Friday, December 25, 2009

Adored By Social Outcasts

One late evening, a little over 2015 years ago, a man named Joseph and his young wife named Mary arrived in Bethlehem only to discover that there were no rooms at the local inn. Imagine the frightening situation they faced since Mary, who was expecting a child, probably had been experiencing birth pains for the last 10 miles of their 80 mile journey. Now that they had finally reached their destination they were told that the only place the inn keeper had to offer for their comfort was an animal shelter. This was not exactly the place Joseph expected he and his wife to be spending the night when they reached their destination. Imagine the stench from the animals and the flies that buzzed around them. Even considering the archaic way children entered the world back then, this was not the way Mary and Joseph had envisioned their first child being born. It would not be long after Joseph made Mary comfortable that the time for the child to be born had arrived. Soon Mary's screams from the pain of childbirth would break the silence of the night as their first Son entered the world. With only the animals to greet the newborn, it would not be long before some very unsavory individuals would stop to greet the new parents and their child. They were shepherds who had been tending their flocks when an Angel visited and told them that a child had been,
....For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." Luke 2:12-13
I say unsavory, because times had changed since the days when King David was a young shepherd boy and God has chosen him to lead Israel. By the time Jesus was born, shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups in Judea. The very nature of a shepherd's job would keep them from entering into the mainstream of Israel's society. After all, many of these men were usually transients who would take any job they could find just to work. Some would have been former landowners who lost their land for one reason or another and thus many Jews considered them to be of questionable character because God surely punished them for some untold sin they had committed.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nine Reasons Santa Must Be A Conservative Republican

Back in May I wrote an article that asked the questioned, "Was Jesus A Socialist?" As I wrote in the article it is my understanding of the Scriptures, and of God's many rules and regulations to the Israelites, that Jesus was a capitalist. Thus I believe if He were walking among us and actually voting in our elections today, He would most certainly be a conservative capitalist. Now we find ourselves at the doorstep of Christmas and unfortunately more children have probably heard of Santa than have heard of Jesus. So in the spirit of the season, and just so I can be fair and equitable with my political opinions, I have decided to share what I think of Santa's political persuasion.

My regular Sunday messege will be presented on Christmas morning this week, so today I have decided to have a little fun. Oh I realize it is not a Christian message so much as it is a political statement I am making here, so I ask those who may be offended by this to accept it in the spirit it is offered. I also do not want anyone to think that I am putting a beloved character on the same level as God, I am not, and please do not misconstrue the meaning of this article. I offer it as a simple and fun explanation of how I see liberals and what I think of Santa's politics.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hated For My Names Sake

"They will hate you for My sake".This is what Jesus said would happen to those who follow Him.
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."Matthew 24:9-13
Up until recent times, most Christians in America could not imagine living in a country where such things would happen in their lifetime. Who would ever imagine a time when Christians would be hated and people would betray their faith for the false prophets? I can't help but think of folks who grew up in the Bible belt or of the Laura Ingalls-type pioneers of the 19th century prairie days. Did they ever come close to imagining what that kind of world would be like? And yet here we are, actually living in such times.

"You will be hated by all nations because of me," Jesus said. It's not just imaginary anymore, because since the House of Representatives passed the so-called "Hate Crimes Bill", it is just a matter of time before Christians are persecuted for quoting Scripture from the Bible.

This is real, this is now. Jesus Christ knew that this day would come, and he spoke of it when He walked among us. We are living during a time when we will see attacks on Christians, and conservative political radio, escalate as it has in Canada, because of newly adopted hate crime language in the law. It is clear to me that we must be ready to stand up and fight for what is right. I know that not all of us have a public reach through web logs (blogs), radio, books, and TV. But at the very least, we must stand up for our Christian principles in our communities and with our friends and family.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

Start off your week right by checking out this video of the high school students in the Chamber Choir of South Kitsap High School of Port Orchard, Washington were the students perform a great rendition of Halleluia!   This was in Dec., 2008 in the Winter Festival.    Freeper Lynn D's wife actually made 4 of the monk costumes, both Lynn and his wife were in the audience during the presentation of this concert. Great work Lynn, and thank your wife for such a great job on the costumes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From Genesis to Revelation in One Year

If you are looking for the video of the Silent Monks Singing Halleluia, then go to this link and you will see it. Sorry for the confusion.
Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

From Genesis to Revelation in One Year

I have been asked by numerous individuals as to how I manage to get through the Bible in one years time. It is a task I attempt to undertake every year, and I must admit that often times I find myself bunching up a few books around the end of the year to accomplish my task. There are many schedules put out every January by various Christian Churches and organizations that will guide you in accomplishing such an endeavor. I am sure those who attend church regularly will find that their Church offers a schedule every December. Unfortunately, what I have learned through the years is that these lists and schedules are usually put together by someone whose hours and lifestyle doesn't always fit for others. So for today's Sunday message, I have decided to offer a few ideas for those who have yet to read the Bible through in a year and desire to do so. I will attempt to show how I have been able to get into the rhythm of reading the Lords gift to us, His Word, from cover to cover.

The best way to begin is to share my own experience. One of the most difficult obstacles is to be disciplined about picking the Bible up everyday and reading it. Now I do not mean to say that I did not have the desire to read the Word, I did. My problem was that when I finished with all the exciting passages, I was faced with the task of reading the books I felt did not pertain to my life. So for many years I just kept rereading the same books over and over again. Well, you can imagine, my walk with the Lord was not as full and rewarding as it could have been. I was missing a major part of Him, my Father who created me. Then one day I was told by Pastor Bud Chauvin that besides reading through the Bible once a year, he also read the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs 12 times a year. After hearing this, I decided to follow suit, and began reading the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs through in one month.