Snowing at Guimarães, Portugal by Feliciano Guimarães
Snowing at Guimarães, Portugal by Feliciano Guimarães
Paypal Bus by Richard Masoner
If you’ve ever had a Paypal account, you maybe wish you hadn’t. Or maybe you’re just looking for an alternative. Well here are 60 alternatives. Be sure to check them out thoroughly, do your due diligence, before signing up with any of them or placing funds with them.
If you cannot do great things…do small things in a great way. ~ Napoleon Hill
Winter Solstice At Stonehenge by Gruenemann
Well now that December has started and Thanksgiving feasts are behind it’s time for the historical revisionists, skeptics, and armchair atheists, to come out of the woodwork proclaiming that Christmas is just a pagan holiday (or several all lumped together) appropriated by Christians…so no big deal. Capiche?
Only problem is that it isn’t exactly true.
As a matter of fact, it’s a lie.
A really reasonable lie, if your not a student of history.
But it’s a lie that can make you look like an idiot if you run into anyone who knows any history.
Now if you’ve never run into this idea, that Christianity stole Christmas from the pagans, go find your local atheist and they’ll be glad to tell you all about it.
I’m not going rehash the fairytales they prefer to believe here.
So what’s the real deal?
The first question is of course – I thought the early Christians didn’t celebrate birthdays let alone the birth of our Lord?
Well the evidence says that the early Christians were darn near OCD about the birth and childhood of Jesus. The Infancy Gospel of James and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas reiterate the human nature of our Lord, and early Christians placed importance on the actual physical human birth of Christ in recognition of this fact.
But what about cranky old Origen? Didn’t he reject celebrating any birthdays as a pagan practice?
Yes he did. But Origen was also a Platonist who held several heretical beliefs that the ordinary early Christian did not. Either way, he never mentioned straight out being for or against celebrating the birth of Jesus.
The earliest mention of a celebration of Jesus birth is in 202 A.D. in the Commentary on Daniel by Hippolytus. He places the celebration of Jesus birth as 8 days before New Year’s Day or December 25th.
Around 302 A.D. during the reign of Diocletian, Emperor of Rome, a major persecutor of Christians, it’s recorded that 20,000 believers* were barricaded inside their church and burned to death while celebrating Jesus birth.
The Philocalian Calendar, which lists the feasts believers celebrated, from 354 A.D. regards it as an established feast of the early Church.
While in 386 AD John Chrysostom declared that the celebration feast of the birth of the Christ was an ancient tradition.
A collection of writings known as the Apostolic Constitutions which dates from around 380 A.D. orders Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus and records that this injunction originates with the apostles themselves.
So what we have is ample evidence that the birth celebration of our Lord is one of the earliest true Christian Feasts the Church had.
But didn’t the Emperor Aurelian make December 25th a pagan holiday, Sol Invictus, in 274 A.D.?
That’s right, he did. But if you remember, Christians were already celebrating that day as the birth of our Lord. Hippolytus says so 72 years earlier.
So wait a minute…you mean the pagans actually stole December 25th from Christians?
It would certainly seem so. Especially since most of these political reforms, such as Aurelian creating a holiday, seemed to be directed at kicking Christianity to the curb.
But where did the early Christians get the date, December 25th from?
They were Jews…so they got it from Jewish tradition of course.
Jewish tradition says that a prophet lives a perfect life. Both entering life and leaving it on the same day. Western Christians held that Christ died on March 25th, while Eastern Christians held to a death date of April 6th. Which is why, if you calculate exactly 9 months later, we have Western Christians celebrating December 25th, and Eastern Christians celebrating January 6th. Ultimately most Christian groups compromised on December 25th.
So where does all the stuff about Christians stealing December 25th from the pagans come from anyway?
Well, it…like so much atheist mythology, comes from anti-Protestant and anti-Papist rhetoric during the Reformation, and that was then jumped on during the Enlightenment.
Lay the blame for starting this mess with one Paul Ernst Jablonski. A German Protestant, who went around claiming that the Roman Catholic Church was the result of Christians adopting pagan festivals. That this moved the Church from it’s more ‘pure’ state.
A Catholic monk named Dom Jean Hardouin in an attempt to refute Protestant claims that the Roman Catholic Church had been “paganized” declared that the Church had adopted the pagan festivals to spread the faith.
So there you have it.
Christmas is no pagan copycat.
Celebrate it with blessing!
Calculating Christmas – William Tighe
Hippolytus and December 25th – Tom C. Schmidt
Hippolytus and the Original Date – Tom C. Schmidt
Text Tradition of Hippolytus Commentary on Daniel – Roger Pearse
20,000 Martyrs in Nicodemia – OCA, http://ocafs.oca.org/
The Pagan Origin of Christmas – A. John
The Chronography of 354 A.D. – Roger Pearse
The Ancient Feast of Christmas – John A. Peck
Apostolic Constitutions, Book V, Section III
Christmas – History.com
*In all likelihood this number represents the number Christians killed during that single persecution thrust, rather than the number of people in that single church.
…the much revered, very wise, aged rabbi is on his deathbed, his rabbinical students gathered for the deathwatch, arranged with the smartest of the students at the rabbi’s head, the next smartest second, and so on, down to the pitied dunce of the class, at the foot of the bed.
As it becomes increasingly apparent that the old rabbi was soon to depart, his best student leaned over and whispered, “Before you leave us, could you please, finally, give us THE secret of life itself, great master teacher, sir?”
After a few moments of thought, with considerable effort, the rabbi managed to croak out, “Life is like a river.”
The honored student turned to the one next to him and said, “The master said ‘life is like a river.’ Pass it down.”
And so each student in turn passed the wisdom down to the next.
But the dunce at the end of the line said, “Hey, wait a minute. Life is like a river? What does that mean? Ask him what he means by that.”
Ashamed and tentative, each student passed the question back up the line. The best student again leaned over and said, “I’m sorry, master teacher, but the dunce, down at the end, he does not understand. He wants to know: what do you mean? Life is like a river.”
With every ounce of strength remaining in his dying, frail body, the rabbi managed these last words: “Okay, so it’s not like a river.”
What’s the problem?
Why aren’t people making your phone ring off the hook?
Why aren’t your pizza pies flying out the door?
Well let me ask you – what research did you do that told you people would like pizzas such as the “Grilled Hamster Surprise” or the “Teriyaki Snake”?
No I don’t want to hear about how good the “Nine Kitten Pool Party Pizza” is.
Did you even talk to people to find out what they might be interested in buying?
Did you do price testing to see at what price your pizzas would start selling?
So many people start a business only to have it flounder and sink without a trace, except for the wreckage of broken dreams and disappointment.
That’s because they didn’t do any homework. You have to find out what the market wants, and if what you have to offer isn’t what the market wants, you are not going to sell anything.
Of course you could dress your product up real pretty and tantalizing, but that would only generate a few sales that would drop off quickly.
Do you homework first, so you know you’re bringing a product people actually want to market.
Spend money on research.
Not all the accoutrements that go with running a business. You don’t have a business until you know you have a saleable product at a saleable price.