Another Christmas….

Another Christmas……some can’t wait until it comes

Some can’t wait until it’s over

But now it is here….. Christmas Day

What does it all mean and why such a Celebration?

For Christians it means something different in a more personal and meaningful way than those who just know it as another Holiday…..a day off of work or school, or a day to give and receive gifts.

For some it is a day of joy, and others a day of drama, still others a day of sadness.

For some it’s football.

Whatever this day means to you…..could you pause and read a small note, a personal message.

This personal message from a friend of mine of years past, Freedom Kongvold, might help some find a reason to consider why all the “fuss” over Christmas, a day everyone in the world knows of, and many acknowledge as one of the most important days of all mankind, could be one of the most important days of your life.

Take a read and give some thought.

http://www.freedomkongvold.com/blog/christmas-2016

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Christmas Day – A Day To Change Your Life

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:16-20 NIV

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One birth changed the world, by bringing into this world a Savior who can save us from our sins and bring us eternal life.

This CHRISTmas don’t just celebrate the day but take the time to learn of this miraculous opportunity to change your life.

How Much Intelligence Does it Take?

I, like many people love automobiles. They are amazing! They provide the ability to get so many different places so quickly and in comfort. And many look so good. There are so many awesome designs, engines with great horsepower, climate controlled, with sound systems that marvel, technology to the max. They are designed with style that is not only attractive but engineered with efficiency in mind.

I love the new Tesla S! It is an amazing car. No engine, no transmission, no need for gasoline, a full 17 inch computer screen to handle the functions of your automobile. And even with no engine or transmission it is still a car with great acceleration, 0-60mph in just over 4 seconds. It had to require a different thought process, a paradigm shift to believe you could create an automobile that is fast as most any sports car on the market and not have an engine. It had to have challenged the intelligent automotive minds of today to think and design such an automobile.

2012-tesla-model-s_100365754_m

WHERE’S THE ENGINE?

TESLA S Trunk

Then look at the smart phones of today. Small, with so much technology and apps it staggers the imagination. These people who design these things are intelligent, I mean really really smart.

To have the vision to think these concepts in the mind and the smarts to create these technologies from mind to reality took some major intelligence. Likewise I cannot imagine that to create our world it took any less intelligence or any less design. None of us will deny the fact that the products we live our lives with today, from something as simple as a fork and spoon, to complexity of the automobile or smart phone didn’t happen by accident. Someone had to think and design the fork and spoon just as they had to have the intelligence to think and create the automobile and smart phone.  How can we possibly think that complexity of the earth, with its water, oxygen, plants, animals, insects, humans, etc. all of which play an integral role in each other’s existence, happened without that same intelligence or with any sense of design that our circle of life and ecosystem would all work together.

As a person who studied the sciences we were taught to propose a hypotheses or theory and then prove or disprove it. Many theories that could not be proved were by default considered disproved….until new knowledge became available. Just because we cannot explain something and it is beyond our current level of understanding doesn’t mean it is not possible or didn’t happen. I am not the smartest person in the world, but even the most intelligent minds could not possibly design and create our planet and the life on. I also find it intellectually very hard to believe that like the fork, spoon, automobile and smart phone that they were created by the big bang theory and then evolved into the ordered life systems we know. Many things we are still learning and trying to understand, but how much intelligence would it take to design and create the universe, the planet, all living things and the human race? Could we propose that perhaps a mind much greater than a single human mind, or perhaps even greater than the mind of all of our experts combined?

So……… as an intelligent person reading this blog I want to challenge you to watch this 38 minute video. Listen intently to the questions being asked and the responses to those questions. Ask yourself some of those same questions.

Now think about this. How much time and energy did most of us spend researching our last automobile to make sure it was safe or fuel efficient? An automobile that we might keep for 3-5 years? Would it be worth spending 38 minutes watching this video and then do some research to make a decision where you and your children may spend eternity? It might require a Paradigm Shift, but be smart and do your homework. One thing for sure, the cost is greater and you will be there longer than you will keep your car.

Christmas

Christmas is soon upon as it is Christmas Eve and many little children will be anxiously awaiting that special morning tomorrow when they wake up to find presents under the tree.

But what about the story behind Christmas?

nativity

I mean we all know the story of the birth of Jesus of the baby in the manger. The celebration of the birth of the Savior by gathering our families and singing carols of joy,  but there is a story we don’t think about or may not even know.

Let’s think of what happened that day from a different perspective. Imagine, when the Holy Spirit appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, Joseph’s world was turned upside down. He thought of leaving and could have, many men do when they found out their wife is expecting and they are not the father. And who could have anticipated all that of the horrible events that occurred as a result of his birth. When Jesus was born King Herod and the religious leaders of the day were troubled. They felt threatened. King Herod’s response was to have all the baby boys 2 yrs old and younger killed. He sent Roman soldiers to rip the young children from their mother’s arms and kill them.  How many innocent children were slaughtered as King Herod sought to kill baby Jesus? Mary in order to save her child had to flee to a foreign land and live there for years to protect her child. These were huge sacrifices made by Mary and others so we could be brought the Good News.  Jesus was the Light of the World, the Savior, but if you want to be the light for others you will have to reckon with the forces of evil.

The forces of Good and Evil will always be at battle.

Consider this that at the Birth – evil tried to destroy the child Jesus to prevent good from being done.

On the Cross – evil tried once again to end the hope.

Realize what it cost to save us.

What is the message of Christ that caused so much divisiveness?

LOVE – HOPE – PEACE

That message was met with anything but love, hope and peace.

Even today 2000 years later there is still doubt, disbelief, and divisiveness

In your life as you wake this Christmas Day what do you believe?

With whom do you trust your eternity?

One who brings a message of Love, Hope and Peace?

For those who believe – no explanation is necessary.

For those who don’t – no explanation is adequate

And as you face this New Year what do you want to do with the life you have left? What is your purpose? Do we aspire to do a great thing….perhaps impact the world for good, to be a service to others? Is it that we want to change the world without having our world turned upside down?

Joseph’s life in playing his role being the husband to Mary had his life turned upside down.

The Disciples’ that followed the Savior born on Christmas day had their lives turned upside down in order to change the world.

Don’t expect every day of your life to be like Christmas morning where you sip hot chocolate and open presents with everyone cheering, or enjoying seeing the children’s joy of opening presents. Recognize that for every prize there is a price. Are you willing to pay the price, not of death, but maybe of discomfort?  To turn others lives upside down you just might have to turn your upside down as well.

As you awaken tomorrow morning Christmas morning be thankful that comfort is yours because of His discomfort. And follow his example if you want to lead others to a better more comfortable life.

The Cure – Book Review

The Cure

I picked this book up at first because of the notation on the front cover;

“What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you”

Then I turned it over and read some of the recommendations;

“No other resource has had such a profound impact on my life other than the Bible”

“The most important expression of the Gospel I have ever read”

“These days I recommend The Cure more than any single book in my library”

“From a psychological and theological perspective, The Cure is the single most important book that I have read”

“Sometimes a book can change your life. This one changed mine, and I am still learning from it. This is the best and most practical book on living by grace that I have ever read”

These were some powerful recommendations…. So I bought the book.

As I started to read the first part of the book it was confusing.

In the middle of the book I got lost.

At the end of the book I was captivated.

But what made it all come together was reading the Notes they put at the end of the book. Those notes that follow those little annotations we tend to ignore when we read. As I started to read a couple of the notes it caused me to go back and read more of the first chapter to put the notes into context. Then I do what I only do on occasion, and that was to read the Bible verse referenced in the first chapter. As I searched for each notation I re-read more  and more of the first chapter and then started re-reading the book,  now taking each annotation and following it and then back to the book and before you knew it the book came to life.

If you want answers as to why you try to do the right thing and never can seem to do so consistently, or you  tend to do not what you know is right but what is wrong. If your relationships seem unsettled and you can’t seem to repair them, or if you wonder what your life’ purpose is, your destiny and your role in this crazy unsettled world then this book is for you.

We are a week out from Christmas which centers around the birth of Christ and you have may have questions.

Questions that keep causing you to search.

If you question who God really is and what place, if any he should have in your life?

If you question who God is and who you really are and what your relationship to him should look like?

Then this book is for you!

As the book challenges; “But God’s cures rarely come in the form we expect.”

“What if indeed, God is not who we think he is and neither are we”

Jesus is a Scam

Since this is Easter and the Christian celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ I thought it would be appropriate to question; is Jesus who he and others say he is, or is Jesus really a scam that has been that has been passed down through the ages like folklore?

To test the truth, I Googled “Jesus is a scam” and came across a website that intrigued me; Personal Development for Smart People Forums. We all know if you want an answer for something to go to “smart people” which I assume means educated or at least more so than the rest of us to get to the bottom of things – the truth.  Of course as an educated society with technology at our fingertips, when we want to find the truth about something we “Google it”

Here are some of the answers to the truth about Jesus from the Personal Development for Smart People Forums :

Neblasian a Senior Member:

I was doing some research about Jesus Christ and I see alot of references about him being the mythical character Horus. The parallels, if they are, true, (B Jesus and Horus) are astonishing. I know Christianity has some roots in paganism, but however, I thought at least there was some truth to the character called Jesus. If these facts are indeed correct this means that EVERYTHING IN CHRISTIANITY IS A TOTAL FARCE. Millions of people are believing in a character that never existed. I am not religious or anything but I do believe that there were ascended masters and one of them was Jesus Christ. So please enlighten me. Who is this man called Christ.

Schola a Senior Member:

There are certainly some myths that were added to the story of the man who lived 2000 years ago.

The Jesus story is unique enough to stand on its own. From my research, some of the comparisons to Horus or Mithra are exaggerated.

Outside of the bible there are some references to a jew named Jesus that indicate that he really did exist.

The roman historian Josephus mentions him twice:

But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.

Antiquities 18.3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

There is some dispute over the authenticity of these quotes though

To test the validity of their arguments I thought I better do a little more research than just check one website so I also I found a website that exposes scams called Scams.com.

The Jesus Scam


The “Jesus Scam” is one of the longest running scams ever known to man. The scam is thought to have been in existance for atleast 2009 years.

Since the scam began there have been many foundations set up to prosper from this. Consumers should be very wary of these foundations or as they like to call themselves “churches”.

Churches are usually based on a heirachy system. At the top of the system are the scam artists who are known as “clergyman”. These clergyman routinely trick people into believing there is a false profit known as Jesus.

Once the scam artist has conned the individual or as they like to call them “believers”, they start asking for donations. These donations can consist of a percentage of the “believers” income.

Be very wary of this scam, it has the ability to hook these individuals for the period of their life. People have been known to be conned out of their life savings for this scam!

I became concerned so I did a little more research only to find a host of other websites that were concerned and also posted the real truth about Jesus; The Resurrection Scam, Behind the Bible Fraud, and even the Huffington Post a reputable online newspaper cautioned people about believing in Jesus.

Thank GOD (uh oh did I really say that) I found out the truth before I made a fool of myself and believed in something that my internet research proved was not the truth – that Jesus wasn’t who he or others said he was, but really a fraud, leading people in a scam.

But being a science major by education, and studying at one of the best research universities in the world I asked myself a question. What is the best source for truth? In the legal system they say the best source is an eye witness, someone who was actually there or who knows the person or information first hand because they witnessed it themselves.

Paul the Apostle was there when Jesus lived, and actually studied under him and was mentored by him. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How would he know? He was there! He was an eyewitness.  In fact in 1Corinthians 15:4-9 Paul wrote that Jesus after his death appeared to Paul, Peter, James, and in fact all the Apostles, as well as over 500 people, some of who were still alive when Paul wrote this.  Paul originally was not only an unbeliever, but he even went so far as to persecute the church of GOD. Thomas the skeptic of the Apostles had doubted and had to see the marks in Jesus hands and feet first hand. What caused them to learn the truth?They were there and saw first hand.

So on this Easter Day the day of the Resurrection of Christ you can ask yourself this question is Jesus a Fraud who is involved in a scam? Certainly the internet commentators say so.  But you and I get to decide for ourselves. I choose to go with what someone who was actually there said. Granted there is an element of faith that what the author wrote and what was actually printed is one in the same but going back to the logic of the eye witness I have decided to accept what the eye witness wrote as the truth.

Missouri is the Show Me State which is said to come from the statement by Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who said in part “frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me”. So maybe the internet can be a helpful tool in many cases but is it really the best source for truth? I don’t know the people who post their comments and opinions on these websites and many times they don’t even use their real name which again logically makes me question the validity of the information they provide.  I like when an author or commentator posts their name and you are actually able to meet them. Paul did and those who were alive and saw Jesus could have come to Paul and disputed him when he wrote at Ephesus.

I was told years ago; just because I didn’t believe the truth, it didn’t change the truth. We’ve all heard the statement “I’ll believe it when I see it with my own two eyes” Maybe the next time someone tells you something and you want the truth, you would better to believe someone who was actually there, or better yet go see it for yourself.

Happy Birthday

We as people seem to love to celebrate. Growing up  my parents always had a party to celebrate each of our birthdays. Likewise as we had children we had a party each year to celebrate their birthdays. We have anniversary parties for friends and family members. We’ve had engagement parties and bachelor parties, baby showers, and house warming parties. In fact my wife and I once went to a wedding in Poland where the celebration lasted a week. Yes everyone in the world seems to love a party!

We seem to have a party for everything.

Here is a list of a few I found;

Christening Celebrations First Holy Communions
Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s Reunions
Birthday Parties Pool Parties
Sweet 16’s Beach Parties
New Born Celebrations Retirement Dinners
School Dances Holiday Parties
Proms EMT Annual Awards Dinners
Block Parties Wet downs
Wedding Receptions Boat Parties
Fundraising Events Night Clubs
Corporate Events Singles Dances
Karaoke Sing-a-long College Formals
Dance Parties Graduation Parties
Anniversaries And many more!!!

At Christmas, we commemorate one of the most significant events in history, a party if you will, the birth of Jesus Christ. Just about the whole world will celebrate (whether they believe in Jesus or not) the birth of Jesus. Not unusual to celebrate someone’s birthday. Every year millions of people celebrate birthdays by throwing a birthday party for a friend or family member. But Christmas is an unusual birthday. First it is the biggest birthday celebrated that I know. But it is unusual for another reason, as Pastor Stephen Davey says; “imagine celebrating a birthday and buying a gift for everyone but the one whose birthday it is. Take that one step further by saying that everyone will be invited but the birthday boy”

In your home this Christmas, will you invite Jesus to his own party, so he can celebrate with you? If you invite him not just into your home this Christmas, but into your heart, then he can celebrate for you not just his birthday but yours (John 3:16). You can then experience Christmas with a joy by knowing the true meaning of the celebration of Christmas, the birth of your Savior.