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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Season’

Video-study course-Christian Celebrations-promo

22 Jun

I have a course on Basic Christian Beliefs for new Christians and as a refresher for long-time Christians, which is posted on Udemy.

It is available by posting the following link in your browser.

https://www.udemy.com/course/christian-celebrations/?referralCode=D706C0B4E96819B18699

 

Third Sunday of Epiphany-B

20 Jan

With the current epidemic, many schools are going to online teaching, but many students lack adequate technology to work from home and may not have an environment conducive to learning if there are pre-school children in the home or other barriers to studying. In addition, they may not have parental support.  Many kids need a place to study, adequate technology, and supportive supervision, which churches can supply. Schools can sometimes help by printing off lessons, as well as helping with equipment for students to work on online classes. In addition, some children may not be able to attend school because of illness or disability and need tutoring in their home. Often subjects are elementary level and require only a high school education. Others in high school and college may need college level education in the subject. Some schools have paid tutoring positions open.

 

Third Sunday of Epiphany-Jan 23-A

20 Jan

 

Tutoring-A- Many of our public schools have a poor record of teaching and many students are failing. While there are many dedicated Christian teachers in the public schools, they are often hampered by class size and administrative demands. Teachers rarely have time to spend helping students who are struggling. Many kids also fall behind in school because their parents may not be able to help them because their schools failed to help them when they fell behind. In addition, immigrants entering the U.S. may have only a minor grasp of English. Many students have learning disabilities, but far more are merely poorly motivated due to their home situation and lack of encouragement at school. Sterile public classrooms often teach by memorization and fail to encourage students to explore the wonders and majesty of God’s creation. All need assistance to help them. While many schools offer tutoring, many of them are not adequate. Volunteer tutors are needed for tutoring programs that can provide one-on-one assistance that teachers don’t have time for. Volunteers can also show that someone cares and can share a love of learning. Christian school students are often well ahead of public school students and many failing public school students tutored by caring Christian tutors often surpass their classmates. Tutoring can take place at school, after school, or in local churches.

 

First Sunday of Epiphany Jan 9

07 Jan

The Meaning-The color of the first Sunday of Epiphany is white symbolizing purity. commemorates Jesus’ baptism by John-It reminds us that we need to seek to cleanse the sin out of our life so our life will show the love of God to those around us. Baptism represents our dying to sin and being raised in Christ. If we tell others that Christ has made a difference in our lives, then our lives must demonstrate a positive difference from those around us or they will not believe what we say. Therefore, we need to seek God to remove those things from our lives that hinder our witness for Him. If we have a quick temper or are careless and irresponsible and don’t fulfill our promises, we need to ask God to help us conquer them lest they hinder our witness. The sad fact is that the greatest hindrance to the spread of the Gospel in America is the behavior of those who call themselves Christians but live like the World. (see my series-“In The World, But Not Of It” on how to live a life pleasing to God and still enjoy life).

 

 

Epiphany-Jan.7th

07 Jan

The Power of the Light-The story of the Wise Men reminds us that not everyone was glad to see Jesus come. We often think of the Wise Men coming to see the baby in the manger, but the Bible says that the Wise men went to the house where Jesus was. Since Herod ordered the soldiers to kill all male babies two years and younger, Jesus was probably a year or more old by the time the Wise men arrived. We like to think that the coming of a great king who would bring peace, would be a great thing and everyone would be glad, however the story of Herod reminds us of how jealously man without God seeks to maintain his power. They love the darkness because their deeds are evil. When the Jews forgot God and returned to their selfish ways, while still maintaining an appearance of worshiping God, God sent the prophets to remind them how to walk with God. However, they tortured and killed the prophets. Jesus came to bring Light into the darkness, but Herod tried to destroy Jesus by killing all the baby boys in Bethlehem. When the Catholic Church forgot God and sought to build up its power, God sent the reformers to restore the church, but church leaders tortured and killed many of them, rather than give up their power. Since then, men of power have feared those who preach the true Word of God because they know that men who know God will not bow down to them or serve them. We see today what lengths those in power will go to silence the church and those who serve God because they know that they can never totally control the world as long as there are Christians.

 

Second Sunday of Christmastide-Jan 2

31 Dec

Those who feel forgotten.  Christmas is a time when we remember that Christ came to His people to reveal the nature of God and to show us a better way to live; a way of peace and love. This should be a time when we should draw together as a family and draw together as a church family. We need to bring some light into their life just as Christ brought light into the world for us. We should seek those around us who will not know the joy of Christmas unless we share it with them We need to take time to reach out to those around us who may be alone, whose families are gone or far away, and have no friends close. By visiting, we remind them that we have not forgotten them and God has not forgotten them either. Some may be able to invite them to share Christmas with their family so they do not have to spend Christmas alone. There are also many who are burdened with heavy cares, or who have lost loved ones, are shut-in and cannot get out, and let them know they are not forgotten and are not alone. We need to bring some light into their life just as Christ brought light into the world for us. Some will not share the joy of Christmas because of financial needs and cannot afford special gifts. The church can help brighten their Christmas. A growing number of Christians are deciding that instead of giving each other gifts they don’t need, they will put that money into buying gifts for those that might not otherwise receive gifts, or by supporting Christmas programs by organizations in their local area like The Salvation Army, or abroad like Samaritan’s Purse or simply giving gifts to neighbors they know who might not otherwise know the joy of Christmas. Christmas is also a great time to teach your kids the value of giving and the greatest gift they can give is themselves. Volunteer as a family to help a local church, social service agency, day care, hospital, or nursing home. Many have special programs at Christmas that need volunteers.

 

First Sunday of Christmastide-Dec. 26

23 Dec

Why the Calendar  Many question why I use the Christian calendar for my messages. I am often accused of being tied to ritual, but I am not. I have very little interest in or use for ritual outside of Communion. Communion is special because God ordained it and commanded us to continue it. Even with Communion I am not tied to one tradition. I celebrate however those around me do, as long as it includes the basic elements instituted by Christ. (most, who celebrate it sincerely do, though they celebrate them in a multitude of different ways) I use the Christian calendar for three reasons. (1) It ensures that I cover all the major Christian teachings in a year. (2) It ensures that I do them in an orderly way, each one building upon another so it is easier to understand. (3) It is an order widely accepted by other Christians, so we are all on the same page. Though many holidays were added by men, the basic elements of the Jewish calendar and the Christian calendar were commanded by God and the fact that many churches today do not celebrate them (outside of Christmas and Easter) is one more indication that the church today no longer takes God’s Word seriously. (for more on the Christian holidays, see “Understanding the Path We Walk” which I published in 2015.

 

Christmas Day-Dec 25

20 Dec

Share the Joy Many will not share the joy of Christmas because they have no one who cares for them or they may live in poverty and cannot afford special gifts. Either way, we should seek those around us who will not know the joy of Christmas unless we share it with them. By visiting those who are lonely, we remind them that we have not forgotten them and God has not forgotten them either. If you know someone who will be alone this Christmas, invite them to share Christmas with your family. A growing number of Christians are deciding that instead of giving each other gifts they don’t need, they will put that money into buying gifts for those that might not otherwise receive gifts. They are supporting Christmas programs by organizations in their local area like The Salvation Army, and organizations abroad like Samaritan’s Purse or simply giving gifts to neighbors they know who might not otherwise know the joy of Christmas. Christmas is a great time to teach your kids the value of giving and the greatest gift they can give is themselves. Volunteer as a family to help a local church, social service agency, day care, hospital, or nursing home. Many have special programs at Christmas that need volunteers. Besides, people, especially children, like to be part of a celebration. If there is no good celebration, they will be drawn towards bad celebrations.

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent-Dec 19

15 Dec

Hope While we know Christ was not born on December 25th because the shepherds would not have been out on the hillsides with the sheep in the winter, we actually have no idea when He was born because no date is recorded of His birth so one day is as good as another. The early church felt His birth was very important since it changed the world and felt it should be remembered. Dec 25th was chosen because it is the darkest day of the year. After that date, the days begin to get longer again. It is a good time to celebrate Christ who is the Light of the world, because it reminds us that when things were darkest, Jesus came to bring us hope. Like the days, the world isn’t instantly better, but it begins and builds little by little until we can see that things are brighter than they used to be.

 

Third Sunday of Advent-Dec 12

11 Dec

Peace Luke 10:v.13 And suddenly there was with the Angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, v.14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. The angels gave glory to God and pronounced peace on the earth, yet we don’t see peace. Our world is constantly at war and our TV screens are filled with images of suffering and destruction. Why don’t we see the peace that was promised? The Bible says that in the last days there will be wars and rumors of wars and men will say “Peace, Peace” but there will be no peace because men have turned their backs on God and seek their own benefit, rather than God’s will. We will not see peace throughout the world until Christ comes, but each one of us can have peace in his/her heart in the midst of the turmoil around us as they put their trust in God. The soul that trusts in God will not be shaken by the storms of life.