THE PURPOSE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DATE

DECEMBER 23

   Much about Christmas remains veiled and puzzling.  It harbors a mystery of faith and has a rather checkered history.

   For more than 300 years after Jesus’ time, Christians celebrated his resurrection but not his birth.  The later Christmas festival was even banned in 17th century England and in early America.

   The observance first begin in fourth-century Rome, timed to coincide with a midwinter pagan festival honoring the imperial army’s sun god, Mithra.  The December date was taken over to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

   But on what day he was born is unknown.  Even the precise year is uncertain. However, it was not in the year 1 A.D., as the calendar’s Anno Domini (Year of the Lord) suggests.

   Its dating system derived from an error about the year of Christ’s birth by a sixth-century monk in Rome, Dionysius Exigus, in working out the starting point of the Christian era.

   Scholars since have calculated that Jesus’ birth came in about 6 or 7 B.C., meaning paradoxically “Before Christ”.  The revised time was determined partly by the fact that Herod the Great ruled Judea when Jesus was born and history records that Herod died in 4 B.C.

   In what month the birth occurred, or on what day, has been a matter of speculation for centuries.  Possible dates include:  January 6, February 2, March 25, April 19, May 20, October 4, November 17.

   A British physicist and astronomer, David Hughes, has calculated that the date was September 17, 7 B.C., based on various scientific evidence, including that of a conjunction of two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, in the constellation Pisces on that date.

   He concludes in a book that this extraordinary celestial display was the “star” seen by the distant wise men.

   The 17th century German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, similarly had calculated a three-planet conjunction, including Venus as well as Jupiter and Saturn, in the same constellation in 7 B.C.

   In any case, a variety of months and days have been used over the centuries in different parts of the world to celebrate the occasion. Some Eastern Orthodox churches still do it on January 6.

   Christmas was banned in 17th century England when Oliver Cromwell and his puritan followers gained temporary rule, forbidding what was called the “heathen celebration of Christmas.”

   The holiday similarly was banned in colonial New England. Christmas wasn’t made a legal holiday in Massachusetts until 1856.

   For all of the clouded chronology and legal background of Christmas, however, the biggest mystery is in its message — that God has entered the human race in love for it, on with it, and one of it.

 

   “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth,” the Bible says.

   That is the mystifying core of Christmas, an awesome concept that has challenged hearts and minds since.  It  holds that Jesus was truly human, sharing the nature of all people, yet also truly God. “Emmanuel — God with us,” Scripture says.  “The light of the world.”

 

See:  Matt 1:22-23; John 1:1, 14

          — The Biblical Illustrator

 

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck…

 How to live in a world that’s politically correct?

 His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”.

 “Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.

 And labor conditions at the north pole

 Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

 

 Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,

 Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

 And equal employment had made it quite clear

 That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

 So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,

 Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

 

 The runners had been removed from his sleigh;

 The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

 And people had started to call for the cops

 When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

 Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.

 His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened.”

 

 And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows,

 Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose

 And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,

 Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

 

 So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,

 Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life,

 Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,

 Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

 

 And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion

 That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

 Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,

 Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

 Nothing that might be construed to pollute.

 Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.

 Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.

 Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

 Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.

 Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific.

 

 No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.

 Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

 And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,

 Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

 For they raised the hackles of those psychological

 Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

 No baseball, no football…someone could get hurt;

 Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

 Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;

 And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

 

 So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;

 He just could not figure out what to do next.

 He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,

 But you’ve got to be careful with that word today.

 His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;

 Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

 

 Something special was needed, a gift that he might

 Give to all without angering the left or the right.

 A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,

 Each group of people, every religion;

 Every ethnicity, every hue,

 Everyone, everywhere…even you.

 So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth…

 “May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.”



PRAISE FOR GOD’S BLESSINGS

NOVEMBER 19

Who am I that you would make a covenant with me? You’re so wonderful Lord!  Who am I that You would make me eternal live and love me? thank You for Your precious promises! I praise You Lord because in Your promises You have reflected Your heart toward me! I’m not worthy of Your goodness! Thank You for the hope I have through Your promise.

Sit in the secret place and reflect on all the Lord has in store for You. He intends eternal life, and eternal peace. He will give You a future and a hope. He will make You live in a land where there is no suffering. Think of all His promises and reflect on what He’s giving you, then worship Him for it during this time.

“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4

 

 

 

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. Until one day . . .

For all those years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents.

“when we were to be married,’ she said, ‘my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back the tears. Only two Precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all these years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

‘Honey,’ he said, ‘ that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”



“IN THE BEGINNING . . GOD”

March 17

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1)”

  “In the time it takes you to read this page, you will have entered a moment you have never been in before.  God said before we can form His name in our heads and speak it forth, He will be there! (Isaiah 65:24).  Before any defeat; before any distress; before any sorrow; before any pain or discouragement. . . He has already been there and made all the necessary arrangements to ensure you make it into the next moment of your future with Him.”

   “With God in charge, every moment can be a brand new beginning.  In the next moment, if you will let God be bigger than the pain of the last moment, you will have a new beginning in Him.”

   “Before you think about all you went through yesterday, think about where you are.  And right there is God – bigger than all your problems!”

   “As you start this day, put God in the beginning of every moment, and let Him lead you through a year of victory!”

                    – Rod Parsley, “Covenant Devotional”

 

Brickbats: Terse observations and other mild forms of humor

My boss hates “yes” men and I have to agree with him.

Can a person be chalant? Can weather be clement? And are children ever ruly?

My best pickup line is: “Hi, I’m Bob. Do you speak English?”

Somewhere in my office, in the vicinity of my desk, there exists a black hole into which all my pens disappear.

A woman was scooping up an armload of toaster pastries just as I was contemplating their ingredients. I said to her, “These things could kill you.” She said, “Well, they’re just for the kids.”

The penalty for bigamy is two wives.

Baseball Rules Section 3.12.5 — The strike zone shall consist of an area from the kneecap to the midpoint between the waist and shoulders vertically and shall be as wide as the home-plate umpire’s hind quarters.



THIS MORNING AT RADIANT LIFE

This Sunday, July 12 will be the last ZOOM meeting for now. If we begin using this again, I will be sure to let you know on FACEBOOK.  If you do not have or use FACEBOOK, please drop me a note saying you wish to follow us on ZOOM. You can send the message on FACEBOOK, call the church office 757-539-1096, or even send me something on “snail mail”……….  I do want everyone who wants to join us on Sunday to do so. We hope to resume on FACEBOOK LIVE in a couple of weeks, if you have access to that means. Thank you for staying with us through these tough times.

Pastor Don

 

Topic: Zoom Meeting

Time: Jul 12, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362?pwd=MmJrdVcvTit5aG1HWUNZWitzMG01dz09

 

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362

Password: 123456

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (New York)

 

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362

Password: 123456



Sunday, July 12 at Radiant Life

This Sunday, July 12 will be the last ZOOM meeting for now. If we begin using this again, I will be sure to let you know on FACEBOOK.  If you do not have or use FACEBOOK, please drop me a note saying you wish to follow us on ZOOM. You can send the message on FACEBOOK, call the church office 757-539-1096, or even send me something on “snail mail”……….  I do want everyone who wants to join us on Sunday to do so. We hope to resume on FACEBOOK LIVE in a couple of weeks, if you have access to that means. Thank you for staying with us through these tough times.

Pastor Don

 

Topic: Zoom Meeting

Time: Jul 12, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362?pwd=MmJrdVcvTit5aG1HWUNZWitzMG01dz09

 

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362

Password: 123456

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (New York)

 

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362

Password: 123456



Sunday, July 5, 2020 INVITATION

Pastor Don is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Zoom Meeting
Time: Jul 5, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362?pwd=MmJrdVcvTit5aG1HWUNZWitzMG01dz09

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
Password: 123456
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (New York)

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
Password: 123456



INVITATION TO SUNDAY, JUNE 28 SERVICE AT RADIANT LIFE

Here is the information. Please note Zoom is requiring a password again. it is 123456

Pastor Don is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Zoom Meeting
Time: Jun 28, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362?pwd=MmJrdVcvTit5aG1HWUNZWitzMG01dz09

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
Password: 123456
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,3524688362#,,,,0#,,123456# US (New York)

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
Password: 123456



Sunday Morning, June 21

Sunday Morning, June 21, Invitation to ZOOM.
 
Topic: Zoom Meeting
Time: Jun 21, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362
 
Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,3524688362# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,3524688362# US (New York)
 
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 352 468 8362


SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 2020

Sunday, June 14
Adult Sunday School begins at 9:45 am in the church fellowship hall.
Sanctuary and Drive-In Church will continue as the past several weeks.
And again, we will be live on ZOOM and FACEBOOK at 11:00 am
The Link for Zoom is
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362
 
Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,3524688362# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,3524688362# US (New York)
Meeting ID: 352 468 8362
No password is needed this week.
God Bless You.
Pastor Don


Sunday Morning Worship June 7, 2020

Information for Radiant Life Sunday Morning Worship Services

Sunday School will resume this Sunday Morning, June 7 at 9:45 am in the Church Fellowship Hall.

You are welcome to join us then.

 

Morning Worship will be available in the Sanctuary, Drive-In Church and on ZOOM and FACEBOOK LIVE.

Here is the information for ZOOM

 

Topic: Zoom Meeting

Time: Jun 7, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3524688362

 

Meeting ID: 352 468 8362

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,3524688362# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,3524688362# US (New York)

 

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

 Meeting ID: 352 468 8362