Is That Rocky or Sylvester?

Sylvester_StalloneHow many people do you know who are named Sylvester?  I can think of two.  To be truthful, one of them is a cat.   I can only think of one other person named Sylvester, and he disliked his name so much that he never used it.

Thanks to the work of Randal S. Olson, I learned something new about my name last night.    I discovered that in the year I was born, there were 6,286 other people who were also named Stanley.  The good thing is that 4,963 of us are still alive.

There is really no significance to my name; however, there is a name that is incredibly important:

  • Philippians 2:9-11: God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Acts 4:12: There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.

Do you want to learn a little more about your name?  Click here, and you can get started.

Peace On Earth

Christmas Bells 11516When Jesus came to this world, it was not to address the peccadillo needs of a few, but to fill the chasm of sin that separated man from God.  He did not come to just please the whims and fancies of the human race, but He came to pacify of the righteous demands of a holy God.

His coming was full of promise; yet, the people to whom He came rejected Him.  John said:

He came into the world—the world he had created—and the world failed to recognize him. He came into his own creation, and his own people would not accept him. Yet wherever men did accept him he gave them the power to become sons of God. These were the men who truly believed in him, and their birth depended not on the course of nature nor on any impulse or plan of man, but on God (JB Phillips)

Whenever I read the verses above, I am intrigued by four words:  “the power to become.”  When people accept Jesus, not an idea nor a philosophy, but the person of Christ, they receive “the power to become” a child of God.  This spiritual transformation is the real hope of the Christmas story.

At this time each year I see people go to great expense to decorate their house–to transform it from the ordinary ho hum to an extraordinary display of flashing lights; yet they still miss the meaning of Christmas.  While they are willing to pay homage to a diorama of Christmas, they fail to worship the Christ of Christmas.

Longfellow wrote the words to the song I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.  In the third stanza of the song, he stated the condition of mankind without Christ:

 And in despair I bowed my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember peace on earth is only possible because a piece of Heaven was born in a manger.

Are You a “Phobe” or a “Phile?”

lovehateAn old adage is: Actions speak louder than words. With this in mind, do your actions define you as a bibliophobe or a bibliophile? Let me clarify these terms:
• A bibliophobe is a person who has a fear, hatred, or distrust of books.
• A bibliophile is a person who has a love for books and is prone to collecting them.

Considering your actions in regard to books, are you “phobe” or a “phile?” Do you love books, or do you hate them?

Whenever I see the prefix of these words, the first thing I think of is the word Bible, and the Bible is a collection of 66 books—Genesis to Revelation.

How do your actions define your relationship with the Bible? Are you a “phobe” or are you a “phile?” Do you read it or neglect it or do you heed it and respect it?

When I consider some of the statements found in the Psalms, I’m certain the writer was a “phile” and not a “phobe.” He describes Scripture as being more desirable than gold and he even says that it is sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:10; 118:103).

If you are a “phile,” you use the Bible as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path to guide you. If, however, you are a “phobe,” you may stumble through life in a state of perpetual darkness.

I encourage you to read Psalm 1 to see the start contrast of a “phile” and a “phobe.”