lyef & thymes

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Valuing Generosity

Received this from a good friend, and felt it was worth sharing. Tell me what you think of this, and how you think that you, or I could implement this in life.

Vineyard Canada Worship Leaders' Value Of The Month (January)

Live Generously
From Matthew 5:40-42 in The Message.

“If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”

Living generously is a costly enterprise. We are not always lauded or honored for the gifts that we give. Yet, we were optimally designed to be generous with our words, our gifts and that which we are stewards of in material goods. Generosity sets the human spirit free; both the spirit of the giver and the spirit of the recipient. When you are given to, give. When you are taken from, give. When you are with a stranger, give. When you are with your God, give.

A Prayer: Lord, teach me to give the precious gifts in worship, and to lead others to give the same.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Passing Mass

I went to St. Pius X Catholic church the other day, and found it to be a very interesting place. An interesting blend of ancient traditions, and modern architecture (modern for the sixties when it was built, that is).

It is the only church I know of that literally has a door right out on to the main street. There isn't even a front step, I don't think.

Anyhoo, what with Christmas just passing and all, I thought I would say a word or two about the origins of celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th.

From all biblical interpretation, it is seen as HIGHLY unlikely that this is even close to the time of Jesus' birth. The shepherds were out in the fields, and I am told that it often snows in the winter time in and around bethlehem. Shepherds would not send their sheep out into the fields at night in winter. It's taught in Shepherding 101 people.

No, it was probably September or October.

The date of Dec. 25th was selected in the fifth century, by Rome, as the best time to celebrate Christmas because it corresponded to the winter solstice celebration. This was not intended to encourage the pagan traditions surrounding solstice, but to overshadow them, encouraging people to remember the state religion, Christianity.

Then there is the fact that it is called Christ's Mass. Yup, there is no doubt about it, we are all adopting a Catholic tradition, set at a pagan date when we celebrate Christmas in December.

Of course, as we all know, it is largely irrelevant these days to many people, except for Macy's, the Bay, and Sears, each of whom abandonned their previous years "Happy Holidays" slogan for the less P.C. "Merry Christmas". They found that business was up when they recognized Christmas, and down in years when they tried to appease the non- Catholic and Pagans.

See you soon with a legitimate post about something more "jacob-ish".