Tsiyon News

Tsiyon Messianic Radio Newsletter  - Vol 11.53 - 09/28/6016 TAM  - 12/27/16 AD


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Eliyahu ben David Bet Midrash

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“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of YHWH is risen on you.
For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples;
but YHWH will arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you."
Isaiah 60:1, 2

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From Eliyahu

Hello friends,

Now that Christmas is over, let's talk about how much it cost.

Can you keep up with this?About a month ago the American Research Group, Inc came out with the results of a survey they did projecting Christmas giving for 2016.  These were the results of interviews with a random sample of 1,100 adults nationwide conducted November 17 through 20, 2016.  According to this survey the average American planned to spend $929 on Christmas gifts in 2016. This is $641 higher than the $289 spent in 1985, the first year shown for this survey. Problem is, wages have not grown enough in that period to account for the huge increase in Christmas expectations. For the "haves" this is not a problem, but for the "have nots" - the shrinking middle class and below - it amounts to a huge financial burden on their already strained incomes.

I know, most of us realize this is over the top, but for a lot of people its worth it, because it is for their kids. As a dad myself, I get that. I also wonder if that's really what is best, if a crazy morning of gift-tearing every year is really such a great thing for kids. Consider this quote:

There’s a new shelf full of books on the subject [of spoiling kids on Christmas], lamenting what will become of this generation of overindulged kids. Everything from a lack of independence to an overgrown sense of entitlement, rank high in the authors’ concerns. At a minimum, showering kids with presents sets up their expectations. Excess equals happiness. More is better. [Source: http://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/spoiling-kids-at-christmas/]

That's a lot of gifts!"Excess equals happiness. More is better." Is that message going to serve our kids well when they become adults? Well, if we judge by how Christmas effects adults today we would have to say "no." Consider these facts from Psychology Today:

We are told that Christmas, for Christians, should be the happiest time of year, an opportunity to be joyful and grateful with family, friends and colleagues. Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report high incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season. [https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201011/why-people-get-depressed-christmas]

Interestingly, a lot of the depression of Christmas time is about money. The article comments:

For some people, they get depressed at Christmas and even angry because of the excessive commercialization of Christmas, with the focus on gifts and the emphasis on "perfect" social activities. Other get depressed because Christmas appears to be a trigger to engage in excessive self-reflection and rumination about the inadequacies of life (and a "victim" mentality) in comparison with other people who seem to have more and do more. Still others become anxious at Christmas because of the pressure (both commercial and self-induced) to spend a lot of money on gifts and incur increasing debt.[https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201011/why-people-get-depressed-christmas]

All other issues with Christmas aside, when we look at the real effect of all of this financial pressure, and the unhappiness it causes so many, and the harm it seems to be doing to our kids, we have to ask the question: is a change of thinking in order?

Be happy!I find it ironic that Christmas, with all of this stress on excess, is done in the name of Christ. Why is that ironic? Because Messiah made His attitude known regarding money. This is the man who drove the money-changers out of the Temple, remember? He told us that money can never make us happy, and can even destroy us. Never in a million years could he possibly condone the kind of excess that Christmas has come to represent.

Christmas is the current example, but the truth is, modern society is totally messed up when it comes to attitudes about money, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. In Matthew Six, Messiah gives His followers a much needed attitude adjustment on the matter of money. If we obey His words we will be set free from slavery and control over our lives that proceeds directly from pursuing, and excessively spending, money. We will learn how we can really be happy and we will be empowered to transcend the crippling control of the world.

All of this and more will be discussed in tonight's online Tsiyon Meeting, as we take in Messiah's powerful message from Matthew Six. Be there at 8 PM CST at Tsiyon.Net.

Tsiyon Partners, don't miss this!  

Shalom, Eliyahu

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Trump warns UN after Israel vote: 'Things will be different' soon

Trump warns UN after Israel vote: 'Things will be different' soon

© Getty

President-elect Donald Trump slammed the Obama administration for its decision not to veto a U.N. resolution critical of Israel's settlements, promising that it would be "different" under his presidency.

"As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th," Trump tweeted Friday.

Things will change at the UN

Trump’s tweet came about an hour after The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in occupied territories.

The U.S. had the ability to veto the resolution but abstained from doing so despite pressure from Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. lawmakers.

The Obama administration’s decision to let it pass represents a break from the longstanding U.S. policy of shielding Israel from U.N. reproaches.

Israel’s settlements are seen as human rights violations, and some say they are an obstacle to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump pressured Obama before the U.N. vote to veto the resolution.

"As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” the president-elect said in a statement Thursday.

"This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis."


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