I had previously written a different blog post. It quickly became more personnel than I intended; therefore, it will be shelved for now.
For this guest post, I will rant a little about nothing in particular and whatever comes to mind. Also note while reading this, I will quickly judge myself on the same topics and no one is harder on me than me.
1. This is a big one. Please stop telling yourself and everyone else, “I celebrate the birth of Christ.” Come on people. I will not got into deep details about pagan roots and biblical definitions of Christmas other than to say things esteemed in this world are not of GOD. How exactly does one celebrate God on his alleged birthday? How does one honor God on this day? Apparently buying presents for kids, parents, friends, and co-workers honors God. Try doing what Christ told the rich young ruler. Go and sell everything you have and come follow Me. I bet Christ would see that as honorable but only if done in a humble spirit. There is even self-righteousness in the good deeds done this time of year. Yeah, sure your intentions are to help someone out in need but why not do it privately? Why must we insist on telling others the good we have done? It really bothers me when a church Sunday school will buy for a family and then bring the family in front of the church and make a spectacle of the whole ordeal. Why? Is God unable to see a good deed if not verified in front of the congregation? I will tell you why this takes place. It makes the giver feel good. The family is probably a little embarrassed but so wanting to give their kids a nice Christmas with toys and such that a little humility is warranted. And don’t we feel proud of ourselves for donating $10 to a family with little money and no food and then go home and gorge on more food than an army could eat and give presents to kids who have everything they need and say a fat-cheeked man with a beard brought them. Praise God…. Listen, I am not stating that I am the vision of giving. But I also don’t do something for myself that is worldly and over indulgent and justify the action by doing it in Christ’s name either. If you would really consider your actions and motives this Christmas you would come to the conclusion that Christ is in fact not the “Reason for the Season.” His name is rarely spoken of, we are swapping presents with believers and unbelievers alike, and we tell our kids that a man with God-like characteristics is bringing them presents. Ask a 4 year old, what the meaning of Christmas is? They will tell you it’s “Christ’s birthday.” Then tell them Santa isn’t coming. We are reading the Word and fellowshipping with believers. Tell me what they think Christmas is about now. Heck, tell a 15 year old they will be getting no presents and gauge the reaction.
2. While we’re on the subject of the children, let me get off the subject of Christmas. An 8 year old does not need a cell phone. We can try and justify this many ways… “They need to call me when they get done with practice” or “they are always on my phone and running up my minutes.” If a parent constantly needs lead times and notices to arrange transportation for their children then either one or both of them are too busy. Try just saying, “she doesn’t NEED a phone, I just wanted to get it for her.” Then admit she is spoiled.
3. And finally. Men, stay at home with your family. Put down the golf clubs, lay your fishing rod down, lay off the work and come home and spend some time with your little ones. You will not regret it. I see so many dads who can’t help but spend all their spare time playing and working. (And I’m not speaking of the occasional fisherman or golfer. Because I know sometimes we do need a break.) You will have all the time you want when your babies are grown. I bet you will not regret one minute you spent with them. Your friends, if true, will not disown you. The children cherish every minute spent with them. My golf game has suffered, I haven’t a clue where the fish are at the lake… and I could care less. Seeing my little boy roll in the floor and my little girl do something completely random could take away the blues from any day I had. You want stress relief? Then push a 2 year old on the swing and check out that smile. You want to go to a happy place, pick up a 7 month old who smiles ear to ear simply because you picked him up. Your mere presence means the world to them. Be there. When I die I would much rather someone say he was a loving father (and mean it) than to say he was a 3 handicap golfer or he dominated the local rodeo circuit on Douglas lake.
Let me fill you in a bit and maybe sum things up. All of the above are hot topics of discussions amongst Nate and some others lately or things that weigh heavy on his mind. Every December I think we face this in some way or another as a couple. We see things that a mere few others see. People seem to be blinded by the world and what the world has to offer. We, as a culture, have become so desensitized to sin that it has not only become normal, but acceptable. As a Christian, it is hard to watch those who claim to be Christians drown in the worldliness. We find ourselves so confused and broken-hearted that they cannot see. But then we must remind ourselves, they have not been given an ear to ear or eyes to see. (For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? I Corinthians 4:7)
We understand that not all those who claim to be Christian do not live this way or follow this same path. We just do not know many that are not on that path and we find ourselves very alone. But then we praise God, because we know God has us on the right path to Him.
Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many that go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few that find it. Matthew 7:13-14
(BTW- I'm pulling for the other blog post to get finished because I know you'll like it!)