Archives for December 2013

Christmas thoughts

Christmas is about Christ

  • Claims that Christmas finds its roots in a Roman or Pagan holiday are a manipulation of the truth.  It is true that Constantine sought to replace a Roman Holiday with the celebration of the Birth of Christ with little to no basis for situating the date of His birth on December 25th.  But that does not mean that the idea of remembering the birth of Christ started at this point. In fact, as we read in the Bible books Mathew and Luke, the recognition of the Birth of Christ as a miraculous and special event was a part of the very earliest Christian beliefs and traditions.  So the only thing that has any connection to a Roman holiday is the date, not the event.
  • Gifts are an obvious part of the Christmas story.  You have only to look at God’s gift of Christ to the world and the gifts of the wise men to Jesus to see that gifts are clearly part of Christmas.  Even if the Romans gave gifts to one another at that same time of year, it shows nothing more than a clear example of why Constantine would choose that time of year as opposed to another.  Even if Christians did not give gifts to each other for the purpose of remembering the birth of Jesus (which I have not researched) it would show nothing other than the adoption of a practice that could easily be used to give glory to God.
  • Christmas in what we know in western culture has always been about Christ.  Even among those who do not believe in Jesus, the practices of love and generosity that are so often shown at Christmas time are glorifying to God no matter who shows them.

A note to Christians

  • If there is an offense that Christians may feel about what I have just said, remember God’s common grace.  We are all created in the image of God and in the book of James we learn that all good things come from the Father above.  In short, good things can and do come from non-believers the same as believers.
  • Remember that the only people Jesus ever used the word hypocrite towards were the religious people.  Those who were anxious to point out the flaws of all those around them and slow to admit, or even denying, their own short comings.  (See Romans 3:23)
  • Jesus was patient and kind with those who did not know or follow Him.  Remember the words ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.’  Only those who claimed to know God did He call out specifically.  Beyond that He simply called all people to repent of their sins and come follow Him.
  • Lets try to live out 1 Peter 3:15.  Don’t just read it.  Live it… Gentleness and Respect.
A note to Non-Christians
  • First, I apologize for anytime someone has mistreated you.  Most of the believers in the world catch only parts of the faith and think they know far more.
  • They honestly do feel that their faith is under attack and most don’t know how to evaluate or respond to that.  Anytime a phrase involving Christ is not welcome, they feel they are not welcome either.  Anytime Christ himself or what He represents would not be welcome, they feel an outright rejection of the very thing that defines who they are.  Its not that they behave correctly at these points, but just like you want to be respected about who you are and what you hold dear… so do they.
  • Lastly, If Christmas really is about Christ and you are willing to accept that not all Christians accurately represent who Christ is, then please don’t judge Jesus based on those who claim to know Him.  Read about Him yourself.  Pick up a bible.  Read any of the four books found in that 66 book volume that are biographies of Jesus.  Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.  All four of these books were written by different men who lived during the life of Christ.  In short, judge Jesus by Jesus.  Just like you would not want to be judge by what someone else said about you, give Jesus the same respect you would want to receive yourself.

What are you looking for? -Jeremiah 6:16

Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

– What about you?

I encourage you to read this post by my wife.  It is wonderful.



Mission Volunteer Opportunity

The goal this summer is to spread the gospel in the Rough River area.  The targets can be either those who are camping in the area or the local residents.  The plan is to partner weekly with local churches to pray, engage the people, host events, and share the truth about Christ.  The volunteer(s) will be provided a place to stay if needed, supplies for projects, and a small stipend.  The followup plan is to work with local pastors and lay-leaders to begin small group bible studies following the summer.  Depending on location, we will also attempt to connect contacts made over the summer with local churches in their area.
This work will include:
  • 8 weeks in the field.
  • Target dates are June 1 through August 2, 2014.  (These dates are flexible depending on the need.)
  • Weekly church visits to share the missions goal and results.
  • Spend time in local campgrounds/communities meeting people and inviting them to that weeks event.
  • Weekly events can be community cookouts, block parties, concerts.
  • Weekly documentation of contacts made.  (for followup purposes)
  • Documentation needs to include:
    • Name
    • Family info
    • Age and gender
    • Address
    • Phone
    • Spiritual condition
    • Interest and responsiveness to the gospel.
  • Weekly attend and participate in report and planning meetings at nearby Cloverport or Hardinsburg.
  • Training can be provided.
  • Work or school schedules can be discussed.

This person can be from the local area or not.  We would be glad to discuss the vision of the work with whoever feels the interest or call.