Seriously, why Santa? I concede it’s all probably harmless, and “all in good fun” — but why? Wouldn’t kids be more grateful if they knew from day one their gifts came mommy, daddy, grammy, grandpa, or better yet — are blessings from God? Why base their formative years on a fairy tale? Because “everyone else is doing it” and you don’t want your kid to be left out? Is that really a good enough reason? These are genuine questions I’m asking as a new parent who hasn’t had to deal with it yet, and I’m honestly looking for feedback from parents.
The reason I hear the most is that “doing Santa” is a family tradition with many wonderful childhood memories, and parent’s want to re-live these memories with their own children. I don’t have a problem with that, and I respect how people choose to celebrate the Christmas season with their families. The purpose of this blog, however, is to think ‘counter culturally.’ And with that goal in mind, I try to step back and simply evaluate why our culture is so set on carrying on the ruse of jolly old St. Nick with kids, some well into their school-age years.
In a new series where I will feature a specific Bangor Area church or Christ-based ministry, Counter Culture takes a look at the church formerly known as Abundant Life for the last 25 years. Located on outer Broadway, they have recently changed their name to Grace Church Bangor.
I reached out to senior minister of the church Russ Hewitt for more information on this transition, and the reasons behind the change.
Last week the Maine ACLU threatened legal action against Biddeford Schools because of a school assembly that one parent deemed “too religious” for their taste. The ACLU said Biddeford could avoid the law suite if they apologized for allowing it — which the school department quickly did — much to the dismay of the Maine Christian Civic League.
I can’t say I’m surprised at how the events unfolded. I don’t expect our public schools to be able to safeguard our children from bullying, peer-pressure, intolerance, and sexual promiscuity when they are subject to appeasing organizations such as the ACLU — whose demands are so “bullish” and intolerant.
Does anyone else notice the irony that on the same day the Federal government shuts down, the Maine sales tax increased because of a deal reached this summer to prevent a similar shutdown at the state level? It seems we either have to keep paying more for government services, or shut them down all together.
But the problem is, governments at all levels have run out of ways to “raise money” because there are less and less people from which to collect it. So the question must be asked – who pays?
Most often, it ends up being the middle class
I typically write about more general topics related to the Christian faith, and my personal faith journey. This time, though, I’d like to use this blog to discuss the passing of a man who changed the landscape of American church. And while he called California his home, his legacy is felt in Maine, and will continue to impact lives here for many years to come.
I sat down at my computer Thursday morning and was met with the news that Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel church movement in the mid-1960′s, had died. But Pastor Chuck Smith did not die, he moved. In 1994, those were his words…
On September 25th the ’40 days for Life’ prayer vigil kicked off in Bangor and will run until November 3rd. As a peaceful national campaign, ’40 Days for Life’ participants pray and fast near abortion clinics with the goal that visitors may see them and think twice about their decision, and ultimately choose life for their unborn baby. Perhaps more importantly, those praying simply believe God will use their prayers to change hearts and minds concerning this issue.
In Bangor, those wishing to participate gather at the entrance to Evergreen Woods at 700 Mt. Hope avenue (across from the Bangor Humane Society) anytime between 7AM and 7PM. Evergreen Woods is home to the Mabel Wadsworth Center where abortion procedures take place regularly.
“Happy, Happy, Happy!” The Duck Dynasty craze is coming to Maine as cast member “Martin” will be the keynote speaker at October’s Maine Sportsman’s Night. The event will be an all-afternoon affair with vendors from a variety of aspects of the sportsman’s world.
Maine Sportsman’s Night will be held in Thorndike, Maine on Saturday, October 12th at Mount View High School. Tickets to the expo area are $16 each, and children under 8 years old are FREE with an accompanying adult (click to buy tickets).
Any week can be the week you go back to church. However, this Sunday, September 15th is the “official” day for regular attendees to invite someone “back to church”, and for people searching for a church home to make this the week they finally check out that local church they’ve been meaning to swing by.
Here’s a couple videos we showed at my church this past Sunday. The first one really strikes a cord with me, and the second one will probably give you an unexpected chuckle.
On Saturday, September 14th Casting Crowns, a Christian fan favorite and well known within the contemporary church community, is headlining the 2nd Annual “SoulQuest” on the Bangor waterfront. It’s 2009-2011 “Until The Whole World Hears” world tour (with title track by the same name) placed the band in front nearly 1 million fans in more than 175 cities around the world. Now out promoting their current album released in 2012 “Come to the Well”, the Atlanta-based group continues to deliver passionate, thought-provoking music such as album favorite “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, the catchy yet reflective “Spirit Wind”, and title track “The Well”.
Joining Casting Crowns on the Bangor waterfront will be Kutless, and local fan-favorite – hailing from Portland, Maine – The Wrecking.
I have purposely avoided weighing in on politics for some time now. However, I can’t help but share some thoughts on the state of my state, and more specifically my governor’s re-election chances. As I survey the current political landscape in Augusta, Proverbs 16:18 comes to mind: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Maine voters took a chance on Paul R. LePage, the relatively unknown Waterville mayor, in 2010. While he was known as a brash, no-nonsense guy, he ran as a consensus builder who could “break up the gridlock in Augusta and get things done” like he did at the city level and as head of Mardens. He sold me from day one, or to parody the movie Jerry McGuire, “he had me at bull semen” (you had to be there to know what I mean).
However, this year’s budget battle, combined with the melee surrounding the debate, could likely come at great political cost to the governor.