Punching Holes in the Darkness

A young boy with his face to the window watched with fascination as an old lamplighter came down the street.

One by one he was lighting the old-fashioned gas street lamps. Excited, the young boy called out to his grandmother, “Nana! Nana! Come quickly. There is a man outside who is punching holes in the darkness!”

At its most simple, the responsibility of Christians is to punch holes in the darkness of this world. Without the righteousness and morality that God has instilled, there is no other way to truly break up the darkness in this life. We can’t do this by our own light, but we can reflect the light of Jesus by living right.

Jesus said it clearly, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14–16).

We’ve heard these words before; now let’s live them. The world isn’t getting any brighter. Let’s punch holes in the darkness. —Brent Petrillo, Denver, Colorado—Read Luke 18:1

The Ten Cannots

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. —William J. H. Boetcker

Face Forward

A great attitude becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life.  —Mandy Hale

Through Christ, rock bottom can be the foundation on which you rebuild your life (cf. Philippians 4:13).

“Don’t look back; you are not going that way” —Mary Engelbreit

“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth” (Philippians 3:13).

Yes, I Have Cancer, But . . .

I’m still the same person you have known all along. My name and address haven’t changed, and you can still reach me at the same phone number.

I still need to be needed. Now, more than ever, I need places to go, people to be with, and things to do. I’m not trying to escape the reality of my situation, but neither do I want to sit at home with nothing to do except dwell on my situation.

You can still get close to me. You can sit by me, shake my hand, and even give me a hug. My disease is not contagious. I’ve not been put in isolation by my doctors.

You can still send notes and cards. After my surgery, the postman must have thought I was a celebrity! Today I faced an empty mailbox. Even a bill or an advertisement would be something to look at.

You can still pray for me. I’m not afraid to die, but I am concerned about what I will be able to do during the days I have left. And I wonder, at times, what my wife will do without me. I don’t want a public outpouring of sympathy, but I would like to know it if you are remembering me in your prayers.

I can still go out to eat with you and enjoy a good time. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable when you’re with me, but please permit me to get a little emotional at times. It’s often the little things that evoke precious memories or make me wonder if I’ll be around to enjoy an event the next time it happens.

I’m ready to face the future because of the eternal hope I have through the One who has walked through the valley ahead of me. I don’t want you to grieve for me as one who has no hope. Instead, let’s make the most of each day God gives us on this earth. —Donny Mize, April 18, 1989 (Thanatos, Fall, 1989).

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).

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