Whatever It Takes

This blog entry has already proven itself difficult as I have written four different opening paragraphs only to restart each time.  What’s interesting is that I knew that the title was going to be what it is before I even started writing this.  I have been mulling over for a couple weeks now how I feel it best to say what it is I need to say.  This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  So I am definitely trusting the Holy Spirit with this.

Whether if you have read any of my previous posts, or know me personally, you would know that I am a Christian.  I love Jesus.  Above all things, I want to know Him personally, walk with Him intimately, and I want to do His will.  Lately, I have been in a weird phase in my life with the Lord, but make no mistake, it has been very good.  There has been a calmness to this new season that has left me without any doubt that it is God.  “Relax” has been a word that has been resounding in my spirit for months.  God knows exactly what I need, and if He says to “relax”, what am I going to do? Relax, of course…  or at least I’m gonna try.

In our American culture, we are programmed to “do, do, do”, and our worth/value directly correlates to our performance.  Furthermore, our candidacy for promotion tends to be founded upon merit, behavior, and actions.  I know I might be making that last statement sound like a bad thing, which I know isn’t always the case, but in the scope of our faith, it tends to breed competitiveness, pride, and arrogance which are all inherently bad.  Basically, what we do trumps who we are.  Am I saying that promotion, accomplishment, and all the other related things are bad?  No.  At least not when there is proper balance with it all.  What I will emphatically say is bad and a fallacy is when identities are founded upon what a person’s merits and accomplishments are.  That may not necessarily be what is directly taught, but I assure you, subliminally this lifestyle is EVERYWHERE and it is steadily woven into our personalities as we grow up.  Growing up in the church is no exception and can actually be worse.  So ultimately, going back to what the Lord has been saying to me (relax), it really can be somewhat difficult to do because of the culture I’ve grown up in.

In my junior year of high school, I was a bass player for a local band.  It was a blast and I enjoyed my time in it.  During summer camp with my church that year, the Lord spoke to me and encouraged me to quit the band because He was going to use me in praise and worship.  I was obedient immediately and met with the guys in my band as soon as I got back from camp.  I had no further direction other than Him mentioning he was going to put me in praise and worship.  As I analyzed and meditated on it all, I obviously grew very curious as to how God was going to work His plan for me.  It didn’t seem like the opportunity was there for me at the current church I was at, but I trusted His word nonetheless.  After graduating, I was still left wondering when this would all take place.  Well, that year at the same camp the Lord spoke to me about praise and worship, and I met the cool kids of “On Fire Youth” from Agape Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It was an instant, and I mean INSTANT, connection.  I hung out with them all week and ended up learning that they needed a bass player for their worship team.  Hmmm… uncoincidentally, I was a bass player at that time.  God made it clear.  I started with playing bass in the youth band to leading songs.  Then from leading worship in the youth band to leading in main services.  I have been doing it for fifteen years now, minus a two-year sabbatical.

At the turn of the year, I had purposed to fast and spend time in prayer regarding my and my family’s future.  As the months have passed, it has become apparent that for me a season of rest is at hand.  Again, this “relax” word keeps popping up in my spirit over and over.  When I prayed to the Lord for more of a desire for Him… “relax”.  When I am desperate to know what our future holds… “relax”.  When I want so badly to flow in the gifts and do His work… “relax”.  When I want to please Him… “relax”.  When I am displeased with myself for not getting up and praying or reading the Word… “relax”.  Relax, relax, relax.

As I am typing this, the Lord is speaking to me saying, “Sometimes the best and most perfect and pleasing action is to just be still and know that I am God.”  I believe some of you reading this needed to hear that.

How perfect is our God?  How satisfied are you in just knowing Him?  How confident are you that even in doing nothing you are still pleasing to Him?  Why do you feel it is appropriate to beg God for things when He knows your heart better than you will ever know it?  Don’t you know that to trust Him with your whole heart means to trust that He will finish His good work in you?  Don’t you know that He knows what is best for you in every facet of your life?  Can’t you see that your striving is resistance to Him?  Quit looking at what others are doing for Him and believing that they must just be in a better place with the Lord. Maybe they are, or maybe they’re far from Him and are just trying to vainly make up for by their deeds.  Remember John the beloved?  Remember how Peter was insecure about John’s relationship with the Lord?  Remember when Jesus corrected Peter about that?  Jesus doesn’t compare your accomplishments with others, so why you do you do that to yourself?  Jesus desires a PERSONAL relationship with every person.  Let us rejoice that our walks are unique and different rather than harboring envy and jealousy.  Our identity in Him is what matters most.

Just about a month ago, the Lord prompted me to step away from praise and worship, and this past Sunday (June 9, 2019) was my last service on the team.  This prompting wasn’t necessarily a surprise to me, nor my wife when I told her because we both had been feeling a change was coming.  Do I know what the next step is? No. And honestly, I don’t care what the next step is.  I have obsessed over the next step for most of my life rather than just taking in all that this present step has to offer.  Does this mean I am never going to do praise and worship again?  I highly doubt that because the gifts are without repentance.  Whatever the future holds, it will still be there when I get there.  I am willing to do whatever it takes to promote the Lord working in my heart.  If that means I have to sit on the bench for awhile I’m good with that.  I truly believe the Lord is rewiring my heart to understand that my gift in worship is not my identity.  Whether or not I sing or play another note is irrelevant.  What is relevant is how I identify with Christ aside from anything I do for Him.

Though I may not see the full picture, I know He does.  I don’t have to understand to obey.

My reason for sharing all this is to testify that God is the Promise Keeper in this covenant relationship.  My only burden in this relationship is to trust that He will do with my heart what He says He will do.

– From Death To Life

 

 

 

Nine Years

On this day nine years ago a very special event took place in my life. A deeply spiritual, and undeniably God ordained moment, shook the constructs of time and space. On August 29, 2009… my wife and I came into holy matrimony with each other before God and many of our closest friends and family.

This day was the fruition of a dream come true.

God is such a good god. He foresaw all things before our marriage, and beyond the fullness of our marriage, and knew the best and only woman for me is Abigail Caldwell (my woman in pink). He was gracious enough to give me a dream in the middle of the night to ensure my success of locking down one of the finest females to exist. Amen.

Even with clear, prophetic direction, I still had to step out in faith to attain my bride. As we all know, she was (and still is) highly out of my league. My ability to pursue her is a testament of biblical proportions of God’s grace. Even to this day I rely completely on the grace of our Heavenly Father to be the husband she deserves.

The past nine years have had its ups and downs (What marriage hasn’t?), and we have been through a lot as a family. But part of the foresight of what God saw in us included great achievement, love, and the will to overcome.

Abbie,

My love, my best friend, mother of my son— you are the only woman for me. Nine years has gone by quickly and I look forward to 1,000 more with you. I’m sure deep into eternity that feeling will stay the same. Even though we both believe strongly that God has big plans for us, whatever they may be, I want you to know that I would be just fine with the simplest life as long as we’re side by side.

You possess the graciousness of The Creator of the universe. I am in awe of the goodness of God that you are my wife. You have proven your love for me countless times. You have been my greatest supporter in my most down times. You have made me believe that God can “do it again”. God has used you to mend my soul. God has used you to prove His own love for me. God has used you show me my future. But most of all, God has used you as a covering over me. Your prayers are priceless. Your beauty is matchless. Your strength is endless because your strength is Yahweh. I value you above all things, second only to God and Messiah.

I love you deeper than I ever have before. Deeper than I ever thought possible.

Happy Anniversary, 👻🐻

-Love, Danny

My Oma

Nothing is quite comparable to the sinking feeling associated with hearing the grievous news of a loved one who has passed away. The unexpected words can compose a sense of shock and even disbelief. I got such words on the night of Tuesday, March 5th, 2018. God bless my older brother for being the one burdened to bear that message. No doubt that couldn’t have been easy.

My Oma (Oma is German for grandma, if you didn’t know) is whom the bad news was about.

My Oma is an unbelievably, amazing person.

Perpetually upbeat.

Vibrantly energetic.

Effortlessly nurturing.

The list goes on and on with so many great attributes to describe her. To say she’ll be missed is highly obvious and an understatement.

I will be flying out to California to be with my Dad’s side of the family to celebrate her memorial. It is truly bittersweet to see my family under these circumstances, and it thoroughly reminds me that being engaged with family is something that should be of high priority for us all. You never know when the abrupt interruption of such a message will be behind a ringing phone.

My Oma was a major part of my childhood. I have so many memories of her and the house she lived in in Long Beach. She ran a daycare for decades out of that house, so I’m sure there are multiple adults of my age that probably could share in the memory of it. I remember my Oma watching me and my brothers out of the kitchen window jumping off the elevated front porch. Seeing her smile through that window is unforgettable.

I remember my dad, uncle Dave, and aunt Heidi working up some elaborate scheme every year just to scare the wits out of my brothers and I, and the year my Oma decided to get in on it. She took a shot to the leg with my dad’s paintball gun to really sell the story.

I remember going for walks around the block with her. One time, when it was just me and her walking, my dad pulled up next to us and was pretending to be a stranger and she humorously leaned in the window and flipped him the bird. As a kid I was astonished, but now as an adult I can’t help but laugh because she would only ever do that in a humorous manner.

I remember her taking my older brother and I to get breakfast at McDonald’s early on Saturday mornings.

It’s been decades, but I can see the memories as vividly now as the moment they were stitched into the fabric of my mind back then.

My most recent memory of her was when she came to my wife and I’s wedding. It’s not necessarily as fond as the others because I sensed she was lonely. It was after the wedding procession and pictures were being taken. There was a moment I saw her by herself leaned up against the balcony rail, taking in the scenery. I could tell she missed her late husband. (She actually endured the passing of two husbands in her lifetime.) I think that was the first time I saw an emotion other than happiness exuding from my Oma. I will remember that moment forever.

She touched many lives in life, but has far beyond established her legacy in her passing. She will be greatly missed and the wonderful memories I have of my beloved Oma will forever be in my heart.

I love you, Oma.

No More Doubt About It… Defense Wins Championships

First things first… I stand corrected. My picks for the National Championship game was Clemson and Georgia. I pegged Clemson to win because they have a solid defense, but also because I don’t think anyone would refute they have a better offense than Bama. Enjoy.

This year in the FBS college football playoff, the four most deserving teams punched their tickets to the Sugar bowl and Rose bowl. Georgia vs. Oklahoma; Clemson vs. Alabama.

A long standing belief in the vast football universe is that “Offense wins games; defense wins championships!” College football has once more testified to that this year.

Out of all four teams, only one stands apart from its counterparts— Oklahoma. By far, hands down, unequivocally, Oklahoma has the best offense in College Football this season. But, comparatively speaking, their defense isn’t necessarily anything to write home about. The other three teams hold something in common that no one can argue against; each have great defenses. Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson all are attributed to playing solid, consistent defense.

The Georgia/Oklahoma game was epic. It can easily be said it is an instant classic. Oklahoma had a lot to prove in this game, and despite the loss, they sure did just that. They are no one to be trifled with; they can put up points on anyone… ANYONE. Including elite defenses. The first half, they made Georgia’s defense look mediocre at best. The bad part about that is we all know it’s not. In fact it’s stellar. Georgia’s defense is arguably the best in the nation this season. Come the second half though, the Dawg’s defense came hungry and ready to feast. They shut out the most prolific offensive attack in the third quarter. That’s huge. Georgia won the game in that quarter, if you ask me. Had they not shut Oklahoma out that quarter and had another shootout with the Sooners, there wouldn’t have been an overtime. The Oklahoma fans would be yelling “Boomer Sooner” in Atlanta, January 8.

I’m sure a lot of doubters will say Georgia got lucky with that blocked field goal in 2OT. Or with the coffin nailing TD run by Sony Michel. But make no mistake; you can not refute that Kirby’s defensive dawgs is what kept them in the game, and ultimately is who should be attributed with the win.

A low scoring affair was the expectation of the Clemson/Alabama game for most people. The offense for each team can arguable be the “weaker” side of the ball in comparison to their respective defenses. It was clear in the second half whose defense wanted it more— Alabama’s. Not that Clemson’s defensive effort wasn’t enough. It’s just that Bama’s defense dominated Clemson’s offense.

Defense 2; Offense 0— and I’m sure defense will be undefeated after all is said and done.

The two best defensive teams in the country will be competing for the National Championship… and rightly so. Hats off to the SEC for producing a match up of two Juggernauts that are about to beat the brakes off each other.

New Year’s Resolutions Are A Sham

Quick! Someone call “Guinness Book Of World Records” because come January 1st millions of people worldwide will attempt to do the exact same thing— commence their New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the time of year when lists are magnetically fastened to refrigerators, reminders are set to do mild exercises at the most inopportune times, kale smoothies become breakfast, and countless other goals set forth by people wanting, and needing, anywhere from minor to major life changes. We have all been here. Nothing inherently wrong with it.

Recently, a friend asked me if my wife and I are “resolution people”.  I answered with a feeble and unconvincing, “I guess so.”  I had never been asked that question before to be honest.  It’s always been a more direct question like, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”, as if to assume I certainly need any.  I don’t take offense to much, but I could see where a direct question like that could cause a snowflake to melt and evaporate in less than a Planck instant.  “Are you resolution people?”…  I gotta say, it produced some thinking.

I began to realize based off of this question, that though I may set resolutions, I can not truly call myself a “resolution person”.  But come to think of it, does setting resolutions make me, or anyone else, a “resolution person”?  Anyone can make a list and either complete it or not.  What good is a resolution to lose 20 pounds only to put it back on later in the year during the holidays?  Not much of a resolution if you ask me.  The meaning of resolution is; the act or process of resolving; the act of solving.  It is a very direct, absolute word.

Olympic athletes have a resolve. Doctors have a resolve.  Navy Seals have a resolve.  All these people, and of the like, categorically have resolved within themselves to live a certain way; to become certain people; to let nothing stop them on who they intend to be.  The goal isn’t necessarily the resolution. No. The resolution is the person.  True resolutions should be inward. It’s not something you should limit to a list of does and don’ts.  It is something you resolve to become, and furthermore— remain.

We can have our “bucket list” type things to do as New Year’s goals, like skydive or climb Everest.  Those are good, awesome things.  But setting one adventurous goal pales in comparison to resolving to be an adventurous person.  I will forever believe that who we are will always transcend what we do.

This new year, I resolve to become a Person of Resolution.

Adventures in Furniture Buying

This article is based on a recent, personal experience of buying new furniture. The business practices stated within this article do not represent the business practices of all furniture stores. Due to the subjectiveness of this article, and the personal experience content, there can be no guarantee that the results can be duplicated for you, if and when you attempt to purchase furniture. Enjoy.

In September of 2016 my wife and I began considering new furniture for our living room. We had the same couch and chaise lounge since we got married in 2009. It was great furniture that has years more use to it, but for us it was time. We had originally started considering building a new home which in turn led to us thinking about furniture, but plans for that unfortunately fell through.

On December, 30 2017, we made our purchase. A beautiful couch, loveseat, and chair and a half with an ottoman. It only felt right to share the experience we had in our adventure in furniture buying.

I’m not going to name the company that we dealt with, mainly to avoid conflict if somehow down the line that were to arise. The majority of our previous purchases have been from this chain, and overall we have been satisfied with our dealings with them.

…This go around was slightly different.

One Saturday we went in to look at the furniture we were interested in. We had already been acquainted with the brand and felt that it fit our wants and needs. Of course we were quickly greeted by an anticipating salesman as soon as we walked through the door. …shocking, huh?

He was a nice guy that apparently knew his stuff and was very personable. Having a background in automotive I am highly unintimidated by salespeople. So as we perused the showroom, he gave us info about the furniture of course, but also mentioned at lease twice that their company doesn’t mark their furniture up as much as others do. To me, that’s an immediate red flag, but I just let him talk as highly as he wanted about who he works for. As we rerouted back to what we were originally looking at I examined the price guide on the coffee table and noticed prices were “slashed” from MSRP. To be honest, up to this point I never really had a haggling bone in my body, but I felt the fire rise up in me to want to make a deal. We didn’t buy that night though. We were waiting until after Christmas to see how much cash we would get to help.

The following Tuesday morning I saw a commercial on TV for the company we were at saying “sales tax paid” until the first of the year. Intrigued, we went back up there that night only to find that the “slashed” prices were raised $100 on almost each item in that living room collection. This is not a new business practice and once again, I was not surprised. Nonetheless it still pissed me off and added fuel to the flame of haggling already kindled within me.

The next day I chose to do a little online investigating because the salesman informed me that they price match any advertised price… Challenge accepted. I checked the manufacturers website for a SKU# and exact title for the furniture and off I went. I consistently found prices identical to the original company we dealt with, but I also found prices much higher. Not to mention the half dozen articles verifying the high markup in the furniture industry. Through my web surfing journey I stumbled across a company that had the exact set we wanted. One problem though. They were in Colorado. I didn’t let that stop me though because the pricing was considerably lower than what was listed by the original company. As soon as my eyes saw it it dumped a deluge more of gasoline to make the haggling inferno inside me turn white hot… it was time.

Like a four year old running to the teacher to rat on his classmate, I immediately called the salesman to tell him my find. It was a high I’ve never felt before and I am proud to say I am forever hooked. He asked me what website I found the pricing and I informed him. He quickly stated he’d need to get with his manager to check on what they could do, but before I let him hang up the phone I spat out my offer. In response he says, “No guarantees, Mr. Kent. I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.” (Click)… I thought to myself, “I’ve won this battle!”

A little later he calls back. I rushed away from my desk to answer. I expected, “Sir, you got a deal!”, but noooo… They had to throw in that I would have to pay at least $300 in shipping to get it to me from that company in Denver, and that that company can’t be making a dime on that furniture for the price they have it listed for. I stopped him abruptly mid-sentence at that point, “Don’t give me that. I’ve been in sales and around retail long enough to know that a business does not sell anything to make nothing. You can’t tell me that you aren’t making money if you sold me the furniture at what I offered.” He jabbed back, “This is what we can let it go for, blah blah blah…”. I firmly and assuredly repeated what I would pay for it and of course, like before, he had to go back to his supervisor. The final reciprocal phone call, I thought, would be my victory solidified…

…it wasn’t.

They gave up the fight, but not in the way that favored me. They basically decided it would be better for them not to get a sale at all and would not come off their counteroffer. I was beyond dumbfounded. What arrogance?! What horrible business practice?! I’m pretty sure there is an unwritten statistic that verifies at least 20 out of 10 salespeople would agree, “A little profit is better than no profit.”

The devil is a liar!

After the call I was about 95% sure he’d call back that night to apologize and beg for my business, and eventually agree to my offer. Nope. The call never came.

I gave it till that Friday to call back. When I did, the salesman was very cordial and was still genuinely interested in helping me. He informed me that his hands really were tied on the matter. I made a counteroffer on their counteroffer, and let him know we’d be checking other places, but would be stopping by again Saturday. He didn’t call back that day.

That Saturday, we went back. The salesman approached and was easily read as being overwhelmed by a busy day. We conversed about my last offer, and to my dismay they still wouldn’t budge. We strolled through the store to arrive by the furniture we want. The salesman thought at this point it’d be best for me to deal directly with the sales manager. I agreed. As the manager approached, my wife asked if she and my son should go to another part of the store. I strongly agreed. My son doesn’t need to see this side of me yet. To be honest I didn’t know how it would play out.

We haggled together… it was awesome. I wanted the furniture, and he knew it. I knew that was why he wouldn’t meet me where I offered. However, he made one last offer. I paused and stared at the price for dramatic effect. “Let me go talk with my wife.” I turned away quickly, as if I was mad, for more dramatic flare.

We agreed to the price.

Though we didn’t get it for what we wanted to give for it, we still came out better than some putz who went in there and paid full sticker. We learned a stout lesson with this endeavor— get over my pride, and haggle.

As an average consumer who has to budget and make good, responsible financial decisions I owe it to myself and my family to not pay full sticker on major purchases ever again. Even if we were well off, I would still haggle. From now on I will put up a fight that proves I work hard for the money I’m spending, and am not willing to give it up easily.

Haggling is an American institution. Join the club.

It’s been awhile…

Unfortunately, I can’t blame my lack of a blog post in several months on a planet-sized case of writer’s block.  I’ve just been slightly … well ok… extremely lazy.  What good is confessing my laziness without backing it up with excuses, huh? None whatsoever. I started a new job (again) at the beginning of October; the holidays came (we added one this year and fulfilled celebrating all eight days of Hanukkah); I rejoined my church’s worship team; lastly, we recently began furniture shopping. In all reality, each of those endeavors provides plenty of raw material to build a good blog post or two. So shame on me and my laziness.

The Worship Team

Two years ago I felt a “release”, if you will, by the Holy Spirit to step down from my position in the worship team at our church.  It was much needed.  I had served faithfully for about ten years up to that point, almost every single Sunday.  Needless to say, it took a toll. Also, in all candidness, my heart was not in it anymore. I was frustrated and felt I was nowhere near where I believe God intended me to be.  Ministry left a stench in my nose and soul, and I wanted no part of it.

Not long after, in February of 2016, my wife and I attended a Bethel worship night in Conway, Arkansas.  At the time it was a big step for me.  I wasn’t far removed from my worship ministry departure, and it did not appease me as much as I may have let on; nonetheless, I kept an open mind and heart in hopes that The Lord would speak to me.  I remember sitting in the auditorium before the music started feeling reminiscent of my adolescent days of depression.  I hated to hear the jabbering young hipsters around me talk about what kind of guitars the band is probably going to be playing.  Heaven, help the person who needs me to stand up so they can get to their seat.  Much to my dismay, I couldn’t but feel like whale of raw emotion was billowing towards the surface about to breach.  Thankfully the band finally started and was loud enough to deafen my inner confliction.  A song or two in, I finally felt the familiar caress of the Holy Spirit.  He sure proved the nature of the name “Comforter” to me that night; just as He had countless times past.  I worshipped.  I cried.  He spoke to me.

Upon previous “concerts” of the likeness of this one, I usually would focus on the guitarists. I enjoyed the tones they were able to emit, and the effects selections within certain songs fascinated me.  I noticed it was different with this worship night.  I was entranced with the worship leaders and vocalists to the point where I knew it was The Lord drawing my attention to them.  He spoke to me gently, inside my spirit and asked, “When did I ask you to focus on guitar playing?”.  This question was clearly rhetorical and by no means could be answered.  Looking back, I can’t find the point in time where He specified such a command.  (Please know I felt zero ounces of condemnation when this correction happened.  The rebuke of The Lord harbors infinitely more love than the loftiest of accolades from friends and family.) So I examined my heart with the help of the Holy Spirit and it became clear again that my gift is in leading worship.  Not long after that night I set out to sell ALL of my electric guitar equipment and remarry the acoustic guitar.

So the past two years, being on a hiatus from a “formal” worship team setting, really allowed me to get reacquainted with my gift as a worship leader.  Back in September of this year (2017), I was singing and worshipping in my car on the way home from work and suddenly I felt the unction to rejoin the worship team at my church.  It felt identical to two years earlier when I was “released” from the team, except reversed.

Hanukkah

“Oh, you’re Jewish?”, I was asked several times this year. I get it though. Our westernized “Christian” culture is very non-Jewish, so being asked that question was never surprising.

I would like to elaborate our position on holidays though…

The past few years have been very enlightening in regards to the depths of my professed faith. I always had an understanding that Christianity “derived”, so to speak, from Judaism, but never really had the revelation on the matter until maybe the last three years. We’re systematically taught growing up that Christianity and Judaism somewhat are two separate yet intermingled faiths. Even if that may not be what is directly taught from the American pulpit, it is most definitely, massively assumed by the majority of American Christians, and potentially Christians from the majority of other countries.

This is no longer my current, nor future orthodox. It has been abolished in my mind and spirit to believe that way. Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah was not sent to create a new religion or way of belief. He was Jewish; lived a Jewish life, and fulfilled Jewish prophecy and law.

So to bring this back around to the subject of holidays…

Hanukkah actually has a true story to back up the festivities. If you have never heard the story of Hanukkah and the Maccabean revolt it is a must. It’s miraculous. Christmas, on the other hand, is quite… well… pagan. Please investigate the details for yourself. I will not elaborate them here. Yes, it is the designated day/timeframe in which we celebrate the birth of The Savior, which I am on board with. However, it has lost all other appeal to me other than that. I obviously also enjoy the family time it produces. Christmas for a lot of people is very mystical, and comes with it a sense of wonderment that somewhat removes a little reality for them. I’m all for wonderment and creativity and celebrations, but to me, it is a ship that has been sailing the wrong direction for centuries.

Don’t get me started on the intentional lying parents do to their kids regarding a fat guy wearing a blood red suit who can break into people’s homes. And even worse, a possessed elf character that likes to sit on shelves. “But it’s just a bit of fun! It’s tradition.” Eh.. keep telling yourself that. Take it down to brass tax, you’re just setting your kids up for disappointment when they find out it’s all claptrap. Not to mention the potential doubt they’ll have about all the other stories you’ve told them throughout their childhood. Including the gospel.

We did put up our Christmas tree, but before you call me a hypocrite because of my aforementioned words, I want to say that I’m indifferent on it. It holds no meaning to me other than it’s really pretty.

Hanukkah was a blessing for me to share with my family this year, because more than likely, Yeshua Himself celebrated the Festival of Lights with His family and disciples.

Does this make us converts to Judaism. No. It’s just hard not to give it the attention it deserves once we’ve learned about it. “Converting” is misunderstood anyways, in light of “The One New Man” elaborated on by Paul in Ephesians 2.

If you’ve gotten this far with reading my post, know that I am no Scrooge. I’m just sharing my heart.

In conclusion

I am aware this is more of a personal blog entry. I don’t intend to do a lot of these. This is the route this one went because it’s the first one I’ve done in several months and I really just wanted to spill my heart about a few things. I hope all of you had a wonderful 2017 and pray you’re 2018 is at least twice as wonderful.

Much love.

שלום

-Daniel Kent