Season Reason The real one

Just a few short years ago (not really), we spent Christmas Eve (plus numerable other late nights) putting together toys, placing the proper stickers in the proper places, or other preparatory chores of love, getting ready for “The Big Night”, before “The Big Day”, Christmas day, when all those months of searching for just the right gifts, were greeted with huge grins, or squeals of joy, that expressed to us that we had done well. Those years were great, and we have great memories of the early morning paper ripping’s, and the smells of breakfast on the stove as the boys explored their new found treasures, and we made preparations to go to grandparents homes an start the package demolitions all over again.
Things change with time though. The boys are off with their own children now, doing similar things with them, as they did under our watch. Most of the grandparents have passed, and now Christmases are quieter, and much more spread out, instead of pretty much a one and a half day affair. We don’t begrudge the passing of the torches really, we just remember the younger days as maybe more “hands on” if you will, and find even a touch of pride in the fact that those feelings are presented to a new generation.
Although our personal Christmas “Season” has changed over the years, the purpose behind it, has not. We still celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the Christ child. We celebrate the fact that because a promise that God, the Father, made, thousands of years before, was finally fulfilled. We celebrate it for multiple reasons, one, because it proves that God keeps His word, and second, because today, we live under another promise, the promise that, because of the birth we so celebrate as Christians, we now know that through our faith in Him, and His eventual death on a cross, we shall have a forever home with Jesus, where life will never change, or we will never grow old.
Thank you God, and thank you Jesus, and “Merry Christmas“, to you Both, and an extended MERRY CHRISTMAS, to all my family and friends! May you find peace in the only one that can bring about, true peace, Jesus, the real reason, for this season!

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Dec 14/2012 Is today the day we, as a people, change for the better

December 14, 2012. Today is my birthday. This was my main thought when I woke up this morning. As the day progressed, the horrific news hit the airwaves and the net, about the shooting of the kids and adults. Personally, I was too stunned for proper words. That didn’t seem to be the case for all those that want guns banned. Within seconds, all across the nation, the cry arose “ban guns”. I heard cries of, “if this had been a knife, or baseball bat“, or “we should have had our schools on lockdown“, or “we should have metal detectors to protect, and this wouldn’t have happened“.
If I even remotely thought that might stop killings like the one today, I might lift that cry also, but, I watched TV one day, 9/11, and seen over 2,000 people killed, with no gun whatsoever. I’ve also watched as millions of innocent babies, still in the womb, butchered, all for the sake of “my body, my choice”, with no gun whatsoever. I’ve read in history books where people were herded into gas chambers, where no gun whatsoever, killed them. No, gun bans are not the answer.

We call ourselves decent people, and for the most part, we are. Therein lies the problem. We’re decent. We’re not perfect, and some of us, like this guy, and those previously mentioned, are pure evil. We all search for, and point to, something that should be the target of our rage when acts like this occur. We point to inanimate objects like guns, and say “there’s the evil”, or we point to people with bombs strapped to their chest, and say “bombs shouldn’t be allowed”, or “if we were more tolerant of them and their beliefs they wouldn’t hate us so bad”. Some of these things hold grains of truth, but they’re not the real problem. The real problem is us.

Mankind, from the birth of humanity, has had intertwined in our midst, people of natures so infected with sin and hate, nothing will satisfy their desire to hurt. They met out pain and destruction with as little thought as stepping on a bug. We call these type people “evil”. Evil, like most things, doesn’t present its self as such until it’s too late to do much to avoid its presence. Evil generally doesn’t exist in inanimate objects, but those objects are often used by evil people. We need to learn to distinguish between the two, so as to find the real culprit.
Seldom are people “just plain born evil”. Some are but most, through life’s grind, develop into evil actions gradually, but there are some that just wake up one day and evil comes out in full force. You don’t know if you’re standing in a food line with them or not. Most, look no different than your brother, sister, aunt uncle, or cousin, but they’re there, waiting.
We can go through life in fear and hiding, trying to avoid such people, and still, on a regular day, they show up. The answer is not to hide, prepare for protection, or ban objects, or even try to place blame. The answer, is to change the hearts and minds of people. Change comes slow, but change is what’s needed.

   We need to practice what Jesus quoted as the greatest commandment, “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you”. If we did just this one thing, what happened today, would never, ever, happen again. Jesus, can change hearts, but, He can’t do it if no one does, or is allowed, to mention His name. Are you ashamed to mention Jesus?

Christmas, or Xmas?

   I keep hearing the phrase, “We need to put Christ back in Christmas”, by my fellow Christians, and after doing some research, I truly wonder if He was ever there to begin with! Almost every tradition related to today’s Christmas, was founded in some pagan belief. Most of which, were definitely not Christian, or Christ like!

   I fully understand the desire to keep the Christians attitude there, since I am a Christian.

 That attitude, to me, is, I celebrate that day, December 24th, as one special day, to remember that my Savior, Jesus Christ was born, for a specific purpose. That purpose was, to show us how a child of God should act, and a by far greater purpose, to die. Jesus came by His own choice, to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin, which man could never do for himself. In order to be that sacrifice, Jesus had to die, yes, but, the even greater thing He did, was to rise from the grave! He overcame death so we could enter Gods kingdom free from sin, to live for eternity in Heaven!

John 3:16-17King James Version (KJV)
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
 
 
Conclusion!

   Yes, I celebrate Christmas, along with many others, all of the “former” pagan traditions, like the tree, the wreaths, the gift giving, the lights, and candles, but, first and foremost, I celebrate His birth, with the knowledge of what He did, at His death!

   People may say or do as they wish, but I will always say “MERRY CHRISTMAS”, because, He will “always” be there, to me, for me, and with me!

Joshua 24:14-16
King James Version (KJV)
14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

How should a Christian view politics?

   One of the most difficult things I have had to come to grips with lately, given our current situation in America, is how should I as a Christian, feel, and react, to how our government is working today. I see a country that is in moral, and financial decline, at a much faster rate than I feel comfortable with.  My first inclination is to blame our elected officials, and they bear a great deal of it, but, “we”, elected, “them”, so, therein lies the main problem!

Here are some things I’ve found out through a bit of research.

   “There is no doubt that our responsibility to government is to obey the laws and be good citizens (Romans 13:1-2). God has established all authority and He does so for our benefit, “to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-15). Paul tells us in Romans 13:1-8 that it is the government’s responsibility to rule in authority over us—hopefully for our good—to collect taxes, and to keep the peace.”

“The Bible gives us two unassailable truths regarding our stance towards politics and government.”

   “The first truth is that the will of God permeates and supersedes every aspect of life. It is God’s will that takes precedence over everything and everyone (Matthew 6:33). God’s plans and purposes are fixed and His will is inviolable. What He has purposed, He will bring to pass, and no government can thwart His will (Daniel 4:34-35). God’s plans and purposes are fixed and His will is inviolable. What He has purposed, He will bring to pass, and no government can thwart His will (Daniel 4:34-35). In fact, it is God who “sets up kings and deposes them” (Daniel 2:21) because “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (Daniel 4:17). A clear understanding of this truth will help us to see that politics is merely a method God uses to accomplish His will. Even though evil men abuse their political power, meaning it for evil, God means it for good, working “all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).”

   “Second, we must grasp the fact that our government cannot save us! Only God can. We never read in the New Testament of Jesus or any of the apostles expending any time or energy schooling believers on how to reform the pagan world of its idolatrous, immoral, and corrupt practices via the government. The apostles never called for believers to demonstrate civil disobedience to protest the Roman Empire’s unjust laws or brutal schemes. Instead, the apostles commanded the first-century Christians, as well as us today, to proclaim the gospel and live lives that would give clear evidence to its transforming power.”

   We, as Christians, sometimes fail to do the two things God directs us to do.

   First and foremost, we are to spread the gospel about God, and Jesus, our salvation. If we are out doing, what we should be doing, the way God wants us to, we will change the moral behavior because of people actually becoming more aware of what they may be doing, as sinful.
Second, and although not as important as the first, we fail to do the things necessary to have an efficient, and God fearing government in place. We need to do such things as, qualify, and vote for leaders, that most identify with what we believe as Christians.

“In the U.S.A., in recent elections, about 2 of every 5 of self-professed Christians took that right for granted and did not vote. About 1 in 5 self-professed, eligible Christians are not even registered to vote.”

   We as Christians, with the leadership of God, can boldly do, what no elected official on earth can do, give true “change” to America, by changing peoples attitudes through sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!!!

Research your candidates, choose those with the characters you feel closest to doing what’s best for America, and what God would have them do under His leadership,
then vote!!

We do, after all, have to live here, till Jesus returns for us, why not make it a better place to be, until He does!!
Spread the gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

All the things in italics and quotation marks came from

 http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-politics.html

and

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christians-vote.html

For more information click those links.

Wisdom, and knowledge.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
–Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3, 5-6

Question: “What is wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?”

Answer: The dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” This is a theme that is recurring throughout the Bible. We know that Knowledge, on the other hand, is defined as having information through experience, reasoning or acquaintance. God wants us to have knowledge of Him and what he expects of us. But equally important is having wisdom. Knowing facts about God and the Bible is not all there is to having wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. James 1:5 states “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Wisdom is what God will bless us with in order for us to glorify Him with the knowledge we have of Him.

The book of Proverbs is perhaps the best book in the Bible to study when seeking to learn biblical wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 also clearly explains what it means to have biblical knowledge: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” When we fear the Lord, which is the most basic form of knowledge, God can then begin to provide us with wisdom through Jesus, whom the Bible says is wisdom itself. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Knowledge is what is gathered over time through study of the Scriptures. It can be said that wisdom, in turn, reveals itself by acting upon that knowledge. In other words, knowledge manifesting itself in any given situation through wisdom. If one lacks knowledge, he will also lack wisdom. The two go hand-in-hand.
From http://www.gotquestions.org/wisdom-knowledge.html

   My desire, is to attain both, in my spiritual life, and my personal life!

Evolution or Creation?

The story of Creation declares God’s wisdom. He took nothing and created everything. Then He took dirt and created man.
Scientist have now learned just how complex a creation you are. The average human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells. You coordinate the work of seventy-two different muscles just to form the sounds of speech. You were born with three hundred bones. There are forty-five miles of nerves in your skin. The average human heart will beat 3,000 million times in its lifetime and pump 48 million gallons of blood. Your blood travels 60,000 miles per day on its journey through your body.
Only God has the wisdom to create such an intricate life form as a human being!
I will never understand how “anyone”, can believe we just happened to “evolve” from a single speck of pond scum, to become what we are today. This doesn’t even begin to account for the difference between man and a chicken!
Common sense declares, that “life”, did not come about by “happen chance”!! Only God, has the wisdom!