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Radical Rev. Bates
RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses (December 4, 2005)      

          "... if I had to choose one sound in the world that I love above all others, it is first, the laughter of a child, that comes first, followed very closely by the laughter of almost anyone else ... that's my favorite sound in the world."  - Rev. Paul Gonyea, The Atlanta Church of Religious Science

           
The news is filled with articles about Bill O'Reilly, and the Religious Right demanding that Christmas be commercialized this year.  Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Lowe's have succumbed to boycott threats from the A. F. A. (covert religious organization called the American Family Association), to call their holiday trees, Christmas trees and to have their employees refrain from using the inclusive, "Happy Holidays" greeting rather than "Merry Christmas."  It's almost enough to make you dizzy ... in prior years, retailers were chastised for "commercializing" Christmas ... now their critics are "politicizing" Christmas.  It seems like the Christians always have to have a "devil" ... now the devil looks like a Bloomingdale's clerk who innocently utters, "Happy Holidays!"  Target ... on the other hand ... ignores them ... and just does what they do best ... selling merchandise to a diverse customer ... but I promised myself this would be a "light" message ... so for more info on the beginning of Christmas celebrations in the U. S. go to:  www.radicalrevbates.org

           Anyway, let's not let politics diminish the joy of the holiday.  And the greatest joy, is in giving.  The nature of God is giving-ness, so when we give, we are expressing our Divine nature ... and that is what makes this season so jolly in comparison to other holidays throughout the year.  Whether you are giving Christmas gifts, Hanukkah gifts or Kwanzaa gifts ... in so doing, you are expressing a greater measure of the Love of God within you.

         As we give ... we receive ... sometimes more than we expect.  This past week I sent a donation to the Atlanta Church of Religious Science in gratitude for receiving their monthly newsletter.  Rev. Paul Gonyea always writes a wonderful short article in each newsletter ... and since I have never heard him speak, I decided to also request a CD of one of his most recent Sunday talks ... not only did he send me one ... he sent me two!  Now, I was impressed ... and the title on the extra CD was, "Just Keep Smiling" ... and even though I enjoyed his message ... I really enjoyed the title ... "Just Keep Smiling" ... what a wonderful consciousness!  No matter what is going on ... just keep smiling ... because whatever it is that is going on ... it will change ... everything does.  And smiling brings us more in alignment with God ... the Good.

        To me, Christmas is not so much about Jesus ... since it really is not "His birthday" according to historians, and most of what is celebrated is "made-up stuff" that has been handed down by traditions ... it is about the "Holiday Spirit" ... the spirit of giving and receiving, getting together with family and friends and what a nice way to endure some of the coldest days of the year in parts of the world.  Most of the music surrounding the Holidays is very up-lifting and affirming of the joys in life ... and to me, anything that lifts our spirits to a greater sense of love and joy, is a Good thing!  Very few of us do not enjoy the holidays ... and most of us enjoy them very much ... Santa, Reindeer, Elves, snow, decorated trees, and wonderful treats.  And this is really what the Holidays are all about.  

       Both giving and receiving are equally Good as are feeling grateful and deserving.  This is the time of year to feel Good ... so feel the Good ... for Goodness sake!

And So It Is!  

Letting Love Use Me In Its Own Good Way,
Rev. Bates

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"I have been all things unholy.  If God can work through me, He can work
through anyone." 
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St. Francis of Assisi