Christmas Then and Now 2018-99

Christmas then and now  2018-99

The word Christmas has two words in it.  One “Christ” comes derived from the Greek word “Khristos” for Messiah. Therefore, Jesus Christ is Jesus the Messiah. The other part “mas” is from an old English word, the word Mass, a rite or ritual of a church service. This comes from the Latin word “Missa”, meaning dismissal, which the Priest would say at the end of a Mass “Ite Missa Est” or “Go, it is the dismissal”. Other sources show the Old English “Cristes Maesse” meaning Christ’s Mass perhaps as early as 1038 A.D, or as Cristes-messe in 1131. Early churches retained Jan 6 as the date to celebrate this holiday.   The fact remains that nobody knows the actual date of the birth of Jesus and early leaders speculated and argued about the date.  Does it matter? If an adopted person does not know the actual date of their birth and one is picked, that is the date of celebration for the birth.

 The word and celebration of Christmas was first used as a word more than 600 years ago during the Middle Ages. Christmas began as a way to further Christianity and slowly it turned into a holiday of celebration, somewhat like the Pagans’ did to have a celebration and festive times with gifts, food and drinks. They did so, to celebrate with dancing and gift giving to commemorate the survival of harsh winters.

As far as the date goes, it is recorded as being chosen as far back as 171-183 when Theophilus of Antioch first identified Dec 25 as the birth date of Christ. It was called the Feast of the Nativity then, not Christmas.

Today, we or many, have other reasons besides the survival of winter, to celebrate Christmas. With the decline of people having a religious following of any nature, it is just a good thing, and even a great thing for many.  It is good for the economy and many businesses are saved by it and sales that produce income. Bottom lines are made and enriched from the purchases made from October through December.

Churches get an uptick of attendance around Christmas if not the day itself, and a yearly budget in the positive numbers are achieved from December influxes of giving. Relationships of people are enhanced at this time and rings are sold and jewelry stores see an increase of sales.  It is a season of giving and getting and it does not matter what or why we celebrate this holiday, we enjoy the festive nature it brings us all.

As the old English word “mas” meant dismissal, many look at Christmas for the celebration and gift giving, but not the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Messiah, the Christ.  Jesus or the Messiah has been dismissed, forgotten or worse, not thought of at all.  So be it….

Jesus is the reason for the season but forgotten by the masses; dismissed as the figurehead of why we have this celebration at this time of year.  I remember, as a youth and child, that Christmas was something that meant gifts and ham dinner, for I was then a heathen, in my acts, thoughts and deeds in relation to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

God than came into my life to a degree after I got married, but more so, about 8 years ago in March of 2010. Since then I have gotten closer to Him and my relationship with Him, the One God of the Universe. I have since then, submitted myself to God, surrendered myself to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as being with me with His Presence; always.

Christmas is NOT a dismissal of the Messiah to me, but a festival of the birth of the Man God, Jesus who became the savior of all mankind.

I feel whole, complete and as one with God, our Creator.  Jesus is my teacher, Instructor, counselor and the one I give thanks to for my life as it is today. I consider myself a disciple of Jesus Christ, though not a good one, but one that is always striving to get closer and better in my ways.

I look at Christmas as the date we use to celebrate his birth. Yes, I enjoy the festive times, the gifts, the get-togethers, the music, the movies about Christmas, and all the other trappings of the holidays. But, to me they are fluff.  They mean nothing to me in the overall reason of my delights.  The promise of eternal life beyond this life on Earth, is exciting to me.

Jesus was the Word that become Flesh, the Savior of the World—his is the most significant birth ever. It is the central event in all of history. Time chronicles backward and forward from this moment. How can we fail to remember this day with great joy and reverence? How can we not celebrate Christmas?

I welcome you to celebrate Christmas with Jesus Christ in your heart and mind.

Peace be with you,

Den Betts

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Unique Concept of God’s Thoughts 2018-98

Unique Concept of God’s Thoughts   2018-98

He is NOT particularly looking for quantity, but instead quality of love of Him by mankind for entry into His Kingdom by the humans that inhabit Earth.  Wow, what a concept?!

If it is NOT about the amount of people that are saved and enter in the Kingdom of God, then the ballgame has changed for those living here.  No longer does He expect a multitude of humans to enter into the Kingdom, but only ones that profess their love of Him and devotion to Jesus Christ their Savior.

Hmmmm! This puts a different perspective as to how the Kingdom is filled and how He believes those that enter will be included.

What about those that do NOT believe, do not love His Son, Jesus and are just satisfied with the years on Earth that they will experience, and not really interested in eternal life? 

Well, they made a choice and even thought they were told through the Scriptures how to live, He gave them free will to decide how to live and how to believe in Him, the Triune God of the Universe.

This is somewhat hard to fathom and understand as it is not what I thought or believe.

I have heard or was told, that God loves ALL, but am not sure if that love equates with acceptance into the Kingdom. This is especially true if some, do not accept Him, reject Him or deny Him in any way; just do not know!!!

Does NOT knowing about this make me feel any better? No!!!

I would like (I think) to believe that God accepts ALL His children into the Kingdom, but have a hard time doing so, with knowing that not only are some non-believers, but also some are very bad people on top of it, while here on Earth.

Therefore, I will accept that not everyone will be enjoying eternal life with God in His Kingdom but feel sad for those left behind. Then I ask, where is behind?

Peace,

Den Betts              dbjetts@gmail.com      = Email

                                   thebettsden.com         = Blog site

To Believe 2018-97

To Believe  2018-97

I could lie now and say this post is about believing in God and all that it entails. Maybe, I will!!!

To believe in God involves feelings which are hard to describe or prove. There are many that do NOT believe in God, and this is somewhat understandable.  It is easier to believe the sun is surely rising from the East and going to sleep on a westward track.

To believe in God involves an added requirement that is unmeasurable, but probably the most exact thing to actually need and maybe the only thing.    “Faith”

OK, this is old news and has been said over and over again.  BUT, what I really mean by believing is something different.

Another thought! How many people, who may or may not believe in God, do NOT believe in the one thing they should or could, but don’t?

They go through life struggling, reaching out, testing, failing, even succeeding in something at times. But, and a big BUT, the one thing they could believe in if they tried, the one thing that would help them daily, the one thing that could be classified as necessary in life is:  

                                                Believing in themselves!!!

Yes, a simple (?) thing, but one which many if not most, at times, is not having “Faith” in themselves, to believe more than what they are today.

I believe in God, and in that belief, it only takes faith and I am a success in my endeavors. I also believe in myself and I give credit to my belief in God to guide me in that belief of myself, also.   It is TOO easy not to try or do any work to believe in God and also yourself.

Try both and see what happens.

Peace,

Den Betts 

                bettsden@gmail.com   = Email

                the bettsden.com          = Blog

Why Believe or Connect with God 2018-96

Why Believe or Connect with God           2018-96

This is a simple question that came to mind when surfing the Web the other day.

An article stated that many millennials (Born between 1980 and 1990’s) do not go to church or any religious place, due to many reasons that were listed. Not only is that a fact but they list “No Religion or belief” as a reason, in most cases.

The thing that was interesting were the comments below the article which were stated by various people responding to the article. I scrolled down and read them, and my first thought was a little over the top of understanding. The reasons were bonified, but they or many of them, were pure hokum. 

Some were legitimate, and I agreed that they had a case, but not against all religions regarding the church portion.

First off, it DOES take “FAITH” to believe in a God or in his son Jesus Christ, the man-God.  Nobody has the ability to look back in the past and see the wounds that Jesus Christ had from the Cruxificition at that time. So, doubting Thomas did and it convinced him that Jesus was who He was, at that time. We today do not have that luxury of seeing and believing with something right in front of us. So, I can understand, somewhat, why the lack of faith is present in society today.

But, using the reasons for not going to church that were used, is a stretch.  I will list some now and explain my thoughts. I could probably write a full discourse about each item, but will not do so now, and only a concise, short thought for each of them.

1. Churches are hypocritical in their thinking.   There are some churches and people that go to them that are hypocritical in practice.  That is not right but is a fact. I will repeat this— NOT ALL are that way. To use this broad statement is not only incorrect, but inconsistent with reality.

2. Churches are money grabbing and should be taxed.  Churches need money to exist, support community endeavors and pay for other needs.  To tax them is not going to do anything, except put many out of existence.  If any church DEMANDS people to give money to them or to tithe at 10%, then that is THAT church or religion, NOT ALL of them. If you tithe fine, if you give what you can, fine, if you just go to church and not contribute, fine, so be it.

3. People are judgmental.   Not right, but is so in some cases where humans are going to and exist. This is true in society as a whole, not right, but a fact. But NOT ALL are that way. People being judgmental exists everywhere, so saying a church or religion is so, is a fact, but not the absolute truth.

4.  People in churches are prejudicial towards gays and blacks (if a white church). Not right, but if so, they do NOT represent the majority or churches in general, as a whole. There ARE churches in most locations of the country that have an accepting attitude of everyone welcome; they have to be found and usually on the internet  they state this fact.                      

5. Children are molested by leaders in the church. This HAS happened and is wrong and sometimes, even covered up, but does NOT represent churches in general.  I would think that this is even a rare factor overall for churches in general; sad but true.

6. Too many rules, regulations, dictates, and laws. The only list that counts are the Ten Commandments, for the individual, and internal church ones are subject to change if needed and desired. There has to be some way of guidance for any organization to run and function. Many churches have “Constitutions” that show how the church is run, how it should react to situations, and these are needed, just like the country of the United States, has now.

7. Too many churches with just old people in them. That is a problem for some churches in certain locations, again due to the times.  Getting younger couples to attend is difficult if there are none now in a particular church. Maybe if those young people attended, that church would change for a betterment.

8. Fake stories in the Bible equal lies.  The Old Testament has many “stories”, which are there to make a point, but they do not mean the story is accurate or absolutely true.  They are stories; period. Some religions have beliefs that everything in the Bible is correct, which is wrong in my mind.

9. No proof of Jesus being the Son of God.  There is no birth certificate of Jesus; again, Faith works. The desire to believe also has to be there, and if not, well that is too bad.

10. God does NOT show Himself or talk to us today.  Hmmm, I will deny this as a fact and say that maybe the person did not look or listen, therefore did not see or hear. God is everywhere and most importantly, always Present, always aware, always active, for those that need. He is also alive, to those that will just give Him a chance to react to our needs.

ll. Prayers not answered.  Depends on the prayer and circumstances, which may or may not be accurate of a statement.  God does His thing in His way and in His time, so this is not an absolute. If a prayer for winning the lottery, for instance, to a certain person is not answered, it does not mean He is not there, just was not your time to win. If a wife or mother died and you prayed that they would not, perhaps it was time for them to go; sad!!!  God works in His way, not ours and that is hard to understand for many.

I would rather those that commented did so with honest reply’s, instead of personal hokum type responses. To give a reason for not believing or not going to church for a GOOD reason is one thing, but I don’t think many of the above, are bonified reasons overall.

If it is easier to sleep in, go play golf on Sunday morning, or attend a soccer team match at your kid’s high school, but these are excuses, not reasons for not going. It is also easier to not believe, because believing DOES require commitment and action on our part, which many refuse to do; also sad!!!!

If you just plain don’t believe in God, again, I understand, and both of us will find out someday which was correct. 

Peace,

Den Betts

                                bettsden@gmail.com      = email

                                thebettsden.com             = Blog site

Life’s Questions 2018-95

How often do we question those things that happen to us in life? Where we cannot answer them ourselves, but they remain still a question?

Life’s Questions  2018-95

The equation of life is but a paradox,

It sits on the verge of reality.

A balance, a draw either way,

 

From knowing or being lost in a void.

Multitudes of signals transpire,

With highlights of supposition.

 

The answer is but opinion,

 

One to be recognized for what it is.

It remains, as to who really knows all things,

Of life, with its totality of questions.

Peace,

Den Betts        bettsden@gmail.com  = Email

thebettsden.com          = Blog Site

What If 2018-94

What If????    2018-94

I was doing something the other day and stopped and asked, “What if?”

We do things daily as a normal course of events and think nothing about what we are doing and the ramifications of “What If?” We drive to work, get in the car/truck to get groceries and other normal, daily activities!

But then I ask, “What If?”

What if gasoline was not available to anyone on a given day or time? That would change our planning for the day, that is sure!  The truckers who transport all the food we eat using diesel fuel to do so would be sitting idle if they had no access to fuel.  Our dependable grocery store would be bare of goods in hours.

What if —- the electric company we take for granted were to stop making electricity, due to many factors— nighttime would be VERY DARK!!!! Any batteries would soon be completely discharged, and any generators would stop if fuel were to also disappear then.   If wintertime, houses or any dwellings would get cold very quickly.

We are dependent on fuel, electricity, vehicles, etc., etc., etc. for ALL our comfort needs in life. ALL!!

I live in an Amish community with the 4th largest Amish population in the U.S. They do NOT use electricity, phones, cars, and other items we use regularly on a daily basis.  They would be fine to a degree, with horses and buggies for transportation, as an example.  Third world country inhabitants would be better off than us, due to many not having the necessary items we have and need.

I sound like a survival enthusiast, or activist, but I am not.

We are SO dependent on things and other people for our existence! We should thank God for the many things we have and take for granted.

I hope God does NOT get pissed at us, because it would not take a “Flood” again, but instead, just a few things to NOT have, to make life here on Earth inhabitable for many.

Think about it!

Peace,

Den Betts

                   bettsden@gmail.com    –  Email

                    thebettsden.com          –  Blog site

Jesus is the Light 2018-93

Jesus is the Light   2018-93

I have heard this expression before, but never gave it much thought, through ignorance of either not caring or not knowing.  Anyhow, something lit up in my mind and this thought that Jesus is the Light is something that triggered my brain to contemplate what it meant.

First off, I looked up “Light” in the Bible references and the three passages listed at the end of this discourse, came up to give me illumination of the question, why is Jesus the Light of the world.  

Well, at that time, for Him to declare himself the Light of the World meant that He was the exclusive source of spiritual life and no other source was available to mankind then, or even now.

In His time, he was saying that the light of His TRUTH, the light of His WORD, the actual eternal LIFE was what He declared of Himself, the very light of the world and anyone that perceives the true light, will NEVER walk in spiritual darkness.  

Of course, we will walk in darkness if it is dark outside.  A fact! BUT, we, with Jesus being the one we will follow, we will have the light, the truth and most importantly, eternal life.  Yes, eternal life will be the opposite of darkness, the light of eternal life…  Simple as that.

That means something about us too.  Just like the moon reflects the light of the sun, we as followers of Jesus Christ, will reflect the light of Jesus so that all can see it in us as believers. Through the Holy Spirit, we do things, we do deeds based on faith, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, the light of Jesus shines through us to others.

This is somewhat of a burden for us in a way. To be witnesses to the world ourselves, we must be people of faith, honor God, be trusting, honest in all that we do and say. We want or should want the light we have, that is given to us, be there for all to see and enable others to also leave the darkness and come into the light of love, through Jesus Christ, the savior of mankind.  We WILL become sons and daughters of light, if we try to do so.

I had some help from the Scriptures in writing this, based on various passages, which I admit.

 

JESUS IS THE LIGHT!!!!!

John  8:12   “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”.

John  12:36 “Put your trust in the light, while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”

John  12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in the darkness.”