|HT: Alpha & Omega Ministries|
This date does have quite a bit of significance for me personally, though. December 21, 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the death of my grandfather. Today, in his memory, I will do silly things like wear his dog tags from WWII and enjoy a chocolate doughnut from his favorite bakery. Gestures like this are only meaningful to me and to a few members of my family, but they bring back fond memories of a man I dearly loved (and those doughnuts are downright delicious).
My grandpa was the one person on this earth who thought that I could do no wrong. Of course, that's not the reason I loved him, but it didn't hurt! On December 21, 2002, at 12:21 pm (yes, really), I thought that my world had ended. I vividly remember exactly what I was doing when we got the phone call, and I recall with even more intensity, and shame, how I reacted. I remember quietly screaming at God for taking my grandfather away from me, and for doing so at Christmas, no less. I remember realizing, in the midst of my rebellious response, that my grandpa would have been deeply disappointed in my reaction. And I remember healing, and finally coming to a place where I could go to my grandfather's funeral and, rather than mourning his death, celebrate the eternal life that had become his new reality. I will see my grandfather again, thanks to the merciful grace and salvation granted to him and to me by Christ Jesus.
After already living through my own December 21 nightmare, I can do little except laugh at those who take the silliness of this so-called Mayan prophecy seriously. Oh yes, God will one day end this world as we know it. For those who have not been saved by Christ, it will be a fearsome day of judgment and eternal regret. But those of us who have been graciously saved by a merciful and loving Savior have nothing to fear. In fact, as we happily and humbly serve our Lord in this life, let us at the same time remember that He is returning one day so that we may be with Him for eternity. Amen, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Okay, before you trot off to enjoy whatever end-of-days activity you have planned, take a quick moment to enjoy your week in review (kind of):
- The shooting in Newtown, Connecticut has unsurprisingly dominated the media this week. Reformation 21 offers a worthy Christian perspective.
- The Newtown shooter may have been involved in Satanism.
- What if the world did end tomorrow? Or today, as the case may be.
- It will cost you at least $1,000 to party like it's the end of the world in Russia.
- Have you been putting off buying Christmas presents in the hope that the rumors of the Mayan Apocalypse were true? Here's a great last minute gift idea for just such an occasion.
- The Queen James Bible? Yes, really.
- Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
- Oh, wait, sorry, that wasn't it. Try this instead.
- Rick Warren sure knows how to select his guest speakers. Word Faith preacher Brian Houston of Hillsong Church will be preaching at Saddleback next weekend.
- "People are no longer celebrating the truth of Christmas, but rather they are celebrating the truth they have attached to Christmas. Thus, in effect, people are celebrating themselves. It’s not about God becoming man, but about man becoming his own 'god.' Welcome to the era of the postmodern Christmas."
- I don't watch a lot of television, but the other night I did hunker down and flip on a cheesy Christmas movie when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a creepy "Christian dating" commercial illustrating my worst fears. (Bad rhyming attempt, I know. Sorry.) ChristianMingle.com has ickily demonstrated the problem with contemporary Christian pop music by taking the popular Jars of Clay song, "Love Song for a Savior," and turning it into a "won't you pretty please be my boyfriend?" song. Friends, if references to Jesus can easily be replaced in a song by references to your significant other, then it's not worship and it's not praise. In my opinion, it's not even Christian. It's just plain icky.
- *Sigh* What's with all the so-called Christian reality shows coming up next season? Watch out for 'Divas for Jesus'!
- We all know that Glenn Beck is a New Age Mormon. Now it sounds as though he also may be in favor of gay marriage.
- Ligonier shares some seasonal devotional thoughts based upon the favorite Christmas carol, "Joy to the World."
- Russell Moore says we should rethink our holly-jolly Christmas songs.
- I had no idea there was a gummy bear battle raging in Europe. Now that I do know, I kind of want some gummy bears.
- A documentary is being made to "correct" the West's view of Islam. Great...
- The flagship church of C.J. Mahaney's Sovereign Grace Ministries is leaving the organization.
- Ravi Zacharias praises Word Faith heretic Joyce Meyer. Yes, really.
- A New Zealand church says that since it's Christmas, it's "time for Jesus to Come Out."
- Steven Furtick's Elevation Church is planning a $20 million facility to house administrative offices and a *measly* 1,500 seat auditorium. $20 million for administration, huh? I guess Furtick needs a lot of space to achieve his full, creative, narcigetical potential.
- Tim Challies reviews James MacDonald's Vertical Church.
- A new Norwegian translation of the Bible has been one of the bestselling books in the country in recent weeks.
- Some parents are going to sue their school district for introducing yoga into their children's classrooms.
- Yes, we all know that, as an infant, the Lord Jesus Christ most assuredly did cry when necessary, but I still love "Away in a Manger." It's always been a song that brings me sweet memories, even more so in recent years since we sang it at my grandfather's funeral a decade ago. Enjoy.
- Hope Through the Curse: