Are you CONSERVATIVE?

How would you define conservative?  I have always considered myself conservative, never really thought about what the term meant – until recently. In today’s culture, the term has become so demonized it made me stop and think –really  what does it mean?   So I decided to ‘Google’ it.  My first surprise was the term was used to refer to a person  identified as being adverse to change.  Next, it was applied to an ideology ( Right Wing,) that centers around the rights of individuals vs. the power of the government.”  Further enlightenment from idontgetpolotics.com concluded that conservatives, (right wingers), focus on the past while liberals, (left wingers) focus on the future.  I was beginning to see why people including myself had trouble defining the term.

I wanted to know what the word ‘conservative’ actually meant – you know what is in the dictionary.  I proceeded to locate my old Webster’s New World Dictionary and looked up the term.  This is what I found; Conservative – conserving or tending to conserve – to keep from being damaged, lost or wasted.  I concluded the term referred to ‘protection from waste.’

As a child, I was taught the benefits of conservatism quite simply through the law of supply and demand.  “Waste not want not,”  and  “If you eat it all today, there will be none for tomorrow.”  In my early years, there was no such thing as welfare.  By today’s standards we lived in poverty all our lives, yet we never lacked for anything essential to survival.  We learned early to respect what we had and to be conservative.

A real conservative is not against change, is not stuck in the past without the ability to conform, not against government, not opposed to new ideas and methods, but is acutely aware of the need to protect and preserve what we have.

Are you a conservative?

 

 

 

 

 

Secrets of Christmas

It’s that time of year again when most people take a detour from the daily grind and celebrate the season.  Not everyone does so in the same way.  Some travel, others may go on a wild shopping spree, while many take part in religious activities.  Some see Christmas as a time when Santa Claus delivers presents to children around the world.  Christians celebrate the birth of Christ.  Jews celebrate Hanukkah (feast of dedication) commemorating the rededication of the second Jewish temple around 167 BCE.

There are many pagan (nature-worshiping) traditions associated with the season of Christmas.  These include the Christmas tree, carols, Christmas cards, and stockings, giving gifts even Christmas cookies.  The use of greenery, mistletoe, and Santa Claus are also pagan traditions.  Other celebrations taking place during this same time of year were the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the beginning of the winter solstice.

Considering the abundance of anti-Christian activities taking place in December, one might wonder why it was chosen as a time to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Since there is nothing in scripture that gives the birth date of Christ, surely some other time would have been better suited.  Over the years as well as in our day, there are Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas for this reason.

I love the Christmas season.  It is a time when most people turn their thoughts to making others happy by showing their love and appreciation.  Regardless of who chose them, the decorations are beautiful.  Probably the most common decoration is the use of lights. Judaism, the religion of Christianity’s roots, celebrates this time with a festival of lights.  The lights remind me that Christ is the light of the world.  Red and green splash across store windows, street lights, doorways, inside and outside homes just about everywhere you look.  Just the sight is exciting.  The red reminds me that Jesus shed His blood for the sins of the world and the green speaks to everlasting life promised for those who follow Him.

It is unfortunate the idea of giving gifts has become so commercialized for it commemorates the greatest gift ever given – our Savior.  Honestly, the value in the gift is found in the attitude of the heart, not the monetary value.  This genuinely beautiful idea can be distorted due to jealousy, envy, selfishness, and greed.  As a result, many dread the Christmas season.  Instead of coming together in love and celebrating the reason for the season, many families are divided allowing the lusts of the flesh to dominate their attitudes.

Another tradition that has morphed into something disdainful to many is the idea of a generous individual who travels the world to bring the joy of the season to children everywhere.  He has been called a lot of things over the centuries, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, to mention a few.  In America today he is most commonly known as Santa Claus.

Different cultures and various countries over the centuries have ascribed their ideas as to how this Christmas visitor looked and behaved.  Today he is pictured as plump and jolly, wearing a red suit trimmed with white fur and black boots.   On his head, a red hat decorated in white and his beard long and white also. Down through the ages others have worn long robes and hats with the appearance of greenery growing on top.

This mystical creature has been a source of controversy over the years, especially in the religious realm. However, most have continued to acknowledge this Christmas tradition.  There is much about the story of Santa that can be used in a negative sense. However, I believe it can also be used to teach children about the heart of the season.  Love, generosity, unselfishness, and how attitude and behavior can affect the experiences you have in life.  Everything God made is good; it is the work of  Satan that defames and distorts.

My fondest memory of childhood is sitting on my father’s lap in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve.  Like all children, I wanted to stay up but was afraid if I did there would be nothing under the tree the next morning.  Everyone must respond to the dictates of their conscience in everything they embrace including Christmas.  However, it is sad to allow the manipulation of Satan to steal the joy, beauty and real reason for this season of celebration.

THE STATE OF OUR NATION

 

Our country is in a battle to the death.  This conflict is viewed by most as political. This would be a reasonable assumption based on surface data.  However, the truth is it’s a spiritual battle between good and evil and we as believers are key players in the outcome.  Sources say religious beliefs and political standing are closely related – they are- due to the views held by each group.  Like minded individuals join to form alliances based on the code they live by.

(Politics can be a cause of religious identification as much as religion can cause political identification and behavior.) (Patrikios 2008)

America is a country founded on Biblical principles and has been known as a Christian nation since inception.  The evidence of our country’s heritage is clearly seen throughout Washing DC and is reflected in historical documents and records of previous statesmen and political leaders.  The favor of God on our country has also been evident over the years.  What other country has enjoyed the consistent freedom and prosperity that America has?  While the battle to defeat God’s influence has been going on since creation, it has reached a level of power and influence never before seen in America. The boldness and deliberate acts of defiance are stunning at times yet often proceed unchallenged.  Many of our citizens are unaware of how far our country has strayed from its humble beginning.  What happened?  Why? What will be the outcome?

The enemy of God will use any means available to promote his agenda.  He will gladly use you, your church, politics, or anything else that will yield to his influence.  His methods are not foreign they are clearly spelled out in scripture.  Lies, deceit, misrepresentation, half-truths and hatred are just some of his methods; however, his most effective weapon is human nature.  The desires of the flesh are powerful. Intuitively we all view events in our lives through a lens of how we are personally affected.  Jealousy, envy, hatred, covertness, and greed, are all powerful motivators the enemy can use to promote his cause.

There was a time in our history when there was great respect for the church and followers of Christ.  Not so much today. Anti-Christian rhetoric is spreading across our nation like a poison fog silently seeping into every crevice. Stealing our youth and destroying the bedrock upon which our nation was founded.  Believers are salt and light in a dark and corrupt world. Fulfilling our purpose helps stem the corruption and expose the deception.  Are you standing up for what is right?  The lack of God-honoring behavior and leadership in professing believers is paramount in the demise of our country.

There was a time when politics was seen as an irritating unpleasant part of our lives of which only career politicians were concerned.  We trusted our leaders to make the right decisions based on those made by the founding fathers.  While we focused on our personal pursuits, the enemy infiltrated our government, schools, colleges, state and local governments as well as other powerful groups influencing our society.  We are a sleeping nation that is systematically being taken over by those who oppose our Constitution, freedoms, and way of life.  It is very alarming to realize how much sovereignty we have already lost.  Can our nation be rescued?  Or are we doomed to become a country governed by socialism with a disregard for individual rights?

(A socialist economy often results in poor production, mass poverty, and little advancement. This occurred in the 1980s to the Soviet Union when poverty became so widespread, and rebellions and revolutions caused dissolution of the nation.) (Investopedia 11/1/2016)

Our individual choices dictate the course of our lives.  Bad things happen to good people, and good people sometimes do bad things.  It takes only one choice to believe in God and secure your eternal destination.  It will take many choices, however, to maneuver through this life.  Our country will continue to suffer hardship imposed by the influence of evil. We as believers have the opportunity to be an influence for good and make our country a better place.  Will you stand against the influx of evil?

(“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”) ( 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV))

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!