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You would think that working with a large, reputable Insurance company should result in safe and consistent benefits. but beware — read the small print! I missed some small print, and was horrified to discover the insurance folks had started an $1100 per month auto withdrawal from my checking account! Of course, I can deal with it, now that I am aware of it. It brings to mind a proverbs passage on wisdom:

Proverbs 8:

1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
Wisdom, personified. The more we understand, the better we can be at responding.
2 At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
In my case, my judgement relaxed. I needed to keep an eye on the place where the paths meet.
3 beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:
At the very point when I go into transaction, wisdom cries out — “Be careful!”
4 “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
All of mankind needs wisdom. not just a few.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
We need to recognize that when we are taken advantage of, part of the fault is our own. We need
to be prudent, and not simpletons.
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
We have a choice to ignore, or listen carefully. There is truth in what we can trust.
7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
We should pray to be the source or wisdom and truth. Speak wisely, and with truthfulness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
Wisdom is always good, it is not something we should pollute or twist around. Keep it as it is.

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Every few weeks, we hear about another terrorist attack, and people die.
Terrorists are following a human being. They will agree they are not following our Christian God.

If there is a solitary being in charge of the universe, the being (I will him God) knows what he is doing.
And clearly, relative to the universe, we do no know what we are doing.

If a human says -“This is what you need to do”, we may or may not decide to follow. But this might be a surprise — we would be crazy (and stupid) to follow any human simply because he says he knows the will of God.

Jesus did something very unique among the world’s religions. He made it clear, life is all about God. To have a relationship with God we have to speak to him. The only way to be on speaking terms with God is to be worthy to meet with Him. The only way that is possible is for us to be ‘clean’ —dressed in a way that is presentable to God. A sacrifice was needed – which came to pass by having Jesus die for our sins and to triumph over death.

It does not end there. After Jesus dies and is resurrected, we still face the issue that God needs a way to communicate – and we need to be able to understand what God is saying. The solution was: God sent us the Holy Spirit. Think about it. We have a communicator/counselor who works with us, and intercedes for us, and we can understand what God is telling us!

I am grateful, I am not a blind follower of a stupid (human) terror leader. I am following God, by way of the Holy Spirit. Jesus expressed this in John 16: 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

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Most of us have met or seen a bully. A bully does something anonymously, or acts in a controlling, ‘one-up’ manner which causes discomfort for a recipient. If the person on the receiving end is able to fight back, the ‘fight’ may not go well. Someone could get hurt.

Many of us are encouraged from an early age, to face our problems, and do not back down. Otherwise the problem could get worse. However, the outcome of facing down a bully could be ‘bloody’. Many of us do not want to go that far. In Galatians 5:15, Paul said If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

In Christian terms, we should not want to hurt other Christians. Nor should we want to do an action that would be negative to a non-Christian.

This is a big deal. If I respond in a negative way to a non- Christian, or another Christian, my witness on behalf of God my Savior is a problem. We are called to always be an ambassador for Christ.

Earlier in Galatians 5 at verse 13, he says You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. ”

I do not have to wear my faith on my sleeve, and I do not have to simply yield to every mean thing that is done to me. I do have to live for Christ, and willingly feel free to not be negative to the people around me.

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I can understand that a person may not value the idea of having God in one’s life. It is possible they see no value in having God as a part of their life at all. The concept of not having God may be easier to apprehend, if you think of not having God similar to the days before your first car: “Never had Him and do not need Him”.

There was a time when I wanted to drive – and own – my own car. It took work, and planning, and help along the way for that dream to be achieved. My dad helped. My mother helped. I had to put in hours of work for pay, in order to earn the money I needed to buy — and maintain, a car and all of its expenses.

Could I get by without a car? Yes. Could I do well in life without a car? Maybe, but only with a lot of personal discipline. With the hope and dream of a car, I had a plan, which I was able to pursue and fulfill. Once you have had a car for some length of time, it becomes a necessity. You do not want to be without one ever again.

If you want and need to be somewhere quickly and frequently, you will want a car. How can we get to a place that we need God if we never had Him? Quite simply, it is a ‘want’ that comes with knowledge and experience of Him.

It is Christmas day, and I get yet another holiday to reflect on the wonderful story of God, coming to earth, for me. Every generation that has lived since the time of Christ has had the pleasure of knowing that the incredibly tough task of pleasing God has been resolved. There were many generations before Christ that only had the chance to live in hope of the coming Messiah – living with the faith of something not yet seen or understood. Many people still do not understand the hope of Christ.

In Luke 2:28-32, there was a guy who knew about the hope of Christ. Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

I hope that you, the reader, will come to understand the value of knowing Christ. It is a simple truth. Knowing what it means to have Him means knowing life will be better.

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The weather this week – and my health – have been lousy. There is a chance the bad weather could have missed me, and another chance that the bad germs could have missed me. I suppose that winning a lottery has a high chance of being a miss for me also — I do not expect to be that lucky.

Hearing the good news of Jesus Christ could be hit or miss also. In Matthew 13, Jesus said 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

In the Christian faith, we as humans are really , really lucky. We did not have to win a lottery to be loved by God. We did not have to go through thousands of iterations of life to be worthy of eternal life. All we needed was a precious baby. The Son of God, born of a virgin, who was delivered up for our sins, and provided the exact steps we needed to win life in Christ.

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