Bah Hum Bug 2018-103

  Bah Hum Bug   2018-103

The season of Christmas is almost here.

To practicing Christians, this is a time of significance where the birth of the world’s savior is celebrated. For many, this is a time of (hopefully), good feelings, good times and a period of giving and receiving. To many, regardless of faith beliefs, it is a time to celebrate, regardless.

Overall, I feel both groups with their thoughts of why to observe Christmas have merit and it is good in my mind. There are so many traditions, acts of joy, ceremonies, and parties, other get togethers and good will occasions it makes for a wondrous time of year.

Some thoughts of this Christmas period:

I will say “Merry Christmas” to anyone and not “Happy Holidays”. If they celebrate a different holiday time and respond with their holiday wishes, I will wish them well.

I feel Christmas has become very much commercialized with gifts to one another the main focus.

When I was a child in the forties and fifties, I had NO idea why we were exchanging gifts or what Christmas was all about, so in some ways, nothing has changed for some of us. It would be great if something was discussed about the reason we celebrate Christmas, at least on Christmas day.

I know of someone who does NOT celebrate Christmas because he states, correctly, that Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25th, but what he ignores is the fact that Dec 25th,is the day we celebrate his birthday anyhow. He also wants me to know that this date originated from a Roman festival of the god’s Mithra and Saturn which was adapted to the birth of Jesus.  He adheres to a cultish type religion that has many strange beliefs but claims to be a Christian.

One thing about the Christmas season is where I see all the good feelings of Christmas fall off the cliff and disappear on December 26t;; it is then, back to the normal way of existence.

I used to have (actually still do in a box somewhere) a mirror with a picture superimposed on it of Scrooge and the words “Bah, Hum Bug” on it. This was brought out each Christmas and was mine to look at and express my feelings of Christmas.

I don’t do that anymore, but instead, try to live my part as a Christian and remembering why Jesus Christ died for my sins.  I then think about the next religious holiday Easter and what that means to me too.   Maybe we all should do that.

Peace,

Den Betts

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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

Birthday Times 2017-62

Birthday Times   2017-62

Birthday’s come but once a year, then they are over to await next year where once, again, they are celebrated. Quite a bit might have happened in the past year and much to anticipate in the next.

Some of the past memories we may want to forget, yet the future experiences, we look forward to with anticipation. I would imagine the far majority of the days in between the birthdays are or could be just Ho Hum, with nothing to remember or write about.

We just celebrated Christmas. We got revved up about the 25th of December with the anticipation of its coming, we experienced the actual day

THEN —-   BOOM!!!!! It was over!!!!!

Is it, the day after, on the 26th  ,a letdown, basically???? I used to feel it was somewhat of a letdown with the absence of Christmas music, the shopping for things, the get togethers of family, etc. I even had or still do, in the attic, a mirror with Scrooge on it and the words Bah Humbug…

I stopped, or quit, feeling this way, when I started to realize the significance of the event we were celebrating. It was when I realized that Christmas was NOT about our gifts to each other, but instead, it was about what the birth of Jesus was, as a gift, to all of us.

The eventual gift of salvation, because of the birth of Jesus Christ, but in the final reality of the death and resurrection, that gives all of us the eternal gift of salvation and continued life.

WOW, what a gift!!!!!!!!!

What a birthday to celebrate!!!

What a promise of eternal life beyond birthdays of once a year!!!!

Peace,
Den Betts                                            bettsden@gmail.com

I write this on the day of MY birthday anniversary, Dec 29th.

Bah Hum Bug 2016-70

Bah Hum Bug 2016-70

Bah Hum Bug

The season of Christmas is here.

To practicing Christians, this is a time of significance where the birth of the world’s savior is celebrated. For many, this is a time of (hopefully), good feelings, good times and a period of giving and receiving.

Overall, I feel both groups with their thoughts of why to observe Christmas have merit and it is good in my mind. There are so many traditions, acts of joy, ceremonies, and parties, other get together times and good will occasions it makes for a wondrous time of year.

Some thoughts of this Christmas period:

I will say “Merry Christmas” to anyone and not “Happy Holidays”. If they celebrate a different holiday time and respond with their holiday wishes, I will wish them well.

I feel Christmas has become very much commercialized with gifts to one another the main focus and NOT the real reason of WHY we are celebrating. .

When I was a child in the forties and fifties, I had NO idea why we were exchanging gifts or what Christmas was all about, so in some ways, nothing has changed for some of us. It would be great if something was discussed about the reason we celebrate Christmas, at least on Christmas day.

I know of someone who does NOT celebrate Christmas because he states, correctly, that  Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25th, but what he ignores is the fact that Dec 25th,is the day we celebrate his birthday anyhow. He also wants me to know that this date originated from a Roman festival of the god’s Mithra and Saturn which was adapted to the birth of Jesus.  HE adheres to a cultish type religion that has many strange beliefs, but claims to be a Christian.

One thing about the Christmas season is where I see all the good feelings of Christmas fall off the cliff and disappear on December 26t;; it is then, back to the normal way of existence. That is sad,  in a way.

I used to have (actually still do in a box somewhere) a mirror with a picture superimposed on it of Scrooge and the words “Bah, Hum Bug” on it. This was brought out each Christmas and was mine to look at and express my feelings of Christmas. I don’t do that anymore, but instead, try to live my part as a Christian and remembering why Jesus Christ died for my sins.  I then think about the next religious holiday Easter and what that means to me too.   Maybe we all should do that.

Den Betts

President’s Message 2015-153

I decided to post something that I wrote this week for the Church Council of the church where I belong, and where I am the presiding President. I did so, because it is about a time whereas many celebrate this time of year in their own way. I cannot deny that I am religious, but I look at myself in a more spiritual way. Regardless of your beliefs or nature, you hopefully will get something out of this post in my perspective.

President’s Message 2015-153

It is THAT time of year again!  What time!???  The time that we all celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ if we belong to a Christian faith.  How wonderful and the word wonderful is just not enough.

Yes; we are involved in the merriment of the moment and yes we are doing the things we do now.   And yes, things are different now than when they were in the past, or at least I think so….

But, it would be easy to forget just why we look at this time of year the way we do. The things that have happened in the world and in the U.S. can be unnerving, but we must NOT let those things control our emotions or control us.

The Father, the son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are STILL with us. Their Presence is always with us; always.

I went to the bank to make a deposit to next year’s Christmas club and on the way out toward the door, I looked back at the two tellers and said, “Oh, by the way, Happy Holidays!” Then I stopped and restated, “NO, Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.!” They both looked surprised, smiled and said, “You too, Mr. Betts.”  (It was a slow day and we were the only ones in this small bank in Newbury)

The only thing I have against the Christmas time period occurs on Dec 26. It is like a veil is dropped and we are back to the grind of daily living, looking forward to the New Year and what it brings.  I do not celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, and on the 26th things change. All the Christmas music is off the air it seems; all the advertisements and deals are over, and we have plenty of time to play with our toys and look at what we got the day before, or consider returning or exchanging the gifts we received. But, Christmas has come and gone and that is sort of sad in a way.

I had a mirror (probably still do somewhere) showing Scrooge and written on it is “Bah Humbug” It was put out by my children years ago because I had, more than likely, an attitude that was not the best. We have not displayed this for quite a while now and I am happy about that fact. I look at my blessings of life and my feelings are now different. I get, I receive, I am blessed with a gift from God each and every day.

These gifts are reinforced each Sunday I go to church. Each sunrise allows me to sense the gifts from God that He presents to me. Every day, I am reminded that Jesus Christ’s time on the cross, allows me the chance to have eternal life with Him and my departed loved ones. Wow, what a gift Jesus gave us, that started on the day He was born and continues each and every day for us.

I do not have to return it or exchange it but I do cherish it and it is not just mine, but ours to know and enjoy. What a time of year it is; one to remember and continue with, always….. It is wonderful!!!!!!!

Peace,

Den Betts

Sacrifice 2015-11

I thought I better post this before it becomes February. Since we just celebrated Christmas and Easter will be upon us soon, this might be good to read now – DB

 

Sacrifice   2015-11

It is January,2015 as I write this about- sacrifice. The Christian world will be celebrating Easter on April 5, 2015 and, of course, Good Friday on the 3rd. The way my life is going, it will be here in no time, so I thought I would get a head start on the subject.

What is Good Friday and Easter?  When I was a kid Easter meant chocolate and yellow colored marshmallow chicks that we ate, but it meant nothing else.  Christmas was something about getting toys and having a big meal, but in both cases, nothing about church, Jesus Christ or what those days really meant. I found that was my loss and I did not know it at the time.

So, what is sacrifice? I heard something stated about Christmas in that it was the prelude to Easter! Wow, never thought about it in any way. But when you do think about it, the birth of Jesus Christ was for us  as people on Earth, and it was in the Sacrifice at Good Friday that led up to Easter that was why there are Christians today.

What is sacrifice again?    Food for thought:   Romans 3:22-25 “This righteousness from God comes through faith is Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of  His blood.”

Another verse would be from Hebrews, Chapter 10: 8-10   “ 8.First, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

I believe I am adding the above two Chapters in defense of my using the word sacrifice in conjunction with speaking about Jesus Christ.  I was told, at one time, that it, the crucifixion, should not be looked at as a sacrifice by the man-God Jesus, but I really cannot remember the exact WHY I should not do so. I ignore that request anyhow, and when I pray, part of my prayers say, “and thank you Jesus for your sacrifice, so that I have the chance of eternal life”. I have been told many things during my lifetime that I take with a grain of salt and discount them for one reason or another.

I can remember recently (in the last couple of years) whereas I “projected myself, in my mind, to be at the foot of the cross and watching Jesus die, so that my sins, and all other peoples, can be forgiven, because of this selfless act. It was eerie, scary, and life like to me at the time.  You can read in the Bible the things that happened to Jesus on Good Friday, but I felt His presence, felt his pain and suffering all at the same time.

Jesus Christ SUFFERED, so that we may live again. I fear not death, because I will have the chance to be with Him in what people call Heaven or Paradise.  Those that do not believe, I can only hope the best for them and do pray they will join me through the grace of God.

So, Christmas is more than toys, and Easter is more than good things to eat. There is meaning in the holidays more than what many of us acknowledge. Nobody knows the exact day of the birth of Jesus, but we do celebrate it on Dec 25th or the Orthodox do on Jan 6th. They are joyous days for the Christian faith, and I am so glad I have seen the light, of knowing what they mean now.

Den Betts