This past week, the famous bodybuilding TikToker and influencer named "Liver King" was found to be spending thousands of dollars a month on steroids. However, on his channels, he was promoting "ancestral" diets with crazy kinds of protein and had a 100-million-dollar business based on this ridiculous diet. This is just another example of unhealthy, idealized body image issues on social media. So many people look up to influencers people for their physique, but the influencers aren't entirely honest about how they're achieving the results that they are. This leaves people confused as to why they don't look like this person, and the comparison game is very dangerous. You can read more about Liver King's story here.
The plan was to feature a holiday song a few days before Christmas but plans changed when listening to this new release. Amanda Cook, one of the longest-tenured artists at Bethel, has released an EP titled State of the Union (Ambient Sessions). It's got nothing to do with politics as the title might suggest though. It's focused more on the state of our union with God, our creator. Each song is between 6-10 minutes, so these aren't worship songs as much as they are meditative or reflective songs. The four songs are certainly worth a listen though.
Check out our running playlist of this season's songs on Spotify here.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible goes out of its way to say "Mary pondered these things in her heart" when reading the Christmas story in Luke 2? It seems like a relatively useless verse in the story of the birth of Jesus and the excitement of the shepherds' encounter with the angels. Some may claim this is simply Mary doing what all mothers do, but the chapter also includes a similar statement on two other occasions. It's more than Mary cherishing moments with her son - It's Mary cherishing moments with the son - the Son of God. How often do we take time to "ponder things in our heart", specifically amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? How often do we take time to cherish moments that we have with the Son of God?
Luke 2:19 - But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
I find the expression "Merry Christmas" kind of strange considering we use the word "Happy" for other occasions like Easter, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, and so on. Why is this?
While this may not be the real answer to the question, what if it's a subtle reminder to actually enjoy the Christmas season instead of getting wrapped up in the occasion? Merriness is deeper and more permanent than happiness, which is fleeting. So, on that note, have a very Merry Christmas!
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