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Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.


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Three Attitudes to Beat the After Holiday Blues

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Being a little down after the holiday season is perfectly normal.  We see family that we haven’t seen in a while and then they quickly go.  Divorce divides the children and leaves one parent alone.   This time of year forces us to look behind us at goals not met and a new year already upon us.  We feel our age, and wonder how time has escaped us.

It’s all mental.  Warfare of the mind.  There is only one way to fight this spiritual battle of the blues.  The Word of God.  Here are three positive attitudes found in scripture along with suggested mental exercises to help in banishing these painful thoughts.

Live in the NOW

Regrets can haunt.  The only thing that looking over your shoulder is good for is education.  Look back and learn, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Looking to the future can bring fear and dread.  The only thing good about looking to the future is education.  Look ahead and prepare, then train your eyes to see what is now.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

 First Mental Exercise:  Use your phone to record yourself spontaneously  thanking God for everything you see as you walk around your environment.  Play it back for yourself.  Sometimes the best teacher for yourself is yourself.

Take Control

How easily it is for the mind to wander.  Today on my walk, someone’s naughty, little pooch stood just outside a dog-sized hole in her fence yipping at me.  She had squeezed through the gap, intent on wandering the neighborhood.

This is exactly what my mind does y’all when I don’t keep it contained, controlled, fenced in…thinking only  of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) … when I allow myself to squeeze through the culture-sized hole in the fence of my mind and wander away from safety, dwelling on things that crush my joy.

Second Mental Exercise:   Take a break from social media and listen to a Christian speaker on YouTube or maybe a little private praise with your favorite worship music.  Look on my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Hope

Sometimes lost hope creates a pity party.  The enemy loves to fill you with dark thoughts about yourself and the life you lead.    The Liar throws shadows on truth until all you want to do is watch TV and eat ice cream.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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Satan urges you to forget that God is highly invested in you and has beautiful plans for your life.  Plans for you to do good works in His name.  Plans for you to live for Him, not for self.

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

Third Mental Exercise:  This is where the church comes in y’all.  It’s time to phone, email, or text a friend.   Find a believer who knows scripture and explain exactly how you are feeling.  Request scriptures and prayer.  Spend time looking at the scripture given to you as if it were sent from God.

It was.

Feeling low after the excitement of the holidays? Grandchildren left and took their laughter with them? Divorce made you lonely? Death left an emptiness? Here are three attitudes to help with the after holiday blues.

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One final scripture for you to meditation on…

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:7

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+  Picture taken outside of my classroom one morning on a foggy day

++ Picture taken at the Grand Canyon of me taking it all in…

+++Picture taken after at storm at the family ranch in Montana

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Just because your house burns down doesn't mean you are abandoned by God. He is mysterious and His plans are always at work. My whole family learned a powerful lesson about Acts 17 the year my sister's house caught fire.


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When Finding a Lost Sheep Means Your House Burns Down

Just because your house burns down doesn't mean you are abandoned by God. He is mysterious and His plans are always at work. My whole family learned a powerful lesson about Acts 17 the year my sister's house caught fire.

I have two  missionary friends who have suddenly found themselves with no options left to them.  From circumstances beyond their control, they have had to return to the states.  Each one only served in the field for a few months.   Prayerful dedication to spreading the Word had prompted their initial decision to serve.  Months and years of preparation was at stake.  What happens when God says, “Change of plans, my child.”  What happens when God moves you?  When He changes your location? Your job?  Your church? Sends you to a hospital room?   When the move is inevitable but YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO GO!  What do you do?

You go.

This prompts me to remember  the time my sister’s house burned down.  She was forced to move…to relocate.  I can’t wait to tell you this story.

It was an insatiable thirst and restless dreaming that saved her life.  She woke up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and heard the fire crackling downstairs, woke her family, called the fire department, and then stood across the street watching the fire and water take all of her material possessions.

I want to pause in my story to unfold a scripture for you.  My sister’s story is Acts 17:26-27 lived out in the flesh.

God began by making one man, and from him he made all the different people who live everywhere in the world. He decided exactly when and where they would live.

 God wanted people to look for him, and perhaps in searching all around for him, they would find him. But he is not far from any of us

I love the word “exactly” in the Easy to Read Version.  It shows the meticulous detail God takes in our location and relocation.  In my sister’s story, the relocation was to a certain God-picked rental house while construction on the burned house began.  Coincidence?  Not according to this verse.

Okay y’all, this is my favorite part.  As the title suggests, there was a sheep to be found. His family lived next door to the rental house.  The man next door was suffering with liver disease  and unbeknownst to him did not have long to live.  He was a skeptic at first, full of hard questions. But my brother-in-law and sister led him to Jesus, and he was baptized in the hospital just days before he died.  He left behind a wife who had also committed her life to Jesus.   She continued to study the scriptures with rejoicing because of the salvation that had come to their household.

Here is the moral to the story.  The shepherd will do anything to get to a lost sheep.

ANYTHING.

Putting us in the right place at the right time is one of God’s specialties.  I love verse 27  from the  New English Translation, stating God’s motivation for deciding where and when we will live.

…so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

The word “grope” is such a visual word.  It reminds me of a classic scenario in the movies.  You know the one where the very near-sighted guy trips and his glasses are knocked off.  We, as the audience, can see where they have fallen, just out of reach.  All the while the blinded character is groping, groping, knowing there is danger, but unable to see…  All it takes is for someone who can see, to nudge the glasses into the path of the searching fingers.

Spiritually, all it takes is for SOMEONE who can see, to nudge the glasses into the path of the searching fingers.  That Someone is God, nudging you, the glasses, into the path of the one groping.  Be the glasses y’all.

Just because your house burns down doesn't mean you are abandoned by God. He is mysterious and His plans are always at work. My whole family learned a powerful lesson about Acts 17 the year my sister's house caught fire.

 

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Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.


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Eating the Lamb of God, In Heaven Part 3

Eating the Lamb of God Series

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.  Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”  Matthew 26:27-29

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.  And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:14-16

I love these scriptures because they give us a glimpse of Heaven, the Father’s Kingdom.  One tidbit  Jesus gives us here about Heaven  is that we will eat and drink.  I don’t know if that thrills you like it does me y’all…but sign me up for heavenly food!  The afterlife is not described as ghostly beings floating around in clouds playing harps.  If that is your idea of heaven, then do I have some good news for you!  Heaven is described as a new earth, inhabited by people in new bodies…bodies that can eat.  (Read Scriptures about the new earth here, and new bodies here)

But the best part of this passage is that we will drink the cup of His sacrifice with the Lord in His Kingdom.  All those times here on earth that we have “remembered” the Lamb while we drank His figurative blood will come to a glorious conclusion on the Day of the Lord.  Did you notice that in the Matthew passage, Jesus did not put His lips to the cup, He did not drink.  He is saving that moment for when He is with all of us.  It is described in Revelation as the wedding feast.   He is the groom.  We, the church, are the bride.

 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:

“Praise the Lord!
    For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
  Let us be glad and rejoice,
    and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
    and his bride has prepared herself.
  She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
    For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. Revelation 19:6-8

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.So use your imagination with me for a minute y’all….you have gathered together with all the believers after the separation of the sheep and the goats.  The King now has invited you into His kingdom, by saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  You are ushered into an immense hall, with tables ladened with a wedding feast, beautifully lit by the glory of God.    You find a seat among the joyful throng and every eye is on the groom.  He stands before you, before us all, and lifts His cup…ready to finally drink a toast to His bride.  And in all His majesty,  He looks You in the face, the Holy Spirit stirring in your body, and repeats what He said to His disciples so many years ago, “This is my blood, which confirmed the covenant between God and his people. It was poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.”  Did you feel the vibration  of His majestic voice when He spoke those words?    And now He invites you to drink.  Do you taste the wine slide down your throat as you join your groom in the beginning of life together in His Kingdom?   I hope your imagination is working overtime because anything you can possibly imagine is nothing compared to the real thing.  Excited shivers for everyone!  Let the wedding banquet begin.

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You might be interested in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Eating the Lamb of God series.  Click below.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

 

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.


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How I Explained Communion to a Muslim Visitor

Eating the Lamb of God series

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.

I had the opportunity to teach a Muslim visitor about communion recently,  after I had written this post,  and while it was fresh on my mind.  He had been visiting our congregation with a friend, and when the Lord’s Supper was passed I heard his friend frantically try to explain this Christian symbol to him.  So what would you say?  Would you use the standard explanation, “The bread is the body, the juice is the blood?”  But these words could not possibly make sense to someone who knows nothing of Moses and the Passover.  It seemed prudent to me to offer him an abbreviated history lesson so he could fully understand why we worship the Son of God.  But this is no ordinary history lesson y’all.  This one is rich with imagery from the Holy Spirit.  You will get an idea from my post of some of the things we talked about.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper.   Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine.   Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.   

Each denomination has their own “communion culture” that can sometimes contribute to lulling those eating into repetitious ritual.  Most of us don’t even think about the beautiful back story that sets the stage for the meal with Jesus in the upper room.

I have to stop and tell you how exciting this part is to me. I’m getting goosebumps with the perfection of it all. GOD is so great and powerful that HE explains spiritual things to HIS earthly people by using figurative language. All those of you who loved that aspect of literature when you were in school, you came by it naturally. Similes, metaphors, personification…all of it, from HIM. Your FATHER started it all. So go symbolically deep with me y’all… The Lord’s supper was originally Passover.  The Passover meal was first initiated in Exodus 12 when the Israelites prepared to flee the Egyptians. They were to smear the blood of a spotless lamb over the doorpost of their homes, then cook the lamb and eat it as part of the meal along with bread with no yeast. The Angel of Death would pass over the homes with the blood, sparing the ones inside.

That night the blood of a spotless lamb saved them.

THAT NIGHT THE BLOOD OF A SPOTLESS LAMB SAVED THEM. (This is me shouting from the rooftops)

For further spiritual tingles:18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. 1 Peter 1:18-20 (NLT)

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

So let’s put it all together. The Lord’s Supper is patterned after the Passover meal where the Israelites ate the sacrificial lamb that saved them. Similarly we eat the figurative sacrificial Lamb that saves us, HIS body and blood. Metaphorically His blood was smeared on the doorpost to ransom us.  This is very meaningful symbolism and spiritually mind blowing. I am not suggesting that anything mystical happens to the bread and wine, but listen y’all, I am suggesting that while you eat this meal, your Spiritual experience could be off the charts.

Put your boots on y’all..we’re going deeper.  Symbolically we are placing the body and the blood in the Holy Temple of GOD (you) where it becomes part of the Temple (you), as you proclaim the Lord’s death until He returns. You are a vessel of JESUS symbolically and literally. Who out there still has a poor body image? Well stop it! You are the Temple of the HOLY SPIRIT. You are sanctified. . I love taking the LORD’s supper, don’t you? (read scripture here)

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.i love 2

 

 

You also might be interested in Part 2 and Part 3 of the Eating the Lamb of God series.  Click below.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 

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