Don T Tell Me I Can T Say Merry Christmas Three Reasons Church Videos Help To Deliver A Powerful Easter Messageonkeydown Textcounter This Form F Arttitle This Form Avachars Title 150 Abortion And The Conscience Of The Nation By Ronald Reagan Scripture For When You Are Helpless

I am a Christian. I believe in Christ, not because I have any proof that Christ is the son of God, but because I want to believe. I believe that the teachings that are ascribed to Christ would, if everyone followed them to the best of their ability, make this a far better world.

I further believe that this country, The United States Of America, is the greatest country in the world and it is so in part because it has tried to base it’s morals and ethics on and has tried to follow Christian ethics. I am not, however, a bible thumping Christian, an evangelistic Christian or even a regular church going Christian. I am not trying to convert the world or even my neighbors to Christianity. I don’t care if a person is a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, an Atheist, etc. as long as the person is a good person and cares about other people.

Just don’t tell me that I can’t celebrate Christmas, don’t tell me that I can’t say merry Christmas, don’t tell me that a Christmas tree is a “holiday” tree, don’t tell me that December 25 is no longer Christmas Day but is instead now a no name holiday, dont tell me that if I say merry Christmas other people will be insulted, don’t tell me that my children can’t have a Christmas pagent in school because other children may feel insulted or left out (School is not and can not always be all inclusive for everyone, otherwise there would be no chess club because not every child plays chess, no sports teams because not every child plays or even likes sports, no drama club because not every child wants to act, no memorial day because not every child want’s to honor our fallen soldiers, no labor day because not every child wants to honor unions, no Thanksgiving because not every child wants to give thanks, no pledge of allegiance because not every child wants to honor this country, etc.). This is not a country of worker bees or ants, we are a country of individuals with different backgrounds and different beliefs. The majority of the people in this country are, however, Christians and the majority of the people in this country weather you like it or not do celebrate Christmas.

According to the U.S Government under United States Code section 5-6103, December 25 is a legal holiday and that legal holiday is named Christmas. Most states also denote December 25 as “Christmas”. We all know that Christ was not actually born on December 25 but that is the date that this government and the majority of Christian churches have chosen to use. Additionally, not all people who celebrate Christmas believe in Christ, many people celebrate it as just a holiday that happens to be called Christmas. I’ve been to numerous Christmas parties where many of the guests were not Christians. No one ever called them Holiday parties and as far as I know no one was ever upset that the party was called a Christmas party.

I’m not insulted if someone wishes me happy Chanukah or happy Kwanza so why should anyone be insulted if I say merry Christmas. It seems to me that the only people that complain about Christmas are certain Atheists and the people that have designated themselves as “political correctness police”. Well. in this country you people have the right to state your thoughts but please stop trying to force your way of thinking on everyone else. Leave us alone. Get your own holiday, leave us ours.

I celebrate Christmas and I would probably celebrate Christmas even if I didn’t believe in Christ. After all it’s a wonderful holiday, it wishes peace on earth and good will towards all mankind (What other holiday makes that wish.). If you are so insecure in your religion or lack of religion that you feel threatened by my celebration of Christmas then I feel sorry for you. I would also tell you to go jump off a very high bridge into very deep water (Sorry, but I told you that I was not a really good Christian. People that try to push their beliefs on me really irk me.). If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, don’t. Just don’t tell those of us that do want to that we can’t.

Lastly, leave our schools alone. If you don’t want your children to participate in a christmas pagent then tell them not to participate. Contrary to what you think the other kids will not tease or make fun of them. When I was in elementary school I was an atheist and no one ever made fun of me for not believing in Christ and I never felt left out by not joining in as a charecter in a Christmas play. Of course, even though I was an atheist I still believed, at least for a while, in Santa Clause, I still enjoyed recieving Christmas gifts, I still enjoyed listening to Christmas carolers and I still thought a lighted Christmas tree was beautiful. In fact I thought Christmas time was the best time of the year and I was happy to say merry Christmas. However, maybe I just wasn’t as insecure or as intolarent as you are.

By the way, even though I was an atheist, my family was Protestant and even though they were Protestant we belonged to the local Jewish Community Center and none of us ever felt left out or put upon when most of them celebrated the Jewish holidays. In fact, it was during those years that I developed my high respect for the Jewish people and their religious laws.

Merry Christmas everyone — and Happy New Year!!!

Easter is a big deal. Palm Sunday. Good Friday. Resurrection Sunday. These are seismic events in God’s redemptive storyline. Add to that the fact that tons of people who aren’t regularly in church are in church on Easter and you have a situation where, as a pastor or worship leader, you feel a great deal of pressure to deliver great services that powerfully reflect the Gospel of Christ. So what do you do?

Using video in your Easter services certainly won’t solve all your problems, but church videos are what I know, and so I would like to give you a few reasons why I think using video can help to alleviate some of the pressure you feel to deliver powerfully at Easter.

Video…

Meets people where they are. You’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating: We live in a visual culture. Incorporating video and other forms of visual media into your service will put people at ease, so they can settle in and prepare to hear the message. For example, starting the service with a funny clip is a great way to put the congregation at ease.

Connects emotionally. Video operates on an emotional level and provides you with a great tool for getting the congregation emotionally prepared to hear your message. Using a Sermon Illustration video is an excellent way to set up your message. The video you choose can illustrate one of your points, demonstrate a situation where people need to hear your message or raise questions that you can then deal with in your message.

Gives people space to reflect. Using video is also a great way to guide the congregation into a time of reflection and also helps focus them on the things you want them to reflect on. Use it to start the service to prepare their hearts for what they will hear. Use it during a special time in the service such as Communion to guide them through what you would have them reflecting on. Use it at the end of your message to give them space to think about and respond to what they’ve heard.

In all these ways and more, video provides you with a powerful tool to help do the most important thing at Easter: connect people to the life-changing message of Christ.

In 1983, President Reagan wrote an essay for the “Human Life Review” entitled, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” This brief writing of his pro-life philosophy was published in book form a year later. It was expanded to approximately to 95 pages with lengthy afterwords by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and British essayist Malcolm Muggeridge. Reagan’s brief composition is probably one of the better well-argued pro-life essays ever written. It is also significant as it was the first ever by a sitting President. It was President Reagan’s attempt to awaken a nation to the implications of abortion. In this short book, President Reagan gives an account on how important the issue of abortion is to the “conscience of a nation.”

President Reagan’s essay is only 26 pages of the book, but it is well structured. He believed that diminishing the life of the unborn diminishes the value of all human life. He tackled the pro-abortion “quality of life” argument and compared it to the Dred Scott slavery issue. Reagan likened the pro-abortion argument to slavery and drew parallels between the Roe vs. Wade decision and the Dred Scot decision that divided America over a century earlier. According to Reagan, the quality of life argument is an argument for quality control of the population.

Reagan surmises that legalized abortion is a very slippery slope. He says that unborn babies are being killed because they are simply not wanted or come at an inconvenient time. He also states that many are killed because they will be unable to lead a “normal” life as the result of birth defects. Such babies are considered to be of less value and thus denied human rights. He claims this denial of human rights is accomplished by activist judges who frame the interpretation of the US Constitution through the lens of their own pro-abortion beliefs.

Reagan believes that the arbitrary evaluation of unborn lives must stop. He states that this philosophy will lead to further the crimes of infanticide and illustrates this by citing the Indiana case of “Baby Doe.” Baby Doe was allowed to starve to death because the child had Down’s syndrome. The essence of Reagan’s argument is that no nation can survive and prosper when a group of individuals look at a child and declare whether that child has value as a human being. Reagan goes on to say,

“Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.”

The pro-life movement will not be disappointed with Reagan’s essay, and will conclude that it contains very powerful and logical anti-abortion arguments.

All of us who live in the East Texas area just came through Hurricane Rita. Much damage was done through here. Through it all, though, Proverbs 1:33 came through for us.

Prov 1:33

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (KJV)

In the wee hours of the morning, when the storm was at its fiercest, slamming trees into our house and shaking it to the very foundations, God gave us the Scripture to pray. We were to pray for Paul’s “power tent” that God placed him in as he battled the “thorn-demon.”

2 Cor 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)

You see, our youngest daughter, her four children, her husband, his mother and niece and two friends were here to dodge the storm. Immediately after they got here, the storm moved and was coming right at us.

We were helpless. We could not move. The evacuation traffic was too heavy. It took our daughter 12 hours to get to our house only 85 miles away. As you can see, the highways were jammed. There was no escape. We were stuck here. We could not leave. Our two friends tried to leave but after two hours they had only gone one mile. They turned around and came back to our house.

We then knew that we were here for the duration of the storm. We also knew that the only way out was the protection of God Almighty.

Again, the only thing the Holy Ghost would let us pray was for the “power tent.” You see, in the verse above, the expression “rest upon” translates two Greek words, “upon” and “tent.” Jesus put a “tent of power” upon Paul which protected him from the thorn for the rest of his life.

We prayed for this “power tent” and got it. Trees slammed into our house, carport and yard. Our gutters were blown off. Our carport was smashed but our cars were not touched. Our home itself was safe. None of us were harmed at all. No damage was done to our house except the gutters.

The “power tent” came down. Praise God! We were all safe. When helpless, pray for the “power tent.”

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