Monday, December 08, 2008

Why Bethlehem?

Have you heard about the controversy going on up in Washington state regarding the atheists who put up a sign (right next to the Nativity scene, I might add) extolling the "virtues" (?) of the "Winter Solstice" while denigrating all others who believe in God (especially Christians who hold belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world) and who believe that God really does exist?

It's an interesting paradox. I always ask the question - if atheists are so sure that "there is no God," then why do they need to rail against those who do believe?

Think of it this way. Let's say that I believe that the color blue is the prettiest color and it's my favorite. I put up a mural in the California State rotunda that exhibits what "blue" is all about and the display has high meaning for me, as well as many others. A "color-atheist" (who happens to be color blind - mind you) comes along and sets up a display that states, "there is no color blue."

Why does he do this? To prove his own point. He wants lots of other people to believe what he believes. He also includes some derogatory statements about the color blue believers just for the sake of offending them.

Well - my analogy may not be the best, but what I'm trying to say is that those who don't believe in God often have an obvious hatred for those who do. They especially hate the gospel message that we are all sinners - desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is precisely why both the Christian faith and Jewish faith are so rabidly hated. Jesus is the God-man who was born a Jew for the purpose of saving all of mankind from the eternal consequence of sin. People who are in bondage to sin don't want to hear that. They are repulsed by it. The Bible even tells us that "the gospel is an offense to those who are perishing."

I love studying the Bible. It is the most unique Book on earth! We NEVER stop learning from it! It is a Book that is forever teaching those who delve into its pages on a regular basis. The more I learn from it - the more I realize what I DON'T KNOW! Isn't that a fascinating paradox?

Sunday morning, I listened to Dr. David Jeremiah's sermon which was on the subject of "Why Bethlehem?" Did you know that the place called "Bethlehem" occurs 39 times in 38 verses of the Bible?

One out of the many key verses is this one in Micah:



Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.


When you view and listen to the message, you will understand the significance of that verse! I would encourage everyone to go over to LightSource Ministries and view the video of the lesson. I learned so much new and fascinating information about why Bethlehem was in the Father's foreknowledge as the place that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, would be born.

Perhaps after viewing it, you might be a person who can say, "I knew that!" If you are, please comment! If you discovered something new (like I did) please share it!

Yesterday, our family went out and bought our Christmas tree. We put the lights on it and started decorating the rest of our home with two Nativity sets, a Christmas Village, green festive garlands with red bows tied to them, and placed our "Peace on Earth" lace mantel runner across the top of our large fireplace. While I was hanging our stockings from the mantel, my husband commented from the kitchen, "You (and our daughter) do such a great job of decorating our home for Christmas. We have the best kind of fireplace that makes it so homey and festive."

I agree!

Update: Here is a picture of my husband and I before we attended a wedding in November. You can see our mantel and fireplace behind us.




Here is a picture of us at the Justin Winery Cafe during our 25th Wedding Anniversary trip. My love bought me the necklace I'm wearing!




This year, both of my children got me some of the best birthday gifts. My daughter bought me a wooden plaque that states, "Keep Christ in Christmas." She also bought a Christian book and the new WOW Christian artists CD (great songs!). My son bought me two Christmas CDs from two of my favorite artists - Third Day and Casting Crowns; as well as two Christmas tree ornaments. They are beautiful to look at, but most of all, have beautiful messages on them.

One is silver with five hearts dangling down in a row which state, "Faith (Galatians 2;20), Hope (Romans 15:13), Love (Romans 5:5), Joy (Nehemiah 8:10), Peace (John 14:27) Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11)" with an accompanying Bible verse on the back!

Gorgeous!!

The second one is a delicate silver snowflake design that states, "JUST THINK - God compares you to no one else, you are one of a kind."

Aren't they both beautiful messages?? Love it!

Our tree is always decorated with meaningful ornaments that state the REAL reason for the Christmas season. I have been collecting them over the past 20 years or so. Now, many of the regular, "Christian message-free" ornaments that I used to use to fill up the tree aren't needed anymore.

I am so thankful that there are still Christian book stores that carry ornaments that reflect the true meaning of Christmas. Retail stores usually never carry them anymore.

I will close this post with the weekend Turning Point devotional message:


The Green Stuff: Christmas Trees

He came into the world…
Hebrews 10:5

Recommended Reading
Hebrews 10:5-10


In ancient Scandinavia, the evergreen tree was considered a symbol of life amid the bleak darkness of winter. Vikings reportedly cut down evergreens and brought them into their homes as a source of encouragement. In the 600s, Boniface, a British missionary, traveled across Europe using pines as object lessons of eternal life. Even the harsh winter couldn't kill them, said Boniface, who also used their triangular shapes to teach about the Trinity. For centuries afterward, people cut down trees and brought them indoors, creating a celebratory midwinter atmosphere. As an added benefit, the tree's fragrance provided a pleasing aroma during the confining months of winter.

According to tradition, it was Martin Luther who popularized trees as a Christmas symbol of the new life given us by the Christchild, and it was also Luther who wrote a carol that's been sung around Christmas trees for nearly 500 years: "From heaven above to earth I come, / To bear good news to every home."

May all the Christmas trees we encounter this year point our hearts upward toward our blessed Savior!

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes! Who is it in yon manger lies? Who is this Child so young and fair? The blessed Christchild lieth there.
Martin Luther

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Hebrews 12:1 - 13:25 & James 1:1 - 2:26




HT's:

LightSource & Turning Point Ministries

David Jeremiah.org

*******
My recommendation for all of the pending SCOTUS Updates regarding Obama's ineligibility for POTUS is to make the following blogs daily visits:

1. Natural Born Citizen

Recent headline: WROTNOWSKI APPLICATION REFERRED TO FULL COURT BY JUSTICE SCALIA - DISTRIBUTED FOR CONFERENCE ON DEC 12 - SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF TO BE SUBMITTED TOMORROW

Excerpt:
Cort Wrotnowski’s emergency application for a stay and/or injunction as to the Electoral College meeting on Dec. 15 was today referred to the full Court by the Honorable Associate Justice Anotonin Scalia. It has been distributed for Conference of Friday December 12. The official case name is WROTNOWSKI v. BYSIEWICZ, United States Supreme Court Docket No. 08A469.

The Wrotnowski Supreme Court application was prepared by Leo Donofrio, Esq. and is centered on the same issue from Donofrio’s case which was discussed by the Supreme Court in its conference of December 5 - whether Barack Obama is not eligible to the office of President due to the fact that he was a British citizen at the time of his birth.


2. Citizen Wells

Excerpt:

Philip J Berg, Press Release, December 8, 2008, Injunction to stay Electoral Votes, US Supreme Court, Obama ineligible, Prohibit House and Senate count, Obama not natural born citizen.


3. The Right Side of Life

Wrotnowski v. Bysiewicz: Distributed for Conference by Justice Scalia

5 comments:

rebecca said...

You have the right spirit for the holidays! It needs to be centered on Christ, Faith, and Family.

This is one of my favorite stocking stuffers:
All I Want for Christmas Is My New False Teeth!

Pastor Swanberg makes me laugh and laugh and almost forget about politics! I give it to all my friends! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

GMpilot said...

I don’t hate the color blue (in fact I’m very fond of it).

I don’t claim that there is no color called “blue”.

But you, and all the other blue-lovers feel that blue is not only the best color, but that it should be the only color.

Blue-lovers have a history of persecuting those who like orange, and yellow, and purple.

There are some blue-lovers who prefer powder blue, and for centuries they have conflicted with the ”navy” faction, who claim that navy is the One True Blue.

Blue-lovers do not acknowledge color-blindness: they claim that their color is ‘obvious to everyone’ and that anyone who cannot see it is merely denying the True Blue.

Why do blue-lovers do this? To prove their own point. They want lots of other people to believe what they believe. They also include some derogatory statements about those non-blue lovers just for the sake of offending them.

Obviously your analogy is extremely deficient, Christine…but keep trying anyway.
Not all of those who believe in God have a hatred, obvious or otherwise, for those who do.
Many simply have indifference—just as you once claimed to have.

If Christians have such a great God, why do they spend so much time and energy trying to give it away, when their whole philosophy assumes that anything one can get for free is worthless?

Christinewjc said...

That DVD looks and sounds like it would be quite funny!

I have been trying to decide what to get my mom. She is 84. Last year, I sent her these red cotton pajamas with skiing penguins on them. She wore them to the hair salon! LOL!! She thought it was a pants outfit. When I told her they were pajamas - she said, "Well, everyone at the salon said I looked very festive." Heh heh

Christinewjc said...

Soooo....GM. How long did it take you to come back with that response?

Colors and analogies aside...you are missing the point.

A person can be blind to the reality of God, but it does not mean God doesn't exist.

GMpilot said...

Oh, that was easy! It practically wrote itself, there were so many holes in it!

If you didn't like my reply to your analogy, you shouldn't have used it. You've never been very good at those.

Colors and analogies aside, the point was missed because your aim was bad to begin with.

A person may claim to see God, but that doesn't mean that God does exist. Can you say "mirage"?