Well, folks, the judge who told the new batch of U.S. Citizens to love America with a Donald Trump presidency, or leave it, has been suspended. Trump has made what seem like some reversals lately in broadcast statements in his interviews, one that he would not go after Hillary (which doesn’t mean others with the actual authority to do so, will not), and he has said “gay marriage” is a done deal that he won’t try to reverse, and frankly, right now, I’m just taking everything with a huge grain of salt. He has already stated from the onset of his campaign that he likes to keep people guessing. He is not going to tip his hand, and he is not above employing some of the same tricks of the trade that his liberal acquaintances in politics have always un-apologetically used, not that the right is innocent of this either.
It remains to be seen what his actions will be. One thing is for sure, he is plugging in people into roles which no one, but NO ONE would have guessed he would have chosen to do, and it looks kind of random, though I am sure he has his reasons that make sense to him. It is definitely a colossal shake-up, and one of the most significant “experiments” in government America has seen since our forefathers uprooted themselves from under the thumb of the Crown and crossed the ocean blue to establish this nation. A risk-taker in business risks his own neck and money, and any investors also have to have a certain immunity to possible devastation of loss or they wouldn’t take the risk. We are not all “wired” for tolerating that kind of risk, so only time will tell how it all plays out as Trump applies what has succeeded for him in business, to the administration of government. At least it will be interesting and lively, (just hope it isn’t like those sickening rides at the major theme parks that defy gravity and require disclaimers for people with history of seizures, brain injury, and musculoskeletal conditions, all of which can be terribly exacerbated by sudden sharp turns, rapid accelerations, decelerations, and drops. I never liked or tolerated those rides well, myself. I was practically sick with dread throughout all of the Clinton years, at least half of the GW Bush years. I have been better through the Obama tenure, but that is only because that was the time in my life that I really figured out about keeping my eyes on the Lord and the bigger picture. I know that a lot of people have been greatly stressed in this election season and outcome as well. We can’t afford to assume that America will always pull out of the nose-dives. We don’t even agree anymore what constitutes a downward turn, much less a “correction”.
Divided we fall. That’s a pretty tried and proven principle. But God has the timing all worked out, and the other details, such as just how low that fall will be allowed to go. I know that there will be disappointments and bad decisions in this administration as well as any other, but the slight shift to more rational and conservative and hopefully smaller governmnet, does seem to have slowed the “loss of altitude” some. Whether that proves to be merely an illusion, remains to be seen.
Remember when your kids were in the “terrible twoes” and they were like a cyclone in perpetual motion most of the time, and how adorable they are when they are sleeping. There is a saying: Don’t let the appearance of innocence fool you. They are merely recharging for the next round. And that’s pretty much what happens when the dominant party in power switches as it has just done. The other side is not going away. In fact, they are merely entering a phase of their plan and work that is out of the public eye. Like termites.
But my blessings today are the same as they were before. I still count myself very blessed and privileged to have been born in this time and in this nation. I still thank God for my family, my freedom and safety, and the overall prevalence of opportunity available in this nation. Corruption and evil, poverty, graft and greed, those things will always be, until such time as Christ reigns on this Earth. Which time is nearer now than ever before!
So, the Holidays are here. My wish every year is that this would be a time of peace and reconnecting with family and friends, and to celebrate our blessings and most of all the greatest gift, that of the gospel and salvation through Jesus Christ. It takes a lot of years for most of us to figure out what really matters most in life. Even then, we so easily can lose sight of what is most precious.
America believes itself to be “good”. But nations are only as “good” as the people who make them up. And killing babies, rampant adultery and fornication, love of money, disdain for and outright hatred of God, these things do not exalt a nation. We are not good. I thought it was pretty ironic that Hillary so often spouted that line in her campaign: “America is great because America is good”, supposedly a quote of Alexis de Tocqueville, but actually not found in his writings. Reagan used it, so did Eisenhowr. We all want to think we are good. It’s a universal thing. Unfortunately, the Lord says otherwise, and guess what? He is the One in a position to know and judge.
So we may be breathing a little easier just for the moment, and through the holidays. We don’t like to mess with the holidays in America, our economy is too dependant upon the ridiculous spending that takes place this time of year. Sure “they” are calling for “possible terror threat” on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I think people sit around making up the news nowadays. Seriously. There is no longer even any pretense of factuality and actual investigation.
And it’s not just Americans that are invested in what is happening in America. The whole world, apparently, still cares a great deal what happens here. We may have dropped in power and esteem, but America is not irrelevent by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, anyway.
Rest if you can, because 2017 is going to pick right up with the insanity. If the Lord tarries that long. Keep your eyes on Damascus. I know it already looks like a ruinous heap, but it is not uninhabited and it has not been made uninhabitable in a single day. With the increased use of chemical weapons in the region, and with the war having lasted so long now, and with the shift of power in Washington, the threat of Obama taking direct action at the U.N. against Israel before he leaves office, the coming days of early January 2017, and even the winter break for Congress prior to that, might be quite decisive, even as much in what is neglected to be done, as in what action is taken. Pray for the peace of Israel, pray for courage and conviction among leaders to do right by Israel, and that the hand of God will prevent what Obama and the globalists would like to accomplish. Still, prophecy will be fulfilled. We pray, we do what we can to impress on others the importance and truth of God’s promise to bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse Israel, and the chips fall where they fall. God is in control. I can’t understand how anyone can choose to live with a different belief than that. I don’t want to be in charge of the world, myself. I think being accountable for my own behavior and choices is a big enough responsibility. The rest is above my pay grade and that’s fine with me!
Go simple with the Holidays this year. Low-key. Spend less, make things, write a letter on pretty stationery and present it gift-wrapped to someone you love, and use paper plates. Decorating is fun, and if you have lots of energy, do it if you enjoy it, but don’t let your aspirations outstrip your means and resources. I garauntee that by February no one is going to remember how you decorated, nor probably even what you gave them for Christmas, unless maybe it is something hand-made or written from the heart.
Most of all, even though it is true that the church traditions surrounding “Christmas” are pretty much all pagan in their origin, the spirit of what we celebrate, the Birth of the Messiah, is what it is really meant to be about. History shows that He wasn’t born in December. But any time of year is fine for remembering the first Advent and anticipating the second one. World-over we have forgotten our true history as humans, and it is not jsut in America that we would do well to remember. The Holy Bible tells that history, and the future destiny for mankind.
Will your Bible be a part of your “holy day” celebrations this season? Is it inherently evil to decorate a “Christmas Tree”?
Jer. 10: 1-5
Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
See also Isaiah 44:12-28
We have liberty in Christ. (Romans 14:1-13:12). If your conviction (fully pursuaded) is that you can’t in good conscience have a Christmas tree, then don’t have one. Don’t condemn others for having one, and don’t receive condemnation for your choice not to. We can’t take unholy things and pretend they are holy. Christmas trees are a tradition. The passages about the tree being formed into an idol, refer to a practice the pagans participated in. We don’t worship our trees as if they were a god. We don’t expect them to “save” us or do anything for us. Except maybe bring back fond memories of Christmases past, and who doesn’t enjoy lights and color and the smell of evergreens?
I did one Christmas without the tree and with a very minimum of gifting. And franly, I enjoyed it very much. It was essentially my family’s gift to me, when I had surgery near Christmas, and really wanted to skip the more superficial stuff, not to mention the actual physical effort that often comes with it.
I had not always been aware of the pagan roots behind so much in our “church traditions”. When I finally did my homework to verify if these were, in fact, pagan traditions introduced into the church under Roman Catholic dominion and influlence over the past millennium, I was of a mind to want to forego everything about Easter and Christmas and the like. I think it is really important for people to know the truth. I got a recommendation from a pastor friend of ours, for a good comprehensive history of the church from it’s inception to present time. When I started reading it, and it got to the period when Rome dominated the world, and Catholicism and Constantine made their acquaintance, I at first balked. I thought, “I want the history of the real chuch, not the false church”. But I soon came to realize that is the meaning of the parable of the Kingdom being as a mustard seed. The great plant that fills the earth, the tares and wheat being indistinguishable from one another, and the eventual threshing floor. It was part of the plan all along. God told us that this monstrosity of a “plant” from the tiniest seed would grow to encompass the world, and only He would know the “remnant” from the apostate. And He knows which you are, because He knows the heart, whether you put up a tree in ignorance or in liberty or if you abstain out of sincere conviction or a false “holiness”. He knows. It’s hard for many people to even contemplate someone knowing you that intimately. While for those who accept Christ and love truth, find just how wonderfully liberating it is to be known that completely and loved totally.
I am thankful that someone brought the gospel to me. I am thankful we still may give it to others freely. And that is what this season is about, and in fact, what our lives are about here on this planet, as Christians. He saved us to serve Him by telling the truth of the Gospel to others. One day in the not too distant future, the last person who is willing to hear that gospel and believe, will do so, and that will end the “time of the Gentiles”.
I am thankful for the promises of the Word and the blessed hope of eternal life either by death of this physical body of mine, or the rapture which will be a change of this body from what it is now, to a glorified state. Much to look forward to in that realm. Exciting times.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!