Thursday, November 30, 2006

Arctic Blast in the South

Isn't it funny when the local weatherman speaks of an arctic blast to hit the South? I bet there are many who live in regions that are covered in snow that laugh when we close our doors because of a few snowflakes. Here is our winter...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas in Crisis

How do we take Christ out of Christmas? I can remember as a young child how furious my mom would get when stores would would spell Christmas with an X (Xmas)on their windows. I am not sure whether they were making a statement or just trying to conserve space.

OK... maybe this doesn't bother you, but I cannot understand why our society wants to take out any part of the life or name of Christ during this season. As the new movie, The Nativity Story, is set to open in the theaters on December 1, Chicago city officials have asked a local Christmas festival, Christkindlmarket, not to advertise the new movie

Though society's decision to ban advertisements about Christmas does not alter my faith, I am saddened that we live in a world that continues to reject Jesus Christ. But then again, what an opportunity for Christians to stand strong for the gospel in the face of opposition. As I remember, Christ told the disciples,
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, `A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also (John 15:18-21).

Our faith or our message is not annihilated because society closes certain doors of outreach. In fact, our faith and message can never be eradicated because we serve a soveregn and powerful God. He has chosen to allow certain persecutions to enter into our lives in order to cultivate a more mature faith. Through our persecution and suffering, God draws us closer to Him and teaches us about the depth of our relationship with Christ.

Let's take advantage of this opportunity to call upon the Lord for guidance and reveal to a lost and dying world the magnificent splendor of our Savior. To Him be all the glory.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

What do you think of on Thanksgiving? Food, family, football, parades, television, or just relaxation from a day off from work (well maybe some of us have to work). The tradition of Thanksgiving is rich with history of our homeland. We know from history that the Mayflower set off from England in 1620 and landed on Cape Cod a couple of months later with 102 of our forefathers. Within the first winter, some 50 people of the original crew died, yet the remaining individuals decided to celebrate the first Thanksgiving which occurred sometime during the fall/winter of 1621. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the colonists along with some 90 Wampanoag Indians who helped them survive the brutal ruggedness of the land. Much of this history is recorded in Governor William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation. As I think about the pilgrim's enthusiasm to start a new life in the New World only to struggle to survive during their first year, what held them together in order to express a celebration of thankfulness? Holidays can bring forth both celebration and sadness. It is a time to spend with family, yet it is also a time of reflection. How will you spend your time over the holiday season?

Many of us know the words of America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates:
O BEAUTIFUL for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

But do you know the words of the second stanza:
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Those stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

Be strong, Pilgrim!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

At the Portal

I am reminded of a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson,"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others." Standing at the portal of cyberspace, I am a little hesitant to enter, yet my curiousity gets the better of me. So I will take the exciting walk through the door of Blogville and welcome the adventure with open arms. Here we go...