Monthly Archives: November 2012

Now Bring Us Some Questionable Desserts…

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Nice cake right?

It looks good.  It probably smells good.  It is obvious that quality time and energy was put into making such a eye appealing, seemingly sweet dessert.

What if I told you it was made with dog feces?

Still want it?

Would you offer a slice to your loved ones?

It still looks good to eat, right?  I mean, this lovely looking and possibly good smelling and tasting cake started out as a few ingredients.  One of them just happens to be something that you would NEVER eat, let alone lovingly serve to anyone else!

So you’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with Christmas?

I would encourage you (especially Christians) to do your research on the origins of Christmas.  I could write it all here, but I wouldn’t want you to take my word for it (I hope you can hear the Reading Rainbow jingle!)  Perhaps I’m wrong.  Perhaps doing a google search on the origins of Christmas led me to see only what I wanted to see.  If so, I will correct my post.  I wanted to be wrong about what I read.

I have happy memories that involve Christmas.  Christmas music is some of my favorite music.  I can’t listen to Nat King Cole’s Christmas album without thinking of my grandfather, who I am still so thankful for.  I still remember that anxious feeling of staying up all night to see what Santa brought me each year.  I proposed to my wife by hiding her ring on a Christmas tree.  I could also talk about the ugliness and not so great memories, which seem less than the good ones, but I want to say that the motivation of this post is not from receiving coal growing up, or wanting to be a Scrooge with my money.

Let’s go back to the cake.  Let’s say you had a bite, that first bite in the picture there, not knowing what went into making this delicious looking dessert.  And let’s say you thought it wasn’t bad.  You were thinking about eating the whole thing after bite number one, and then I informed you of the foul ingredient.  Would any other bite taste as sweet?

Until this year, I hadn’t done research on the origins of Christmas.  I could be wrong on what I’ve learned, but right now the good looking cake that is Christmas looks like dung that is really well prepared.

You might be bothered by this post right now.  I understand why you would.  Question for you:  Which group of Christmas enjoying people will have more to say about me being a “humbug” about this, Christians or the world?

The world already calls me a humbug, because I am a Christian!!!  John 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13

So what now?  The season is here.  What do I say?  What do I do?  Do I go around looking like this guy?

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Only problem is, I don’t think I look as cute in a Satan — I mean Santa hat.  More thoughts:

  • God called me out of the world to rejoice and worship Him 365 days a year!  Joy shouldn’t last for a season annually.  Giving rather than receiving is a lifestyle.  Anticipating the coming of the Savior is a commandment.
  • The second greatest commandment Jesus said is to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)  I don’t see in the Gospels any reference as to this being limited to a specific time of year or one day.
  • Seems like there is more Biblical justification for celebrating the Lord’s Supper than any other “Christian” holiday (Christmas, Easter, etc.) yet we don’t get as excited/happy/joyous about this.  Why?
  • Do we really believe Paul when he says in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light?  What does an angel of light look like today?
  • When looking over the Old Testament, we see there were so many negative consequences to the Israelites accepting the gods and customs of other peoples.  Do you think that God would be happy with the Israelites if they took a celebration intended for Baal, and added His name to it?
  • Could the celebration and value put in Christmas be worship in vain as Christ says in Mark 7:6-8?  Colossians 2: 8… could Christmas be cheating us?
  • Many will say something similar to this:  “Regardless of the origins, it does not have the same meaning/value as it once did.”  My response is (with love,) “Yes, the questionable ingredient is part of a cake now.  The cake may not make you sick since it’s been cooked at a high temperature.  Do you still want to eat it?  Which loved one do you want to serve it to?”

I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s (especially my Christian brothers and sisters) holiday season.  I just want to encourage you to celebrate today the names ImmanuelGod with us, and Jesusfor He will save His people from their sins!  Celebrate today, while there is still breath in our bodies!

His peace.

Being the Shepherd of the Home

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The Christmas season is here, so it seems like a pretty appropriate time to discuss shepherds.

The point of this post is to encourage all of my brothers, those who are blessed with the opportunity to be husbands and fathers, to shepherd their home well. 

This is not to say that their spouses and children are dumb animals.  I will say that God’s perfect design for how a family is to function has good purposes.  There is a large responsibility for men in being providers, leaders and servants.  In this walk, I want to honor Him with how I lead my family into obeying His commandments, and serving Him. 

I have been guilty of wanting to be a dog owner instead of a shepherd, especially when it comes to my role as a husband.  A shepherd sees the wayward path of one of his own, leaves the other sheep, and guides the lost one back to the flock.  A dog owner just yells the name of the dog (or uses a whistle) until the dog runs back to the owner.  Fellas, beware of communicating the “I don’t understand why you don’t see/do…” attitude.  It resembles the attitude of a dog owner.  Again, I’m not trying to say that your family is dumb and that you are smart.  I am saying that trying to solve the problems of those entrusted to you from a distance is not the same as leaving your position to help return the entrusted to the flock. 

I am learning that a good shepherd makes sure his sheep are fed.  In Ezekiel 34, God is not happy with shepherds who use the sheep for their own comfort, but do not feed the sheep and look after them.  As husbands and fathers, we will be held accountable for how we nourish our home.  Younger guys, let’s acquire wisdom by asking our older brothers how they have nourished their families!

Guys, let’s nourish our homes and not just feed ourselves.  Let’s be aware of how our flock is moving.  Let’s guide our family to graze in the green pastures of His goodness and grace.  Let’s be thankful for the examples of Christ our Good Shepherd, and for men we’ve seen who have followed after Him.  And let’s do it all for the sake of Him getting the glory that is due His name!

Be encouraged brothers, the Lord is our Shepherd!!!!

The Bible – What I’m Learning

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Let me start by saying all the errors in my writing are all mine.  Any truths that are contained in this post (or any other) are by His grace.  I desire for more of His grace to come out with any post than my error-filled thoughts.

Growing up in a Christian household allowed me access to a Bible any time I desired.  In our country, we can even find one in hotels while traveling.  This is not the case everywhere!  Before I state anything else about the Bible, I want to give thanks for the opportunity to have easy access to the Scriptures.  A friend of mine told me of a time when Bibles were scarce, and Christians in a part of Europe treasured their time reading the Bible because they only had it for a short period before it had to go to the next family.  Access to Scripture, or even hearing Scripture read is uncommon in places in this world.   Here in America, we have translation upon translation, apps on our phones dedicated to providing different translations, commentaries, dictionaries, concordances, and Bibles for our children.  With so much access, it is easy to forget how thankful we should be, and if we are honest, it is saddening to think how little we know about the book that tells us about God.  It wasn’t until recent that I learned a little of what believers have endured in order for the Scriptures to be available for the common man to read.  If you are interested in learning a little of the history of the Bible, I highly recommend checking out Lamp in the Dark – The Untold History of the Bible.  It is lengthy, but informed me of the Catholic movements to suppress the Scriptures becoming unavailable the masses, the Jesuits, as well as the process that went into making the King James Version.

One thing that I had heard before, and want to make sure that I encourage you all to be careful of, is that you do not turn the Bible into an idol.  I am not saying that Scripture does not have authority.  I am saying that you can love the Bible more than God.  In my own life, I have enjoyed discussing the Bible more than loving God.  That is idolatry.  It is out of wanting to honor Him that I write this in the first place.  In my bibliolatry period, I would have discussed this with the need for me being right, trying to show my knowledge to anyone who would read or listen.  Now I want Him to be glorified.  So, please know that your desire to be right about Scripture or what God has said in the Bible can easily trump the need to make God’s name great, to humbly serve Him, or to actually DO what He says in the Bible!

Up to this point I have referred to the Bible as the Scriptures.  You often hear it called the Word of God.  The Word of God is not just the Scriptures (John 1:1-14.)  This article on the Word of God shaped my thoughts on what this actually means.

If you’ve seen the video link above, or discussed what translation of the Bible to use, you may come across schools of thought discussing why the King James Version is the only acceptable version of the Bible to use.  Seeing the video encouraged me to look for differences in wording when doing my reading.  If you watch this, you will receive more insight as to why people prefer the KJV.  Note: this guy is entertaining because he has so much to say he can’t think straight – kinda like my posts right?

I could go on and on about websites I like for Bibles, books to read, more posts to check out…and I may do that later on.  For now, here are my final words of encouragement:

  • don’t go to the Scriptures trying to pull out verses here and there to prove that you’re right about something.  That is exactly what people did to justify chattel slavery in this country, and it is what Satan did when tempting Jesus.
  • don’t believe or try any of the meditation stuff about reading or saying a passage of Scripture over and over again until something sticks out.  These methods are gaining popularity, but does God want you in a trance or does He want you to LOVE?
  • read the Bible, but don’t turn it into an idol!  Read it for yourself, and don’t constantly rely on the interpretation of someone else.  Read it in community, and encourage others to read as well!
  • memorize Scripture!  I’ll have to write a post on methods I’m using to do so.
  • PRAY!!!!  Pray for wisdom.  Pray for any errors in our interpretations to submit to His truth.  Pray for His grace to instruct us and to be obedient.
  • The translation that is easiest to read and understand may not be the translation that is best to understand what was written.
  • Remember the purpose of Scripture:  2 Timothy 3:16-17
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
    His peace

Why I Didn’t Vote

The short version is:  I don’t feel comfortable electing a commander-in-chief.  Whoever this person is has the right to approve the killing of criminals as well as innocent people.  Seems like we don’t mind hearing about the death of “terrorists” but we don’t mourn how many people were killed who just happened to be around.  By not voting, I am saying that I will not choose someone to represent a position with which I am not comfortable with.

So more thoughts:

– Saying that you are voting for the lesser of two evils is still saying that you’re voting for evil.

– I won’t argue with you about if President Obama is Christian or not.  I will say that being proud of approving the killing of anyone (Osama) is not Christian.  I will say that all Christians will be held accountable for what they say and approve, regardless of what their job description says. 

– My wife brought up a great point.  Some people say you are not being a good citizen because you are not exercising your right to vote.  You also have a right to bear arms.  Are you not a good citizen because you don’t own a gun?

– I don’t expect my government to align itself with God’s best.  Commands for righteousness and living for His glory was not given to any government, but for those who believe on Him.  Even if the laws of this country represented Godly values, and the economy was awesome, it still won’t save anyone. 

-I will pray for my leaders. With His grace, I will obey the laws as long as they do not go against His commands.  The reason for doing this is so that He is glorified.  With love, I can write my Christian politicians and encourage them to vote for His best.  

I am not judging anyone for not voting or voting.  These are my reasons/thoughts for not voting.  My behavior and love for people will always count much more than my ballot. 

 

Giving Thanks for My Best Friend

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I am thankful for this lady.  She has seen the worst of me, and she still loves me.  She consistently looks out for my best interests, even if that means sacrificing those of her own.  For over 7 years of being married, I have enjoyed making her smile.  She is a great friend, a loving mother, and I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be one with her in this life.  

Why I am blogging

  • To honor Him.
  • To encourage others.
  • Because this walk makes me think about a lot, and I want to write it down.
  • To focus my time on the internet.

You can expect to see thoughts, links on Christianity, music, and possibly sports.  Feel free to leave comments if you’d like, but please know I would rather have the conversation with you in person.