Tag Archives: life

A Couple of Good Purim Lessons For Everyone

Do you celebrate Purim? Unless you are a Jewish child, or have Jewish children/grandchildren, Purim probably isn’t big on your to-do list today. But even if you aren’t celebrating, or Jewish, we can all learn good lessons from this holiday.

Purim comes from Esther, the last book of history in the Old Testament. It takes place when Persians ruled (mid-400’s B.C.). It is a “rabbinical” holiday, meaning that it was not instituted by God’s command, i.e., Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. Rather, somewhat like the 4th of July, it is a celebration of a great victory.

The holiday gets its name from the plural of “pur” or lots. Haman wanted to kill all the Jewish people because a Jewish man named Mordechai would not bow down to him. “Lots” were cast to choose a day for all Jews to be killed in their towns. Instead, though, by God’s providential care, and the work of Esther, God’s people were saved. A day of celebration, “Purim,” commemorates that victory.

Today, Jews celebrate Purim with:

  • Reading Esther.
  • Giving gifts to the poor – a reminder to help the less fortunate.
  • Festivities: decorations, costumes, food, music, etc.

You might ask, “What does that have to do with me?” Consider two great lessons from Purim…

First, Esther was in the right place at the right time to help people. We are equally in the right place at the right time to do something for God’s glory. What is it? I’m not sure what your calling is, but “for such a time as this” you have a purpose! Read Romans 12 and consider your spiritual gift for God’s purpose.

Secondly, Purim celebrates salvation from certain death. A letter of death was sent and their fate was sealed. God intervened. Today, Christians are also saved from the certain death of sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23). But do you celebrate that fact? Remember to thank God for salvation!

So…you may not be dressing up, celebrating, or eating yummy Hamantashen today, but it is always a good time to review some scripture, remember God’s providential care, and rejoice in His victory!

Is Your Light A Quick Flash Or A Life Bringing Light?

meteor showerLate Wednesday evening, particles of dust and ice from the Swift-Tuttle comet should put on a spectacular show in the night sky. These natural “fireworks” might have as many as 100 streaks/hr. And, with the new moon keeping the sky dark, astronomers say the Perseid Meteor shower should be a good show.

Meteor showers are fun to watch, but they aren’t much use for lighting our way. They are a momentary attraction in the night. And they can easily be missed. If you blink at the wrong moment or if you don’t know where to watch in the night sky, you might never even see a meteor shower.

On the contrary, an amazingly brilliant, practically all-encompassing event will take place on Thursday morning. The sun will “rise.” Unfortunately, because of the frequency of this event, it won’t make the news. Millions will hit the snooze button and won’t even notice it. But without the sun, life as we know it would be impossible.

What about you, friend? Is your life more like a meteor or more like the sun? Does your life burn brightly for a blink of the eye, a momentary attraction for onlookers? Or is your life a light that nourishes and shines for the benefit of all?

I have nothing against meteor showers. I love God’s creation and all the spectacular sights in it. I will probably even rise early to watch. But as I consider Matthew 5:14-16, I know that Jesus wanted His disciples to be candles, not sparklers. We are the light of the World, illuminating the path to God.

Consider Paul’s words: “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

So enjoy the meteor shower. The best viewing will be about 4am. But since you’ll be up early, how about catching an amazing event Thursday morning too…a beautiful sun rise! Then give some thought to your life. What does your light say about your faith in Him? Are you a flash in the pan or a light on a hill, helping others to see goodness, truth, and righteousness?

Don’t Panic…Get Bread and Milk!

bread

Bread and milk. It is snowing and I don’t have bread and milk!!! Don’t panic…or should we?

Ok. We have all heard of someone making a mad rush to the store to buy “bread and milk” as soon as they hear the word “snow” on the news. Perhaps we have done the same thing. But have you ever stopped to wonder why “bread and milk” specifically? Psychologists give two interesting reasons for the “psychology of panic stockpiling.”

#1 “Stockpiling makes us feel in control.”

Lisa Brateman, a New York City-based psychotherapist says that running out and buying perishables gives the buyer a sense of control. Even if it all spoils because the power goes out we feel ready for whatever the storm throws at us.

#2 “It makes the storm feel temporary.”

Interestingly, panic stockpilers generally don’t grab cans of Vienna sausages and spam! Although purchasing non-perishables is probably more practical, psychologist Judy Rosenberg, Ph.D., believes that it would be a “psychological admission that you’ve surrendered to waiting out the storm.” Buying perishables is about optimism – a belief that the storm isn’t going to last long.

The truth is that we aren’t in control when the storms of life come, and we don’t know how long they will last. But the Bible tells us how to be ready: get some BREAD and MILK!

In the bible, bread and milk aren’t bought at stores in a frenzy, but rather, they are necessary for every day life. In John 6:48-51 Jesus explains that He is the “bread of life” that must be eaten in order to go to heaven. In 1 Peter 2:2, Peter reminds us that we must “long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”

There is nothing better for daily growth, or to have stockpiled in a crisis, than the bread of life and the milk of the word. And you don’t have to worry about them being out of stock! So if it does snow…curl up with your Bible and enjoy some real bread and milk.