Christmas Carols for the Psychiatrically Challenged

 

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a broken spirit saps a        person’s strength.”

Proverbs 17:22, NLT

SCHIZOPHRENIA

– Do You Hear What I Hear?

 

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY

– We Three Kings Disoriented Are

 

DEMENTIA

– I Think I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

NARCISSISTIC

– Hark The Herald Angels Sing (About Me)

 

BIPOLAR MANIA

– Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town …or Deck the Halls and Spare No Expense!

 

PARANOIA

– Santa Claus is Coming To Get Me

 

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

– You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, then MAYBE I’ll tell you why.

 

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE

– Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock…

 

PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE

– On the First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to M(and then took it all away).

 

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This Special Place, Where it is Always Christmas

“This Gospel anticipates a world far different from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia,where it is “always winter, and never Christmas.” But the promise of the Gospel is that it is always Christmas. To be “in Christ” is to enjoy each morning as a Christmas morning with the family of God, celebrating the gift of God around the tree of life.”

–Kevin Van Hoozer

Christmas can be a torment and tribulation for so many. I have no doubt it brings grief. Family, friends, finances– mixed liberally with heavy doses of materialism and manipulation will always bring us issues.  The music and decorations are mostly mere Novocaine (which doesn’t always work). Stress builds up. And we want none of that.

Being mentally or physically ill often accentuates these issues. I’m not sure why exactly, but suicide increases during this season. Perhaps the challenges Christmas brings just overwhelm a person who is struggling hard just to make it.

“Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and a nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chilled hidebound hearts.”  

–Lenora Mattingly Weber

As I think about Christmas, it is helpful for me to see it as a “mirror.” It is my reflection back to me. What we see, is who we are. If we have issues in our own life, the Season will just magnify them.  But this doesn’t mean its bad, far from it. There is always conflict, but this spiritual combat can bring us success. Some things must be fought for.

I’m convinced that in all of this, there is opportunity.  The chance to connect to “Christmas”. The very idea is quite strange.  But Christmas can be an exquisite treat.  It is made by mixing love and truth in generous portions. As we look hard for it, there is something that moves us to a place far beyond us. Grace makes us to stand and look, perhaps for the first time.

When we truly process this, we’ll find “Christmas”. And honestly, it is more than a holiday. For the Christian, it is special time. And yes, there will be times when it is trying, but in my own thinking, Christmas has become a time of great joy and anticipation.

It won’t take much, maybe a little imagination on your part. But those things you do may ignite and become a blaze that will direct them through their lives. Be kinder then you need to.

“The universal joy of Christmas is certainly wonderful. We ring the bells when princes are born, or toll a mournful dirge when great men pass away. Nations have their red-letter days, their carnivals and festivals, but once in the year and only once, the whole world stands still to celebrate the advent of a life. Only Jesus of Nazareth claims this world-wide, undying remembrance. You cannot cut Christmas out of the Calendar, nor out of the heart of the world.”   

Anonymous

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Let’s Get Loud! [Get Ready for Christmas]

“Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord.12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

 13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:
 14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
       and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”

Luke 2:11-14, NCV

How very busy things get.  Think of it, shepherds are meeting singing angels who are meeting people.  It must of been a bit of a zoo!  It’s verse 13 that, ‘a very large group of angels’ made their entrance that night.  History is being made, no doubt.  And these are not quiet, or stoic angels, they are large and musical and filled with much joy.

And as happy as this angel-crowd gets,  it doesn’t phase them that the God in heaven, now in human flesh has been born in a manger.  Every angel, and almost every person sees this too; that this is not the place to have babies!  Angels being angels, I kind of think they were not thrilled with the hospitality shown to God.  (They probably said some ‘un-angelical’ things under their breath).

So, you see this swarm of angels descend on the Nativity.  And they are ecstatic, belting out at the top of their lungs, songs of worship and praise.  The squalid environment isn’t a problem for them at all.  The cow manure, sheep feces, filthy straw can all be smelled, but that means nothing at this moment.

Friends, my heart is very much like this dirty stable.  Everything is so filthy, and the smell makes my eye’s water, and the flies are thick and intrusive.  It is all so sad, and pathetic.  There are many others with clean, white hearts, why should He choose my heart to abide?

The choir is singing now, and I think I missed my cue.  But all of them are in deep, wonderous worship.  They belt it out with the enthusiasm of rabid fans at a NFL game.  But I examine my heart, I see so many issues, some things that are actually destroying me.  But the angels, well, they just keep singing.

I know Christmas is still several weeks away. Yet this is the time to prepare for a special holiday in your heart. May this year be the most meaningful time you’ve ever had.

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A Warm Christmas Fire

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Merry Christmas from Bryan at Brokenbelievers.com!

(Sit and enjoy the fire. Have some ‘egg nog.’)

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The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine
.”

Isaiah 9:2

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life”.  –Corrie Ten Boom

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.”   — J.I. Packer

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Happy Merry Christmas!

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A Child has been born who has always been the Everlasting One. Remarkably good news for rascals like us. More than anything, we desperately need a Savior. He has come for us in this amazing way, totally unpredictable for those looking for a king. Leave it to Him to always jolt us when we least expect it.

All that He is, we needed. He fits the needs of mankind perfectly. Isaiah told us of what He would be like, and is a completely ideal Savior for people like us. He was ‘custom built’ for our needs. Isaiah 9:6, tells us what He will be:

  • a son who is a ‘gift,’
  • a counselor who is wonderful,
  • a strong God,
  • a steady father,
  • and a prince to bring us peace.

This is not a comprehensive list, for He is all this and more. (And He is so much more!)

I’ve found that the Lord Jesus is full of surprises, but He always honors simple faith. The shepherds understood; King Herod and the religious cabal did not. When you follow Him, expect the unexpected, even if He chooses to come in a manger. He seems to enjoy this approach. He chose the humblest way possible.

“There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem. The ox and the donkey understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today. “  ~ Thomas Merton

Let God show you more.

I hope you have a happy, joyful, and thoughtful Merry Christmas!

 

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Tiny Little Giftlets

 

51+IynkoiCL._SX425_He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.    –Augustine

There were many who saw the babe, but did not see the salvation.    –Author Unknown

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

Rejoice, that the immortal God is born, so that mortal man may live in eternity.    –John Hus

His poverty was so great that He was born in another man’s house, and buried in another man’s tomb.    –John Boys

It is here, in the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the most profound unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. God became man; Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the incarnation.   –J.I. Packer

Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.  –Corrie Ten Boom

The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.   — J.I. Packer

There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem. The ox and the donkey treeunderstood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today.    –Thomas Merton

Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts, the gift of God to man – His unspeakable gift of His Son, and the gift of man to God – when we present our bodies a living sacrifice.    –Vance Havner

The idea that there’s a force of love and logic behind the universe is overwhelming to start with, if you believe it. Actually, maybe even far-fetched to start with, but the idea that that same love and logic would choose to describe itself as a baby born in shit and straw and poverty is genius, and brings me to my knees, literally. To me, as a poet, I am just in awe of that. It makes some sort of poetic sense. It’s the thing that makes me a believer, though it didn’t dawn on me for many years.    –Bono

The central miracle asserted by Christians is the incarnation. They say that God became man.   — C.S. Lewis

Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.   –Charles Spurgeon

Carols stir us. Holy words inspire us. The golden glow from the manger warms us. A little religion at Christmas is fine. But that glow in the manger comes from the Light of the world. It exposes evil and either redeems it or destroys it. The babe in the manger is far more than an object for sentimental sighs. He is the Son of God who must be accepted as ruler – or confronted as rival.   –John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

The universal joy of Christmas is certainly wonderful. We ring the bells when princes are born, or toll a mournful dirge when great men pass away. Nations have their red-letter days, their carnivals and festivals, but once in the year and only once, the whole world stands still to celebrate the advent of a life. Only Jesus of Nazareth claims this world-wide, undying remembrance. You cannot cut Christmas out of the Calendar, nor out of the heart of the world.  Anonymous

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.   –Charles Dickens

Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and a nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chilled hidebound hearts.   –Lenora Mattingly Weber

Hark the herald angels sing,
Glory to the new-born king.”
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.!   –Charles Wesley

This Gospel anticipates a world far different from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, where it is “always winter, and never Christmas.” The promise of the Gospel is that it is “always Christmas.”  To be “in Christ” is to enjoy each morning as a Christmas morning with the family of God, celebrating the gift of God around the tree of life.   –Kevin VanHoozer

The spirit of Christmas needs to be 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

Here’s a side to the Christmas story that isn’t often told: Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day walk up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant’s head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear. Jesus was born to die.    –John MacArthur

There is no connection between the worship of idols and the use of Christmas trees. We should not be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas decorations. Rather, we should be focused on the Christ of Christmas and giving all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season.   –John MacArthur

Quotes from CrossQuotes.org under the topic, “Christmas.”

ybic, Bryan

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Questions I Have for Joseph

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Sometimes when I read the Word I get a bit frustrated. I wonder why things are left out, The omissions seem to be a breach of clarity and a cavalcade of missed opportunities.

For instance– I want to know more about Joseph. This man stood by Mary when she was pregnant with Jesus, when he was not the father. Sure, an angel intervened, but that still must’ve been a hard thing. Some of my questions:

What were you feeling when Mary told you she was with child? What did your family think? Were you frustrated with the dirty stable? Did you ever doubt the angel’s word? Did the kings and shepherds intrude on the evening? What did you do with their lavish gifts of gold and incense?

Did you have to discipline Jesus? Was He picked on by other boys His age? Did Jesus have many friends? Did Jesus ever cry, and over what? What happen when He hit His thumb with a hammer? Did He “beat” you when you arm wrestled?

When you prayed did you look up to see Him listening? Did you feel comfortable around Him when you worshipped? What was Jesus’ prayer life like? Did He faithfully attend the synagogue with you? 

The scriptures share little background information. All we really have is speculation and conjecture on what could of happened. We may only sit and wonder about these things.

Our curiosity is good, but only heaven will answer our questions. Perhaps for now it’s best we not know? The Gospel accounts are abbreviated but sufficient for believers today.

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

John 21:25

ybic, Bryan

 

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