Monday, December 1, 2014


I bought a T-shirt three weeks ago that had the logo that featured Aaron Rodger's now famous statement to fans after the Packers started the season at 1-2. He said on his radio show to anxious fans: "R-E-L-A-X. Just relax fans." And by the way, the Packers have been undefeated since I started wearing that t-shirt. So no washing and every Sunday wearing for now. Just saying.  :)

My wife Jeanne and I were in the car doing some shopping this morning and I couldn't help but notice the hurrying and scurrying around and the anger so many drivers seem to be displaying these days. I laughingly keep saying to these drivers: "R-E-L-A-X. Just relax."  You know what, I think that is a good saying not just to football fans but to people everywhere this holiday season and especially to Christians, too many of whom struggle with worry, anxiety, and fear.

Philippians 4 gives us all good words not just for the holiday season but all year long. And not just to the very troubled but to all Christians who just can't seem to get to that place in their lives where peace reigns even in troubled circumstances. " Don't worry or be anxious about so much. Instead learn to pray more and talk to the one who can really help you - God. Tell Him how you feel and ask for His help. Then thank Him even before you start to feel the great peace He will give you that will be like a guard around your troubled heart and mind.  And begin to make the change in the things you think about which bring you down. Think instead, with God's help, about things that are good and worthy of praise; things that are honorable and right and pure, beautiful and respected. When you do this more and more, God's peace will fill your mind and heart."   (Pastor Jerry's Version)

Jesus came that very first Christmas to bring peace into a troubled world. He still wants to do it but people must submit to the Word that says Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life --  the only way to the Father and eternal life!  Jesus said "My peace I give you; not the phony peace you hear about so much in the world today; Don't let your hearts be troubled or discouraged." (again the PJV)  So simple but we can make it so difficult. Christian husbands and wives - parents- workers - all of us. How will our children, grandchildren, spouses, friends, co-workers and brothers and sisters ever get this awesome truth if we don't live it?

Up North Wisdom says be the example, be the one who takes the lead. Let others see and feel the peace of God in us. It can be catchy you know. Those around us really need it and we can be the hands of Jesus in being instruments of peace. Not possible in your circumstances at this time you say? Well, I have told God so many things that are not possible in my life and things that I just can't do. And amazingly and humorously, He agrees with me.  :)  Folks listen, either His Word is true or not. "I can, you can, we can, do all things (that lead to peace) through Christ who gives you and me the strength to do so."

So in this holiday season and all the year long:    R-E-L-A-X!! Thanks, Aaron!  And remember what one older and maybe a little wiser pastor has said maybe too many times - The Best Is Yet To Come!  And have a great CHRISTMAS season. When a store worker says "happy holidays",  you smile a very loving smile and say, "Merry Christmas and God bless you!"

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