Saturday, December 19, 2009
A virgin birth? You’ve got to be kidding!
Sat, December 19, 2009 | link
"How can this happen?" Mary asked the angel. "I am a virgin."
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit
will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God.
Your relative Elizabeth is old. And even she is going to have a child. People thought she could not have children. But she
has been pregnant for six months now. Nothing is impossible with God." "I serve
the Lord," Mary answered. "May it happen to me just as you said it would." Then the angel left her.
Mary gets visited by an
angel who tells her she is going to become pregnant. Her reply is logical. . .
This just doesn’t happen, right? I can see a young girl coming
home and saying to her fiancé, “I know I haven’t had sex with you, but I am pregnant!” He is not
likely to believe to her is he?
If she then said she had had in-vitro fertilization,
all would be understood (but he might still be rather unhappy). God sent an angel to Mary to tell her she would have
an in vitro fertilization by God himself. If a Gynaecologist can do these things, I guess God
can probably do it better! Now days it’s not such a stretch of imagination to imagine such a thing happening as it was
a few years ago.
Maybe it’s a myth? If it is it sure
conned a lot of very anti-myth type people who would never have considered a myth of this type about a messiah to
be true. Also, this is one part of Jesus life that was never refuted.
Surely Joseph would have put people
right. It was rather embarrassing for him to repeat this weird story. Jesus’ brother also went around with
the disciples and siblings aren’t known for being quiet about people spreading stories about their brothers. Surely
they would have pointed out that it wasn’t true if Mary hadn’t been a virgin birth.
Now the virgin birth was prophesied See Isaiah 7:14 which says “The Lord himself will give you a miraculous sign. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will
give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” And this was written long before
Jesus time! Now to be honest, the word virgin is one that can also mean young women so it is probably a prophecy, but a lot
of Jewish people disagree with this and take the other version of the translation so they have an excuse to ignore Jesus’
importance. Matthew however refers to the prophecy and confirms it meant virgin!
Whatever was being said we have to agree that Isaiah was talking of a very special occasion and birth.
That’s what happened when Jesus was born.
Now we also need to know that
in the Middle East at the time if you got pregnant when you shouldn’t, you could be killed since the law permitted that
to occur. Why would Mary risk her skin with such a wild story? The story would have had the ability to upset
a lot of people! Why tell it, unless it just happened to be true? The story could have been omitted from the gospel and it
would have been more believable to the community. Remember they could check it up. There were people living at the time they
could talk to and check it out! Why publish something that’s not exactly acceptable if it wasn’t true?
Maybe Matthew also wanted to be sure to point out a women was central to Jesus’ part on history.
Women were not considered important compared to men at that time.[women’s liberation is fairly recent] Jesus
changed that and perhaps this story was a critical point that Jesus wanted told so that women could be proud of their role
in history! It was a significant role! Matthew also makes sure to include women in his genealogy of Jesus. Gentile women at
Now the bible says “Her husband Joseph was a godly man. He did not want to put her to shame in public. So he planned to divorce her
quietly.” This is the polite translation. Some experts such as Kenneth Bailey point out the translation
of the Greek word “enthumeomai” could change it to read “Joseph was furious!” That makes a lot of sense!
This sweet young girl he was going to marry comes out with this strange story and then is pregnant. It’s highly likely
he got quite upset! Wouldn’t you?
So this time he
gets an angel visit to stop him doing the male thing and letting his anger make him do something stupid! The story
goes “But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared
to him in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside
her is from the Holy Spirit. She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That is because he will save his
people from their sins."
He is so impressed that he risks everything to keep Mary as his wife. This
goes against the cultural norms of the time. The only reason he would have done it was if he knew what was said about the
messiah being born of a virgin (and every Jewish boy did) and somehow some supernatural event had occurred to convince him
that this was true of his girlfriend!
It seems rather unlikely this is a made up story!
Some other interesting things to think about is that Mary stayed at Elizabeth for about 3 months (probably until John was born) and then headed home. This meant that Elizabeth, who
have been through morning sickness which typically lasts three months, would have been able to help Mary through that time.
Also, who wants to travel while sick. It makes sense she would have stayed with her relative. Her husband would not have had
an issue, because he couldn’t have sex with her anyway!
Okay, so Josephs DNA was not part of the birth. Biblically we can understand that neither was Mary’s.
Jesus was sinless, and although born of a human women, was pure DNA, not the corrupted DNA that Adam and Eve had allowed
to become damaged by sin. Jesus to be sinless had to have had God’s DNA, not either his earth mothers or fathers! Holy
Spirit was the supernatural gynaecologist that did the work.
The virgin birth is an incredible event. Let’s
say it happened like the bible says it did. This young women, (they got married real young in those days), gets visited by
a super being! How would you feel if that happened to you? Then she gets told she’s going to get pregnant without the
fun of sex! How would you feel about that? She gets told that the baby was not going to be a normal kid, but some type of
hero? That would sound just a bit incredible if you were a simple peasant girl. Then she has to explain this to her husband,
her dad, mom, and probably a few siblings as well as the rest of the family. Maybe they would want to kill her? How would
you feel about telling your parents you were pregnant without a father? Probably not the greatest. I doubt you would want
to try a weird story. Angry people don’t have time for nonsense do they?
Not an easy task! It would have taken a strong person to do this! Could you do
this if God had asked you. He’s not asking you to do this but he is asking you not to be ashamed of him. Are
you? Do you wish people happy holidays or Happy Christmas? Are you willing to help others understand your relationship with
Jesus? How is your relationship with God? Loose, non-existent, or vibrant? Do you get excited by what God can do in your life!
I sure hope so, since this is the season for that hope. Let’s all thank God for acknowledging a rather remarkable woman,
and thank him for what he can do through us!
Despite human misconceptions, the actual facts about Jesus are more marvellous than words
can express. He was indeed born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem exactly as prophesied many years before. Jesus
was conceived in Mary, not by man, but by the Holy Spirit of God. As the apostle John reveals, Jesus existed before the Creation
of the world (John 1). He is part of the Holy Trinity we know as God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The Son of God came in
human form for a purpose—to die as a willing sacrifice in payment for the sins of mankind. He did this to provide eternal
salvation as a free gift to all who will accept it and follow Him.
Christmas is a good time to talk to him about
accepting this fact. Thats what prayer is, simply talking to God. Try it!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Improvements on the Christmas story - Part 2
Fri, December 18, 2009 | link
In Part One we covered
the parts of the story up to Jesus birth that are myths. A brief recap follows before I go on:
A commercial version of the Christmas story is Joseph
takes his pregnant wife puts her on a donkey and they arrive in the city of Bethlehem where they go from door to door looking
for room. Nobody has room for them and the Inn keeper turns them away but tells them there might be room in the stable. They
go to the stable and surrounded by animals, as the only occupants, Mary gives birth to a boy and lays him in a manger. Meanwhile
out in the fields with their lambs, the shepherds see some angels appear and sing to them, they get told to go to see the
baby which they do. While they are there three wise men or Magi arrive with gifts for the mother. They worship the baby in
swaddling cloth who amazingly doesn’t cry!
AMAZINGLY, MOST OF THE ABOVE IS NOT TRUE!
In Part One we found out there is no proof that Mary rode on donkey, we discovered that Mary and Joseph
probably arrived a while before the census, that there was no turning away of the family at a inn, that Jesus was not really
born in a stable, that probably many of Joseph’s family were around at the time of the birth!
Check it out against Luke 2:4 to 7 knowing that the word for “Inn” can easily be translated
“Upper Room” and is translated this way in the only other occurrence of this word in the bible:
“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to
Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with
Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to
be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was
no room for them in the inn.”(or upper room)
we move to the scene of the shepherds. The bible says:
were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to
them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been
born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great
company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying
to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said
to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them
about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Okay! So where does it say the angels were singing? It says “saying” which
is not singing!
We get this mis-information from the church
hymn, “Hark, the herald angels sing” which is not even the version the original author wrote.
That version said "Hark! how all the welkin rings / Glory to the King of Kings".
The author knew it wasn’t true!
Note also that
the Shepherds arrived to see a baby wrapped up in cloth in a manger. Firstly they saw a very small child
and secondly they were let in! Shepherds were in the lower level of the society and so they would have probably not been allowed
into many fancy residences. This seems to indicate Jesus was born in a smaller, more humble, home of the town.
Now, let’s look into the Magi or "Wise Men"! This is a fascinating subject and will take
some time to uncover so we may not get it all done in today’s blog.
of all , “who were Magi?” We don’t get guys that do this type of
Magi is a Latin version of the Greek word “Magos”
which came from a Persian word to describe the men who were in charge of the kingdoms secrets and religions.
These were learned men of their times. One of their duties was to announce the new king when the old King died. A
bit like the “The King is dead, long live the King” used in Europe for many years. These guys could have been
considered king makers and “secrets” preservers.
Needless to say they were important and probably somewhat feared! (Don’t
we so often fear things and people we don’t understand?)
one of the things that these guys did, was to watch the stars so they could predict the seasons and others actions
of nature. Today we use watches and electronic calendars to tell us time. What would we do if all these disappeared? We
would use the sun, moon, stars and planets to give us the time of night, month and year. These guys were the experts!
In the early days people considered that the moving stars (the ones we now know are planets) foretold
events. If you think this is crazy, pick up a newspaper or magazine that contains horoscopes. Yes, we do exactly the
same now days! If you read a horoscope(I like to call them horror scopes ) you are expecting that the positions of plaets can foretell what will happen in your life! Despite our outward
sophistication and civilization masks, we haven’t changed that much. Underneath we know we need to believe in something.
The Magi were the people that the kings of the time turned too to get advice on what they should do.
The word “Magi” gave rise to our word “Magic”
which is rather unfortunate since it makes us think of magicians rather than respected advisors and men that others feared
So these guys were on the lookout
for new kings. They wanted to score points with them early on since that would help them maintain their
own power. (Politics gets into everything doesn’t it?) So the bible says
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been
born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
Scanning the sky they
saw a new star! Now notice it doesn’t say it was moving when they first saw it. More about this later!
They came from the East! This is a general statement. What is East of America? Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean?
Probably the term could mean any of these in different contexts. The same is to be applied to the word in the bible. They
weren’t from around the local area and they travelled westward when they approached Jerusalem.
Also, notice the star doesn’t seem have been there all the time. They don’t say “Hey,
Herod, just look up there and see that star!” They say they saw it in the east.
Can you think of the organization it took to make the journey? They didn’t pull out the Honda
Civic and load it up with presents and people. No, they had to acquire porters, animals to carry their stuff, probably a small
group of fighting men to protect them from bandits, food for all the animals and themselves and if they cam from the west
they covered some hilly terrain. It was not a stroll in the park! They were seriously looking for this new king!
How about us? This Christmas are we looking for a person that will be able to lead and
guide us to success? Do we recongize that the baby’s birthday we celebrate is that same God who left the all powerful
Holy Spirit behind to do amazing things in our lives? Do we even admit he exists and do we have the courage to do what he
wants us to do.
We don’t have to do as much as those guys to get
to Jesus, but do we do enough? I hope so! I hope I do!
Hey, have a great day and we
will continue this in Part 3 sometime in the coming week!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Improvements on the Christmas story - Part 1
Thu, December 17, 2009 | link
How can we improve the
Christmas story? Joseph takes his pregnant wife puts her on a donkey and they arrive in the city of Bethlehem
where they go from door to door looking for room. Nobody has room for them and the Inn keeper turns them away but tells them
there might be room in the stable. They go to the stable and surrounded by animals, as the only occupants, Mary gives birth
to a boy and lays him in a manger. Meanwhile out in the fields with their lambs, the shepherds see some angels appear and
sing to them, they get told to go to see the baby which they do. While they are there three wise men or Magi arrive with gifts
for the mother. They worship the baby in swaddling cloth who amazingly doesn’t cry!
It sounds impossible doesn’t it. We all know this story as something like the
MOST OF THE ABOVE IS NOT TRUE!
So we can improve
on the story by telling it the way it actually happened, not the way it has been popularised and distorted. The true
story is far more believable, is provable as we can read the story in the bible, and is more effective than the one above.
Let’s start by pointing out that nowhere does it say in the bible that Joseph put Mary on a donkey.
He may have done, but it is not in the bible. Then we must take away that myth that they arrived there in the dead
of night on the last evening before the census.
A census is organized quite a while before
the actual time as they had to give time for people to get to there home town. In the middle east, families practice
hospitality as a point of honour, and with people coming into town, people would be opening their homes to them. Joseph according
to the biblical account is an upright man and so would have taken into account that his wife was pregnant. Knowing it was
days of journey, he probably organized to get their early to be sure she was okay and to give time en-route to allow for unforeseen
eventualities as a result of the pregnancy. There is nothing in the biblical account of the story to say they didn’t
arrive a week or two prior to the time. Based on middle eastern culture this is far more likely
than them arriving at the last moment.
The story of the inn comes from the word translated
as “inn” in the bible. This is the same word that is translated as “Upper room” later in
the bible. The context does not say the word should be “inn” and “upper room” makes much more sense.
Archaeological digs confirm that it does and I will now explain why!
Middle Eastern houses
of the time didn’t have heating systems in winter so people conserved whatever heat they could generate. For
this reason the houses are built in various levels. There is a lower level that livestock use. People took livestock into
their homes to act as heat generators, to keep them from thieves and wild beasts of prey.
Heat rises, and so the highest
room in the house, the “upper room” was the warmest. This was given to the honoured guests. Middle Eastern hospitality
dictated guests be treated well. The main level of the house lay between these two.
Joseph and Mary arrived in town, probably quite a while before census day. Joseph would have been known because it
was his family town. NOBODY in the middle east would EVER turn away a pregnant women. To do so would have brought dishonour
on the house and the family! So the family took them in, but their upper room was not available so they put the couple up
in the living space with the rest of the family.
So Mary was among friends and family.
There were probably midwives and women around to help her in childbirth. Jesus was born into a warm family atmosphere in the
To find a place to put the baby where he would be safe from rolling around,
away from where adult feet could step on him, and where he could be comfortable, they cleared out one of the mangers.
The manger would have probably been an indentation in the living room floor at the end where the
livestock level began. In this was the cattle could get their heads over into the manger that was one level up from their
lower level. This was a way of providing them feed during the night.
By clearing a manger out and putting
in some fresh hay, wrapping the baby in cloth and putting him into the indentation, they were putting him in a safe comfortable
spot in the family area of the house.
So Jesus was born into a homely atmosphere,
probably with more tender care than is found for a mother in our current hospitals.
a wonderful way to enter our world! How about we think of that when we see the commercial nativity scenes that depict something
that probably never happened! More to come on this subject! Have a great day!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
How were the sacred books gathered? Are there others? Can we trust them? part 2
Wed, December 16, 2009 | link
We discussed the Old Testament
books previously (see two days back)
So then what about the New Testament? They were
written after Jesus died, rose and went to heaven.
We have the gospels, written but the guys who knew and walked around with Jesus when he was on the
earth. Once they realized they might die, they wanted to be sure people knew what Jesus said and did so they wrote it down.
Then there are Paul’s letters, probably written to Christians before the gospels were written. They explain what we
should do! They have great application information as to how those early Christian folk needed to do what Jesus desired.
Then there’s those letters from others
at the time that explain what the church was doing, where it was to go and what its objectives should be. These were all written
before 90A.D. ( approximately) and since we think Jesus died in his late thirties, these were written within a short time
of his life!
copied these writings by hand and needless to say, there are small differences in the copies. That’s
why bibles have footnotes that indicate alternative options. This is where some people get angry with each other, often deep
differences start and arguments arise. Over time these difference have cleared and God’s Spirit has give primary and
Over the ages people copying these manuscripts changed them slightly (not necessarily intentionally) This is why
we have experts who argue about this until they reach some understanding! The core meaning of the words is however not often
argued about, although the context and selection of meanings are sometimes difficult to clearly define.
The texts themselves warn us about
how we should treat these gathering and writing of translations. Revelation 22:18-19 (New International Version) says “
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the
plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his
share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
So we can rest assured the Canon is one
clearly understood “gathering in” of the manuscripts into books of the bible. These books
are arranged in a special way. Christians consider that God in the form of His Spirit has guided people over the ages to come
up with the bibles we have. However, just remember, to get the original meaning, there is nothing like going back to the original
texts!Have a great day!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A “Good” person, and “Private Ryan”. . .
Tue, December 15, 2009 | link
This weekend I viewed that classic Spielberg movie about
Ryan is one of four brothers, three
of which are killed in the invasion of Europe during the war. The American government decides to get Private
Ryan back to his mother and eight men are sent to find him in the war torn world.
dishonour, honour, and horrific war action are all depicted. This is not a movie for the faint of heart or the young
of heart. Language is rough, as it normally is in military settings, (I know this since I was in the infantry for two years
in peace keeping duties).
As these men search for Ryan, some get killed off.
Finally the captain leading the group dies, but before he does so he tells Ryan to live a good life. The implication is that
somehow his life that he had to live, needed to make up for the needless death of the eight men and all the others they killed,
(and plenty death occurs in that movie). The movie ends with Ryan, now an old man turning to his mother and saying “Tell me, have I lived a good life?”
the question we should ask ourselves today. If we turned to someone who knew us either today, or when we get to those last
days on this earth and asked them “Tell me, have I lived a good life?” what would they say?
If we are atheists, this is a question that shouldn’t be asked! In fact, the whole movie
is worthless. If there is no purpose to life the number of men who die to save aone man means nothing! However, since
this movie was a box office hit at the time it came out, I don’t see us people on this Earth subscribing to a purposeless
Now think about this! For our lives to have purpose, there must be absolute
good and consequently there must also be absolute evil! For our lives to have purpose we have to be attempting to
further absolute good! That’s why we must look at each day with joy, energy and thankfulness. Each day is another opportunity
to make life better than it was yesterday. Today should be worse than tomorrow and better than yesterday! We can make a difference! All we have to do is to try and connect with
God (so we can know what absolute good is) and try and make today a bit better than yesterday. Jesus needs to be involved
to wipe away the selfish, ignorant and nasty(sin) things we did yesterday. That way we can at any time say “Tell me,
have I lived a good life?” and get the absolute answer “Yes” from God and those around us.
we move towards Christmas, we need to thank God that he makes this possible, and also perhaps send a prayer out for
our youth to remember the freedom to celebrate this wonderful time was bought with a price of lives by many men just a few
lets live a good life!
Not everyone manages, but I personally
want to strive for this.
What about you?
Monday, December 14, 2009
How were the sacred books gathered? Are there others? Can we trust them?
Mon, December 14, 2009 | link
Today I thought I would give us a bit of history of the bible texts. The picture describes a summary of some of those
This table places the biblical texts into
a timeframe and groups them into broad types of texts. The
word Canon speaks of those manuscripts gathered and selected as being part of the bible.
There were various ways this came into
being as godly men over time tried to remove false writing from the true.
For the New Testament (NT) some of the criteria used included
that of closeness of the writer to Jesus. Also, closeness in relationship to the twelve apostles that
Jesus taught when he was alive on the Earth was a factor. Those writings are considered more important since they are written
by people closest to Jesus and his time. Sort of like writing down what happens on holiday or shortly afterwards so you can
talk about it accurately in a year or two’s time. Without doing that we forget stuff fairly soon, and worse, we can
start to make stuff up without knowing it. As
I go through this discussion, I want to start with pointing out this bible is made up of over 1000 manuscripts and
thousands of scraps. The King James Version of the bible that western people almost “idolize”
as the “best” form, is not even close to the original manuscripts! It is written in English!
No part of that original bible was in English!
Hebrew and Greek are the main languages and you need to understand Aramaic as well! That’s if
you want to read the original! Fortunately, we have lots of tools to help us understand the difference between our English
versions and the original. We just must remember that English didn’t exist when the bible manuscripts and scrolls were
being written. English came long afterwards! This must be kept in mind if we are to properly understand our bible!
If we want to understand a bit about the
bible, we have to understand that by speaking English and reading it in English,(or any language except the original Hebrew
and Greek) we are losing a lot of meaning before we start! Sorry folk, but I did start off with pointing out that we want
to be truthful. This is being truthful!Can we trust our
English versions? What versions can we trust?
Over the centuries, many men and women have worked hard to get us the best bible content possible.
I don’t want to bore us, but teams of people have worked for years to get us what we have. Some were willing to die
for any mistake they made. The authenticated versions we have are all pretty good. Some are more accurate than others but
generally those based on those ancient texts do their best to represent them faithfully!
Before we consider the bible texts in more detail think
about this; If God inspired people to write texts guided by Holy Spirit, then it will only be those original
texts ,as written by the original writers, that are the valid texts! This gives us a bit of a dilemma. How many original
texts exist and how do we know who wrote them?
In the Old Testament, most people think that either the book of Job, or Genesis are the oldest of
the manuscripts in the old testament.
The Old Testament texts are gathered in what is termed the “Massoretic” texts.
This was written in Hebrew, compiled from ancient manuscripts and checked for accuracy against parts of the Old Testament
found in the Dead Sea scrolls. [They were written by scribes called Massoretes, so that’s how they got that name] Basically
it comprises the “Tanakh” or the bible used in Judaism. This is in turn broken into groupings called the “Torah”
or “ Teaching”, the “Nevi'im” or “Prophets” and the “Ketuvim” or “writings”.
This text and the Christian bible Old Testament have a very high degree of correspondence to each other.
There are many non-biblical references
to these writings that go a long way back. Various historians such as guys called Josephus and Philo reference them. There
are quotations on coins, pottery, amulets etc. This shows they were really old!
When we consider the bible that Jesus used, we find he used this
Tanakh, but also used another called the “Septuagint” or “LXX”. This version of the
Old Testament bible was requested by a non-Jewish and non-Christian world leader before Jesus was born. Alexander
the Great, who was Greek wanted people to respect their own religions, but wanted all people to speak Greek as a common language.
It was one of his Greek Kings, Ptolemy, that commissioned seventy two scholars to translate the Judaic religious texts into
the “Septuagint” which was the Old Testament bible in Greek.
Jesus used these when he walked on this earth. In addition, Jesus also
at times seems to quote from another source, different from the Massoretic text and the Septuagint, but one that we no longer
have today! [Let’s keep looking]
So, if Jesus used these versions, I guess we can, right?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Special Friends! . . .are you a special friend?
Sun, December 13, 2009 | link
friends are. . .SPECIAL!
Ever wake-up in a beautiful place wonderfully content and relaxed, to be greeted with a vivid fresh morning that seems to be
different to many others. The smells are wonderful, (perhaps that aroma of a breakfast you really like!). The colors seem
brighter, the sounds seem to have an unusual intensity and beauty, and that sky is a magnificent blue that makes life feel
great! A lazy comfortable streatch and you know it’s going to be a good day!
Those are amazing mornings! They are special! They don’t come along often, but sometimes we can only exclaim, “Wow! God what a fantastic
a bit like that with special friends. I hope you have lots
of friends, but more than that I pray you have special friends. They are those people who when we see them our heart does
a little jump for joy, our mood improves, and we know the day is going to get better! Special friends are different in that
if we have not seen them for a while and we meet again, it’s almost as if we have never been away. Time gives way to
this type of friendship.
Special friends are the type of people that you can talk to about anything! Special friends even take our painful comments and don’t change their love for us! They are
consistent. If we need help, and we call to them, they will come if they possibly can! They don’t ask for rewards for
friendship and don’t count the cost of the friendship. They are special!
I am very blessed to have a good number of special friends. Amazingly most of these special friends are also Christian friends. Not all! Some
are friends from my youth, like classmates from school, others I met when I was studying at university, others touched my
life through sport or church or work!
These are people who I have to say make life worth living well. Many of them inspire me to become better than I am. Just this last week we had ½ a meter of
snow up in our part of the world and special friends came out to our home as we were away down south. They knocked the snow
off my carport so that it would not cave in. That was wonderful. Then other friends came to do the same, and seeing the snowed
in driveway, they started up my snow blower and cleared it! Self sacrifice that I really, really appreciated! Special friends!
I pray you have a special friend or two!
Fortunately we always have one very special friend. He stepped in to make sure we would not have
an accident that could cause us pain for longer than we can imagine. He has made it possible for us to always be with him.
He is a very powerful person who can pull strings with life itself! Yes ,you know who I am referring to. . .God!
He makes it possible
for us to avoid being selfish, ignorant and nasty in life
and doesn’t get upset with us when we are like that. He got beaten up and died of the treatment he received to protect
us from that and far worse. He wants us to be wonderful people who love others and become their special friends. Not because
of duty, but because of love that is selfless, pouring itself into the lives of others, improving their lives! It is
a God kind of life that changes us to be a little more like God himself!
So, let’s thank God for special friends and let’s be special friends
to those around us who need special friends!