On Using Secular Christmas Traditions To Glorify Not Mislead

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“What do you think about the lie of Santa Clause?” asked somebody.
“Sure, I’d be glad to weigh in on the Santa controversy,” I replied . . .

It has been said, ad nauseum, that secular traditions such as Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and even the word “Christmas” should be condemned by Christians because they distract and detract from the true meaning of Christ’s birth.
I disagree.
Those many traditions are so ingrained into society that they cannot be reversed nor abolished. They can, however, be used in a positive manner. I’ve previously discussed how the Christmas tree points to Jesus Christ. It is easy for me to tell, as well, how Santa’s (“Saint Nicholas‘ “) life and existence points, to the life and teachings of Jesus.
I only implore you, dear reader, not to foster the lies about Santa Clause, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, but tell the factual truth about those figures. Fact is, they are legends and fantasies based on a good man’s acts, but they must not be passed down as reality. The generous acts are the Christlike reality.
It’s the same for the gift-giving, the lights, and the joyous celebrating. One can ignore any or all of it, or one can use those traditions of secular Christmastime as reminders of Jesus’ birth, life, words and deeds. I strive for that as I constantly try to keep Him at the forefront of the celebration.
I believe that we should not only accept, as a fact of life, the secular traditions; the things that have been distorted and perverted away from the original intent of honoring the Christ-child, but turn them back upon themselves to their true purpose which is to celebrate His birth, to point to Him, to highlight Him, and to glorify Him in the unfettered, hopeful, optimistic, rejoicing manner in which the host of angels announced His arrival to the shepherds, and to us.
Those traditions can be used to help us illuminate Him in a darkened world. I believe this proclaiming is our commission, our duty, and our pleasure, as believers and as beneficiaries of The Father’s miraculously humble, and humbling gift.
The gift of The Savior Child, our Light of the World, is given to every one of us, but that gift must be received and willingly accepted before it can be unwrapped and enjoyed.

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Whatever you do,
Whatever you think,
Seek Him in all things
And have yourself a happy,
Have yourself a joyous,
Have yourself the merriest Christmas!

Above all,
Remember Who is glorious,

Give Him all your glory,
Keep it Christmas-Story-ous!

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On Using Seemingly Questionable Christmas Traditions For Good

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“What do you think about the lie of Santa Clause?” asked nobody.
“Sure, I’d be glad to weigh in on the Santa controversy,” I replied . . .

It has been said, ad nauseum, that secular traditions such as Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and even the word “Christmas” should be condemned by Christians because they distract and detract from the true meaning of Christ’s birth.
I disagree.
Those many traditions are so ingrained into society that they cannot be reversed nor abolished. They can, however, be used in a positive manner. I’ve previously discussed how the Christmas tree points to Jesus Christ. It is easy for me to tell, as well, how Santa’s (“Saint Nicholas‘ “) life and existence points, to the life and teachings of Jesus.
I only implore you, dear reader, not to foster the lies about Santa Clause, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, but tell the factual truth about them. It’s the same for the the gift-giving, the lights, and the joyous celebrating. One can ignore any or all of it, but I believe that we should not only accept, as a fact of life, the secular traditions; the things that have been distorted and perverted away from the original intent of honoring the Christ-child, but turn them back upon themselves to their true purpose which is to celebrate His birth, to point to Him, to highlight Him, and to glorify Him in the unfettered, hopeful, optimistic, rejoicing manner in which the host of angels announced His arrival to the shepherds, and to us.
Those traditions can be used to help us illuminate Him in a darkened world. I believe that is our commission, our duty, and our pleasure, as believers and as beneficiaries of The Father’s miraculously humble, and humbling gift.
The gift of The Savior Child is given to every one of us, but it must be accepted before it can be unwrapped and enjoyed.

*

Whatever you do,
Whatever you think,
Seek Him in all things
And have yourself a happy,
Have yourself a joyous,
Have yourself the merriest Christmas!

Above all,
Remember Who is glorious,

Give Him all your glory,
Keep it Christmas-Story-ous!

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Random Thoughts From The Farm

O
^  ^  ^  ^
~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~
I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I

Thought #4.
“People don’t need most of what they want,
but worse, many people don’t want
what they need most.”


#19.

I made a mnemonic device to eliminate the confusion on when to use “then” or “than”:
ThAn compAres. 
ThEn tells whEn (or sEquencE of EvEnts).


#20.

“Now I need a device to help me remember  “mnemonic” . . .”


#21.
My original racist joke:
“An ordinary Asian guy walks into a bar and orders a Singapore Sling. The bartender says, ‘Sorry, sir, look at the sign. We only serve Grasshoppers, Salty Dogs, and White Russians.’ “


#22.

“People who want to communicate good should take grammar more serious.”


#26.

“When you undertake to make yourself more alluring, consider well whom (or what) you may be luring.”


#27.

“Must write,
must write.
Must write uniquely as commissioned,
or die an invisibly unique and individually empty death.”


#28.
“Grace comes moment by moment,

Abiding until the next.
Life, a momentary comment,
By grace is momentously blessed.


#30.

“Occasionally I think well.
Most other times, I think, “Wellllll?” . . .


#33.

“Another Random Thought:  Why does it seem that political parties are such a “far cry” from the concept of an enjoyable, festive, fun gathering? (My mental image when someone says “party”).  Why is it that political parties are on the opposite end of the spectrum from that?”

#34.
A Homegrown Original from 9-5-13 :
“What do you have when all your iguana does is sleep, and can’t stand up anymore?
Are you ready for it?  Drum rollllll . . .
Reptile dysfunction  . . .”
Pa- Dum- Pa !

#35.
Another Random Thought from 9-5-13:
“At what point does a practicing physician become a performing M.D. ?  Hmmm?”

~~~
That is more than enough for now, right?

I have 189 of these so far, so bear with me!
Ha ha ha ha ha,
God bless you, dear Reader!

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On Using Seemingly Questionable Christmas Traditions For Good

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*****
*******
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~~~~~~~

“What do you think about the lie of Santa Clause?” asked nobody.
“Sure, I’d be glad to weigh in on the Santa controversy,” I replied . . .

It has been said, ad nauseum, that secular traditions such as Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and even the word “Christmas” should be condemned by Christians because they distract and detract from the true meaning of Christ’s birth.
I disagree.
Those many traditions are so ingrained into society that they cannot be reversed nor abolished. They can, however, be used in a positive manner. I’ve previously discussed how the Christmas tree points to Jesus Christ. It is easy for me to tell, as well, how Santa’s (“Saint Nicholas‘ “) life and existence points, to the life and teachings of Jesus.
I only implore you, dear reader, not to foster the lies about Santa Clause, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, but tell the factual truth about them. It’s the same for the the gift-giving, the lights, and the joyous celebrating. One can ignore any or all of it, but I believe that we should not only accept, as a fact of life, the secular traditions; the things that have been distorted and perverted away from the original intent of honoring the Christ-child, but turn them back upon themselves to their true purpose which is to celebrate His birth, to point to Him, to highlight Him, and to glorify Him in the unfettered, hopeful, optimistic, rejoicing manner in which the host of angels announced His arrival to the shepherds, and to us.
Those traditions can be used to help us illuminate Him in a darkened world. I believe that is our commission, our duty, and our pleasure, as believers and as beneficiaries of The Father’s miraculously humble, and humbling gift.
The gift of The Savior Child is given to every one of us, but it must be accepted before it can be unwrapped and enjoyed.

*

Whatever you do,
Whatever you think,
Seek Him in all things
And have yourself a happy,
Have yourself a joyous,
Have yourself the merriest Christmas!

Above all,
Remember Who is glorious,

Give Him all your glory,
Keep it Christmas-Story-ous!

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On Using Seemingly Questionable Christmas Traditions For Good

*
**
***
*****
*******
***********
*

~~~~~~~

“What do you think about the lie of Santa Clause?” asked nobody.
“Sure, I’d be glad to weigh in on the Santa controversy,” I replied . . .

It has been said, ad nauseum, that secular traditions such as Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and even the word “Christmas” should be condemned by Christians because they distract and detract from the true meaning of Christ’s birth.
I disagree.
Those many traditions are so ingrained into society that they cannot be reversed nor abolished. They can, however, be used in a positive manner. I’ve previously discussed how the Christmas tree points to Jesus Christ. It is easy for me to tell, as well, how Santa’s (“Saint Nicholas‘ “) life and existence points, to the life and teachings of Jesus.
I only implore you, dear reader, not to foster the lies about Santa Clause, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, but tell the factual truth about them. It’s the same for the the gift-giving, the lights, and the joyous celebrating. One can ignore any or all of it, but I believe that we should not only accept, as a fact of life, the secular traditions; the things that have been distorted and perverted away from the original intent of honoring the Christ-child, but turn them back upon themselves to their true purpose which is to celebrate His birth, to point to Him, to highlight Him, and to glorify Him in the unfettered, hopeful, optimistic, rejoicing manner in which the host of angels announced His arrival to the shepherds, and to us.
Those traditions can be used to help us illuminate Him in a darkened world. I believe that is our commission, our duty, and our pleasure, as believers and as beneficiaries of The Father’s miraculously humble, and humbling gift.
The gift of The Savior Child is given to every one of us, but it must be accepted before it can be unwrapped and enjoyed.

*

Whatever you do,
Whatever you think,
Seek Him in all things
And have yourself a happy,
Have yourself a joyous,
Have yourself the merriest Christmas!

Above all,
Remember Who is glorious,

Give Him all your glory,
Keep it Christmas-Story-ous!

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Defending His Words With My GPS

Photo of TomTom Go 500

^^^

A GPS plays a special role while traveling strange roads.  It tells us where we are, where to turn to reach our destination, how far we have come, how far we have yet to go, what the speed limit is, and where the landmarks, restaurants, and gas stations are.  It keeps us from getting lost!  It also increases our overall understanding of areas unfamiliar to us.  A GPS can greatly enhance the enjoyment of a trip.

It occurred to me that I, as a writer (and we writers, collectively), have a special role, since our craft is expressed through use of our language.    It matters how we use our GPS……..  GPS?  I see the questions in your eyes.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling! 

GPS!

It’s a matter of words – how we string them together in a proper, coherent manner into phrases and sentences.

G,P, and S are our tools –  the paint on our canvasses which color our written thoughts.

They are the instruments by which we give tone and texture, pitch and resonance to the songs of our printed voices.

They are the rich furnishings that embellish an empty house (blank page) and transform it into a home (poem, article, story).

Without the order furnished by the use of good grammar, punctuation, and spelling, (and, here, I must add vocabulary) there is confusion and chaos.  There is reader discomfort.  Instead of the stream flowing smoothly, their cognative canoes encounter obstacles which impede progress.  Instead of the intended float-trip through a beautiful landscape of understanding, there is a laborious detour through a swamp of lost meaning.

Today our language, (both the written and the spoken) is under attack by laziness, carelessness, apathy, ignorance, and lack of meaningful use by the general public. It seems few people actually care anymore about The Queen’s English  (meaning the standard, correct, conventional, most easily-understood-worldwide form of the language).  It is dying a slow death – even in the “media” – even in schools.  Our language is undergoing a deliberate “dumbing down”.  It seems to me that bad grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary are somehow becoming more socially acceptable to many people than good grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary.  To me, that is a very sad circumstance.  The consequences are tangible, for example, when thousands of job applications are rejected for not having been written properly.  It is essential to be able to express one’s thoughts and ideas clearly, concisely, and in an intelligent manner.

As writers, we find ourselves in a unique position.  We have a responsibility, and an obligation to make proper use of our language, not only for our readers’ benefit, and our own benefit, but for the benefit of the English language itself, and Society itself.

I must now state that I am not a journalist, nor an English major.  I’ve never had a creative writing course; the way I write is God-given.  All my knowledge of reading and writing came from grades one through twelve in public school, way back when “reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic” were considered very important, and were taught classically.  There was no “dumbing down” back then, only “smartening up”.  That being said, this post may still contain some GPS errors, but it’s not for lack of trying, and it’s not for lack of caring about English.  I’m no expert, but whatever my shortcomings, I’m still a writer.  Writing is my passion, my delight, and, most importantly, my calling.

As writers, we find ourselves the appointed guardians, supporters, and defenders of  The Language, and not only our language but God’s language;  His words.  HIS WORD.   Writers and readers alike should gain proficiency in GPS and vocabulary, especially if they happen to be reading or writing about The Bible, God’s people, or King Jesus — The Word of God, Himself.

Meet Xian

Meet Xian
AKA, Chi – My Kind Of Guy

He has shown up twice in my latest posts.
Who is he?
Readers, meet Xian.

This is his story:

When I first started reading Christian-oriented material, “Our Daily Bread”, for example, I used symbols to mark and highlight passages that were important and inspiring.  I used the five-pointed star: It is easy to draw without lifting the pen, but it has pagan connotations, so I went to the six-pointed star:

Two triangles, voila – a Star of David.  But that takes a little too much time to draw, so I went to the asterisk:Three quick, simple lines that intersect.  My ODB, and books, and Bible are full of them.  However, for some reason, (who can explain ME) I recently began to take the X out of the aster, and just use that.  I may well have been led to do it:So there it is. X .

You knew I would get around to this, didn’t you…..I began to think about how the X in Xmas stands for Christ.  I found that the X is actually Chi, the first letter in the Greek word, Χριστος.  I hope I got that right, because, hey, it’s Greek!  Anyway, that Greek word means Christos – the anointed One – which is a translation of the Hebrew “Messiah”.    The X in Xmas is derived from the Chi (pronounced “Ki” which rhymes with “my”, or “guy”) in this word: Χριστος.  X came to denote “Christ” sometime in the sixteenth century.  Xmas is often misinterpreted as a modern secularization of “Christmas”, thinking that it is an attempt to remove religion from the holiday.  If it is, it has backfired!   “Xian” has been used as an abbreviation for “Christian”, as well.  These are merely abbreviations, not to be used in formal writing, and words are symbols, so maybe it is much ado about nothing, but the things words stand for, especially when they stand for people, and God, and Godly concepts, are important.  But I diverge.

One morning, I looked at the X and saw a figure with hands raised.  I don’t know what made me put a head on it, but that’s what I did.  A trinity of lines.

It came to life!  Xian was born!  (You can surely tell that art comes naturally for me).
Xian has since become just slightly more than a symbol to me, more than a stick man.  He is naturally worshipful.  You can see how he surrenders his all to the Almighty.  His hands are raised in surrender and praise.  He somehow expresses “giving glory to God in the highest”.  Sometimes I call him “Chi – my kind of guy”.   Three simple lines with a lot of heart.

What Was Closed Is Open

For evil to flourish, and for evil to prevail, good people need only do three things:
Close their eyes to it.
Close their mouths about it.
Close their twiddling hands behind them and turn away.

Therefore keep an eye open to discern evil.
Openly denounce it.
With open palm extended, oppose and reject its advances.

All the above from a strictly physical place.
While effective, this cannot begin to approximate the power and certainty
Of the spiritual answer to evil.  Openness to that is at the root of the ultimate defeat of the evil one.  Seek it.  Seek Him.  He has already closed the door on evil and opened the door to paradise.

The Short-Post Series

You can’t tax a populace into prosperity.  Neither can you spend one out of debt.

Common sense.

About The Music Links Below

I don't own, and have no claim on, these music videos. The following are simply links inside my website pointing back to the original locations of the videos. The names of the creators of these videos are cited wherever possible, and only "embedding-enabled" selections are used.

The Basic Christian Library

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. This is fundamentally what Christianity is all about.

"The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Another converted atheist presents His compelling case for believing in Jesus.

"Left To Tell" by Imaculee Ilibagiza. This profound work is her own extraordinary story of endurance, discovery of the Holy Spirit, grace, healing, and an astonishingly compelling account of the necessity for forgiveness.

Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

"The Circle" 4-book series by Ted Dekker.
A man is the bridge between two very different worlds. Sound familiar? Can he save both? This T.D. work is brilliant in my book.

"This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" by Frank E. Peretti. Tales of spiritual warfare from a unique perspective. Stirred a small controversy, but sold millions. What are we Christians afraid of? Hey, it's fiction!

Copyright Licensing

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My Signature Story

"I AM NOT MY OWN" is the piece that inspired the building of this site. It is the story that this site, as well as my life, is centered around. This letter to you is the one i would most like for you to read out of all the ones you will find here, because it describes how profoundly the works of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can change one human life.

For Your Reading Enjoyment, This Is Like A Park, Use It, Enjoy It, and Leave Everything Where You Found It.

The content here's not to be used,

But to only be read and perused.

If you copy it off,

My lawyer's not soft,

And your fortune is mine - you got sued!

Gloryteller :-)

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