Ask Jonathots … November 26th, 2015

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Considering the many shootings around the nation and terrorist attacks around the world and the tragedies we hear on the news every single day, exactly what should Americans be thankful for this year? I know this sounds cynical, but how and why are we supposed to be happy in the face of so much grief?

Fear arrives when we forget what we truly can affect.

In other words, if you were diagnosed with cancer, your first question should be, “What can I do?”

But if you decide to say, “How long do I have to live?” you welcome the realm of fear.

The nightly news, in an attempt to keep their stories interesting, embellishes on the facts. In doing so, they make the stories so formidable that no one can get a handle on them or feel that they can make a contribution toward a solution.

Feeling powerless is what produces fear. To remove fear, you have to institute some power in your life.

So what we Americans can do on this Thanksgiving is confirm those things that still have power–to make lives better, to enrich our families, to enjoy a meal, to prepare for Christmas shopping, and to set in motion the kind of direction that frees us from fear, and therefore welcome love.

Specifically, here are three ideas to take into today’s holiday to help you confirm that the world is filled with tribulation, but Jesus has overcome the world:

1. There are no terrorists in your family.

I know it sounds silly, but considering the fact that we all come from diverse places and are pursuing various occupations, your family may have eccentricities, but none of them are ready to strap on a suicide bomb.

2. There are more good people in the world than bad people.

Start counting heads.

After your Thanksgiving meal today, drive by local churches and relief centers where fine human beings are serving meals to those less fortunate, while laughing, eating and fellowshipping with them.

3. Since the terrorists have the goal of creating terror, the best way to foil their efforts is to “be of good cheer.”

How can you be of good cheer?

First, celebrate having gotten this far in your life without being shot. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? And then realize that the chance of being attacked by a terrorist is less likely than being hit by lightning (and most of us know how to avoid being hit by lightning.)

Good cheer is the awareness that we are not cast down on this earth to be under the manipulation of maniacs, but instead, we are given the opportunity to help the disturbed around us–so there will be fewer maniacs.

A diet of news reports is like eating pizza seven days in a row–you don’t have to ask yourself why you feel sluggish and constipated.


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