Does Keeping Christ in Christmas Cause Sin

You may have seen the images posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media websites. You may have seen bumper stickers, posters and heard people declare that we must keep Christ in Christmas. As some people complain about the term Xmas, others began to feel the need to justify and speak proudly that Xmas is acceptable because “X” is the first letter of Greek for the name Christ (reference 1 / reference 2 – Snopes).

I understand the sentiment that in the United States, about how Christianity is beginning to lose some of its status and favor. How in the U.S., Christians are beginning to feel a very small bit of the persecution that is felt in other countries, but have we blown this out of proportion?

Let’s look at it from a new angle. God commands us:

Exodus-20-7 Continue reading

Lessons from the Lawn III: Volunteers

Man mowing lawnHow many times do you hear people say that they “hate” cutting the grass? I hear it quite often during the summer time. I often hear people say things like “I’d concrete over my yard if I could”, “as long as it’s green (whether weeds or grass) – I don’t care”, and other similar things. People seem to dread yard work and so when an individual enters the discussion that enjoys lawn care, people tend to look at them a little funny.

This can happen in the church as well. There are some areas of service that people enjoy, and some areas that people simply do not like to serve, or are not well suited to serve. Like lawn care.

Those who see a certain area of service as a “burden” perceive that it is a burden for everyone else as well. You may not enjoy lawn care, but someone else does….. you may not enjoy serving with the 2 year olds, but someone else does….. you may not enjoy singing in public, but some one else does ….. you may not enjoy … well, you get the picture.

When a person, or a church, sees an opportunity to serve as a burden, then it tries to fill it with many different people to share that “burden”. Schedules are made to have several people cut the lawn, to serve in a particular class, to serve in whatever task is deemed a burden, when there may be an individual, or a group of individuals, that enjoy serving in that area. What does it say to that person, serving God in a way they can do well, and they enjoy, that we need to “ease their burden” when it is not a burden to them?

Using the lawn care analogy, this person who used to edge the sidewalks, try to remove weeds, bag the access grass, and make the lawn look nice, now must yield his service to others who are filling a slot. Others who only care that the grass is green, not whether it has weeds, or grass. Not properly edging the sidewalks, etc. all because another deems it as a burden to care for.

Now imagine the lawn is teaching children or youth. You pick the age or grade. What if you had someone passionate about teaching the children the things of God. Doing their best to engage the children and make sure the lesson was doctrinally correct. What if this person found it a joy to serve in this way, but then someone who saw this as a burden on them decided that they needed to rotate with others. Others who didn’t have the same passion, the same care for engaging the children, the same care for being doctrinally sound? Others who just filled a position, even though they “hated” to teach the children?

Paul wrote that we are all a part of the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5, 2 Corinthians 12:12), serving together to make up the whole body. Each with our own individual gifts.

May we not keep one from using their gift under the guise of “sharing the burden” when the “burden” doesn’t exist.

 

 

How K-Cups Strengthened a Relationship

It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship. That’s the mantra that is becoming so prevalent in christian circles (yes, the word christian is lowercase on purpose). Can we get so caught up in semantics that we forget to set examples and actually work on building relationships with God and one another?

One of the relationships that can be difficult to keep healthy is marriage. It is the most intimate relationship we have here on earth with one another and the one that takes the most effort. There can be several reasons why it is  difficult to grow. One is because as humans, we are most often focused on ourselves, our own needs and desires.  Consequently, we put the needs and desires of others behind ours. Continue reading

Knowing Your Lines

I used to plan and run a family service where the children would help lead worship (songs) and some adults would help by participating in a skit to engage both young and old alike, sharing a spiritual truth. The service seemed to be well received.

After holding these types of services for over a year, about once a month, there was some discussion about them. One comment that came up was that if people were going to be in the skit, then they had to know their lines. learning_linesThere were a few times when it was apparent that the actor did not know their lines, and even though in other services, other actors forgot, or missed entire lines, Continue reading

What Good Deed Must I Do?

good_deeds_salvationMany people believe that they only have to be good to enter heaven when they die. That is a false belief. Man tries to do what they can to get to heaven and many religions are based on people doing good to get to heaven. They are being misled.

In Mathew 19:16-30 (and Luke 18:18-30), a rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks Him what good deed must he do to have eternal life. Continue reading