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SERMON: Joy Fulfilled Within

"I am coming to You now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have My full measure of joy fulfilled within them" (John 17:13).

It may seem surprising, but Jesus is a Man of Joy. He experienced the deepest pain, yet He was filled with joy. He gladly bore our grief.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews encourages us to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfector of our faith, who was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward" (12:2).

Our Lord was characterized by joy in spite of the task set before Him. More...

EDITORIAL: On And Off The Field

Surprisingly there are many things we can learn from playing sports that apply to daily life. In fact, there are even aspects of sportsmanship that should be more prevalent in our lives. One of the most obvious things a person learns is what good sportsmanship is. That includes how to conduct oneself after losing, and after a victory.

Those are the basics, but one also picks up on how to perform under pressure, to persevere against the odds, and how to push oneself to new heights of achievement. There are lessons about how to reach goals and the kind of effort and work it takes to get there. Something that every athlete has to learn as well is the fine art of leaving the game on the field. While athletics seem like simple exercises, the attitude and character they can help us develop make them an invaluable source of life experience. More...

OPINION: Chris Abani And Graceland

There are two interesting schools of literary criticism: One is called "New Historicism," and the other "New Criticism." New Historicism holds that very piece of literature completely stands on its own while New Criticism contends that outside sources may be helpful or necessary in order to fully understand a text.

As far as I'm concerned, I tend to agree with the New Critics.

Since every text has an author, the author's biography, among other sources, may furnish certain key information to the understanding of the text, and the meaning behind the text.
More...

GOOD NEWS: The Beauty And The Beast

The movie "The Beauty and the Beast" (the 1946 French film aka "La Belle et la Bete) is a fairy tale about a strange romantic relationship between a beautiful young lady (Beauty) and a strange being - half human and half animal (Beast).

It is only when "Beauty" gets to know the "Beast" in depth rather than superficially that she falls in love with him.

As a consequence of her true love for the Beast, at the end of the movie he becomes transformed into some sort of a wonderful celestial prince - a handsome and, may I say, beautiful dream of a prince.

In the movie, a masterwork by Jean Cocteau (Jean Maurice Eugene Clement Cocteau), love is spiritual - that is, beautiful not beastly.

Avenant, his romantic rival, tries to kill him with an arrow, which miraculously leads to Avenant's downfall. More...

FICTION: The Cage, Part Two Of Two

Bess had to leave the room about then to go powder her nose.

I went over and asked Lou to dance. We danced to one record, then we sat on the sofa and just gabbed a bit. Bess came back, but either she didn't notice me, or had changed her mind.

Pretty soon I saw her make a pass at one of the other guys, which relieved me somewhat.

"Let him handle her," I thought.

Louise told me that she had made a cake, and why didn't I have a piece?

I didn't really want any but said, "Where is it?" More...

ADVICE: Dear Angel

I am a young man who has a job as a teller in a large bank. I am supposedly starting at the bottom and working my way up. The work is actually quite interesting, dealing with the public, who never cease to amaze. I have never had to be on stage, as it were, and mollify the irked, joke with the friendly, be efficient with the hurried and then balance out at the end of the day.

I actually have a small problem there. I'm over almost every day, anything from a few cents to a few dollars. Not good since this indicates I shortchanged some customers. So I may be on shaky ground at my job here.

But this isn't why I'm writing you.

More...

"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."

John Cassis

"Want is the mother of industry."

Anonymous

"The secret of the true love of work is the hope of success in that work; it is not for the money reward, for the time spent, or for the skill exercised, but for the successful result in the accomplishment of the work itself."

Sidney A. Weltmer

"If God talks to someone else, that person is a schizophenic; if God talks to you, you are disposed to start a new religion."

Kingsley-Miller

"Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists. When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete, like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence."

Edmond and Jules Goncourt

"Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket."

Mark Twain

"With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion."

Edgar Allan Poe

"It seems to never occur to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Truth, however bitter, can be accepted, and woven into a design for living."

Agatha Christie

"There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail."

Robert Frost



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