“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Last Minute Gift Ideas for Jesus

I love Dave Barry. As long as he is alive I will not have the weirdest brain on the planet. Here is his take on the secularizing of Christmas greetings.       Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious timethat each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of hischoice.     In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christianscalled it “Christmas” and went to church; the Jews called it “Hanukkah” and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!”or (to the atheists) “Look out for the wall!”     These days, people say “Season’s Greetings,” which, when you thinkabout it, means nothing. It’s like walking up to somebody and saying“Appropriate Remark” in a loud, cheerful voice. But “Season’s Greetings”is safer, because it does not refer to any actual religion. Some day, Iimagine,
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – More Gift Ideas for Jesus

As a public service I am providing a shopping guide for things you can give to Jesus on His upcoming birthday. Let’s be honest…giving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords a unique gift is really tough. Yesterday’s post examined the gifts brought to the young Christ child over 2,000 years by the three wise men, I had hoped that examining what the Magi brought might jump start our gift giving ideas.  By the way, there is a plaque that is available in catalogs this year with the title “What if They Had Been 3 Wise Women?” Here is the conclusion…. They would have asked directions. Brought practical gifts Made a casserole Cleaned the stable‘ Changed the baby And there would be peace on earth. Alert readers from yesterday remember that the first gift was gold. That is always a lovely gift. But now it gets a little tougher. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. Matt 2:11 (MsgB) The second gift brought out of the luggage by the Magi was frankincense.
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – A Gift List for Jesus

We are just over a week from the hardest day of the year for most men. Many of us men give gifts to our significant others with fear and trembling. Humor columnist Dave Barry relates the confusion most men deal with when giving a gift to their wife. He could tell by her reaction to the gift that she had not been dreaming of getting an auto emergency kit, even though it was the deluxe model with booster cables and an air compressor. Clearly, this violated an important rule, but the man had idea what the rule was, and his wife was too upset to tell him. Barry continues his thoughtful treatise… So why is the Christmas season so difficult for men? There are many complex reasons, by which I mean: women. The problem goes back to the very first Christmas. We know from the Bible that the Wise Men showed up in Bethlehem and gave the baby Jesus gifts
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – A Gift Idea for Jesus on his Birthday

This is the time of the year when it gets a little crazy. The shopping list always includes some that are nearly impossible to buy for. And of course you have the concern that you will forget someone. Or the biggest  fear might be that a person who delivers a gift to you and you have a big bag of nothing for them. I was thinking this morning about someone that we (Christians) almost always acknowledge at Christmas but often neglect to think about what we are giving him. That person is the birthday boy himself…Jesus. I was thinking about what I could give Jesus in the middle of the brouhaha over his birthday. I wondered how the Lord would react to some of the tactics that are being used in his name?  I came across some quotes from Barry Lynn, the Executive Director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in an open letter to Jerry Falwell. “Since I debated you (Jerry Falwell) about
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – They wouldn’t have stopped to sing “Cold in the Night”!

On December 9th I posted a story about the decision by a Wisconsin elementary school to rewrite the lyrics of “Silent Night” to make it acceptable for the winter program. The unfortunate choice for a new title was “Cold in the Night”. Some things just shouldn’t be done. It is like the old Jim Croce song…”you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t rewrite Silent Night” (New Revised Version). Writing that post brought to mind a legend I had heard involving the song “Silent Night” and a wartime Christmas truce. I researched the story and found that it actually happened. Here is a nice Christmas story for your Christmas season to share at Christmas gatherings this Christmas Day (was that too obvious?). The year was 1914 and soldiers were having to spend Christmas Eve night on the battlefields of France during World War I — the Great War, as it was
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – This Reviewer is No Fan of Narnia

I did a rare thing for me. With the charming Mrs. Burchett at my side we braved opening day crowds to see the “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”. I am a fan of the writing of C.S.Lewis and the Narnia series. My fear was that the producers would stray from the story and the message. They did not. The movie is beautifully shot, the human characters well cast, and the magical figures of Narnia imaginatively portrayed. I loved the movie. I recommend it highly to anyone and especially to fans of the Narnia tales. On Sunday I browsed online to see how the movie was faring at the box office. The opening projections were very strong and at the site I noticed a link for an online review. I am always curious to compare my reactions to the critics. I have generally found that they genuinely deserve the title of “critic”. Frankly I would not want to party with some
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Lawyer’s Bells…It’s Christmas Time in the City

I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year for sentimental and spiritual reasons. I love the lights and the stories and the music. Especially the music. I love everything from “O Holy Night” to “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”   I know…I need help. There has always been something special to me about Christmas music. So it was with a bit of bemused sadness that I read about the rewriting of “Silent Night” to make it acceptable for an elementary school program. A Wisconsin school altered the song to become “Cold in the Night” for it’s winter program. The lyrics were changed to the following: Cold in the night,< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />  no one in sight, winter winds whirl and bite, how I wish I were happy and warm, safe with my family out of the storm.   When I was a kid there were Santas all over town. Now there are lawyers on every
Continue reading...