Another Hero Of Christmas

For most of my life, I missed the importance of Joseph in the Christmas story. But after I became a husband and father myself, I had a greater appreciation for Joseph’s tender character. Even before he knew how Mary had become pregnant, he decided that he wasn’t going to embarrass or punish her for what seemed to be infidelity (Matt. 1:19).

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Filtered Light

The painting A Trail of Light by Colorado Springs artist Bob Simpich shows a grove of aspen trees with golden leaves lit by the autumn sun. The topmost leaves are brilliantly illuminated while the ground beneath the trees is a mixture of sunlight and shadows. The painter said of this contrast, “I can’t resist the light filtered through to the forest floor. It weaves a special magic.”

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The Language Of Whistling

On La Gomera, one of the smallest of the Canary Islands, a language that sounds like a bird song is being revived. In a land of deep valleys and steep ravines, schoolchildren and tourists are learning how whistling was once used to communicate for distances up to 2 miles. One goat herder who is using this ancient language once again to communicate with his flock said, “They recognize my whistle as they recognize my voice.”

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Terms Of Service

If you’re like me, you seldom read the full text of contracts for online services before you agree to them. They go on for pages, and most of the legal jargon makes no sense to ordinary people like me.

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Life’s Darkest Moments

Charles Whittlesey was a hero’s hero. Leader of the so-called “Lost Battalion” in World War I, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery when his unit was trapped behind enemy lines. When the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated, Charles was chosen to serve as pallbearer for the first soldier laid to rest there. Two weeks later, it is presumed that he ended his own life by stepping off a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

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Following The Master

At a dog show near my home, I watched a Cardigan Welsh corgi named Trevor perform. At his master’s command, he ran several yards away and immediately returned, he jumped fences, and he identified objects using his sense of smell. After finishing each exercise, he sat down at his master’s feet and waited for more instructions.

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Holy, Holy, Holy

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” This cliché has no basis in fact, but experience makes it seem true.

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The Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the most visited homes in the US. It was built in the 1930s and named after the original owner’s great aunt, Grace. It later became famous as the home of Elvis Presley.

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Confident Access

Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island located about a half-mile off the coast of Normandy, France. For centuries it has been the site of an abbey and monastery that has attracted religious pilgrims. Until the construction of a causeway, it was notorious for its dangerous access that resulted in the death of some pilgrims. At low tide it is encompassed by sand banks, and at high tide it is surrounded by water. Accessing the island was a cause for fear.

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Feeling Chained?

Boethius lived in sixth-century Italy and served the royal court as a highly skilled politician. Unfortunately, he fell into disfavor with the king. He was accused of treason and imprisoned. While awaiting execution, he asked for writing materials so he could compose his reflections. Later, these became an enduring spiritual classic on consolation.

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47 thoughts on “Feeling Chained?

  1. lunar says:

    (Please excuse the lateness of this post. I sleep a lot during the day, so I often don’t get a chance to read ODB until late at night.) Truly, to be content really is a learning process, and I am still learning. In all honesty, my life has been anything but easy. Growing up, I was abused by both my step-parents, an aunt, an uncle and a grandparent. At school, I was viciously bullied by students and teachers alike. My only friend in school was the janitor. And only a handful of family members were consistently kind to me.
    Even as a young child, there were countless times that I felt all alone, with no one to turn to, and no where to hide. There have been days when I struggled to find a reason just to get out of bed. I’m 22 now, and I still struggle with all of these feelings from time to time, especially since becoming disconnected from everyone else (with the sole exception of my mother) due to agoraphobia.

    However, I’ve always had God. During the darkest moments of my life, He has been right here beside me, so I’m never really alone. My earthly father walked out of my life a long time ago, but my Heavenly Father promised to never do that.
    It’s just like the old hymn says:

    “O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.”
    (“Turn your eyes upon Jesus” by Helen H. Lemmel)

    So, it’s all a matter of perspective.
    I had no friends my age in school, but I never had to deal with peer pressure.
    I’ve never dated, but I’ve never experienced the heartache that comes from ‘breaking up’.
    I have always, to some extent, been socially withdrawn from other people. But I also have experienced a special bond with God that many will never know.
    My health has been badly declining, and the doctor thinks I may have lupus. But now I’ve also got a lot of free time to just rest, and spend time reading my Bible.

    I could easily choose to get lost in depression and feelings of loneliness and despair, or… I can continue to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. When all I have is God, I have all I need.
    God bless all believers

    1. lunar says:

      Thank you for your prayers; they mean a lot. It’s not often that I tell of my story, due to fear and trust issues. (Today’s lesson really struck a chord with me, and I’ve resolved to try to be more ‘transparent’.) By all means do share it, if you believe it may help somebody, and God bless you.

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