Why Valentine’s Day?

valentine-silos-graphicsfairy0071b What are we celebrating today? From many of the cards and popular “Valentine’s gifts” available, it looks like today is a celebration of promiscuous immorality (or just being blatantly coarse and perverse,) buttering others up with “love” gifts, fattening, not only each other, but also the chocolate makers pockets – and card companies, and floral shops, and jewelers. But is today really just a materialistic holiday, made to guilt people (primarily boyfriends and husbands) into giving gifts (expensive gifts, to REALLY show their love – one day a year)?

For many it is not. It truly is a day set aside to celebrate the true love they have for each other (that they show every day), even by giving special gifts today.

But today we celebrate something even deeper, the stand for biblical marriage (one man, one woman, for life,) and the good thing God says it is. Why do we celebrate this on February 14th?

On this day, in the year AD 298, a Christian pastor was brutally martyred. First, he was beaten with clubs. then stoned, and finally he was beheaded. His crime – standing for biblical marriage, that intimacy outside of marriage was sinful, and that marriage was designed by God as between one man and one woman. His name was Valentinus, a man who loved Jesus above all else and who refused to deny the faith. Today, as you enjoy your chocolate and trinkets, remember that the one who who is now called St Valentine gave his life in defense of biblical marriage, not rampant promiscuity or perversion. He did not succumb to the politically correct of his day. February 14 is a day that is not rose red, but blood red.

Pastor James McDonald

Thank you for writing this up so clearly, Pastor McDonald. And thank you Pastor Valentinus for your stand for biblical marriage.

Image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy.

Gotta Have Faith

Faith is a matter of Truth not taste. It matters what we believe. Being sincere may mean you have religion, but it doesn’t indicate legitimate faith. The object of your faith must be Truth. No other faith will do.

“I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me.” ~ Jesus the Christ

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” ~ Jesus the Christ

 

 

Join Us LIVE Today – on Prayer

“Teach Us to Pray” ~ Becoming a Family of Prayer

Becoming a Family of Prayer is the topic I’ll be speaking on for the Ultimate Home School Expo, a completely ONLINE, HUGE homeschool conference.

If you’d like to join us live as we record my session, “Teach Us to Pray” ~ Becoming a Family of Prayer, you can do so this afternoon at 1:00 CT, for FREE! The details are below. Even if you aren’t able to make it, please pray that all will go smooth with the presentation and recording, and that God will be glorified in it.

In this session, I’ll be speaking on prayer in general, and also sharing prayer projects our family does, and how to become a family of prayer.

“Teach Us to Pray” ~ Becoming a Family of Prayer

Monday, April 19, 2010, 1PM CT

http://talk-a-latte.com/chat/
(The room is closed until the chat-the room will be open about 15 minutes before we go live)

OR here are the call-in details:
Phone Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 38181#
PIN: 1# (Or your Talkshoe PIN)

Now, more about the Expo. This conference is complete with a wide range of speakers, vendors booths – many with special prices for “attenders”, and a multitude of grab bag Free resources for all. The 2010 Expo will be held the week of May 3rd, but it never ends. You can go back and download sessions and free gifts, and browse around over and over. You can get your ticket for the Ultimate Home School Expo here!

Thoughts for the New Year

“In our Christian pilgrimage it is well, for the most part, to be looking forward. Forward lies the crown—and onward is the goal. Whether it is for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love—the future must, after all, be the grand object of the eye of faith.

“Looking into the future, the Christian sees sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect, and fit to be a partaker of eternal glory. Looking further yet, the believer’s enlightened eye can see death’s river passed. He sees himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than conqueror, crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with Him, and made to sit together with Him on His throne.”

—Charles Spurgeon, “The Grand Object of the Eye of Faith”

We have a great year and a great future in store for us. We have no reason to doubt or worry. We have Him, who carries us, who knows every second of our future and has it all under control.

May you all have a glorious 2010, and may you grow to be more like Jesus everyday, as you walk this journey as His disciple.

Perspective

When the wicked bear rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2

We mourn as our nation continues to slide further from the God fearing foundations we had, as socialism marches on, and we lose our liberties to the licentious.

But the wicked do not control. Today’s Proverb gives us true perspective.

The king’ heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. ~ Proverbs 21:1

Our country is reaping what it has sown. God has given it over to its wickedness. But He remains the Sovereign One, in control of all, Who will do what He does for His own glory. We can trust in His faithfulness to His own.

In the World, Not Of the World

This is a topic I think about a lot. A thought came to my mind while in the shower today, where that usually happens, since that is usually the only time my mind is not engaged in other thinking, and is free to ponder random thoughts.

Is this the difference between being culturely literate and culturely relevant?

I think I’ll have to do more pondering.

SDG,
Lisa

Merry Christmas from Me and My House

It’s 4 days ‘fore Christmas and here at our house,
everyone’s bustling, thank God there’s no mouse.

No stockings, but garland is hanging so bright,
And outdoors the house is all trimmed with the lights.
Nativities cover each table and shelf,
No santa clause here, not one tiny elf.

The presents are piled so high on the bed,
The children are cranky, they must all need fed.
Then tackle those dozens of presents to wrap,
Then rock with the baby to give him a nap.

Mail grandmother’s gift that must travel so far.
Make gifts for the neighbors, something in a jar.
Let’s sew up some ponchos and not take a rest,
Then lounge pants for boys, and chaps and a vest.

Let’s have our friends over and exchange our toys.
That will bring smiles to both girls and boys.
And caroling we’ll go after dinner together,
We couldn’t have asked for much better weather.

Now haircuts to get and pictures to take,
the one in our card looks like a mistake.

Clean up the house, here you take the broom.
Sister is coming, clean out the guest room.
Please wash the sheets. Then vacuum the floor.
Can you get the phone, while I get the door?

The program is over, the children did great.
They each had a part and none came in late.
Joseph, who’s otherwise usually called Jed.
Played with the star, and poked Jesus in bed.

We’ll all go to church, communion to take,
Oh that reminds me, the bread I must bake.
We’ll take a nativity to sister’s grave.
And come home for cookies that our dear friends gave.

We’ll all go to grandpa’s, that is most of us.
Have dinner and presents, and relax – we must.
Then wake in the morning and open gifts here,
Mark actually has Christmas off for this year!

Then over to in-laws, more holiday cheer,
Then back home to crash before the New Year.

‘Though busy we are, it’s all for one cause,
To spread our God’s love, not play santa clause.

We love each one dearly, want to show everyone,
That God came to earth in the form of His Son.
To pay for our sins and bring to us new birth,
To make us like Him. We must honor His worth.

That babe in a manger, is King over all,
Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and then Paul.
He’s risen victorious, conquered death and the grave,
He made you and me, and is worthy of praise.

May all of your focus in this busy time,
Be upon the Lord Jesus, our God that’s Divine.
May all celebrations, so busy yet fun,
Bring glory to God, and bless God every one.

© Lisa Hodgen 2007 All Rights Reserved

 

Hanukkah? Christmas?

Many Christians have a "problem" with other Christians celebrating Hanukkah. "God never tells us to, so we don’t have to, (or shouldn’t,") is their reasoning. Many somehow see it as "legalistic", though I’m not sure how they ever get that out of it. I don’t know one true Christian who thinks they are saved or more loved by God because they celebrate Hanukkah or any other holiday or DO anything else for that matter. I do know some "pretenders" who think such because they go to church on Christmas.

Yet those that have a disdain for Hanukkah celebrate a holiday that not only was not given by God for us to celebrate, neither was it celebrated by anyone in the Bible (other than the time it happened.)

True, Hanukkah was not a God ordained Feast, but Jesus celebrated it, AND it is full of symbolism pointing to fulfillment in Him! See this post for why I LOVE Hanukkah!

I don’t think it is wrong to celebrate Jesus’ birth. MANY prophecies are fulfilled in it. And it is a MOST joyful thing to celebrate our God becoming Man that He might redeem us. BUT God did not direct us to celebrate His birth, (let alone make the biggest commercial day of the year out of it,) none of Jesus’ followers celebrated it (except at the time of His incarnation), and we know it wasn’t in the middle of December! If we’re going to celebrate it, at least we should do it at the right time of the year. It is simply Christ-Mass, a mixture of pagan winter solstice with Christ.

I actually heard a "Christian" radio announcer say that we need to find ways to keep Jesus the center of Christmas (good idea) and that her mom had found a way to do that all year. "Don’t take down the tree." WHAT????!!!!! You keep Jesus the center by focusing on a tree all year???!!! How about you focus on Jesus by getting away from all the man-centered trappings that have nothing to do with the incarnation of GOD?! But no we create post facto symbolism so we feel good about what we are doing.

How do I deal with Christmas? I see it as a time of outreach. It is a time when people who don’t have much to do with Jesus all the rest of the year show their "Christian" warm fuzzies. It is a time they are more open to talk about Jesus, which can open doors for us to share the Truth.

It is also a time when many Christians celebrate Jesus’ incarnation, truly worshipping Him (though with a bunch of worldly trappings usually). Although I think the whole idea is silly, I don’t fault them for wanting to celebrate Him. I think God has given us a better idea, but I’ll save that for another day/month. 🙂

I don’t have a problem with giving gifts or decorations or festive parties and meals. I have a problem with thinking this is "celebrating Jesus," that we need a "tree" to celebrate Jesus’ birth, or lights, or gifts or whatever. Have a celebration! Go all out. Do it as to Him! But don’t try to say all these things are about or for Him or His "birth". Do I think Christ should be left out of Christmas? Absolutely not!! I think Christ-Mass should be left out of Christ! And that He should be the center of everything everyday!

Dd16 said today, "People always say, ‘It’s not about getting, it’s about giving.’ and ‘We give gifts because the wise men gave gifts to Jesus.’ That is so wrong. It IS about getting! It’s about God giving and us getting. It’s NOT about wise men giving gifts to Jesus. It’s about God giving Jesus!"

"Out of the mouths of babes" Matt. 21:16

Celebrate Christ! Keep Jesus the center and all-in-all of all your celebrations! Celebrate the fact that God GAVE! The rest can all be left off and it will still be "Christmas".