Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week 6 - From A Low Angle

This counts as a low angle right?  

Excuse the terrible quality.  Blogger does nothing for pictures.

Anna's low angle.  

David and Sarah

Friday, December 28, 2012


For a few years now our family hasn't celebrated Christmas.

With all our family's recent trips to Israel, keeping of Torah, and no longer celebrating Easter or Christmas many people seem to think we are converting to Judaism and denying Jesus as the Messiah.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

So with Christmas nearly here (or by the time I actually post this probably come and gone) I decided to write about the reason why we don't celebrate Christmas any more.  (It could double for Easter.  The history is almost the same.)

It's not because we don't want to celebrate Christ's birth, in fact we already have celebrated His birth this year on a holiday appointed by the LORD rather than worshipers of pagan gods.

I don't mean to judge anyone who celebrates Christmas.  I know Christmas means a lot to people.  I still miss spending Christmas with grandparents and cousins, although that has more to do with moving to Alaska then not celebrating Christmas.  If we still lived in North Dakota we would probably still spend Christmas at Grandma's but we would spend it as a day of visiting with the cousins rather than as celebrating Christmas.

Sunburned - Part 1 ~ By 119 Ministries - This is a video that I got a lot of my information from.  I highly recommend watching it.
(In fact I highly recommend all 119's teachings.  If you ever wonder what our family believes go here and watch some of the apologetic teachings.  They explain the basics very well and our family agrees with most of their beliefs.)

So, why exactly do we not celebrate Christmas?

This is what a few dictionaries and encyclopedias have to say about the history of Christmas.

"The observance of December 25 (as a Christian festival) only dates from the fourth century and is due to assimilation with the Mithraic festival of the birth of the sun." - World Popular Encyclopedia, Volume 3

"The transition from festivals commemorating the birth of a son god to a celebration ostensibly for the Son of God occurred sometime in the fourth century.  Unable to eradicate the heathen celebration of Saturnalia, the Church of Rome, sometime before 336 A.D., designated a Feast of the Nativity to be observed.  Many of the customs associated with Christmas also took their origins from the heathen observances.  The exchanging of gifts, extravagant merriment, and lighting of candles all have previous counterparts in the Roman Saturnellia.  The use of trees harkens back to the pagan Scandinavian festival of Yule." - James Taylor, "Christmas", in The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church (J.D. Douglas, ed; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), p.223

"December 25, the birthday of Mithra, the Iranian god of light and the day devoted the the invincible sun, as well as the day after Saturnalia, was adopted by the [Roman Catholic] church as Christmas, the nativity of Christ, to counteract the effects of these festivals." - The New Encyclopedia Britannica

"Christmas... It was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons [eg. Passover - death of Christ] rather then their birth...  A feast was established in memory of this event [the assigned birth of Jesus] in the fourth century.  In the fifth century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the Roman feast of the birth of the sun as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth exists." - Encyclopedia Americana 1944 Edition

 Not only do we celebrate the birth of the creator on the same day as pagan gods but also in the same way.

"Various symbolic elements of the pagan celebration, such as the lighting of candles, evergreen decorations and the giving of gifts, were adapted to Christian signification.  Later as Christianity spread into northern Europe, the Celtic, Tentonic, and Slovic winter festivals contributed holly, mistletoe, the Christmas tree, bonfires, and similar items." - The Christian Encyclopedia

"Pagan celebrations on December 25 had included feasting, dancing, lighting bonfires, decorating homes with greens, and giving gifts.  So when this became a Christian festival, the customs continued, but with a Christian meaning imparted to them." - Encyclopedia International, USA: Lexicon, 1980, p414

As you can see it is a very well know fact that we celebrate the birthday of Christ on the same day and in the same way as the worshipers of pagan sun gods celebrate their birthday.  Why are we degrading the LORD, creator of all the universe, to the same level as all the pagan false gods?

Most people I tell that this is the reason we don't celebrate Christmas say "Well that's not what it means to me.  For me the Christmas tree stands for eternal life, the presents for Christ's gift for us, etc"

Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods?  I also will do likewise.'  You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way;, Deuteronomy 12:30-31

They weren't wanting to worship other gods, they were wanting to worship the LORD in the way the nations worshiped their pagan gods.

It doesn't matter how we think we should worship God, it matters how He thinks we should worship Him.  Even though we give good meanings to Christmas it's still the same way pagans worshiped their gods and God specifically said He did not want to be worshiped in the same way.

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:23-24

It is not enough to worship Him in spirit, saying 'it only matters what it means to me', but you must also worship in truth, and the truth of the matter is He said "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way".

If you type into Google 'should Christians celebrate Christmas', a article under the same name by, will be the first result to pop up.  In the article they state "The pagan associations [with Christmas] were lost long ago".  Does God forget things?  If He said He didn't want to be worship in the same way as sun gods, He still doesn't want to be worshiped in the same way as sun gods.  I am the LORD, I do not change; Malachi 3:6  He did not forget what Christmas used to mean.

The same article from states "We can make something evil out of it or something good".  Even though we can try give nice meanings to to old pagan traditions, we are not God.  If something started out as an evil sun god worship, we, as Christians, can not magically make it good.  Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;, Isaiah 5:20

That fact that it was wrong for the Roman Catholic church to adopt the birthday of Mithra as Christmas wasn't lost on Christians a few hundred years ago.  Christmas was outlawed in New England from 1649 to 1658.  It was condemned for its pagan roots by the Puritans. the Methodists, the Quakers, the Amish, the Presbyterians and the Baptists.  It wasn't made a legal holiday in Massachusetts until 1856.

"Christmas was once banned in Boston.  The Puritans forbade the celebration of Christmas because it was a 'pagan feast'.  Episcopalians were the first in Boston to observe the holiday.  They were followed by increasing numbers of young people who raised 18th century eyebrows with 'frolics, a reveling feast and ball'.  But it wasn't until 1856 that the legislature, recognizing a losing battle when it saw it, gave in and made Christmas a legal holiday." - The Phoenix Gazette, December 22, 1967

Even Charles Spurgeon, a man highly influential among Christians of different denominations, was against Christmas.

"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons.  Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all but abhor it. whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority." - Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on December 24, 1821

"When it can be proved that the observances of Christmas, Whitsuntide, and other Popish festivals was ever instituted by a divine statute, we also will attend to them, but not till then.  It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men, as to observe the ordinances of the Lord.  We ask concerning every rite and rubric, "Is this a law of the God of Jacob?" and if it be not clearly so, it is of no authority with us, who walk in Christian liberty." - Charles Spurgeon's Treasury of David on Psalm 81:4

Maybe the reason we have such trouble remembering the 'reason for the season' is because it never really was the reason for the season.

I really think that this is something that we, as Christians, should think about.  But we all must be fully convinced in his own mind, Romans 14:5, whether or not it is important.  Let's just make sure we don't reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition, Mark 7:9 when it comes to Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week 5 - From A High Angle

Well I, the queen of procrastination, finally got around to posting week 5.  

I procrastinated to the very last second to get this posted while it was still week 5 but then our power went out.  It has been going on and off last night and all day today.

Oh well, I'm finally catching up on some reading.

My purtty Princess.
Sarah checking out the LCA/Farm Lodge calendar I got for Christmas.

Anna's high angle from a tree.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Week 4 - Dinner

For this week I was going to take pictures of the nice Thanksgiving-esque (I know... fancy word ;) meal I cooked on Monday but I got a bit distracted.  

The turkey I cooked was HUGE.  The chart on the back of the bag didn't even give you a time for one this big.  
Being as how it was so big, it rather dwarfed the pan I was cooking it in, so before it was done all the juices started spilling over the sides into the oven.  I thought I caught it before it started spilling over and poured enough juice out to make gravy but obviously not.  
I had just put sweet potato fries in with the turkey to cook and started thinking, man, they sound like they're really getting fried.  So I opened up the oven to check on them and the whole bottom of the oven was on fire.  
Dad had to come put it out because the thing just wouldn't quit burning. 
The house got so smoky.  We had the door and all the windows open (not fun in the winter) and it still took forever to air out.

So... yeah... it still tasted good (perhaps a bit of a smokey flavor ;), but I completely forgot to take pictures.  

On Wednesday we went to Regina's for dinner with all the teachers so I took pictures of that dinner instead.

Regina made spaghetti, Mom made beans, Deborah made cinnamon bread sticks, Quentin made snicker doodles and Mrs. Richter made a wonderful chocolate cake because it was Mr. Richter's birthday.

I know, I know, terrible composition.
I'm pretty sure I ate mostly sweets.

But they were good.

The boys and Anna put together a puzzle while they ate.

Sarah and David love the new scratch-it book they got from Uncle Charlie and Aunt Margaret.

Here's Anna's picture of the dinner we had today.  The best part, pumpkin pie (we seem to be stuck on Thanksgiving, not that I'm complaining).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Now It Feels Like Winter

Yay!  It snowed!!

We got the snow machines out and towed on sleds behind the Bravo for hours.  

We have about four ropes tied on to the back of the snow machine and you try to flip the other people over so you can take their rope.  Everyone wants the longest rope so you can really swing out when you turn.  It's a ton of fun but my knees are black and blue. =)

But it warmed up today so the snow started melting then tomorrow it's supposed to get to -20.  That will make for a grand mess. =P  I know, never happy. =)

And just because here are some pictures Anna took of the sunrise.

I love the pink sunrises over Roadhouse.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Week 3 - Bold Colors

OK, I didn't get around to taking this picture till about five minutes ago.  It amazing how you can have almost nothing to do and yet not get around to the few things you are supposed to be doing.

Anyways, it's not very 'bold colors" but, oh well.

Anna did better.  She got a few good ones.

Our puurtty gold fish.

Sarah's colorful fingers.

The inside of a kaleidoscope.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hanukkah!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Frosty Trees

In my opinion this winter has been kinda weird (although officially winter hasn't started yet and its still fall... yeah right).  

Maybe it's just because it got cold sooner then usual and we had our first snow a couple weeks earlier then normal that makes it feel weird.  

But, ever since that first snow it hasn't snowed more then once or twice and it's never stayed.  

It seems strange to not have snow.

Although, Dad reminded me of the time we went moose hunting a couple years ago in December and there wasn't any snow then either so maybe it's not so weird after all. 

But, it has still been really cold which makes for some really pretty frosty trees (and some really fun iceboat sailing).

I love it when there's frost everywhere.  It's a winter wonderland.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Steel Wool Burning

The other night we lit some steel wool on fire.  This was the result. =)
Awesome right!!!
All you have to do is stick one of the balls of steel wool into a whisk, tie a rope or something of the sort onto the end, light the wool on fire(it helps if your Dad has a blow torch to really get it going☺), and start spinning.  Sparks will fly everywhere.
When Dad and I were in Anchorage we bought a pack of steel wool with eight balls in it.  It wasn't enough.  Everyone wanted a turn spinning it.
If you want to take pictures of it like these, all you have to do is slow your shutter speed way down.  All these were taken with a 30sec shutter.
Turing a flashlight on in the middle of the exposure and getting yelled at by your sister (me) for ruining the picture, actually looks pretty cool.
If there's a bright moon make sure you keep your aperture pretty small and ISO low or else you'll let too much light in and the pictures will look like this.  Kinda cool but not really what your looking for.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Week 2 - What Makes You Smile

This week I didn't actually get around to finding "what makes you smile" and taking a picture of it but I took a bunch of pictures that make me smile. =)  All these pictures are from my quick trip to Anchorage.

Things that make me smile.
Flying over clouds...

Beautiful mountains...

Foggy sunsets...

Anchorage at night...

Flying with Glen in the 99...

Here are the pictures that make Anna smile. =)

Aren't they pretty.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We did.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  You get to cook a ton of wonderful food then have a bunch of people over to help eat it, watch football and of course be thankful for it all.
(speaking of football, here's how I wish the Patriots vs. Jets game would have gone)
Pinned Image
We had a ton of food this year.  Mom made the turkey and stuffing, Deborah made pumpkin pull bread, mashed potatoes, fried rice and rolls, all new recipes she found on Pinterest, I made a ton of pies, Anna made dozens of cookies and Quentin made snicker doodle apple pie (he is famous in Nondalton for his snicker doodles☺). Sound like much sugar?
We tried to get most of our baking done the day before since the turkey would be in the oven all morning.  I'm pretty sure every single mixing bowl, pot and pan in the house was dirty.  Poor Joshua, he was washing dishes.  And after all that we were still using three ovens the next morning.
Josh A was laughing at me while we were cooking.  I was getting frustrated helping Caleb make pies.  He said "you sound so nice and calm on your blog".  It's the truth.  Sadly I have no patience when it comes to working with Caleb, especially in the kitchen.  That night we read the first chapter of James.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be 
perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  James 1:4
Yeah, I'm not sure if Dad read that chapter on purpose or not.
But, despite all the craziness it was still a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We are going to be eating leftovers for a week.
Now I have to work off all those pies with 40 minutes of Pure Cardio.  Yeah, I'm going to die.  #itsinsanity

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 1 - Self Portrait

Well I'm glad the self portrait is first.  It gets the one I like the least out of the way.  Haha.
Yeah, I know, you're probably not supposed to be able to see the remote but, oh well.

Anna decided to join me on the challenge so here's her self portrait.

Anna was smart and took her's inside, I almost froze my fingers off taking mine outside, because, let me tell you...
Pinned Image
Zero, to be exact.