[forthright] The Drunk "Lifestyle" / Victory in Jesus

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 07:07:42 -0800 (PST)
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Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: REALITY CHECK

The Drunk "Lifestyle"
 by Stan Mitchell

"They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt;
they beat me but I do not feel it! When shall I awake?
I must have another drink!" (Proverbs 23:35, ESV).

Solomon wisely chooses to make gentle fun of the drunk.
For some unaccountable reason, young people, wannabe
"he-men," and some empty-headed young women associate
getting drunk with being smooth and debonair.

Yes, and World Federation Wrestling is real, too!

So how do you puncture this perception? Solomon does it
by imagining a drunk rolling with the punches, getting
into bar room brawls, substituting booze for bravery,
fumes for fearlessness. But as he's bounced around the
room, marveling at the fact that he's not hurt, the
reader senses that tomorrow he will know, the bruises
and black eyes will remind him.

Then, most damaging of all is his addiction. Far from
learning from his mistake, he wonders: "When can I wake
up" so I can begin another round of drinking? When will
he wake up, indeed.

Of course, addiction is not funny. The maimed bodies at
the crash site, the beaten children when Dad returns
home reeling and resentful, the money that should have
gone to food and clothes burned up in an alcoholic
haze.

But if one young person can see this "hero" for who he
really is, then perhaps he can avoid the lifestyle.
Because it's hardly "life," and it's certainly not any
sort of "style."

----
Read this article online, write your reaction, and read
others' comments as well. Click here:
http://tinyurl.com/4pgg7xx


COLUMN: ENCOURAGING WORDS

Victory in Jesus
 by Paula Harrington

I passed my youngest child's room recently when I heard
one of my favorite songs. As she gathered her notebooks
and paper, my sweet ten-year old sang, "I heard an old,
old story how a Savior came from glory."

I stopped and listened and as she continued to sing, it
dawned on me that just the fact that she knew the words
to that song was in and of itself a victory.

Though we have obtained the greatest victory through
Jesus (I Corinthians 15:57), smaller triumphs make up
our days. It happens when we ignore the way we want to
react to life's situations and imitate our Savior
instead (I Corinthians 11:1).

It includes forgiving, listening, and going that extra
mile (Matthew 5:41). It's hugging the lonely and
feeding the hungry. It occurs when we find a need and
to the glory of God become determined to fill it.

Victories are achieved when we get out of our comfort
zone to tell someone else what Christ has done for us
and what he will do for them.

It's not just warming a pew a couple of times a week.
It's not just reading our Bible every morning. It's not
just praying before meals. It's getting out, getting
busy, and changing someone's world because of our love
for Jesus.

It's time consuming and it may even be exhausting. It
might make you cry and it most certainly will change
your life.

As I listened to my youngest child sing "Victory in
Jesus," I realized that some victories don't make the
headlines or rounds at the local water-cooler and to
the world they may not seem like anything at all.

Life's best victories may be a kind word or good deed
that only a few eyes ever see. But those victories, the
ones that show others Jesus, are the ones that impact
this world. They have the power to change a heart, a
town, a nation, and a world.

God will always supply the opportunities to make a
difference. May we always be ready to be victorious.

----
Read this article online, write your reaction, and
read others' comments as well. Click here:
http://tinyurl.com/47c2ywa

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