The War On Christmas

GUEST POST: Today’s contributor to The 12 Blogs Of Christmas is my fellow blogger Scott Higa. Scott writes over at The Christian Nerd and I’ve become a huge fan of his work over the past year or so.  His posts and his dedication are a huge inspiration to me. He also hosts The Christian Nerd Podcast which drops every Monday that does a fantastic job mixing nerdy entertainment news with serious faith-based discussions. Don’t hold his aversion to egg nog against him; follow along with his blog and on Twitter anyway. Enjoy his contribution to POP GOD:

33d0ee244ee9e7a24189092d8f74f53e_400x400Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill, yet some people want to treat it like a warzone.

There was that fool complaining about Starbucks’ cups who brandished a gun in a store.

There are those who loudly proclaim “Keep the Christ in Christmas.”

And we have the constant reminders that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Now I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is the reason for the season. The reality that God sent his Son to earth to be our Lord and savior is utterly amazing. I have heard the true Christmas story every year since my first Christmas in 1981, and I’m still blown away by God’s great love for us. He saw us trapped in sin and darkness, but sent his Son to bring the light and love that would set us free.

That’s awesome and worth celebrating year round, not just in December.

In fact, the true Christmas story is so amazing that any alleged war against it is bound to fail. So we don’t even need to enter into the fray; we can simply let Christmas be Christmas. Continue reading

How the Bible Taught Me to Be More Creative

(GUEST POST: Today I’m excited to share with you a guest post from Jackson Dame. Jackson is a young writer I’ve been following over the past few months who blogs at JacksonDame.com. He’s in the process of self-publishing his first book Ex Materia about the impact of faith on creativity. I jumped at the chance to have him write a guest post here on the blog so that you can learn more about him. Check it out and be sure to check out the Kickstarter page for Jackson’s new book to see how you can support this up-and-coming author.)

exmateriaA couple of years ago I couldn’t come up with a good idea to save my life.

I wanted to exercise my creativity, but it was almost as if I had none. Was I really cut out to be creative?

Fast forward to today, and I’ve never been more confident in my ability to generate ideas and execute them with excellence. What changed?

Well, a lot of things, but overall it was one crucial action. And it was an action that I discovered while I was reading my Bible of all things.

My faith actually taught me that I was skipping over the first and most important part of the creative process: consuming. Allow me to explain. Continue reading

What Exactly Is The Spirit Of Christmas?

GUEST POST: Today’s contributor to The 12 Blogs Of Christmas is my friend Savannah Jane Duncan. Savannah is a High School Senior and a former student in the youth group I led who’s taken up blogging as her Senior Project. She writes about her journey growing up on her site One Girl Without A Plan. You’ll want to follow along with her blog and her Facebook Page because she’s got a bright future ahead of her. Enjoy her contribution to POP GOD:

How-the-grinch-stole-christmas-2000-03The spirit of Christmas is a thing, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is! I am a seventeen year old senior in high school and I can attest to the spirit of Christmas playing a HUGE role in my life.

Well, what exactly IS the Christmas spirit?

To me, it’s the Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola feeling that you get in your belly when you know that a jolly, fat man with presents is coming to your house. The sugar plums that fill your head as you dream of what will be under the tree when you awake. The excitement that comes when you peek out your window to see Rudolph’s nose (or the red light of a near by cell tower) blinking in the distance. That feeling is genuinely one of a kind.

I asked some adults if that feeling ever comes back and they said, “No.”

WHAT?! AM I EVER GOING TO ENJOY THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS AGAIN?!?? Continue reading

Why Buddy The Elf Is My Role Model

elf-syrup-ceral-pop-tarts

ivillage.com

GUEST POST: Today’s contributor to The 12 Blogs Of Christmas is my friend Michaela Pollock. Michaela is a Senior at Georgia College & State University with a real heart for inspiring and encouraging others. I’m excited to introduce you to her today. Enjoy her contribution to POP GOD:

To this day I remember the first time I watched the movie Elf and fell in love with the touch of claymation, the adorable elf outfits, and how simple joy is represented through the entire story.

I received the movie Elf from my Aunt Diane, who my dad often says I am just alike, so there had to have been some kindred spirits working there when she bought it for me. I watched it that day with my extended family and about immediately it became my favorite movie.

You may think, “Why is a Christmas movie your favorite movie?!” I have heard this, and dealt with all the funny faces. But, if you know me, you’re not shocked a Christmas movie is my favorite movie.

I would like to pride myself as being the female version of Buddy the Elf if I could, so I think we could learn a thing or two from Buddy and the movie itself. Continue reading

How To Give The Best Kind Of Gift

GUEST POST: Today’s contributor to POP GOD Christmas is my friend Sean Taylor. Sean is the Pastor of Chandler Baptist Church of Missouri. Sean was also a mentor to me when I first began pursuing ministry. I always said we should write a book together and blogging together is getting pretty close to that. Sean is one my favorite writers and blogs at Plunge47.org. Check him out, subscribe to his blog, and enjoy his contribution to POP GOD:

Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 8.56.55 AM

We celebrated my daughter Darcy’s second birthday this week. The first gift she opened was a Disney mobile phone and purse.

She was so excited she did not want to open other presents. Instead, she screamed until we opened up the box and got out her plastic treasures. Eventually we coaxed her to tear open the other gifts… Continue reading

Smiles and Zombies

GUEST POST: I’m excited to introduce our first guest contributor to POP GOD – Sean Taylor. Sean is the Pastor of Chandler Baptist Church of Missouri. Sean was also a mentor to me when I first began pursuing ministry when we worked together at First Baptist Augusta. Sean is one my favorite writers and blogs at Plunge47.org. Check him out and enjoy his first contribution to POP GOD:

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 1.44.56 PMThe Photographer said the first take was a “serious” photo. Every youth group veteran knows that means don’t act crazy – smile like it is a family portrait. The next photo will be titled a “crazy” or “silly” photo. Then everyone will jump around and throw up bunny ears and pull out buck teeth… only the photographer followed the first photo by saying, “Okay, now please smile for this picture.

Instantly she realized her mistake. But it was too late and when the cross-country team poster came out, there she stood a smile amidst frowns… Continue reading