New Years

     Tonight, we say goodbye to 2013 AMD welcome 2014. I, for one, am ready for a fresh start. God has done some good things in my life in 2013, but it’s also been a rough year. A lot of let down. A lot of loss. A overwhelming sense of failure. A plummet to rock bottom. All of these things and more drained much of the life out of me this year. But, so many people unexpectedly reached out and lifted me up. Then I found my way to NewSpring Church and finally looked back to God.

     All in all, I’m glad 2013 is over and am ready to dive into 2014. I have every intention to make this new year stand out among all the others. I plan to do big things and finish putting all the pieces back together to make up for lost time. My New Year’s Resolution is to be impactful with my life. While I’m really down about being dealt another crappy, lonely New Year’s Eve, I’m thankful to have another year with all my immediate family here. I pray for another year with them all, and many more like it. And I’m thankful for the best dog anyone could ever ask for because she has an epic personality that keeps a smile on my face. She’s straight from God, I’m inexplicably thankful, and pray for a long healthy life for her. I also hope that this year might finally be the year God puts a wife-to-be in my life.

     So, goodbye 2013. I’ll enjoy watching you walk away. And hello fresh start. Happy 2014!

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My Christmas Favorites

     Christmas is the season to celebrate the birth of a savior, Jesus Christ. Second to that, it is also a season of love and joy in which we set aside everything else and draw close to our family and friends. We show how much they mean to us by giving them gifts from the heart without expecting anything in return, but express thankfulness when we do receive something in return. To prepare for such an epic celebration, there must be some essentials right? Absolutely!

 

     One of my absolute favorite Christmas songs is New York Christmas by Rob Thomas. It reminds me of my time in NY and makes me miss the big city lights, the tree in Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and so much more. And Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, And you pretty much have to have a movie lined up for every day in December up until Christmas Day. I won’t list 25 movies, but I have some favorites that must be watched. Christmas Vacation, Ernest Saves Christmas, Elf, Christmas in Conway, Home Alone 1 & 2, Jingle All The Way, Deck The Halls, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Christmas Carol (Muppet and Jim Carey versions) are just a handful of my favorites. I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate. So I’m on the look out for dark chocolate peppermint bark, Starbucks Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Frappuchino drink, and Lindt Lindor Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles when December rolls around. I don’t do fake Christmas trees. On Thanksgiving morning, after watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade like all fun and happy people do, I drive to the tree farm and pick out the perfect Christmas tree to bring home, light up, and decorate with unique, sentimental ornaments. Ya gotta have candy canes. For me, a good beard is in order. At some point, you must wear a Santa hat. If you don’t put up Christmas lights, you’re a Scrooge. A family Christmas dinner is very important. A white Christmas is rare, but its the cherry on top of a perfect Christmas. And never ever forget to remember and celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. So there you have it – a recipe for a pretty amazing Christmas season. Anything less would be sub-par, in my opinion, and that would make you a pretty lame person, ha ha. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

What The Duck?!

Biggest new of the day is that Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, was essentially fired after an interview was published in GQ magazine. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation activist group (GLAAD) got their panties all in a bunch when this article was published. They immediately jumped up, pointed their crooked finger, and screamed “SHAME!” Activists are like internet trolls. They sit around and search for people to attack who disagree with their views. Why? Because they have nothing better to do with their lives. The truth is that they aren’t really offended by the things they condemn. They beat and bash anyone who expresses views not in line with theirs for no reason other than to further their agenda.

You know what I think? A&E is cowardly. This is a stupid move on their part. They have just pissed off the vast majority of Duck Dynasty’s fan base. That show is their ace-in-the-hole, and they just shoved a grenade in their pants and sat down. So kiss your butt goodbye, A&E, because you have just sunk your most profitable ship. Duck Dynasty brings more viewers to A&E than all of their remaining shows. It certainly brings in more money than the rest. The show won’t be the same without Phil, and I don’t see it holding up. Do you really think that the Robertson family will go along with this? Do you think they will continue to film? IF they do, I submit that it would only be if Phil urged them to continue for the sake of spreading their message and promoting their business. The other question is will viewers be forgiving? Duck Dynasty has on multiple occasions has an amazing effect of ratings. On August 14 of this year, the season four premiere attracted of 11.8 million viewers, making it the most watched nonfiction series telecast in the history of cable television. You have the feat A&E. Yet, you just left a steamy pile on your flagship program. And you did it for no other reason than to appease a group of scum-suckers in the name of political correctness. Cowards! Stand up for freedom of religion and free speech. Don’t stifle it. I’m sick and tired of the Christian community being stifled for standing behind our faith. We now live in a nation where you are free to practice any religion except for Christianity. We live in a nation where you can say anything without fear of reprimand… unless it has anything to do with Christianity. And the name of Jesus is forbidden and will be censored, if not edited out of your mouth all together. A&E has edited “Jesus” out of the Robertson’s family prayer, and even inserted bleeps when there was no language there to be bleeped. They didn’t just bleep Jesus, which would have been offensive in and of itself, but they went further to edit Phil’s prayers as if he had not acknowledged Jesus at all. That is the ultimate ‘spit in the face’ act. I don’t care if you don’t like to hear Jesus’ name. This is America, and you have to deal with the fact the other people love and follow him. Speaking His name doesn’t offend you and more than “Allah” offends me. How about you muting the TV during the prayer if you don’t want to hear it or switching the channel all together? You don’t get to step into someone’s faith and declare what they can and can not do. And they deliberately tried to secularize the family by making it seem as if they were saying vulgar things on the air that viewers shouldn’t hear. That was done in an attempt to make them less “Christian” and more human so they could maybe draw in a few more viewers and dollars. A&E knew what they were doing when they offered the Robertson family the show. They knew their religious beliefs and even went as far as promoting the show as being centered on a family of devoted Christians. If A&E didn’t want religion displayed on their air, they shouldn’t have hired them! Doing so means you accept ALL aspects of their faith. And to label this man as hateful and racist is despicable!

Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2nyXtYQjL

Nothing about the above quote is racist. He was specifically asked about growing up in a pre-Civil Rights era in Louisiana. He told the truth based on HIS experience. He related himself to them in that he was in the fields with them. While a large part of America was extremely evil towards black people at the time, that was not true for ALL of America. He said they were singing and happy. Who are we to dispute that. Maybe that particular group of people was singing and happy at the time. Maybe they truly did not say anything bad about white people. Maybe the white people THEY worked for were part of the hateful crowd in the deep south.  Do activists consider that? Of course not because it’s not about being factual or even having an opinion. To them its about destroying anything that disagrees with the notion of “these poor pitiful people, every single one, have been and are still greatly mistreated in evil and malicious ways by every single white person and should forever be babied and are entitled to everything without putting any effort into society.” And before anyone declares me crazy or racist. That wasn’t to diminish real racism because it did exist and, sadly, still does. BUT, activist groups and liberals are holding the black community down and they don’t even see it. I’m sorry for what our white ancestors and some of our current population is so hate-filled. I truly am. It’s horrible and unacceptable, but that doesn’t mean that every comment made that shows a different side of things is racist. And my other point was that the black community is just as human as the rest of us. They are no different. They are largely out of those reprehensible times, despite a few occasional racism here and there by the white trash that embarrasses us all. We did right by taking actions to get them equality and fair treatment because they were born deserving it just like the rest of us. But the need for those things and these idiot activists is gone. We now have individual people who genuinely care and will fight for people who are discriminated against. And there are so many in the black community, just as in the white trash trailer parks, who feel entitled to things without working for them and are being told by liberal and activists that they have a right to these things. The fact of the matter is that we should be encouraging the black community and the saddest part of the white community to go to school and work hard rather than making them feel that those things are unimportant or that its submitting to white people in some way. I say that because I’ve heard it said. Phil’s point was that we should be treating the situation different and with true equality and fairness where we all work for what we get and don’t sit on our butts and expect a paycheck. And that isn’t a blanket statement to cover the black community.It refers to am undeniable portion of it. It also applies to the white community. The part of the community he was referring to should be looking up to their heroes who have done so many great things and aspire to do the same. That was his point. It’s a touchy topic, but it’s true. And regardless of anything, he had the right to say it, and especially so since he was asked. The same applies to his response to what he thinks sin is. No one has the right to condemn another person for honestly answering a question about what they believe ,according to their faith. You don’t get to tell him what he can and can’t say because it might hurt someone’s feelings or because it isn’t politically correct. You also don’t get to take his job for that. You can’t expect him to lie. You open the door to him to express his views when you hire him.

“In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group.” -Wikipedia

According to the above definition of hate speech, Phil’s comments were certainly quite the opposite. He did not incite violence or prejudicial action against the homosexual community. He quoted the Bible which he believes. Contrary to what the media and these morons from GLAAD continue to report, Phil Robertson did not equate homosexuality with beastiality. He said that sexual immorality to him starts with homosexuality and you “morph out from there.”  Then he gives a list of other sexual sin. In the eyes of God sexual immorality is sexual immorality across the board and are equally sinful. He quoted scripture and accurately portrayed the spirit of the Bible he reads. Moreover, his comments were not made on A&E and were in no way linked to the company. He was asked by a magazine, and he answered honestly. They knew his faith and his views before they asked the question. A&E knew the same before they hired him. It was a set-up! It’s ludicrous to be shocked when he answered Biblically and reprehensible and un-Constitutional to expect him to edit his faith to compensate for political correctness and bleeding heart activist groups. Here’s another fact for you. A large part of the gay community is outraged by the actions of GLAAD and A&E, which further proves my point that activist groups and self-serving. It’s funny to me that A&E has just released a new slogan, “Be original,” when they condemned Phil Robertson for doing just that. I submit that you edit your slogan. “Be original as long as you conform to our ideas.” Just sayin’. It’s also strange and highly hypocritical that they allow other things to remain on their air that are legitimately offensive. How can they allow things like “Growing up Gotti” to air on their network with the views the claim to hold? A&E will rue the day they tanked their flagship show, joined the war on Christianity, and destroyed their viewer base. You know what America? Adhere to the literal definition of hate speech when approaching these situations. Don’t classify anything opposing religious view as such because that is a deliberate lie to stifle and destroy opposing views. You can bet your bottom dollar that if a Muslim had professed his beliefs in the same way, he wouldn’t be stifled and fired. The same applies to the gay activists, the Atheists, and the liberal left. They have free reign to say anything, including the legitimate hate they tend to spew in the very same breath in which they condemn false hate, and suffer no consequence. And let me say this. This persecution of Phil Robertson doesn’t represent the true spirit of the gay rights movement, and that’s stated by the gay community. This is because if you are going to preach to the world to be tolerant of homosexuality, you also have to be tolerant of Christianity. Anything else is self-defeating and unproductive. A&E could have simply released a statement saying that “Phil Robertson’s views are his own and do not reflect those held of A&E.” Those who disagree with Phil can tune out. It is also worth noting that despite their action against Phil Robertson, they intend to air a Ducky Dynasty marathon that primarily features him. This shows their hypocrisy on another level other than the content they choose to air that is legitimately offensive. They don’t want to cancel the marathon or stop re-runs because that would cause a loss in profit. Then bend just enough to appease the activists, but allow themselves to still profit off a family they so clearly disagree with and discipline for stating beliefs. And GLAAD is nothing more than a pimple on the butt of society that needs to be popped and drained. Nobody needs or cares about the thought police. You’re not going to demonize me for my faith because you have no acknowledged authority over me. I will hold firmly to THE Truth, live accordingly, and spread the love of Christ until my last day.

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These  sad facts remain:

1) If you are on the liberal left you can get away with saying just about anything without consequence.

2) If you express any view that is not politically correct, you will be shut down, persecuted, and destroyed.

3) If you express Christian beliefs, you will be classified a hater and be blacklisted.

4) People are afraid to have conversation in America, and will attack any opposing belief and stifle them before they can cause any damage to their view.

Great news! Before I could even finish this post, Fox News announced that the Robertson family issued this statement:

“We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision.  We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.  While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.  We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.   Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.”

To the Robertson family: I applaud you for standing up for God. It highlights your character and confirms your originality. Thank the Lord for a Godly family that has somehow made it to the public spotlight in a time where God is so despised. And not only that, but you have also managed to attract the largest number of viewers to a nonfictional show in cable television history. Thank you for not denying Christ. Thank you for calling A&E on editing Jesus’ name out of your prayers and for inserting bleeps to cover non-existent profanity. Thank you for demonstrating that a family support system is more important than the money you stand to earn from a television show in a time where many tv families have been torn apart. And most importantly, thank you for boldly stating that God comes first. You are a beacon of hope – a lighthouse shining the light of Truth and love for a society that is a lost ship on a violent, stormy sea of immorality and religious intolerance so that we might find our way to Jesus. God is so good. God bless the Robertson family!

Puff Puff Pass

On Facebook yesterday, in response to the O’Reilly Factor, I posted a brief and vague summary of my concerns about legalizing Marijuana. It was very broad and was left wide open to invite commentary. I wanted to see viewpoints from both sides of the fence. As soon as I posted, I was attacked. It blows my mind that we can’t have civil conversation in America. Everything always results in name calling and shouting matches. Sadly, people don’t respect other people who have differing views. And that’s true on both sides of any issue.

I had originally planned to post a short piece on Facebook where I have hundreds of friends, knowing that it would spark a conversation. I then planned to write this blog and leave a link to it in the comments section of my Facebook post. The first comment was exactly what I was looking for, but following the next comment was a rapid fire insult-fest. Before I knew it, several people were going at it, and I was in the background, jumping up and down waving my hands in the air screaming, “hello, remember me?!” I had zero intentions of making people angry. I pointed no figures and condemned no one. That was a prime example of what’s wrong with America today. So, even though last night completely discouraged me from wanting to do this blog any more, I’m going to go ahead and publish this post.

The movement to legalize marijuana concerns me. I have legitimate concerns about the consequences of making pot accessible and legal for everyone. Supporters are quick to shout that its medical benefits outweigh its negative effects and that those negative effects are essentially non existent. They also equate the drug to alcohol and compare the movement’s detractors to prohibitionists. Let’s look at the facts and implications.

Like it or not, marijuana does have adverse side effects. They may not effect everyone to the same degree, but they are there. Pot impairs your judgement as well as your cognitive abilities. Smokers will be eager to say that you build up a tolerance. Okay, but having a tolerance doesn’t mean your aren’t impaired. It just means that you don’t go to outer space on the first toke any more. The primary reason people smoke marijuana is because of it’s euphoria inducing effect. Some people even have hallucinations. It’s been proven to impair your ability to learn, your memory, your attention, and your mood. It has been shown to effect on your awareness as well as your behavior. This drug has a plethora of scientifically proven adverse effects. While laying in your bed at home munching on your 8th bag of chips may not necessarily put someone in harms way, the threat becomes quite real when the smoker decides to get behind the wheel or go out into public. While I know a select number of people want it legalized for medicinal use, we all know that  the vast majority of those behind this movement want its recreational use legal. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have fully legalized Mary Jane while twelve others have legalized medicinal use despite the federal government maintaining its illegality. Now the activists want the federal government to also legalize the left-handed ciggy and regulate it like alcohol. Here’s the thing. Reefer and grandpa’s cough medicine aren’t the same. You can drink a beer without getting drunk. You can not smoke a doobie without getting high. Even though some may make the argument that you can take a toke or two and be fine, this is simply not true. You will be impaired to an extent. But the bigger issue to me is that it’s a stupid argument because, in reality, how many people are going to light up a blunt to take one hit and walk away. Come on now. The vast majority of pot smokers are the irresponsible ones who just want an escape from reality. Every single person I have ever met who does smoke weed has had it in their car. That’s not to say that every pot smoker drives high, but it certainly suggests that the percentage of those who do is high. I don’t want you stoned in a car on the road with me. The facts support the idea that your reaction time will be adversely effected as will your judgement. That makes you dangerous. I suggest that legalizing marijuana will increase crime and lead to accidents. I don’t necessarily mean violent crime, but certainly things like vehicular manslaughter and things where poor judgement and irresponsibility leads to injury or a death. I say car accidents will increase. I say more people will be overweight. I say more people will be lazy and irresponsible because they would rather be baked on the couch than working. We will create a social class of stoners. Fortunately they have Obama to hand out the free things they are entitled too (saracasm). On another note, the same people who claim that the want to legalize marijuana claim that the push only applies to medicinal marijuana and that it is not the same as street weed. I call bs. The only difference is that the growth of medicinal marijuana is regulated and overseen to prevent it from being laced with other drugs. The effects of the drug are still there. The crazy thing is that there is no evidence to suggest that marijuana heals anything. Its only medical benefits are that it has been show to ease pain and nausea is patients and helps a little with glaucoma. But there are alternatives out there that do the same thing, some even more effectively so. The risk with the other legal drugs is lower than the risk associated with pot. I’m not dead set against medicinal use, but I’m one hundred percent against recreational use. While I’m not staunchly opposed to legalizing medical marijuana, I still think it isn’t necessary which tends to lead me to lean towards not wanting it legalized either. Now, is someone can show me scientific evidence that marijuana actually has verifiable medicinal qualities that are greater than current legal drugs, I would consider changing my stance.

Here’s a list of some other random reasons I’m against legalizing marijuana.

1) It’s a gateway drug. Don’t argue with me. It’s a fact that it opens the door for users to try harder drugs and the most do.

2) You smell like funky butthole.

3) It sends a terrible message to our kids. A huge chunk of users are teens and marijuana has been proven to diminish their ability to mature and comprehend new things.

4) It stays in your body long after you stop smoking. It is stored in fat cells that will later break down and release THC back into your body.

5) Regardless of what advocates say, it is addictive.

There is so much riding on this decision. It will have an bad effect on America. Those who argue otherwise are in denial. I am concerned. I don’t hate on anyone who smokes marijuana. I’m not condemning anyone. I’m simply stating my concerns and backing them with facts. I’m not a legalistic Christian by any means, but my views are based on my faith and my desire to have the world be a better place rather than a worse place. As a Christian, I think God disapproves. I wouldn’t sit on a couch and smoke a blunt and reach over to pass it to Jesus. Would you? If you answered yes, I’d advise you to check yourself. If you aren’t Christian, you could careless what Jesus thinks, but the facts I’ve stated still remain. I think legalizing pot is a bad move over all.

What Does A Christmas Tree Mean?

What does a Christmas tree mean? In response to my defense of the true reason for the season, people keep telling me that Christmas was originally a pagan holiday from which Christians stole traditions, such as trees and lights, to incorporate into our own holiday designed to replace the prior celebration. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus who came to save us. It is our day for Him. But a day is a day, and anyone else is certainly free to to hold their own celebration on December 25th. But what about those “stolen” traditions.

Here’s the way I see it. Every year, I go to the tree farm in search of a Christmas tree. I take my mom with me to help me  find the perfect tree. I bring it home and set it up right in front of the big window in the living room. I look at my tree and admire God’s beautiful work with a thankful heart. Then I put bright, colorful lights on it to grab your  attention and highlight the ornaments.  Ah, and the ornaments are the best part. Each one is unique with a special meaning. First to go is my first Christmas ornament. Then I have all sorts of ornaments with all sorts of meanings. I have ornaments that commemorate specific dates and events, ornaments that symbolize the things I love to do, ornaments for family, ornaments for my pets, and gift ornaments. I also have ornaments that memorialize those I’ve lost, particularly for this year are my aunt Madge and my unborn child, Morgan. Most importantly, I have an ornament for Jesus. Then, of course, ya gotta have some snowflakes, snowmen,  candy canes, reindeer, and Santa in there. I also include random ornaments from years past. And a Christmas tree wouldn’t be complete without an angel or a star on top.

See, I’m not into having a tree that has a color theme with six boxes of matches balls and clear lights. They are pretty, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just love having the symbol that stands in front of my window. It’s a gift from God. It’s my life. It grows each year with me. Each branch is a moment holding a memory, lit with Jesus’ light of love,  and it all points to Him in Heaven to remind me of the amazing gift of saving grace He gave me. And that is what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas!!

 

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Be Jesus

      In light of the activist push to kill Jesus again and the ever-growing general hatred towards Christianity, it is imperative that we take a stand for God. As the body of Christ, we need to re-brand ourselves and be Jesus. Now, more than ever, is the time for Christianity to take root in America. America is “the land of the free” where you can practice any religion you want without fear of persecution, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. This is how the Founding Fathers designed our great nation, and it most certainly covers Christianity since America was founded on Christian principles. And the Bible teaches us to love each other, believer and non-believer, equally.  While our mission from God is to spread His Word and share Jesus in hopes of leading people to Christ, we are to be tolerant of non-believers and not hold them to the same standards as believers. We certainly have the Constitutional right to share The Truth with non-believers and leave them choose whether to accept or deny Jesus, just as they have the right to talk to us about their faith. It’s called conversation. 

     Yet, all that being said, secular America is boldly determined to not only stifle Christians, but to also invade Christianity and plant its own flags. And that, pisses me off! I won’t stand for it. Christians don’t attempt to take over other, non-Christian, religious Holidays, forbid prayer to specific gods, forbid the mentioning of the name of other gods, or encroach on whatever it is Atheists use to guide their lives. So why are Atheists and activists, who act in the name of religious freedom, boldly attacking Christianity? It is not a group of varying non-believers having conversation to express wanting to to have more respect generated for their religions or to have symbols of their faith included alongside the nativity scene. This is a deliberate, hate-filled attack on Jesus Christ. It’s ludicrous. 

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     The American Atheists sponsor this malicious Times Square billboard that stands as the face of the heartless attack on Christianity. It reads, “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody.” This sign features a hand with a marker that crosses out “Christ” after the question pops up, and then flashes “Nobody.” American Atheist President David Silverman appeared on Hannity tonight to defend this largely offensive public display of hate and discrimination. The entire segment had my blood boiling. This man can’t answer any question with a legitimate response. When Sean started asking the tough questions, he froze up all together and just sputtered until he was shut down. Sean made an excellent point, and I agree. He accused Silverman of posting the sign in order to bring in money to support the furthering of his cause. An outraged Silverman denied and claimed that Christians are doing just that by making up a fake war on Christmas. He also refused to answer whether nativitys and the “Merry Christmas” greeting actually offended him until Sean had repeatedly asked. The man answered “No.” And that prompted Sean to speculate that the American Atheists are in it for the money to further their cause and aren’t actually offended. It truly is a war on Christmas, regardless of what Atheists and activists claim. If they truly wanted to just stand up for non-Christians and how they have freedom to celebrate Christmas “without Christ,” they could have and should have worded their statement differently. Here are the facts. Christmas IS centered around celebrating the birth of Christ and is named accordingly so. And CHRISTIANS need “Christ” in Christmas. Saying that “nobody” needs him is a lie and a deliberate attack on Christianity.” If Christmas offends you, celebrate your own way. You can’t change Christmas to mean what you want it to mean, just like you can’t make Jesus and Santa Claus have a different skin color to suit your own agenda. 

      I can’t help wondering if we, as Christians, have somehow brought some of this on our own selves by allowing ourselves to be defined by the actions by the select few wing-nuts who distort the nature of God and twist the Word to serve their own agendas. And people who identify as “Christian” just because they believe in God but don’t have a relationship with Jesus or live by the Bible are extremely detrimental to Christianity. We need throwback to the 90’s: “What Would Jesus Do?” I still have my WWJD bracelet all these years later. It’s time to whip that baby out. Everything we say and do is noticed by and effects someone. Our words and actions, therefore, shape our testimony as well as the image of the church and the God we serve. I hate to be cliché, but we have to imagine Jesus sitting on the couch right beside us when we say and do things. Your character is your legacy. I want my character to be a mirror image of Jesus. I want people to walk into a room and look at my face and see Jesus. Christians have to have that mindset! Otherwise you need to step back and reevaluate your life because you may be at risk of winding up on the wrong side of eternity. Jesus walked among sinners and treated each and every one with love and respect regardless of whether they gave their hearts to him or not. His followers are to do the very same. We can’t look down on sinners as lesser than us and condemn them because we too are still sinners, and only God can condemn. We were all born into sin, and we will all die sinners. The only thing that separates believers and non-believers is the condition of the heart. As Christians, our sins are covered by grace, but we will still struggle. The difference is that we now know that our sin is sin where as before we did not, and we now have God in us to be our strength to turn away from it.  It is imperative that we not become arrogant and claim to lead sinless lives and look down our noses at non-believers. We have to meet them where they are just as Jesus did. Like I said we can not hold non-believers to the standards God gave us to live by because they do not have a relationship with Jesus and do not recognize their sin as sin. We have to meet them where they are and sometimes utilize parts of the secular world to reach them just as God used the Star to lead the wise men, who practiced astrology, to the baby Jesus. That does not mean that we have to join into the ways of the world and submit to the wickedness out there, but we can take worldly things and use them for good. In fact, you have to. That brings me to my next point. It is not okay for the church to be condemning long hair, tattoos, what women wear (pants versus skirts), flip flops & shorts, rock music, dancing, and all these other things that alienate people. This is why the America is turning its back on Christianity!!

But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in Heaven.                – Matthew 10:33 

Before you get your panties in a wad, take note that there were three types of law in the Old Testament time: Ceremonial Law, Cultural Law, and Moral Law. These things like tattoos, long hair, and beards fall into the category of cultural law. Let’s take tattoos for example. Those legalistic Independent Baptist churches that scare so many are eager to throw out Leviticus 19:28 to condemn tattoos. When the Israelites took over Israel they had to drive out other nations who were pagan. Those people tattooed themselves to identify themselves as pagans showing that they followed other gods. This falls under cultural law, which along with ceremonial law did not pass over into New Testament time. And if you want to hold that tattoos are unGodly, you then have to go back a verse where the Bible says men cannot shave and also hold shaving to be unGodly. So we have to look at these issues and determine whether they are part of ceremonial law, cultural law, or moral law which is timeless. Sadly, we also have non-issues like rock music and what you wear to church ( i.e. flip flops, jeans, etc…). This stuff is garbage made up and enforced by legalistic churches as part of their own agenda. God doesn’t care what I wear to come to Him, so long as it doesn’t cause someone to lust. He cares about the situation in my heart. Jesus did not wear a suit and tie. And you can’t point at an instrument or a specific genre of music and say it’s of the devil. You also can’t say “it just doesn’t belong in the house of God” because the church building is nothing more than a building. God doesn’t specifically dwell there. God dwells where ever two or more gather. My point is that this world is God’s creation and His house, and He is everywhere. If you condemn electric guitars in church, and then crank up your local rock station as you drive home from church or while you’re in the garage, you stand before God as a hypocrite. 

     It all boils down to how we represent God. We are disciples. We are the body of Christ. We have to be respectful and loving. Humble hearts are pleasing to the Lord and are more attractive to those we want to reach than hostility. We can accomplish so much more with conversation than with condemnation, as my Pastor, Perry Noble says. We also have to be tolerant of other religions. Go in the attic and find your WWJD bracelets! Put ’em on! Imagine Jesus at your side 24/7. Jesus is sitting beside you on the couch, so will you watch sexualized programming? Jesus is at your desk as you interact with non-believers on Facebook, so do you arrogantly disrespect them showing no love? Jesus is right there when you someone pulls out in front of you, do you cuss the other driver for all they’re worth? We have to preserve our testimony and light the narrow path to Jesus rather than build obstacles and stand guard to choose who to accept. The only way we will ever change the tone of the nation and even the world in regards to Christianity is to re-brand it with love. The term, Christianity is tarnished and leaves a bitter taste in people mouths because of how we have let ourselves become self-centered. God is love and only love can change that fact. We are followers of Christ and are charged with the duty to mirror His character and walk this Earth as he did. When people look into your eyes, be Jesus.

The Beginning

Due to the overwhelming amount of posts about politics and religion on Facebook and the need for a real discussion to start, I have joined the blogosphere.

 

“A Servant Journey” goes live tonight for me to share my thoughts on what’s happening in America and the world, as well as for me to shine a light on the TRUE nature of God in hopes of pointing the lost to Jesus. We are here to live as servants, showing kindness and love to everyone regardless of any differences we may have. I personally want people to look at me and see Jesus in all that I say and do. I’m not perfect by any means, and believe the key to developing meaningful connections with people is to be real about the areas where I fall short of who God wants me to be. I hope to engage the community in civil conversation. I encourage comments, opinions, and calm debate. I ask only that you be respectful and tolerant because I want to be productive rather than destructive.  Please follow this blog, and find the links to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

The journey begins…