(I wrote this post two years ago and thought I would share it again this Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all.)
This year is the first time I can ever remember not having much Christmas Spirit.
Honestly I’m not really sure what Christmas Spirit is so I thought I would write about it to see if it helps me figure it out.
I guess most people would say Christmas Spirit is the feeling of joy and the spirit of giving.
I know when I was a kid Christmas was the most anticipated time of the year. The joy and the spirit of giving wasn’t the reason for the excitement, it was the joy of getting.
I was a kid and that’s what Christmas was all about. It was the one time of the year (besides your birthday) that you got gifts, nice gifts.
But it wasn’t totally about me and what gifts I was going to receive. I also loved the family getting together, the lights, the trees and the special once a year food. (Steamed shrimp, yum / fried oysters and oyster pie, yuck) Christmas Eve was the only time of the year my grandma got out her fine punch bowl and filled it with ginger ale and scoops of orange sherbet.
I grew up but hung on to the love that I had for Christmas. Continue reading
I have written about the simplicity of God and Christ and how the simplicity of life is you and your relationship with God. Work on your relationship with God and the rest will fall into place.
I cited Matthew 6:1-8 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount. Christ talks about how your relationship with God is just between you and God. Christ talks about getting your heart straight with yourself and with God. Once this is accomplished or I should say as you keep improving your relationship with God, the rest of your life will fall in line.
When I ponder this I think about how this is also true with music or any art. Your music, your art is a very private affair. Continue reading
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
On a Sunday night of a rather busy and tiring weekend, after my wife and I had finished some pizza and wine, I decided I had enough of the day. My wife was engaged in her social media while I just vegged out in front of the TV, aimlessly wondering the channels.
I searched the usual channels but as is normally the case, nothing of any interest was on. I decided to start at the beginning and work my way through every channel at my disposal.
I quickly skimmed through the major networks followed by some of the local stations. Next up on the dial were the kid channels. As I passed through this section of programming, there it was, a piece of my childhood, Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. Continue reading
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
I read this verse and wrote it down. I know it meant something to me but I wasn’t quite clear on how to explain it.
I struggled with the second half, “and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
The reason for my confused feelings towards this second half was “with the mouth” or talk.
Talk is cheap. Continue reading
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.
I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before. This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.
Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”
I like this verse.
I wrote it down and then read some commentary by theological scholars.
Now as I was reading their commentaries my first thought was “Gee, they should call these guys Biblical lawyers or theological engineers.”
Why? Continue reading
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well feed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Why Paul is saying this to the Philippians is not important to what I am writing. But in the verse that precedes these verses Paul writes:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
Paul is glad the Philippians have taken an interest in him, not because he wants them to take care of him, but because he knows he can lead them to God and Christ and show them the contentment he has discovered in getting his relationship with God and Christ.
This is what led me to write down these verses. Continue reading