We went to hear the Handel's Messiah. In America, it is sung for Christmas, but when we lived in Belgium, it was sung at Easter. Why Easter? Because the purpose of Christ's coming to the earth, was not just to be born. His real purpose was to die for our sins. Handel's Part II describes eloquently Christ's purpose.
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
And with His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Jeffrey Garten discusses ten people who impacted globalization in his book Silk to Silicon. These ten people vary from Genghis Khan to Deng Xiaoping He lists only one world wide philanthropist. Even though Jeffrey Garten is not a Christian, in fact he is anti-Christian, he acknowledges the first world wide philanthropist was John D. Rockefeller and he attributes that to Rockefeller's Christianity. Rockefeller was a devoted Christian.
We went to a Holiday Concert – and there were two songs about Santa Claus. He knows those who are naughty and nice. Not Jesus Christ the Judge, but Santa Claus. Then he was introduced as "the big man of Christmas," the one everyone is waiting for. We used to sing the Christmas carol "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus." And now Santa Claus is the long expected person.
Lord, help us to realize the difference between Christ and Santa Claus.
The Man Who Invented Christmas posed the problem if you can change. Could Scrooge change from his evil ways or was he incapable of changing? As we all know, Scrooge could and did change his ways. But are you capable of changing your ways and believing in Christ?
Lord, help us to become Your followers.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is an excellent film. It is the story of how Charles Dickens became inspired to write The Christmas Carol. It is generally historically accurate, and the story becomes alive. As he visits various people, they morph into various characters and he sees them. Then the invariable knock on the door comes and his concentration is wrecked and they disappear.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is highly recommended. There is no profanity and no nudity. Suitable for all ages.
Today I went to a Pearl Harbor commemoration. It is good to pause and remember those who have died and a warning not to be complacent. You may think you have control of your life, but you never know when you are going to die. Not only should you have a will made out, but you should also know if you are going to heaven or hell. Only by believing in Jesus Christ as your savior will you enter heaven.
The first amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Today in the Supreme Court a very important case was argued. Jack Phillips, a Christian baker, would not make a cake for a gay couple who wanted to get married. Since the Bible condemns homosexuality, Jack Philips contended that if he was going to bake a cake it would violate his "free exercise" of religion. He offered to help them find a baker who would make the cake for them. The state of Colorado fined him and sent him to remedial training.
Lord, we pray that Christians will not be persecuted because of their faith.
Fourth, gambling is a form of state-sponsored greed. We read in Romans 13 that government is to be a minister of God. Government should provide order in society and promote public virtue. Legalized gambling undercuts government’s role and subverts the moral fabric of society through greed and selfishness promoted by a state-sponsored vice.
Many state governments like gambling because it is a source of revenue that is not a tax. That sounds like greed – because revenue by definition is a tax.
Third, gambling destroys families. Gambling is a major cause of family neglect. Many of the social costs associated with gambling come from its mindset. As people get caught up in a gambling frenzy, they begin to neglect their families. Money spent on lottery tickets or at horse tracks is frequently not risk capital but is income that should be spent on family needs. In 1 Timothy 5:8, Paul says that a person who refuses to care for his family is worse than an infidel. Parents must provide for their children (2 Corinthians 12:14) and eat the bread of their labors (2 Thessalonians 3:12). When gambling is legalized it tempts people to neglect their God-mandated responsibility to care for their families, and these families often end up on welfare.
Second, gambling destroys the work ethic. The work ethic is that if you work hard, you will be paid. Gambling says if you are lucky, you will get wealthy, very wealthy indeed. Instead of putting your shoulder to the wheel, many spend on lottery tickets, on illegal betting, hoping to get rich. Thrift is destroyed. Instead of saving up for a rainy day, money is spent gambling.