Friday, October 31, 2003

I Know That, Technically, It's Halloween But I Felt Like Sharing This With You

It's been a few posts since I blogged about an interracial topic. My apologies for that, as I know that's of great interest to those who visit the site. I don't have a fountain of ideas today but I can say this:

I am just as proud today to be married to someone of another nation/race/color as I was when I married my Angel nearly nine years ago. I am even more in love with her today than I was then and I feel even more blessed.

I am honored to be the father of two biracial sons who are the perfect blend of me and Angel. They make me very proud of them each day.

In a time when expectations for marriage and fatherhood are at an all-time low, it's a privilege and a wonder to be part of a truly interracial family. And even though tomorrow is not promised to any of us, I have a peace and comfort regarding the potential future of my family.

Best Wishes,

Sunday, October 26, 2003

This Probably Won’t Be My Most Popular Blog Entry…

Halloween is this coming Friday. It is probably no surprise to anyone that I don’t celebrate Halloween but my reasons might surprise you. Please keep in mind that I’m familiar with the origins of the term “Halloween” and how it developed into the “holiday” it is today.

Halloween has changed, though, particularly in the U.S., in just the last 20 or 30 years. It’s taken on new meaning as it’s been working hard to catch up with Christmas as the # 1 holiday of the year. Halloween has been the # 2 holiday for a number of years, which is rather amazing, since noone gets time off from work for it, noone gets any presents and families don’t get together to celebrate it. As a matter of fact, neighborhoods have generally gotten too dangerous to trick-or-treat anymore…and that “candy” might not be candy anymore. So what’s all the hype about? Costumes? Haunted houses? B-rate horror movies? Personally, I don’t get it…

I guess I look a bit more philososphically at the whole thing. The original meaning of Christmas, for example, was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ upon the Earth over 2000 years ago, not Santa Clause giving gifts. And if the original meaning of Halloween had to do with a Celtic fire festival (“Samhain”) at the end of harvest, that’s radically changed, too -- to celebrating all things dark and evil.

To illustrate my point, something tells me the Celts wouldn’t be too interested in visiting the “House of Torment” haunted house in a renovated shopping mall…

It sort of makes me wonder why marketing companies have been so interested in modifying time-honored traditions to cheapen their meaning while at the same time, raising the price to celebrate them? I mean, the same thing happened to Easter – which was originally about Jesus Christ’s miraculous triumph over death – not chocolate eggs and bunnies. Modern horror movies clearly have no problem selling the concept of resurrection from the dead. One would hope a risen Savior would be easier to sell to the public than rotting ghouls. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

At a general glance, it appears that the marketing point is to direct public interest away from spiritual matters and to focus on Earthly concepts that can be marketed and sold to consumers.

So, in the proverbial nutshell, this is why I don’t celebrate Halloween.

Best Wishes,

Mark 8: 36 – 37 (King James Version) (Words of Jesus Christ in RED)

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

John 1: 1 - 5 (King James Version)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Wonders Of The Universe

The above picture is the remains of the Vela supernova which occurred countless years ago. It's a wonder of the universe, a sign of incredible change, the completion of a glorious cycle of existence.

This week, here on Earth, we saw the cumulation of efforts that had been weeks, even months in the making. Yesterday, the New Covenant Church (NCC) hosted "Youthfest 2003" at the Delco Center in Austin, Texas -- a four-hour event with musical and praise youth groups from NCC and numerous churches in the Texas area. Most importantly, however, the gospel was preached for about 20 to 30 minutes by NCC's pastor, Eddie Willis, Sr.

We had a good turnout -- especially in light of the University of Texas/Oklahoma University humiliation -- er, I mean, football game, occurring at the same time. I dunno, I think a score of 65 to 13 qualified as humilation, not just a loss, don't you? Hmmm.

Anyway, although technically First Light does not qualify as a "youth group" per se, we did perform during the prelude to the event (between 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.) and we received a roaring, heart-warmingly positive response from the audience. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun but our work wasn't over yet just because our band was done. I was delighted to help support some of the other NCC musical groups with my electric bass guitar playing and my wife Angel enthusiastically sang in the NCC mass choir.

Since the whole event was recorded on video and CD -- and the sound system at the Delco Center was first rate -- we're really looking forward to seeing and hearing the event from an "audience" perspective! I'll let you know if the videos or CDs will be available for purchase from NCC when they become available, for those who may be interested.

As I said, though, the most important point in the event was the Word being preached. This occurred mid-way through the event. And in the midst of this incredible event, one person decided to give his life to Jesus Christ.

And that made the whole event worthwhile. That made me all the more proud to be part of this. It's what made all the practices and rehearsals worthwhile. Just like the rings of light expanding from the supernova in the picture, the effects of this man's great decision will resonate and affect others.

And just like that supernova, God is in control of the whole thing. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He gets all the glory.

Have a terrific day!

Best Wishes,