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Tag Archives: Merry Christmas

Merry ???

Earlier in the week I went Christmas shopping for my wife.  Due to the nature of the gift, I was forced to rely on the expertise of sales associates.  After finding two similar items, I wanted to know which would be the best purchase for the long haul.  When I was finally convinced on the best brand name to buy, I approached the check out counter.  On my way out, I replied, “Merry Christmas,” that was followed by an awkward silence.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control, 2 Timothy 1:7.

Sometime in the last few decades, Christians have become afraid of offending other people of faith.  Due to political correctness, retailers are now training new staff to avoid expressing specific phrases or words.  Subsequently, Merry Christmas has become like cheap greeting cards, X’ed out and replaced with Happy Holidays.  It’s no wonder that this cashier was uneasy, not sure how to respond to my seasonal greeting.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love, 1 John 4:18.

The apostle Paul witnessed a spirit of timidity in his day.  When persecution broke out against the early church, fear consumed many believers.  This environment initially hampered the growth of the Way as described in the book of Acts.  Yet, as soon as fear was replaced by the love of Christ, the tides began to turn.  May this wave of the Holy Spirit arrive on the scene today to inspire people to share two special words, “Merry Christmas.”

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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A Not So Happy Thanksgiving

For most of my days, I’ve lived a sheltered life.  However, my first job after graduating from college brought me to inner city Wilmington, Delaware as a social worker.  My eyes were opened to the homeless, poor and unfortunate.  This experience led me to serve the needy during my first Thanksgiving in Chicago, going to a homeless shelter near Cabrini Green, one of the roughest projects in Chicago.  I didn’t see any television cameras or professional football players handing out free turkeys, what I observed was a not so Happy Thanksgiving.

Everyone should get of their comfort zones once in a while to see what its like on the other side.  I’m not talking about Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places.  Rather, I think its healthy to see how little other people have so that you may begin to appreciate all the things you have accumulated in life.  Fashion, shopping and temporary pleasures blind most individuals to what’s really important: family, faith and fellowship.  Without this type of perspective, a spoiled generation will continue to whine, “what’s in it for me,” while the less fortunate have another not so Happy Thanksgiving.

Clothes, food and a place to call home is foreign to some individuals.  Though many may receive a Turkey to cook, how long will the leftovers last?  Will some have to wait til Christmas before the next act of generosity finds these helpless souls?  Therefore, as you watch the parades, gather for a feast and watch some football for dessert, don’t limit your giving to a couple of times per year.  Rather, take a look around and see who you can help so that a not so Happy Thanksgiving can turn into a very Merry Christmas.

by Jay Mankus

Good Tidings in the Air

As individuals begin to finish up their Christmas shopping, a sense of relief enters their soul.  Sure, there’s still wrapping gifts, but the hard part is over, along with the long lines and maniac drivers fighting over the last good parking spot.  Maybe this is the reason good tidings appeared in the air today over Delaware.

Although I may never know why, I’m glad that the spirit of Christmas has arrived.  Faces were of good cheer, conversation pleasant and the mood around the office made me proud to be an American.  While its hard to emphasize the good in others, its important not to let a praiseworthy moment go by without a mention.  As I walked out the door for a 5 day break, the concept of rest and relaxation is a refreshing thought, at a perfect time in the year.

There was no baby in a manger or magi coming from afar, yet an angelic presence seemed to shine through, transforming a tired and weary staff.  Like an island of misfit toys, the hope of Christmas breathed a new spirit within the hearts of those present.  Or perhaps I have awoken from a slumber, having my eyes opened for the first time in months.  Regardless of the reason, may you embrace the final days leading up to Christmas as the Holy Spirit stirs hearts and minds to display good tiding in the air.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

by Jay Mankus

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