A THRILL OF HOPE

Reginald Fessenden had been working for years to achieve wireless radio communication. Other scientists found his ideas radical and unorthodox, and doubted he would succeed. But he claims that on December 24, 1906, he succeed. But he claims that on December 24, 1906, he became the first person to ever play music over the radio.

Fessenden held a contract with a fruit company which had installed wireless systems on roughly a dozen boats to communicate about the harvesting and marketing of bananas. That Christmas Eve, Fessenden said that he told the wireless operators on board all ships to pay attention. At 9 o’clock they heard his voice.

He reportedly played a record of an operatic aria, and then he pulled out his violin, playing “O Holy Night” and singing the words to the last verse as he played. Finally, he offered Christmas greetings and read from Luke 2 the story of angels announcing the birth of a Savior to shepherds in Bethlehem.

Both the shepherds in Bethlehm over two thousand years ago and the sailors on board the United Fruit Company ships in 1906 heard an unexpected, surprising message of hope on a dark night. And God still speaks that same message of hope to us today. A Saviour has been born for us-Christ the Lord! We can join the choir of angels and believers through the ages who respond with “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those whom his favor rests”.

WITHOUT CHRIST THERE IS NO HOPE.

HOW THE BRAIN TAKES OUT ITS TRASH WHILE WE SLEEP?

In 2013, layers were peeled back from two interrelated mysteries: the function of sleep, and how the brain removes its waste byproducts.

While it’s been known for some time that the brain doesn’t directly use the body’s lymphatic system (our body-wide filtering and waste removal system) to dump its toxic waste, the mechanism that it does use wasn’t identified until 2012. The research team that made this discovery was led by University of Rochester neurosurgeon, Maiken Nedergaard, who dubbed the brain’s waste-removal mechanism the “glymphatic system.”

The glymphatic system relies on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flush out neurotoxins via pathways separate from the lymphatic system. Among the toxins that are flushed is beta amyloid, a protein that’s found in clumps in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

In 2013, Nedergaard’s research team followed up on this discovery by identifying “hidden caves” that open in the brain while we sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to flush out neurotoxins through the spinal column.

The implications of this research can’t be overstated:  failing to get enough sleep isn’t just a bad idea for all of the reasons we already know, but over time it could also lead to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s.  If the study’s findings are accurate, our brains need sleep to remove waste byproducts like beta amyloid  that eventually become brain killers.

The study was published in the journal, Science.

THE MARSHMALLOW TEST EXPERIMENT

During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, a psychologist named Walter Mischel led a series of experiments on delayed gratification. Mischel was interested in learning whether the ability to delay gratification might be a predictor of future life success. In the experiments, children between the ages of 3 and 5 were placed in a room with a treat (often a marshmallow or cookie). Before leaving the room, the experimenter told each child that they would receive a second treat if the first treat was still on the table after 15 minutes.

Follow-up studies conducted years later found that the children who were able to delay gratification did better in a variety of areas, including academically. Those who had been able to wait the 15 minutes for the second treat tended to have higher SAT scores and more academic success (according to parent surveys).

The results suggest that this ability to wait for gratification is not only an essential skill for success but also something that forms early on and lasts throughout life.

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” – Brian Tracy

BEING HUMAN BEINGS

When asked to define his role in a community that was sometimes uncooperative with law enforcement, a sheriff didn’t flash his badge or respond with the rank of his office. Rather he offered, “We are human beings who work with human beings in crisis.”

His humility-his stated equality with his fellow human beings-reminds me of Peter’s words when writing to first century Christians suffering under Roman persecution. Peter directs: “All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). Perhaps Peter was saying that the best response to humans in crisis is to be human, to be aware that we are all the same. After all, isn’t that what God Himself did when He sent His Son-became human in order to help us? (PHIL. 2:7).

Gazing only at the core of our fallen hearts, it’s tempting to disdain our human status. But what if we consider our humanness to be part of our offering in our world? Jesus teaches us how to live fully human, as servants recognizing we are all the same. “Human” is how God made us, created in His image and redeemed by His inconditional love.

Today we’re sure to encounter folks in various struggles. Imagine the difference we might make when we respond humbly-as fellow humans who work together with other humans in crisis.

HUMILITY IS THE RESULT OF KNOWING GOD AND KNOWING YOURSELF.

WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU?

Because i like dark chocolate, I once Googled “Is dark chocolate good for you?” I got a variety of results – some good, some bad. You can do the same for almost any food product. Is milk good for you? Is coffee good for you? Is rice good for you? There is a dizzying array of answers to these questions, so you have to be aware that the search itself may not be good for you. It may give you a headache!

But if you are looking for something that is one-hundred percent good for you all the time, can I recommend the Word of God? Listen to what it can do for the follower of Jesus who is seeking to build a relationship with God.

  • It can keep you pure (PSALM 119:9,11).
  • It blesses you (LUKE 11:28).
  • It makes you wise (MATTHEW 7:24).
  • It gives light and understanding (PSALM 119:130).
  • It helps you grow spiritually ( 1 PETER 2:2) .

Our God is good: “The LORD is good to all,” says Psalm 145:9. And in His goodness, He’s provided those who love Him with a guide that helps us see how to enhance our relationship with Him. As we try to decide how to live in a world full of choices, praise God that He’s told us in Scripture what’s good for us. Let’s say with the psalm-writer: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth”

GOD’S WORD IS THE ONLY SURE FOUNDATION FOR LIFE.

ROOM 5020 – JAY BUFTON

Jay Bufton turned his hospital room into a lighthouse. The fifty-two-year-old husband, father, high school teacher, and coach was dying of cancer, but his room – Room 5020 – became a beacon of hope for friends, family, and hospital workers. Because of his joyful attitude and strong faith, nurses wanted to be assigned to Jay. Some even came to see him during off-hours.

Even as his once-athletic body was wasting away, he greeted anyone and everyone with a smile and encouragement. One friend said, “Every time I visited Jay he was upbeat, positive, and filled with hope. He was, even while looking cancerand death in the face, living out his faith.”

At Jay’s funeral, one speaker noted that Room 5020 had a special meaning. He pointed to Genesis 50:20, in which Joseph says that although his brothers sold him into slavery, God turned the tables and accomplished some thing good: “the saving of many lives.” Cancer invaded Jay’s life, but by recognizing God’s hand at work Jay could say that “God intended it for good.” That’s why Jay could use even the ravages of cancer as an open door to tell others about Jesus.

What a legacy of unwavering trust in our Savior even as death was knocking at the door! What a testimony of confidence in our good and trustworthy God!

BY GOD’S GRACE, WE CAN HAVE OUR BEST WITNESS IN THE WORST OF TIMES.

SOURCE : OUR DAILY BREAD

LIVING FOR JESUS

NOT A WASTE OF TIME

Have you ever heard the saying, “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst”? With almost every decision we make in life there is uncertainty about how things will work out. Yet there is one area in our lives in which no matter what happens, we know that in the end it will not have been a waste of time.

Paul spent a year with the Christians living in Corinth, a city known for its dishonesty and greed. After he left, he told them in a follow-up letter not to be discouraged or feel that standing out for Jesus was a waste of time. He promised them that a day is coming when Jesus will return and even death will be swallowed up in victory.

Standing for Jesus may be difficult, discouraging and even dangerous, but it is never pointless or wasted. As we walk with Jesus and share His love, our lives and decisions will be used by Him for His plans! We can be sure of that.

LIVING FOR JESUS CHRIST IS NEVER A WASTE.

AGE OLD WISDOM

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? (JOB 12:12).

A few years ago a newspaper in Singapore printed life lessons from eight senior citizens. It opened with these words: “While ageing brings challenges to mind and body, it can also lead to an expansion in other [areas].” The point was that older people have lots of life experience, which the article called “the wisdom of elders”.

The wise, older people in our churches have much to teach us younger people about life. But in the Bible, we meet a newly crowned king who didn’t understand this.

King Solomon had just died and in 1 Kings 12:3 we read that “the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam” with a request. They asked the new king to lessen the hard labour and heavy taxes Solomon had demanded of them. In return they would loyally serve Rehoboam.

At first the young king talked with the elders (v.6). But he pushed away their advice and listened instead to the unwise words of the young men who had grown up with him (v.8). He made the people work even harder and pay more taxes! His bad decision cost him most of his kingdom.

All of us need the kind of advice that comes from years of experience, especially from those who have walked with God for many years. Think of everything that God has already taught them! They have much to share with us about Him. Let’s spend time with them and listen to what they have to say.

THE FAMILY OF GOD IS FULL OF GOOD ADVICE IF WE’RE WILLING TO LISTEN.

THE SMOKE ROOM EXPERIMENT

If you saw someone in trouble, do you think you would try to help? Psychologists have found that the answer to this question is highly dependent on the number of other people present. We are much more likely to help when we are the only witness but much less likely to lend a hand when we are part of a crowd.

The phenomenon came to the public’s attention after the gruesome murder of a young woman named Kitty Genovese. According to the classic tale, while multiple people may have witnessed her attack, no one called for help until it was much too late. This behaviour was identified as an example of the bystander effect, or the failure of people to take action when there are other people present.

In one classic experiment, researchers had participants sit in a room to fill out questionnaires. Suddenly, the room began to fill with smoke. In some cases the participant was alone, in some there were three unsuspecting participants in the room, and in the final condition, there was one participant and two confederates. In the situation involving the two confederates who were in on the experiment, these actors ignored the smoke and went on filling out their questionnaires.

When the participants were alone, about three-quarters of the participants left the room calmly to report the smoke to the researchers. In the condition with three real participants, only 38% reported the smoke. In the final condition where the two confederates ignored the smoke, a mere 10% of participants left to report the smoke.

The experiment is a great example of how much people rely on the responses of others to guide their actions.

When something is happening, but no one seems to be responding, people tend to take their cues from the group and assume that a response is not required. 

THE END OF DOUBT

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe (JOHN 20:25).

He’s sometimes called “Doubting Thomas”, but that label isn’t really fair. After all, how many of us would have believed that our dead leader had come back to life? We might just as well call him “Brave Thomas”. After all, Thomas showed great bravery as Jesus moved closer to the events leading up to His death.

When Jesus heard His friend Lazarus was dead, Jesus said, “Let us go back to Judea”, making His followers feel very uncertain. “Rabbi,” they replied, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”. It was Thomas who said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him”.

Thomas’ aims were not backed up by his actions. When Jesus was arrested, Thomas ran away with the others(MATT. 26:56), leaving Peter and John to secretly follow Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest. Only John followed Jesus all the way to the cross.

Despite having seen Lazarus walk out of his grave, Thomas still could not bring himself to believe that Jesus had beaten death. Not until Thomas the doubter – the human – saw Jesus for himself, could he say, “My Lord and my God!”(JOHN 20:28). Jesus’ reaction to this gave more confidence to Thomas and great comfort to us: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”.

OUR DOUBTS DECREASE AS WE SPEND MORE TIME WITH JESUS.