Not Just During the Christmas Season

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Enjoy Your Christmas Blessings . . .

Christmas Feasting: Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “The top of the season to you from two “Chaps”” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 12, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-5a10-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
.  .  . and share with the poor also: This is good for you and them.
Salvation Army Share – Via Google Images
Food to Warm – images from pixabay.com

The needy have been around a long time.

Vagrants: Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “New York City : Early Morning At A Police Station — Turning Out The Vagrant Lodgers.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 12, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-273f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Yes it is Good to Help Needy People During Christmas Holidays but what About the Rest of the Year?
Lodging Cellar for the Poor: Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “A Five Points Lodging Cellar.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 12, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-d7e8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Part of my childhood was affected by the absence of my father which created hardship for my Mother and two brothers.  In those days people we knew seemed less understanding and sometimes cold. What support and help we did get was meager and sometimes perfunctory. Ironically just a decade beyond the Holocaust the Jewish neighbors (some death camp survivors I learned later) helped us more than our fellow Christians – some from our own family. Those who did continue to help surely took the Biblical teaching that the poor should be helped; not just during “The Holidays”.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV 

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

God gave that instruction before Christians even existed . . . and this one when “The Church” began:

Acts 20:35 ESV 

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Having much to share is a blessing, not just because it is the material wealth that you can enjoy but, that you may share and store treasure for yourself in heaven.

Burned Out – images from pixabay.com

 

Remember not only the underprivileged but those who suffer loss as well.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV 

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

TO KNOW ABOUT GOD AND GOD’S WAYS THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 
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Hijacked Holidays Still Matter

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Stonehenge – images from pixabay.com

Some people get compulsive about the origin and meaning of a celebrated holiday so much so that they miss the value of the celebration.

Merry Christmas 1 – image from pixabay.com

Does it really matter what exact day Jesus was born? In my opinion no. What really matters is who He was, why He came and what He accomplished.

John 1:14 ESV

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

Jesus is central – image from pixabay.com

So if someone says Christmas is just one of many holidays observed on or near  The Winter Solstice they probably miss the true meaning for humanity of The Christmas Holiday that Christians celebrate.

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

TRADITIONAL celebrations can meld into new meanings or acquire entirely new meanings

Take the story of ST Nicholas and how this became a story about how the Santa Claus tradition began.

Fra Angelico – The Story of St Nicholas: Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas

People are social entities and observing an event, a commemoration, or a remembrance corporately, is one way to fill the need to be united or connected.

Taylor Afternoon Winter Panorama – Google
Nicholas of Myra – images from pixabay.com
The Story of ST Nicholas and Black Peter – images from pixabay.com

We need uplifting and joyful celebrations . . .

. . . so we celebrate the Fourth of July in the USA ; many other countries celebrate special days that their citizens consider important; this also includes many holidays connected with the religions of the world. As a Christian? Christmas and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) top my list.

It helps to face winter’s dark and cold nights to have eternal hope in GOD because of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ.
Merligen – images from pixabay.com
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Is Honesty the Best Policy

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Honesty – image from pixabay.com

Is it possible to be honest all the time?

As I grew from childhood into adulthood I took the instruction from my family and church seriously concerning telling the truth (even though I saw a wink from a family member now and again). Movies and television programs (especially for young people) proclaimed the merits of being honest as a way to a better life.

My Father Explained What a White Lie Was

Truth or Lie – image from pixabay.com

My mom smacked his shoulder and they both laughed when my dad began to explain to me what a “Little White Lie” was. In school, in church and on Kid’s TV I did not get an explanation so I remained puzzled.  This conundrum followed me into my teens when my idealism peaked and matters such as misused truth, deception, hypocrisy, politics and human to human manipulation troubled me a great deal. Mostly I just struggled to navigate daily life always weighing these issues trying to reconcile the ideal with the reality I found. During my time serving in the U. S. Army the contrast between the touted ideal and reality was at its greatest contrast – I will not go into details save soldiers have a history of decadent behavior when off duty for one thing.

Deception – image from pixabay.com

In College I was Immersed in Postmodernity . . .

. . . and was unaware of it for many years.  I am a lifelong learner so eventually I acquired philosophical knowledge and a keen sense of comprehensive thinking (I am a product of a liberal education in that I do question everything and attempt to make sense of what I discover). Mankind experienced great failures in science and morality and this was perplexing so a philosophical upheaval set humanity on a strange course (see the following):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

In a logic class I learned about faulty reasoning and fallacies: this gave me a great deal of understanding but did not solve the dilemma concerning “absolute honesty”.  One variable is how one defines honesty and whether it is in an ideal or in a practical sense in which we refer.  Words (languages) are powerful and can be used to a person’s advantage without too much trouble especially to the unsuspecting.  I could introduce situations where lying saved a life or lives but that may be an exception and it will do little or nothing in the quest to solve of the core issue at hand: how do we really define honesty and can we be honest all the time?.

Excuses – image from pixabay.com

Midway in my life – 35 years old – I became a Christian: “My dilemma is solved I thought”

Not so fast.  Rather than offer my analysis let us inspect what GOD has to say in The Holy Bible and thus allow you to ponder the questions about honesty for yourself. I already expect the comments will reflect whether or not, you are a follower of Jesus Christ (have The Holy Spirit as a helper), you believe in GOD at all or are a secular humanist:

Exodus 20:16 ESV 

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Proverbs 12:22 ESV 

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Matthew 5:37 ESV 

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Colossians 3:9 ESV 

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

 

ESV = ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION BIBLE 

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Happy New Year! What is it all About? (<<< click to go to article)

“Yes, I wish you a Happy New Year . . .

HpyNY

 . . . Celebrate within reason and be safe.”

Spirit of a Multi Cultural Observance

Humans benefit by marking time, celebrating anniversaries, observing milestones and pausing to reflect and renew especially on New Year’s Day no matter which calendar, tradition or cultural observance they use.  Here in the U.S.A. we have inherited the  “Gregorian Calendar” or “Christian Calendar”  with all the influences of Roman and Roman Catholic culture incorporated.  The latter classifying it as a holy day.  Other religions consider the New Year in their observed calendars as holy but not all Christian sects consider New Year’s Day a holy day. Note: Holy Day became Holiday See: Holy Day became Holiday

Psychology

As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new.  BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla.

As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new.  BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla. You can lose friends, lose respect and esteem.

A Better Life can be Found Here
A Better Life can be Found Here

There is hope however and you can receive guidance on ways to celebrate and retain your good standing.  Socialize with like-minded friends who will not push you into embarrassing behavior and present a good example to the next generation.  Where can you find this high quality guidance and encouragement?

Live Free and Well as a Christian

Bible Verses:

Ecclesiastes 3:13 ESV

Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Ephesians 5:18 ESV

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

 

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