Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

The family out for a Star Wars viewing!

Christmas is weird for a lot of reasons.  Honestly a lot of the traditions don't make a lot of sense if you think about them.  We bring a tree indoors, put lights on our houses and eat too much.  How did the celebration of the birth of Christ turn into this?  I am not sure.

Anyway, here's the great thing about the holiday...I get to see my kids and brother and sister in law and my niece, and spend time with them and do fun things!  If we had no other attachments to the Yuletide, this would be worth it to me!

Rose and I tried to raise our tots with an appreciation for God and faith and I love that we can get together and thank Him for all that we have.  My kids are a blast to be around and we always have fun and there is no real drama.  I think they enjoy being around us to, so that's awesome.  My brother and his family are always a good time and since we live closer it's great seeing them more often!

This year we all headed out to the cinema to take in our traditional Christmas movie "The Force Awakens".  It was a second viewing for all of us but my son...we had to keep spoilers at a minimum!  I liked the movie better the second time around!  Great film, fun for all!

We got to play Aggravation and a new game called "Exploding Kittens"'s a card game, so no animals are harmed!  We watched movies and played video games and ate too much!  Now they have all gone back north and the house is quiet again.  Ahhhh

Good times!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Checkmate, Satan!

The other day I was at a friends house and they had a nativity scene on their coffee table.

To me it looked like a chess set!  

When I was younger, my friends and I were chess freaks!

My parents got me a chess set for Christmas one year and I joined the chess club at school.  I would lay in bed and imagine strategies before drifting off to sleep.  I even had a chance to play a Russian Master!  He came to our local library and played about 20 of us all at once.  He would make a move on one board and move to the next, all while chain smoking!  I was fifth to the last to be eliminated.  It was because I was not paying attention, I was chatting with my friend and I looked up and The Master was waiting for me to make a move, I made one real quick without thinking it through and it was all over!  I had no long term game plan and I got distracted!  That's why I lost.

Getting back to the Nativity scene.  Imagine the game!  Wise man takes Joseph, Mary moves two spaces and this Camel is now in trouble... 

It's a funny thought, but there is a real deep truth to it.  Just like chess, the plan of human redemption took a long time to play out and was planned well in advance.

For Jesus, the Savior to be born, a lot of different elements had to come together at just the right time. All the pieces had to be in place, the strategy had to be worked in just the right way.  


Here is another thought...

When I would play chess with my friends, we had a rule that if you moved a piece you could keep your finger on it until you were sure that was the move you wanted to make.  I feel like God has His finger on us sometimes to.  Only we are the ones making the move!  He holds us and says "Are you sure you want to do this?".  It's nice to know that as we play this game called life, that the Master has his finger on us while we move across the board.  

There is a game plan for our lives!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Changes

Jasmine and Brett

Alex and Jess

Victoria and Jay

It's a weird year.

This will be the first Christmas for Rose and I where all the kids don't live with us.

Sure, they are coming over for the holidays and there will be lots of fun, but afterwards everyone will go home again.

It's odd.  It makes you remember all the times when they would tear around the house and open gifts!

Good times.

I am glad that they are out there, making their own way in the world.

I am glad when they come back to!

Can't wait to see you guys!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Would Jesus "shun" someone?

I have a question about a scripture, it's Matthew 18:15-17

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Jesus speaks here about relationships where one person does something clearly wrong.

There is a process explained where the issue gets worked out, but if it doesn't, it says you are too treat that person like a pagan or tax collector.

Most times I have heard that scripture talked about, it was strongly implied that we are to totally cut ourselves off from that particular person. In other words to "shun" them.

I was reading this Sunday morning and something occurred to me. Jesus would never advocate for us to hate anyone or to ignore anyone using the "silent treatment". 

So what did he mean?

I was thinking about this and then I realized that Jesus was KNOWN for hanging out with "pagans and tax collectors"!

Luke 15:1
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
Matthew 9:10
Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.

Interesting eh? Then I saw THIS ONE:

Matthew 9:11  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?"

Seems to me that Jesus was not "shunning" them. It WAS a different kind of relationship, but it was not one of exclusion. It was not "I'm holy and you're dirty rotten sinners."

It has made me re-think how the church is taught about relationships where someone does something wrong.

I know some of you reading this will immediately start thinking about the situation in Corinth. (1Cor Chapter 5) 

 I thought of that to. 
How does this relate to that situation and what are YOUR thoughts on this?

Leave me a comment!