I breezed through Barnes and Noble Booksellers last night, not seeking any book, but seeking a grande non-fat latte at the Starbucks counter inside, and a place to work while Chandler and his girlfriend were roaming the mall and looking to go ice skating at a rink set up for the holidays. I was tempted to browse because the look and smell of new books, and the time to read them, is such a diminishing reality in our computer-driven culture.
I did notice a display of books and memoirs of former Presidents from Obama on back, and I was drawn to the initial tug of history and nostalgia, but then I had the much bigger thought that what we need is not the pleasure of looking back, but the courage to look ahead and cope with the current reality. That’s the book we need right now. Where to find such a book? Suddenly I realized there was a book for this, and I even had a copy. The book is the Bible, and my, do we ever need it today!
We need what the Bible teaches us about loving God and our neighbors, especially ones who are different from us. We need what it teaches us about how every human being is made in the image of God and designed to be exactly who they are, and how we can find that God-like quality in everybody whether or not they can see it in themselves.
We need what the Bible teaches us about kindness and patience with each other — about lending a hand to those who need it. We need what it teaches us about welcoming the foreigner and the stranger, and what it teaches us about being hospitable to all.
We desperately need what Jesus taught us about loving our enemies, praying for those who are against us, returning good for evil — love for hate, going the extra mile and giving the guy who steals your shirt your coat too. We need what Jesus showed us by serving His disciples — what He showed us about humility.
We need what the Bible teaches us about regret and fear — the two main enemies to growth and freedom. Regret keeps us stuck in the past; fear keeps us from moving out. So we stay put and never increase, or enlarge our territory, or challenge the status quo. Many Christians have fallen prey to this two-pronged nemesis — I, for one, know well this battle.
And finally, we need what the Bible teaches us about the indwelling, empowering presence of the Spirit of God — the source of true change and the power to overcome our regrets and our fears and make us into the kind of people who will exemplify the countercultural characteristics of Christ.
The First Gift
Who Tells Your Story Best?
Tell us a time when the Bells of Christmas broke through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Send the story by voice mail or video to email@example.com. and we will make sure it appears in our New Christmas Catch Magazine, Music that Matters Radio, and at The Catch.
Celebrate the Bells of Christmas
Celebrate the Bells of Christmas while placing more “Boots on the Ground” sharing Grace Turned Outward in 143 countries every day.
Our Team Grace volunteer, Cynthia Vera Cody, and one of Marti’s disciples is taking the lead to bring you opportunities to drive away the darkness and despair of human conflict through our Bells Of Christmas invitation to ring a bell of Christmas hope and honor someone special in doing it.
Each person you wish to honor will receive the First Gift of Christmas sleigh bell with an elegant personalized card of recognition to tell them of the impact they had on your life.
We will also honor them in special announcements within the daily Catch, on Music that Matters radio, on our Facebook page and in the premier edition of The Catch Magazine launching the week before Christmas.
It is our hope that the Bells Of Christmas invitation brings added Joy to you this season.
There is no request for funding – no strings – except the red ribbon on the silver bell.
This is our gift to you to honor someone who has made a difference in your life as we together c celebrate the Bells of Christmas as we continue to place more “Boots on the Ground” sharing Grace Turned Outward in 143 countries every day.
May God through His marvelous grace grant you joy and love this Christmas.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
and John & Marti Fischer
How to order your free gift:
Send your Honorees’ names and addresses to our MemberPartner and First Gift of Christmas volunteer, Cynthia Cody Vera at firstname.lastname@example.org and include any special message you want to include to recognize your honorees on John Fischer Presents Music that Matters radio.
Music that Matters Radio Announcement!
John Fischer Presents: Music that Matters Radio – a presentation of music like you’ve never heard before. Welcome to a truly unique selection of songs you love, songs you’ll wonder about, and songs you’ve never heard before, but most of all … songs that matter.
And you can download the
app and take us with you!
Just open the app in your smart phone and search for
“Music that Matters.”
An Important Word Regarding Our Prayer Ministry
We believe our most significant ministry is handled by our Prayer Warriors under the able leadership of Pastor Merv Keck.
Prayers are being answered daily.
But not unless you send us your requests!
How can we pray for you if we don’t know?
Enter your request today.
so we can pray for your needs and concerns.
Prayer Changes Things
WANT YOUR CATCH EMAIL DELIVERED FREE DAILY? CLICK HERE
Loved Today’s challenge…
Then we need to bravely get off our scared, lazy, and sometimes-vindictive butts and physically visit more places like the bookstores and coffee shops and other marketplace settings where we can intermingle in true sociality (instead of virtual reality), and see others’ eyes, hear others’ words, hold others’ hands, eat and drink in others’ presence, exchange ideas, express warmth through an embrace, and gain better understanding through inflection and body language rather than through characters typed on a keyboard or tweeted through the ether.
We must remove ourselves from behind the pixelized veil of our computer screens and smart-phones that provide a sense of protection and anonymity, and make the bold decision to share time, space, and air with other souls.
We ourselves must enter into the Truth, not just hit the “enter” button.
We ourselves must be the personal deliverers of the Truth, not just hit “send”.
We ourselves must truly be friends with the Truth and each other, not just hit “like”.
If we truly want to see the changes written of in today’s Catch, then we need to be the vanguard of this mission and our individual callings. We need to be the change we want to see.
As the old song says:
“Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me…”