Christianity is Marvelous

Christianity is a marvelous religion. There are five truths which are worth mentioning:

      1. It’s known for its timelessness of ideas
      2. It’s eternal concepts greet believers
      3. God shows his all-encompassing nature
      4. He reveals his interconnectedness of creation
      5. Humankind is shown to have natural limitations

Timelessness of Ideas

Throughout the millennium of our existence such notions have evolved which are traditionally and culturally bound. From age to age, these ideas have been passed down orally and have become part of the world’s literature. About timelessness, Paul Rand (1914 – 1996), art director and graphic designer, wrote, “The principal role of a logo is to identify, and simplicity is its means … Its effectiveness depends on distinctiveness, visibility, adaptability, memorability, universality, and timelessness.” Inevitably, Rand, although he was referring to graphics, touched on the characteristics of Christianity, which have lasted throughout the ages.

Eternal Concepts

In all cultures, there’s a belief in an eternal existence. From the beginning of time, people from different faith traditions debated and expressed confidence in this reality. Christianity stands out prominently as one of these faiths, where our creator is worshiped and adored. Clearly, the promise of living in an afterlife is central to this faith. In Jesus Christ – the son of God, our greatest teacher, who died on the cross at Calvary, rests our eternal hope. Henry Adams (1838 – 1918), historian and member of the Adams political family, reminded us: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Undoubtedly, Jesus was the premiere teacher of all time, his life’s history, and teachings are vividly recorded in the Gospels.

God’s All-Encompassing Nature

Christian religious leaders focus on the omnipresence of God. Jesus Christ is part of the Trinity and a monotheistic God. Because of him, Christians can deduce, according to Albert Pike (1809 – 1891), attorney, writer, and Freemason: “One man is equivalent to all Creation. One man is the World in miniature.” Interestingly, it was sin that came into the world through Adam and Eve, when they both ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. To this day, as their descendants, we continue to be harmed by their defiance. It was through Jesus Christ – the new Adam, who later became the pioneer of our salvation.

Interconnectedness of Creation

There are linkages all around us that clearly demonstrate our interconnectedness, to all living, and non-living entities. Such matters appear simple, but still they are complex. Just image the existence of energy fields, the air we breathe, the water we drink which sustains us, and our relationships with other animals, creatures, insects, and plants. Let us celebrate the solar systems, galaxies which are vital to our lives, and existence. What a great God he is, who has brought into existence the elements, landscapes, of the earth – mountains, valleys, seas, oceans and rivers, putting our unique ecological systems in place.

Limitations of Humankind

Humans are finite beings, unlike our creator who’s infinite in every way. Our minds are limited. Individuals who depend only on their logical minds in making decisions are considered by theologians to be rather foolish. Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943), Serbian American inventor and futurist, explained, “It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the more gratifying results of intellectual revolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.” It’s clear that men and women tend to stress their minds, as the primarily seats of knowledge, and learning, but God looks at our hearts. This is why the Bible reveals how God bases his knowledge of us, in determining the condition of our souls, concerning if we’ll be fit for his eternal blessings, in heaven.

Bridges Of Love

In life it’s necessary to build bridges of love vertically and horizontally. A vertical bridge must be to God above – Our Heavenly Father. A horizontal one is by loving our families, neighbors, friends and strangers. Jesus who is love died on a cross at Calvary for us. Let such love begin flowing from above and around us, for it unites and sustains us. At its summit, it’s creative, and brings out the best in this broken and divided world. Its flames are indestructible, sweeping across nations, and transforming cultures. It’s also inspirational to love and be loved. Blessed are those who love even their enemies. They are a courageous and merciful lot. Love never discriminates and Christians know how to reach out passionately, with love.

Elisabeth Elliot (b. 1926),Christian author and speaker, observes, “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss. The great symbol of Christianity means sacrifice and no one who calls himself a Christian can evade this stark fact.” True love is the cross, an ideal bridge to spiritual maturity, because Jesus showed us where there’s loss, there’s truly gain.

Inspire Hope

A bridge is love for it transports and inspires hope. It calls us to do so to all persons, while proclaiming the risen Christ. By doing so, Christians are strengthened by the Holy Spirit, a fundamental principle of hope. It, like love, has to be fervent and a lamp to light. It awakens justice for all, and especially those who are marginalized in society. Christians are able to find their inspiration through the Bible which speaks directly to their hearts. Brad Henry (b. 1963), member of Democratic Party and 26th Governor of Oklahoma feels, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” Learning is the foundation for progress in a country which serves as unique ways of building bridges of hope.

Father – Church’s Pastor

The church is a missionary body. Through its ministries, a pastor constantly builds bridges to his parishioners and community. They reach out to villages and towns around the world. Much of this is done through the religious awakening of the flock. Parishioners and community workers become literally on fire for Christ, when serving their fellowmen and women. In believers’ minds a biblical spirit lingers. Such folks are humble that live according to the teachings of Scripture. They proclaim the Word of Truth to those who hunger for justice. When witnessing they acquire spiritual depth. These men and women are prudent in discernment, embracing pastoral challenges, with vigor and enthusiasm. Known for their charitable works, their presence extends to overpopulated slum areas, of major cities. Robert C. Shannon (b. 1930), retired preacher living in North Carolina, expresses his gratitude for missionary work when he says, “Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is – – where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.”

Obstacles & Misunderstandings

Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997), Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary in India, commented, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” Christians must work with and anoint the poor and dialogue with people of different cultures, when seeking ways of bettering their circumstances. There should be more inter-religious meetings with believers of different faiths.

No longer must the center seems as though it isn’t a part of the whole. Osmosis between the center and the periphery must be promoted for everyone to become involved. Access to the sacraments have been a sticking point among some Christian denominations. Why must this be? Since we’re one, in the body of Christ. There are disagreements too, over family rights issues. In some conservative congregations, the definition of marriage has led to splits, and break away denominations. These Christians must realize that they are all concerned about Christian values, although some may be more traditional than others. Isn’t it true that we shouldn’t judge, for only God knows the contents of our hearts? With these controversies, building bridges might not be, as simple as it appears. Our journeys are laden with impediments which continue to divide us. It’s imperative Christians make a greater effort to reach out in their murky landscapes of doubt. Let the Holy Spirit show us the way.

Abundant Blessings

Through character building we ought to share God’s transforming love with others. In providing these blessings to the unloved, let them see that our hearts are filled with goodness. When doing so, we are declaring to the world our love of lives. This is one of the faces of love which is glorious to live by.

Dennis Prager (b. 1948), political conservative, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and author explains, “That goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” As the old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” We have to love people to treat them right. This must be one of our foremost goals in loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968), Baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement was certain when he declared, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.” To our nation, King’s challenge to us is to form benevolent characteristics concerning race relations. People matter regardless of their race, religion, or national origin.

True love inevitably faces challenges – some good and bad. Walter Anderson (1903 – 1965), painter, writer, and naturalist, foresaw, “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” As our characters continue to take shape as we journey through life, consideration has to be given to the ways we respond to adversities. Some have experienced these difficulties and concluded, it was truly those difficult times which motivated them to higher levels of understanding in their lives. These were defining moments which helped shape their attitudes towards others.

These realizations were supported by Helen Keller (1880 – 1968), author, political activist, and lecturer, who observed, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Keller was realistic about challenges in our lives. We are essentially pots in our Maker’s hands to be shaped in the ways he wishes.

To love deeply is to be faithful in love. That’s why love and friendship go together. Signs of God’s love are often expressed in our families. Billy Graham (b. 1918), evangelical Christian evangelist and Southern Baptist minister was of the opinion, “The greatest legacy one person can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” In truth, character is treating others the way you want to be treated. When children and grandchildren see these in our actions, their visions about life become clearer in their relationships with family members, friends, and strangers.

In addition to living and doing for others, try to be loved for your good works. Let people see love in your lives when you reach out in our broken world. Let us celebrate love in action and rejoice in the Lord. John Wooden (1910 – 2010), basketball player and coach reminded us, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Your major goal in life is to build a fine character, of service to others. We are here on earth to help each other build up the body of Christ. These are some of the amazing gifts which come with living in obedience to Christ’s teachings. We must be open to giving and receiving love. These my friends are our abundant blessings.

Be Happy Again

Are you a damaged human being? What are your ailments? Constant headaches, low energy, aches, pains, tense muscles, or are you nervous with cold and sweaty palms, walking around with clenched jaws, and grinding your teeth? Do you suffer heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, ulcers, and are known to have violent outbursts of anger? Do you have a mental health problem, eating disorders, or are you obese? Then, you might well be worn out by the demands of the world.

You might have a lack of appetite, hooked on alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. Maybe you are pacing the floor, fidgeting at home, and work. You just can’t seem to settle down. Because of this behavior, you might be unable to marshal your thoughts, and focus at work. With such afflictions, you might also be afflicted with chronic diseases – diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic renal failure, or congested heart failure. These might all be symptoms that you are burnout, bored, emotionally overloaded, and unappreciated.

More signs showing that you are worn out with the world, are when you don’t sleep well at night, have no sexual desire, and fear going to work. This could all be because of the rat race you are a part of. Constantly popping pills, suffering from frequent colds and infections, you don’t seem able to keep away from the doctor’s office, because you’re so unrelentingly stressed.

Do you have a competitive spirit? That’s what the world taught you from childhood. “Be the best that you can. The sky is the limit.” You were coerced in joining the bandwagon of competitors. You’re now in overdrive, working 16 hours per day. Hooked on your technological devices – smart phones and laptop computers, you just can’t even find time, to read a book. Although being overweight, with bad eating habits, physical activities aren’t a part of you daily routine. You fail to take the warning from the quotation anthologist, Terri Guillemets (b. 1973) who says, “If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched.” So, now you are paying the price.

How can you be happy again?

It was the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) who observed, “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” You’ve always felt this way. There’s a huge price to pay with trying to keep up with the Joneses. Your life is now in disarray. It’s time to slow down and smell the roses.

The first step is to continue seeing your doctor for treatment, take medications as prescribed, and follow his advice . It might be that you should be having counseling, but remember not to keep God, out of the picture. Pray to him. He’ll provide for your every need. You’ll find that knowing our Lord and Jesus Christ will profoundly bring to your life, peace, love, joy, and hope. It isn’t that you will no longer have problems, but with his spiritual grounding, he’ll defend you from bad experiences, you have been having.

It isn’t that you will not become ill, but through our Lord’s grace, you’ll be able to put matters in their proper perspective. It’s true, Christians do suffer. Some saints did so willingly, for redemptive purposes, but others have prayed for healing, and were healed. It’ll be important in your Christian walk to bring all things – good and bad, before the Lord. Then, your life will have the basics of purposeful= driven living. Bear in mind that we were never meant to be competitive by the way we live. All gifts in the Lord’s eyes are equal. Talents could be observed in every part of the body of Christ. An eye can’t say to a foot, “I’m more important than you.” We’re all important and talented in our own way. This is what you ‘ll discover in living successful lives.

State of Blessedness

It’s good to live in a state of blessedness where there’s glory and honor. Much of this is achieved by a person living with the great dignity. In his or her joy, he or she will proclaim the victory won by the risen Christ. Known for his or her discerning spirits, such a person will traverse a path of holiness in the strength of the spirit. He or she will live to see his or her hopes come to fruition.

Charles Stanley (b. 1932), senior pastor of First Baptist Church in northern Atlanta, Georgia, founder and president of In Touch Ministries observed, “To have God speak to the heart is a majestic experience, an experience that people may miss if they monopolize the conversation and never pause to hear God’s responses.” Being in a state of blessedness means that we are prepared to listen willingly to the plight even the least among us – the poor, hungry, suffering, homeless, and exploited.

Holy Cheerfulness

A person who is holy is filled with an admiration for Christ and known for living in a Christian way. He or she accomplishes this putting all their might in works and singing hallelujahs to a risen Christ. In this blessed state, there are marked expressions of majestic sounds with sweet melodies praising God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mourning and suffering, crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, won’t be impediments to such true Christians, because they know that they are traveling consciously towards heaven.

C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963), a novelist, poet, literary critic, theologian, and Christian apologist, reminded us, “We all want progress, but if you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” Simply put, if a man or woman finds himself or herself careening down the wrong path, he or she must not give up, the lesson is to turn back and go down the road which leads to salvation.

The Highest Praise

The blessed praise God by raising their voices to heaven. He and she will have praises flow effusively out of their mouth from the depths of their being. These praises may also emanate from the chords of stringed instruments which accompany a choir at church. This praise will be an overflowing fountain of joy and delight celebrating the victory Christ has won on the cross. Christians most honorable work are blessed by Christ. It’s their witnessing, being in awe spiritually, with Christ being the center of every activity. Such persons’ praise in the spirit is spiritually animated.

Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982), a Russian-born American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter wrote in her book Fountainhead, “I could die for you. But I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, live for you.” This is exactly what Jesus did for us. However, as men and women we have to live our own lives, make choices, mistakes, and if we are on the wrong track, turn back and seek what’s right, like Lewis previously observed.

Flame of Love

A blessed spirit will display a pure flame of love. His or her whole life for eternity is filled with an ever-present light. Each person has to undertake an action of blessedness which will never cease. Their infinite brightness enlightens any lingering darkness in the inner recesses of their being. His or her love will never fail and drive away the filth which tarnishes them. By His grace of love, divinity, and authenticity there’s an empowering service. These attributes lead to the gift of salvation.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828 – 1889), an English theologian and bishop of Durham, pointed out, “Eternal truth, eternal righteousness, eternal love; these only can triumph, for these only can endure.” Obviously, for a believer the road of a blessed life is a triumphant one. All, he or she has to do, is to commit to a Christian faith tradition, grow with, and in it, and be everlastingly blessed in this state of divinity.