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Repost - Would Santa Punch You In The Face? 

Would Santa Punch You In The Face? by Dr. Naima Bush, Founder of The Refreshing Life 

Who knows how a Turkish bishop named Nicholas, who was orphaned at a young age and had a penchant for gift giving and died centuries ago, became an eternally living, jolly fat man, who lives in a snow covered wasteland, riding around with magic reindeer while managing to defy the space time continuum that the Good Lord put in place. 

Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of Santa is a wonderful thing, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t hope to one day leave milk and cookies out for the dude with my own children.  When my brother and I were little we left Santa some Chips Ahoy and an orange plastic Tupperware tumbler of Vodka… don’t ask… 

But this year as I flipped from channel to channel it seemed that every holiday themed movie or TV show that was on was about Santa Claus, or an Elf, or a dysfunctional family. Unless it was a Hallmark or Lifetime movie, then it was about some professional business woman to busy for love and how seasonal magic somehow ushered her into the arms of Mr. Right. 

Not one show about the birth of our Savior, the true meaning of Christmas, the greatest gift ever given, at least not until Charlie Brown comes on, and then we’ll hear Linus preach the gospel message until the day that somebody protests that Christmas tradition as being offensive. We already lost the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and Rudolph is facing the axe because of bullying… but I digress. 

As I was pondering my TV selections, I thought about a conversation I had with a Catholic friend of mine in regards to the true history of Santa Claus. Now Nicholas was a devout man, who loved the Lord with his whole heart.  There are many stories of how he gave away everything he had to meet the needs of others, all in the name of Christ. 

But he shared with me a story I had never head before.  This one was about how St. Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 with three hundred other church leaders under the direction of the Emperor Constantine. During this major ecumenical event, the Nicene Creed was produced, but before that Santa got a little unruly… 

Arius, a church leader from Egypt had the floor and was going on and on about how Jesus was not equal to God the Father, thus rendering the Trinity as null and void. The longer Arius talked, the more perturbed Nicholas became, until he could take the heresy no more and dashed across the room and smacked in some accounts, or punched in others, Arius in the face.  Which to be honest, makes me laugh uncontrollably, since the only image I have of Saint Nicholas comes from the imaginings of the secular world. 

Well, of course Nicholas, the patron saint of children, repentant thieves, merchants (might explain all the shopping) and pawnbrokers (yes, pawnbrokers)  was punished and stripped of his bishop’s garments and thrown in jail… and then there’s a miracle and restoration… you’ll have to look it up to get the details on this one or we’ll be here forever… But Nicholas does get out of jail and is restored to his office. 

The point is Nicholas was willing to risk it all to defend the truth. Christmas is about Christ, and I believe Saint Nicholas would agree. If he got so upset he was clocking folks in the eye over the importance of the Trinity, what would his response be to how the world has taken this most sacred time and turned it into a Black Friday brawl over a $198.00 TV set? 

Yes, Christmas is a sacred time. It should be more about giving the gift of His eternal love, of forgiveness and restoration then about elves and grinches and stockings. I’m not saying not to put out your cookies, or decorate your tree or hang your Christmas lights. Jon and I watched Elf this past weekend and I laughed so hard I almost choked. But while we are doing these things, let's not forget The One who gave us breath in our lungs so that we could laugh, The One who loved us so much that He left His throne to be born in this barren place to give us hope and a future. 

What I am saying is that although many believe that the story of Saint Nicholas smacking Arius is a myth, it still begs the question. A man so on fire for the Lord that he risked everything to tell the world he would not stand for the demotion of his Savior, that he would not stand idly by while someone made the Lord Jesus Christ less then what He Is, that someone would so reckless disregard the gift the Father gave us to restore us, pushed Santa Claus to the brink. 

If Jolly Old Saint Nick was here today, would he be so jolly? Or would he be running around malls, TV stations, Christmas events and even churches smacking folks in the face? 

This blog is a repost from last year. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please leave us a note below or on our Facebook page! 

#santaclauspunchesarius #saintnicholasandarius #slappingsanta

I Am Not Enough 

I Am Not Enough by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush (c) 2019

I am not enough 

When she brings 

Grimy little fists 

To eyes brimming 

with tears 


Angry, sad, or out of sorts 

Because of the injustices 

Thrust upon her 

Little voice shaking 

And heart needing stitching 


She calls out for me 

But she really doesn’t mean me 

Or does she? 


I can ply her with kisses 

Sing gentle songs 

Of His power and His grace 

Purchase princess dresses 

Play tea party 

Take her to the House of Mouse 

Spend hours interceding for her in prayer 

And let her stay up later then she should 


But when I take her to the place 

Where the other mother resides 

It doesn’t matter 

That I band aid scrapped knees 

And sit up wiping brows 

When she is feverish and dull 


When the mother of the body 

Descends with her presence 

I am cast aside 

Although I offer the world 

And the wisdom of the Word 

And she offers grief and inconsistency 


I am the one who straps her in once again 

Broken after two hours of paradise 

Screaming and shooting bitterness into my open arms 

I am affirmed once again 

That I will never be enough


Dr. Naima Johnston Bush 

Foster Mother © 2019 7thirtyseven Logos Publishing

Irish Springs Bring Peace! 

Irish Springs Bring Peace by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder of Refreshing Life With Naima

Every now and then I like to confess something just a little strange about myself.  I’m an avid War Movie buff with Hacksaw Ridge, Miracle at St. Anna's and When We Were Soldiers being my three favorites.  I am an introvert by nature, I like to be alone and although I love to sing, I don’t really like being in front of people.  And Rum Raisin and Pistachio are my favorite ice cream flavors…  but one of the strangest things about me is that I have a peculiar fascination with soap. 

And I do mean peculiar. I love the way a good bar of soap feels in my hands.  I can tell you which brands have the best lather, which retain their scent the longest, and which ones get you the cleanest.  I can even tell you when brands change their formula resulting in inferior or superior soap quality.  My husband’s love language is gift giving – and he gives good gifts.  Out of all of the wonderful gifts he gave me last Christmas, the gift I treasured the most was a basked of soaps he had curated from different shops and vendors – BEST GIFT EVER! I spent a good portion of Christmas Day with my nose in the basket inhaling deeply, opening soaps testing them out and placing them in baggies so I could retain their fragrance. 

My struggles with food addiction have never been a secret, I walk this thing out on a daily basis.  I find in times of great strain it is easy to reach for a cookie, when I should be laying before the Lord.  The euphoria of the moment of chewing for some strange reason brings a sense of false calm and deceptive peace – because there is always a price to pay. 

These last few months have been difficult and I’ve found myself falling short quite a bit.  But then something interesting happened.  I was in that melancholic artist mood, distraught about some thing I can’t even remember now, and I opened the fridge to see what was inside.  But then I thought – well actually I believe the Lord whispered to me – you need to wash your hands you’ve been cleaning.  

I found myself at the sink, lathering up my hands with some $5.00 soap that I had brought from the local department store, a good quality soap.  It was called Coastal Waters and the more I rubbed it together the thicker the lather became and the calmer I felt. I stood there for a good ten minutes, singing and washing my hands, lather everywhere, hands soft and wrinkled from the water.  But it felt so good, I felt so much better.  And let’s face it, washing my hands is a much healthier habit then eating a bunch of junk food with my health challenges. 

I thought to myself, what if every time I feel like the world is ending I came to the sink and washed my hands? What if the sink became my altar, my holy place? A memory floated up from the past at that moment… When I was in my early 30’s working with the youth group living in Ohio, I would carry in my purse a box of Irish Spring Soap.  And whenever I needed a moment, needed to focus, needed peace, needed clarity, I would take that soap out and sniff it! Everyone would laugh at me, but I was able to accomplish so much more because of a love of soap that the Lord put in me.  Yes, Irish Springs brought me peace. 

Now when I feel like I need a moment, I run to the sink to wash my hands and sing or talk to Jesus.  It leaves me with a peace I can’t express.  Maybe you need a touchstone, a holy place that you can run to when times are hard.  It may not be at the sink washing your hands, but finding out what it is will help you live a life of joy in the perfection of His will. 

So wash your hands. Make yourselves clean. Get your evil actions out of my sight!

Stop doing what is wrong! Isaiah 1:16

Inclined To Worship 

Inclined to Worship Guest Post By Ramelle T. Lee © 2012 

Meditation Scripture:  I Chronicles 16:29 (KJV) 

"Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name:  bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." 


The Lord said, "Have you ever thought about what I want you to do for me?  Are you longing to love me with all your heart?  Can you live without my love?  Ponder these questions for a moment.  Now sit back and relax in me.  Allow my love to surround you. 

Allow the Holy Spirit to settle your thoughts and allow you to lift your voice in praise.  Let His Spirit take you to a place of peace and total tranquility.  Are you there yet?  Have you called out my name and lifted your head and hands in total surrender? 

You are precious in my sight.  I love to hear you speak my name.  I love to hear you sing my praises.  I love to hear you witness to others about the way I make you feel inside. 

Can you reflect what you adore about my love? I know it's personal. I realize that you can't always put into words what is truly in your heart. However, I am pleased that you would speak my name aloud.  You are not ashamed to recognize that I am your beloved.   I, your Heavenly Father, am pleased that you take the time to worship me in the beauty of holiness. 

Raise your voice so that it can be heard in the heavens!  Realize that the angels of the Lord are also listening.  You have an audience that never sleeps.  The heavenly choir is also standing at attention.  They glorify my name, just as you choose to do through your worship and praise.  You make me feel special as you praise and worship me.  I am never too busy to hear your voice lifting up beautiful words of adoration to me, the King of glory. 

As you spend precious time in my presence, I will come to your rescue and reward you for reverencing and lifting up my name. I will take care of your needs and shower you with blessings. I see your desire to please me and show forth your praises. While you are showing love to me in your heart, just know that I am smiling at you. 

Continue to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.  You will be given treasures from heaven that no man can take away.  I will bless you.  I will always love you!"


Ramelle T. Lee is a poet, author of four books, speaker, businesswoman, radio co-host and a staff writer for The Lamp Newsletter.  In 2006, she founded Touching Your Heart Ministries to reach people who feel hopeless, deeply hurt, rejected, wounded and brokenhearted.  She is also a CEO of Treasures from Heaven Ministries and a leader in several other organizations.

For more information or to contact Ramelle: Touching Your Heart Ministries 

P.O. Box 119 Lincoln Park, MI 48146-0119 


The Weapons of My Warfare! 

The Weapons of My Warfare! A Teaching Blog by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder of Refreshing Life with Naima

There are dangerous times afoot. We face the attack of the enemy at every turn, in our churches, schools, homes, jobs, supermarkets, airports and even the movies. Now more then ever we must arm ourselves, we must take up our weapons and be prepared to go to war! But the weapons I speak of are not guns or knives… I speak of weapons more powerful then bullets, mental illness and the plans of the devil. 

The scriptures tell us in 2nd Corinthians Chapter 10 Verses 4 and 5 that: 

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 

The purpose of the weapons that the Lord gives us is to bring us to a place where we walk and live in total victory and obedience to Him and through Him.  Something I know I am still personally working on.  When we are able to walk according to His plan, hear and obey and live a lifestyle of worship, we can walk in confidence and not fear and we are prepared to set the captives free and can boldly go about the business of doing so. What are these weapons? They are the weapons of reading, studying and memorizing His Word and learning to stand on His promises, speaking the Word of God in every situation and circumstance, good times and bad times.  The weapons are also prayer, intercession, praise, fasting, singing, shouting, dancing, worship, obedience, sacrifice, tithing, serving… It is ultimately living a life according to to His will. 

The Lord has already promised us the victory, He’s given us the tools to walk in obedience – He said in His word that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, and since the Lord cannot lie we better believe and better get to learning how to use the weapons He has given us to complete our battle assignments. 

If you don’t know the purpose of a thing, if you don’t know why it’s important, you often abuse it or you ignore it and don’t use it. Like a tablet or even a smart phone.  Many of us don’t take full advantage of all the gadgets and features that are contained in these tools.  Super organized folks use their phones for everything, they understand all of the workings of the tool and thus they reap all the benefits of it. 

Like obedience and worship, if we don’t know how these tools connect, if we don’t understand how they are used in our daily warfare, then we can’t reap all the benefits of them.  If you want to truly connect with the Lord, truly worship him and show Him you love him – you must obey Him. Often the struggle in this area begins with a thought… a thought that leads us astray and cause us not to do what the Lord tells us to do. 

We overcome the world through living a lifestyle of worship that first recognizes who God is, how powerful He is, how holy He is and how He sacrificed for us. Through these recognized facts, we choose to make Him Lord of our life.  We also know that every day the battle rages, but with the Lord on our side and through seeking to live a life of obedience, we become battle ready. When we apply the weapons we are able to submit our minds to Him, we are able to overcome temptations, make Godly decisions and regulate our thinking. In our personal prayer time and in studying and applying His word we get to know the Lord intimately, that’s where we learn of His heart, hear His voice, understand His love and become empowered to love and fight on the behalf of others. 

That’s how we learn to start using our weapons, that’s how we start to control our thinking and live a life of obedience.

Are you ready for the battle? We'd love to hear your thoughts - leave us a comment below!

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