Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Monday - New Year Eve's Day

Social Share Links By: Gail Cardwell

Psalm 46:10  Be still and know that I am God.

My mother's favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night. She would play it over and over again during the Christmas season. While it's difficult to choose any carol as my favorite, I am drawn to Silent Night. When I kneel and stare at the crèche, I am overwhelmed with the Lord's peace - the tranquility of the family before me - brought to this humble place by the grace of God. The humility of the manger, Mary holding her newborn, and Joseph's deep commitment to the Lord are all cloaked in the sanctity of divine silence. Mary's "fiat" demonstrates her complete trust in God. The unity and the harmony of the Holy Family at this moment - this snapshot of perfect trust in God - transcend all the trials of their journey and the earthly anxiety it brought to them.

As a working mother of two sons and spouse of a devoted husband for 23 years, I am constantly juggling schedules and my work and personal life. The economic downturn and high unemployment can lead to significant stress. These are the realities of today's workplace. When I sense the "captivity of activity" taking over, I am reminded of the crèche scene. It wasn't a mere need to perform on the job that the Holy Family faced - it was their entire future. They placed it in the Lord's hands. The more I let go of my troubles and place them in God's holy hands, the better I perform at home and at work. When I presented before my new CEO last year, I prayed for wisdom, humility and for confidence that only the Lord can bring to us. He blessed me with a good night's sleep - a "silent night"- and the divine confidence I needed to perform. With the Lord in charge, my new

CEO complimented me on my presentation. All glory to our Lord for making me still.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Do I begin my day by giving thanks to God before rushing into my daily routine? When a particular problem seems insurmountable, do I place it in the Lord's hands?

O Holy Night
O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviours birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees,
Oh, hear the angels voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night,
O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand;
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend;
He knows our need,
To our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace;
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name;
Christ is the Lord,
Oh, praise His name forever!
His powr and glory evermore proclaim!
His powr and glory evermore proclaim! 


 by Joyce Meyer

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings. —Mark 11:25–26

One of the greatest reasons why prayer isn’t answered among Christians is unforgiveness. Jesus gave His disciples a command to forgive, and then He told them plainly that if they did not forgive, neither would their Father in heaven forgive them their failings and shortcomings. He was blunt with them, because He knew what a stumbling block unforgiveness would be for their spiritual life.

It is important to note that forgiveness and having faith to move mountains comes in the same context. There is no power in speaking to a mountain if the heart is full of unforgiveness. Yet this problem is rampant among God’s children. If there is anything that will short-circuit God from answering our prayers, it’s a heart full of unforgiveness and bitterness toward others. You can’t go into your prayer closet and expect God to move mountains for you or on behalf of others when you’ve hardened your heart with unforgiveness. Extend abundant mercy and forgiveness just as God forgave you in Christ.

Daily Smile:
Charlie took his girl friend to her first football game. They had really good seats, right above their team's dugout. At the end of the game, Charlie asked her if she liked it. "Yeah, it was great," she said. "I mean, with all the tight pants and stuff. I just don't get why all the fuss about a quarter!" Charlie is confused. 

 "At the beginning of the game," she explained, "I saw the two guys flip a quarter. Then the rest of the game, all they said was: Get the quarterback! Get the quarterback! Hello! It's only 25 cents!" 

In The News:

Putin Set to Ban Americans From Adopting Russian Children
Russian president Vladimir Putin said Thursday he would sign a bill banning American families from adopting Russian orphans, apparently in retaliation for U.S. criticism of his nation's human rights record, Fox News reports. The law would block dozens of Russian children expected to be adopted by American families from leaving the country and cut off one of the main international routes for Russian children to leave orphanages. Russia is the single biggest source of adopted children in the U.S., with more than 60,000 Russian children being taken in by Americans over the past two decades. According to UNICEF estimates, there are more than 700,000 Russian orphans but only 18,000 Russians waiting to adopt a child. The U.S. State Department has expressed deep concern about the Russian measure. "The welfare of children is simply too important to be linked to political aspects of our relationship," said spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

Supreme Court Won't Block Contraception Mandate
U.S. Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied a request to immediately block part of Obamacare that requires employers to provide the "morning after pill" and similar drugs, CBN News reports. Hobby Lobby and a sister company sued the government over the requirement, saying it violates their religious beliefs. But Sotomayor said there was no legal ground to block the requirement on an emergency basis, adding that the company can continue its lawsuit in the lower courts. Hobby Lobby officials must now decide if they will violate their faith by going along with the regulation, or pay a daily fine of $1.3 million starting Jan. 1 if they ignore it.

Study: 26 Percent of American Children Grow Up in Single-Parent Homes
A newly released study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that 25.8 percent of American children live in single-parent homes, WORLD Magazine reports. That number is particularly troubling when considering that of the 26 other countries surveyed, the average was 14.9 percent. Among African-Americans, the rate was much worse: 72 percent of black children grow up in single-parent homes. No-fault divorce and social welfare policies are among the possible explanations for the high rates of single-parent homes in the U.S.

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