darkness

CHRISTMAS OR CHRISTMYTH

(December 9, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, once again challenges us to think outside the proverbial box…

I admit it! There is no such word as ‘Christmyth’ in the English dictionary but I have formed it to make a point of contrast.

The word ‘Christmas’ is first found in Old English, in 1038 and was called Cristes Maesse. It referred to the festival that celebrated the coming of Christ into the world. Maesse, which means ‘dismissal’, refers to the sending out of the worshippers who had celebrated the good news of the birth of the Saviour.

I find that to be so appropriate for the message of the Incarnation is one of redemption and hope that Christians need to ‘go and share’ throughout the world.

My ‘made-up’ word ‘Christmyth’ refers to what I see to be the dominant expression of the festival today. A glorious, unrepeatable, rescue event expressing the loving heart of God has been transformed into a happy myth-laden tale with jolly Santas, red-nosed reindeers and fun!

And in so many ways the church has bought into this sanitised and shallow version of the biblical story by placing an emphasis on the sweet baby in a manger, the heavenly choirs and the ‘silent night.’

Don’t misunderstand me. I really am not a Grinch!  I too enjoy the ‘myth.’ At Christmas time it is so good to see the excitement in the eyes of children and the coming together of friends and families and the singing of the old familiar carols. But I sense that along the way we have so developed the ‘myth’ of Christmas that we have sold-out on the essential truth of the event.

Let’s take this further. (more…)

BRINGING LIGHT TO INACCESSIBLE PLACES

Norman and Margaret Moss(February 17, 2017) Norman and Margaret Moss share this encouragement and challenge…

Recently I (Norman) visited a place of impenetrable darkness and gloom.

A place that is frequently unbearably hot, and at other times difficult to reach because it can only be visited on one’s knees.

I had never gone on this journey before, because I was hindered by feelings of total inadequacy. I felt that I had nothing to contribute to those gloomy nether regions.

Who was I to bring light to such an inaccessible place? 

But as Tennyson declared triumphantly, ‘Old age hath yet its honour and its toil.’ (more…)

THEBUZZ

GLEANINGS (October 28, 2106):

  • MANDAN, USA – Be neighbourhood carriers of the light this Halloween
  • GROVE, OklahomaLet your light shine!
  • ERBIL, NORTHERN IRAQ – Run over by a tank, this monk now ministers to refugees
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MANDAN, ND
Halloween – Light a candle or curse the darkness!

Becky FischerBecky Fisher challenges: ‘Halloween – do you ‘sanitise it? Hide from it? Or confront it?’

For years I was one of those Christians who hid in the basement and turned off my lights to avoid participating. Or I joined my church with sanitised ‘Christian alternatives’ … ‘Halloween’ became Harvest Parties.

In a brief post like this, it’s hard to say everything I believe about Halloween. Just be assured I despise it. I have done several blogs on the topic and have come out strong against Christians participating with it. (Go to my website and search for ‘Halloween’ to see them.)

Time to shatter the darkness!
So, while some Christians still may not agree, a few years ago I thought why do we let the world spit out its demonic messages unchallenged to our kids? Why are we not telling the truth to kids in an age-appropriate way that they can grasp – both Christian kids and unsaved kids? I’m not looking for a ‘sticky lolly’ way to participate to be ‘religiously politically correct.’ I wanted to shatter the darkness and get in the face of evil with the truth! (more…)

THEBUZZ (July 29, 2016)

GLEANINGS:
WORLD – Global craziness! A call not to be silent!
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IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD INDEED!
Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldThe title of that old 1963 movie is so appropriate today! Again and again it’s observed that so many people – and the world itself – are dashing madly somewhere but where? (more…)

OUR FATHER’S BUSINESS (May 20, 2016)

Dr Robert & Maureen (2)Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect on a life choice …

I (Robert) have a thing about steam trains!

My dad was an engineer – the official title for locomotive drivers in those yesterdays of steam trains.

I’ll never forget the day he took me – just a ‘little fellow’ in short pants – down to the local, large city rail station and explained about the, to me, ‘huge monster’ that was technically called the engine. And then being lifted up onto the platform, his working domain. What a thrill, and such excitement for a small boy.

R&M trainDad explained the controls, how the engine operated. It was a cold morning but the heat from the blazing firebox quickly warmed physically – my heart was already on fire with curiosity. I had stared at the huge wheels, now I gazed at the control levers, so much bigger than little me, so heavy looking, and back at the tons of coal in the tender. I was elated to be on that platform. (more…)

PARABLES – FAMILIAR STORIES WITH SPIRITUAL LESSONS

Harold HarveyHarold Harvey shares…

Metaphors, similes and parables are forms of speech that many people use every day in their communication with each other. The New Testament uses these forms of speech quite often with regard to its message.

In fact, I think it nigh on impossible to understand the word of God unless one is familiar with these speech forms because the writers of scripture used them so frequently. (more…)

‘FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS’

Mike ShreveMike Shreve, evangelist, pastor and author, reminds readers that every Christian lives in critical times – full of opportunity to serve the kingdom…

As we meditate on the present state of affairs in the world and our nations, no biblical passage comes to mind any more readily than the story of Esther.

It was a critical time for God’s people then, and so it is now – politically, monetarily, socially and spiritually. Listen to Mordecai’s exhortation to his niece, who had just been appointed as queen: (more…)