Matthew 5:16

PUTTING JOY BACK IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

(December 6, 2020) Carol Round shares an important biblical-based discipline…

If you ask any child what he or she likes about Christmas, you will probably hear the same answer. In their excitement, most would probably shout the word ‘presents’ or ‘toys.’

Ask any harried parent what he or she likes about Christmas and you’d get a different answer. You would get even another viewpoint if you asked retailers.

The holiday season is on us. Although the advertising blitz has been going on for a few months – or at least it feels that way – I find it hard to get excited. Am I alone? Where has the joy gone?

A season filled with joy
If you asked me to describe a season filled with joy, I would include the following: the company of loved ones, good food, fun, and relaxation, and maybe a few inches of snow. Although my wish list seems simple, for many, this ideal could not be farther from reality.

Too often, the holidays seem to exhaust us because we feel trapped by the shopping, spending, and frenzied preparations when we should be full of joy. A recent national survey revealed that 70 percent of Americans long for less emphasis on gift giving and spending. (more…)

LIGHT OF THE WORLD ILLUMINATES THE DARKNESS

(October 22, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to let our Christianity shine forth in a needy world round us…

My neighbours were excited to show me the photos and video of the ten tiny turtles they’d rescued. They’d observed the mother turtle laying her eggs in their yard sometime in mid-summer.

To prevent predators from digging up the eggs, the couple placed an old metal crate over the site and marked it with a fake flower. When I enquired about their new yard ornament on one of my daily walks, I learned about the eggs and was excited about the approaching due date.

Days, weeks and months passed until the couple decided they would dig up the nest. They knew the eggs should have already hatched.

Digging in the darkness
Using a trowel, the couple began digging up the dirt. Roots impeded their progress, but eventually they rescued the hatchlings. As dusk gave away to early darkness, they needed a flashlight to wash the small reptiles.

After removing the dirt from the tiny bodies, the couple placed each turtle into a plastic container. Walking to the nearby lake, they lowered the container into the water to allow the turtles to swim out on their own. The couple thought their rescue mission was over.

However, the turtles kept swimming to the shore where the couple’s wife was shining a flashlight. Then, it dawned on her that the turtles were attracted to the light. Turning the flashlight’s beam toward the lake and moving it gradually away from the shore did the trick. The ten siblings swam away.

The creation of light
Hearing the story of the baby turtles following the light, I was reminded of the many times ‘light is mentioned in scripture. In John 8:12, Jesus tells the Pharisees, ‘I am the light of the world.’ (more…)