My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the month “December, 2013”

New Years Resolution

Christmas is now over and 2014 is almost here. Many of us are making New Years Resolution. Dieting, going to school, getting in shape, and others things. This dieting business is hard to do. Even the Pink Panther knows this.

Just over a year ago I made an interesting discovery. For quite awhile my blood pressure has been a little high. Not high enough to take medicine, just high enough for the doctor to say “watch it”. So we have been watching our salt intake. I love to eat crab and shrimp and other types of shellfish, but partly because of the cost of such stuff and other reasons I haven’t had any for a long time. I struggle to get the blood pressure down. Nothing worked.

Then for some reason, (I’m not sure why) we hadn’t had any pork for about a month. When I went into the doctor’s office for a checkup; I found my blood pressure down. Not just down, but right in the middle of normal! Later my wife went in for her checkup and her numbers were close to normal also. Why?

I found the answers to be in these verses:

Leviticus 11:2-4
“Of all the land animals, these are the ones you may use for food. 3 You may eat any animal that has completely split hooves and chews the cud
.

Leviticus 11:9-10
“Of all the marine animals, these are ones you may use for food. You may eat anything from the water if it has both fins and scales, whether taken from salt water or from streams
.

In other words kosher foods. (There are more verses on the subject. I just didn’t list them.) So we will try to eat only kosher foods, more or less. What I mean is, if someone offers me some BBQ pork, well, I’m going to eat it. Because, well I really like the stuff. Another reason is to turn it down would be rude. The third reason is, Jesus said we could. That means that if we really want to, we can even eat little creatures called grubs. Yummy. (Yes I did try it once. I even had seconds.)

I believe the reason Jesus said we could eat anything is because without the food barrier, it made it easier for the early Jews to spread God’s plan of salvation through Jesus to the Gentiles. Sharing the same food makes it easier for fellowship and talk about Jesus as commanded in Mark 16:15-16.

So now a couple of thousand of years later, because of these early Jewish Believers, there are now Gentile Believers all over the world praising worshiping the same God as the Jews themselves. And this fulfills the prophesy in Isaiah 49:6 and is still being fulfilled.

Isaiah 49:6
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

And this brings us to the next part of my New Years Resolution. I want to go through Revelation bit by bit. I’ll be making notes and may be writing about it as I go along. Please remember that I am not a theologian, nor was I trained in any Bible college. I pray that I won’t mess up. Because even though Revelation 1:3 says God will bless those who read, listen and obey the prophesy in this book; Revelation 22:18 says that if we add or take away anything; we’re in trouble. And now I’m thinking, am I crazy for doing this? Please pray that I won’t mess up, and also if I do mess up and get something wrong, please tell me.

Getting back to kosher foods; if cod is kosher, is lutefisk still kosher?

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Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

It’s Christmas time. Time to go to the stores and buy gifts. It’s part of our culture. And like it or not, we will hear “Happy Holidays” as we stand at the checkouts buying these gifts.

As Christians, we celebrate Christmas and not Consumer Day or some other generic holiday. So as Christians, this bothers some of us, and yet others of us say it’s no big deal.

So what do we do with store employees and stores that say “Happy Holidays”? Some say that we should boycott the stores. I’ve heard some say we should write letters demanding they say Merry Christmas. But I must ask; will boycotts change the minds of CEOs? I doubt it. What about writing letters? The main thing I see happening is they will see Christians as a bunch of angry people. But we are not angry people. We just want to remember Jesus and celebrate His birth without having this other stuff crammed down our throats. So what should we do?

First remember many people are stressed out this time of the year. Second we must remember that we must stand firm for our Lord in love. After all Jesus come so that whoever believes in Him willingly will live. Forcing Jesus on others is counter-productive. So what should we do?

I have a suggestion. I’ve done this for several years now. When someone says “Happy Holidays” to me I try to always smile (a real smile, not like an angry dog bearing its teeth) and say “Merry Christmas” back to them. When I do that two things usually happens. One they almost always smile back. Two many times they will say Merry Christmas back to you. In other words, even though they may say Happy Holidays to you, most often they will love hearing Merry Christmas back from you. So no matter what; say “Merry Christmas”.

O Holy Night sung by Kenny Rogers with the lyrics

Merry Christmas

Christmas

Is Christmas about joy or stress? Unfortunately for many people it’s about stress. They must do this and they must do that, and to make it worse; they feel they must buy things whether they can afford it or not.

Our culture says you must bring a tree into your home and decorate it. The last twenty years I questioned this.

God created us, and gave us life. God wanted us to live with Him and for Him. Again life. But mankind did wrong and blew it. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son to be born (again life) so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life . Again life! So to celebrate all this life, why are we suppose to bring big dead plants into our homes? Please understand, I am not against Christmas Trees. I am only questioning some of the traditions.

Another tradition I question is all this buying and selling and going into debt. Now I’m not against buying and selling and giving gifts. But come on, even the Pink Panther gets caught up in it.

OK I’ll be serious for a little bit. To be honest Christmas is very difficult for some people. Some people may be poor and can’t afford gifts for their kids. Some are part of a very large family, with lots of people to buy gifts for. On her side and your side. And what do you get them. What if Uncle Hank has everything and needs nothing? Uncle Hank even says he doesn’t need anything. But you still feel obligated to get something because the culture says if you don’t, then you’re a cheap-skate and a scrooge.

So we stress out getting trying to figure out what to get everybody, then rush home to wrap it very quickly so we can them rush off to mail it to Aunt Sally or who ever. Will they get the gift in time?

Several years ago my Dad in his wisdom said that instead of the stress of buying gifts for each other; we should use the money we would spend and give it to a charity of our own choice. That removed so much stress; it’s great. Of course we still get gifts for the kids.

What about Santa Clause and his reindeer friends? This has been part of our culture for generations. As far as I know, this Santa Clause has little to do with what Christmas is really about. I like what someone told me a long time ago. He said that in the beginning he and his wife told their kids there was no Santa Clause and that it’s all pretend. They did tell their kids about St. Nicholas also told them that Christmas is really about celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus. It’s OK to pretend and have fun, just remember it’s all about Jesus.

So they put up a Christmas tree and all that other stuff, and the kids have fun sitting on Santa’s lap; but they still know the truth.

Christmas was never meant to be about stress but about life. A verse that I have quoted many times in the past is John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. This Son named Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The same Bethlehem that is in Israel today.

Here is a little song with a Norwegian accent. I’m glad it has the words. I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas

This next song is also in a Norwegian accent. Unfortunately I couldn’t find one with the words. It’s hard to understand, but there’s enough movement that I hope many deaf and hard hearing people will enjoy it. Walking In My Winter Underwear

This last song is not silly a song, but instead is about Jesus Himself. Many people like this song. I hope you will too. Mary Did You Know

Merry Christmas

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