When I got home from work today, my mom was watching a random show on television while she was organizing stuff for our garage sale. I semi-watched it as I fixed my afternoon snack. The shows she likes are usually not of any interest to me--especially after I get home from a long day at work and would rather watch something mindless. When the show switched to commercials, I began to completely ignore the blare of the television. Commercials are one of the worst things ever invented. But that's not what this post is about.
As the commercials were doing their little song and dance of "buy this! Buy that! You couldn't possibly live without this!" one commercial popped up that caught my ear.
"He only has one night to get everybody [or, something along those lines. You get the point.]…." Obviously, I jumped instantly, thinking to myself "tomorrow's Easter! Not Christmas!"
But as I turned my attention to the television screen, I discovered that the commercial for Walgreens was not discussing Santa Claus's one-night feat of reaching every child in the world. It was, in fact, telling the world about the Easter Bunny's feat of delivering Easter baskets to all the children in one night. Yes, you heard me correctly. Not only does Santa bring presents, so does the Easter Bunny.
Later, while in Fred Meyer waiting for my sister, I relayed the commercial to my dad. We were standing in the foyer, and had an excellent view of the shelves loaded with chocolate eggs, Easter baskets, and Easter-themed balloons. He rolled his eyes and relayed to me a story of a town that holds annual Easter egg hunts. But, the no longer call them Easter egg hunts. They call them egg hunts "so as not to offend people with religious affiliation".
The holiday of Easter stemmed from the Christian celebration of Christ arising from the dead, and with it, the salvation He brings. Thus, as a Christian, the celebration of Easter has great significance for me.
Every holiday stems from a tradition or a celebration of something or someone. St. Patrick's Day is meant to commemorate the work of St. Patrick. The Fourth of July commemorates the birth of the United States. Thanksgiving recognizes the Pilgrim's thankfulness in arriving in the New World safely, and Christmas comes from the acknowledgement of Christ's birth. Like I said before, Easter comes from Christ's arising from the dead. Halloween stems from pagan traditions and celebrations.
Every holiday comes from somewhere. To celebrate a holiday is to recognize where it comes from. No one is required to celebrate any holiday. Everyone has a choice as to what they do with that particular day that is marked by society as "special".
Every year, society tries to make Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter into a consumer exploitation. They've replaced Jesus Christ with a rather large man and a fluffy bunny. People get offended or try to avoid offending others by not speaking of why these holidays got started. People just want an excuse to eat all the junk food they want and get presents.
Society is acting like we have no choice but to celebrate the holidays that are marked on the calendar. But if you do not agree with or are offended by what the holiday was made for, WHY?
What is the purpose in celebrating that holiday?
Why would you support something that you don't agree with?
Celebrating Easter and Christmas is akin to saying, "I believe in this and it doesn't offend me."
It's great to use Christmas as a time to get together with family you haven't seen in a long time. My family does every year. But if you need a holiday you don't believe in to have a reason to get together, maybe you need to examine the relationships you have with your family members. If you have to come up with some sort of "requirement" for having these times of extended family fellowship, maybe your family isn't so close as you thought it was.
I do not celebrate Halloween. This confuses people. They have said to me, "Why wouldn't you celebrate it? You get tons of candy!" I don't agree with the worship of demons. I am offended by the origins (which, incidentally, this day was originally a special day for demon-worshippers to go out and kill Christians). So why would I celebrate it? If I celebrated Halloween, I would be showing my support for its origins. If I need to justify pigging out on candy, it's a sign I need to re-adjust my thinking (and my cravings, for that matter).
Why celebrate something you don't believe in? There is no solid answer.
The meaning behind so many holidays has completely disappeared. No one (or, hardly anyone) knows the origin of St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day. Memorial Day, President's Day, Veteran's Day, and Labor Day have become more excuses to take a day off of work than a day to remember people who have worked hard to keep our country free. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have become excuses for junk food and/or gifts rather than times to reflect on what God has given us.
Wearing green, celebrating love, taking the day off of work, and getting gifts aren't bad things in and of themselves (junk food is kind of another story..). But when we use these things to overshadow what these holidays mean, they become bad things.
Tomorrow is Easter. Tomorrow, people everywhere will gather for Easter egg hunts, receive Easter baskets, and sit down for a delicious dinner of ham (or some other meat) and other delectable delights. But I wonder how many people will be doing this with the reason for this holiday in mind. How many will take the time to reflect on what this holiday represents?
But what does this holiday represent?
The greatest gift that has ever been given (which, incidentally is the greatest that ANYONE can receive).
Salvation from what?
Salvation from eternal torment in Hell.
Christ died and rose again for our sins. He conquered death, Hell, and the grave. He went through unspeakable tortures.
And for what?
Poor, lowly, despicable sinners.
Easter represents the day Christ arose. It was established as a day of celebration of Christ's perfect gift.
And what have we turned it into? A commercialized, bunny-concentrated, mad-house.
If you do not believe in or are offended by what this holiday represents,
Why are you celebrating it??
Be honest with yourself.
If you do not want to support my religion, please do not exploit my holidays.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings
2. decent; respectable
3. human; not brutal; humane
1. a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity
2. a person who exemplefies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.
(definitions from dictionary.com)
What is a Christian? Is a Christian merely someone who says that they are? Is he someone who is decent? Is he the person who goes to church and says he believes?
Or is he the person who lives what he says he believes?
Everyday, people walk around wearing the label "Christian" on their chests. They walk around saying that they believe in God and His power and will and the Bible. But in their next breath, they're telling raunchy jokes, swearing, and running around causing trouble. Please don't look around and think that this is not happening: because it is.
When I log into my Facebook page, I scroll through a feed of posts from many different people from many walks of life. I know a variety of people: both Christian and not. I recently had a disturbing realization. I can open two separate tabs on my browser with one tab open to the profile of a non-Christian friend and the profile of a Christian friend and the profiles will be so much the same. I'm not talking about the layout or anything like that.
I'm talking about the posts.
Friends, this disturbs me. A lot.
And be ye not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15
Be ye not conformed!
Love not the world!
Friends, are you listening?
To be a Christian is to be the very essence of different!
Christians are called to make a difference in this world! We are to reach out to the world and win souls for Christ!
If we are acting just like the world, how are we supposed to do this?
The answer is simple: we can't.
We cannot live like the world and expect to produce spiritual fruit.
We are to live as called people!! Because, if one is truly redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, that is exactly what one is: a called person.
But, what are we called to do?
We are CALLED!
Friends, you have to choose.
You have to choose between the things of God and the things of this world.
A True Christian is someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit.
Does someone with the Holy Spirit in them:
Tell raunchy jokes?
Purposely cause trouble?
Listen to music from blatantly anti-Christian artists?
Listen to any music with lyrics that contain swearing, innuendos, or portray sin in a good light?
Allow themselves to be associated with those who are known to be trouble?*
Tell rude jokes about a person (and I mean any person--celebrities included)?
A person filled with the Holy Spirit repelled by these things. These are not merely trivial things. These are things that go directly against God's Word.
Friends, I am extremely concerned about the spiritual well-being of my peers. Christians and non-Christians alike. My generation is falling into a downward spiral. We are running down a path to destruction.
I encourage you to get rid of the conforming habits in your life. But don't just decide to get rid of them. Doing so by yourself will only take you on a u-turn. Life lived right is not achieved on one's own. This is something you can only achieve through the use of God's strength.
Here's something my mom told me once about changing in the strength of God:
Imagine your struggles are all old, unwanted objects. Now, put them all in a box. Take that box, and lay it down at the throne of God. And leave it there. Don't come back for it. Don't pick it up again. Don't open it. Leave all of your troubles to God. Let Him guide you down the path to deliverance. Let Him give you the strength to break away from the world.
Christians are chosen people. Now, go act like one.
Ye have not chosen me,
but I have chosen you,
and ordained you,
that ye should go and bring forth fruit,
and that your fruit should remain:
that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name,
He may give it you.
*NOTE: I am not saying a Christian should not be around those who aren't Christians. I'm saying that people who aren't Christians are not the people who should be our best friends or the ones whom when others think of you, they think of those people and their actions and think of them like you.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
On my skin.
In my heart.
Reflecting through my eyes.
Sifting through my fingers and toes.
Wrapping me up.
Smoothing my hair.
Brushing my cheek.
Feelings surround me.
One would be nice.
Two, maybe three.
But my feelings don't listen.
Sometimes they attack me.
How do I know
The start of something good?
I just do.
How do I harbor
A contradiction in one emotion?
I just do.
What would my life
If I did not feel?
I've already answered this.
I don't want nothing.
But sometimes I do.
To not feel
A feeling too?