Showing posts from December, 2013

Perspective on Praise [Guest Post]

Today I wanted to share with you some thoughts from a friend, Jesse Johnson who, together with his wife, lives and serves in Burundi, Africa.  Thank you, Jesse, for letting me share this with my readers!

My thought for the new year: thanking God for his composite blessings for our integrated life
"You died for my sins, Praise Jesus,
Cleansed me within, Praise Jesus."
"I got a new car, Praise Jesus,
Now I'm riding in style, Praise Jesus."
My initial thought was: "What a shallow view of spirituality!" I heard this in a gospel song televised at a black church service from the united states. The problem with this kind of language of course is that it seems to represent a materialistic view or outlook of Christianity, and it seems to be saying that spiritual life exists to benefit the physical. Or that spiritual life is here for the sake of the acquisition of material things. The next thing that bothered me was the fact that true spirituality, in my upbringing, …

On Birthdays and Christmas - which is better?

One of my children recently asked me, "Which do you think is better: your birthday or Christmas?"

I hadn't thought about it that much - really.  I didn't have an answer right off-hand, but on further thought, I do.

In her mind with my birthday being exactly one week before Christmas, I had a lot of fun experiences to compare.  I had never spent much time comparing.  The farthest I'd gotten in my ponderings was to realize how self-centered I tend to be and that God, in His great wisdom, allowing for my me-centeredness, placed my birthday one week before His incarnation so as to make sure I didn't dwell on my own importance for too long.

To a child, birthdays and Christmas can be extremely similar.  Both have gifts, both have treats and goodies.  Both are celebrated and anticipated.  Both are delightful and possibly stressful at the same time.  But there the similarities end.

Because Christmas is something the vast majority of the world participates in - in …