unrelenting bitterness, and even revenge. We ignore and belittle him.

His name is a curse word usually surrounded by profanity. He is our whipping-boy, sometimes physically manifested in those who have formed him differently than we. We take our anger out on their bodies, minds, and opinions.

God is minimal in our thinking. If we remember him at all, we are probably busy reshaping him into something more useful or throwing him out for a the newest shiny object on the market.

Our time is spent pursuing unconditional love from human relationships, money, food, alcohol, partying, television, pornography, gambling, opioids, education, good deeds, work, busyness, and smart technology. We strive for excellence, peace of mind, and safety. Our government leaders are our saviors. When these efforts fail to meet our needs, we blame that ever-available scape goat, God.

We laugh at the old-fashioned, delusional idea of an all-loving, holy, wrathful and merciful HE. His sovereignty is mocked. We celebrate humanity despite its failure at justice since the beginning of time. The concept of a Son of God confuses us, so we claim to all be God’s children. In our fear of giving up control, we rationalize that every religion worships the same god.

God is served up on a silver platter and marinated in a comfortable combination of sweet honey and bitter mustard.  He is not to require anything of us. Same as our dinner does not talk back and exists only to sustain, nourish, and entertain, so does God. We select only the most famous chefs and the loudest food critics as our advisors.

God is refused as our source of life. He is not the Great I AM. He did not send his Son, born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, and die a horrible death. Jesus’ blood does not mean anything, and certainly does not have the power to save us from guilt and shame. No way did this good teacher, lunatic, or liar rise from the dead! Eternal life is a farce – after all, it is much more fun to think about partying in hell than to actually burn there.

Christians are seen as dumb, uneducated, brain-washed fools whose life experiences with God are hallucinations, or manifestations of an inner wish. The Bible is a terrible report card that exposes a tyrannical, treacherous, sick, perverted, and ruthless higher power.  It is not God-breathed or useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting or training in right living.

We say we are not sinners in need of a Savior! We are good and not-so-good citizens. We are imperfect and wonderful. No one has the right to judge our choices or attitude, or question our claims, unless the one being criticized is one of those ignorant Christians. Tolerance covers every possible human decision except the one to follow Christ.

Yes, we like God the way we like him. Servant. Miracle-worker. Malleable. Powerless. Cheap.

We do not want to admit our perceived grasp on control is false. Our wisdom comforts us even as it leads to spiritual death. We sing our songs of self-glory and chant for our rights. We. Will. Not. Surrender. To. God. No way.

Pass the sauce.

photo-25662882-printToday’s Helpful Word

Hebrews 2: 9,10  NLT

“Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into salvation.”

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal 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 is yours.

*Picture by Gabriella Fabbri . RGBstock.com

 

 

A Good Friday Digression from the Usual

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2015  Nancy Virden

By Pastor Todd Pruitt at Church of the Saviour in Wayne. PA,  March 6, 2011

photo-25665907-2172014-holy-easter-05Jesus did not come to be a good moral example.  Jesus did not come to be a revolutionary.  Jesus  did not come to fix all my hurts. 

Jesus came to solve my greatest problem.

Our greatest problem is not our spouse, or lack of a spouse. Our greatest problem is not our kids or our parents. Our greatest problem is not our job, our employer, or employees. Our greatest problem is not money or lack of money.

Our greatest problem is, and always has been our sin.

It is the ugliest enemy I face every day. My sin. It is the worst problem you deal with at any given moment. Your sin. It is the worst problem I have. It deceives me, it battles me, it lies to me, it tempts me. And there was a day when it condemned me utterly before a Holy God.

Jesus came to save us from our sin.

Now, that’s Compassionate Love.

Have a peaceful Good Friday

*****

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal 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 is yours.

-pictures from qualitystockphotos.com