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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 18, 2011

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 18, 2011 ********** The new church year has begun. The 2011-2012 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is now on the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2011
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 18, 2011

      The new church year has begun. The 2011-2012
      Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is now on the
      Web Site and available. Please order, go to

      Thank you!

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
      Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Courage in your Christmas stocking

      "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you
      who wait for the Lord."
      Psalm 31:24

      Usually Christmas stockings are full of small stocking
      stuffers such as candy and fruit, inexpensive presents
      and fun items. But if I could put one word in your
      stocking, it would be the gift of courage. Please
      write this word on a small card and place it in your
      Christmas stocking. Look at it often throughout the
      upcoming year and let the word be your inspiration
      when facing overwhelming odds.

      While writing spiritual meditations for my friends in
      Zimbabwe, as they struggled with starvation, economic
      collapse, and many legalized acts of injustice from
      corrupt government officials, as Internet pastor and
      friend, I wrote this courage reflection for them on
      August 16, 2002. I offer these simple thoughts to
      you as a special Christmas gift. Please share your
      courage with others and freely distribute it among
      your friends. In this way, the gift goes on and on.

      Courage helps us look problems in the eye, rather
      than look the other way. God wants us to live
      heroically and bravely. Courage is like a muscle.
      The more we use it, the stronger we will become.
      If we cower in fear, our courage muscle will atrophy
      and waste away from disuse. To know what to do and
      not to do it is the worst cowardice, Confucius taught.
      An old Italian proverb reminds us it is better to
      live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a

      Great courage is needed by citizens in every country
      to confront injustice and familiar patterns of racism
      and destructive ways of doing things. It takes
      courage to feed your enemies, rather than use food
      as a political weapon. Only the brave will change
      old ways of thinking and being, while learning how
      to live with mutuality, respect, equality, and dignity.
      It takes courage to stop death threats, while only
      cowards commit acts of random violence. Courage is
      needed to stand up and speak truth, and needed to
      sit down and listen. Great strength and courage
      are needed when working together for finding
      peaceable, nonviolent ways to seek reconciliation,
      forgiveness, and restoration.

      The specific Hebrew word used for strength and courage
      in today's verse is "chazaq." "Chazaq" is found here
      and in Psalm 27:14. God is our source of "chazaq."
      "Chazaq" does not carry a passive grin and bear it
      attitude. Here it is being used as a verb,
      encouraging the one praying to be strong and
      confident while waiting alertly for God. It is the
      total opposite of cowardice. "Chazaq" is a bold word
      describing the believer's confident courage that is
      only perfected while waiting for God. People of faith
      from every racial and ethnic background need this bold
      yet humble quality of mind and heart.

      In the mighty power of God, be brave. Be strong.
      Take courage. Do not give up. God is in the chaos
      and storms of life, generously giving each seeker the
      courage, strength, stamina, endurance, perseverance,
      and fortitude needed for every situation.

      God, hear my humble prayer. Bless those I love and
      myself with chazaq courage and strength. May my
      courage make the world a better place. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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