Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reverse Thinking











not KJV

When Americans banned Christmas




When Americans banned Christmas

The first 'War on Christmas' was declared almost 400 years ago, courtesy of our Puritan forefathers  

The Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 were strict Puritans who didn't celebrate Christmas: They spent their first Dec. 25th in Plymouth Colony working in the fields as they would on any other day.
The Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 were strict Puritans who didn't celebrate Christmas: They spent their first Dec. 25th in Plymouth Colony working in the fields as they would on any other day. 
How did the first settlers celebrate Christmas? 
They didn't. The Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 were strict Puritans, with firm views on religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Scripture did not name any holiday except the Sabbath, they argued, and the very concept of "holy days" implied that some days were not holy. "They for whom all days are holy can have no holiday," was a common Puritan maxim. Puritans were particularly contemptuous of Christmas, nicknaming it "Foolstide" and banning their flock from any celebration of it throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. On the first Dec. 25 the settlers spent in Plymouth Colony, they worked in the fields as they would on any other day. The next year, a group of non-Puritan workmen caught celebrating Christmas with a game of "stoole-ball" — an early precursor of baseball — were punished by Gov. William Bradford. "My conscience cannot let you play while everybody else is out working," he told them. 
Why didn't Puritans like Christmas? 
They had several reasons, including the fact that it did not originate as a Christian holiday. The upper classes in ancient Rome celebrated Dec. 25 as the birthday of the sun god Mithra. The date fell right in the middle of Saturnalia, a monthlong holiday dedicated to food, drink, and revelry, and Pope Julius I is said to have chosen that day to celebrate Christ's birth as a way of co-opting the pagan rituals. Beyond that, the Puritans considered it historically inaccurate to place the Messiah's arrival on Dec. 25. They thought Jesus had been born sometime in September.
So their objections were theological? Not exclusively. The main reason Puritans didn't like Christmas was that it was a raucously popular holiday in late medieval England. Each year, rich landowners would throw open their doors to the poor and give them food and drink as an act of charity. The poorest man in the parish was named the "Lord of Misrule," and the rich would wait upon him at feasts that often descended into bawdy drunkenness. Such decadence never impressed religious purists. "Men dishonor Christ more in the 12 days of Christmas," wrote the 16th-century clergyman Hugh Latimer, "than in all the 12 months besides." 
When did that view win out? Puritans in the English Parliament eliminated Christmas as a national holiday in 1645, amid widespread anti-Christmas sentiment. Settlers in New England went even further, outlawing Christmas celebrations entirely in 1659. Anyone caught shirking their work duties or feasting was forced to pay a significant penalty of five shillings. Christmas returned to England in 1660, but in New England it remained banned until the 1680s, when the Crown managed to exert greater control over its subjects in Massachusetts. In 1686, the royal governor of the colony, Sir Edmund Andros, sponsored a Christmas Day service at the Boston Town House. Fearing a violent backlash from Puritan settlers, Andros was flanked by redcoats as he prayed and sang Christmas hymns. 
Did the Puritans finally relent? Not at all. They kept up their boycott of Christmas in Massa­chusetts for decades. Cotton Mather, New England's most influential religious leader, told his flock in 1712 that "the feast of Christ's nativity is spent in reveling, dicing, carding, masking, and in all licentious liberty...by mad mirth, by long eating, by hard drinking, by lewd gaming, by rude reveling!" European settlers in other American colonies continued to celebrate it, however, as both a pious holiday and a time for revelry. In his Poor Richard's Almanac of 1739, Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin wrote of Christmas: "O blessed Season! Lov'd by Saints and Sinners / For long Devotions, or for longer Dinners." 
So Christmas was finally accepted at that time? No. Anti-Christmas sentiment flared up again around the time of the American Revolution. Colonial New Englanders began to associate Christmas with royal officialdom, and refused to mark it as a holiday. Even after the U.S. Constitution came into effect, the Senate assembled on Christmas Day in 1797, as did the House in 1802. It was only in the following decades that disdain for the holiday slowly ebbed away. Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" — aka "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" — was published in New York in 1823 to enormous success. In 1836, Alabama became the first state to declare Christmas a public holiday, and other states soon followed suit. But New England remained defiantly Scrooge-like; as late as 1850, schools and markets remained open on Christmas Day. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow finally noted a "transition state about Christmas" in New England in 1856. "The old Puritan feeling prevents it from being a cheerful, hearty holiday; though every year makes it more so," he wrote. Christmas Day was formally declared a federal holiday by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

From the Black-eye Pea Capital of the World




As many as 5,000 attended a rally in a small Texas community to show their support for a Nativity scene under attack by a Wisconsin-based atheist group, according to a minister who organized the event.
“We are humbled at the turnout of the crowd,” said Nathan Lorick, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Malakoff and one of the organizers of Saturday’s rally in Athens.
“We believe that God led us to do this and so we knew he was up to something great,” he told Fox News & Commentary in an email message. “This message is resonating in the hearts of people all over the country. This was a real statement to the nation that Christians are tired of the persecution and suppression. We want all to know that we are ready to contend for the faith.”



Thursday, December 15, 2011

We're # 1 again - B-(







Prince George, British Columbia
Seven murders gave the city top spot in 2010, well above the national rate. Prince George, B.C., consistently has a high homicide rate: in 2009, its rate was 121 per cent above the national rate, exactly where it was in 2000.
Worst cities (% higher than national average)
1. Prince George, B.C. (486%)
2. Wood Buffalo, Alta (202%)
3. Saskatoon (168%)
4. Thunder Bay, Ont. (163%)
5. Regina (148%)
Best cities* (% lower than national average)
1. Joliette, Que. (100%)
2. Sarnia, Ont. (100%)
3. Windsor, Ont. (100%)
4. Red Deer, Alta. (100%)
5. Richmond, B.C. (100%)
*38 cities reported zero murders in 2010

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Commission Was Given To The Church


By O. W. Taylor
 
The nature and the performance of the duties set forth in the Commission require the idea that the Commission was given to the church.

If given to the apostles only, the Commission ended when they died.  But the duties enjoined were to continue "until the end of the age."  This called for an organized body to carry on through the centuries after the apostles and after other workers died.

There was a church before the Commission was given.  "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom" (Jn. 3:29).  "The bridegroom" was Christ.  "The friend of the bridegroom" was John the Baptist.  What was "the bride," if not the church in its initiatory stage?  Was "the bride" non-existent when "the friend of the bridegroom" said, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom," referring to the time then present?  Evidently the bride was existent. This same body was later called "the church which was at Jerusalem."

Jesus gave "commandments unto the apostles when he had chosen" (Acts 1:2).  One of these was the Commission.  The apostles were "set ... in the church" (1 Cor. 12:28).  The apostles corporately considered were the initial church.   To it the Commission was given.

The duties in the Commission could be performed "unto the end of the age" only by an organized body carrying on when individual workers died.  Only such a body could furnish the necessary workers and support for the program.  Left to people unorganized, the work would not and could not be done.  The body which meets the specifications is the church.

"Make disciples" carries, of course, an individual responsibility.  But to "make disciples of all nations," and that "unto the end of the age," requires the idea of an organized body, the church, sponsoring the program.

"Baptizing them" is enjoined.  If this was entrusted simply to individuals, then no church as an agency in relation to it is in view in the Commission and no baptism into a church is indicated.  But this conflicts with 1 Corinthians 12:13, which teaches that the New Testament idea is baptism into a church.  It is logically unthinkable, therefore, that Jesus commissioned men to baptize independently of the church.  And the duty of making and baptizing disciples among "all nations" to "the end of the age" requires the concept of church sponsorship of the program which brings the duty into exercise.

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."  Admittedly, one of the things included here is the Lord's Supper.  With men reasonably instructed in the Word of God, the proposition calls for no argument that no individual has the right and authority to administer the Lord's Supper "on his own." Then neither does he have the right and authority to baptize "on his own."  These duties and the other things in the Commission were entrusted to the church as the organized and authorized body to carry on the program through the centuries.

Only the church is the sponsoring body logically its into the concept of the Commission considered as a whole.
 
 
(O.W. Taylor {1885-1958} was a Southern Baptist pastor, editor, author, and denominational leader.   He served as editor of the "Baptist and Reflector", the weekly Southern Baptist newspaper in Tennessee, from 1933 until his retirement in 1950.  In the above article, Taylor explains why Baptists believe the Great Commission was given to the local church.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Effective or Ineffective ~ What kind of person are you?




Hidden habits of ineffective people
by  Chris Wake


No one sets out to be ineffective, but it's easy to pick up the habits. Too easy.

Consuming more than you create -
Effective people tend to create a lot of content. Content can mean a lot of things - but the rule is always the same, create more than you consume.
Ineffective people, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time consuming the fruits of others' labor. They are consummate lurkers.

Watching your own vanity metrics - 
Everyone suffers from some level of vanity. A need to be liked. The Internet feeds that need, keeping popularity at the forefront of any online identity with lists of 'Friends,' 'Followers,' 'Connections,' 'Re-Pins' and even the 'Like' itself.  
Ineffective people tend to feed on these popularity metrics, whereas effective people recognize that these are shallow indicators.  
Effective people focus more on engagement and strength of relationships; they create quality content to solicit engagement from others, or seek out interesting people and proactively engage them on their own terms.

Starting the day responding to others -
Ineffective people allow others to set the agenda for their day. They start their morning reading or responding to others' requests. 
Effective people approach each day with an agenda for what they want to accomplish, start their day tackling a task crucial for accomplishing their goal, and respond to others when (or if) it works with their agenda.

Prioritizing the wrong activities - 
Busy work. It's quite literally work that keeps you busy; it saps your time, but gets you no closer to your end goal.  
Ineffective people tend not to recognize busy work, and therefore, they prioritize tasks that will not move them any closer to their goals.  
Effective people recognize busy work for what it is and waste little to no time trying to appear busy when they know there are more important tasks to be completed.

Relying on multi-tasking to "save time" -
Multi-tasking is a scam. Being able to walk and chew gum at the same time may be the only true form of multi-tasking worth doing.  
Ineffective people use multi-tasking to appear busy, or to fool themselves into believing they can reach their goal faster by making minor progress on a lot of things at once.  
Effective people have a secret weapon to saving time. Focus. Effective people know which tasks are important for reaching their goal, and they focus on each one after another.

This article was a great reminder to myself, how about you?
comment?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Movember 30th 2011



Thirty days have come and gone, I am glad to have had a small part in Movember 2011 looking forward to doing it again next year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Movember 15th 2011






Hi,

It’s Movember, the month formerly known as November, which is dedicated to growing moustaches and raising awareness and funds for men’s health. I have joined the movement and will be donating my upper lip to the cause for 30 days. My Mo will spark conversations, and no doubt generate some laughs; all in the name of raising vital awareness and funds for prostate cancer.

Why am I so passionate about men’s health?
*On average men live 4-5 years less than women
*1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
* 25,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year in Canada

I invite you to support me by donating to me http://mobro.co/JeffHallmark

You can even go old school and write a cheque payable to “Movember Canada”, reference my name and Registration Number 1776104 and send it to: Movember Canada, 119 Spadina Avenue, PO Box 65, Toronto, ON M5T 2T2

All donations are tax deductible.

We only have a month to grow Mos and raise awareness and fund, so please come along for the ride.
Funds raised will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others. Through the Movember Foundation and their men’s health partner, the Prostate Cancer Canada, Movember is funding world class awareness, research, educational and support programs which would otherwise not be possible.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please click on the links below:

About Movember
Prostate Cancer Foundation research
Global Action Plan

Please donate here - http://mobro.co/JeffHallmark

Thank you in advance for helping me change the face of men's health. Go the Mo!

Jeff Hallmark

Moustache Season. Now Open.


PS
Locally here in Prince George you can donate through Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.
http://spiritofthenorth.ca/support/    in memory of Laurence Patrick Sinclair. This will go to the new Cancer Clinic in Prince George the ``Oncology Department``.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day two of NWYC trip

After traveling for 10 and a half hours, we pulled into a motel in Everett, WA. Quickly changed and head off to Wooden Valley Baptist Church, and attend the Wednesday Evening Bible Study and Prayer meeting. After Service we had a great time of Fellowship with Pastor Rick and Dianna Farranilla.

Traveling with four teens is lots of fun, traveling with four teens from Canada to the US of A is even more funner( I don't think funner is a word, but it is still fun). Today we will be in Portland OR about noon, a little shopping and then off to Greater Portland Baptist Church and the Northwest Youth Conference.

I'll try to keep our folks posted on our events.

Thanks for you prayers




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Movember 8th 2011

Just one week into Movember and it is starting to grow.



Check out my Mo Page -  http://mobro.co/Jeffhallmark


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Movember 1st.

Greetings across & from the TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE... Canada

Today we start with our Movember Moustache, I have shaved this morning and for the next 30 days I will NOT SHAVE under my nose.

Movember is a men's movement around the world to bring awareness and funds to help with Men Cancer Needs.

I have join Movember Canada in which you may make a national donation to go the Prostate Cancer Foundation.


http://mobro.co/JeffHallmark

I am also raising funds for our local Prince George Cancer Centre in memory of Pat Sinclair. Pat a friend and member of Spruceland Baptist Church, went to be with our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ, September 2011.

If you would like to help me locally make cheque payable to "Spirit of the North" and mail it to

Jeff Hallmark
3106 Monahan Crescent
Prince George, BC. V2N 4E3





Monday, October 24, 2011

DEVOTIONAL SUGGESTIONS



DEVOTIONAL SUGGESTIONS

Your Tools

Every disciple of Christ should own a King James Version of the Holy Scriptures… without marginal notes.  Additionally, you should have a good unabridged English concordance of the Bible, such as Strong’s or Young’s or Cruden’s, to help you find verses of interest and to trace themes and doctrines through the Scriptures.  A spiritual principles diary is also helpful to make a lasting note of the things which God reveals to you from His Word.  A sample page is included in this exercise which can be duplicated into a sufficient number to fill a loose leaf notebook.  Finally, a good hymnal is most helpful for both private and group devotions.

Your Workshop

Find a quiet place, away from family, friends, and the telephone.  It should be a place where you have maximum privacy, where you can commune with God and pour out your heart without fear of interruption.

The Time

Everyone’s schedule is different.  The most suitable time for your communion with God is something that you alone must decide.  It is usually best to stick to the same time every day, give or take a little.  Make sure that you give God your best time.  It should not be when you are sleepy or too tired or distracted by other cares of the day.  Do not plan for a devotional time of more than fifteen to thirty minutes at a time.  Remember, this is not a Bible study.  It is a time of personal fellowship with God, your Heavenly Father who loves you and is concerned about every detail of your life.  God is looking for ways to bless you and to make your life more meaningful and fulfilled, but this is not possible when He has no opportunity to speak to you and to direct you.

The Devil will try to convince you that there is not really good time available in your schedule at present and that the thing for you to do is to postpone starting your personal devotions until a more convenient time.  The problem is that a more convenient time never arrives, so do not let the Devil talk you out of the blessings of spiritual growth and fellowship with the One who loved you so much that He died for you that you might have eternal life and abundant life as well.  With a sincere desire for a closer relationship with God, you can expect opposition, but God respects sincerity and wants you to succeed in overcoming the obstacles.

A Suggested Plan

Although it is desirable to read through the Scriptures, this is no time for unrealistic goals or too fast a pace.  Quality is more important than quantity at this time.  The disciple must come with a heart seeking the face of God and not as a student studying a text book.

If possible, try to read a portion from the Old Testament in the morning and another from the New Testament in the evening.  This provides variety.  Record in your spiritual principles diary precious verses and exciting truths, as God lays them on your heart during this time.  Do not forget that God speaks to us through His Word, so what we receive from Him is most important to our lives, and lessons taught by God should never be forgotten.  There may be times when you will wish to review your spiritual principles diary to see evidence of your spiritual growth and to recount the blessings that you have received directly from the hand of Almighty God.  Counting your blessings can be a wonderful inspiration and a cause for praise to the Lord.  The most important things are your communion with your Lord and Savior and learning the lessons which He sets before you.

It is best to be systematic in your reading as opposed to letting the Bible fall open to a random place.  The themes of God flow through the entire Bible and He can speak to you on any subject of need when you are following a systematic plan of Scripture reading for your devotions.  Do not use the Bible like a Ouija Board unless you prefer to hear from the Devil instead of the Lord.  Sometimes it will work as desired, but all too often the practice of letting the Bible fall open at random and placing one’s finger on it to discern the will of God leads rather to openings for the Devil to play tricks by causing the words to be taken from context and wrongly applied.  Discerning the will of God is no game to be played in imitation of the black arts of witchcraft.  That is not necessary.  God is more concerned about your knowing His will for you than you are, and He does not make it difficult to discover.  The things that keep a child of God from the revelation of the will of God are insincerity, disobedience to what has already been revealed to them, sin in their lives with which they refuse to deal and seeking truth in unapproved ways, like the one described here.

Select your own topic of interest.  For example:

Read a chapter of Psalms a day…… for worship and devotion.
Read a chapter of Proverbs a day…… for wisdom and character.
Read a chapter of Joshua a day …… for courage and guidance.
Read a chapter of the Gospels a day…… for example and blessing.
Read a chapter of Romans a day…… for doctrine and interest.
Read a chapter of Galatians a day…… for liberty and grace
Read a chapter of Malachi a day…… for warning and judgment.
Read a chapter of Corinthians a day…… for morality and warning.

Warning

·        Do not let your communion be one-sided.  Give God a chance to speak to you
(1 Samuel 3:1-10)
·        Avoid complicated portions of Scripture such as Revelation, etc.  (2 Peter 3:16).
·    
    Believe God for His promises and personally apply them to your heart (Hebrews 11:6)

·        Do not have your devotions in bed, unless you are confined to bed for some reason, like sickness or injury.

·        Do not rush your devotions.

·        Pray and ask God to guide you in the choice of the book of the Bible you will begin reading in your devotions.  Do not become stumped by waiting on sky writing from God to tell you which one.  Ask for His leadership and move forward to the choice with confidence that He will keep His promise to answer your prayer.  Your choice will be just the right one for you, and God will speak to you from His Word.

·        Always finish what you start.

·        If you are floundering and seem not to be enjoying this time of fellowship with the Lord or getting nothing from it, contact your minister and ask for his help.

SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES DIARY

Make an accurate note of all you want to remember – leave nothing to memory.

Date                                          Occasion                                                                    Time              

Reference                                                                                                                                            

Principle                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                           

My Personal Application                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                           

Cross References                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                           

 Date                                         Occasion                                                                    Time              

Reference                                                                                                                                            

Principle                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                           

My Personal Application                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                           

Cross References                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                           

Date                                          Occasion                                                                    Time              

Reference                                                                                                                                            

Principle                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                           

My Personal Application                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                           

Cross References