All posts filed under: z128

Nativity Scene, New York City Credit: Gary Wong/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christmas Without Jesus

When I was in high school, we had a Christian club called BASIC. That meant “Bothers And Sisters In Christ.” Looking back, our weekly huddle in a classroom, with our dry sandwiches, was the first time I got to be a Christian without supervision. My older generation liked to control the kids, and religion was pushed on me constantly, at home and in church. We knew how to behave, to avoid criticism and discipline, but I think most of my friends dropped out of church as soon as they grew up, and they don’t identify as Christian now. In BASIC, we made our own choices. Maturity had to start somewhere, and I learned about Christianity that was just Jesus. The members of BASIC came from different churches, and some had no family church. I remember two girls from a Plymouth Brethren group, and they seemed to detest Christmas. To them, the season was filled with pagan symbols and idols and shrines, especially those decorated trees. I struggled with their ideas, but I learned that the …

Credit: Jim_McGlone/Flickr/Creative Commons

How I see others?

I have been seeking ways to view  people in the world around me through the lens of Christ’s love.   When I am disappointed, and focus on the flaws of others from my high and lofty position of arrogance on the mountain of judgement, I am failing not only my fellow man but myself as well. I earnestly desire new eyes, to change the lens of my perceptions and the way I view people — friends, other Christians and strangers. Sometimes people don’t return phone calls, or show up when their supposed to (like me on occasion) or answer e-mails or follow through on things they said they would.  People are not perfect but we expect it more from others than we do ourselves. A daily devotional I read recently summed it best with these words: “We see ourselves through rose-colored glasses and everyone else through a microscope.” If I do not look with eyes of hope on those around me as our Lord did. . . then I have not really  embraced the message of …

Credit: Marie Coleman/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Liberal Grinch who just about stole Christmas: She wanted ‘J’ for Jesus banned?

According to Liberty Counsel, candy canes are now in the sites of liberal wanting to wipe out any hint of Christ this Christmas season. The story of the Grinch who just about stole Christmas was reported by The Blaze. Liberty Counsel is a non-profit law firm that fights for religious liberty in the US and it recently sent a demand letter to the superintendent of Elkhorn Public Schools about the actions taken by Jennifer Sinclair the principal of of Manchester Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. Apparently, this is Sinclair’s first year as principal at the school and she wanted it to be a memorable one. It worked. She is getting her 15 minutes of notoriety. She sent a memo to teachers in her school telling them what their children may or may not do at school to celebrate the Christmas season. In her memo, Sinclair wrote that she “come(s) from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in school.” RELATED: Read Sinclair’s Memo So what is on Sinclair’s banned list? Well Candy …

Credit: Jason Pearce/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

Several decades ago, I was part of a church that took a strong stand against drinking alcohol, but it wasn’t just alcohol, it also had an opinion on several other things like long hair on men. The list of unwritten rules and regulations was quite extensive. Looking back now I realize the church was caught up in a religious spirit which I define as making up rules for Christian living that are not required by Scripture. The church leaders were essentially adding man-made rules to Christianity. In fact, one of the respected teachers that the church connected with wrote a book trying to prove that when the Bible talked about wine, it was speaking of non-fermented grape juice. Yes, he believed when Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding, the headwaiter was shocked that the bridegroom had reserved the “best grape juice” for last (John 2:1-11). Though the Bible condemns becoming drunk, it does not forbid drinking wine. In fact, the exhortation forbidding drunkenness proves that the wine people were drinking was alcoholic. …

Morris home with its 200,000 Christmas tree lights Credit: Youtube capture/Fox News

Hide your faith?

In our rapidly changing culture, some are now demanding that Christians hide their faith in public. Recently, First Liberty, a non-profit legal organization defending religious freedoms in America, sent a letter to a school district in Texas that allegedly forced students wanting to pray at lunch time to hide behind a curtain. According to First Liberty the problem started when a group of students from Honey Grove Middle School in Honey Grove, Texas met during lunch hour to pray for a former student who had been injured in an accident. When the school principal saw them praying he ordered them to stop. When the students met the next day to try praying again, the principal said that they needed to either go behind the curtains in the cafeteria or into the gym or even outside if they wanted to pray. At the bequest of student Hannah Allen and her mother, First Liberty sent a letter to the school district telling them that under the US Constitution the school had no business infringing on student’s right …

Lahore, Pakistan Credit: Dr Ranjha/Flickr/Creative Commons

Oops, Did the Muslim Prime Minister of Pakistan just question the Koran?

I know it wasn’t his intention, but Imran Kahn, the Muslim Prime Minister of Pakistan, inadvertently took a swipe at the Koran, while bashing the Christian faith. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country has a population of 212 million where 94.6% of the people are Muslim and only 1.5% are Christian. Yet despite the small percentage of Christians, in his speech honoring the birthday of Mohammad on November 30, 2018, Kahn decided to take a swipe at Jesus stating that He is not mentioned in human history: “There were prophets of Allah other [than Muhammad] but there is no mention of them in human history. There is negligible mention of them. Moses is mention of Jesus in history… But the entire life of Muhammad, who was Allah’s last prophet, is part of history.” Khan made this statement as part of his push to have any defamation of Muhammad and the Koran declared illegal by the international community. Now here is where it gets tricky. Because the Koran cites Jesus several times. …

Churches in South Korea often display red crosses. In what is described as Reverse Missionary, South Korean Churches are sending missionaries to the West. Two churches side by side in Suwon, South Korea Credit: donut2D/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have you met a Reverse Missionary?

Recently, a young man named John Allen Chau traveled to a place that belongs to India, North Sentinel Island, where the natives attacked him and probably killed him, although some family members think he might still be alive. The North Sentinelese have a long history of killing anyone who visit their island, and it is likely that Mr. Chau is dead. The government of India bans all travel to the place, and now no one can recover the body, or even identify it. RELATED: Missionary wrote ‘God, I don’t want to die’ right before tribe killed him Mr. Chau was a missionary, he went to the island to tell the natives about Jesus. His las name “Chau” might seem Asian, but he is from the U.S. Apparently his home is Vancouver Washington, on the north side of Portland Oregon, and I think he trained to be a missionary in Kansas. His story, and his probable death, have generated some discussion, like ‘He’s crazy.’ and ‘Those Christians are colonial imperialists.’ and ‘Why do those island people …

Credit: Blake Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking out of your victim cage

I am on an email list for Lana Vawser who has a prophetic ministry in Australia. Almost every time I receive a prophetic email from her it speaks directly into my life about where I have been and where I am now and where I am headed spiritually in the future. Even though she has hundreds of followers, her emails often address issues I am facing at the moment.  She recently sent out a prophetic word about an issue that has controlled my life for many years: “The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear … “You see not through eyes of defeat, you see not through eyes of a victim mentality, you see not through eyes of fear, but you are now arising and seeing with greater clarity and vision through My eyes.  The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear, but now you are arising …