Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

Angry Sheep, Christ-mas Holi-daze Edition

So, in case anyone’s been under a rock, the holiday season is approaching.  Tinsel factories have exploded in the department stores and the smell of smoking plastic is in the air (overactive credit cards).  Can’t avoid the trappings, they’re everywhere.  So, as I picked up a few groceries and sundry at our lovely South Loop Target this evening, decided to go browse the seasonal decor section.  Thought maybe I’d be able to at least price out a Nativity set, still don’t have one after all these years.

Um, no.

Whole endcap of Hanukkah sundry, plus more scattered throughout the selection.  Trees in every shade you could ask for.  Whole wall section of light sets.  Ornaments to suit every fancy.  On and on.  Decorations to suit every holiday reveler…

…except a Christian wanting to acknowledge the reason for Christmas.  I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say there had to be at least 1,000 different decor pieces in stock–and there was a total of 2 with a Nativity theme.  Both tree ornaments, those metallic painted glass ones that shatter when you look at them funny.  One of the Holy Family in a cluster, the other of the Magi grouped.  Both hiding in a corner of the ornament wall.

A whole huge section of the store full of holiday decor…and 2 Nativity ornaments.  Whaaaaaaaat?!?!?!?!?

Maybe, just maybe, I overlooked one or two others.  I certainly hope so.  Because that is just insane to my mind.  The whole reason the holiday EXISTS to begin with, and no sign of the Christ child!!!!

I don’ t know who’s more at fault…Target’s corporate office for stocking policy, or the tastes of the public not demanding this sort of stuff being in stock.   All I know is, I saw plenty of things that said “Merry Christmas” on them, but I didn’t see Christ anywhere, save on one ornament!!!

Now.  I know some will get up in arms about their right to not observe the holiday.  Fine.  I’m cool with that.  But just as you have the right not to, I still (for now) have the right to observe it, and purchase and display items depicting symbols of the faith and holiday.  To not find major symbols of the major holiday observed…

Let’s look at another major holiday observed in this nation.  The Fourth of July.  Our nation’s birthday.  (good comparison, as Christmas is traditionally observed to mark Christ’s birth)  Imagine going to celebrate the Fourth of July…and not being able to find an American flag.  You can find a Mexican flag…or German…or Chinese…or (insert nation here)..but no American flags.  This is so that no one is excluded or offended.  We’re a country of immigrants from all nations.  Let’s be inclusive!

Preposterous, right?  But that seems to be the way we’re heading in faith matters.  My example is from one store in a big-box chain.  But I wonder how many others are running into the same issue?  And is this phenomenon going to spread?

The over-commercialization of the holiday season has rubbed me the wrong way for years as it is, as it just keeps getting more insane every year.  But this…I have no other words for this.  Christ kicked out of Christmas.  Not profitable enough to be stocked.  Oi.

For all other purposes, I am a frequent and loyal patron of that store.  But this has me miffed.  Miffed enough to say, sod the holiday retail ratrace.

Been contemplating it for a few years but this year I think I’m taking the plunge.  In lieu of gifts, want to donate to charities on behalf of those I would buy gifts for.  To put Christ back in Christmas.  While He was here, He went about doing good.  I want my dollars to do the same.

Rant over.

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Staff meeting

Wandered off into the thornbushes again lately.  So the Good Shepherd has had to yank me back with the staff.

Not enough time in the Word.

Not enough time on bass.

Lack of discipline in finances and eating.

Highly distractable in prayer time.

Mood bleh.

Sleep/wake cycle a hot mess.

Energy levels a rollercoaster.

It’s fall in the Upper Midwest, and I’m dealing with the usual Seasonal Affective Disorder.  But I’ve got to find a way to deal with it that’s more Godly…hard to be a proper witness when one is unstable as the wind.  Some teaching I’ve been listening to on the Faithfulness fruit of the Spirit has been somewhat helpful…it’s having a hard time sinking in though, ’cause it’s fighting through a lot of the muck above.  But I do get that I have to develop that fruit further, and this is a great testing time for it…keeping on doing what’s right even when one isn’t seeing results, or just plain doesn’t feel like it.

Or, hey, maybe that’s the whole point of this…developing that fruit further might be His “project” for me at the moment.  I have noticed that this walk we do is done in stages and spurts…He’ll shine some light on one thing, we’ll get tested on it for a while, the flesh will get fried in that level of that thing, then He’ll move on to something else for a while once we’ve “passed” the test.  And so on it goes.  Some things we keep coming back to, to get further testing and “surgery”, each time it gets a little more intense.

Life with God–never a dull moment!!!!

One small victory to celebrate…we had a very delayed accounting close at work this month…and I did NOT spaz out about it.  Just did what I had to do.  Kept my temper and anxiety in check.  Praise be to God.  He’s done a lot of refining work on me in this area and I’m thankful.

Hoping to regain some ground on everything else this week, despite disruption of routine with a few things.

And hoping to shake this sudden brain blank…too early to crash for the night and I’ve got stuff to do, dag-nabbit.  😛

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