Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The day after......

I used to hear of people taking all of their Christmas decorations down on the day after Christmas.  I could never understand it.  Why bother in the first place?

I have come to the conclusion that they deep down are acknowledging the decadent, wasteful, carnality  of the typical American Christmas celebration, and they unknowingly need to cleanse themselves.  I have a lot of respect for these people.  They know there is a problem, but they just can't face it.  At least they can feel it.  The wrongness.

I always feel like I am in the minority in my bare bones Christmas.

*We don't have a tree.  I'm on the fence still about trees.  Will I ever figure it totally out?  Who knows!  I have a strong inclination to think on it as an idol of sorts.  If you have ever thought "it just can't be Christmas without a tree", then it might just be an idol.

*Gifts are minimal at best.  We do a family not-so-secret Santa gift exchange.  One gift per person, including children.  My husband and I also give each grandchild a gift.  We do not gift to each other, never have.  If you have ever thought "it just isn't Christmas without gifts"  then gifts might just be idols.

Are you getting the idea?

You can pretty much take any tradition and somehow make it about Christ if you really want to.  I don't want to.  Somehow I can't imagine how Black Friday Shopping is about our Messiah. 

My next statement will sound pretty strange to you based on what I have just shared:

I like Santa.  I am totally on board with childhood fantasies.  I don't think we should try and make him Christian.  He is fun! 

It's the blending of the carnal and the spiritual aspects of Christmas that I have trouble with.  The older I get the more I believe that Christmas should be more introspective, reverent, a down on your face in prayer kind of holiday. 

The tree, the piles and piles of gifts.  The excess in food and drink.  The gatherings that don't acknowledge the amazing thing God did for us.  He came for us!  He is with us!  The typical American Christmas does not reflect this. 

I still struggle at this time of year.  No tears this year, though.  I've come to terms with a lot of things in this life.  We were somewhat snowed in this Christmas Day.  Lots of  quiet.  Lots of time to think. 

What should a true celebration of our Messiah's first coming look like?

I've got a whole year to think on that.

Happy Day After!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Maine: straight up white milk

White Maine students are least likely in nation to see kids of another race at school

That was the headline in the Bangor Daily News today.

It’s little surprise that Maine — the country’s whitest state — has the country’s most racially homogeneous schools.

This was the first line of the article.  

Questions:  What does writing an article like this hope to prove?    Why is Maine the country's whitest state?  Why do public schools even exist?  

okay......I got a little carried away on that last one.  It's a well known fact that I am not in favor of public education.

Maine is a beautiful state.  Maine is mostly rural with lots and lots of trees.  Maine's biggest industry is now tourism.  Maine has lots of low paying jobs.   Maine is cold and snowy for at least six months of the year.  It gets dark at 3:30 pm in the winter.  Maine is buggy (as in mosquitoes and black flies) for another three months of the year.  Maine gets inundated with tourists for another three months of the year.  

.....am I painting a good picture of why Maine might not be on a majority of peoples lists of places to live?

We moved to Maine from New Jersey.  New Jersey is a very racially diverse state.  Maine is not.  Did that fact have anything to do with our decision to move here.  I would be lying if I said no.  When we were deciding to move away, we were looking for space, breathing room, but staying on the east coast.  We were also looking for a place that very few other people were going to.  Maine fit the bill.  Very few people want to move to a place like Maine.  Some think they do, but what they really want is a vacation.  Life in Maine is hard.  There are very few high paying careers type jobs here.  We love it here , we are making it work.  That's what you have to do to live here:  make it work, live on less, work more, or move away.  Plain and simple.  

I think I got a little long winded there! whew!  

Anyway, when we were looking for a place to live, were we aware of the fact that Maine was the "whitest" state.  Yes we were.  Just like we were aware of other places in the country that were the least "white'  .  If Maine, with all its beauty and shortcomings, just happened to be 90% racially "unwhite" would we have still moved here?  Probably not.  

So, look at it the other way.  If an "unwhite" family was looking for a new home in a new place they might also take into consideration the same things we did.  I don't see that as being racist, but I'm sure some will.

I believe that Maine is the "whitest" state because it's just darn hard to make it here. There are so many other places in this country that life is easier in.  Heck!  did I even mention the rocks?!!!   Just try and grow something here!  lol    In the almost 14 years that we have lived here I have not seen any evidence of racism.  Maine is the land of "live and let live"  Mainers can be very standoffish, but if you need something, anything, no matter who you are or what color your skin, or where you are from, they will be there for you. 

Writing articles like this without having solutions (should there even be one?)  is just plain
"looking for a fight".  Controversy at it's finest.  Should the government force some of us Mainers to move to Detroit?  At least it's still cold there!  Should the government force some native Mississippians to move to Maine?  They would surely freeze and go stir crazy!  

Last I knew this was still a free country and anyone could try and make a go of it anywhere they wanted.  (and could afford to--after all free doesn't apply to everything)

Maine: the way life should be! (once you get above Portland anyway.  )

Monday, December 4, 2017

Merry Christmas to all humanists and free thinkers!

My hometown hosts a Christmas Parade on the first Saturday in December.  It is a very BIG deal with lots of participants, floats, candy, and spectators.  Main Street is jammed with babies, older people, and everyone else in between celebrating this wonderful Christmas tradition!

The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ellsworth have NOT caved to the vocal minority and re dubbed it the "Holiday Parade".  Nope.   It is still called the Ellsworth Christmas Parade.

Although the state of Maine is one of the top "unchurched" states in the United States, I don't believe that this statistic reflects a true disbelief in God.  I do still have faith that the majority of my fellow Mainers, and especially my fellow Ellsworthians still have a fear and respect of God despite the fact that they don't attend church.  I would bet my bottom dollar that a true majority of them believe in the gospel message, but don't accept it for themselves for a variety of reasons.  And that is what they must do to come before God:  accept it for themselves.  Trust Jesus for your salvation.  That is what makes a Christian a christian--a personal relationship.

As we made our way down Main Street to the toy store for a quick visit, I heard christian music being played from one of the businesses there!  Amazing!  So that is where we stayed to view the parade.

The parade contained the usual participants of military, cartoon characters, boys and girl scouts, bands,  business, floats, fire engines,  and, of course, Santa!  Over and over again people were shouting "Merry Christmas!"  There were at least three floats representing area churches.  This year, for the first time, another organized religion entered a float in the parade:  Downeast Humanists and Free thinkers.


They were quoted as saying that they wanted to be represented in the community in what they referred to as the "Holiday" Parade.


So, hey!  It's a free country, right?

On the side of their float was a sign that said "Happy Winter Solstice."  Pretty harmless.  After all, I do believe that there is a shortest day in the year.  But here is the deal people:

It's the Ellsworth Christmas Parade
not the "Winter" parade
not the "Holiday" parade
not the "solstice" parade.


but.....for how long?   They are a small group of sad looking older folk, but in my experience as an American lately it seems the small minority has the loudest voice.


They were handing out bookmarks with candy attached (of course)  Written on these was :
                     The Axial tilt is the reason for the seasons.

Are you kidding me?

Okay humanists and free thinkers everywhere...........


We give glory to God, creator of heaven and earth for designing and creating this wonderful system--the earth being hung perfectly in space to provide the conditions necessary for mankind to thrive here.

Can I get an Amen?!!!

I feel sorry for humanists and free thinkers.  They have so much to learn.  Their eyes need to be opened to their need for God.  They must have a massive amount of unanswered questions about themselves and the world they live in.  The "whys" can be overwhelming for a christian, can you imagine the pressure of taking it all on yourself, only believing in yourself?

Earlier I referred to the humanists and free thinkers as an organized religion.
 Humanism is a religion, and Satan is it's god.  We must pray for their salvation and the wisdom and patience and love necessary for us to live alongside them in this world, in our communities.

Being a church goer will not impress the world.....or God.  So statistics are meaningless.  Shining Christ's light and love onto those around us............Now that will be impressive!

Merry Christmas!!!