shepherds

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Christmas Eve Service!

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The Gospel Reading. Luke 2

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place whileQuirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/luk.2.niv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CojUP5nRidA

What Is Your Image of a Shepherd.

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The 12 O'Clock Boys

http://vimeo.com/80908261

[theme_button type="theme_button medium" link="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/opinion/riding-with-the-12-oclock-boys.html?_r=0" window="_blank" ]Read about the 12 O'Clock Boys[/theme_button]

Long before I actually saw any of the 12 O’Clock Boys, a notorious group of dirt bike riders in Baltimore, I heard them. The rev of their motors, even at a distance, was a regular addition to the constant soundscape of helicopters and sirens. (Their name is in reference to the vertical position the riders attempt while pulling off wheelies.)

Feedback on the 12 O'Clock Boys

 I have been in Motocross all my life I am now 51 and have personally witness these kids stealing bikes from a local MX track in Maryland called Budds Creek while the good folks sleep. If they want a release why not race at a local MX track and buy there own bikes? Yes, that means getting a job a growing up, not stealing from the folks that are respectable and don't break the law. Instead what mainstream media is doing here is promoting bike theft and disregarding laws. Way to go guys. P.S I seen my buddy's bike that was stolen last year on your vid so what does that mean? nothing!

They are simply testing police ability to catch them, what any good criminal would do. So, today its just fun-loving kids riding, but tomorrow its grab a purse or laptop and flee, next week sell drugs, attack cars, use weapons, etc while riding. Its all a journey. Just a faster version of criminals on bicycles. Not that difficult to catch, with a little planning and strategy (which bmore cops may need some help with).

I rode dirt bikes growing up out in the country. Had a lot of good times. The difference between us and them is 1 we could ride and many of us competed. We were responsible and we were raised right.. And because of those things we didn't go around endangering the safety of others, we didn't go around kicking cop cars or flipping them off. The sad thing about our society is no one is willing to stand up and say what you are doing is wrong. And too many people are willing to give excuses.

How do the 12 O'Clock Boys make you feel.

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Do they make you feel uncomfortable or angry? Do you trust them? I think these guys get us close to how people in bible times would have felt about the shepherds.

Shepherds Were not Trusted.

Some of Israel's great heroes were shepherds -- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. Both Psalm 23 and Jesus compare God's care to that of a Good Shepherd. But in the First Century, it seems, shepherds -- specifically, hireling shepherds -- had a rather unsavory reputation. Jeremias cites Rabbinic sources to the effect that "most of the time they were dishonest and thieving; they led their herds onto other people's land and pilfered the produce of the land." Because they were often months at a time without supervision, they were often accused of stealing some of the increase of the flock. Consequently, the pious were warned not to buy wool, milk, or kids from shepherds on the assumption that it was stolen property.[3] Shepherds were not allowed to fulfill a judicial office or be admitted in court as witnesses.[4] A midrash on Psalm 23:2 reads, "There is no more disreputable occupation than that of a shepherd."[5] Philo, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher of Alexandria (25 BC - 45 AD), wrote about looking after sheep and goats, "Such pursuits are held mean and inglorious."[6]

http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/2_8-20.htm

But Veggie Tales is the Pinnacle of Christian Programming.

veggietales-banner-veggie-tales-2318886-555-262[1]

[theme_button type="theme_button medium" link="http://www.worldmag.com/2011/09/it_s_not_about_the_dream" window="_blank" ]Read About the Opinion of The Veggie Tales Creator[/theme_button]

I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, ‘Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,’ or, ‘Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!’ But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality.

American Christian[s]… are drinking a cocktail that’s a mix of the Protestant work ethic, the American dream, and the gospel. And we’ve intertwined them so completely that  we can’t tell them apart anymore. Our gospel has become a gospel of following your dreams and being good so God will make all your dreams come true. It’s the Oprah god… We’ve completely taken this Disney notion of ‘when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true’ and melded that with faith and come up with something completely different. There’s something wrong in a culture that preaches nothing is more sacred than your dream. I mean, we walk away from marriages to follow our dreams. We abandon children to follow our dreams. We hurt people in the name of our dreams, which as a Christian is just preposterous.

The Shepherds Where the First to Tell of the Gospel.

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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[prk_accordion][prk_ac_single title="Guatemala Stove Project"]Everyday Guatemalans who live in extreme poverty spend 6-8 hours daily cooking on open fires which are in there house. These indoor open fires produce toxic gases which can give the women, infants and toddlers all manor of cardiovascular problems, such as pneumonia bronchitis ,impaired vision, eye disease, chronic cough, not to mention the heat from an open fire with a bare metal hot plat which can easily burn a small hand reaching for something in error.As bad as these conditions are for these families, it makes me even sadder that these conditions are normative for the culture of the poor in Guatemala. However there is a breath of clean air coming. A Native Guatemalan Named Almicar saw this problem and has worked hard to overcome it for the poor of his country. He has designed the Champina stove. This Stove is more efficient (it uses 70% less fuel that the previous ways of cooking) This Stove is Safer. Only the cooking surface is dangerous to the touch.)THis Stove is dramatically healther. Chapina stoves vent 90% of toxic smoke. One user, Josefina, says, “I have cooked tortillas for 45 years. For the first time in my life I am cooking tortillas without smoke. My stove has made cooking easier.” Another user states, “I had headaches everyday and my eyes burned a lot. I realize now that it was the smoke in my kitchen that caused these problems. I feel better now. This Stove is not just about cooking but also helps create a culture of Health. And it just not about the families receiving the Stove. It is about creating jobs because the stoves were designed and manufactured in Guatemala. So This sounds amazing right? So how can you support this. One Stove Costs 125 dollars. But that i not what i want you to pay. Becasue we want these families to have pride of ownership of this stove so they have to pay for the cinder block base and 25 dollars of the stove. Now that 25 dollars is about 1 to 2 week of work. How much do you make in 2 weeks. A tax-free donation of just $100.00 will help a family purchase a stove which will have a huge impact on an average family of 6 in many positive ways for many years. Make a donatioin at faithbentonville.com/stove[/prk_ac_single][/prk_accordion]

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Faith Of Theology :

Why Christian parents should not want good, happy, safe kids

[theme_button type="theme_button medium" link="http://erlc.com/article/why-christian-parents-should-not-want-good-happy-safe-kids" window="_blank" ]Read this Article[/theme_button]

Stealing Christmas Part4: The Day

lots-of-gifts[1]

[theme_button type="theme_button medium" link="http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/blog/19455-stealing-christmas-part-4-the-date" window="_blank" ]Read this Article[/theme_button]

Question: What day was Jesus born?

Answer: We don’t know, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t Dec. 25.

Even the date of Christmas doesn’t belong to Christianity. While the Bible doesn’t record the date of Christ’s birth, there’s little to suggest He was actually born on the 25th of December. As you might recall from the Christmas story, there were “shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8, KJV). December, in Palestine, is in the middle of the region’s cold, October-to-April rainy season. Sheep would have been inside, not out in the fields.

Grow Your Faith, Read More!

faith-of

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Updated every day.

Carriers of the Light: Kids Christmas Play 2013

http://youtu.be/9tjNNDr3d-Y

Download by clicking the link.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6RuoYKK9rBiUi1tbjN6a3M3WTA/edit?usp=sharing

Videos Shown today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CojUP5nRidA

http://www.theworkofthepeople.com/christmas-kingdoms

Music of the Week:

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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