In Times Like These…..

Photo courtesy of HopeinJesus.org

Photo courtesy of HopeinJesus.org

It is In Times Like These that I am reminded just how dark, cold, confused, completely hopeless the world seems.

With the devastating news of a gunman walking into an elementary school and opening fire on little children in a kindergarten class…I am reminded of just how much we all need Jesus!

Let’s face it…as much as we would like to pretend that everything is just fine, and go on about our lives as if everything is perfect…it most definitely is not! There is no way to explain why someone would walk into a kindergarten classroom and kill 18 innocent children…other than the indisputable fact that there is evil in this world.

In Times Like These…it becomes abundantly clear that our only hope is Jesus. Anything else is hollow.

The world needs light. The world needs clarity. The worlds needs hope. The world needs Jesus!

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What’s an Xmas?

merry_xmas_lgA good friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day that he was out getting some xmas clothes for his son. Well…needless to say…being the somewhat funny jerk of a friend that I am, I started razzing him about his choice of the word “Xmas” instead of typing Christmas.

I must admit….the exchange between he and me was quite humorous, but we do at times pick pretty hard at each other…but we have been friends for well over 20 years, so I think we can handle it.

In his defense, though I think it’s a pretty flimsy one, he was in a store chasing around a VERY active and curious 1 year old boy, and he said Xmas was easier to type on his phone than Christmas.

That is true…Xmas is much easier to type, but it lacks something. It just looks like somethings missing. It kind of reminds me of a math equation….(you know, the whole X equals Y junk?) and anyone who knows me will tell you…I hate math!

The more spiritual or religious types may tell you that it is a shadowing of our lives. How so easily and conveniently we can leave Christ out of the conversation. I can see some validity in their argument, and I must admit….my mind did go there for a moment. Probably mostly due to my many years spent in a ultra-religious and judgmental state of mind.

However, I think for the most point….we just need to get over it.

Carlos Whitaker had a humorous post a few years ago that I wanted to share with you.

    “Top 9 Reasons Why It’s Ok to Say Merry XMAS!”
    1. I love baby Jesus too but he didn’t name Christmas…Christmas. We did.
    2. If this offends you then I suggest you change your greeting to “May you have the most joyous season of celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. It is less confusing than Merry Christmas.
    3. I find it more insulting that people get mad at Bart Millard for saying Xmas and have no idea that the pagan origins of their gift exchanges started in ancient Babylon when the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.
    4. I’m thinking we should celebrate Christmas when it actually happened. More or less around September.
    The shepherds were not tending their sheep in the middle of a Judean winter. I promise.
    5. I’m not taking Christ out of Christmas when I say Xmas… I am giving more attention to the word “mas” which in the true language of God means “more”
    6. I love Jesus. If you are concerned with people seeing a Christian take “Christ” out of the word “Christmas” let’s just say it Merry Jesusmas so that everybody will get it.
    7. On twitter it is a much better way of saving your character count.
    8. Let’s face it. Jesus is the X Factor! What A Better Way To Say It!!!
    9. I hate lists of 10 so I’m gonna stop at 9…Or really 8.

So….there you have it. I like it…I think I will start using that one myself. Right now as a matter of fact.

I hope you have a Very Merry Jesusmas!

What do you think of the whole XMAS vs. Christmas debate?

Treating People Like Jesus

McDonalds really seems to be at the crossroads of American life. Rich and poor gather under the golden arches for cheap food that is quick and tasty. Their slogan could just as easily be, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to eat cheap.” I’ve seen business suits and birthday suits at McDonalds, it attracts everyone.

English: The official logo.
English: The official logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was at a discipling group today at one of our local McDonalds. While I was waiting for the group members to show up, I had someone join me at my table and he proceeded to hand me a couple of napkins and some hand sanitizing wipes. I (without looking up from my book) said thanks and kept reading. He handed out more napkins and wipes to the surrounding tables before returning to sit down next to me. When he noticed that I didn’t use the napkin as a coaster, he felt the need to pick up my cup and do it for me.

That got my attention and I knew this guy was serious about wanting to have some company, so I put my book down and waited for what was next. In our next few minutes together (about 15) here are the topics we covered:

  • Getting an ID from the government
  • Police
  • Colorado
  • Colorado’s nice residents
  • Kansas
  • Looooosiana
  • New York and New Jersey (he was born in both places)
  • California
  • Missouri
  • Colorado’s nice residents
  • Texas
  • The DMV
  • And how nice everyone in Colorado.

The two most repeated phrases of our conversation were, “You know?” (I didn’t, which got me in trouble on a number of occasions) and, “It’s just such a pain in the ass.” (I pretended to know).

You can probably tell by now that something wasn’t well with my new acquaintance, and the longer he sat across from me the more potent the smell of alcohol became. He was out of it enough that after my discipling group (an hour and a half long) I saw him again having a conversation with a bird statue a few blocks down (yes conversation, not monologue).

He even drew me a picture.

Towards the end of our time together he began to berate and yell at another customer as he was leaving McDonald’s because the guy at my table was convinced that he was the governor of Colorado and couldn’t figure out why he didn’t want to have a conversation with him.

Since the moment we first began to talk I had a nudge to engage his guy and talk to him. I kept hearing in my mind, “Treat this guy like Jesus.” Which of course meant that I would need to act like Jesus.

How do you extend grace, fellowship and company to someone that drunk, disoriented and out of it all together? I had Matthew 25 running through my head:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”

I knew that this is a guy loved and created in the image of God. I needed to treat him as such, but thinking about it and doing it are two different things. Given his current state it was going to be even harder. Here are some things I thought about that I think are helpful. I, in no way, think I was perfect and don’t think I’ve covered everything well. I’ve got room to grow and hope that God continues to shape me so I do better next time. Here are three things I think we need to practice better.

  1. Talk to them. There were several people that either blew off his presence or mocked him. A couple of tables snickered and pointed fingers as he talked. Engaging him and talking to him validates his humanity. Even in an inebriated state he needs to be treated humanely.
  2. Offer help. When he was talking about going to the DMV, he showed me the address he needed to go. I offered to help him find it. Though I was met with an angry outburst (because he knew the way), the point is that we should offer to go the extra step. Spend voluntary time with him.
  3. Offer to pray. This is an opportunity I’m ashamed to say that I missed. Part of it was because I barely got a word it, but most of it was because I wasn’t assertive enough. I could have offered to pray with him and his struggle to get to the DMV.

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Please comment below and add to the list. What other suggestions do you have?

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Contempt for Current Administration Growing

Residents from over 30 States have filed petitions to secede, including Texas where as of this posting, the petition has received more than 70,000 signatures.

    WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
    Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
    The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

    Created: Nov 09, 2012

Source: We The People

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Government to Force Hobby Lobby to Provide “Morning After Pill” to Employees

This is the scary world we live in when our government is trying to force Christian owned and operated companies, such as Hobby Lobby, to provide the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” to their employees, or face fines of up to 1.3 million dollars per day.

The privately held company which operates over 500 arts and crafts stores nationwide, filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS Mandate. The Health and Human Services “preventative services” Mandate forces companies to provide, without co-pay, the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plans or face fines into the millions of dollars per day.

Hobby Lobby CEO and founder David Green states, “By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” and “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”

The current government administration argues that once someone starts a “secular” business, he categorically loses any right to run that business in accordance with his conscience. The business owner simply leaves her First Amendment rights at home when she goes to work at the business she built. On this view of the world, even a seller of Bibles is “secular.” Hobby Lobby’s affiliate, Mardel, sells Bibles and other Christian-themed material, but because it makes a profit the government has now declared it “secular.”

On January 1, 2013 Hobby Lobby will face the choice of dropping employee health insurance altogether (and paying about $26 million a year in penalties), or continuing its current plan (which will expose it to about $1.3 million in fines per day).

This is just another example of Big Government pushing its weight around and forcing its will.

The Christian community as a whole, needs to let its voice be heard in the proper arenas. It is not enough to just vote and then do nothing for another 4 years. It requires that we speak out against such atrocities that attack our right to religious freedom…and PRAY!

Source: Lifenews.com

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