25 November 2016

This 'n' That

Well, I hope all of my American readers had a pleasant Thanksgiving yesterday! Ours was relaxing and pie-filled, just as it should be, and it was wonderful to spend the time away from the busyness and stress of work to think on something other than clients and deadlines.

We have a tradition in my house to complete a jigsaw puzzle on Thanksgiving Day. So, yesterday morning began with pie and coffee for breakfast (because, well, what else are you supposed to do when there's pie in the house?) and we quickly settled in at the kitchen table for our annual puzzle attempt. As is also my habit on this day, I turned on the television to view a bit of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'm not sure why I still tune in each year, other than the mere fact that it was always tradition to watch it when I was young.

Snoopy is one of the few tame elements of the parade.
photo: AndrewDallos Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade via photopin (license) 
Each year that I watch the parade, I cringe a little bit more than the year before, and 2016's extravaganza did not disappoint. Glancing up now and then to glimpse the television from the table, I found myself wondering why this debacle continues. No longer do the television cameras focus on the marching bands and the balloons. No, instead we get to see multiple alleged "music sensations" lip-syncing their most popular song. And, while I hate to sound like that crotchety old woman who thinks all music is awful and evil, I have to ask: why do we consider these songs to be music? Every song sounded the same and had the same sensual beat and rote, mindless lyrics. In fact, sadly, it wasn't much different from the contemporary so-called "Christian" music we hear today. The lesson? Don't tune in to the Macy's Parade unless you're looking to watch a really bad concert.

As always, the parade ended with the entrance of Santa Claus, a theme which saddens me as it should every Christian. The way in which the world exalts this mythical figure in the eyes of children is indeed shameful. Even more perverse were the shenanigans that accompanied the Macy's Santa Claus. Dancing around the North Pole float were women dressed as candy canes, and let's just say that they were not wearing modest costumes. Here, then, is an entire event originally designed for children, that has been sensualized in order that those children might become desensitized to such lasciviousness. It is no surprise to those of us who know Christ, of course, but it nevertheless should grieve us.

At some point during the morning, I said, "Watching this parade makes me thankful that God has saved me out of the world." Further, it makes me long for that eternal home that He has promised He is preparing for us. Finally, it makes me all the more eager to proclaim His gospel so that others may also be plucked from the clutches of the world and placed firmly in the palm of His hand.

With Thanksgiving now behind us, we march forward all too quickly toward Christmas. But before you do that, why not take a few moments to relax while you enjoy some pie and your week in review (kind of):
  • I do not understand how any Christian would think that this, or any of the subsequently suggested "Bible studies," would be a good idea.
  • I'm not really sure how the first Thanksgiving can be called Thanksgiving if there was no pumpkin pie involved.
  • Um, did I miss something? And we all still agree that Tullian Tchividjian is not a trustworthy teacher or resource, right?
  • We should not be content in our feelings.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • For those who are confused, Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism are not the same thing (one is biblical, the other is not).
  • I scored 100%. Just saying.
  • Doing some Christmas shopping? Here is one idea of what NOT to get.
  • Using Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 2 to examine the nature of what is acceptable thanks.
  • Phil Johnson and John MacArthur discuss theology and ministry:

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