warmth

The Opposites of Winter

“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” – Hosea 6:3 Today, as we continue our examination of cold seasons, I’d like to point out that they can be lonely. Maybe you went from a position of leadership or connection to one of isolation, and you no longer feel connected to the people who used to bring you joy. Whether it was a move, the loss of a job, a funeral, or a disagreement with relatives, loneliness may plague you and distort your perspective on life and situations. For instance, a place or pastime that used to bring you joy can now serve as a painful reminder of what you’ve lost. It’s excruciating. Yosemite is one of my favorite locations

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Winter from Two Perspectives

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” – Genesis 8:22 After the holidays, many of us are disappointed. We pack up the Christmas decorations, our hearts heavy with the knowledge that the festivities and celebrations are done. January, on the other hand, is brimming with potential and the promise of new beginnings. This is why I think winter is only a matter of perspective. I relocated to Oklahoma from California when I was a teenager, as I’ve already mentioned. It was a difficult adjustment for me, especially since it was my first time dealing with the brutal and piercing cold of winter. Then there was a snow day, and I got to skip school. I had never experienced a snow day before, and I recall thinking to myself at the time, “well, maybe this isn’t so

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Winter Creates Willpower

“It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.” – Psalm 74:17 It’s January, and many of us are in the midst of the cold season. I recall moving from Southern California to Oklahoma for school; I hadn’t really appreciated the benefits of California weather until then. When I went outside one day, the temperature was probably no more than three degrees, with a windchill of minus one million (just kidding). As I neared my car, there was a thick coating of ice on the windshield, and as I tried to get it off, I sliced my knuckle on a portion of the car and collapsed to my knees in agony. “Why am I here?” I remember exclaiming at the time.  I believe that our life’s winters can be similar. Perhaps you’re unemployed, suffering from a persistent illness, or going through a

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History’s Cornerstone

“For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’” – 1 Peter 2:6 Today I have some excellent news for you: things may be becoming darker, but you’re becoming brighter. Even if the days are becoming colder, you’re getting warmer, because I think God works His greatest miracles in our lives when we’re at our lowest. Because of One Man, who changed the path of history from the moment of His birth, redemption is attainable. Everything changed in year zero, as you can see. The two epochs of human history, BC and AD, center around one thing: Christmas. Although BC stands for “Before Christ,” we can refer to it as “Before Christmas” for our purposes because it essentially implies the same thing. Year one corresponds to the birth of Jesus,

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To Roar or Shine?

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” – John 8:12 There’s an old story in Aesop’s Fables in which the north wind and the sun both want to see who can get a man to take his jacket off faster. The north wind goes first, and he begins howling, roaring, and sending violent gusts that he is certain will blow the coat right off of his subject. However, much to his chagrin, the gales only cause him to pull his garment closer. Reveling in the wind’s defeat, the sun steps up and says, “Watch this!” Then, he turns up the heat and shines so brightly that his unsuspecting victim begins to sweat — and sure enough, off the jacket comes. Though this is an ancient story,

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