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January 12, 2017
by Steve Sanchez
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2016 Celebrity Deaths & God

WHAT DID ALL THOSE CELEBRITIES WHO DIED IN 2016 BELIEVE ABOUT GOD?

Pop star George Michael wrote this in 2005: “As a gay Englishman, should I be more afraid of God? I’ve never had a problem with God, you see. The God that Americans are presented with day after day would, I think, have a few problems with me….”

Every death is a tragedy. Every one of them a great loss. But it really seems to hit home when it’s someone famous, someone you grew up with on TV or the movies, heard on the radio or watched in a sport. Being a Christian pastor, I’m always curious as to what people thought about God. Here are some quotes from the famous before they passed away in 2016.

Carrie Fisher said, “I love the idea of God, but it’s not stylistically in keeping with the way I function. I would describe myself as an enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God.”

Astronaut John Glenn: Continue Reading

January 2, 2017
by Steve Sanchez
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The Great Divide

It’s 2017! Happy New Year!

But why? Do you know what happened 2,017 years ago?

year of Lord

What happened? Simply the most significant event ever….

It’s been 2,017 years since Jesus Christ was born, that babe in the manger. Every time you look at a coin, it’s a marker of time, a reminder that Jesus Christ came into this world to seek and to save people from their sin.

Someone once said: “He has turned aside the river of ages out of its course and lifted the centuries off its hinges.”

dividing

We measure time as B.C. Before Christ, and A.D. Do you know what that means? Not “After Death.” No, A.D. stands for Anno Domini, “In the year of the Lord.” It has been changed now to “The Year of Our Lord.” The big question: Is he your Lord?

The wonderful irony of all this is that every book in the library, even those that hate God and Christianity, acknowledge that Jesus Christ was born by the dates contained within them. The former Soviet Union, an official atheistic government, has in its constitution that it was formed in 1917. Continue Reading

December 24, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
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Christmas Vs. ChristMYTHS

THE BABY JESUS WAS NOT BORN ON DECEMBER 25.

What? Are you kidding me? Nope.

The Christmas season brings with it a lot of great and wonderful traditions, but have you ever thought how these customs came about? You may be surprised! Let’s start with that Christmas date.

The early church in the first few centuries did not celebrate the birth of Jesus arguing against celebrating all birthdays of saints and martyrs. The early church fathers suggested that saints should be honored on the day they died for Jesus.

Previous dates for His birth were January, March, April, May and November. It’s not exactly clear why the church settled on December 25th, but the first recorded reference to it was in the 3rd century.

The date we now celebrate was probably to replace the pagan holiday, “The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” which honored the sun god on what they thought was the first day of the Winter Solstice. It’s fitting that the “Sun of Righteousness,” Jesus, “will rise with healing in his wings” on the darkest day of the year as the Light of the World.

Here are some other Christmas tradition origins: Kissing under the mistletoe may have come from a Druid tradition where enemies would meet underneath it and would stop fighting to declare a truce. Continue Reading

December 20, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
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That Obnoxious Holiday Greeting

I WAS OFFENDED! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was this allowed in Johnson City, Texas?
Apparently so. As far as I knew there was no law against it.

I walked up to the counter of HealthMart, our local pharmacy, and there was the most offensive, agitating, insensitive sign I ever saw. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but still, I was shocked. I called Phil the manager over to ask him about that, that…sign: “How come it says ‘Happy Holidays’? This is Johnson City. We are a Christmas town!”

He’s a very friendly guy and listened attentively as I voiced my complaint. Continue Reading

December 11, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
4 Comments

Unfriended By Politics

SHORTLY AFTER THE ELECTION A FACEBOOK FRIEND REBUKED THEN UNFRIENDED ME.

Admittedly, during the height of election fever I got carried away, posting clever memes that made fun of the candidate I wanted to lose. (Enjoy the samples on this post.)

After the election I got particularly bugged by those misguided college babies protesting the election results and posted quite a bit of hilarity.

No, I wasn’t at my Christian best and wasn’t too pastoral either. Though nothing was too off-base and certainly not vulgar or obscene, I could have done better.

The devil made me do it?
Continue Reading