Christianity

A Conversation With GOD

“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.”  JOB 33:14 (ESV)

Man: “God, can I ask You a question?”
God: “Sure.”
Man: “Promise, You won’t get mad?”
God: “I promise.”
Man: “Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?”
God: “What do you mean?”
Man: “Well, I woke up late.”
God: “Yes.”
Man: “Then my car took forever to start.”
God: “Okay.”
Man: “At lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait.”
God: “Ah huh.”
Man: “On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call.”
God: “All right.”
Man: “And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?”

God: “Let me see… the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.”

Man (humbled): “Oh.”

GOD: “I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.”

Man: (ashamed) Oh, No!

God: “The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Man (embarrassed): “Okay.”

God: “Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call. I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.”

Man (softly): “I see, God.”

God: “Oh, and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.”

Man: “I’m Sorry, God.”

God: “Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust ME…. in All things, the Good & the bad.”

Man: “I will trust You.”

God: “And don’t doubt that MY plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.”

Man: “I won’t, God. And let me just tell you, God… Thank You for Everything today and Always!”

God: “You’re welcome, child. It was just another day of being your GOD and looking after MY Children.”

“I’m sorry to disturb you! My name is GOD. You barely have time for me and yet I love you and always bless you. I am always with you. I need you to spend 30 minutes of your time with ME today. Don’t pray. Just chat. Today I want this message across the world before midnight. Will you help? Please do not ignore it and I’ll help you with something that you are in need of.  A blessing is coming your way. Tomorrow will be the Best Day of your Life.”

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EASTER SUNDAY

easter-cross-daybreakEaster is the holiday that celebrates and commemorates the central event of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. All major branches of Christianity observe the holiday. Today, other than church attendance, the holiday often involves Easter Eggs for toys and candy as well as the imagery of bunnies and rabbits (see more below). Easter occurs the Sunday after Good Friday.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the Christian faith, according to the Apostle Paul, who even says that if Jesus Christ has not been resurrected then the Christian faith is worthless and futile (1 Cor. 15:14-17). Therefore, without Easter there is no Christianity.

Easter is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year. All the Christian movable feasts and the entire liturgical year of worship are arranged around Easter. Easter is preceded by the season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and repentance culminating in Holy Week, and followed by a 50-day Easter Season that stretches from Easter to Pentecost.

There is evidence that Christians originally celebrated the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, with observances such as Scripture readings, psalms, the Eucharist, and a prohibition against kneeling in prayer. {6} At some point in the first two centuries, however, it became customary to celebrate the resurrection specially on one day each year. Many of the religious observances of this celebration were taken from the Jewish Passover.

The specific day on which the resurrection should be celebrated became a major point of contention within the church. First, should it be on Jewish Passover no matter on what day that falls, or should it always fall on a Sunday? It seems Christians in Asia took the former position, while those everywhere else insisted on the latter. The eminent church fathers Irenaeus and Polycarp were among the Asiatic Christians, and they claimed the authority of St. John the Apostle for their position. Nevertheless, the church majority officially decided that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday. Eusebius of Caesarea, our only source on this topic, reports the affair as follows:

A question of no small importance arose at that time [c. 190 AD]. The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch, contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be. However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from Apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the Resurrection of our Saviour. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all with one consent through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only. {7} With this issue resolved, the next problem was to determine which Sunday to celebrate the resurrection. The Christians in Syria and Mesopotamia held their festival on the Sunday after the Jewish Passover (which itself varied a great deal), but those in Alexandria and other regions held it on the first Sunday after the spring equinox, without regard to the Passover.

This second issue was decided at the Council of Nicea in 325, which decreed that Easter should be celebrated by all on the same Sunday, which Sunday shall be the first following the paschal moon (and the paschal moon must not precede the spring equinox), and that a particular church should determine the date of Easter and communicate it throughout the empire (probably Alexandria, with their skill in astronomical calculations).

The policy was adopted throughout the empire, but Rome adopted an 84-year lunar cycle for determining the date, whereas Alexandria used a 19-year cycle. {8} Use of these different “paschal cycles” persists to this day and contributes to the disparity between the eastern and western dates of Easter.

Common elements found in most Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant religious Easter celebrations include baptism, the Eucharist, feasting, and greetings of “Christ is risen!” and “He is risen indeed!”

In Roman Catholicism, and some Lutheran and Anglican churches, Easter is celebrated with a vigil that consists of “the blessing of the new fire (a practice introduced during the early Middle Ages); the lighting of the paschal candle; a service of lessons, called the prophecies; followed by the blessing of the font and baptisms and then the mass of Easter.” {9} The traditional customs of the Catholic church are described in detail in the online Catholic Encyclopedia {10}.

In Orthodox churches, the vigil service is preceded by a procession outside the church. When the procession leaves the church, there are no lights on. The procession conducts a symbolic fruitless search for Christ’s body, then joyfully announces, “Christ is risen!” When the procession returns to the church, hundreds of candles and lamps are lit to symbolize the splendor of Christ’s resurrection, and the Easter Eucharist is taken. {11}

Protestant observances also include baptism and the Eucharist (or Lord’s Supper), and often a sunrise service (to commemorate Mary Magdalene’s arrival at the empty tomb “early, while it was still dark”) and special hymns and songs.

Easter Eggs and Christianity

12717977_1025836324177545_6398181941345550489_nWhat do eggs have to do with Easter? Over the centuries, Easter Sunday has been supplemented by popular customs, many of were incorporated from springtime fertility celebrations of European and Middle Eastern pagan religion. Rabbits and eggs, for example, are widely-used pagan symbols for fertility.

Some Christians disassociate themselves entirely from Easter eggs because of their pagan connotations. Other Christians view Easter eggs, or other candies and treats, as symbols of joy and celebration (as they were forbidden during the fast of Lent) and as a “taste” of new life and resurrection that they have in Jesus Christ. A common custom is to hide brightly colored eggs for children to find.

ORIGNAL ARTICLE COURTESY OF RELIGION FACTS

WHY CHRISTIANS OBSERVE GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, which commemorates the crucifixion, suffering, SVouetand death of Jesus.  Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.  Good Friday is a fast day in the Catholic Church, and falls within the Paschal Triduum. The holiday is observed during Holy Week on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover.

The crucifixion of Jesus occurred during the 1st century AD.  Jesus, whom Christians believe to be the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified. Collectively referred to as the Passion,  Jesus’ suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion represent the central aspects of Christian theology, including the doctrines of salvation and atonement. ~JGT

Merciful Father,
In your great love,
You sent your Son Jesus Christ,
To suffer and die on the cross.
By reflecting upon his crucifixion this day:
May we find consolation in our suffering;
May we find healing in our sickness;
And, clinging to the hope that we have in Christ,
May we who will die find salvation.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.
~David Bennett~

 

A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

220px-St-Valentine-Kneeling-In-SupplicationEach year on February 14th we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is a time for romance, love and for many a great excuse to play kissy-face with a chosen sweetheart!  But the origins of the day are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well~ by hitting them!

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy Christian priest in Rome back in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed for performing too many Christian marriages. Indeed, Emperor Claudius II actually executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14, each in different years in the 3rd century A.D. and their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with Valentine (Valentinus in latin) the priest’s canonization and the eventual celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. Ironic; huh?  Celebrating a day devoted to romance and love on the anniversary date of the poor man’s execution!

From February 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. Those silly Roman romantics got drunk & naked and young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, because they believed this would make them fertile. (Oh, those wild and crazy Romans!) The brutal party included a matchmaking lottery, where young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be coupled up for the extent of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

In the 5th century sometime between 492 – 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius I, mixed things up a bit by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia in order to banish the pagan rituals. But the festival became more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Regardless, the holiday was still celebrated as a day of fertility and love.

Legend has it that while in jail awaiting execution for preaching Christianity~ St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and he signed it, “From Your Valentine”. So there you have it in a nutshell! ~ JGT

My Valentine’s Day Story

While serving in the U.S. Navy during the mid-1980’s, I met & married my husband, Luke. We had met a little more than a year earlier, on a Friday  afternoon, while I was reporting for duty at NRC Fort Wadsworth (later NAVSTA), Staten Island, NY. During the check-in process, it was customary for the sponsor, in my case, the Chief Petty Office on duty, to introduce incoming personnel to department heads. When we reached the “Library” I was greeted by an empty desk but introduced to a sailor wearing blue coveralls who was obviously busy rummaging through stacks of paperwork beneath the counter.  A few seconds passed before I heard a loud ‘thump’ and Luke stood up and muttered, “Welcome aboard” while rubbing his throbbing scalp where it had just collided with the countertop.

As required, I had reported in full dress uniform and Luke confessed to me a few years later that he had been so distracted by staring at my legs, that he didn’t realize the distance between his head and the countertop was as close as it was! How romantic was that? Oh, and by the way; did I forget to mention that it was also Valentine’s Day?!?

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bear! “I never knew what I always wanted, until I met you!”  ~ As Ever, D~~

Me & Luke Christmastime 198720110824163248723

White House Calling Christmas Trees, Holiday Trees!

I ran across this on the internet today and felt the need to post it to my blog.  Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year, which prompted Ben Stein, to say, on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, the following:

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

Ben SteinIt doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger  scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a nativity scene, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her, ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (Regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’sson committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what a bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully ~ Ben Stein

Merry Christmas, Ben and have a Wonderful & Happy New Year! ~JGT

 

EASTER?

The poor old Easter Rabbit is an602039_586097448068618_2146888213_n invented secular excuse to commemorate  a CHRISTIAN holiday (celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, three days after his crucifixion) in order for government, civil service & union employees  to get paid for NOT going to work!!!!!  However; this is just another link ~ in the long string of chains strung by our “politically correct”  & elected government & union biased officials which continually promotes the rise of liberal Secularism in America! SICKENING!!!!
I AM A CHRISTIAN.
I AM AN AMERICAN.
I AM A U. S. NAVY VETERAN.
I AM A WOMAN.
I AM THE  WIFE OF A RETIRED & DISABLED VETERAN.
I AM A TAXPAYER.
What are MY Rights?????
~ dfh