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People believe that one should wear new clothes on a New Year's Day. This would mean receiving more new garments during the year. Red clothing is preferred for New Year's Day since red is considered a happy colour and is sure to attract for the wearer a brighter future.
It is said that one should avoid breaking things or crying and wailing on the first day of the year, if you don't want to continue the pattern for the entire year.
Don't Let Money Leave the House
Letting the Old Year Out
At midnight, all the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded.
Stack Up Cupboards and Wallets
It is believed that cupboards stocked up with food and wallets and purses full of money bring prosperity in New Year. Similarly, empty pockets or empty cupboards on New Years Eve portend a year of poverty.
Do not Wash Dishes
In several societies washing dishes and doing laundry on New Year's day is said to lead to a death in the family during the year. Many people do not even wash hair on New Year day.
Eat Black-Eyes Peas
Today I am praying and writing out my New Year's Resolutions. Although, I am called them goals. Every year this is something that I love to do. I reach about half of them each year, so I dream big. There is something I heard about 10 years ago that I have tried to live by. "If you aim for the moon, you may hit a star, but if you aim next door, you may hit that as well."
Christmas is over. A lot of people have already taking their decorations down. Radio stations are not playing Christmas music anymore. Stores are having after Holiday Sales. Everyone is gearing up to ring in 2011. A lot of people are ready to put 2010 behind them. Act like the year never happened. I understand. It has not been a banner year for me either. But to want to disconnect your future from your past is not smart. It is like a scuba diver going on a dive without his wet suit or oxygen tank.
There was a day after Christmas in the Bible. I wonder was it as disappointing as the 26th of December in our time? Our culture pushes and pushes Christmas Day so hard that we are let down the day after. What happens next? What do we do now? What is left? His story does not end with His birth. The story of Jesus actually is just beginning. It gets more exciting everyday. As a matter of fact, people still came and worshiped after that Blessed night.
Spending a couple days down in Adel, GA at my family's for Christmas. Love spendind time down here. I am reminded of how simple life is. A place where friends are family and tradition is important. Christmas is about the birth of Christ and the saving of the world. That is the meaning but it is also about family, tradtions, and love. Everyone should have some tradtions that they hold to every Christmas. My family has had them and yours should too.
Every Christmas Eve when we are down here we always go to Shoney's breakfast buffet. We are like the Klump's from the Nutty Professor but we have fun. Then we fix finger foods to munch on all day. There have been more through the years but as we have gotten older and moved away it has been harder to hold on to them.
Traditions are great and they help you hold on to memories. Sometimes they are memories you might need to let go of. You might need some new traditions this year for Christmas.
When I was young we had a tradition in my family. At some point around Christmas my Grandma would take the Grandkids into the living room and read the Christmas Story. She would not only read it to us, she would charge us the responsibility of placing the figures in the Nativity Scene. It is one of my favorite Christmas memories and as a kid one of my favorite traditions. As I have grown older I have accepted the cookie cutter story. I knew the Wise Men did not come to Bethlehem and I knew it did not play out exactly like my Grandma's little Nativity but I never really pushed it. Here are some thoughts that I have had this season:
Over the years I have been a part of a lot of Christmas plays. I can not sing and I can not act so I have never had a leading role. Actually I have never had more than one line. To be honest, I have always hated Christmas plays. As much as I have disliked all the plays, I loved the rehearsals. I loved hanging with my friends and laughing and goofing off. Most of the time I got in trouble but the rehearsals were fun.
It is December 1st. Like I said yesterday you can not stop time. Today is Wednesday and it is my favorite day of the week. It is GAME DAY BABY! It is the day when Thrive students come together and a community is formed. I love those students and am very proud and privileged to get to call myself their Youth Pastor. Tonight we are kicking off our new series "Christmas Conspiracy" with a conversation about Christmas and how lost the meaning really is.
As I was walking on the treadmill this morning it hit me, this is the last day of November. Seriously? Tomorrow is the first day of December. It is the first day of the last month of 2010. Wow! Where has time gone? Where has this year gone? We are in the Holiday season and I do not even feel like we got out of Summer good. Are you with me? Wasn't it just Labor Day last week?
Retailers started putting Christmas decorations out after Labor Day. Killing me!!!! My Pastor said the other day that in a couple of years there will not be a Thanksgiving. That is not right. We live and a society that is consumer driven and does not really know how to be grateful and thankful anymore. That is a different blog for a different day.
Yesterday was a very scattered day. Had way too much going for Game Day.
Mercy is a word that is used in church and by Christians to refer to how God has acted on our behalf. Mercy is something that we receive and really do not know how to give. Mercy. I see it as knowing you are right and someone is wrong and not holding it against them. You could. You would be justified. No one would blame you. But you choose to let it go. Not only let it go but to never bring it up again. You do not forget it, but you do not hold it against them. Mercy. Something else that we want to be shown but a lot of the times we have trouble showing it.
Really working this week on trying to live words out instead of saying them. One word that I struggle with is grace. It is a word that we throw around a lot in church these days. I believe that we can over use a word and under live it. Grace is easy to say and easy to talk about but difficult to live out. Most of the time we do not give out the same grace that we are willing to receive. We want and expect grace for God and from others but yet we are not willing to show it or live it ourselves. I believe no matter who we are that our humanity will get in the way from time to time.
Monday I blogged about how words are meaningless without action and what we do is a lot louder than what we say. One of the words that I am trying to live out is compassion. I believe that compassion is seeing someone's pain through their own eyes. From their perspective. Not necessarily fixing the problem but being there for them. Standing with them and at time standing for them. Compassion is tough to live out. If we have never been through what they are walking through it is impossible to understand their pain. You may not be able to understand their pain but you do understand pain. You understand what it does to your mind, how it haunts you. What it does to your soul, how it eats at you. What it does to your spirit, how it weighs you down. You may not be able to say you have been where they have been, but you can say you know what pain is like.
I have been on a journey since March of this year to loose weight and get in shape. I decided a month or so ago that I wanted to start riding a bike to continue my journey. Last Friday I got on a rode bike for the first time. About half way through I thought I had lost my mind. I thought the bike did not work right or my legs did not work right or something. By the time I got back to the house I was ready to throw the bicycle in the garbage. After I caught my breath and my legs stopped shaking I decided to give it another shot.
Goals are very important to set. It is hard to know where you have been and where you are going without putting markers out. Things to let you know how you are progressing. I want to put some November goals I have on here to help remind me of what I need to be doing.
Words mean nothing. What you do and how you do it scream so much louder than what you say. Most of the time people can not hear what you are saying because of how you are living. How you treat people. What you do when no one is looking. How you treat the people who do not look like you or act like you. Your actions give your priorities a voice. You never have to tell people what is important to you, they know it by the way you live. Words mean nothing unless you live them out. Unless people see them. Words are useless without action. I am trying to talk less and live more. Here are some words I want to live out.
During a conversation with a friend the other day a statement was made and it has really stuck with me. Pain is the fertilizer of life. Pain causes us to grow. To get out of our comfort zone. To stretch beyond who we are and who we have been. Pain puts a dependency in our life on God. Pain reveals who we really are and what is in us. Pain is the fertilizer of life.