Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hate/Love relationship

Ok…so since I shocked and appalled you all in the last post…I decided to be slightly more positive in this one. But just slightly…

Here’s the dealy-o. I don’t like Christmas cause of it’s roots. I don’t like Christians whining about being told Happy Holidays. (I find it incomprehensible that Christians are “offended” by being told Happy Holy-days. HOW is that possibly offensive??) I don’t like the sayings of “Keep Christ in Christmas” because we added Him to it in the first place…and I don’t like “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”…cause, well, originally He wasn’t.

BUT….HERE IS WHAT I DO LOVE…

I do, in fact love the corporateness and unity that it brings to the world. (which I think is why the division being brought over the greetings bother me so much) I love that people come together to reach out to those in need. I think how the world acts during November-December is how God called to church to act EVERY month. I cry every morning listening to the "Christmas Wishes" on the radio and how a radio station is stepping in to change the lives of families in desperate need. How different would the world be if that was truly how the Church acted all year long?

And, I LOVE Christmas songs- especially the one’s about Jesus. I think we should be singing them all year round. I love when even secular artists just want to show off their vocal skills and choose to sing O Holy Night or Come All Ye Faithful. It overwhelms me to sit and watch or listen to the truth of God’s word being declared over the airways. Do you remember when Vanessa Williams and Luciano Pavarotti sang Oh Come All Ye Faithful on Saturday Night Live? How crazy is that concept that they were standing on that stage singing “come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord”

It’s an absolutely amazingly beautiful part of the season that regardless of my feelings about the overall holiday, I deeply cherish the moments when I can sit and listen to people all over the world declare that the Messiah has come to bring Salvation to the world.

After talking about it...I had to go find it and watch it one more time. So amazingly beautiful...if you can keep from being distracted by the eyebrows...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brace yourselves...

OK. I’m going to do it. Once and for all. I’m going to finally and blatantly and officially come out of the closet.



(my Christian friends probably should brace themselves...)





I, Jenn Beamer, do NOT celebrate Christmas.


Whew. Praise God that's done.


Now I know half of you are saying, “Well, duh!” but the other half has just felt like the breath was knocked out of them…and probably need to close your gaping mouths.

Ok, well, some may not be that shocked. If you’ve put together my oh-so-subtle comments here and there…then you get it.

It started about 10 years ago. I was starting to learn about the Jewish roots of Christianity…I was learning how Constantine twisted and corrupted our religion and that fire of passion was starting to spark...

About October/November of 1997 I was listening to one of my shows that was teaching a lot of that stuff and heard a couple of phrases that alluded to the fact that Constantine started Christmas and I SHUT DOWN. Really. I survived my childhood by learning the AMAZING defense mechanism of De-nial. It’s a fantastic tool.
Ok, not really. But for temporary fixes, it works great.

Now, I LOoooOoooOoved Christmas. I lived for Christmas. I moved out of my house at 18 and had few items to my name…except for the boxes and boxes and boxes of Christmas stuff. So ya, I get it.

It was that season of life when God was downloading large amounts of information and I was this crazy little sponge absorbing...and actually retaining everything…and then…when Christmas was approaching and I heard my nemesis name being attached to it…I flicked immediately into denial. I started singing loudly as to not hear any more information coming from the crazy man on tv…and I ran over and turned him off. I sat for a minute to compose myself…and then told God- “I can’t. Please don’t. Just let me have this year, with no more information…and then starting in January you can tell me anything you want.” And that’s how it was. I didn’t watch the shows about Judaism and Christianity. I wouldn’t pick my books back up. No Jewish chat room discussions. (it was the 90s people-don’t judge) Nothing. I savored those few months of obliviousness.

And then in January…I started listening to God again.

No worries…I’m not about to go off about any details.

Course then…because of this season of revelations and growing passions…I was so excited about everything I was learning that I just assumed everyone else would be too. Oops.
I would scream out about the Jewish roots…and Constantine to anyone in a 30 feet radius of me. I was completely unbridled in my passion and had no boundaries. Of course, this just caused offense and problems all around me.

So in 2001 on my way to Norway for my SOIWSW, God basically told me to shut up. Really. He said to keep my mouth shut about all those things while I was there. And I did.

After Norway…I still kept it shut about Christmas (and well, ok, since we’re on the subject- Easter as well). I learned that even when I told it calmly and just matter-of-fact to people, especially Christians…they would get OFFENDED with me. Angry, bitter, etc. I’ve been accused of judging and being condescending. Yet, I still participate with my family…and in the Christmas get-togethers that happen. (well, mostly) And if you want to celebrate Christmas, then fine. But as I’ve said before in other posts…because of what I believe God has asked of me in my life regarding the restoration of foundations…I can’t participate in those things.

Since 2001 I’ve tried to keep it on the down-low as much as possible. My friends like to out me to others because I’m such an anomaly. We’d be sitting at a restaurant just enjoying a meal with new friends and suddenly one particular friend LOVED to just scream out “Jenn doesn’t celebrate Christmas!” (oh the drama!) But I’ve become pretty good at giving general answers about the holidays and changing the subject when I’m asked about where my decorations are or whatever. But last year I felt like God was saying that I didn’t have to go to such extremes to hide my non-participation…and that it was ok to let it be known. (since I’ve become MUCH better with the boundaries of my passion!) I debated posting a blog last year, and have written 756212654871254654 drafts...but chickened out. But this year…I think it’s time to just declare it and put it out there. Mainly, so that we can all just move on and I don’t become exhausted trying to avoid the subject.



I’m sure this also explains my declarations of the fact that I think it’s better to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. (but I’m all about free speech and don’t believe it’s ok to tell people they CAN’T say Merry Christmas) Millions of people out there celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas (Jews AND Gentiles)…and if Jesus was on the earth today…He would be participating in Hanukkah…and therefore He’d be telling people Happy Holidays as well. (well, ok….since He is all knowing…He’d probably be holiday specific to the ones He was talking too…but in GENERAL I would place my bets on the fact that He’d merrily declare the double H.)

FYI- I DO in fact celebrate the birth of Jesus...during Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) and I DO celebrate His death and ressurection during Passover...

And if you want to know my reasons and explanations for it all…I will feel free to discuss them.

But let’s wait till March.



Friday, December 4, 2009

Convictions!.?

I’ve been thinking a lot about convictions lately. What they are, why, to what degrees different people have them, etc., etc.

Personally, I’m the kind of girl who is convicted about the things I’m convicted about because of the right and wrong standards I believe God has established in His Word.

The thing is…is that I think that the majority of Christians would make that exact same statement.

Why then, are all of our convictions different?

And I’m not saying convictions as in- heart’s passions and callings. I get that God has gifted all of us with different passions and roles that He wants us to play in society.

But I’m talking black and white, right from wrong, where the boundaries are supposed to be placed in our lives convictions.

I hear this phrase ALL the time, “God hasn’t convicted me of that yet” or “Well, different people just have different levels of convictions in different areas”.

But I don’t really get that. How can it be different? We all have the same Bible, right? We follow the same God?

Several months ago, someone heard that one of my most favorite movies is St. Elmo’s Fire. Now, in that movie…there is cussing, drug use, sex scenes, and extra-marital affairs happening. By today’s standards of movies, most of that is pretty mildly portrayed…but it is still IN the movie. This person told my other friend “Wow, I thought Jennifer was a Christian.”

Ok, I wasn't offended, but that actually made me laugh. Because the crazy part is, that IF I would have gone to her house and she was watching a Disney cartoon that involved magic, I would have been JUST as frustrated for HER "lack of convictions"…and wondering why she would allow magic and occult things in her house. Drug use and sex doesn’t easily offend me, cussing doesn’t even make me blink (well, ok, that’s actually a WHOLE other issue to me, that has to do with culture standards more than God’s standards)...BUT if you throw magic into the mix, (and yes I mean ANYthing with magic) or anything even remotely having to do with the occult- and I will quickly scream out Isaiah 5:20- WOE TO THOSE who call evil good and good evil!!!! WOE.TO.THOSE.

BUT THE THING IS…is that God also calls affairs, premarital sex, drug use, etc. wrong. Yet…I get sucked in by those amazing eyes of Rob Lowe, and I don’t think about convictions anymore. :-)

I actually think ALL of this is a problem.

I think, in reality, if we’re all TRULY seeking God’s heart, and His Word for HIS standards…then as followers of Him…we should all have the EXACT same level of convictions. Right? How can God possibly be different from person to person? How can He say that I’m not allowed to watch anything with magic in it because the Bible says to stay away from it…but He’s ok if you participate in it? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Is it REALLY that “we all just have different levels of convictions in different areas”…or are we just not REALLY listening to the truth of what God is saying and willing to walk it out???????????

I’d love to hear your thoughts….