>I have marveled at some of the stuff that Christians do. This one is by far one of the most original things I have seen. They actually release the Holy Spirit’s anointing by dancing the hokey pokey. Watch the whole video. The testimonies are incredible….I am just glad that Jesus loves us anyway.
>I have to admit, I have been one of those people that make fun of other Christians. I have even been one of those Christians that have apologized for what we (the church) have done to others in the name of Christ. On one hand this needs to be done. Christians continue to hurt others every day. But how far does it have to go? When do we stop apologizing? When do we just live our lives as we should, as the bible shows us? I for one, am tired of minimalizing my relationship with Christ. It defines me, it makes who I am for better or worse.
I know I have screwed up in judging. I am sorry. I know that I have been your typical American Christian. I am sorry. But, I don’t apologize for being a Christian. I am not ashamed of calling myself a Christian. I am not ashamed to admit to people that Faith is a narrow road. I am not ashamed to tell people that there is a savior who died for their sins. I am not ashamed to tell people there is only one way to the Father.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
What do you think? Should we feel bad that we are Christians? Should we constantly apologize. Should we rethink the narrow road? I would love to hear your feedback.
In the past I have found myself getting upset at some of the political correctness that has surrounded the Christmas season in recent years, but I have mellowed out and most of that stuff doesn’t bother me much anymore. I don’t mind most of the holidays that happen around this time either, except for maybe Kwanzaa..would somebody please explain that one to me! In fact, I don’t even get my underwear in a bunch when somebody wishes me “happy holidays” as opposed to “merry Christmas”.
But recently I have found something that I was quite offended by. It wasn’t a “holiday tree” or a “solstice festival”. No, this time I found offense in a little website ran by our good friends at Focus on the Family . These self-proclaimed defenders of American evangelical Christianity has seen fit to create a website entitled “Stand For Christmas”.
On the home page of this self-righteous website you can read reviews of various retailers and what they are doing to respect Christmas. If they are doing things like playing Christmas music all the time or wishing people “Merry Christmas”, they receive a “friendly rating”. If, on the other hand, their music selection is not 100% seasonal fare. Or they say things like “Happy Holidays” they will receive the dreaded “Offensive” rating. But, if they just don’t care one way or the other, they are considered “Negligent”. This website should be branded offensive.
You can also purchase various Christmas oriented and high quality products such as:
- 101 Ways to Have a Christian Christmas
- A button that reads “It’s OK-Wish Me a Merry Christmas” for a mere $1.50 a piece
- Many various products from Rick Warren, just in case you didn’t know the purpose of Christmas
- And, just in case you didn’t know, Christmas is in need of redeeming. You can buy a FOTF radio broadcast to find out how you can redeem the holiday here
If we really wanted to take a stand for Christmas, wouldn’t the best thing be to love all of these people who are working in these stores? Perhaps show them a little love with a smile and a thank you? I have worked in retail many years, and Christmas is not being drowned out be the retailers, its being suffocated by all the people that give into the commercialization and patronize these stores. All the while treating the person behind the counter as a lower class citizen. Perhaps Focus on the Family should start a website where retailers can post ratings of the consumers.
Merry Fricken Winter!
>Okay, I was checking out Jason Boyett’s blogpost on his annoyances with “worship”. If you have never checked out his website, I strongly encourage you to do so. He has some great stuff on there.
Anywho, He had a video posted that explains the correct way to “worship” in a church service. If you have ever been to a modern church service (especially one with a pentecostal slant), you will find this video extremely informative….and extremely funny. Enjoy!
>So I have had discussions in the past on whether or not our little fuzzy friends have souls. This church decides to at least entertain the thought. This article was written by Gillian Flaccus of the Associated Press. Let me know your thoughts on whether pets have souls or whether or not we should have church service for doggies.
“LOS ANGELES — When the Rev. Tom Eggebeen took over as interim pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church three years ago, he looked around and knew it needed a jump start.
Most of his worshippers, though devoted, were in their 60s, attendance had bottomed out and the once-vibrant church was fading as a community touchstone in its bustling neighborhood.
So Eggebeen came up with a hair-raising idea: He would turn God’s house into a doghouse by offering a 30-minute service complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and an offering of dog treats. He hopes it will reinvigorate the church’s connection with the community, provide solace to elderly members and, possibly, attract new worshippers who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.
Before the first Canines at Covenant service last Sunday, Eggebeen said many Christians love their pets as much as human family members and grieve just as deeply when they suffer — but churches have been slow to recognize that love as the work of God.
“The Bible says of God only two things in terms of an ‘is’: That God is light and God is love. And wherever there’s love, there’s God in some fashion,” said Eggebeen, himself a dog lover. “And when we love a dog and a dog loves us, that’s a part of God and God is a part of that. So we honor that.”
The weekly dog service at Covenant Presbyterian is part of a growing trend among churches nationwide to address the spirituality of pets and the deeply felt bonds that owners form with their animals.
Traditionally, conventional Christians believe that only humans have redeemable souls, said Laura Hobgood-Oster, a religion professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
But a growing number of congregations from Massachusetts to Texas to California are challenging that assertion with regular pet blessings and, increasingly, pet-centric services, said Hobgood-Oster, who studies the role of animals in Christian tradition.
She recently did a survey that found more than 500 blessings for animals at churches nationwide and has heard of a half-dozen congregations holding worship services like Eggebeen’s, including one in a Boston suburb called Woof ‘n Worship.
“It’s the changing family structure, where pets are really central and religious communities are starting to recognize that people need various kinds of rituals that include their pets,” she said. “More and more people in mainline Christianity are considering them to have some kind of soul.”
The pooches who showed up at Covenant Presbyterian on Sunday didn’t seem very interested in dogma.
Animals big and small, from pit bulls to miniature Dachshunds to bichon frises, piled into the church’s chapel to worship in an area specially outfitted for canine comfort with doggie beds, water bowls and a pile of irresistible biscuits in an offering bowl. There were a lot of humans too — about 30 — and three-quarters of them were new faces.
The service started amid a riot of tail-sniffing, barking, whining and playful roughhousing.
But as Eggebeen stepped to the front and the piano struck up the hymn “GoD and DoG,” one by one the pooches lay down, chins on paws, and listened. Eggebeen took prayer requests for Mr. Boobie (healing of the knees) and Hunter (had a stroke) and then called out the names of beloved pets past and present (Quiche, Tiger, Timmy, Baby Angel and Spunky) before launching into the Lord’s Prayer.
At the offering, ushers stepped over tangled leashes and yawning canines to collect donations and hand out doggie treats shaped like miniature bones in a rainbow of colors.
Donna Lee Merz, a Presbyterian pastor at another Southern California church, stopped in with Gracie, her 14-month-old long-haired miniature Dachshund. The puppy with ears soft as silk was overcome by the other dogs and wriggled across the floor on her belly, quivering with excitement. She finally calmed down when Merz held her in her lap.
“She knew it was a safe place and a good place to be, a place to be loved,” Merz said, gently petting Gracie after the service. “I’ll be back.”
Emma Sczesniak came to Covenant for the first time, lured by the promise that she could worship with her black Lab, Midnight, and her wire-haired Dachshund-terrier mix, Marley.
Marley sat on her lap during the service, while Midnight checked out the other big dogs and sat patiently waiting for his biscuit. Sczesniak said the dog-friendly service came at the perfect time for her: she’s been thinking about getting back to church, but wasn’t sure how or where to go.
“I don’t have any kids, so my pets have always been my children, so it does mean a lot,” she said of the dog-inclusive service. “I haven’t been to church in a long time and this may push me into it. I’m getting older and I’ve been thinking about those things again.”
But Midnight, Marley, Gracie and the other pups probably had something more important on their minds as Eggebeen intoned his benediction and the service drew to a close: Just where could they find more of those delicious treats?
For Eggebeen, the night was a spiritual success — and the rest is out of his hands.
“It’s important for a church like us just to do good things. The results, we’ll just have to see,” he said. “Ultimately, that belongs to God.” “
- The devil has been defeated and does not control any holiday….ever. He is not in control. He does not go around trick-or-treating.
- Almost all holidays have roots in paganism. Christmas and Easter are just as pagan, if not more so, as Halloween.
- Harvest, Halloween, Fall festival…its all semantics….It’s like drinking a mock cocktail at a fake speakeasy(inside joke). Or Christian swear words-we all know what you really mean so why don’t you just say it.
- Do we have to spiritualize everything? Why not just invite the community over and have some fun. Meet some people. Start some relationships. If you want to dress up as a ninja, great! It doesn’t even have to be a Christian ninja.
- All my tracks I hand out end up in the garbage first thing. So why not just give them candy and say a silent prayer for them instead. This not only gives me a chance to meet people in my neighborhood, it also keeps my house from getting toilet papered…
I like Halloween. I like to dress up. I like the pumpkins, candy and yes the skeletons and ghouls. I will not burn in hell for it. I am not opening myself up to “spiritual attack”. My Jesus has freed me from this kind of frivolous nonsense. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to get my costume on and have some fun this Halloween night.