At some point in the Christmas season you have probably heard the term “the war on Christmas”. The term was coined from an on-going battle some organizations have with retailers who opt for the more inclusive politically correct term “happy holidays”. Those taking issue with the term “happy holidays” are trying to persuade the retail outlets and other organizations to keep Christ in Christmas.
As more people feel the need to opt for “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas”, I think it only highlights the need for Christians to get our message out. Personally, I don’t think our message should be forcing people to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays” — although I’d be happy if they did!
My thought is that by forcing people to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays” — the former greeting could become as meaningless and ho-hum as the later. Instead, I think Christians should use the opportunity to lovingly share with happy holiday-ers the reason why they themselves choose to say Merry Christmas. Use the opportunity not to force them to switch their preferred greeting, but instead plant a seed in their thought that gets them thinking about the real reason for the season.
They may not immediately change their greeting, but I guarantee that they are watching the attitude in which we respond in the season when we are supposed to be full of hope, peace, and love for mankind. If they see that hope, peace, and love displayed in conjunction with the story of the First Christmas — perhaps they would be willing to ask you for more information about this Christ Child.
Then next Christmas season — if the message clicks — perhaps they’ll greet you with a hearty “Merry Christmas”, not because they wish to avoid a lecture, but because they now believe in the Reason!
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Being a father has given me a better understand of how God sees each of us. I’d like to say that it has given me a better appreciation for patience and long suffering, but unfortunately I’m still human. It has, however, taught me a lot about the loving discipline that God measures out to his wayward children — and it has given me a greater appreciation for unconditional love.
This morning as I was preparing for another day at NewLife FM, my daughters decided to put on an impromptu fashion show. They love to dress up in their princess play clothes while dancing and singing — all for the approval of their father. It’s a fun and silly family time, but the question I get over and over again is, “Am I pretty?”
If we are all honest, we adults are a lot like these children. The things we do each day are much like a “fashion show” we put on for Jesus. We ask Him things like, “Am I pretty?” — “Did I do a good job?” — “Do I matter?” etc…
When my own children ask me these questions, I always respond with a “yes”. It doesn’t matter if their dancing shoes are on the wrong feet, their princess dress is inside out, or that they can’t remember all the words to the songs they sing for me — they always have my unconditional love.
In the Bible, we learn that all the things we try to do to gain approval from God are as “filthy rags”. But I can’t help but think that the Heavenly Father looks down on us none-the-less and says with a smile, “You already have my unconditional love.”
We are all His little children.
Let it never be said of me that I prefer to be boring. I like my sweet tea with lots of sugar and lots of lemon, the meat in my freezer was once running around in someone’s backwoods, and I eat eggs with hot sauce for breakfast every morning! Ha!
My mom once told me that I was named after the Apostle Peter and I think Peter was one of the least boring Apostles there was — besides Paul. Here was a man’s man who liked to fish, he was boisterous — always opening his mouth when he shouldn’t, but yet when it came to stretching his faith he was the first and only human to step out of the boat and walk on water. Peter wasn’t boring. He was a rough around the edges adventurous soul. I’ve always admired the man.
Sometimes though, more often than naught, I find myself exhibiting the Apostle Peter’s less favorable characteristics. But this past weekend, I sort of got to do something he did if you can compare white water rafting to walking on water. Okay maybe a bit of a stretch — but I wonder if the rush of class IV rapids was similar to the waves experienced in the boat as Jesus walked toward it on Galilee?
I knew my white water trip with the men of Rock Springs Church in Milner was going to be interesting when the guide paired six of us in a raft with a dude named Munchie. Not to mention that the Ocoee River in Tennessee was running the highest it has in years. Tragically, our trip was delayed one-hour because the group before us lost a member going over Grumpy — a class IV straight out of the chute. Needless to say I was extremely nervous about our turn. However, like the Apostle Peter, I decided to test my faith in the turbulent Ocoee.
Now let me officially introduce you to our guide — Munchie. If you were to take Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty, beard and body type, and give him the personality of comedian Jack Black — you would have Munchie. And I don’t think he got his nickname solely from his love for snacks — if you get my drift.
So here we go, all 7 of us to face certain doom on the Ocoee. And leading us into the fray is a happy-go-lucky “surfs up” dude at the helm. Things got a little dicey going over Grumpy, but once we got on the other side I started to think “I can handle this!”
Per Munchie’s instruction — a successful ride depended on us paying attention to his constant instruction. Keep your eyes down river and listen for the commands to paddle how fast and how long while Munchie steered the raft. Things went pretty smooth so-to-speak until we hit the final group of class IV rapids and one in particular called the “double suck”.
We were warned about the double suck, that if we didn’t get enough speed up we could get caught on the back side of the rapid and flip. Apparently the raft ahead of us didn’t get the memo and there they were waiting for us in the double suck as we steamed full speed ahead!
WHAM! Our bow slammed into their stern full speed and the stern shot up almost 90 degrees. Poor Munchie tried to hang on for dear life. Unfortunately he missed his grip and all 300 lbs (at least) came down like a massive felled tree. Just before I realized we would hit the raft ahead of us, I put my oar in the air to avoid it being ripped out of my hand by the current. Unfortunately, Munchie’s face did a meet and greet with it on his way down to the bow where his body was laid out bow to stern in a full face-plant! We all thought it was the end of Munchie — but he got back up, straightened his helmet and life jacket out and on we went.
It was the trip of a life time for sure! Our raft became legendary on the river that afternoon as everyone recalled Munchie’s face plant. But all kidding aside, rafting down the Ocoee was a great life lesson.
Sometimes we feel as though life just tosses us about in rapids and we don’t know what to do, but — if I may stretch this lesson here a bit — we all have Munchie or should I say Jesus back in the stern of the raft calling out directions and steering the raft. All we need to do is make sure we pay attention to his voice and keep looking down river.
Last week, my family and I took a Georgia staycation to the little community of Dillard. There is just something about the mountains that is so refreshing in both a physical sense and a spiritual sense.
We ended up renting a little farmhouse with a wrap around front porch with a panoramic view of the North Georgia mountains. When we weren’t sitting on the front porch, we were hiking through Black Rock State Park (Georgia’s highest State Park), driving through the mountains and visiting the many scenic waterfalls. And enjoying trout fishing.
When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them–fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. – John 21:9
It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed fresh caught Rainbow Trout! My youngest daughter Makayla caught the biggest one. I stuffed them with some lemons, onions, and garlic and seasoned the skin with salt and pepper. I imagined this was what it was like eating fish with Jesus. A truly religious experience.
The biggest highlight of our trip was family breakfast at the Dillard House. Everything is served family style and there is no menu. You just show up and they bring plate after plate filled with all kinds of breakfast foods to your table. Country ham, bacon, sausage, grits, fried apples, biscuits, donuts, cinnamon rolls, sawmill gravy, hashbrowns, etc. Needless to say you do not leave hungry!
All in all we had a wonderful time together as a family. We were renewed and now I look forward to coming back into the studios of NewLife FM and sharing our daily journey together on NewLife Praise!
Recently, while preparing the broadcast for Georgia News You can use — I came across the story of Steam Locomotive 509 in Macon. My love of trains compelled me to read the story and in it I found a picture of Jesus.
Back in the day, one could picture Locomotive 509 steaming its way across Georgia in all the glory and splendor afforded the technological marvel of it’s time. One could imaging the blast of its steam whistle and the sheer strength it took to haul it’s many freight cars and perhaps passenger cars. Now it sits in a city park in Macon. A rusted hulk and hollow shell.
The locomotive has attracted some interest. An outfit wishes to restore the train to its former glory and put it back into service. While others look at the train and decry it as an eyesore. Some even look at the train and see it as a bigger example of failure and attribute to it the alleged failures of others.
Isn’t that a lot like how you and I are sometimes viewed? Maybe we have fallen on hard times. Others think we have out-lived our usefulness and shove our failures in our face while saying there is no hope. But thank God there are those who see potential in us.
If you are feeling a bit like Locomotive 509 — rest assured NewLife FM sees potential for restoration. We know that Jesus Christ is the great restorer. He sees the potential you have — to Him you are not a rusted pile of scrap metal. There is hope.
Let’s not be like those who shake their heads in shame. Instead let’s look past the rust, weeds, and unsightly paint. Let us open our eyes to the potential Christ has for each and everyone of us.
One of my favorite “dad blogs” is All pro Dad. With the 4th of July and summer upon us — here are some great summer safety tips!
Also, remember that firing illegal fireworks in GA can result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. For a list of legal fireworks and safety tips click the following link…
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!!!
This week has to be one of the top 10 craziest weeks in my broadcast career. Earlier this week I got a call from my friend Jason Clark of SouthEastern Reptile Rescue at 4 AM. He was on his way to a call in Macon — apparently an 8 foot gator (at least) was trying to cross I-75. Jason’s truck broke down in Forsyth, and I offered to meet him in my Chevy Impala to help him out.
The police officer responding to the scene — his cruiser took some damage and a flat tire from a gator chomp. Originally I was told it was a small gator so I offered to take Jason to the call and use my vehicle to rescue the gator. Apparently his size had been underestimated.
Anyway…Jason was able to subdue the gator and we managed to fit him in my vehicle. In order to get the gator to fit I had to fold down the passenger seats and poke his head through. So image driving with an 8 foot gator hissing and growling at your back. If you missed the video…here is the link…
Find out more information on SouthEastern Reptile Rescue here: www.SnakesRUs.com
Georgia boasts a wide variety of local produce from peaches to blueberries. However, one of my all time favorite farmers market treats is fried green tomatoes.
It’s been said that the general public is eating tomatoes all wrong — waiting for them to turn red when in fact they are at their peak flavor while green. I’m inclined to agree! There is nothing more my family enjoys than picking fresh green tomatoes from our garden, or buying them at the local farmers market.
At the Chagnon household, we make fried green tomatoes with a little “twist”. I’ll call the following recipe: The best fried green tomatoes ever!
Ingredients for 2 servings:
Two medium sized fresh local green tomatoes
about 5-6 large Basil leaves chopped
about a 1/2 cup corn meal
Heat a large skillet with about 1/2 an inch of peanut oil
Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thickness and dust with corn meal
Place tomato slices into oil and cook until golden brown (turning as needed)
Stack tomato slices as follows: slice/blue cheese/slice/blue cheese until about 4-5 slices high.
Drizzle Balsamic reduction on top and garnish with fresh chopped Basil
Ask God’s blessing and enjoy!
Nothing brings togetherness in a family like God, each other, and good southern comfort food!
A lot of exciting things have transpired since the last blog post. First of all, NewLife FM was excited to be a part of RUSH 2013 at the Rock Ranch! What a fantastic outreach to the youth in our area, over 8,000 of them. Hundreds gave their lives to Christ and many more rededicated their lives to Him. It is so exciting to see the next generation on fire for Christ.
RUSH weekend was literally one of the wettest weekends in recent Georgia history — with over 4 inches of rain! That did not stop thousands of excited Duck Dynasty fans from hearing Willie and Si share their love for Jesus. In typical Si fashion, Si noted that “only a Jesus freak would stand outside in the rain to hear him share his love for Jesus. And if loving Jesus makes you a freak,” Si continued, “then I’m the freakiest man alive!” And yes, Si had his famous tea cup with him the ENTIRE time.
Apart from RUSH weekend, other exciting developments at NewLife FM include preparations for our upcoming Spring Sharathon — May 13th through the 15th. If facebook posts are an indicator, I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of people are tired of “cursing the darkness” and would like to see real solutions to the problems we face implemented. This is why it is vital for YOU to become a part of NewLife FM as a financial supporter. As a financial supporter, you are helping to implement THE SOLUTION to life’s ills — namely Jesus Christ and His Gospel message.
We need your call and support this Spring Sharathon — we cannot do this without you! Thank you for listening!