It’s Not Fair!

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“…targeting smokers disproportionately harms poor people”, said a medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, as reported on Levittownnow.com. “Harms poor people”! Really!  http://levittownnow.com/2020/01/13/smokers-need-not-apply-fairness-of-no-nicotine-hiring-policies-questioned/ 

Smoking, like any other addiction, is a choice. This psychobabble, taken seriously, like most modern psychology, traps people. Smoking keeps poor people poor, not to mention harms their health. Cancer sticks burns a hole in the pocket as well as their lungs! They don’t really need smokes, although the addicted ones think so. They are wrong! 

And there’s the matter of “fairness” that smokers and their advocates harp on. Nobody is making smoking illegal; just a condition of employment!  An employer has the right to create such as policy! Employers’ reasons are far from arbitrary. 

Here’s a bit about fairness:  https://www.prageru.com/video/what-is-fair/?fbclid=IwAR2XW783boTj3o_3TnX799v8kCetuOJX9nEFQm6haW0P7OOoTv4qQduCAak 

Some smokers clearly show the entitlement mentality. An encounter I had with a smoker about a year ago at a fast food restaurant in Bristol, PA, illustrates the gimme gimmee mentality.  As I pulled into a parking space at the place, a young guy, who seemed to come out of nowhere, slipped behind me, and went around my car and stood about ten feet from my driver’s door. As soon I exited the car, the guy asked if I had a cigarette. I told him no – that I don’t smoke. “Can you give me ten bucks for a pack of cigarettes?”, he unabashedly asked. “No,” I unequivocally said. “When I become an old as* see if I give you anything, the punk snarled, as he walked away. “You need to change your attitude,” I replied. His ignorance grew. “F*** you,” this intellectual spouted. 

To some, smoking is a religion, the god of this age. Although now I know that before a smoker opens a pack and taps it against his/her palm countlessly the purpose is to better pack the tobacco, this still strikes me as a ritual.  Many smokers religiously light up, like a panting deer drinking water at a stream. 

Maybe the ACLU could fight an employer’s prerogative to not hire smokers on religious grounds. After all, it is a de facto religion to some! They worship at the church of Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes. Johnny Smoke, a hired gun, is an evangelist for the church. 

I’m always been puzzled when I see homeless people smoking.  Although they can’t afford a place to live, and have trouble getting food (although in Lower Bucks County, PA, between the state and benevolent people, they usually are provided for) they manage somehow to find cigarettes.  To save money, some of them make their own.  But some stoop to picking butts off the ground and out of ashtrays. What I don’t think is right, fair is for others to fund, support unnecessary, even harmful habits. Smoking is a personal choice. If they would rather use their money for cancer sticks rather than food or shelter, then that’s their choice. Not on my dime!  

To learn about the life of the homeless, including the propensity of some in this population to worship at the church of Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes:  

https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok 

PA Governor Big Bad Wolf Attacks Another Windmill

Here comes the big bad Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to save the day, again! This tax and spend Democrat promised action on their mental health, but doesn’t know how he’s going to fund it. Yea, right, I’m sure the Big Bad Wolf will find a way, even if he has to huff and puff and blow your house down to get your attention!  Evidently, Big Bad believes you have to be prodded by big government to address the state of your mind, your issues. Wolf is at his opioid command center, up in his Ivory Tower, to come up with a scheme to find another way to soak the taxpayer. This wisdom comes, evidently, from The Land Of The Lotus Eaters!  http://levittownnow.com/2020/01/03/gov-wolf-promises-action-on-mental-health-but-doesnt-say-how-it-will-be-funded/ 

In Pennsylvania, former governor Tom Corbitt wisely cut the fat by defunding the mental health hustling industry, just as he permitted drilling for fuel on state lands to provide jobs, needed affordable fuel and some of the proceeds to go into the tax coffer to be used to fund needed things and give the taxpayer a break. The Big Bad Wolf blew that house down and saved the day to save the environment! 

In southern Bucks County, PA, a few years back the mental health hustling program, where “recruiters” reached out to homeless people, with their a priori knowledge that in order to get housing, the homeless need mental health services, which they feel the homeless don’t know. They think they know better than us mortals! 

Funding woes hurt homeless, read a headline in The Courier Times a while back. Actually, it is the mixing of mental health services with housing for the homeless that hurts the homeless. “And when county departments divide these funds among different local initiatives” said Donna Duffy-Bell, administrator of the Bucks County Department of Health…, “more money sometimes goes towards more visible priorities, like opioid addiction, rather than hidden ones like homelessness” the article continues. 

Big Bad Wolf recently held a meeting of his knights in shining armor at the Round Table.  He and his philosopher kings are going to figure out how to plan their schemes.  The listening phase of the scheme has not been planned.  There’s no need to listen; if Big Bad Wolf wants your opinion, he’ll tell you what it is! 

The church, not secular psychiatry/psychology should fill this void in mental health programming by getting even more involved in helping people with problems. 

As to the defunding of mental health hustling in Bucks County, another parody from the They’re Coming to Take Me Away Band: 

Don’t Think Freely (parody of Buck Owen’s Act Naturally) 

Well, they’re going to put me in the nuthouse 

They want to make a monkey out of me 

They’re going to put me in the nuthouse 

And all they have to do 

Is round up me 

  

Well, they are going have to chase me real far 

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell 

If I really need to be in the nuthouse 

They expect me to play the part for them real well 

  

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse 

Maybe you can slip me a file in some cake 

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse 

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely 

  

They want to put me in the nuthouse 

That’s because they don’t think I am OK 

Well the only reason I am in the nuthouse 

Is that I’m homeless in Bucks County PA 

  

Well, they are going have to chase me real far 

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell 

If I really need to be in the nuthouse 

They expect me to play the part for them real well 

  

I’ll be a homeless collection in the nuthouse 

From the state they want to collect their precious bounty 

I’ll be a monkey caged there in the nuthouse 

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely 

  

They want to put me in the nuthouse 

That’s because they don’t think I am OK 

Well the only reason I am in the nuthouse 

Is that I’m homeless in Bucks County PA 

Is that I’m homeless in Bucks County PA 

  

Dupe-dupe a looney Dupe-dup a looney Dupe-dupe a looney… 

They’re coming to take me away ah-hah he-he ah-hah ah-hah he-he ah-hah he-he… 

To learn more about the homeless in Bucks County, including the role of the mental health hustlers and the church, read: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok 

Homelessness Does Not Define Your Character

A formerly homeless friend of mine’s pet peeve is that when someone causes a problem the media highlights that the culprit is homeless. Recently, on Levittownnow.com, a man was accused of damaging the Bristol Township PA police station when he was in a holding cell. 

In the second sentence of the article, the accused is readily identified as a homeless man. Homeless people should not be identified with crime, like the game Marco Polo. Instead of responding “Polo” when someone says “Marco”, one would respond “crime” to “Homeless person”!  

Yes, the alleged perpetrator is homeless, but being homeless does not define your character. Someone not homeless could have very well done the same thing. 

http://levittownnow.com/2020/01/02/man-accused-of-putting-pants-in-holding-cell-toilet/ 

By contrast, in another article on Levittownnow.com doesn’t identify a man, in knee jerk fashion, who was arrested for illegally sleeping in a van at an auto dealership in Langhorne, PA after having been repeatedly warned by police not to do this as homeless. It is appropriate that at the end of article there is a reference for those who are homeless. That the man was homeless was inferred in the article; it was certainly not the salient point!  

http://levittownnow.com/2019/12/30/man-charged-after-being-found-sleeping-in-van-at-dealership/ 

Homelessness a problem in Bucks County and throughout the rest of the country, and it must not be glossed over, ignored! 

In yet another recent article is a report about a man who dies in the woods in Croydon, PA. The man was obviously homeless and the article reports on another homeless person who died in the woods.  

http://levittownnow.com/2019/12/30/homeless-man-dies-in-woods-off-route-13/ 

Homeless advocates, myself included, have beseeched authorities and various parties to do something to give those without walls an opportunity to find a way out of homelessness. I say “opportunity” because some people who happen to be homeless don’t want to take the steps to improve their lot and act responsibly. My proposal a few years back to a Bucks County Commissioner to provide a homeless community fell on deaf ears. Others who wanted to privately help the homeless with housing were likewise stonewalled by the Bucks County establishment. 

These homeless issues are among what I address, based on years of personal experience with the homeless in Bucks County, in my book: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok 

Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone

As I was reading the devotional Our Daily Bread, which was in a care package I recently got from one of the shared meals for the homeless and needy in Bucks County, PA, I was reminded about what a blessing these community meals are. As I read the devotional, I was truly fed spiritually.  

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.“ -Deuteronomy 8:3 

The salient points such as we have a God who loves and cares for us no matter what. He helps us navigate through troubled waters. When we mess up, it’s not over; God forgives us of our sins and renews our hearts. 

A little while back, one of the hosts at another church community meals gave me a copy of Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch. It was very edifying. The hosts interaction with their guests is another good part of this ministry. In one of the Our Daily Bread devotionals I read today, ”Written on the Heart”, the author pointed out that we communicate the faith by the way we talk to others and behave. 

God created us to live in community, helping one another. 

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” -2 Corinthians 5:20 

In my book, the shared meals are one thing I write about.  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok  

Christmas Comes Once A Year

Christmas comes once a year”  

“And every man must have his share”  

 “Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer”  

-Famous limerick that plays on the radio in Guyana, South America at Christmastime 

I think I’d rather be in a jail in Guyana hanging out with Poor Willy rather than being accosted by the incessant ads and other claptrap during the crass commercial Christmas season. That is, if the jail does not subject its inmates to Christmas hype. That would be cruel and unusual punishment!   

There are, however, those who practice the true spirit of Christmas, the reason for the season. Again this year, the Marrazzo family will serve the homeless on Christmas day. People who have nowhere to go for Christmas will have a place to go where they can get a good Christmas meal and fellowship with others. At a recent shared meal for the homeless and those in need, the pastor of the Morrisville United Methodist Church announced this event, letting the guests know they have somewhere to go this Christmas if they don’t.  

The Christmas meal will start at 3 p.m., Christmas day at a warehouse tailored for the meal at 125 Lincoln Ave., Penndel, PA.   

In the church bulletin at my church this past Sunday was a printout of an article by Professor Kevin T Bauder of Central Baptist Theological Seminary entitled “The Three Christmases”. 1. The commercial holiday. 2. The cultural holiday and 3. The Christian Christmas, which celebrates the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The professor gives a brief history of the commercial holiday, which “by the end of the twentieth century, it had become devoted to the acquisitive spirit. It is a day that plays upon covetousness…’ Bauder seems to think this Christmas is inherently bad. The cultural holiday, he says, is not inherently wrong, but Christians must be careful to not let it overshadow the Christian Christmas, the real reason for the season. Of course, the professor thinks the Christian Christmas is spot on!  My pastor said, as an example, we would not have a Santa Clause come to the church. 

The “shared meals” are about sharing with others. The commercial Christmas is about greed. The commercialism started late 19th century. Over time, the giving of gifts degenerated from the giving of gifts to the expectation of getting gifts and even as low as demanding gifts. Some guests at the shared meals demand they get everything they want and even hog the food. The free meals are for the homeless and needy, not the homeless and greedy!  

The Marrazzo Christmas meal is an oasis in a desert of incessant ads and jingles, clichés that wear on the nerves. It’s good to know that beyond the surface glitter there is something noble. 

Christ was born in Bethlehem to save us from sin and to show us the way – to become more like him. Jesus healed the sick and lame and helped the downtrodden, accepting them for whom they are, a creature made in the image of God. 

Christmas is not just about a baby in the manger. It’s about Jesus coming to earth, being one of us, suffering like humans, being tempted but, being perfect, he had victory over sins on our behalf. It was the gift given graciously out of mercy for our fallen state. 

Columnist Cal Thomas puts Christmas in perspective: 

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/12/24/true-meaning-christmas.html 

Christmas is not just a one-time celebration, but a reminder of why Christ came to earth that we should hold dear all year long. It’s not just an isolated moment. To adapt lines from an old love song, Christmas is not just a moment’s pleasure, but a lifelong treasure. God is not a distant concept; he is ever present. 

God is found in all creation. He didn’t make the earth and people then go off to a distant cloud like the pagan gods of old, but he is alive. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
  the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
  no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
  their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
  It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
  like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
  It rises at one end of the heavens
  and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth. 

The law of the Lord is perfect,
  refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
  making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
  giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
  giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
  enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
  and all of them are righteous. 

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression. 

 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
  be pleasing in your sight,
  Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” 

-Psalm 19 

To learn more about the homeless in Bucks County, PA , the meals and a closer look into who the homeless really are, read “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”, by yours truly. https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs 

Enter The Reformation

In a recent blog, I wrote about how the pilgrims did not go to America from England for religious freedom for the first time, but they had that in Holland and that they left Holland because they got sucked into the worldly, materialistic ways of the Dutch at that time.  

Before the Reformation came to the Netherlands in the mi-16th century, the Netherlands were not an independent country, much like America was in the colonial days before we kicked England out of our country. For a while, the Habsburg Dynasty of theocratic Catholic Spain gave the Dutch a lot of autonomy.  

As the Netherlands got richer, Spain wanted a cut. The Catholic theocracy was also nervous about the Reformation blooming in the Netherlands and started clamping its grip on the Dutch. The people of the Netherlands rebelled, and there was much bloodshed, persecution and war. In time, Spain lost and had to leave the Dutch alone, much as was the case in the American Revolution. 

The first influence in 16th century Netherlands was from mainly from the Anabaptists, a belief that was popular with the Dutch then.  Later Calvinism took root. The Calvinists, who were persecuted by the Catholics from Spain, fought back, and destroyed Catholic churches and images as well as their ideas. They took them down much like Bruce Lee took down the secret, evil fortress in Enter The Dragon. 

https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-netherlands-during-the-reformation.html 

In the 17th century, the Netherlands became a hotbed, a strong fortress for the Reformation. 

Today, sadly, the imprint of the Reformation in the Netherlands is only a shell, symbolism over substance. 

We Are Therefore Christ’s Ambassadors

At the shared meal last Saturday at the Lutheran Church of God’s Love in Newtown, PA for the homeless and those in need, the pastor and two other hosts sat at our table to get to know us and were open to our concerns. They also socialized with the other guests. We were warmly welcomed and made to feel at home.  

There are other churches that hosts the meals who also warmly welcome and socialize with their guests, such as the Second Baptist Church of Bristol, Harriman UMC, Restoration Church, Calvary Baptist, Saint Marks AME in Newtown, and Calvary Full Gospel. 

There are other churches, however, that at some point became a bit callous towards the homeless and those in need. The Levittown Salvation Army Community Center is one of them. Most recently, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the guests were herded in and out like cattle!  The guests had to wait in a long line, like the soup line people had to wait in during the Great Depression in the cold to get into the meal. Finally, a few minutes after the six pm. set opening, guests were herded in. It took a while, as the host took people’s names. A host that one former Salvation Army volunteer nicknamed “Queen Latifah” escorted the party I was in to assigned seats, as she did others.  

It took some time for most guests to sit down and eat. I must have been after 6:30 when they could start! Yet, about 7 p.m., AHTN rounded the herd up to get in the bus. The queen parroted the order that it was time to go, quite augustly and vocally. You would think that AHTN would give the homeless riders more time to enjoy their meal! 

After experiencing abrupt rudeness and condescension repeatedly from the queen years ago, I stopped going for quite some time. I heard there was new leadership and that maybe the new leaders would put a leash on the queen, a member of a spurious aristocracy. As evidenced at the Thanksgiving meal, the status quo is pretty much still in place. I don’t plan to go back to the meals.  

The Levittown Church of God is another church that does not treat their guest right. Although we who come to the free shared homeless and needy meals appreciate being fed, some of us expressed outrage with the attitude of the host, namely the pastor, at a meal there back in February, 2019. Some people, including myself, have decided not to go back there. 

We he opened, he bragged that the church itself provided the meal.  “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:2.  

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2  

The host started taking up table cloths, chairs, and even tables not much past 6:30 p.m., as people were still eating. The meal is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Guests were not let in until 6:05. One of the guests asked if the meal was supposed to end at 6:30 p.m.   “Don’t you see, everyone is leaving”, the pastor snapped.  Shortly thereafter, as I sat, wiping my mouth with a napkin, the pastor, standing opposite me said something like “hope you had a good meal; we’re breaking it down…”.  As I finished wiping my mouth, he flipped the table, abruptly folding it up, almost dropping it on my lap!    

As we moseyed towards the door, some of the hosts subtly pushed us out, as if we were cattle!  Movin’ movin’ movin’. Keep them doggies movin’. Keep them doggies movin’, rawhide…  Move ‘em out!  

Except for graciously and generously offering the guests food, the hosts did not interact with their guests as they have in the past.  In the past, the pastor and other hosts have reached out to others. On one occasion long ago I talked with the pastor about a problem, which was later resolved. 

Most of the churches that host the shared meals are gracious with their guests and socialize with them. The shared meals are an important ministry, where hosts can reach out to show Jesus to their guests and help people experiencing problems. 

In my book, the shared meals are one thing I write about.  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok 

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” -2 Corinthians 5:20 

Do Not Conform To This World!

The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620 didn’t go there to flee religious persecution from England. They already had freedom when they emigrated England and went to Amsterdam, Holland in 1607 and 1608. 

The problem the Pilgrims had in Holland that people, especially their children, were seduced into the mainstream culture there at the time. The kids just wanted to fit in and not be seen as odd. The children ignored their upbringing in the faith. Pilgrims were lured into sinful activities. Many pilgrims abused their new found freedom and tolerance. The Dutch children didn’t read their Bible and the pilgrims’ kids stopped reading their Bibles. They were taken in by their welcome grin! 

https://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2017/11/a-thanksgiving-story-how-the-netherlands-played-a-part-in-the-american-holiday/ 

In the 1600s, Amsterdam grew in affluence and prosperity, and pilgrims grew along with them. They worked hard and long hours and didn’t make time for God.  Likewise, Christians in America prospered materially, but declined spiritually. In fact, there is a spiritual bankruptcy in America. There are preachers, like Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar (who lives up to his name), who preach the prosperity doctrine. 

The affluence and prosperity – the worship of the almighty dollar – and diminishing spirituality, is evident during the Christmas season, as the crass commercial hawkers started well before Thanksgiving. Hallmark did some Christmas in July!  In Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie, the executives at Engulf & Devour bowed at the altar of the dollar, an idol set in a golden background, reverently saying “Oh mighty dollar, we pray to thee; without thee we would be in the crapper!” 

https://youtu.be/OSQcm91jeR8 

Jesus said the root of all evil is the love of money. 

Like the pilgrims in the Dutch city of Leyden, Christians in America are getting seduced by idols. And there are dire consequences. The Dutch, who were originally tolerant of the Pilgrims’ beliefs, became intolerant of them. This is the way the politically correct are today in our country. 

What we need today in America is to anchor to a Plymouth Rock and have Jesus as our rock. 

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2

We’re Having A Party

The food at the Salvation Army Levittown, PA chapter’s Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday night was good, but spiritual food was lacking. 

Man does not live by bread alone, but for guests at the dinner, this is about all they had. You would think that the Salvation Army, a faith-based organization, would have put more emphasis on the role of faith at Thanksgiving.  The event was more like a party, a wild one!  

There is nothing inherently wrong with a party, but at least invite Jesus to the party. Through most of the event, as guests enjoyed good food, the music was good and was played at a reasonable volume. But later on, it was so loud you had to yell for someone right next to you to be understood! And as someone later commented, one host, whom a former Salvation Army volunteer nicknamed “Queen Latifah”, was so loud that she didn’t need a microphone! 

The guests had to wait in a long line, like the soup line people had to wait in during the Great Depression. Finally, a few minutes after the six pm. set opening, guests were herded in. It took a while, as the host took people’s names. The queen escorted the party I was in to assigned seats. 

It took some time for most guests to sit down and eat. I must have been after 6:30 when they could start! Yet, about 7 p.m., AHTN rounded the herd up to get in the bus. The queen parroted the order that it was time to go, quite augustly and vocally. You would think that AHTN would give the homeless riders more time to enjoy their meal! 

Many people did stay. One woman, almost 70 years old, started dancing up a storm, which prompted others to join in. 

Having a good time is fine, but that’s not all that thanksgiving is about. It’s not just a time to party, but a time to thank God for what He has given us as we gather together… 

https://www.facebook.com/prageru/videos/2750458911663614/UzpfSTEzOTUyMzE5MDc6MTAyMTYwMDI4MzIyODkwMzk/ 

In my book about the homeless, I talk about how the local Salvation Army interacts with the homeless in southern Bucks County, PA, both positive and negative:  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok 

Don’t Be A Luddy-Duddy!

To my complaint that Christmas has become too commercialized, trite, shallow, more than once people have said that my thinking is  “bah humbug”. 

What does bah humbug mean? 

Bah humbug is an exclamation that conveys curmudgeonly displeasure. The phrase is most famously used by Ebenezer Scrooge, the main, curmudgeonly character in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843). 

Scrooge was an old miser, who didn’t like Christmas, the true meaning of the season, which, at the time Dickens wrote the novella, was about family getting together for food and drink, dancing, games and having a genuine generosity of spirit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Carol 

Saying people who object to the bastardization of Christmas are bah humbug is as non sequitur as a scene in the W.C. Fields movie The Bank Dick: Egbert Sousè (W.C. Fields), the bank dick, asks Og, his future son-in-law to unofficially secure an illegal loan for him. He is reluctant, and Sousè says “Don’t be a luddy-duddy! Don’t be a mooncalf! Don’t be a jabbernowl! You’re not those, are you?” 

The Dickens’ story shows how a mean, callous, miserly man is transformed into a caring, benevolent person. This reflects the true spirit of Christmas, a Christ redeems us, rescues us from sin and spiritual death and makes us a new creature, born again in the likeness of Jesus, the reason for the season! 

Today’s worldly Christmas mantra is well illustrated in a song by Janis Joplin:  

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?” 

Janis Joplin-Mercedes Benz(original)

The peace of Christmas is that we are not at war with God, but submit to His sovereign will and acquire the character of Jesus Christ. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 

In the midst of all the surface glitter and manic, worldly ways this season, we need to be reminded what Christmas is about. A Christmas poem illustrates this: 

All Christmas Poetry  

The True Meaning of Christmas  

by Brian K. Walters  

In today’s day and time, 

 it’s easy to lose sight, 

 of the true meaning of Christmas 

 and one special night. 

When we go shopping, 

 We say “How much will it cost?” 

 Then the true meaning of Christmas, 

 Somehow becomes lost. 

Amidst the tinsel, glitter 

 And ribbons of gold, 

 We forget about the child, 

 born on a night so cold. 

The children look for Santa 

 In his big, red sleigh 

 Never thinking of the baby 

 Whose bed was made of hay. 

In reality when we look into the night sky, 

 We don’t see a sleigh 

 But a star, burning bright and high. 

A faithful reminder, 

 Of that night so long ago, 

 And of the child we call Jesus, 

 Whose love, the world would know. 

 In my book I published in November, 2018, There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless, some of which I wrote during the commercial Christmas season at a nursing home while camping out at my dearest Sandi’s bedside, I wrote about the meaning of Christmas. The Lord took her home there on December 4, 2017. I dedicated my book to Sandi, who on her deathbed would say “Jesus is in my heart.”  

In the midst of the incessant, commercialized Christmas advertisements that played on Sandi’s roommates’ TVs that called out to fools to buy extravagant gifts, like the woman Folly in Proverbs 9:13: “The woman named Folly is loud; she is naive and knows nothing”, I was moved to set the record straight by comparing Christmas commercialism to the money changers that Jesus drove from the Temple.  

The book may be purchased: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok%MCEPASTEBIN%

The peace of Christmas is that we are not at war with God, but submit to His sovereign will and acquire the character of Jesus Christ. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20