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I would love to have a debate with Thoreau.  Scratch that. I’m almost certain we are equally opinionated and I would end up dumping him out of his little row-boat into Walden Pond.  Truth is vital, but it needs to be tempered with love.

A friend believes that more than anything we need to hear the unvarnished truth.  She’s been known to give someone a bucket full of reality in the middle of a dinner party and then announce to any and all, “You hadn’t straightened her out but I took care of it.”  I’m still having trouble looking my sister-in-law in the eye.

The crazy part of the whole situation is that I’m all for truth.  I loathe being lied to but I also acknowledge that truth without love is often more of a weapon than a gift.  No, you don’t really want to know what I think about your hair cut and please oh please do not ask me if those pants make your butt look big.

Yesterday Lori wrote about Christ’s light.  How about holding that truth into the light before you share it with everyone?  Do you see a glimmer of love or is that a stain of malicious intent?  Love and truth together can do remarkable good so share them far and wide.  The other?  I’m not sure what you should do with it but sharing it is probably a really bad idea.

–SueBE

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Yesterday it was clear that one of my girlfriends was just frustrated.  “I’m trying to hard to make things better.  Why do they all focus on the negative?”

I wish I knew.  The fact of the matter is that some people seem to relish negativity.  They wrap themselves in it.  They parade it around.  They are constant prophets of doom.

But something hit me yesterday during church.  I don’t have to fix them.

Instead, I can do Christ’s work.  I can continue to hold up His Light.  Some of these people may notice.  Some of them may join me.  And if they do, welcome aboard.  But if they don’t?

My goal is to elevate Christ’s Light so that it can be seen by those who are simply lost.  It can offer hope to those who are seeking it.  It can draw in those praying for something better.  Those have been my goals all along.

–SueBE

Where did we get the idea that we should alway win?  Seriously, I don’t remember my mom telling me that.

Besides winning carries with it its own set of problems.  Something that authors talk about is the imposter syndrome.  Following a big sale, you start to wonder.  Do I really deserve to be here?  Can I do it again?  What if this was just a fluke?

Authors may talk about it but I bet the rest of you feel the same way periodically.  What if, after a promotion, you simply can’t do the job?  What if you come to regret the move into the new house?  Getting into your dream college?

This is why it is vital that we all be true to who and whose we are.  Christ was clear.  Honor God.  Honor your neighbor, which he defined rather broadly. Help the poor.  Work with the talents God gave you in doing these things.  Be true. Live up to your light.

The rest?  You’ll win some.  You’ll lose some.  That I remember hearing from my mom again and again and again.

–SueBE

Whether you are working for social justice, environmental awareness or simply trying to ease a friend’s burden, you are shining a light into the darkness.  Some will appreciate it.  Others?  Not so much.  But that’s okay.  Keep carrying Christ’s light into the world.  The world oh so badly needs it.

–SueBE

When I saw this quote, it really hit home because of the language so many of us use without thinking.  Those people.  The Germans. The South. Republicans. Muslims. It is so easy to vilify the many because of the actions of the few.  

Then Charlottesville.

A handful of the cruel from here.  A handful from there.  Another couple from over this way. Throw ’em all together and what do you have?  A river of torches moving down the streets.  Riots.  Hatred galore.

Condemn cruelty.  Stand against the perpetrators.  But don’t use it to condemn a religion, a culture or a state.  There are those working to do good even there. And if a handful of us carrying the Light of Christ come together with another handful and a few from here and a few from there.  Christ’s Light will surely push back the darkness.

–SueBE

Whether your big family celebration is Christmas or Christmas Eve, Christmas is only the beginning, the start of a year long celebration of Light, Shalom, the Word.

We had a very special gift this year – Christmas on Sunday. Not only did I get my favorite Christmas Eve candlelight service, I also had a special Christmas morning sermon by Pastor Helen. She presented us with two Christmas stories – the one we all know from Luke but also the story from John.

The light of one candle.

Christ is the light, a gift of structure, a patterned design sent by God to combat the darkness.

What darkness? Read the headlines. Watch the news. The players may be different, but the concerns are much the same.

Poverty. Unemployment. Fear. Prejudice. War. Depression.

No, you alone can’t over come these things and it would be simplistic for me to suggest that you could. But you can carry the Light of Christ with you into the Darkness. One small candle. Drop a coin in a tin cup. Put a canned good into a barrel. Invite someone to dinner in your home even if you are serving something simple like soup and sandwiches. Write someone a note telling them about the difference they have made in your life.

Seventeen candles -- quite a difference.

None of these actions is huge. They are small acts. Tiny candles in a sea of darkness. But think about lighting one small candle each week. One tiny act, 52 times. Now think about the light given off by 52 small candles.

What if I did this? What if you did this? How far would Christ’s light reach into the darkness?

–SueBE

Heavenly Father,
Light in the Darkness,
Joy in our Song,
lead me.

Help me to see
Your Light
Your Love and
Your People in need.

Help me to see
the small ways
that I can
do Your work,
speak Your words,
share Your love
with those I encounter
every day.

In doing so,
let me bear Your Light and
Your Love to
Your People.

Amen

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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