Giving of yourself

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life – John 3:16

Festive seasons have become too much about perfect gifts haven’t they? Shopping and extravaganza. The joy of the season has been overshadowed by the pulls of budget and need, and a compromise between the two. Stress and then disappointment. All hard realities. The gift might be used or thrown away or (surprise!) make its way back to the original giver. These worries have replaced the spirit of a Christ-like Christmas. Though the poor are far from the world of gifting let us first define the ‘perfect gift’. Something rare, sorely needed, and great if recycled.What else but love? And untiring support. And understanding. And forgiveness. Seeing and listening.Oh, life itself!But is anyone rich enough to offer these?

Now consider God’s gift to man. The very love, support, understanding, seeing eye, listening ear and forgiveness that we crave. Life– eternal and in all its fullness! Perfect. A gift that expects this in return that we take, enjoy and pass it on.Foremost to that poor man or woman who is far from our world of gifting. Lonely, cold, trapped and broken,they’re the ones most starved of love, support and understanding.Know this Christmas that if you could be there for someone who is thinking ‘even death would be better than this’ you’ll have done it right for once. Know also that God’s gift – free and abundant – will keep you going strong.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40

Jaya Philips

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Understanding Salt and its Saltiness

In Matthew 5:13 …At the Mount of Beatitudes, when Jesus addressed His disciples and said, “You are the salt of the earth”; He wanted them to be useful like salt, to all around them.

Jesus knew the importance of Salt when He gave them this example.

It is important for us to know the usefulness of salt and that it maintains and performs all important functions at the cellular level.

It is one of the most important mineral for our body functioning.

— Salt helps most enzyme functions.

— It maintains muscle tone and strength and prevents cramps.

— It increases conductivity in nerve cells.

— Helps to absorb nutrients from the intestinal tract.

— Clears up sinus congestion and eliminates persistent coughs.

It is water and salt that regulates all body functions and absence of salt can lead to serious body function impairment.

If deficient…it can cause weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting,confusion, irritability, hypothyroidism, muscle cramps, mentalapathy, weight loss and improper digestion.

If excess it can cause high BP and tissue swelling.

It is therefore important to know that salt is something one cannot do without.

People who have high BP should monitor their BP regularly, take their medication but not deprive their bodies of salt as deficiency of this useful mineral may lead to other problems in the body.

So let us sprinkle ourselves on the lives we can touch and exhibit our usefulness all around without losing our saltiness.

Dr. Dipti Buck

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Perfect Love

“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.” 1 John 4:17 NLT

As children, we all dream about happily ever after. We pine away waiting for the knight on the white horse or daydream about love that is never anything less than perfect. When you think of perfect love . . . who do you think of? While most of you probably said Cinderella and Prince Charming; when I think of perfect love, my thoughts turn to Adam and Eve.

Kind of a bad choice for “perfect love” you might say; but Adam and Eve, while best known for the single worst mistake in history, were still the first couple ever made for each other in the literal and spiritual sense. God made Eve especially for Adam. She was made for him and from him. Their relationship was God’s handiwork and despite the whole apple thing, they created quite the life together.

Just like many love stories today, I have never turned a pumpkin into a carriage and my husband has never trotted in on a white horse to save me from some wicked queen. However, I have turned lemons into lemonade many days and he makes the cutest neigh when he gives our kids piggyback rides around the front lawn. We bicker from time to time. We don’t go dancing on Friday nights or awake every morning to breakfast in bed. He snores. I nag. He watches too much Sports Center and I watch too much Lifetime. But while we two are far from perfect, we love each other perfectly. God created our marriage in His perfect manner, in His perfect way . . . as only He can do.

God tells us in 1 John 4:12 (KJV), “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” So even though Adam and Eve were the epitome of imperfection, even though Adam probably forgot to take out the trash and Eve probably forgot to wash his leaf now and then, their imperfection was made perfect in their love for one another. No matter how flawed they were, their marriage was created in perfect love because the Master created it and He dwelt within the midst.

Don’t stress over living up to the fairytale. Your love story, no matter how simple or how elaborate, was designed by God. He perfected it. He wrote it. He even illustrated it and signed his name on your copy. He’s the author and the finisher. (Hebrews 12:2)

Happily ever after doesn’t always come with ball gowns and white horses. Most of the time, it comes with sweat pants and minivans. But that’s ok, because if it comes from God, it’s perfect and nothing less.

Brooke Keith – Contributing Writer
Copyright Brooke Keith. Used by permission.

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