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Archive for December, 2012

 

Believe him to be the Son of God,
and you will find him wonder upon
wonder, counsel upon counsel.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A few years ago, I was introduced to Dietrich Bonhoeffer through a play that depicted an interaction between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Ever since that introduction, I have read something by Bonhoeffer at least once a year.

Recently, I continued reading Life Together by Bonhoeffer.  Undoubtedly, it reminds me of the kindred spirit that Bonhoeffer offers me through his discourse on the concept of community to people of faith.  In all fairness, Bonhoeffer shares some inspirational words that should cause us all to pause for a moment and realize the true value of our Christian community despite the shortcomings and mistakes of our humanity.
I also started reading I Want to Live These Days with You, a daily devotional by Bonhoeffer.  I had read through it previously back in 2006 and 2009.  As I prepared for 2013, I decided to return to the devotional once again.  I had done the same with My Utmost for His Highest by Chambers and Morning and Evening by Spurgeon.

I suggest that most believers could glean something from Bonhoeffer’s writings.  He provides the reader with both inspiration and insight.

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Feliz Navidad!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

Previously, I wrote about the miracles of Jesus and shared some of the inspirational accounts from the Gospels.  The Gospels depict Jesus as a worker of miracles as well as a messenger of God’s redemption while remaining the Messiah who would serve as the Lamb of God.

But when the time had fully come, 
God sent his Son, 
born of a woman, 
born under law, 
to redeem those under law, 
that we might receive the full rights of sons.
– Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)

However, the miracle of Christmas is more about God orchestrating everything beyond coincidence.  He set things in order long before they began to unfold in order to redeem mankind.  Christmas marks a celebration of things coming in order to fulfill God’s plan for redemption.

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I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. – Song of Solomon 2:1 (NIV)

Rare beauty can emerge under unlikely conditions.  Picture the beauty of a flower growing to full bloom in the midst of the lifelessness of the desert.  Let the image of a blossom come forth out of the den of death like a desert.

The death of Jesus stands out as a similar image.  He stood out as a jewel of what God had to offer the entire world as the worldliness of many people led Him to court, then the cross at Calvary.  He is the rose which gave His own life so that others might have eternal life.

This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge;

and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross

– Acts 2:23

 

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Morning by morning new mercies I see. . .– “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Every single day is a blessing.  Yes, I know that it can be considered a given, but today I have good reason to say so.  After tossing and turning all night with a head cold, I could hardly sleep.  I awoke in a stuper this morning and in no condition to even try to go to church, possibly infecting everyone near me.  I awoke and celebrated the goodness of God.

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

I celebrate the fact that God is in charge.  He can slow us down when we will run ourselves down to the bone and keep on until there’s nothing to wear out left.  God has stopping power.  He can stop the planets in the middle of their orbit.  He can command the birds of the air to feed a runaway prophet and the fish of the sea to leap into the nets of a small boat for Simon Peter.  God has power.

He gives us new mercies daily.  He doesn’t try to pass off yesterday’s mercies as just as good or in working condition.  He gives us the best that He has to offer.

Lord,
I just say thank you for not leaving me in yesterday’s condition and
allowing me to awake today in a new condition.
Yes, Lord, You are powerful!
Amen.

Read my article. . . Fantasy Sports are More and More Popular These Days

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WizzleyI write all sorts of content as a freelance writer.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.I have no real niche.  I write poetry and fiction.  I write about religion as much as I write about sports and community activities and events.  I blog, journal, present, teach, and edit online as a freelancer.

 I write e-zine articles and post to multiple blogs.  I write for a wide variety of audiences.

You can join me on my freelance journey at iWriter, too.

I have published articles on Squidoo and HubPages, too.  My articles include content related to writing grants and freelance writing opportunities.  I also publish my own books of inspirational poetry on Lulu.

Get a copy of one of the Bible studies offered by Life Path Ministries & Services.  Subscribe to get inspiration from one of my other blogs either Rev Bruce or Life Path.

Bruce Jackson, EzineArticles Basic Author

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Winning at All Costs

“Winning isn’t everything,
but wanting to win is!”
Vince Lombardi
Head Coach
Green Bay Packers

Look back at Lombardi.  He bred and led champions.  the NFL has named its coveted championship trophy after him and in his honor.  He was a pioneer in the sport’s history-making era.  He stood out as a man who could lead men, a man’s man and a player’s coach.  If there ever was an example of gridiron guts and gallantry to behold, Lombardi was the prime example for all to lay there eyes upon.

Today’s NFL is nothing like Lombardi’s heyday.  Hard work and determination have been replaced with performance enhancing drugs and off-field antics that border between publicity stunts and public disgraces.  Bountygate has taken prisoners among both players and coaches, revealing true character as it has unraveled before our own eyes.  The NFL currently suffers more black eyes than Pacquiao after his last bout.

The sad truth is that Lombardi’s words speak to our character once we get set on winning.  We become consumed with winning at all costs.  We will cut corners to get an edge on our competition.  We will kick an opponent while he’s down and out, leaving him with no recourse except to wave the white flag of defeat.  That’s what becomes of us when we let a “winning” spirit take over and consume us.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though.

He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver
nor he that loves abundance with increase: 
this is also vanity.
 – Ecclesiastes 5:10

Putting our focus on the prize can detour us from the right pathway.  There are no shortcuts to righteousness.  Purity and holiness do not have a cheat code available to a select few.  No, the Lord shows us that a wise choice is to take the moral high road rather than to stoop to the level of cheater just to get ahead.

Our desire to win should remain in check as win people over on our way towards achieving the prize.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
Order a copy of my urban poetry collection Words from the Underground


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UCLA is a storied basketball program.  Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Walt Hazard and plenty of others played under the Wizard of Westwood.  They played on the hardwood, but they also gleaned some sound and sage advice from a man ahead of his time when it came to coaching star athletes.

John Wooden coached team basketball.  He emphasized each player’s ability to contribute to the team rather the star quality that we see a lot of today with college athletes.  Imagine if  a coach like Wooden had gotten to some of our more troubled athletes.  Just think of the guys who would be less conceited and greater contributors to their sport as well as the world in general.

I continue to read Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success to this day and find it to serve as a great read.  Inspirational messages and memories from Wooden match up with biblical principles to spread wisdom for life.  This would be a great gift for a young aspiring athlete or a sports coach.  There are nuggets of wisdom within its pages just waiting to be discovered by some open mind.

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