Tag Archives: Advent

The 12/15/13 Joy Jar

15 Dec

Advent is the perfect time for reflecting about the positive things in life and hope. One of the great American spiritual leaders was Rev. Norman Vincent Peale:

Norman Vincent Peale
(1898-1993)
Champion of Positive Thinking
Born in Bowersville, Ohio, USA, on May 31 1898, Norman Vincent Peale grew up helping support his family by delivering newspapers, working in a grocery store, and selling pots and pans door to door, but later was to become one of the most influential clergymen in the United States during the 20th-century.
He was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University. He was a reporter on the Findlay, Ohio, Morning Republic prior to entering the ministry and went on to author some 40 books. Ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1922, Peale served as pastor at a succession of churches that included Berkeley, Rhode Island (1922–24), Brooklyn, New York (1924–27), and Syracuse, New York (1927–32) before changing his affiliation to the Dutch Reformed Church so that he could become pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City (1932–84). There he gained fame for his sermons on a positive approach to modern living, which were regularly broadcast, first on radio and later on television. The church had 600 members when he arrived to pastor in 1932; it had over 5,000 by the time he retired in 1984. In 1969 and 1970 he was president of the Reformed Church in America.
Peale confessed that as a youth he had “the worst inferiority complex of all,” and developed his positive thinking/positive confession philosophy just to help himself. In 1937, Peale established a clinic with Freudian psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton in the basement of the Marble Collegiate Church. (Blanton brought with him the “extensive experience” of having undergone psychoanalysis by Freud himself in Vienna in 1929, 1935, 1936, and 1937.) The clinic was described as having “a theoretical base that was Jungian, with a strong evidence of neo- and post-Freudianism” (Carol V.R. George, God’s Salesman: Norman Vincent Peale and the Power of Positive Thinking , p. 90). It subsequently grew to an operation with more than 20 psychiatric doctors and psychologically- trained “ministers,” and in 1951 became known as the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry. In 1972, it merged with the Academy of Religion and Mental Health to form the Institutes of Religion and Health (IRH). To his death, Peale remained affiliated with the IRH as president of the board and chief fund raiser. Indeed, Peale pioneered the merger of theology and psychology which became known as Christian Psychology.
Peale applied Christianity to everyday problems and is the person who is most responsible for bringing psychology into the professing Church, blending its principles into a message of “positive thinking.” Peale said, “through prayer you … make use of the great factor within yourself, the deep subconscious mind … [which Jesus called] the kingdom of God within you … Positive thinking is just another term for faith.” He also wrote, “Your unconscious mind … [has a] power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough.”
His simple, optimistic, and dynamic sermons brought increasing numbers of parishioners and increasing fame to Peale. For 54 years Peale’s weekly radio program, “The Art of Living,” was broadcast on NBC. His sermons were mailed to 750,000 people a month. His life was subject of a 1964 movie entitled One Man’s Way.
In 1945, Peale and his wife started Guideposts magazine; its circulation now tops 4.5 million, the largest of any religious magazine. Peale also published several best-selling books, including The Art of Living (1937), Confident Living (1948), The Power of Positive Thinking (1952), and This Incredible Century (1991). His most popular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, has sold more than 20 million copies in 41 languages.
With his wife, Ruth, Peale founded the Foundation for Christian Living in 1945. He died on December 24, 1993, at 95. Ruth carries on the work they began. http://normanvincentpeale.wwwhubs.com/

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the wisdom of Rev. Peale.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
Norman Vincent Peale

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.
Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Norman Vincent Peale

It’s always too early to quit.
Norman Vincent Peale

Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.
Norman Vincent Peale

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
Norman Vincent Peale

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.
Norman Vincent Peale

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
Norman Vincent Peale

Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.
Norman Vincent Peale

Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.
Norman Vincent Peale

If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.
Norman Vincent Peale

It is of practical value to learn to like yourself. Since you must spend so much time with yourself you might as well get some satisfaction out of the relationship.
Norman Vincent Peale

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.
Norman Vincent Peale

Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.
Norman Vincent Peale

Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
Norman Vincent Peale

Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
Norman Vincent Peale

We tend to get what we expect.
Norman Vincent Peale

Be interesting, be enthusiastic… and don’t talk too much.
Norman Vincent Peale

The Gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ.
Norman Vincent Peale

Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture… Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.
Norman Vincent Peale

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.
Norman Vincent Peale

The 12/14/13 Joy Jar

15 Dec

Today is well into the Christmas Season and as we enter the last couple of weeks before Christmas, it is good to reflect on the season. Daily Christian quotes have a great series of reflections about the Advent Season. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is reflecting on Advent.

The event of Christ is the only event in human history that promises relocation and centering, meaning and purpose. This promise and its fulfillment evoke passionate and heartfelt praise and thanks, especially for those aware of their own brokenness and the healing which Christ brings into their lives.
Robert Webber

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.
Michelle Blake

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.

Charles Dickens

In spite of the many benefits God has blessed us with, how many times do we complain about little difficulties and trials? We lose sight of the big picture and fail to appreciate the really important things. Just as we cannot benefit from a wrapped gift under a Christmas tree until we open it, so gratitude can be seen as our way of opening the gift of God’s love intended by all the small and big positive events of our lives.
Ronda De Sola Chervin

As we prepare for our traditional celebrations, let us remember those who will not be looking forward to this festival. Let us remember too how Jesus identified with the oppressed and the homeless. Let the joy of the festival touch more of the people of our world this year than ever before. May God be glorified and may people of good will once again experience His peace.
Denzil John

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all; No palace too great, no cottage too small.
Phillips Brooks

Often times when we think of becoming a Christian, we think of what it is doing for us – that we are reconciling in our relationship with our creator that we are having our sins forgiven, that we are being saved… I think that the call to receive Christ is more like Gabriel’s visit to Mary where he asks us, will you carry the Christ, will you carry the salvation of the world?
Mike Wilkins

The way to Christmas lies through an ancient gate….It is a little gate, child-high, child-wide, and there is a password: “Peace on earth to men of good will.” May you, this Christmas, become as a little child again and enter into His kingdom.
Angelo Patri

The spirit of Christmas needs to superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.
Stuart Briscoe

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.
Howard Thurman

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He could live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.
Joe Gatuslao

Immanuel will bring lasting, true peace. (Isa 7:14) Not just an end to physical war, although that is what we usually think of when we think of peace. No, this is a deeper peace. A peace between us and God. True reconciliation between the Creator and his creatures. Through Immanuel life for us and his death for us we will be at peace with God. This isn’t our doing. We didn’t make the peace. We didn’t even take the first step. God did. Because that is God’s attitude toward us: always seeking, always restoring, always saving. Immanuel comes to show us that we matter, each and every one of us, to God. Jesus Christ, our Lord, and God’s Son, is Immanuel – God with us. Jesus was born a child and lived among us, died our death on the cross, all so that we would have peace with God, from this time forth and forever more. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts has done this.
Charles P St-Onge

When Christ entered our world, he didn’t come to brighten our Decembers, but to transform our lives.
Rich Miller
http://dailychristianquote.com/dcqchristmas2.html

For more information about Advent, The Season of Advent: Anticipation and Hope http://www.cresourcei.org/cyadvent.html

The 12/02/13 Joy Jar

1 Dec

Advent began yesterday on Sunday. Share Faith has a great explanation in What is Advent?

Prior to the Nativity Celebration of Christmas Day, Advent refers to the holy season of the Christian church which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It begins on the Fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the 25th of December. As the commencement of the Christian year, the Advent Season holds a special place in the Christian tradition.
The History of Advent
The word “advent” comes from the Latin term for “coming,” and refers to the first and second Comings of Jesus Christ, in the senses of Savior and Judge, respectively. The first authoritative mention of Advent appears in the Synod of Lerida (AD 524), and the season has been recognized since as the beginning of the western ecclesiastical (church) year. The celebration originally began as a period of fasting, similar to Lent. Although the practice of abstention was later relaxed, Advent retains the spirit of atonement and penitence.
Advent Wreaths and Calendars
In western cultures, the four Sundays of Advent are often celebrated with Advent wreaths decorated with four candles. Made from evergreens, the circular wreaths symbolize eternal life and the endless nature of God’s love. Three of the candles are purple or blue while the fourth is typically rose-colored or pink.
One candle is lit each Sunday of the season. The rose-colored candle is lit on the third Sunday, which is considered to be a more festive day than the others. On Christmas Day, a fifth candle (known as the “Christ Candle” and often white in color) is lit in the center of the wreath, or may replace it altogether.
Advent calendars are also popular during the season. About 25 small compartments are created, often through the use of multiple sheets of cardboard or through sewn pockets. These are filled with seasonal messages, religious pictures, small chocolates, stories, or toys, depending upon the particular calendar.
Advent Traditions and Customs around the World
There are many ways Advent is celebrated. In English history, poor women would carry “Advent images” — two dolls dressed as Christ and the Virgin Mary. Upon showing these images to passersby, the women would be gifted with small amounts of money or trinkets. Failing to donate was considered bad luck.
In Normandy, children under 12 were sent through farmers’ fields with torches, setting fire to straw to drive off vermin. Italy supported the tradition of bagpipe players entering into Rome during the last days of the season. They played music before shrines of the Blessed Virgin, just as shepherds played pipes at the manger to honor the Messiah’s coming.
The Season of Advent remains one of the most important times of the Christian year. It celebrates the blessing of the birth of Christ, and reminds the faithful of his eventual return.
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes (German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. His involvement in a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution. 1906-1945) http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Holidays/advent_season.html

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Advent Season.

Healthy Spirituality has some great insights about Advent:

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac

“The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.”
Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas

“You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, Want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you … for the waiting time.”
John Bell, quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart

“Christmas is fast approaching. And now that Christ has aroused our seasonal expectations, he’ll soon fulfill them all!”
St. Augustine, Sermon 51

“God is coming! God is coming! All the element we swim in, this existence, Echoes ahead the advent. God is coming! Can’t you feel it?”
Walter Wangerin, Jr., from “The Signs of the Times,” in The Manger Is Empty

“How can God stoop lower than to come and dwell with a poor humble soul? Which is more than if he had said, such a one should dwell with him; for a beggar to live at court is not so much as the king to dwell with him in his cottage.”
William Gurnall

“Advent: the time to listen for footsteps – you can’t hear footsteps when
you’re running yourself.”
Bill McKibben

“This Advent we look to the Wise Men to teach us where to focus our attention. We set our sights on things above, where God is. We draw closer to Jesus… When our Advent journey ends, and we reach the place where Jesus resides in Bethlehem, may we, like the Wise Men, fall on our knees and adore him as our true and only King.”
Mark Zimmermann in Our Advent Journey

“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.”
Michelle Blake, The Tentmaker

“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.”
Handel Brown

http://www.healthyspirituality.org/2009/12/advent-15-inspirational-quotes-about.html