The real gift giver

For obvious reasons a lot of tags with “To:” and “From:” are getting filled out at this time of the year.

With that fact in mind, I believe it’s important for children to know who the real gift-giver is, because when we receive a gift from above, the chimney isn’t the real source.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17 NKJV)

#children, #christmas, #parenting

When non-believers believe in the Bible but don’t noel what they’re talking about

It’s amazing how non-believers can believe in the Bible (or at least like to quote it) when it’s advantageous to their cause but still not know what they’re talking about.

Take for example this story. A story that chides and corrects and criticizes Donald Trump for “not believing in the virgin birth” (due to a “tweet” in which he “erroneously” referred to Joseph as Jesus’ father) all the while it uses the names God and Jesus in a very flippant and unholy manner.

What exactly did the President say … or tweet rather? Continue reading

#birth-of-jesus, #christmas, #jesus, #twitter

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3-6-2017 A Calendar Or The Cross

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2 NKJV).  It is this fact of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Apostle Paul was determined to preach.  By following a man-made religious calendar, people have been turned away from that Cross. “Christmas” diverts attention to Jesus’ birth; “Lent” places the emphasis upon human denial; “Easter” skips the cross to Jesus’ resurrection; and “the thief on the cross” makes salvation from a thief rather than Jesus! Bible faith says: “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#christmas, #cross-of-christ, #easter, #lent, #thief-on-the-cross

Say what? Angels sang in Latin?

That’s what this guy said:

“The Latin expression the angels echoed from the heavens, ‘Gloria in excelsis deo’ is also the refrain from our hearts this Christmas season.”

Chalk up another one for the list of Christmas myths?

#christmas, #latin

Holiday blessing

During these holidays, may you and yours be greatly blessed by the time spent together and by the enjoyment of all the things “that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” 1 Tim 4.3.

Our prayer is that you may be drawn even closer to the Lord. If you are not in Christ, we pray you may enter the kingdom of God through faith, repentance, and immersion.

If you are already in Christ, we pray the Lord may give you greater appreciation of your salvation, greater love for his leading and his family, and greater opportunity for service as his followers.

We are happy also to share this prayer with you.

I speak both for and to the Fellows here on TFR. Thank you for being a special blessing by your presence here.

#blessing, #christmas, #prayer

What I don’t like about Christmas songs

Yes, I like Christmas songs, but I don’t like all of them. And my dislike often has to do with one thing – what they teach.

The birth of Jesus doesn’t take up a whole lot of territory in the gospels. Not including the veiled references of unbelievers, John basically uses one verse (John 1:14), Luke uses less than three “chapters”, if you count the announcement to Mary and the genealogy tree, to go more in-depth including the angelic announcement to the shepherds in the field (Luke 1-3), and Matthew uses two “chapters” to cover more genealogy, the announcement to Joseph and the gift-giving wise-men account (Matthew 2:1-2).

The biblical account of Jesus’ birth, and its surrounding events, are fairly easy to understand … unless, for some reason, you’re a “Christmas” song.

Many Christmas songs help to promote biblical ignorance by combining Luke’s account of the shepherds, who actually visit Bethlehem the night Jesus is born, and Matthew’s account of the wise-men, who first visit Jerusalem (after the birth of Jesus takes place) and then later present their gifts after finding Jesus in a house, into one mismatched scene.

The simple fact is, whether one tries to sing it or not, the shepherds didn’t have to make room for the wise-men that exciting night in Bethlehem. To some people this may not seem like a big-deal, but truth be told – the truth of Jesus’ birth can’t be told with many “Christmas” songs, and that’s what I don’t like about them.

#christmas, #knowledge-of-the-truth, #singing

I like Christmas Songs. Do you?

I don’t know about you, but I like “Christmas” songs.

I can’t say I like every song, or even most songs that fall into the “Christmas” category, but some of my favorite songs just happen to be songs that are labeled as “Christmas” songs.

I don’t like listening to all of the pop-stars singing to make a buck with their latest “Christmas” album. I may be wrong, but judging by the albums released before and after the nicey-nice holiday studio cut, I don’t think the vast majority of the famous singers really care about the message that surrounds the average “Christmas” album.

I like singing several songs while I’m alone and while I’m with others. Silent Night, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, and O Come All Ye Faithful are songs worth singing. They remind us of an important message (1 Timothy 3:16).

Whether the calendar says it’s December or July, I like singing these songs because they do my heart good, and I hope they do you good as well.

I’m not saying you have to like “Christmas” songs … I’m just saying that I do.

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:2 – NKJV)

By the way, if you want to watch one of my favorite video and song combos, you can click here.

#christmas, #opinion, #singing

One thing that “American Atheists” and several Protestant churches will have in common this holiday season

The title of this post may sound a little weird, but assure you that “American Atheists” and several Protestant churches will have something in common this holiday season that you may never fathomed.

What is it?

They think you Continue reading

#atheism, #christmas, #irony, #protestantism

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8-29-2016 The Savior’s Start

“An angel of the Lord” told shepherds, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12 NKJV).  The shepherds said: “’Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:15-16 NKJV)1) This is about the birth of Jesus, and has nothing to do with a “Christmas;” 2) The shepherds saw “a Babe,” “born” that very day.  The “wise men” were nowhere around; 3) God’s “Savior” was born in Bethlehem, not Mecca!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#birth-of-jesus, #christmas, #wise-men

The Last Days

By J. Randal Matheny © 2015

Grateful are we to live in the last days,
In the fullness of time, when Jesus Christ was born
Of a virgin, God in the flesh, when humble praise
Broke out among shepherds, the holy kingdom torn
From Israel, and given to those who’ll bear
The fruit of God. The days of mystery
Have ended. Now’s the reign of the true Heir,
The Seed of the Gospel. The kingdom’s key
Is offered to all. The call of the Lamb is strong,
He chimes the hour to watch. He bids take sides.
No neutral ground can be held—’tis right or wrong—
He brings a sword, the faith a house divides.
The lines are clear, shall we draw back and blur
The truth? Or speak because we love our Lord?
The priceless pearl is ours — shall we prefer
The home’s comforts, or the eternal reward?
The King returns! The Sovereign seeks his own!
The morning dawns, angelic trumpets ring!
We greet his appearing, in clouds, on cherub’s wing!
What glory to rise with him and see his throne!

#christmas, #last-days, #poetry, #second-coming

A little shopping advice for this Christmas season

Need some advice (a.k.a. opinion) for this year’s shopping season? If you’re not already finished that is.

You can find some here.

I’ll warn you ahead of time that some may not like the advice that’s given…but to those who feel that way, I’ll just say that the advice comes at a much greater percent off than any sale you’ll find in the stores.

#christmas

Easter and Christmas Always on Sunday

Letter to editor (3.25.2015)

Easter is a date is that is fluid in America’s culture; in fact, it is fluid in what is known as Christendom. The fluidity of the date corresponds directly to the fact that it is not a biblical date of recognition. It is a lot like the date that is fixed in western culture known as Christmas. Neither one of these holidays are biblical in origin.

Since they are not biblical in origin, then it must be they have their origin in man’s thinking. Simple research on the internet will illustrate the origins of both. Easter, for instance, was derived from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant the “goddess of spring.” Of course, today, it stands for something entirely different than the “long-time-ago” meaning. Regardless of the good intentions surrounding the occasion, still, it is not a biblical date of recognition.

New Testament Christians, on the other hand, celebrate the Lord’s resurrection each and every Sunday. If the Lord wanted Christians to remember a particular date, then He would have said as much. Since He did not, then when the saints gather together on the first day of each week, in adoration to the Lord, the “Easter” and “Christmas” occasions of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is memorialized.

(Submitted to Decatur Herald and Review)

#christmas, #easter, #lords-supper, #worship

HOW HE SPOKE

                No man ever spoke like Jesus, it was declared. His word penetrated to the very essence of a person. Those who lived during the time He lived had come to recognize this (John 7:46), and those who take time to understand what the New Testament says about Him will quickly come to the same conclusion.

What was it about that which Jesus said that was so significant and challenging to the people of His day? First, He was one who spoke with authority (Matthew 8:27). When the Lord spoke it was not only those who had ears that were hearing, but the elements of this world were also hearing Him. The wind, the rain, the snow, and the heat play such an important role in the life of man, but they were controlled by Him who spoke with authority. Second, He spoke with conviction. By this I mean that He spoke with knowledge concerning His mission and message. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). This pertains only to people; those who have the ability to hear and understand, but make choices that are contrary to the Lord’s way—these are the ones Jesus came to seek and save (Romans 3:23; 6:23). His conviction was not only with regard to His knowledge concerning His own mission, but that message He spoke convicted the many who heard Him. The responses were varied, but there was a response (Matthew 9:22; John 7:45-52). Third, He spoke with compassion (Matthew 9:36-38). Compassion is related to understanding unfortunate circumstances another might be experiencing and then trying to assist in offering some sort of reprieve from it. In the passage referenced Jesus took notice that those who were in unfortunate circumstances were in actual need of a shepherd. As they were in need, we are also in need—and our shepherd is the “chief shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4).

A thoughtful person can’t help but to take notice that there was (and is) no man who ever spoke like Jesus. His words were not just words of wisdom, but the message He spoke was a message that took one from this worldly realm and transported him into a heavenly realm (John 8:31-32). I think I will listen to Jesus. RT

#christmas, #jesus, #speaking, #teaching

Hugh’s News & Views (Merry Christmas)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Today is Christmas Eve, and in keeping with our family tradition, our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren are at our house for brunch, gift exchange, general visiting and just enjoying being with one another. Tomorrow morning we will gather at the home of our daughter-in-law’s parents in Gladeville, Tennessee (The Glade) for a Christmas breakfast of country ham and all the accoutrements and another round of gift exchanges with her mother and daddy and her two brothers and their families. Jan and I will return home later in the day with a sack full of various kinds of goodies.

What a joyous and delightful and noisy time of the year! But, hey, it’s Christmas and kids will be kids and sometime adults also will be kids! How wonderful! To one and all, Jan and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! Tonight may ol’ Santa fill your stocking with joy, peace, and contentment . . . enough to last throughout the coming year.

Hugh Fulford

December 24, 2013

#christmas, #hughfulford

Christmas observance detracts from discipleship

Christmas or discipleship?The so-called Christian world celebrates a date that is most certainly wrong in order to mark the coming of the Christ into the world, rather than obey him as Lord and put him on as Savior. Christendom prefers the ritual of a yearly observance to the daily carrying of the cross of Christ.

Let us be clear: As we speak to those outside of Christ, as we will certainly do this evening and tomorrow, we will seek to use the moment to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ. But let us not work under the delusion that people, just because they might think at some time during this holiday of the God who came in flesh, will be more disposed to obey the Lord. On the contrary … Continue reading

#christmas, #discipleship, #piety, #religious-observances