Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

      The proper focus for celebrating Christmas and our “holy” days is considered. Also, there is more on whether Jesus knew he would be resurrected after crucifixion. The “Yahoo Answers” writer using ID “Sheila” (a Level 5 Top Contributor with 6,473 points, and member since April 24, 2009) posted the following:

Will you be seeing the true miracle of Christmas this year as you look into the eyes of your own children?

Will you shed a tear of gratitude?
Are you getting a magic feeling welling up within your heart?
If you don’t have kids … will you feel nostalgic memories about your own childhood?
Don’t you all agree that the true miracle of Christmas is the love that we all share?

THE BATTLE AXE: Did Jesus Know? (12/22/2012)—Jesus was not born with supernatural knowledge of human events, an ability to predict the future, or skill to read the hearts, minds and thoughts of others. He quickly gained knowledge and understanding of what must be the course for his own life through attending synagogue and convocations at the Temple in Jerusalem, the careful instruction of Mary and Joseph, his own study of the holy writings, private prayer, and disciplined reflection. The anointing Jesus received at the Jordan River that was witnessed by John the Baptist, ripened the many seeds of sacred truth that had been planted up to that time; and the forty days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness finished Jesus’ preparation for prophetic ministry. In addition to discernment and insight into human error, human nature, and the human predicament, Jesus received an endowment of divine truth, and assurance of his legitimacy as son of Man, Son of GOD, and the One Sent. Being encouraged by the account of Abraham Isaac, and the deliverance granted at Mount Moriah, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that he would not have to endure the crucifixion, or that it could be delayed. When he signaled his consent and reconciliation to the Father saying, thy will be done, he was also appropriating the “sure mercies of David,” that GOD’s holy one would not see corruption (Matthew 26: 42 and Acts 13: 26-39, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4: 3-7, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Slaughter of Innocents (12/15/2012); Signs of Messianic Belief? (12/16/2012); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); The Glory Of The Lord (12/25/2012); Girdle 39: The Foolish Things (12/24/2011); Annual Feasts (12/29/2010); Lord of Sabbath (12/25/2010); The Wise Men? (12/21/2010); Melchizedek? (12/22/2010)

      The appearance of GOD in flesh, dependent, and vulnerable among men is the miracle of Christmas. However, because many only look to carnal and material reality for truth, the holidays are no longer “holy” days. Focus upon almsgiving, charities, children, family, or volunteering service anchor ones concentration in acquisition, self-promotion, and self-satisfaction. As mature Christian believers our eyes are drawn to the many things of “spirit” that make divinity known to us. Included are adoption, birth, death, faith, forgiveness, Incarnation, divine law, longsuffering, rebirth, prophecy, and revelation.

      While our children are precious, and bring great beauty and excitement into our lives in the holiday seasons, our emotions and feelings for one another and for them are not in the nature of miracle. Our emotional changes are continuing elements in daily experience and routines that serve as deep and abiding aspects of our bond to life. Boundless and unchanging divine purpose must come into view, and so, the miracle of Christmas that human awareness should embrace also proclaims Creation, judgment, sanctification, salvation, resurrection, and eternal life.
 
      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, miraculous events leave deposits, footprints and residues of divine substance. The miracle of Christmas provides content that exists only within the fullness of divine person, and may be imparted to mankind as sacred gifts. Included are holy boldness, faith, joy, holiness, hope, humility, righteousness, truth, wisdom and wrath against sin.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Who may receive Christian love, the celebration of holidays/holy days, and more on the burden believers accept as followers of Jesus Christ are topics, today. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “lazybones” (Level 6 with 35,427 points, a member since July 27, 2006) posted the following:

Is the ‘love’ of Christians reserved for other Christians only?

THE BATTLE AXE: His Burden is Light? (12/10/2012)—Maturing as a Christian believer also includes going through moments of uncertainty, and overcoming every crisis of faith. In addition to the difficulty that comes in having to learn the details of sacred doctrine and teachings, every believer must endure encounters with themselves, with others, and with GOD in prayer that challenge them to realize their personal understanding of the Gospel message. Before one reaches the point where they can speak with authority and insight to share spiritual truth that will minister to the specific needs of others, a believer must have partnership with the imparted, indwelling spirit of GOD. A believer must master walking in humility and without lies as though constantly under the gaze of GOD. It is sure knowledge of the holy writings, and the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes the burden “light”. Christian soul-winners all will meet opposition from believers “in name only,” heretics, hypocrites, and misguided persons within the church; coworkers, family and neighbors; jokers, mockers, scoffers, and slackers; those rooted in other belief systems (e.g., astrophysics, atheism, Buddhism, Islam, LGBT) as well as criminals, infidels, popular culture, unclean spirits, and unrepentant sinners. See 2nd Timothy 2: 3-4, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10: 1-4, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Love in Christ (10/23/2012); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Why Did The Judges Fight? (10/19/2012); The Spirit is Willing (10/20/2012); Still The “Chosen”? (03/19/2012); The Cause Of Unrest (01/30/2012); The Need For GOD (01/31/2012); A Fig Tree Cursed? (10/02/2010)

When I saw that the first candle of Hanukah was about to be lit, I decided I would not send greetings to my brothers in faith, this year; and I began to wonder if I really ever have had any. It occurred to me, they do not “share” Hanukah (or anything else), because their holidays/holy days are gatherings for family only, or require being separate and apart. When I spoke to GOD in prayer about it, I mentioned some of the folk who were special to me, confessed feeling betrayed, and wondered whether they believed in GOD at all. How could they ever have been in covenant with my Father in heaven, when so much of what they’ve shown me now seems hateful? Surely there will be judgment against them in spite of our love. I began to ask whether GOD has been able to establish a true bond of respect and trust among us.

As one who continues to acknowledge the Holy One of Israel by observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, and who honors the Most High GOD through the Mosaic covenant as configured by Jesus as Messiah and Christ, I also acknowledge many of the customs, gifts and traditions documented as given by GOD that were comforts and terms of earlier covenants. In most cases, believers in Jesus do not receive identity as “cultural Jews,” however, once born-again, still developing believers are new creatures, and spiritual Jews.

Rightly understood, “Christian love” derives from ones endowment of divine substance that comes from the being and person of Christ. As such, the believer is merely a vessel wherein GOD has deposited a measure of himself. As the children of GOD, in service to the Father, believers manifest (i.e., make visible) the divine presence, and fulfill his commitment to sacred process (e.g., Creation, judgment, redemption, salvation, sanctification). Believers love by spreading the gospel, encouraging salvation through Jesus Christ, and maintaining lifestyles centered in prayer, sacred studies, unselfish service, and worship.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, the Holy Spirit establishes a peculiar awareness of Jewish culture that centers in a sacred history unknown to many contemporary Jews. Through sin that dominates self-will in created beings and living creatures, many Jews, Islamic believers, and others are plagued by cultural arrogance, ethnic separatism, and racism. Unlike those in Christ, they often acknowledge no divinely given answer to the seminal issues of death, duty, hope, joy, love, resurrection, righteousness, sacred judgment, trust, wisdom and eternal life.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX Washington, DC

      The motive to destroy Creation, and more about holiday displays on public property are considered, today. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Diet Cola” (Level 7 with 27,183 points, a member since August 22, 2007) posted the following:

Does the Devil want to destroy Creation?

Does he want to destroy animals and the planet as well as Humans?

THE BATTLE AXE: Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012)—Many who charge that religious displays on public property violate constitutional and other provisions in the law, do so falsely, selfishly, and with malice that derives from disbelief and ignorance. By public-sponsored displays, communities may declare the presence of civic pride, commitment to growth, consensus, shared purpose, solidarity, and strength. Such displays may not be regarded as preferential treatment to a minority, or as imposed worship. Given there is no criminal intent, motive to proselytize, or systematic attack against reasonable constitutional and municipal limitations, a community’s public acknowledgement of practices among faith-based and religious organizations within the boundaries of its jurisdiction should be held as lawful and appropriate. It is a legitimate goal for a prospering community to signal the presence of inclusiveness, pluralism, religious liberty as well as custom and tradition. There are two parts of the single statement known as the “religion clauses” of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Establishment Clause (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion) appears with the free exercise clause (or prohibiting the free exercise thereof). In a healthy community, for example, simply placing a menorah or any other symbol of a Jewish observance upon public property is not automatically a demand that residents attend synagogue any more than the presence of public schools denies parents a right to enroll their children in charter, parochial and private academies. Where the issue is raised of unfair public funding, the burden to the individual tax-payer often amounts to cents and pennies rather than dollars. When it is correctly a public benefit, goals that everyone safely enjoy the holidays together should always override efforts to destroy, divide and disparage celebration.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1st Peter 5: 6-11, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Adversary? (12/05/2012); “Soul” Food (12/06/2012); Sin Unknown? (10/10/2012); Coveting the Throne (03/07/2012); Too Many Interpretations? (03/08/2012); A Partnership (11/05/2012); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012)

      It is not the primary purpose and work of a believer’s ministry to “explain” the mind and motives of other created beings and living creatures, or to give instruction regarding those in rebellion against divine law (e.g., apostates, atheists, demons, unbelievers). Yet, the full revelation of GOD to mankind requires awareness of judgment, of salvation, and of sin. Consider the following:

      A group of schoolboys all laugh and think it fun when they “get away” by running from the scene after a window is smashed while they are playing baseball. They are immature, thoughtless, and unaware of both their shared accountability and the far-reaching, “unintended” consequences that may result from their deed: Because of the broken window, a person’s health may be ruined through cold air, drafts, or the access to insects. Someone could be permanently blinded by flying glass that suddenly struck them” in the eye directed by an unseen cause, and, as it were “from out of nowhere.” A small child easily could be given a concussion by the baseball traveling like a missile with terrible velocity.

      Similarly, those spirits presently in rebellion against divine authority do so as beings who lack foreknowledge, insight, wisdom, and sacred vision. The measure of knowledge instilled at their creation within angels and other beings of heaven was set as unchanging, and did not include awareness of sin, repentance, and the ability to comprehend or project the full aspect of holy revelation. Fashioned to serve and exercise authority within a peculiar sphere, those having lost their first estate through sin, seek to continue as if still in heaven. However, these must realize the presence and damage of sin by the changes to themselves, and the conditions of their existence. Sin opposes existence for divine law, the holy law-giver, and all that has been put forth by GOD.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, those living in heaven only respond to GOD through faith as must mankind and the living spirits upon the earth. However, through the ministry of Jesus Christ, humans now receive added supplies of faith, and continually grow and improve through experience that nourishes their ability to detect and apply sacred truth. By the example of the church and mankind, the host of heaven is to be cautioned, confirmed in humility, and corrected through righteousness, rather than through mere punishment and scourging.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     Religious holiday displays on public property is the topic, today; and there is more on reading the Scriptures as “soul” food. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Maria” (Level 2 with 255 points, a member since March 27, 2010) posted the following:

Facts about why you think religious holiday displays should be allowed on public property.?
Thank you very very very very much….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

THE BATTLE AXE: “Soul” Food? (12/06/2012)—The prayer that petitions, “give us this day our daily bread,” speaks to more than food and drink for the flesh. The thoughtful believer acknowledges various needs for nourishment of their emotions, their mental life, and the life of their own spirit. Additionally, believers make requests on behalf of their companion from GOD, the imparted, indwelling Spirit. Rightly understood, for life to be balanced, healthy and productive one needs laughter every day or they become disheartened, gloomy, and grief-stricken. One needs tears of disappointment, loss and sorrow every day as well or they become haughty, incautious, overconfident, and swollen with pride. The holy writings supply believers with examples from the lives of others like themselves, and statements of divine law and wisdom that further establish the heart and mind in mankind as being in the image of GOD, and grounded in truth from the inner depths of divine being.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1st Corinthians 12: 25-27, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012); Girdle 43: Of The Common Salvation (12/30/2011); Girdle 41: A Living Sacrifice (12/28/2011); Annual Feasts (12/29/2010); Jesus Our “Advocate” (08/16/2012); A Healing Word (01/13/2011); “Secret Santa” (11/25/2010); Holy Comfort? (11/26/2010)

     The right spirit for giving and receiving public displays during a holiday season (e.g., Mother’s Day, Thanksgivings Day, Veterans Day, etc.) remains one of learning, respect and sharing. In forward-looking areas, it is neither inappropriate, nor a disregard of diverse beliefs and practices within the full community to have peculiar displays on public property. Such materials signal the harmony, intelligence, quality of life, and security within a municipality while encouraging others to become residents, and bring their own unique contributions for development and growth.

     The attitude that all public displays serve as propaganda intended to “brainwash”, indoctrinate, and oppress has come out of war-torn regions and nations where conflict, and insurrection have been a constant aspect of their existence, and cultural history. Condemnation, fear, paranoia, and schizophrenic exaggerations discourage every effort to encourage exploration of other lifestyles, or share explanations of what and why peculiar ideas or symbols have meaning. For example, those who celebrate the birth of Jesus could share the truth that a Christmas wreath is hung upon ones door to acknowledge that a loved one is missing from the family circle. Despite the death of that loved one, joy continues to be in the home, for the family within is comforted by the “good news” of salvation.

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, acknowledgment and confirmation of differences, rather than forced conformity, is vital to a community having color, integrity, hope, opportunity and richness. A principle shared among believers in Jesus is that ownership is not an obstacle to joy: Where a gift is given to one member in the body, it is available and will benefit all the members of the body. Thus, as those who are making a mature investment to a commonwealth, everyone celebrates the harvest where the hard work of a single neighbor has permitted his family to have a new car, and this is experienced as a blessing for everyone in the community. Similarly, all the homeowners may not be able to afford light displays in their windows, on their front lawn, or upon the housetop. Nonetheless, all who see the two or three displays that are provided can feel encouraged, and lifted from darkness.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC