Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Faith Blog

UPDATE:
I'm watching QVC on TV...Rachael Ray is on with hostess Jane Rudolph Tracy (for those of you who know who I'm talking about). They have talked about HANNUKAH and THE HOLIDAY the whole hour. "I used GREEN and RED pot holders in a taping of me cooking with my kids and the green and red were so cute for the HOLIDAY....you can also buy BLUE for HANNUKAH!" "You can buy this for the Holidays OR for Hannukah.."
I'm sitting here wondering if there's some memo that FORBIDS people from mentioning CHRISTMAS? I mean, it's almost getting goofy and FUNNY, isn't it!? Ah, well...back to my main post...I hope you enjoy it:



A dear friend sent me this video and I thought it was wonderful and a good reminder. My own stepson has asked for no Christmas gifts, just that we give a donation in his father's memory to the Amyloidosis Support Groups. This is the kind of thing most of us should do, don't you think? Give something that will HELP. Give your TIME. Help your church so our American churches can afford to get back to what they did so beautifully in the past...building hospitals, helping the poor, feeding the hungry, helping in the community, etc.

My Bible study has been studying LUKE and we discussed Christ's birth almost 2 months ago. We sang "O Little Town of Bethlehem" in September! I commented to someone how beautiful it was to feel Christmas in the Fall. She said "Maybe it's because we have the beauty of the birth and no Christmas shopping, cooking, etc., etc." That was a great reminder to me because I had finally FELT what Christmas is like without the 'stress'.

I wish that for you, too. In this economy, I hate to recommend not buying gifts..! GIFTS ARE GOOD, it's FUN to give...!! But, remember this video, too. Give donations, give your kids a book of promises! "I promise to have a good chat" and, when they present that promise to you, have a chat! "I promise to take you to the movies!" GO TO THE MOVIE!

The best gifts are FREE. Give your spouse a special promise; only you two know what that could be. Do it for me and Mr. Z, okay? Wrap it up as beautifully as if it were a cashmere coat. Have a wonderful Sunday. That's free, too.

xxx Z

27 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Those who know the situation in this household hopefully realize that this year Mr. AOW and I will be celebrating a pared-down Christmas.

Give your spouse a special promise; only you two know what that could be.

I think that Mr. AOW and I have already fulfilled that one. I brought him home!

Linda said...

We celebrated Christmas one year in September. My brother-in-law and family were heading to Argentina to be missionaries. It was probably one of the most special Christmas' we've had.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Z.

If I can, can I ask you to pray for Waldo? He is a wonderful young man, married with 3 children, and if fighting for his life with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. They have been missionaries for over 20 years. His mother just passed away the middle of November. The whole family needs prayer. Thank you!

AOW, I am so glad you got to bring your hubs home. I hope and pray things are going well for both of you!

Z said...

Always, it's all about love and caring at your house this year. We should all make it that even without your situation. May this be a particularly meaningful Christmas for you both. His present will be doing his physical therapy diligently so you both can get back to your new 'normal'...as best as possible.

Linda, I hope everybody here prays for Waldo...poor guy! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year.

" Kody's, The Bull Stops Here" said...

Amen to that.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.
Great post Z thank you.

Anonymous said...

An excellent message, but it's one that applies EVERY DAY -- not just at Christmas.

It sounds so corny and naive in today's flippant, cynical world, but the more we give to others -- of companionship, recognition, service in supplying practical needs -- the less apt we are to focus on how bad we feel or how much we wish we had the life so-and-so has and all the rest of it.

At the same time I see the display of lights and bright shop windows and Christmas trees as a tangible expression of the joy we are supposed to feel at the coming of the Savior.

Material things are great -- as long as we don't get competitive and buy expensive stuff just to show off and feed our pride and vanity.

The idea of making things at home TOGETHER is what always made Christmas so special in our family.

I saw a while back that some people are actually paying professional DECORATORS to trim the homes with ostentatious, displays. That strikes me as ANTI-Christmas.

Have a LOVING Christmas. Sharing yourself with family and friends is the best way to celebrate The Season.

~ FreeThinke

sue said...

Z - This is a very nice post. I like what you said about having Christmas in the fall without all the stress.

And giving gifts that aren't materialistic, but rather things you can do for someone.

And now back to trimming the tree...

Faith said...

Nice message, Z, and I'll take it to heart. Waldo also, and the AOW's. So many needs to think of and that IS the message of Christ -- so sad that what Christ originally inspired His followers to do for others in this world has been taken over by the State. We need to take it back.

Debbie said...

That is a great idea, studying the Christmas story at a time other than Christmas.

God bless you during this time. I know you will struggle as you miss your hubby.

AOW, I'm so glad you have your hubby home with you, you have much to be thankful for.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

WomanHonorThyself said...

it is nice that they mention Hanukkah too but fear not..Kwaaaanza and some Mussslim holiday will no doubt be front and center and NOT Christmas!

Anonymous said...

It is up to US -- not the media or the government (one and the same? ;-) -- to keep Christ in First Place in our hearts and daily activities.

BEING Christian is the only TRUE way to spread Christianity. It really has nothing to do with "official policies" on the part of large organizations be they public or private.

Christ came not conquer nations with militant authoritarianism. He came to show us how to conquer OURSELVES.

True Christianity is an INNER thing. The extent to which we allow our light to shine before others is our ONLY hope for influencing the conduct and policies of others.

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be Ye kind one to another, tender-hearted and forgiving one another, even as God, who for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Nobody doesn't think mentioning Hannukah's a good thing, WTT, but 83% of Americans claim Christmas and Hannukah's a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, as you know, and THIS HAPPENS? This OBVIOUS avoidance isn't an accident!
Of course we honor Hannukah...!

Free Thinker...I still happen to think that we can't let people start eroding the Christianity that built this country....it's an inner thing, yes, we need to model the tenets of the faith, but this is INSANE and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Z. I don't like the deliberate avoidance of direct references to Christmas and the glorification and over-emphasis on mini-minority customs and practices at ALL.

What I'm trying to say, though, is that it won't do much good to fight it with anger and loud protestation. We can win just by behaving better -- even in the face of continuous insult and assault -- and being very persistent in maintaining our faith and cultural character no matter what. I do believe that, but it's very demanding, and the rewards most often are not short term.

I wish we didn't have to meet these challenges, but the world never treated Jesus very well -- from His Birth in a stable to His Death on the Cross -- yet he TRIUMPHED.

I think we're supposed to make every effort to do the same. (I admit I'm not very good at it, but I haven't given up.)

I hope the Joy of Christmas comes to you, even in the face of all that has happened.

Your friend,

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Many baseball players have caught fly balls, but when you say THE catch, people know you are talking about Willie Mays's over-the-shoulder catch in the Sorld Series because it is one of the most historic catches in baseball.

Standford's football team plays many games during the season. But when you say THE game, people know you're talking about Cal v. Stanford because of the importance and tradition associated with that game.

We have holidays to celebrate harvests, to celebrate war heroes, to celebrate the birth of the nation. But all history and eternity hinges on God taking the form of man and suffering the penalty for sinful man so that sinful man can be reconciled to an all-powerful, all-loving God. Even if it's not what the people using the expression intended, in a way it's appropriate that the celebration of God living among us is known as THE holiday.

tiob

Anonymous said...

Free Thinkie,
I enjoy your comments but have to take issue with part of your statement. Christ's primary purpose was not showing us how to conquer ourselves. His primary purpose was to conquer sin, death, and the power of the devil for us.

I apologize if I'm misinterpretting you and arguing against something you're not asserting.

tiob

Anonymous said...

FT - This assault on Christianity and Christians in America, didn't just start. It's been going on here for many years, since the phrase, "separation of church and state" came into existence over forty years ago.

Christians didn't fight then. We didn't fight when christmas carols which had even the slightest religious connotation were disallowed in schools.

We didn't fight when we were told crosses were disallowed on public property or disallowed depicted on a mission on the Los Angeles city seal.

We didn't didn't push back when "holiday" replaced "Christmas", until now.

Today the ACLU want's crosses removed from our soldiers graves in military cemeteries. Are we not going to fight back yet again?

Being a Christian does not mean passively allowing ourselves to shrink behind closed doors, hoping this will stop. It won't.

This is a major part of political correctness, and it has to stop, and we need a re-emergence of freedom of religion.

We have been experiencing a tyranny of the minority in many areas, and Z is right. It is dangerous. Just as dangerous as a tyranny of the majority.

The idea that saying Merry Christmas is somehow wrong yet mentioning any other religion is acceptable, is ludicrous. It's political correctness taken to it's extreme.

Just because one is a Christian, if someone says "jump", we don't have to say, "how high?".

To imply we've been angry and loud all these years is not true, and we've found out what that has gotten us. Browbeaten, that's what.

Even Obama, during his campaign referred to Christians as "clinging to their Bibles and their guns". It was not a compliment, it was a smear of a segment of our population.

Who are the rabble rousers in all this, Christians? I don't think so. Maybe it's time we were.

Pris

Ducky's here said...

Rachel's come a long way since that harpy at Atlas Shrugged sprung the keffiyeh story.

Ducky's here said...

As for having a wonderful Sunday, z. Well, we had a small snow, not much to shovel, dry roads but the trees and lawns were all coated. Quite attractive.

Went to mass and then a violin concert at the Gardner. The CHRISTMAS poinsettias are out in the courtyard.

Merry Christmas, z.

Madeleine said...

There's a radio station around here that plays all Christmas music after Thanksgiving...I'm thinking about boycotting the station after hearing the PC versions of some Christmas songs. It's ridiculous! Don't want to offend anyone! But what about all the people (like me) that are offended by having the PC versions?

I like the AC..trying to get our church more involved with it.
"Help your church so our American churches can afford to get back to what they did so beautifully in the past...building hospitals, helping the poor, feeding the hungry, helping in the community, etc." Amen to that, Z..It seems so radical, but I do think that is how the church should be...someday maybe.

Ducky's here said...

"Help your church so our American churches can afford to get back to what they did so beautifully in the past...building hospitals, helping the poor, feeding the hungry, helping in the community, etc."

---------------------

But then you'd have to stop whining about gay marriage and really important stuff.

Anonymous said...

"Christ's primary purpose was not showing us how to conquer ourselves. His primary purpose was to conquer sin, death, and the power of the devil for us."

But how else could that possibly happen if we don't learn to conquer ourselves -- i.e. resist the ever-present impulse to take the paths of least resistance, indulge our fleshly appetites without discipline, respond in kind when we are attacked or verbally abused, take vengeance upon others who've wronged us, etc.

Sin is in SELF-ABSORPTION and SELFISH BEHAVIOR. The Devil works through our EGO by suggesting we can get away with things that bring harm to others and ourselves.

"Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you."

Jesus taught us how.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

But how else could that possibly happen if we don't learn to conquer ourselves --

-----------------

Indeed.

Ducky's here said...

Today the ACLU want's crosses removed from our soldiers graves in military cemeteries. Are we not going to fight back yet again?

-------------------

Prove it. Is there any end to your petty gossip?

Anonymous said...

Ducky, I read it. Unfortunately I didn't save it and because I read so much I can't recall where.

I don't tell myself Ducky might want this info so I have to save it. Imagine that!

Pris

Z said...

There was a lot about the ACLU suing, Pris...but it's gone from radar view now. And, we can't even believe the FactsCheck people anymore than SNopes, which is always covering for any slightest indiscretion from the Left.
They even say "JESUS" can be said by chaplains when we all know that chaplains are being let go for having said JESUS in prayer. I'm not sure that's an ACLU thing, however.

The ACLU is now suing to make sure Wickens can get their pentacle on federal grounds if the dead is a witch.

Anonymous said...

"There was a lot about the ACLU suing, Pris...but it's gone from radar view now."

Thanks Z, I've been racking my brain trying to remember the source where I read that from. I thought that would be a big story. I should have known better. The media's on a permanent lunchbreak.


"The ACLU is now suing to make sure Wickens can get their pentacle on federal grounds if the dead is a witch."

Good grief!!
Well, at least Nancy Pelosi can rest easy now.

I wonder what symbol the atheists will use to depict nothing? I figure that's the next suit.

Pris

Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith said...

"His primary purpose was to conquer sin, death, and the power of the devil for us."

But how else could that possibly happen if we don't learn to conquer ourselves -- i.e. resist the ever-present impulse to take the paths of least resistance, indulge our fleshly appetites without discipline, respond in kind when we are attacked or verbally abused, take vengeance upon others who've wronged us, etc.


tiob has it right, FT, and I'm always amazed at how you don't see this simple truth about the gospel of Christ. Christ Himself did it. He's God. His death accomplished a supernatural change in the fabric of the universe that makes salvation from sin and death and the devil possible for us. No amount of mere human effort could do that, but He empowers us. Supernaturally. You always leave out the supernatural part -- the REAL supernatural part that is utterly beyond our personal capacity and experience and is open only to those who truly have faith in Christ's deity and sacrifice.