Sunday, December 31, 2017

A World Where Weinstein’s “MeToo” Couldn’t Exist. “Liar, Liar, Plants for Hire”. Slaves of Sin. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

A World Where “MeToo” Couldn’t Exist

“For weeks now, victims of sexual harassment have been sharing their “MeToo” stories. The Bible promises a world where those stories will never happen again.

A World Where #MeToo Couldn’t ExistSometimes I like to play a game called “What If We Just …?”

It’s a pretty simple game. Here’s how it works: Sometimes, when I come across a passage in the Bible where God tells us to do something, I ask, “How would the world be different if we all just did that one thing?”

The answer is almost always, “It wouldn’t fix everything, but things sure would be a whole lot better than they are now.”

Take the Eighth Commandment. How would the world change if no one stole anything ever again? A lot of insurance salesmen would be out of a job, for starters. We’d be less worried if belongings went missing—in a world with no thefts, things would only be misplaced. We’d be a little more trusting and a little less worried about being defrauded or scammed by a con artist.

You can do the same mental exercise with the other commandments. What if we lived in a world where no one lied? Where no one murdered? Where everyone honored his or her parents? Where everyone kept the Sabbath day holy? Imagine a world where any one of those things is true, and you’ll see how one little rule, universally obeyed, could really change things.

Weinstein and #MeToo

“What If We Just…?” is a fun game, but it’s also a sad one—because at the end of it, you have to come back to a world that frequently ignores all of God’s commandments (and not just the 10 big ones). You have to wade through depressing news story after depressing news story of things that never would have happened if people would just do the thing God said to do.

Consider the millions of stories reflected in the #MeToo hashtag.

Millions upon millions of women have made it clear that sexual harassment is pandemic.Last month, as allegation after allegation of sexual assault came out against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano suggested on Twitter, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

Within hours, #MeToo was everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—over the next few weeks, women around the world took to social media to identify themselves as victims of sexual assault and harassment. Overnight, #MeToo offered a staggering sense of scale:

Weinstein is not an anomaly. Millions upon millions of women have made it clear that sexual harassment is pandemic. It’s a serious problem in the workplace, in universities and even at home. For so many women, it’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “how often.”

Missing the point

How did we get here? How did we end up in a world where so many women (and even some men) have to deal with being degraded or violated—a world where the victims are often too afraid or too embarrassed to speak out?

Whenever this topic comes up, a lot of well-meaning people have asked a lot of well-meaning questions that have entirely missed the point. These questions tend to put the blame at the feet of the victims: What was she wearing? How was she acting? What part of town was she in?

If we’re trying to get to the heart of the problem, then those are the wrong questions. Is there a discussion worth having about how God expects His people to dress and behave? Yes, absolutely. But are those the real reasons men assault or harass women?


Men who mistreat and abuse women do so because something in their mind is sick and twisted. That’s the reason.

The heart of the problem

Let’s play a quick round of “What If We Just …?” This time we’ll plug in the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

How would obeying that verse change the world?

At first glance, the scope seems limited—at least until we consider the true depth of that commandment.

Jesus explained to His disciples, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

The Seventh Commandment isn’t just about what we do with our bodies; it’s about what we do with our hearts. It’s about where we’re looking and why. It’s about the places we let our minds go.

Now imagine a world where no one lusted after anyone. Where both men and women looked at each other with respect for their value as human beings and not as objects to be desired, used and discarded.

Would the #MeToo campaign have a reason to exist in a world like that? Would stories like the Harvey Weinstein scandal exist in a world like that?

No, they wouldn’t. They couldn’t. If we just obeyed that one single commandment, there would be no need for anyone to post their #MeToo stories. There would be no need for women to fear being violated or humiliated by strangers and coworkers. We wouldn’t need to be having this discussion at all.”                      Continued at:


There’s a Proverb for That: Liar, Liar, Plants for Hire*

“The research into how much we all lie to one another is as prevalent as it is condemning. When it comes to lying, the book of Proverbs is not impressed.

There’s a Proverb for That: Liar, Liar, Plants for Hire*People have been lying to each other for thousands of years. Evidence? A wisdom book written nearly 3,000 years ago addresses the consequences of, and God’s disgust with, lying.

“That’s pants on fire, Patrick*”

In the sophisticated and biting social commentary found within an episode of the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, the humorously dim-witted Patrick Star skewers the familiar rhyme about dishonesty by instead saying, “Liar, liar, plants for hire.” When corrected by the momentarily uppity SpongeBob, Patrick then retorts, “Well, you would know, liar.”

It’s easy to slip up and lie occasionally for a variety of reasons, even when we strive to be truthful. There are the so-called “little white lies” to make sure we don’t hurt someone’s feelings. We also have the whoppers to get us out of trouble when scared. Then there are the lies that have just enough truth in them for us to justify them as not actually being lies. The common thread? Our nose and seared conscience grow with each one we let slide.

It’s very hard for the truth to set us free when we twist, abuse, distort, neglect and run away from it (John 8:32). If those who love and practice a lie are not welcome inside the gates of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:14-15), there must be a pretty good reason to stay truthful. And, yes, there is a proverb for that.

Proverbs and implications

1. Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” 

Continued at:


Slaves of Sin or Slaves of Righteousness?

Romans 6:15-16

Romans-6-16-Slaves-of-Sin-Or-Righteousness-red-copy“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

The apostle Paul, after describing in Romans 5 the incredible sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of our sins and make possible the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life, saw the need to explain more fully.

We can do nothing to “earn” forgiveness or eternal life, but that doesn’t mean that God wants us to continue sinning. Obviously if God hates sin so much that He requires the death penalty for sin, He does not want us to go back to doing it. Sin causes pain and suffering and death. Obeying God’s law produces right relationships and life.

Paul points out that humans must choose whom they will serve: either sin leading to death or obedience to God’s good and righteous law, which leads to being right with God. Those are the only two choices; and as God said long before, He wants us to choose obedience and “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:16-19).

For more about sin and God’s law, see The 10 Commandments for Today



My little timid shy foster cat, Puddin’, came home for the holidays, so the other cat that I am taking care of, “Flower”, whose house drowned in Harvey, had to spend the week in my grooming room because she doesn’t like other cats.  She took it like a trooper, but was so glad when she could come back into the main part of the house and sleep on my bed when Puddin” went back to the Cat Habitat at Petco. 

Puddin’ was so happy to be here at home, and I loved having her.  I cried when it was time for her to go, but she doesn’t belong to me, she is an SPCA foster cat and they paid for her medical bills and everything.  Anyway, at my age, how can I offer her a “forever” home?  She doesn’t show well in the Habitat, and won’t come out of the little ‘cave’ to entertain potential adopters, so she will probably be back home when her time is up at the Habitat.  We were hoping that being there would help her get over her shyness.  The Petco employees and customers love to play with the Habitat cats through the plexiglass.

The chiropractor worked on my back twice, but it has been out for such a long time, and now that I am getting older it is more difficult for it to snap back into place.  My back is a little less sore after they massaged it, and my knee doesn’t hurt as much, so we are making progress.

For the Sabbath church potluck I made Angus Ground Beef and Brown Rice. Then it took most of one afternoon to peel, dice and roast all kinds of veggies, zucchini, celery, carrots, onions, bell peppers, sweet and white potatoes, but they are soooo good roasted, that it was worth it. Then because of the time of the year I took some seasoned black-eyed peas. 

The pastor’s wife was sick again, and the elder who usually helps with the kitchen wasn’t there either, so I had to do everything myself, but it went OK, and everyone was happy with the spread.  There was also lasagne, chicken bites and veggies.  Several folks took the left-overs home with them, so they must have liked it.

The Bible reading were Gen. 44:18-47:27, about Joseph’s kin coming to him in Egypt, Eze. 37:15-37:28 and Eph 2:1-10.  The Teaching was “The Nature of the Messiah”, but as usual it was difficult to concentrate on it as I was trying to get the pot luck together in the kitchen.

Now I have acquired a lovely 6 months old spayed Siamese kitten who needs a good home. It was heart wrenching to see the little girl give up her kitten due to allergies.

We are expecting a batch of freezing weather, so I have been going around checking the covers on the long trough of aloe Vera plants, pipes, etc. getting ready for the next few days.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Why Did the Wise Men Bring Gifts to Jesus? Hidden in Plain Sight: The Festivals Jesus Celebrated. Why Celebrating Christmas Is Futile. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Why Did the Wise Men Bring Gifts to Jesus?

“The answer to this question is more important than you ever knew! It reveals vital understanding about the very identity and future role of Jesus Christ!

Wistia video thumbnail - Why Did the Wise Men Bring Gifts to Jesus

Why did wise men bring gifts to Jesus Christ as a young child? What can we learn from these gifts? Discover the answers in this short video by Foundation Institute instructor Dave Myers. (click on link at the end to see video)

The scriptural account surrounding Jesus’ birth tells of wise men traveling a great distance from the east to present the young Christ child with gifts. What is the reason for imparting gifts to a small child? Who did these men believe they were honoring?

Confused customs

First of all, the Bible does not tell us the exact number of wise men, and they were not present for His birth in a manger as is so often depicted in nativity scenes every December.

Matthew 2:1, 11 shows that the young child Jesus was already in a house by the time the wise men visited and offered their gifts. “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. … And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

This is only one illustration of how Christmas customs have actually distorted the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. Other articles on this website demonstrate this fact in much more depth. Be sure to read some of these eye-opening assessments of commonly held traditions.

The question we are exploring in this article is why wise men brought gifts to a child who was too young to appreciate them in the first place. What motivated these men to feel it was appropriate to present anything? Who did they think Jesus was, and why did they come all that way?

The answer reveals an often overlooked reality about the Son of God.”

Continued at:


Hidden in Plain Sight: The Festivals Jesus Celebrated

Which days will you celebrate this year? Few give this any consideration, but you should. Some little-known holy days can help unlock benefits God wants to give you!




“A little over 60 years ago, my parents were young and raising two small boys—my brother and me—when they learned about the annual holy days of the Bible.

Having grown up attending a mainstream Christian church, they, like most people, had been observing Christmas and Easter. These were the two most important religious holidays for them, and they had no idea that what they were doing might not be exactly what God expects.

Shortly after they learned that the Bible taught the seventh-day Sabbath instead of Sunday, they started worshipping on Saturdays, except for the half day of work every other Saturday that Dad’s job required. (Read more about this in  The Sabbath: A Neglected Gift From God.)

Then they concluded that they needed to be baptized. They decided to drive up from their home in Houston to attend a church service that would be held in East Texas by the radio preacher who had introduced them to the biblical Sabbath.

Never heard of them

After the church service, they began counseling with one of the ministers about being baptized. In assessing their readiness for baptism, the minister asked them whether they knew about the seventh-day Sabbath and whether they were keeping it. “Yes” and “mostly,” they replied.

When Dad realized that he needed to fully keep the Sabbath every Saturday, he made a commitment to do so regardless of what would happen with his job. (As it turned out, his company allowed him to have Saturdays off, and soon everyone in the company had both Saturday and Sunday off.)

So my parents were baptized and then made an interesting discovery. They learned that in addition to the weekly Sabbath, there were also annual Sabbaths and that one of them—Pentecost—would occur the next day. They had never heard of these annual festivals of God. The church they had previously been attending didn’t teach them, and they had no idea that God intended for these festivals to be observed today.”

Continued at:


Why Celebrating Christmas Is Futile,   Trade the glitz of Christmas for the substance of God.

Close up of a Christmas tree with Santa Claus ornament hanging on a limb.

“People try to hold on to something that has been a focal point in their life, but it cannot fill the void. There is a way to worship Christ and to fill that void.

It is that time of year again: When I have to let others know at work that I want to be left out of their Christmas celebrations. Most of my coworkers think it’s a bit odd, but they humor me.

This year I had one person take offense that I do not my want my desk to be decorated or to be included in any of the celebrations. His desk was decorated for his birthday, and I congratulated him. He then raised his voice at me and asked if I had a problem with the decorations. I said not at all. He then said in a loud hostile voice, “Do you know who else has a birthday this month?” Bewildered by his attitude, I said no. He shouted “Jesus! Jesus has a birthday the 25th of this month!” He then continued to loudly restate this in different ways, several times.

I just let him rant and turned back to my own work, as nothing was to be gained by getting into an argument with him. I am sure he felt he was defending his beliefs against the “war on Christmas.”

This man is a manager over many people (not myself), and I shudder to think how someone under him would be treated who had any beliefs different than his. Our company policy strictly prohibits this kind of behavior toward people of different religious backgrounds.

It’s not that I had requested anyone else not celebrate Christmas in my presence, or that anybody refrain from decorating their own desk. I had merely asked that I not be included. I did not try to impose my thoughts about Christmas. I acknowledge that for many people it is seen as a time to worship Jesus and to spend meaningful time with family and friends.

Vanity in worship

Bible scholars place the birth of Jesus as most likely in September. A simple Internet search of “When was Jesus born?” will give ample answers to show Bible scholars pretty much agree on the time of year. God would have made sure we knew the exact date if it were to be a time to worship our Savior.

“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Can you think of anything more futile than celebrating someone’s birthday on a day that they were not born? And on a day used by their worst enemy? If you would not do this to your best friend or spouse, why does it seem all right to do it to the Creator of the universe?

“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

You can worship Jesus and do it in vain? Jesus said you could!

When people ask me why I do not celebrate Christmas, I tell them I only celebrate what the New Testament Church celebrated, and that Christmas was added hundreds of years later.

You will not find any semblance of it in the New Testament Church as recorded in the Bible.

Christmas’s troubling roots

An Internet search will show you there was a celebration similar to Christmas that took place at that time, called Saturnalia, which was held in worship of the god Saturn.

From History Today: “It was a public holiday celebrated around December 25th in the family home. A time for feasting, goodwill, generosity to the poor, the exchange of gifts and the decoration of trees. But it wasn’t Christmas. This was Saturnalia, the pagan Roman winter solstice festival. Saturnalia originated as a farmer’s festival to mark the end of the autumn planting season in honor of Saturn ( satus means sowing). Numerous archaeological sites from the Roman coastal province of Constantine, now in Algeria, demonstrate that the cult of Saturn survived there until the early third century AD.”

Here are some of the quotes readily available with an Internet search of “Why is Christmas celebrated on Dec. 25?”

“The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December” (source: ).

It is questionable whether Constantine ever actually accepted Christianity, as he continued to worship the sun god throughout his life. However, it is undeniable that when Constantine imposed his will at the Council of Nicaea, he influenced many of the common beliefs of Christianity that come down to us to this day.

Here is another one:

“Christmas is on Dec. 25, but it wasn’t always. Dec. 25 is not the date mentioned in the Bible as the day of Jesus’s birth; the Bible is actually silent on the day or the time of year when Mary was said to have given birth to him in Bethlehem. The earliest Christians did not celebrate his birth” (source: Washington Post ).

This one shows the common thought process today:

“Regardless of the pagan background of so many December traditions, and whether or not Jesus was born on December 25th, our goal is still to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Christ of Christmas. The light of the world has come. And the Christmas season and celebration presents the church with a wonderful opportunity to preach the good news—that men can be made righteous and have peace with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ” (source: Grace To You ).

Don’t be ensnared

How does celebrating a birthday on a day it did not occur, with entrapments of pagan celebrations and fables, turn people to God? Unfortunately, this celebration can be a major problem for people to give up in order to worship God in truth.

To His people Israel, God said: “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).

That is what God has to say about it!

And the apostle Peter wrote, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

These traditions and the cunningly devised fables that surround Christmas actually mask who our Savior was! Some of these traditions can be traced all the way back to the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. In Revelation 18 God warns to come out of that Babylonian system so you will not have to receive the plagues that they will receive.

More and more fables are added year after year, and those of us on the outside looking at it can see it is getting more frenetic as time goes on.

People are trying to hold on to something that has been a focal point in their life, but it cannot fill the void. Christmas is a cherished family tradition, and many feel threatened by the references to the obvious syncretism with paganism.

There is a way to worship Christ and to fill that void, and that way is to worship on the days when Jesus Himself worshipped. Those special days have meaning about the hope for mankind, and are completely lacking in any ancient pagan practices.

If you are interested in knowing what many other people believe, observances that give meaning and hope to this chaotic world we live in, check out God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind .  From:



Well, with all the rigamarole of getting the doctor referrals, and my HMO’s permission for chiropractor’s evaluations, x-rays and the such, my back is still out, so not much has been done. That took all week, and now it is a holiday, maybe it will be done next week.  In the mean time, I have trouble bending down, getting up, and my knee still hurts.  This has hampered my exercising too, and I need to be in shape for my treadmill test next month.

Zack has been here to help me a little bit.  We got the dog room ready for “Flower”, the cat whose house was damaged in Harvey.  It still isn’t fixed, so she is still here.  Flower had to be moved away from the rest of my house into the dog room for a week as she attacks little timid abused “Puddin” who came home from the Cat Habitat for the holidays.  Again, Puddin’ didn’t try to sell herself for adoption at the Habitat, and just hid in the little ‘cave’.  She is so glad to be here and stays pretty close to me day and night.  We just hope that the right home can be found for her. A couple thought about adopting her, but she is terrified of men and he wanted a lap cat, so that wasn’t going to work.  My dog room is no longer used for boarding or grooming, just as a mail room for items to be sold on eBay, but the name stuck.

Jay’s mother, Claudia, who had the liver transplant and just now is getting over stomach cancer, came home from the rehab.  Jay promised to take good care of her and was sober and pleasant for a few days.  He forgot to feed her most of the time, and then he really fell off the wagon, and has been really mean and dangerous to everybody.  Claudia had to call the police twice when he was poking her in the stomach, but they wouldn’t lock him up, just told him to go to his house next door.  Jay threatened me with a knife when I took some food to her then threw the food at me, and I just want him to stay away from us, but at least she has got him move back to his house now.  He broke all the phones in her house before he left, so now bedridden Claudia is alone in her house with just us two neighbors to try to take care of her. 

Zack swept out the carpets in the van, to try to make it look better for the Sabbath, and he vacuumed the living room for me, as I can’t push that heavy vacuum while my back is out.  He tried to make my printer stop saying that there is a paper jam, as there isn’t, but nothing has worked.  I have spent hours this week trying to fix it, even uninstalling it and re-installing it with the disc.  So I will go and buy another printer that uses the same ink, as soon as I can.  I had just bought new ink for it, and that costs more than a new printer!

Standing in the kitchen wasn’t too bad, so I made Claudia a baked sweet potato stuffed with grass-fed ground beef and gravy, with tiny garden peas on the side.  Everything has to be really tender as she has new teeth and they hurt, so she doesn’t like to wear them.  The next day I had made her some overnight steel cut oats and apples in a little crockpot, and a New York Strip Steak that was so tender it could be cut with a fork.  I seared it, then pressure cooked it, and served it with homemade mixed veggies.

I had made a lot of veggies so I took a crockpot full of Cheesy Veggies for the church potluck, another crockpot of Butternut Squash and Pears, and an Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie Recipe - .  Normally I don’t entertain white flour products at all, but I was given a box of Bisquick, and that’s what gave me the idea.  The recipe isn’t on the box any more, you have to look it up.  It was just as delish as it always was.  The pastor’s wife didn’t tell me that she was still under the weather, so I arrived at the church having to ramrod the potluck again.  We had several great dishes, including Chicken Alfredo, Chicken and Rice Enchiladas, broccoli, buttermilk pie and some homemade healthy brownies.

The Bible readings were Gen. 41:1-44:17, 1 King. 3:15-4:1, and Rom. 10:1-13, and the Teaching was “Spiritual Growth and Progress” (1 Peter 2:2 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.)

It was cold in the church, and I was glad that I had a warm jacket to wear. The heater would blow cold air when it was cooling off the heating coils.   56 deg. was the high for the day.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hanukkah. Why Some Christians Don’t Celebrate Christmas. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday:

Jewish festival of Hanukkah


“Traditional festivals of light miss the truth about the true “Light of the world”, both of them really miss the key scriptural teaching about light which is that of Jesus Christ.


[Darris McNeely] “The weeklong Jewish festival of Hanukkah has started. This is a very interesting festival - every year usually in December among the Jewish people. Hanukkah goes back - the story of Hanukkah goes back - to the 2nd century,  the Jewish story, when the people in Judea threw off the Seleucid yoke and had the opportunity to go back into the temple and there they we were going to reinstate all of their traditions and all of their ceremonies. They only found enough oil for one day of lighting the lamps in the temple but a miracle was supposedly performed and there was enough oil for eight days.  And, so the tradition and the celebration began around this has come down to the people today of Hanukkah being a season of lights. You have this menorah - which is an eight candled, eight branched menorah - used specifically for the Hanukkah season that relates to that whole festival of lights - which is an interesting period of time because we are also into the Christmas season.

[Steve Myers] Right, a lot of people feel that Hanukkah is the Jewish version of Christmas and they’re really not connected in any way. Except there is an interesting connection and it has to do with the lights themselves. At Christmas time so many people put up lights all around their house. They set up their Christmas tree. They put lights on the Christmas tree as well. And of course, at Hanukkah we got the candles that are on the menorah and they light those candles each day. In fact, some people have an advent candle that they light - for maybe many days before Christmas leading up to it. And so there is this connection of light but is it the kind of light that we should have?

[Darris McNeely]  And here in the darkest season of the year - in December. You have the Christmas celebration which is based upon an ancient period of the Saturnalia festivals in Rome. You have the Jewish tradition of Hanukkah and its lights. But both of them really miss the key scriptural teaching about light which is that of Jesus Christ. In John chapter 3 and in verse 19 it says, “…the Light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Jesus Christ is the true light of the world. And, still today people are not able to come to understand exactly what that light and the truth of Christ’s teaching does mean. We love evil too much and we wrap the teaching about Jesus Christ around ideas, traditions and fables. Neither one of which really teach about Jesus.

[Steve Myers] That’s right. Christ is left out. Commonly we hear that phrase “put Christ back in Christmas” - well He was never there. So, Christ is left out of Christmas and He is left out of Hanukkah as well. And so the challenge is much like Ephesians 5:8 says. It says, “…you are the light in the Lord, walk as children in light.” And so we have that challenge to walk in spirit and truth, and worship God in a way that pleases Him - one of light, that shines the evidence of Christ in our lives so clearly.

[Darris McNeely] So, with all these human traditions around us at this time of year - Christmas, Hanukkah and whatever the custom might be. Again we challenge you to really understand who is the true light - Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. And find and worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  From:


Why Some Christians Don’t Celebrate Christmas

Many feel that Christmas marks Christ’s birthday and that it honors Him. After all, can 2 billion professing Christians be wrong? At the same time, some few Christians don’t observe Christmas, believing that Jesus didn’t sanction it and that it dishonors Him. Who is right—and why?

A man sitting in a chair across from a Christmas tree.Paola Chaaya/Unsplash

What do the major symbols of Christmas— Santa Claus, decorated trees, mistletoe—have to do with the birth of the Savior of mankind?

One day, years ago, someone asked me why I celebrated Christmas. “The Bible says to,” I responded. “Somewhere in the Gospel of Luke, it speaks of the nativity scene. An angel told some shepherds that were keeping their sheep in the fields at night that the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. I think they went to see Jesus at that time.

“That was the first Christmas! And that’s why I celebrate Christmas, because the Bible supports Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ.”

“That’s not true, and here’s why,” my friend replied.

I soon learned that the Bible didn’t teach Christmas. I also found that its origins have nothing to do with the Bible. It was an important lesson about things I’d long assumed to be true.

Just because some 2 billion people observe Christmas—roughly 1 billion Catholics and another billion in Protestant faiths—does that make it right? Does it really matter one way or the other?

Why do so many people celebrate this holiday?

If you were asked, “Why do you celebrate Christmas?” how would you respond? Many would say Christmas honors the birthday of Jesus. Others feel that Christmas is a good Christian family get-together. Many do it simply because they’ve always done it.

Christmas can appear tantalizing to the eye and ear. People appear happy, generous, full of good cheer. Twinkling lights decorate many houses. Santa Claus and his reindeer are pictured as poised to lift off from snow-covered front yards or rooftops, although in the southern hemisphere and tropics there is no December snow. The colorful, peaceful-appearing Christmas scene can be intoxicating and addicting.

Shoppers pack stores, browsing for gifts they hope to buy at bargain-basement prices. Soaring strains of “White Christmas,” “Silent Night” or “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” resonate everywhere.

The December weather of the northern hemisphere might be frightful outside, but the feeling and warmth inside is delightful. Christmas trees with twinkling lights and bright, sparkling ornaments create a mystical and glowing environment. Entire families want to experience the special mystery that only comes with the Christmas season. There is no religious holiday quite like it for the vast numbers everywhere who celebrate it.

Was Jesus really born on Dec. 25?

But stop and ask yourself: Was Christ really born on Christ-mas Day? After all, the Bible nowhere tells us the day of His birth.

In fact, most credible secular historical writings tell us that Christmas, more than 200 years after Jesus’ death, was considered sinful: “As late as A.D. 245[the early Catholic theologian] Origen … repudiates as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ” ( The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition,1910, Vol. 6, p. 293, “Christmas”).

In A.D. 354, a Latin chronographer mentioned Christmas, but even then he did not write about it as an observed festival (ibid.).

There is no biblical evidence that Dec. 25 was Jesus’ birth date. In fact, the Bible record strongly shows that Jesus must not have been born then.

Continued at:


Keeping Family When You Don't Keep Christmas

What do you do when your relationship with God seems to collide with your relationship with your family?

An old box of family

Let’s be honest—saying no to Christmas feels like saying no to family, right? All of the intellectual knowledge about the true origins of Christmas doesn’t keep your heart from breaking when someone asks, “Don’t you want to be with your family?”

What do you do when your relationship with God seems to collide with your relationship with your family? Tell your family you’re giving up Christmas, and you’ll find out rather quickly.

Four years ago this Thanksgiving, I decided to stop keeping Christmas. I’d bought airline tickets months before to go home for the holidays, so I went. As best as I could, I tried not to acknowledge Christmas while still honoring everyone around me who was celebrating it. No one knew how to act, including me. It was awkward for all of us. When I was told that I didn’t have to come home for Christmas the following year, it was both a relief and a punch in the gut.

Why does it sometimes feel wrong to say no to Christmas, even though you know you should? For many people, Christmas traditions are wrapped up in family. It’s often the family’s largest and most-anticipated gathering. Let’s be honest—saying no to Christmas feels like saying no to family, right? All of the intellectual knowledge about the true origins of Christmas doesn’t keep your heart from breaking when someone asks, “Don’t you want to be with your family?”

Learn more about the Feast days, and you’ll see how very much family is on God’s mind.

I couldn’t put it into words at the time, but the root of my struggle was, “How do I maintain relationship with my family and be true to my beliefs?” It is possible, and it doesn’t involve Christmas.

There are two points to consider. One, family relationships are about more than just a single day. And two, God has a bigger plan for family than you may realize.

How do you build a relationship with your family outside of trees, tinsel, and presents? Some people join their extended family for lunch or dinner and leave before gifts and other Christmas traditions, and that works well for them. I live many hours away from my family, so dropping in for dinner is not really practical. Since long-distance visits are usually for a few days at a time, I don’t spend Christmas with my family. It’s more respectful to them, so that they can observe the practices they enjoy without awkwardness, and I’m not caught in the middle of practices that I don’t want to keep. Instead, I spend that time with my Church family, because, frankly, it can be very lonely to un-keep Christmas all by yourself.

Throughout the year, I make a point to spend time with my family at other opportunities that are meaningful to all of us: Thanksgiving, birthdays, a summer family gathering, and other special events such as graduations and weddings. I make an effort to see them more often than before so they don’t feel I’m pulling away from them. It’s Christmas I’ve rejected, not them. You can keep the commandment to honor your parents and not keep their desire for Christmas.

You should be able to answer why you are choosing not to keep Christmas. My answer is, “God has spelled out His holidays in the Bible and how to keep them, so now I keep those instead.”

God’s holidays, His holy festivals as described in Leviticus 23, illustrate the greatest story ever told—a story that features Jesus in the starring role. But His birth is only a small part of that story. Christmas misses most of the action and the dramatic conclusion. God has created special opportunities for you and your family to celebrate together throughout the year and remember the incredible story He is telling.

Learn more about the Feast days, and you’ll see how very much family is on God’s mind. God is all about family, and His days reveal more about the plan of salvation for all mankind than Christmas traditions ever could. Man’s holidays are a poor substitute for what God has in mind for you and your family: to be part of His family, together.

The first year is the hardest, but you’ll find a groove that works. You are not alone. While your journey is uniquely yours, there are many people who walk with you, all sorting out how to keep family without keeping Christmas.”     From:


Do you want to start observing God’s Feast days? Start by learning how Christians observe the biblical festivals?      Read “A Guide to God’s Holy Days”.



Not much has been done this week. Somehow, I have managed to put my back out.  I am pretty sure that this is what is making my knee hurt, too.  I went through that in 1968, and found out my painful knee was caused by my back. That’s about the only time that I see anyone in the medical field, when I get my back manipulated. 

First I had to get a referral.  On Monday I called, but my doctor didn’t have any appointments until Friday, but said to call at 8.15 am each morning and they would see what they could do.

Nothing was available on Tuesday, but they could see me on Wednesday, the day I was to take Zack my neighbor to his doctor, so I couldn’t go.  But Zack didn’t show up, even though I called out and banged on his house for ages, but no Zack.  So I could have gone to the doctor’s office.

The following morning, Thursday, Zack shows up, wanting to work, said he had overslept the day before.  Sorry, guy, my back is still hurting, so you are not going to work until it is fixed.

Later that same day, Jay wanted to work, so he came to help me move some things, he washed the van so it would look good for church, and fixed a broken ladder.  Jay works less hours, so I don’t have to pay him as much as Zack. 

Friday, Jay went to the doctor with me just to get out of the subdivision, and he always hopes that we will stop at a thrift shop.  My PCP who is a DO, (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)( ) saw me and looked at my back.  The referral for me to see the chiropractor that I had seen before, had just been approved, but she wanted me to see a different chiropractor this time.  I called and they said “Come In’”, but when I got there I found that they didn’t take my insurance.  By this time it was Friday afternoon, and you know all doctors are gone by then, so I still haven’t seen a doctor and my back and knee still hurt.

During the week, in spare moments, I had been cooking the different stages of a Shepherd’s Pie.  The Angus ground beef was cooked, strained, cooled and any fat scooped off the gravy.  The organic white potatoes were cooked, mashed with butter, cream cheese and scalded milk. (I just scald the milk in the pot with the potaoes before mashing). Some organic carrots, onions and celery had been cooked in bone broth.  So it just had to be layered on Friday afternoon, when Jay and I were cooking for the church potluck.  I took some of the gravy separately in a tiny crockpot.  They liked my red quinoa banana pudding made with the left-over eggnog, and I sliced up 10 yellow squash and made Ricotta Squash.  

Jay wanted to make a custard pudding from his mother’s recipe, but wanted to make it here.  Being AHDD everything about Jimmy has to be a big palava, disruptive and he doesn’t think ahead.  He was busy talking on the phone to his mother which he could have done later instead of tending to his cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen.  He messed up a bunch of dishes, pots, pans and utensils, but the Sabbath started at dusk and I was worn out before we could get it cleaned up.  He decided he wanted to spend the night on my couch as he doesn’t like to be alone in his mother’s house.  He can’t stand to be alone at any time, and that is why he associates with people who he shouldn’t.

I slept very well, but when I got up and turned on the coffee, Jay said he hadn’t slept at all.  Then I found out that after he had refused my decaf tea he had drank a lot of strong Earl Grey tea, and eaten a bunch of sugary things that evening.  Common sense tells you that you can’t treat your body like that, and expect it not to revolt. The basics of living are things we learned in school in England.

Anyway, we both went to church, and Jay said that he might fall asleep, but he would go in to another room at church so as not to disrespect the pastor.  I had to be there early as the pastor’s wife’s sister had just died and she had cried so much that it upset her immune system, and she didn’t want to go to church as she had all the symptoms of a cold.

The Bible readings were Gen. 37:1-40:23, Amos 2:6-3:8, and Mat. 1:1-6 and 16-25.  The Teaching was about Hannukah, (  but I could only listen to it with one ear as I was busy in the kitchen, and the one who was helping me wouldn’t stop talking.   Maybe I’ll do better when my back is fixed, as I sound an old grouch today!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pearl Harbor. President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital. Jerusalem In Prophecy. Temple Mount. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

December 7th Is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance DayI hope you didn’t forget the “Day of Infamy”, Dec. 7th. 1941.

While this defining moment in US history is commemorated in many cities all across the country, it occurred so long ago that few youngsters know how the events unfolded on that fateful day.

7th December Pearl Harbor 1941.

December 7th Is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

by Erik Jones - December 6, 2017

“President Trump has announced that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and will move the U.S. embassy there. Now the world holds its breath.

President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Palestinians play cards during President Trump's televised speech in the West Bank City of Nablus, Dec. 6, 2017. 

“On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will now recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Along with that announcement, he made it known that he would direct the U.S. State Department to fulfill one of his campaign promises—to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Trump is actually responding to an act passed by Congress in 1995, which recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and required the president to move the embassy. Since then, every U.S. president has temporarily deferred fulfilling that requirement because of the perceived risk it would pose to peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinian ambassador to the U.K. has said that this decision would be “a kiss of death to the two-state solution.”

The danger of this decision

President Trump had been warned by multiple world leaders of the danger this move poses. It has been condemned by almost every world leader who has commented on it. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of “dangerous consequences.” The Palestinian position is that East Jerusalem would be the capital of any Palestinian state.

Scholar Aaron David Miller summarized the concerns about President Trump’s decision this way: “The problem is that Israel has declared the entire city to be its eternal and undivided capital, including the eastern part of the city where many Palestinians reside and where the Palestinian Authority hopes to establish a capital once a Palestinian state is created. If Trump asserts that US policy is that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, it would be tantamount to saying that Washington now recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the entire city. If he simply says that just West Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, he risks alienating the Israeli government by suggesting that the eastern part of the city isn’t included.”

The fear is that this will not only make an unlikely peace agreement even more unlikely, but that this could ignite a new wave of violence.The fear is that this will not only make an unlikely peace agreement even more unlikely, but that this could ignite a new wave of violence. The Palestinian Authority says it will not lead those under its authority to violence against Israel because of the decision, but Hamas (which controls the Gaza Strip) has said the decision will “open the gates of hell.”

Jerusalem is the world’s most dangerous powder keg, and today’s announcement may provoke a new wave of violence—”  Continued at:


What does the Bible say about Jerusalem in prophecy?

Jerusalem in prophecy“With tensions between Christians, Jews and Arabs, what lies ahead for Jerusalem? Will peace come? What does the Bible say about Jerusalem in prophecy?

Jerusalem in prophecy: Conflict ahead

The Scriptures reveal that at the time before Christ’s return to earth, this region of the world and the city of Jerusalem will once again be in turmoil and conflict. The fragile balance of peace that currently exists will be destroyed.

The prophet Daniel was inspired to write that, at the time of the end, the Jews would resume animal sacrifices and that a religious power called “a little horn” would arise (Daniel 7:8, 11, 21-22; 8:9-10). With his influence and control over the civil government—called the “beast” in Revelation 13:1-4—this man will use the army of the beast to stop these daily sacrifices (Daniel 8:12) and set up an “abomination of desolation” on what appears to be the Temple Mount (Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15).

In a long and detailed prophecy, Daniel also prophesied of a conflict that would occur between the “king of the South” and “the king of the North” at “the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40). Jerusalem is going to be caught in the middle of this battle. The prophecy reveals that the “king of the North” is going to “enter the Glorious Land”—a reference to Palestine. This king and his spiritual adviser will take control of the city of Jerusalem.”

Excerpt from:


Temple Mount: Its History and Future

“The Temple Mount was an important location in the history of Israel and Judah. This same area is prophesied to play a major role in the end times and beyond.

Temple Mount

The biblical history of the Temple Mount—a leveled area on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem—began long before the construction of the first temple. About 900 years before the first temple, Abraham was told to go to Mount Moriah (the Mount of the Lord) to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2, 14).

This location was near the village of Salem, which later became Jerusalem (Joshua 18:28; 2 Chronicles 3:1). It was here that Abraham came to give a tithe to Melchizedek and was “blessed by the better” (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:1-4, 7-8). This particular location seems to have already been chosen by God for His future temple.

Coming forward 400 years to the time of Moses, we see in the Song of Moses a reference to “the mountain of Your inheritance, … which You have made for Your own dwelling” (Exodus 15:17). At the end of the 40 years in the wilderness, God commanded through Moses that Israel should “seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place [habitation in the King James Version]; and there you shall go” (Deuteronomy 12:5).

When God first began working with the Israelites, His place of dwelling was a portable tent, called the “tabernacle” (Exodus 25:9; 26:1). It was the location for worship on God’s annual holy days, where God “put His name” (Deuteronomy 12:5).

Over the years, this tabernacle moved to various locations, including Kadesh, Gilgal, Shiloh, Nob and Gibeon. After approximately 400 years of the tabernacle being moved from time to time, a permanent temple of stone was built for God in the city of Jerusalem—the site being chosen by God Himself (Psalm 132:13; 1 Kings 11:13; 14:21; 2 Chronicles 33:7).

Acquiring the future Temple Mount

When David became king over all of the tribes of Israel, one of his first tasks was to capture and secure the stronghold of Zion from the Jebusites and rename it the City of David (2 Samuel 5:7-9). By capturing the stronghold of Zion, David gained control over the very strategic areas of the city and the citadel. Jerusalem then became the center of Israel and Israel’s capital. This made it possible for David to later negotiate the purchase of the area that would become the Temple Mount.” 

Continued at:



“Palestinian protesters opposite Israeli heavy machinery on Sunday after a tunnel across the Israel-Gaza border was discovered.” CreditMahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images



Hans is back from his trip to The Holy Land. He showed me lovely pictures fron Israel, Jerusalem, Petra, and Jordan.  He brought me a beautiful grey and red, soft, polyester scarf with a hanging tag saying “Jerusalem”.   The design on it was a Paisley pattern, which is Scottish, (though it did originate in Persia eons ago), and the tiny tag said “Made in China”.    The Chinese probably distribute these with tags for every tourist city.  It is lovely, but I wish he had been wearing his glasses when it chose it and seen that tiny tag.  He forgets a lot of things, and that I had asked him to bring me a cheap Star of David necklace.

Zack, my neighbor and I moved some stuff out of the mini-house to make more room for working.  I had three microwaves in there for sale, so we put them on some shelves and used the roll-around table that they had been on, for a working table.  We needed it to make the curve on the counter top that goes in the mini-house kitchen.  It will be to the right of the doorway as you go in the kitchen, so a curved edge will eliminate a hip-catching square corner.   We cut a curved piece of plywood, to follow the curve and another to make it the right thickness the same as the 1 x 2” that would be on the edge.  We smoothed it with the belt sander, and filled in any ‘holidays’ with wood putty.  Now it will be ready for the Formica.

Jay acted like he was sober, so he worked on installing the door between the living room and kitchen for two mornings.  But the second morning he was defintely hepped up or hyperactive, and so I ddn’t have him come the next morning.  Hyper people make me so nervous, I had enough hyperactivity with my youngest son.

The following morning Zack and I quietly worked taking out the shims which Jay had installed that made the door jam have a curve, and reset the hinges so they wouldn't be in a bind.  

Jay is like "The little girl who had a curl, right in the middle of her forehead.  When she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was horrid"   (Longfellow)

When he is thinking straight he can do a lot of good work, but when he has been imbibing or pill-popping…..that’s a different story.  His biggest problem is that he lies to himself… he thinks that he can stop at two beers and that they won’t affect him, but even the next day he is still under the influence.  Alcoholics delude themselves!

I have advertised for someone else, but no one suitable has shown up yet, and I have to get the mini-house done.

We had snow on the ground for a while on Friday!  Here in South TX!  Many photos were posted and ‘oohed’ and ‘wowed’ upon.  I took pictures of it here with my phone, then accidentally deleted them off my Micro SD card.

For the church potluck I made Mexican Cabbage. That was because I had a jar of salsa that was way too spicy for me and I didn’t know what to do with it.  I just dumped it into some cooked cabbage.  Several folks at church like spicy foods, so they loved it. 

For another dish, I had cooked several whole sweet potatoes in a crockpot but there were too many for me, so I mashed them and added some sauteed onions, red and green peppers. 

Jay had left some organic milk here, but there was no way I could use all that up.  So I made Bread Custard Pudding ( with some raisin bread that had got squashed.  I looked for the recipe which called for the most milk (1 qt) and the least eggs, (3) and that was it.  So it was made with local farm eggs which is all that I will use.  No store-bought eggs for me, they are so cruel to those chickens and their eggs have hardly any nutrition.  The farm eggs have deep yellow yolks and taste so much better.  Now that was really enjoyed, and I was asked to make more.  The pastor’s wife gave me some Eggnog which was going to be out of date soon, and asked me to make the Custard with that.  Why not? 

The Bible readings were Gen. 32:4-36:43, (that’s got a lot of begatting in it), Hos. 11:7-12, Ob. 1:1-21, Heb. 11:11-21, and Matt. 26:36-46.  The teaching was about “Everything is Built on Christ”, how He is the Cornerstone.

Jay didn’t go to church with me on the Sabbath, I didn’t expect that he would this week.  His mother, Claudia, is out of the hospital and in re-hab now.  She has GOT to get up and walk, and eat, if she ever wants to get out of there.  He was taken by his neighbor to see her today.

            Sunday, December 3, 2017

            Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas? Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It? Update.

            For “Scripture Sunday”:

            Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas?

            “People around the world celebrate Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25. However, this date held no particular significance to Jesus Himself. But other days did.

            Some people believe it is okay to celebrate holidays originally rooted in paganism because they have now been Christianized. But is God okay with this?Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas?



            For millions of Christians around the world, the only time of the year they go to church is Christmas and Easter. These are sometimes called CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only attendees).

            According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, only 20 percent of American Christians actually attend church on a weekly basis. (The number is even lower in Europe.) Many churches report that their attendance nearly doubles on Christmas, and there is a significant spike in Google searches for “church” in late December.

            Why do people who normally don’t go to church show up on Christmas?

            Well, only those people can really answer that, but it’s likely because they see it as a special celebration of Christ’s birth, so they want to do what they believe honors Him.

            But consider this question: Does Christmas hold the same significance to Jesus Himself?

            Missing from the Bible

            To answer any question about Jesus Christ, our first (and really only) logical source is the Bible—particularly the four Gospels and the later writings of His contemporaries. When you study those documents, it’s striking that the most prominent celebration associated with Christianity is totally absent. Nobody—not Jesus, not Peter, not John, not Paul—gives any hint that he had ever celebrated Jesus’ birth in December (or any month).

            Some people believe it is okay to celebrate holidays originally rooted in paganism because they have now been Christianized. But is God okay with this?  That is not to say that the Bible doesn’t talk about Jesus’ birth, but it actually gives very few details about it. It is only covered in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Mark and John never discuss it). But if you read Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2 closely, you discover there are only a few verses that directly discuss the actual day of His birth (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7-16). The rest of these sections describe events that surrounded His birth, but did not actually occur on the same day.

            What is typically called “the Christmas story” inaccurately squeezes almost all the events described in Matthew 2 and Luke 2 into one single day in late December.

            Continued at:


            Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas? 

            “If Christ is truly the reason for the season, would He celebrate Christmas today?

            A red christmas ball ornament. Markus Spiske/Unsplash

            We can’t put Christ back in Christmas, as many seek to do, because He was never there in the first place. Misguided people put Him there. What does that mean for us?

            Most Christians assume that Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day. Most also accept that Christmas traditions like a brightly ornamented tree and a red-suited Santa are acceptable ways of honoring our Savior. Does your Bible agree with these assumptions? There’s one way to prove it: Check your Bible and the many secular sources about Christmas.

            Historical and biblical evidence clearly proves that Christmas is a pre-Christian festival. It’s not biblical, and it’s not of God. Ironically, the early Catholic theologian Origen repudiated as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ ( The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1910, vol. 6, p293).

            The inarguable fact is that Christmas isn’t supported by your Bible. There is one quintessential question that remains: Would Jesus Christ participate in the observance of Christmas? And if He wouldn’t, why not?

            Was Jesus born on Christmas Day?

            The first question to ask is whether Jesus was even born on the traditional date of Dec. 25. Luke’s Gospel records the event: “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:7-8). No mention of date so far. And does this scene fit with a winter birth?

            Alexander Hislop wrote in his book The Two Babylons: “There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of His birth, or the time of the year when He was born. What is recorded there implies that at what time … His birth took place, it could not have been on the 25th of December.

            “At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields. Now, no doubt, the climate of Palestine is not so severe as the climate of this country [England]; but even there, though the heat of the day be considerable, the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing, and it was notthe custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fieldslater than about the end of October. It is in the last degree incredible, then, that the birth of Christ could have taken place at the end of December” (1959, pp. 91-92).

            Continued at:


            Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It

            “It seems strange to ask should Christians celebrate Christmas, since it’s named for Christ. But was He born December 25? Does He want us to celebrate it?

            Christmas seems the most Christian of holidays, even taking its name from Christ. So why wouldn’t Christians celebrate Christmas? Could it be that Christ was not born on Dec. 25? Could it also be that every year many articles are written in newspapers about the pagan origins of this holiday?

            Even religious people who celebrate Christmas have written about this topic. Consider this history from the Grace to You website: “The decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25 was made sometime during the fourth century by church bishops in Rome. They had a specific reason for doing so.

            “Having turned long ago from worshiping the one true God and creator of all things, many early cultures in the Roman empire had fallen into sun worship. Recognizing their dependence on the sun’s yearly course in the heavens, they held feasts around the winter solstice in December when the days are shortest. As part of their festivals, they built bonfires to give the sun god strength and bring him back to life again. When it became apparent that the days were growing longer, there would be great rejoicing.

            “The church leaders in Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations. For the most part their efforts failed to make the people conform, and the heathen festivities continued.”

            Many people today want to put Jesus back into Christmas, but the fact of the matter is that He was never in Christmas in the first place. Dec. 25 was a polytheistic festival based on myth.

            Is adopting pagan customs acceptable to God?

            So, what is a Christian to do with this knowledge? Should Christians celebrate Christmas? In December 2007 AP reporter Tom Breen quoted Clyde Kilough, who is now a minister in the Church of God: “It’s common knowledge that Christmas and its customs have nothing to do with the Bible. … The theological question is quite simple: Is it acceptable to God for humans to choose to worship Him by adopting paganism’s most popular celebrations and calling them Christian?”

            The Bible reveals that God does not want humans to worship Him in the same manner as the pagans worshipped their gods. Therefore, based on what the Scriptures disclose, we believe God and His Son are not pleased with Christians celebrating Christmas.

            God explicitly warned ancient Israel against incorporating pagan customs into their worship of the true God.

            “When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’

            You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

            Later, Jesus Christ pointed this out to a devoutly religious group, the Pharisees, in Mark 7:6-9: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’  For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men. … All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”

            What’s wrong with the traditional nativity scene?

            Christians should also understand that the Bible itself reveals that many of the traditional nativity scenes are not biblically accurate either.

            Notice Luke 2:8-11: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’

            One commentary states that, “as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on Luke 2:8).

            Another study source agrees: “These humble pastoral folk are out in the field at night with their flock—a feature of the story which would argue against the birth (of Christ) occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted it” (The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary, 1971, note on Luke 2:4-7).

            Concerning another aspect of nativity scenes, Joe Kovacs, author of Shocked by the Bible, wrote, “You won’t find three wise men showing up at the manger when Jesus was born.”

            This statement is based on what we read in Matthew 2:1, 11: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. … And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

            The Bible does not list how many wise men were there, and they came into the house (not manger) where they saw the young Child. So, the traditional story of three wise men coming to the manger is just not found in the Bible.

            We have to realize that just proclaiming something to be Christian does not make it so, no matter what our traditions have been or what rationalizations we may employ!

            For instance, over the decades, parents have told their children about Santa Claus. The problem is—he does not really exist, nor does he have a workshop at the North Pole. Where in the Bible does God excuse us for lying—especially to our children?

            Some also believe that there should be no problem with gift giving at this time of year. However, in his book 4,000 Years of Christmas: A Gift From the Ages (1997), Episcopal priest Earl Count ardently relates historical connections between the exchanging of gifts on the 12 days of Christmas and customs originating in ancient, pagan Babylon. He also shows that mistletoe was adopted from Druid mystery rituals and that Dec. 25 has more to do with the ancient Roman Saturnalia celebration than with Jesus.

            How do I tell my relatives?

            So, should Christians celebrate Christmas? After examining the subject, many come to the conclusion that they should not. Many then ask, “Okay, then how do I tell my relatives and family that I will no longer be celebrating Christmas?” We recommend explaining in a kind way that you cannot in good conscience continue to observe a holiday not authorized in the Bible. If they ask about giving gifts, you can respond that there are plenty of other opportunities throughout the year for honoring loved ones with gifts.

            Some relatives will accept that decision and some may not understand; so it is better not to try to change their beliefs lest they get upset. Many who recognize the nonbiblical origin of Christmas try to avoid getting into a discussion about the issue unless someone asks why. We try to follow the principle in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” If someone wants to know more, it is certainly fine to explain the pagan origins of this holiday and God’s command for us not to worship Him in a similar manner.

            The members of the Church of God, (which sponsors this website), do not get involved in Christmas observances. Instead, we are told to honor Jesus Christ on the anniversary of His death (not His birth). See 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. Jesus Christ reminded His disciples (as they ate the bread during the New Testament Passover) to “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).

            Jesus was born as our Savior, but He is also coming again as the great King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:15-16). The millennial reign of Christ will then begin on the earth. This prophesied event is pictured by and emphasized during the annual Feast of Tabernacles, which occurs during each autumn in the northern hemisphere (Leviticus 23:33-35). Christ told His disciples to keep this feast, as He observed it as well (John 7:2, 14, 37-39). So, instead of celebrating the Christmas holiday, a Christian should be celebrating the annual commanded festivals of God.   You can learn more about these festivals in this section on how God’s holy days reveal His plan of salvation.”    Does it matter which holidays we celebrate? Find the answers in our free booklet. Download now.




            Zack brushed some more Kilz and paint on the new wall dividing the living room and bedroom, so Jay installed the jam for the door.  He was going to hang the door, but found out that he had cut the hinges on the wrong side, so that will have to be wood puttied and redone.  He also cut too much off the bottom of this 15-light wooden door, so an inch will have to be added to the bottom and an inch cut off the top or it will look funny.  Golly, I can’t take my eyes off him for a minute.

            Ray went up on the mini-house roof and fixed a place where it wasn’t lapped right, so that should stop that leak.  I watched him this time, from the little look-out up there.   He also blew the pine needles off the roofs of both houses, so Zack had to rake them up and burn them. 

            Jay went with me into Conroe for my doctor appointment as I get this sharp pain in my left arm, and my left knee hurts me at night. The doctor’s assistant saw me, and told me some bull about the arm pain being due to the judo chops that I received on my neck 50 years ago!  Twaddle !!!   Then she said that my knee looked arthritic, and to put Bengay or similar on it. That night I rubbed some analgesic cream on my knee but it didn’t seem to make any difference.  Only I forgot and touched my eye before I washed my hands, and that did make a difference,  it stung like crazy ! 

            Recovered-001Two more kittens have been adopted out of our Cat Habitat at Petco, another foster-mom’s “Inky” and my little “Tux”, so that just leaves “Marble” out of the four kittens that I rescued.   He is a quiet, loving little guy.

            One day I spent quite a bit of time cooking some rare vegetables that were given to me.  Have you ever seen Japanese Purple Skinned White Sweet Potatoes, or purple and white carrots from Trader Joes?  We don’t have a Trader Joes around here, so I hadn’t seen them before.   The purple carrots were roasted in butter, and they shank down, but were good, so I put them in a tiny crock pot to take to the church potluck just so that everyone could have a taste.  Some people ate seconds of them, then others just didn’t like the look of them…”purple carrots - Oh, no”!  That was mostly Jay who doesn’t like anything except steak, and hardly ever eats any veggies.

            I read that the white sweet potaoes are drier than yellow ones, so I steamed them.  Then I didn’t like the skin so I took it off.  But I still didn’t know what to do with them, so I cut them up into little pieces with my French Fry cutter, covered them with some of the turkey broth that I had made, and put all that in the fridge overnight while I decided what I was going to do with them.  The next morning I got out my immersion blender and whipped the white sweet potatoes with a bit of parsley and butter. They were very popular at church, even though when cooked, they had a green tint, which might have been the parsley and Upland Cress that I put in there.  

            The great amount of yellow squash that I had bought and been given, was sliced thin with a mandolin, sauteed in a big pot, some milk added, seasonings and cheddar cheese, and I called it Cheesy Yellow Squash.  It was nummy and didn’t last long either. 

            I had several left-over Hasselback White and Sweet Potatoes, so I made them into a Twice-baked Potato Casserole.  It is not often that I take four dishes to the potluck, but I just couldn’t keep all that food in my fridge, so it was better to share it with everyone, rather than give it to the chickens.  Also, I took a loaf of Trader Joe’s Challah Bread, (Braided Egg Bread, we called it in England.), and though it wasn’t as good as the Challah that one of the ladies makes when she is here, it was very good.  We also had many other dishes, as usual.

            Jay made, and took, a big homemade strawberry pie to the potluck.  He insisted that it needed a topping, so he bought some real whipping cream because I told him that we didn’t want any of that chemically laden artificial stuff in a tub, and the squirt cans aren’t much better.   He wanted to take two pies and a bunch of homemade pralines, but I told him that the congregation wasn’t into that much sweet stuff anymore.  They are trying to eat healthy, after all our bodies are a temple of The Holy Spirit who you have from the LORD.   (19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?) 1 Corinthians 6:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

            Any way, Jay bet me $10 (not a biblical thing to do), that all the big pie would be eaten, but I won, even though the pie was delish.  Maybe it was because no one wanted to appear greedy and eat that last slice.   (Gambling is leaving to chance what you should trust to our Lord.  Christians should trust in the providence of God and not in "chance" to provide for them.  This is why gambling cannot be endorsed biblically.)

            Even after cooking all those veggies I still had several big sweet potatoes, so I just threw them in a crockpot on High while Zack and I worked in the mini-house this morning.  We were doing some odd jobs and moving things out of there to make more working room.  The potatoes were done at lunch time but Zack doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I have enough for myself for several days.  Then I threw a bag of Trader Joe’s Potato Medley, red, yellow and purple potatoes, in the crock pot in the afternoon.  Just wash them and throw them in, so easy.   Now I can store them in the fridge and freezer, instead of the vegetable basket where they might draw fruit-flies. 

            Now, if you ever want an easy way to cope with a butternut squash, which is so hard to cut and peel, just throw it in a crock pot on low for several hours, and it will cut up nicely.  Just have the measurement of your crock pot with you, so that you will get a squash that fits in there!  One of my crock pots is oval so that is my one for butternut squash.

            The Bible readings were Gen. 28:10-32:3, Hos. 12:13-14:10 and John 1:19-51, and the Teaching was more about how the Reformation and Martin Luther’s actions 500 years ago still impact us today.