Your New Years Resolutions.

Time to get started. Think of what parts of your life you need to change next year. Yes, it’s just a few days away.  Write them down. Print the list. Post it where you can easily see your personal promises every day. But there are party’s to go to. Ring the bell, watch it drop; 4,3,2,1, Happy New Year. One more drink. Rose Bowl Parade to watch.

Oh, the years that I’ve made resolutions only to forget and neglect to keep those “promises” a few days into the new year. So, we say to ourselves that this year will be different.  Why oh why do we do such things? Party like crazy. Then make promises we don’t keep, and we do it year after year. Slow learners?

We know. We know, we know we do wrong. We know we should do better. This knowledge is built into us as humans. We know there are things in our life that should be and could be changed, and so we try, but only to fail again. And that’s been the human condition ever since those first two humans failed, so the Everlasting Almighty Redeemer was sent to rescue us and Save us from our sinful ways.

Some background.

New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March but changed to January by the Romans. January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced god who looks backward into the old year and forwards into the new. Janus was also the patron and protector of arches (Ianus in Latin), gates, doors, doorways, endings, and beginnings. He was also the patron of bridges, and we see this statue (pictured at left,) set on the bridge Ponte Fabricio which crosses the Tiber River in Rome to Tiber Island, where it survives from its original construction in 62 BC during the time of Julius Caesar. Even today it is believed that if you touch the Janus head as you cross the bridge, it will bring good fortune.” [1]

Janus_Ponte_Fabricio

For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, the English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Also known as known as watch night services, they included readings from Scriptures and hymn singing, and served as a spiritual alternative to the raucous celebrations normally held to celebrate the coming of the new year. Now popular within evangelical Protestant churches, especially African-American denominations and congregations, watch night services held on New Year’s Eve are often spent praying and making resolutions for the coming year. [2]

[1] http://billpetro.com/history-of-new-years-resolutions

[2] http://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutions

Computers and Creation

“You’re looking at the computer screen before you turn it on; it’s black, it’s nothing, just a blank screen. Was that how it was before the Almighty created light? You press the on button and that energy makes the screen come alive with the background you chose. You see the pictures or diagrams of your favorite places to go, waiting for you to point to it pressing the button on the mouse. Who created those icons? How did they get there? What makes it tick? If it’s overloaded or the devise is old, you may see a tiny blue circle going round and round.

“This entire physical universe is made up of millions and perhaps billions of trillions of configurations of those tiny atoms and molecules. That computer is made up of different configurations of the basics of 1 and 0, millions or billions of those two basics in different bunches create the pictures, the software, the games within that cell phone and computer. Someone, or the entire office full of programmers figured out how to do it. That computer did not fall into place over millions of years by random happenings of 1 and 0, the electrical current of a positive and negative, a yes or a no, it’s on or it’s off. Nope, a designer made it appear alive and do what it does when you press buttons, and there are certain rules you must follow and be mindful of to use it correctly.

“The same with this universe: a master designer had to do it and we must take to heart and apply those rules for us to live correctly as the designer programmed, or we just go round and round in circles.

“We want to solve our mysteries, but some will never be scientifically solved and we don’t like that.

Okay, the major question to these secular humanistic atheists is: how and where did that first physical molecule or atom come from? What caused those to expand into more, expanding into more? They say it was a big bang. Now a bang must have a force making something go bang. “Was there a time when it all began? There it is, the one element that’s missing in our deliberations: the concept of time. Time always moves. The clocks ticks. The sun and moon rise and disappear. The calendar changes. But, the almighty is beyond time, before time; therefore no beginnings, no endings, only now. Its something we can’t comprehend as we’ve been immersed in this time element with a beginning and an ending. Time was a brand new element from the first ray of light, just as this physical realm was a brand new element inside the spiritual.”

 

Copied from “Considering the Ant”. The novel by Arnold

Christmas has past.

Okay folks, the official celebration of Christ-mas is over, the presents have been opened with surprise mixed with some joy, or regret you choose that. Children excitedly played with the new toy and the teens involved with the new techno game. Dinner was fantastic.

The relatives are gone, the wrapping paper and boxes discarded for the city to remove to the trash heaps, the dinner plates cleaned and neatly placed away with left-overs galore in the frig. Lots and lots of pictures were taken to share, to remember. Are you now looking at the decorations wishing they’d all just disappear back into safe keeping, or have you already started the process of carefully packaging them away for the next eleven months: in a closet, the garage or/and the attic. Or, do you wait till after a few days have passed?

So, was it a happy holiday for all? Were all conversations happy remembrances?  Did discussions of the political climate enter any conversations disrupting the peaceful fellowship? Was there any talk at all about the reason for the season? Or is that a subject to stay away from too, keeping any discussion of Biblical religion within? It can cause arguments too. Did you watch a romantic Christmas love story movie together? The NFL had a prime-time game to watch between commercials. Deserts finished, and the belly is full.

The pictures you took capture one moment in time. You’ll look back on those remembering the good-times you had this Christmas.

Now it’s time to relax. Santa is back to the pole. But, wait, the malls are discounting prices like crazy.

I have tacked to the wall in front of me, a picture of the family gathering of years ago. A few no longer here, some grown by 6-16 inches, all recognizable this current year and joyful to look at remembering the good time with my extended family that I’ve loved and cherished over the years we then had together.

December 25, 2017

On this day in history, time changed. Huh? What? Time just keeps going and going, one day after another, year after year we have birthdays counting how old we get. But yet, our historical calendar changed from counting the years to counting down to zero, and then counting up again. Wow, something must have happened. Alien space ships landing?

Have historians messed with our minds? A typist error not caught by Hallmark? Hollywood? The Media? The schools? This should be the year 8017 or something similar, right, as all calendars start at number one, at the beginning of life.

The difference points to one event recorded in history sometime over two thousand years ago pointing to a new boy being born to a couple who had not yet walked down the aisle. Boys and girls are born everyday to those who have made their vows and to those who have not and the kings, the magistrates, the historians over time don’t change the calendar just for them. What happened? Why was this kid so important?

Got to be something really special, outstanding of great importance to the entire world, for all cultures to change their calendars to the year one and start counting up again.

Yes, folks, you know the event. We’re celebrating it today.

The Supreme, Almighty God, creator of this Universe determined something must be done to change the attitude, the behavior of this part of living creation. Got to show these people a new beginning, a new hope, a new eternal salvation by sending one spiritual part to become a physical being like us, to be born like one of us, the mother experiencing the same pain and effort and then rejoicing and loving this new baby. The angels sang. The shepherds came.

Yes, history has changed. Jesus the Christ Savior was born.

Christmas Eve 1914

Oh, if the entire world could and would find something in common with each other, something worthy of a united celebration. It is with us. It has come. Let’s utilize it each and every day.

On Christmas Eve 1914, on the battle field in Belgium, “About five o’clock on Christmas Eve the Germans started lighting up Christmas trees in their trenches. We took no notice of them until they began to sing. Then we began to cheer them and talk to one another as we are only about 80 yards apart. So by the light of their searchlight our officers went across halfway and their officers came to meet them. They shook hands and conversed for a while. It was agreed that we should have a day off and they would fire the first shot to start again. So from five o’clock on Christmas Eve until ten o’clock this morning (December 26th) neither side has fired, only walked about. Some of the Germans came across to us and we shook hands and had some chocolate and cigars from them.”

Read More…http://www.wnd.com/2017/12/the-most-wonderful-day-of-world-war-i/

 

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

 

Kris Kringle is coming to town

Ho, Ho. Ho, it’s time for Santa Claus to slide down the chimney neatly placing the last-minute gifts under the tree for the kiddies to excitedly tear into early Monday morning. Your sleep may be disturbed as the reindeer come to an abrupt stop on the roof. You’ve left gluten-free cookies and a can of Diet Pepsi for his nourishment of the long night travels from the north pole and around the world. Or, as it’s very cold and snowy outside, you may have left a shot of rum and a tub of hot chocolate.

Oh, but where did this traditional spirit of the holiday come from? And why?

This tradition had its start way back to what is now Turkey in the year 270, when a young man became rich from his father’s estate, who gave much of that to the homeless living on the street corners, to the poor children and to anyone in need which elevating him to fame. He secretly gave of his wealth wanting nothing in return ever conscious of the needs of others earning him the honor of a Saint of the Church. He was Bishop Nicholas.  During the council of Nicaea the church leaders were debating the nature of the trinity, when Nicholas slapped the face of another bishop who taught that Jesus was not equal with God the Father. The Roman ruler Constantine stripped Nicholas of his position and had him thrown in jail for such a breach of decorum.

As a bishop, Nicholas, servant of God, was first and foremost a shepherd of the people, caring for their needs. His active pursuit of justice for his people was demonstrated when he secured grain in time of famine, saved the lives of three men wrongly condemned, and secured lower taxes for Myra. He taught the Gospel simply, so ordinary people understood, and he lived out his faith and devotion to God in helping the poor and all in need. [1]

Another story of the life of Saint Nicholas goes like this:

There was a poor man who had three daughters. The man was so poor that he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters could not marry. One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house. The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry. [2]

For several hundred years, circa 1200 to 1500, St. Nicholas was the unchallenged bringer of gifts and the toast of celebrations centered around his day, December 6. The strict saint took on some aspects of earlier European deities, like the Roman Saturn or the Norse Odin, who appeared as white-bearded men and had magical powers like flight. He also ensured that kids toed the line by saying their prayers and practicing good behavior.” But after the Protestant Reformation, saints like Nicholas fell out of favor across much of northern Europe.

In early America German and Austrian immigrants to America brought the name Kris Kringle (Christ King) to be the giver of gifts. [2]

Later on, some Dutch families gathered together on December 5th 1773,.to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sinter Klass”, their nickname for Saint Nicholas. [3]

In 1822 Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” also known as “The Night Before Christmas.”

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,

. . . . .

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

And on and on the legend grows over the years, adapts to new additions and traditions, to what we now have without a whimper: a grandfatherly figure with full beard dressed in red that’s trimmed in white fur, calf length black boots and wearing a red cap trimmed in white, now ringing the bell in front of stores from Thanksgiving on. Other Santa’s are at the mall having children sit on his lap whispering what they want for Christmas.

On the eve of Christmas, Santa is sitting in a sleigh pulled by Rudolf along with Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen, On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem; To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!” and across the skies he goes bringing gifts to the well-behaved children because he knows who’s naughty or nice.

We do like our traditions.

So, what’s does all this have to do with the real reason of the season that’s buried under our beloved traditions?  God sent His Only Son to be born to the virgin Mary, in a manger because there was no room in the Inn. Since our lives are limited to this physical world, the creator Almighty God came to us: a human just like the rest of us, one who we could physically see, feel, hear, touch and smell. God’s act of redemption to all of humanity has begun with that Immaculate Conception of Jesus.

History has recorded it for us all.

Another scene we prepare for are the extended family gatherings, a time of refreshing memories, of good will to others, of blessing others with gifts, of the admiration of sparkling lights, of sending cards of Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. When that time of sitting at the dinner table comes, read together Luke 2:1-20.

 

[1] http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/bishop-of-myra/

[2] https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/fatherchristmas.shtml

[3] http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/santa-claus

[4] https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131219-santa-claus-origin-history-        christmas-facts-st-nicholas/

Male and Female created He them.

You know the story. One human meets another human and through time they begin to love each other. The one proposes. The other accepts, and the date is set. Off they go for the union celebration and later a new human is brought unto them, who is nurtured, instructed and eventually leaves the first two, and the process starts again.  It’s been called multiplying the earth. After a period, the first two die leaving behind two generations related to the first.

Consider that the first two had 10 children and each of those had ten each, how many would be left after the first two died?  My math tells me there would 120 left in the family. Oh, how quickly the earth gets populated, and that’s just including the grandchildren of the first, perhaps just a 50-year period. Take it to the next generation.

God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply the earth.  And they did. Back in those days, many of the patriarchs lived a very long time according to our standards. Adam lived to be 930. Wow, how big did that family reunion become? All we are told is that after the birth of Seth, Adam was 130 years old and then Eve had sons and daughters. How many could that have been? 1 every 7 years. Only guess work. Say we cut him off at 800 years; 633 years left after Seth. Could have been 90. And then the possibility of twins in there somewhere. Just guess work since they did not leave a family album.

After Noah, the life spans of humans declined as this chart illustrates.

Life chart from Noah

Why the decline?

Well my hypothesis is that because of the disruption of the perfect garden, diseases slowly entered the genetics of humans altering the aging process.

And now, parents in the USA average 1.77 children.  China has been known to legally limit the number of children to just 1 per the female spouse. Will the process of multiplying the earth continue?

After the grandparents die, who and how many will be left to watch over and care for the next generation of grandparents? And the next? Many leaders and watchdogs promote the idea that the earth is over-populated causing a disruption in the eco-system because of the devastation these humans are causing the system, resulting in more deaths from hazardous chemicals and/or lack of sustaining chemicals. Therefore, you must limit the number of children being exposed to these changing environments even if it means destroying a fetus before it takes that first breath of air.

Do it, for the sake of the children.

But, if all limited the birth rate, then slowly there would be no one left to perform surgeries, to stock the shelves, to entertain, to educate, to tell us what happened yesterday, no one left to shovel the snow in the driveway, and on and on it goes, nothing left but dead battery robots.