Category Archives: Worship

There’s only One Christmas Spirit!

My Nana was the first to ask if we had the Christmas spirit. Other people would ask if we had “caught” the Christmas spirit.  Later, I realized that most people misspoke about what they imagined the Christmas spirit to be. People tended to speak of the joy of giving and receiving, the peace of warm family times, the friendliness and cheeriness of strangers.

 All of these traits are benefits of the spirit of Christmas, fully embellished with sentimentality and illustrated in movies galore.  The world gets a taste every year but doesn’t reckon the way to live in this light and warmth hence the old adage: “Wise Men Still Seek Him”.

dedicated to the memory of Myrtle Mullens


My wife tends to call me a Grinch for the Dr. Suess character who tried to steal the joy of Christmas by stealing the Christmas loot.  I have never been a hater of Christmas, but I have resented the commercialism that masquerades as the real spirit.

I resented that there seemed to be many influences working to persuade people that the spirit of buying, the spirit of materialism, the spirit of entitlement added to the spirit of overindulgence equals Christmas. 

These are all wrong ideas.  These are not separate entities.  The spirit of Christmas is the one and only Holy Spirit who opens us up to warmth and affection that is completely irrational, to giving beyond what seems reasonable, to leaving our natural desires because of what He has done [and continues to do].  There is no other spirit of Christmas, no matter what others may say.

This is the affinity that people thirst for.  The joy of Christmas exists with Him and He allows us to experience it and it grows within us as we abide with Him.  The world tries to deny him but even as the years are numbered by his birth which is celebrated by billions worldwide, so His influence continues forever {Hallelujah!}. 

And even in the shadow of this torn and shredded year, He will pour out His Spirit yet once again to help unite us and heal our hearts.  If you don’t know Him, your healing can begin now. Ask Him to reign over your life and heart. Feel free to share your experience with me!

Only then will be learn to position Him in His rightful place as prophesied by Isaiah:  ”  . . .  A Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  [9:6  AMP]

Amos’ Conversation with the Nation [and with us]

It is uncanny that the inspiration of an earlier day re-emerged on the day of John Lewis’ funeral.  This version of Amos’ dissertation to his people.  This version is Eugene Peterson’s translation known as “The Message”.  This version is different from the King James Version that was made famous in Martin King Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.  Where Dr. King implores as did Amos ” . . . But let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.”  [5:24]
The Message Version
This version in its plain, almost colloquial English reveals the callousness of the divided Hebrew kingdom at that time.  But as we’ve learned so assuredly through the years, the word of God is not some vacuous dead declaration.  The Word lives and reaches through the years to speak to an unimagined modern America.  The word lives and speaks to convict those actively working to oppress the people.  
Re-reading these words will speak again to us and will hopefully ignite the passion to fight injustice as it dares rear its head in the year 2020 to vex those in high office in these United States and beyond.  These words don’t stop at international boundaries or wide oceans.  These words stand staunchly against hypocrisy and haughtiness.  These are the words of Amos to us in this present day from  chapter 5 verses 10-13 and 21-24. 
People hate this kind of talk.
    Raw truth is never popular.
But here it is, bluntly spoken:
    Because you run roughshod over the poor
    and take the bread right out of their mouths,
You’re never going to move into
    the luxury homes you have built.
You’re never going to drink wine
    from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted.
I know precisely the extent of your violations,
    the enormity of your sins. Appalling!
You bully right-living people,  
taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they’re down.
 Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic.
    Decent people throw up their hands.
Protest and rebuke are useless, a waste of breath.
“I can’t stand your religious meetings.
    I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
    your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
    your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
    When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
    I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want.
That’s all  I want.

Breaking: COVID-19 and Sensationalism! Really?

My In-laws sent me a link from that piqued their interest. They asked me to watch and provide an opinion. The article is named “Breaking Coronavirus & Prophesy: Pope’s Big October Surprise is Coming”.
I am admittedly a protestant and humbly desire Christian fellowship with Catholic brethen while having serious questions about their dogma and beliefs. Notwithstanding, researching the video exposed the posting entity: Amazing Prophecies. The name gives me pause. The host, an evangelist named Mark Fox from the Dallas area, facilitates the video.  

Mr. Fox walks through several points in the 50+ minute video including:

A discussion on why Pope Francis  believes we have the Coronavirus Pandemic.  According to the Pope, the Pandemic has occurred because Nature is angry

The Pope postponed a meeting he had previously scheduled for May to October where there could be a prophetic announcement

The Pope has created a “false Sabbath” as he has implored people to take Sunday off rather than work 7 days a week.

Mr. Fox’s questions the Pope’s premise on the Sabbath rest

The first thing to say about social media is that the creators of media aspire to create and certify as much viewership as possible which, over time, translates to money and/or clout. The point is that some purveyors of media do so to simply hear themselves talk – a vain and vacuous motive.

The explanation provided by the Pope that nature’s anger spurred the pandemic is ludicrous. Mr. Fox does explain by saying there will be end time woes. The remaining question is, who is this entity called nature? The bible does not ascribe a personality or character to God’s created work. It plainly says “all things were created for His pleasure.” [Rev. 4:11] The creation is not likely to rebel or protest by disrupting other parts of creation. What would there be to gain? There is no agent by which this could happen.
The last point made is that of the “false Sabbath” which Mr. Fox takes considerable time to argue that the Catholic church declares that it changed to Sabbath to Sunday in its Eucharist literature. Unfortunately, it is written in the book of Acts, that the disciples began meeting on the first day of the week. He then spends the rest of the video preaching a sermon about how the Sabbath (Saturday) is the lawful day of worship and how the Catholic and other churches are wrong about Sunday worship. It should be mentioned that an exhaustive and thorough explanation of the tradition of worship on Sunday is here:

This point becomes the finale for the video except for more mentions of the Mark of the Beast book and requests to spread the word about the video. Mr. Fox explained that the video needs to be viewed by millions so that the millions can be prepared for the actual Mark of the Beast [a sign of the pending return of Christ Jesus]. There is noting that is starkly wrong here; we just doubt the motive and the sensationalism is offensive. As Paul said, 16-17 So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. [Col 2:16-17 MSG]

Open the Door . . .

A friend of ours remarked “I just don’t get this Christianity . . . ” As I think back over what she said, I am reminded of what Jesus said in the Revelation:
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me. [Amp]
He said “listens to and heeds” . . . Many people hear his voice and open the door but don’t want to let him in. They hear some, but are either not convinced or are too interested in other things to allow him to come in. {see Parable of the Sower – Matthew 13 }
Dining is a metaphor for fellowship, as coming in is the same as making a relationship. Jesus was all about making relationships as he did with the Samaritan woman at the well. He desires to make relationships as a precursor to knowing how good and delightful he is. One who knows Him in truth cannot help but to appreciate how good He is and then to begin to know of what great worth He is. This is the preamble to worship.
As He told the Samaritan woman:  John 4:23 ” A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers”.
I owe my friend a long conversation. .