Missing the Reason for the Season

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Op-Ed

What happened to Christmas?  Did the Grinch actually get successful and steal it?  Did some sort of switch get thrown to diminish it?  I don’t really know, however I do know that as I drive around at night, in the neighborhoods, shopping districts, and pretty much everywhere else, I’m seeing less and less of the lights, smells, and signs of what I used to identify with Christmas.  

I think that may be what bothers me the most…seeing less of the stuff that had/has nothing to do with Christmas.  When I was a kid, we didn’t even consider Christmas until sometime after Thanksgiving.  Those who remember back in the day when I was coming up will remember the start of the school year in early September; we weren’t even thinking about Halloween, because we were too busy trying to keep our new classroom schedules in order. It was sometime after we got that memorized that Halloween was upon us, and even then, Thanksgiving seemed a long way off….let alone Christmas.

In the ensuing years, as the commercialization intensified, Christmas started earlier and earlier, to the point that people stopped noticing that the whole Christmas blitz was beginning as early as July.

Here’s where this commentary is going to grow a little hair.  Let me start by saying that while I recognize they are really meaningless except to remind people to spend money, I like the pretty lights, the aromas of the special foods, the caroling, and the crispness of the winter air that many have come to associate with the season.

But here it is, the 17th of December…only eight days before Christmas and I’ve barely seen a Christmas tree in a window; except for Christian Stations, I hear very few Christmas songs on the radio; very few are talking about the season, and the luster of the event seems to be waning faster than the Dolphins chances of making it to the Super Bowl this year.  In fact, Halloween, a day that celebrates darkness, was a day that most people used to simply buy a few bags of candy for, has increasingly become more popular than celebrating the earthly birth of our Lord.  

And that’s the rub I think.  We, that is to say, you and me, all of us…we allowed all of the commercialism, all of the nonsense, to cloud the reason for the season.  It has come to the point that the ‘celebration’ of darkness has now become more prominent than a decidedly Christian event.  Said Christian event now being watered down and proffered using such terms as “winter celebration” and lots of other secular things that are intended to remove its actual meaning.

To be honest, the only thing I really understand about the way we celebrate the season is the giving of gifts. Because Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, the manifestation of God’s love for us, that free gift to all of mankind…we give gifts to each other as a reflection of that unimaginable and undeserved gift of Salvation.

As far as the rest of it, while I still think it’s all very pretty and nice, part of me is at a loss as to the significance of such things as the Christmas Tree, the lights, Santa Claus and the elves, the whole North Pole and Reindeer thing, and all of the superficial stuff that became associated with the second greatest event in the history of mankind.  As important as it was and is, the greatest event was not the birth of Christ.  The greatest event was why He came and His work on the Cross, because without that saving sacrifice, His birth as a man is meaningless.

A moment ago, I said, “this commentary is going to grow a little hair” and “part of me is at a loss…”  Those comments deserve an explanation.  Simply put, I’m not really at a loss, because while I always did love the whole “Christmas” thing, I understand how and why all the meaningless stuff was added to the real story, so much so that over time, “the stuff” has overshadowed the real meaning and message of why He came.  

Folks, not for a minute am I suggesting that we shouldn’t observe and celebrate the human birth of our Creator and Savior, but I am saying that we need to sweep aside all of the stuff that the enemy has put in front of us to cloud and mask the true meaning of His “not of this world” birth.  

After all of the sales have ended, the gifts returned, and blah, blah, blah…we need to rethink the second most significant event in all of history.  That being the birth of Jesus the Christ, Emmanuel, (which literally means God with us) who was the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind that He would bridge the gap created by the original sin of Adam.

My friends, the human birth of Jesus was not meant to be a reason to buy each other trite gifts, decorate trees with multi-colored lights, bake gingerbread cookies, or any of the other “stuff” we have been blindly led and misdirected by the enemy of mankind to do.  Instead, His human birth was meant for Him to lower Himself to become like us, so that His much more important sacrificial death on the Cross could become our only escape from eternal separation from God the Father, (that is to say…hell).

In the end what I’m saying is this, rejoice in the season and have fun with family and friends, but by all means never lose sight of the real meaning of His birth and more importantly His death on that Cross, and His Deity proving resurrection three days later.  

If you find yourself stuck for a gift to give, the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones today and forever is to accept His free gift and invite Him into your heart and life…right now, in your own words, at this very moment.  

Blessings my friends and have a very Merry Christmas.

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Selective Enforcement...heavy handed tactic

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Op-Ed

A tough day, lots of struggles, and a “selective enforcement” tap on the window.  In the perspective light of the many tragedies going on all around the world and the fact that I have too many friends and loved ones, if I only have one, suffering and dying…it wasn’t the end of the world. But I have to say, we have some bad traffic laws on the books in Florida and other places, and some of them need to be repealed…yesterday!

Here’s what lit my fuse.  Just over a month ago, I was taking a ride while plying my trade and minding my own business…not driving erratic, never speeding, not tailgating...nothing.  I slowed down and came to a proper stop at a red light, and was mindful of the traffic leaving lots of room in front of me.  Suddenly there was a tap on my passenger window which, since I was looking at traffic to my left, I thought might have been a homeless person looking for some help.  

Instead, I noticed right away that it was a deputy motioning me to roll down my window.  While I didn’t know why he wanted me to do so, I pointed to the rear window and rolled it down, (the front passenger window is and has been stuck up like a JAP for a couple of years).  He asked me for my license and told me to meet him by his “patrol vehicle.”  I asked why and he smugly stated that I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt.

So, troubled by this as I was, I obliged and pulled around.  Y’know, I have a lot of respect for LEO’s, and I know they are just doing their jobs, but this was and is a total invasion of mine and your privacy.  Not that I necessarily choose to, (because how come they ain’t required on school busses?) but I do wear my seatbelt 99% of the time…and like everyone else, I’m human; I have other things going on, and sometimes, SOMETIMES, I forget.  However, such a momentary lapse should not give the state or a county the right to have a deputy standing on the corner of any intersection just waiting for someone to pull up to a red light so that the county can generate revenues.  That, in and of itself, is criminal. 

If I was speeding, ran a red light, or was engaged in anything dangerous, I’d probably be okay with this.  But to simply ‘selectively’ stop people who are otherwise just going about their business; people who are struggling through tough economic conditions just trying to squeak by; people who are watching every freaking dime just for basic needs?!  Excuse me, but this is a law, $116.00 worth, that hurts people.  This is a law that takes food from the table, makes the rent late, and makes the day old bread and store brand peanut butter look like a deal.  It’s a law that maybe makes decent people respect certain LEO’s just a little less, or maybe a lot less.

Speaking just for me, smug “Deputy Dick” might just as well have pulled out his pistol and robbed me at gunpoint, or maybe done me a favor and shot me, because it hurt that much and had the same effect.  And I know there are countless others right now that would feel such a pinch the same way.  A verbal reminder would earn a lot more respect and community cooperation sometimes.

In any case, on behalf of a lot of Florida and other states citizens/voters, I make a plea to the legislatures of any state that allows such an invasive policy…in the name of fairness and justice, repeal these harsh laws.  To the Sheriffs I ask you in the name of empathy and decency to stop the practice of such “selective enforcement.”  This is government over-reach at its very worst.  

If however the PBSO is so freaking bored and wants/needs to bring in a few bucks where I live, might I suggest to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw that you have your deputies spend some time up in the Acreage addressing the speed demons that constantly threaten the safety of the people everywhere up here?!  Heck, the PBSO might wind up with a surplus of cash.  

For all the PBSO and State Trooper cars I see in driveways where they live around here, you’d think it wouldn’t be an issue.  But it surely is. 

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Still a disgrace...

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Op-Ed

Almost two years later and nothing has changed.  All of the same cheaters are in place, the machines are still rigged, and everything is ready for the continued screwing of America.  

Right after the last election and what I witnessed, along with several dozen other Patriots at the SOE’s in Palm Beach County and St. Lucie County, I had something to say about the issue of voter fraud and its effect, if only on one race that I was following in So. Florida.  That race was just one incidence, (albeit huge) in one race, in one area.  However, in spite of the left’s insistence that such fraud doesn’t exist or isn’t widespread, the facts and numbers speak for themselves in every area of the country.  

Sadly, and as always this issue got the normal treatment right after the smoke cleared and ever since that time, as not a whole lot was said or done about it…until now, just a handful of weeks before the all-important mid-term election, when it is too late to do anything about what will surely happen in November.  Will there be enough of a voter surge to over-come the expected fraud?  Time will tell, but a quick review of election-day history says not a chance.  Just look at what is blatantly happening in Georgia as I write this today!  And look at what came to my attention just before going to press.  

According to Fox News:  “A handful of tight races in states with quirky election laws make for the possibility that Election Day will come and go without deciding which party controls the Senate.

If that happens, brace for a fierce runoff election and possible recounts that could make for an ugly holiday season in politics and government.

The main reason for uncertainty: Louisiana's election laws. Strategists in both parties say a Dec. 6 runoff is likely because Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and top Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will struggle to exceed 50 percent on the crowded Nov. 4 ballot."

Where else is this going on unreported?  Suffice it to say, things are going to get very ugly.  

The bottom line is that apparently not enough people have been hurt sufficiently or are angry enough to really do anything about it yet.  Sure, there are groups like ‘True the Vote’ that are and have been doing their best on this issue, and it gets talked about in conservative circles; but no one in authority that really can do anything ever will.

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Holding on to our convictions...

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Op-Ed

I have to believe that libs of all ages are doing the Hokey Pokey, the Hully Gully, Achy Breaky Heart, the Electric Slide, the Right Foot/Left Foot, the Cupid Shuffle, the Biker’s Shuffle, the Curly Shuffle, the Happy Line Dance, and a whole bunch more dancing over this.  I’m talking about the huge division on the 'right’ and the poisonous rhetoric, childish, and often vitriolic name calling of late, which is not only appalling, it helps the left.  

I have many friends that share my world viewpoint as a follower of Christ and I can safely say that while none of us are prepared to watch our nation fall without a fight, we will not and should not be forced to compromise on our core values while we are waiting on what we believe, in light of current accelerated prophetic events, to be the imminent return of our Lord, much less be shunned for it. Especially not by fellow conservative people who for the most part we agree with.

I’m not even asking our detractors in the blogosphere to come along side and agree with us, but it would sure be nice of them to show us the same common courtesy and respect that we exhibit when we don’t line up with their platform of "…we can’t win if we concentrate on issues and values.”  I for one don’t understand what any of us are winning if we don’t stand up for what we believe, and if that gets me or any of the rest of us labelled as "holy rollers" or anything else, I guess I can live with it because my mission and ministry is to sound the alarm, not only of what ails America and the world, but also how it ties into the bigger picture of the spiritual warfare that is going on all around us.  

I am reminded of the story in Daniel 3:16-21 when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow to the graven image Nebuchadnezzar had made and decreed all subjects to worship and they were tossed into a blazing furnace for their faith.  Not only did they survive, Nebuchadnezzar realized the truth they revealed and changed his ways.  And just as they would not bow to a graven image, many of my friends and I are willing to face the furnace of the taunts, innuendos, and veiled demands of those willing to believe the empty words of power hungry men to ‘win.’  

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I never get that warm fuzzy feeling anymore!

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Op-Ed

So let me ask a question.  Where do you feel safe?  I mean really safe!  At home, at work, at your church/synagogue, shopping at the mall, on vacation in the Bahamas, taking a cruise anywhere, seeing a movie, sunning yourself down at the beach, maybe fishing on a secluded lake or stream, or driving along in your car?  Name your spot and then follow along with me.

The reality is that you and me, and none of our neighbors are safe anywhere and haven’t been for a long time, and probably never will be again.  

In a recent article, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell said he "would not be surprised if ISIS shows up at a mall somewhere with an AK-47."  Personally, I'll be surprised if they don't.  

And it could occur anywhere, be it Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Tuscaloosa, AL; Des Moines, IA; Butte, MT; Salt Lake City, UT, Passaic, NJ, Toad Suck, AR; or Winslow, AZ for that matter. Those that are intent on doing us harm are not fussy as to the place; even the big body counts aren’t as important as simply creating an air of anyplace, anytime terror.  

What's to stop them from hitting any theme park they wish in Orlando, a Six Flags, or the Vegas Strip?  Which hospital/clinic protects itself properly from such an attack?  How vulnerable is any professional or local school sporting event?  How protected does anyone living in a gated community really think they are with the normal half dozen or so minimally trained/armed rent a cops?  They’ve already seen how vulnerable those ‘gun free zone' signs have left our schools.

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