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!

Christmas tradition 2011

I have NEVER forwarded an email. Not one. However, I received this in my email this morning and wanted to pass it on. I’m not sure of the original author, but I wish to express my gratitude for it anyway!
Holiday Season 2011

Birth of a New Tradition

… As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods —
merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes
there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down
the Benjamen’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is
struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin
their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theater.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about
US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion
groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other,
and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

This, and the celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!