Santa, I Can’t Decide

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I love the story of St. Nicholas. In fact my daughter has watched the Veggietales movie that tells the story like a million times. We have watched the movie all year. The story of St. Nicholas is a great tale to share with your children. A true Christian hero who selflessly seeks to help those in his community who are in need.

We love St. Nicholas, but we are still undecided on Santa Clause. My wife and I have discussed whether we will tell our daughters that Santa Clause uses magic to sneak into our house at night to leave presents as long as they are good all year. I grew up with my parents doing the whole Santa thing. But as an adult I have some issues with playing Santa.

Quick disclaimer, I am in no way saying you should not allow Santa to visit your house on the night before December 25th. I am only sharing my views on the pros and cons of having the jolly elf pay my children a visit.

I will start with the pros:

1. It is fun. Come on we all know that we continue the Santa tradition because it is fun for us. We enjoy magic and hope our children will embrace the belief in something unexplainable. My wife has many cherished memories of her parents telling her about Santa, and she hates to miss out on that with our girls.

2. Conformity… Although I could strongly argue against this one. It will be easier to teach our girls what every other parent is teaching their children. If we choose not to do Santa, I do not look forward to the phone calls from other parents when my angels blow the magic for someone else’s little one.

3. If you tell the story of St. Nicholas to your children you will be telling them about someone who unselfishly gives to the children of the world. I do see some value in the story of Santa Clause.

That is all I have. Do you have any pros to add to the list?

Now the cons:

1. I have to lie to my children. This is something I never want to do. I cringe at the thought of lying to my girls. Even if it is for fun. I want them to always trust what their daddy says.

2. We lose a great opportunity to teach our girls how much we love them. Most families experience great sacrifices to celebrate Christmas with a traditional Christmas morning opening gifts. I believe it is important that our girls learn that we work hard all year and Christmas is a celebration of giving. Gifts cost something. Santa doesn’t teach that, he owns a sweat shop full of elves who crank out toys each year…

3. Materialism. I am afraid Santa has been used to over commercialize Christmas. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, but think about it for a moment. Our children fill out lists of items to receive from some benefactor they only see at the mall. To them there is no cost involved. Wouldn’t I be teaching my girls to covet?

4. He overshadows Jesus. A child does not fully understand the importance of Jesus gift, but can easily grasp a man dropping off gifts one night of the year. Admit it, it is hard to compete with that.

What do you think? Any other reasons why I shouldn’t teach my girls that Santa Clause will sneak in our house and leave them presents?

Again, I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn’t celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause. What ever we decide I know we will still include the books, the stories, and the movies that include him. I am just unsure if we will tell the. As if they are the truth. My daughter loves and enjoys Mickey Mouse, but we do t pretend that he is real…

Disney

Don’t forget to teach your children what this Christmas and every Christmas after is all about. We give gifts to celebrate the greatest of all gifts. We love our family and friends because of the love that has been given to us. Don’t forget to celebrate the birth of our savior. Enjoy the lights, enjoy the gatherings, and the gifts, but do not forget about Jesus. Whether it includes Santa Clause or not, Merry Christmas!

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Who Should Tend to the Poor?

President Barack Obama signs legislation in th...

Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.

Proverbs 14:31

The re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States has led to much discussion on how welfare may or may not have been a contributing factor in his re-election. And with the warnings of a “Fiscal Cliff” being reported every half hour (unless you pay attention to the cable news networks. Then you see it every thirty seconds), welfare cuts seem to be inevitable.

Both sides have strong arguments about federal welfare programs. Many in our country find themselves unable to support themselves (look up the number of single mothers whose incomes fall below the poverty line), and the aid they receive from Uncle Sam provides the resources they need to care for their children. However, our country is facing a financial crisis. One that may place our federal government in the same situation these families find themselves in.

One side argues that we can not turn our back on the poor no matter the cost. They see America as a beacon of hope, and if we cannot care for our own that hope may be lost. The other side is often painted as uncaring and unsympathetic. I do not believe that to be the case. They simply see the fact that if you make five hundred dollars a week, your expenses for a week cannot be six hundred. You cannot support yourself or anyone else if expense is greater than income.

At this point maybe you are wondering which side of this disagreement I am on. I can tell you I have no clue how the federal government should work this out. I do not know if there is a solution that will fix the situation Washington is in. Maybe we should stop looking to Washington to sort things out.

The church exists to help the poor, disfranchised, the hated, and the forgotten. Jesus left us with the task of loving those who society would rather forget. We are the ones responsible for caring for them. At some point in our history Christians in America decided that the federal government should take care of those in need, and it has contributed to the bankruptcy of the US. We stopped caring for the needs of those around us and focused on our own.

Five Loaves and Two Fish

Today I hear a lot of Christians on both sides argue over how to handle the situation. But everyone seems to be waiting for Washington to devise a solution (which is ironic for those who consider themselves conservative and want less federal involvement in their lives). We need to stop waiting on the Feds to solve the issue. Church we need to step up, perform the work The Lord Jesus has given us, and then so many will not be dependent on federal assistance.

If you want to really help those in need help them directly and stop paying the government to do it. We can do a better job if we apply ourselves.

If you want the government to stop wasting your money on failed programs, start taking care of those in your area. I agree with you that government wastes more than it spends. Lets show them how to accomplish something.

It is time the church starts a revolution. One that accomplishes not the work of our forefathers, but the work of our Holy Father.

So, what are some of your ideas for assisting those in need?

Thanksgiving: Prosperity

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

The harvest feast of 1621 is known as the first Thanksgiving of the Plymouth Colony.  The popular account ends assuring us that the Pilgrims went on to live lives of prosperity after that year. However, that is not true. The Pilgrims did enjoy a feast and a celebration for three days with their new friends, but their bellies were only full for a few days. In fact, the winter of 1621 was one of the leanest they suffered. 

The winter of 1623 was a miracle straight from God. The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony lived through the winter with only a ration of five kernels of corn a day with no deaths.  After that winter the colony was expanded by additional settlers from England. With the increase of mouths to feed they would need twice the harvest as the previous year. How were they to feed so many when they had barely fed everyone the winter before? 

The problem was found in their system of economy. The Pilgrims’ had adopted a system from their original contract with their merchant-sponsors in London that called for everything produced by the colony to go into a common store and each member was entitled to their share. If you worked six days a week you received the same “earnings” as someone who worked four. Obviously, this system was seen as unfair (despite being designed to be fair).

The new settlers only added to the Pilgrims’ frustrations. These new comers lacked the Pilgrims’ work ethic.  Many of them came straight from the debtors’ prisons in England.  The newcomers were lazy and complained about their conditions. They grumbled that they wanted more privileges, more food, and less work.  The moral of the colony was plummeting. Something had to be done.

Governor William Bradford sought the answers to the colonies plight in the pages of his Bible.  He found his answer in 2 Thessalonians 3:10.  “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”  

Bradford quickly went to work and assigned the single men to live with Pilgrim families.  He then divided up the common fields and gave families individual rights to their own tracts.  The corn grown on each family’s tract was for the family’s private use. If they produced more than they could consume they were able to sell or trade it for something they needed or desired. 

At first the slackers tested the Pilgrims. Refusing to work or adhere to Bradford’s audacious rules. But only a few days passed before they were convinced and went to work for the families of Plymouth. 

The colony flourished under their new capitalist society. The Pilgrims found they now had too much food and opened trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. They paid off their debts and their success started the “Great Puritan Migration.” Plymouth became that shinning city on a hill that William Brewsterbelieved it could be. And today we celebrate for the very same reasons those early settlers celebrated.

Today we thank God for his guidance and protection in our lives. We praise him for the journey that we have been on and for how he has kept us during the hard times. We thank him for when he has changed our course for our own protection, and for the new opportunities that he has provided. Today we thank God for his work throughout history. How he has consistently used men and women to blaze a new trail, and teach us about love and compassion. We thank him for this nation, those who serve it, those who cherish it, and those who protect it. But most of all today, on this Thanksgiving Day, we thank him for that ultimate sacrifice that was made so that all men could know him not only as the Creator but as our Father.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Thanksgiving Posts

Thanksgiving: A Change of Direction

Thanksgiving: New Beginnings

Thanksgiving: Promised Hope

Thanksgiving: When LIfe’s Difficult

Thanksgiving: When Life’s Difficult

Squanto

Squanto (Photo credit: *cHARLIe 2112(^:*)

In 1604 a young, Native American named Squanto and four others were taken from their tribe and sent over seas to England. Those who took them planned to teach them English and then return to America with them as guides. After nine years, Squanto was returned to his homeland and his people. But he was kidnapped again and taken to Spain to be sold as a slave. Squanto escaped and made his way back to England. In 1620, Squanto joined a passage back to New England. Fifteen years had passed and Squanto longed for his homeland and family. When he arrived in his village it was empty.  The only remnants of his people were bones and skulls. His village has suffered a vicious disease.  Squanto sought shelter with Massasoit, the chief of a neighboring tribe. And it was there that he mourned his people for six months. 

English: Squanto or Tisquantum teaching the Pl...

English: Squanto or Tisquantum teaching the Plymouth colonists to plant corn with fish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One day, Squanto was requested to help some English settlers who had colonized the tribal lands of his people. They were described as kind and peaceful people, with little hope of surviving. The settlers had little food and even less knowledge of farming in the strange climate of New England. Squanto, Chief Massasoit, and all sixty warriors from his tribe visited the Plymouth Colony. Squanto helped interpret for the chief and aided in establishing a treaty between the two groups. When Chief Massasoit and his warriors returned to their village, Squanto stayed behind to help the settlers. They were closely approaching the end of the corn planting season, and Squanto knew if they did not get to work immediately the colony would meet the same fate as his own people. Squanto taught the settlers how to survive, plant corn and pumpkin, to catch eels and fish, stalk deer, and how to find herbs for food and medicine.

The Pilgrims in the Plymouth Colony shared with Squanto the Good News of Jesus Christ. Squanto found his life’s purpose within the passages that told the story of Joseph. How he was sold into slavery, imprisoned, and then later made second in command of Egypt, just under Pharaoh. Squanto’s life’s purpose could be found in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Suddenly, years of pain and meaningless disappeared and Squanto began to see how God could take the evil things that men do and bring good out of it. Had Squanto never been taken, he would have never learned English.  Had he not been taken again the second time, he would have perished with the rest of his village.  Had the settlers not sought help from Massasoit when they did they would have missed the window for planting the corn harvest. Squanto chose to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and as the author of his life’s story.   

The spring following Squanto’s help to the settlers was their first harvest banquet where they praised God and their new friends for their harvest. But that harvest was not that great. It was not the abundant harvest that would come a few years later. It was not the harvest that marked the colonies’ prosperous times. That celebration was a few more years away.

Much of Squanto’s life had been stolen from him. He spent years as the property of another individual. Squanto lost everything. His family was dead, and he had very little to live for. But he found hope in a similar tale to his own. What he learned of Joseph’s life mirrored his own. He saw how Joseph had been unjustly imprisoned and forgotten. But he saw every agonizing detail had been with the purpose of saving a people. Squanto found solace from his depression in knowing that his life had meaning. He began to understand how the pieces fit together and this knowledge gave him a new drive in life.

Sometimes it is hard to see past our hardships. Maybe this year has been difficult for you and you are having a hard time mustering up a thankful heart for tomorrow’s celebration of Thanksgiving. Take a moment and ponder on the stories of Squanto and Joseph. Our lives often contain low points, but low points simply separate the high points.

This Thanksgiving, we should remember that God has a plan that he put into motion before Adam and Eve even sinned. He has provided us with everything that we need to experience life o the fullest. Most of the time there is only one person in the way of us enjoying that abundant life, us. So we should be thankful for the difficult times this past year because we know that God has plans for those hurts. We know God never wastes a hurt.

 

Thanksgiving Posts

Thanksgiving: A Change of Direction

Thanksgiving: New Beginnings

Thanksgiving: Promised Hope

Thanksgiving: Prosperity

Thanksgiving: Promised Hope

Winter wilderness 2

When they Pilgrims set foot on the beach of their new home they broke out in praise to God once again. They were thankful for a fairly uneventful passage, for God’s guidance to the cape, and for the new charter they had ratified. So far it appeared they had made the right decision in leaving the old world.

In his journal, William Bradford wrote this about the Pilgrim’s landing; “They fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.  And no marvel if they were thus joyful.”

In spite of their enthusiasm, the Pilgrims faced many woes that first winter. The delays in their departure cost them weeks of clear weather that would have allowed them to begin their colony. What they found inland was a cold, barren, desolate wilderness with no shelter.  One half of the colonists died that first winter, including Governor John Carver.  To succeed Carver, William Bradford was chosen.  However, things looked grim for the Pilgrims of Plymouth. 

On the last Thursday of November we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in America as reminder of all that we have to be thankful for. The Pilgrims of Plymouth would go through many days of anguish before they could celebrate their days of feasting that we model our celebrations after.  

Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes we sit high on the mountain, and sometimes we look up from the valley unsure if we will ever make the climb. My pastor often says that you are either going through a storm, coming out of a storm, or nearing a storm in your life. This is true. But for those who believe in Christ we have something to be thankful for even during the hardest of times. True, you may be thankful for your family, friends, your job, and other relationships or belongings that you posses. But all of those things fail us at times. We might have to deal with losing our family, our friends may move, and our job… well many of you may be dealing with a loss of work right now in your life. This life is temporary, and thankfully so are its storms. 

English: Minnesota Snow Storm

English: Minnesota Snow Storm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pilgrim’s faced their new life with a faith in God that would rival most church members today. This Thanksgiving don’t forget to be thankful for the storms that he has brought you through. Just as he did for the Pilgrims of Plymouth, he has a plan for you. And although he does not want you to go through the hard times, they are part of life on this earth. One day, in eternity, those storms will seem to have been pretty small. If you are in the middle of a particularly trying storm that might seem difficult to comprehend. It may even make you angry. But this life is not all there is, and we have much to anticipate in the next.

 

Thanksgiving Posts

Thanksgiving: A Change of Direction

Thanksgiving: New Beginnings

Thanksgiving: When LIfe’s Difficult

Thanksgiving: Prosperity

Thanksgiving: New Beginnings

Richard Warren, among 10 passengers in the lan...

Richard Warren, among 10 passengers in the landing party, when the Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod, November 11, 1620 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pilgrims were contracted into the governance of the Virginia Charter by signature when they chose to journey to America. Because the Pilgrims planned to settle in Cape Cod instead of the colony of Jamestown the Virginia Charter could not govern them. They believed God was guiding them to what would later be known as Plymouth (See Thanksgiving: Closed Doors and a Change of Direction). Elder William Brewster called a meeting with the Pilgrim leaders and explained that without a charter of their own there would be no laws to govern and no one to enforce decency.  Some on the ship had already heard others boasting of their freedoms to do whatever they willed once on land.  The Pilgrim leaders agreed that without an established civil government with a firm Christian base, they would soon have sedition and lawlessness.  There was a call to prayer for God’s guidance in the creation of a new charter.  William Bradford declared that he believed God had led them away from Virginia just for this very reason.  Bradford believed God wanted all men to see what He could do with a people who totally relied on Him for everything including their government. 

William Brewster quoted “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14).  They recalled what their pastor in Holland had taught them about the governing of the early church. 

Bradford declared, “The Lord Jesus is King of His Church and holds all power in haven and earth.  Christ the Lord gives each Christian the power of self-government.  Christians then elect representatives, or elders, from among themselves to serve them and be examples to them.”  

Page from William Bradford's Of Plimoth Planta...Thus the Mayflower Compact was written and the members of the Plymouth Colony chose to relinquish their individual independence, and live as a covenanted people. The Mayflower Compact is one of the pillars of American constitutional government. This is the first time in recorded history that free and equal men voluntarily covenanted together to create their own civil government.  Along with the ratification of the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims elected John Carver as their first governor.

The Pilgrims were blessed with great leaders who sought to serve God first, their families second, and each other third. Their story inspires me to be a better man. The choices they made while still on the Mayflower have influenced America for nearly four hundred years. They chose a fresh start guided by God and his guiding hand. They did not yet realize the hardships before them. They were ill-prepared for the coming months. But they chose to settle this barren wilderness, and to allow their God to be their guide.

This Thanksgiving let us be thankful for the new beginnings that God offers us, and remember to follow the one who knows the outcomes of every decision. Only he knows what lies in store for us in coming days, and only he can guide us.

 

Thanksgiving Posts

Thanksgiving: A Change of Direction

Thanksgiving: Promised Hope

Thanksgiving: When LIfe’s Difficult

Thanksgiving: Prosperity

Thanksgiving: A Change of Direction

Landing of the Pilgrims by Cornè, Michele Feli...

Landing of the Pilgrims by Cornè, Michele Felice circa 1805. Displayed in the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the early 17th century the Church of England, led by King James I, persecuted anyone who did not recognize the churches absolute civil and religious authority. Those who disagreed with the church were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs.

A group of Separatists, those who believed that the Church of England was beyond repair, fled to Holland and lived for 11 years until they decided to flee to the New World. It was no doubt a difficult decision to make, but they were absolute in their pursuit of freedom to worship God in a manner they believed he approved. These future colonists decided their religious freedom and identity were worth the treacherous journey across the ocean and a difficult life in a new frontier.

On August 6, 1620, after many delays the Mayflower set sail with 102 passengers including 40 of the Separatists who we know as the Pilgrims. The voyage took seven weeks. On the day the lookout spotted land, the passengers rushed to the deck. The sight of land was overwhelming for those who had spent so long at sea and they burst forth with praise and gratitude to their God. Their moment of celebration lasted so long that the Captain was forced to order them below the deck.

The travelers were weary from their journey, but what lied ahead for them was two of the most difficult years of their lives. The land they celebrated seeing for the first time was already in the early stages of winter. The delays they experienced in England had cost them two months of mild, autumn weather. They were surprised to find their journey had only led them a few hundred miles north of their destination of the Virginia colony. They were less than a week’s journey from landfall! The Virginia colony offered a fresh start for the Pilgrims. They started south, but their progress was slowed by the dangerous weather and low tides. The coast line was a treacherous passage. The trip became frighteningly perilous, and the Pilgrims began praying feverishly for the safety of the ship.

Elder William Brewster called a meeting with John Carver, William Bradford, and Edward Winslow. Brewster felt that God was intervening in their passage to the Virginia Colony. The men discussed their own feelings about the situation and decided that it must be God’s providence that was discouraging their progress southward. They referred to the account of God’s intervention of Paul and Silas’ journey into Asia recorded in Acts 16:6-10. The Holy Spirit instead directed Paul and Silas to Macedonia, which led to the creation of the Philippians Church. During their meeting, Captain Jones interrupted their assembly with his latest assessment. The journey south would have to be halted. They would return to sea and wait for the weather to improve.

The four asked that he wait until they first spoke with the others. After much discussion and prayer, the Pilgrims unanimously agreed to the change of course. They then sent word to Captain Jones, and he redirected the course back north to Cape Cod. On November 11th, 1620 they dropped anchor in a natural harbor inside of the cape.

Isn’t it funny how we often feel so comfortable when our lives are planned out? We like when our lives seem to be in order, and according to plan. But I have found that God often changes the course of our lives drastically. The Pilgrims thought they were settling in the already established (although struggling) Virginia Colony, but God had other plans for them. Our lives are often like that. Sometimes God closes doors in our lives. We may believe that we have missed out, but God knows what he is doing. This Thanksgiving lets celebrate the doors that God closed and the new doors that he opens because we chose to follow his course.

Thanksgiving Posts

Thanksgiving: New Beginnings

Thanksgiving: Promised Hope

Thanksgiving: When LIfe’s Difficult

Thanksgiving: Prosperity

A Christian Response to Election Day 2012

Image Source: CNET

I Have Tried to Stay Out of This

So I have attempted to stay out of the political discourse over the past few weeks. Those who know me personally know this has come with great difficulty for me. But I have learned over the last few years that my political views are insignificant in comparison to the question of the Gospel. Yes I have an opinion on the morality of abortion; I have an opinion on the government’s use of our tax dollars, and I voted this election year based on who I believed would be the best leader.

Gospel Relevance

I do believe all of these things to be important. I do believe the election of the leader of the Free World is important to our daily lives. But I do not believe they supersede the importance of spreading the Gospel. God created man in his own image and blessed us with intelligence, rationality, a sense of morality, and creativeness. God created within us a sense of eternity and a need to be part of something greater than ourselves. He created the love that exists within us, and he did all of this so that he could enjoy our companionship. However, our companionship would be worthless if we were not granted the ability to choose to love God.

So he has allowed us to choose, and he has set parameters on what he constituted as loving him. God chose to show us how much he loves us in that while we were willing to live meaningless lives apart from him, he sent his son to die displaying the extent of his love. Some people question why God would choose such a bloody and painful method, but the severity of the sacrifice demonstrates the magnitude of God’s love for us. Jesus taught that belief in his sacrifice is enough to pardon our rebellion, and that by confessing him as savior we are granted eternity with God.

Wait… I know, you thought this was going to be about politics.

My view of the Gospel does speak into my political belief system. Here is what I believe; it the responsibility of a believer in Jesus Christ to keep his commands. We have been entrusted with instructions on how to live our lives as his followers. He was very clear when he described what it means to be a disciple. It is our commission to love those around us. We must love them whether they agree with us or not. Who they voted for, where they go to church, if they spend Sunday in a bar, if they have chosen a same-sex relationship, how many abortions they have had, or if they deny the very existence of God are not exemptions. We have been commanded to love them. Jesus said that by our love for one another they will recognize us as his followers. It is our responsibility to love one another. Jesus was asked what was the greatest of the commandments and he said to love God with everything that we are AND to love others as we love ourselves.

If we, The Church, were to practice what Jesus taught, would we not have a better platform to speak with those around us about the Gospel? We would not be hindered by stereotypes of hatred and intolerance. If the Church were to focus on spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ first we would see less opposition to our beliefs. People would want our churches to be in their neighborhoods if we clothed their children. They would be excited to see a church move to town if we were feeding their hungry. They would praise God for his relief efforts if we took care of the widows and orphans. As long as we sit in our large buildings demanded the rest of the world to adhere to our moral beliefs we will be asked to politely shut the door and shut our mouths.

And who knows; if the church took care of the hurting, the poor, and the hungry maybe there wouldn’t be a need for the government to do it and maybe young girls would come to our doors instead of Planned Parenthood’s. But greater than that maybe this country would stop requesting that God (would) Bless America, and maybe we would start saying America Bless God.

So, Our Response?

Pray. We need to pray for the man who was just re-elected as the President of the United States of America. We need to pray that he is successful at helping our country to heal from her wounds.

Pray for our divided nation. With the vote totals being so close in the past few Presidential elections it is clear that our country is divided by two ideologies that have a difficult time co-existing. We must find ways to unite and succeed, but I believe that begins with prayer for understanding, and cooperation.

We need to pray for our churches. In the past the church has flourished under persecution, and if the re-elected administration chooses to further alienate people of faith we will need to be prepared. We need to pray that the church loses its focus on politics and refocuses on Jesus and his Gospel.

Conclusion

Whether you supported the president’s campaign or the GOP ticket, one thing is for sure. The man in office owes much of his achievements to God. If your man won, show a little grace to those who do not share in your ideology. They believe they are right just as much as you believe you are. If your “side” is going to lead than be a leader worth following.

If your team is licking its wounds today don’t be a sore loser. None of us believe you are moving to Canada (they have a federal health care system by the way) or Mexico (come on, they have fewer jobs than we do). Take a deep breath, and relax. The King is still in control. And remember, there is always next time (well… if there is a next time).

 

Related Posts

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

God Doesn’t Need a Believer in the White House

 

 

The Enemy Is Seeking To Devour Our Children

Source: Target.com
Girls Hello Kitty Costume

Warning! I am going to vent a little…

I hope the image to the left disgusts you as much as it disgusts me. I felt sleazy just looking it up. But I wanted you to know what I was talking about. My wife and I were walking through the Halloween section of our local Target looking for a Halloween bucket for our almost two-year old. My daughter was enjoying looking through the costumes when we came across this Girls Hello Kitty costume. At first I didn’t notice it was for little girls, and I thought it was in the wrong section! Then I saw the face of the young lady who is modeling the outfit. I was astonished that this outfit would be produced and marketed for young girls. I cannot imagine someone buying this for their 12-15 year old!?

I am the father of two very young girls, and I cannot imagine what type of father would allow his little princess to walk out his front door with this costume on. Our society is constantly teaching our little girls that they must be harlots to be noticed. And our young men are being taught that women are objects of their fantasies and sexual desires. Where is feminist outrage over this absurd exploitation of our little girls?

Fathers we must teach our little girls how they should expect to be treated as ladies. They need to know they can be loved without being sexualized. They need you to give them attention, and teach them what it means to be loved and cared for. We must teach them how to respect themselves.

Fathers we must teach our young boys to respect girls. Our society teaches our young men to perceive girls as objects for exploitation or prizes to be won by being deceptive. We have a grave responsibility to teach these young boys how to be men and how to treat women.

Mothers you have a responsibility to teach little girls how to be ladies. I know that you want to be their best friend when they get older, but the best way to do that is to be their mother now. They will respect and love you for this. They need you to model what it means to be a woman. They need you to support them, but they also need you to teach them that they are not sexual objects.

Mothers you set an example to your little boys of what to expect from a woman. They will most likely marry someone who reminds them of their mother (although most of us do not notice until after we have been married a few years). You have the responsibility to show your young man how a woman should expect him to treat them.

I know this is a lot of responsibility. But it is the job that we accepted when we decided to become parents. We cannot allow our society to teach our little girls to become harlots, and we must teach our young men to treat women with respect. Allowing your little girl to leave the house dressed in this sexually provocative costume accomplishes neither of these. Be vigilant parents, the enemy is seeking to devour your precious children.

Could the Decline of the Protestant Majority Be a Good Thing For the Kingdom of God?

A new study by the Pew Forum has gained a lot of attention lately. The study found that Protestants are not the majority in the United States of America. The news may come as quite a surprise for some, but many who have been following the trend saw this coming. The question is, should we be worried?

Farewell to the American Protestant Majority

I have really come to enjoy Dr. Moore’s writings on his blog and those published on the Christian Post. When I saw this headline on the CP I was intrigued. As I came to the end of the article I realized that Dr. Moore is correct. The spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been hindered by the abundance of false Christian beliefs.

Frankly, we should be more concerned about the loss of a Christian majority in the Protestant churches than about the loss of a Protestant majority in the United States
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/farewell-to-the-american-protestant-majority-83158/#WxQWJu21XCZsiISp.99

Dr. Moore makes an excellent point. We should be more worried about how the church is misrepresenting Jesus than we should be concerned about the decline of those who identify themselves as Christian. If the church is corrupted by false doctrines that spread quickly due to affiliation with churches… the outcome is the same.

Sometimes animists, Buddhists, and body-pierced Starbucks employees are more fertile ground for the gospel than the confirmed Episcopalian at the helm of the Rotary Club. Accordingly, evangelicals will engage the culture much like the apostles did in the first century-not primarily to “baptized” pagans on someone’s church roll, but as those who are hearing something new for the first time. There may be fewer bureaucrats in denominational headquarters, but there might be more authentically Christian churches preaching an authentically Christian gospel. Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/farewell-to-the-american-protestant-majority-83158/#WxQWJu21XCZsiISp.99

My sister once asked me why a church would focus on world missions when there are so many hurting in our own cities. My answer to her was that when Christians go to the ends of the earth to help others, it allows us an opportunity to share God’s love in practical ways and to share the Gospel of Jesus. But when we do it in America, most have heard it and are desensitized to it. It is hard to share the Gospel in America because many affiliate themselves with being a Christian although they show no signs in their lives of real relationship with the father.

Maybe Dr. Moore is correct. Maybe the decline of the Protestant Majority will be good for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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