I am the senior pastor at Grand St Church in Albany, New York.
Posted 12/4/12 at 11:48 AM | Peter Mattice
I don’t get it. Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus or Christmas trees or presents.
It's about Christ. Hence we call it Christ-mas. Not allowing nativity scenes in public but yet we have public lighting of Christmas trees. We take our kids to Christmas lights but we avoid any references to Christ in Christmas.
This country was built on God. Our founding fathers included God in every aspect of this country.
Look at our money. It says, "In God we trust." Our pledge of alligence says, "one nation under God." All we hear now from people who have no faith is that we can't put God in public. We can't put the 10 Commandments on public building. We can't place nativity scenes in public but Christmas trees, colored lights and Santa Claus are all pagan rituals.
Jesus is the reason for Christmas, like it or not, and no matter what atheist or anybody else thinks, that is the way it goes. Why do we give to these people? We can pray in school but we applaud people like Tebow who prays publicly on the football field after every touchdown.
Celebrities thank God for their wins at the Oscars, Emmy or any other event. But put out a nativity scene and we are getting the rope. What happened to the separation of church and state how can a court decide if a church can put up a nativity scene or not? In other countries people embrace their faith whatever it is. Only in America do we throw away the reason for the season by banning Nativity scenes but have no problem with Christmas trees and Santa Claus. FULL POST
Posted 11/16/12 at 12:12 PM | Peter Mattice
By Nick Bibile
Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrims who had founded the Plymouth Colony, now in the state of Massachusetts, USA. The Pilgrims marked the occasion by feasting with their Native American Indians, who brought gifts of food as a gesture of goodwill.
Although this event was an important part of American Colonial history, there is no evidence that any of the participants thought of the feast as a thanksgiving celebration.
Two years later, during a period of drought, the Puritan Pilgrims fasted and prayed unto the Lord, the Lord answered the prayer and rains came during the prayers. Then the Puritans thanked the Lord in celebration. The Christian Pilgrims began the true Thanksgiving by giving thanks unto the Lord for the harvest.
However today, Thanksgiving has become a worldly holiday; it is not the Lord who is the center of Thanksgiving but the Turkey and the Pumpkin pie.
In the beginning the Puritans never intended it to become a ceremonial holiday, but it was the world that made it into a traditional holiday, leaving God out of the Thanksgiving.
Remember to thank the Lord during the Thanksgiving Day and everyday, he is the one who gives us air to breath, the food for the stomach, shelter and clothing, even our jobs. He gives life and any time he can take it away. FULL POST
Posted 11/12/12 at 12:27 PM | Peter Mattice
by Ian O’Neill
Apparently, the world is going to end on December 21st, 2012. Yes, you read correctly, in some way, shape or form, the Earth (or at least a large portion of humans on the planet) will cease to exist. Stop planning your careers, don’t bother buying a house, and be sure to spend the last years of your life doing something you always wanted to do but never had the time. Now you have the time, four years of time, to enjoy yourselves before… the end.
So what is all this crazy talk? We’ve all heard these doomsday predictions before, we’re still here, and the planet is still here, why is 2012 so important? Well, the Mayan calendar stops at the end of the year 2012, churning up all sorts of religious, scientific, astrological and historic reasons why this calendar foretells the end of life as we know it. The Mayan Prophecy is gaining strength and appears to be worrying people in all areas of society. Forget Nostradamus, forget the Y2K bug, forget the credit crunch, this event is predicted to be huge and many wholeheartedly believe this is going to happen for real. Planet Xcould even be making a comeback.
For all those 2012 Mayan Prophecy believers out there, I have bad news. There is going to be no doomsday event in 2012, and here’s why…The Mayan Calendar
So what is the Mayan Calendar? The calendar was constructed by an advanced civilization called the Mayans around 250-900 AD. Evidence for the Maya empire stretches around most parts of the southern states of Mexico and reaches down to the current geological locations of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and some of Honduras. The people living in Mayan society exhibited very advanced written skills and had an amazing ability when constructing cities and urban planning. The Mayans are probably most famous for their pyramids and other intricate and grand buildings. The people of Maya had a huge impact on Central American culture, not just within their civilization, but with other indigenous populations in the region. Significant numbers of Mayans still live today, continuing their age-old traditions. FULL POST
Posted 11/12/12 at 12:25 PM | Peter Mattice
I just wanted to post this poem for all the Veterans out there.
Happy Veterans day !!!!!!!
By Jared Jenkins
In war, there are lives risked and lives taken
Men and women giving their best to defend what they love
They defend their country
Some call them soldiers
Others call them heroes
Our veterans have risked their lives for us
They have lived through hell and fought with honor
Many have killed
And regret doing so
For every life, there is a soul
For every soul, there is a life
For those who have died, we show great appreciation and remembrance
For those who live, along with them live the horrific memories of battle
Some, memories of defeat
Some, memories of victory
Our veterans were more than soldiers
They were, and still are heroes
Because of You, Unknown Soldier
By Courtney Tanabe
Because of you, I am here
Because of you, I am able to live freely
Yet I do not know you
And I have not done anything for you
But there you stand, ready to fight
And there you are prepared to die
You’ve fought before
And you’ll fight again
For someone you don’t know FULL POST
Posted 8/16/12 at 10:19 AM | Peter Mattice
by David Jennings
According to Childhelp.org, every year nearly 6 million children in the U.S. experience child abuse, and four children under age 4 die each day due to abuse. As a community of people who work with kids and strive to show them love, this is a sad and shocking statistic. We must all make an effort to help put a stop to this terrible trend.
What Is Child Abuse?
Although different states have different terms and definitions, child abuse usually falls under four main categories: physical, neglect, sexual, and emotional. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway provides some useful information on the subject.
Physical- These are nonaccidental injuries and harm that come from a child's caretaker. It doesn't matter if the adult meant to hurt the child or not. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, physical discipline, such as spanking or paddling, is not considered abuse as long as it is reasonable and causes no bodily injury to the child.
Neglect- When a child's basic needs are not being met, that is also considered abuse. Caretakers must provide physical needs (food and shelter), medical needs, educational needs, and emotional needs (not allowing kids to use alcohol or drugs, giving psychological help when needed). FULL POST
Posted 8/7/12 at 11:04 AM | Peter Mattice
If your church is still on the fence about using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other social mediatools to communicate with those in your church and those in your community, here are 5 compelling reasons.
1. Gets news/info to people who use social media. People miss church, they don’t pay attention to announcemets, they don’t read newsletters, and some don’t check email. For some Facebook or Twitter users, the best way to let them know about what’s going on in your church may be through social media.
2. Helps people feel better connected to the church. For a person who may only go to church once a week or less, connecting to the church through social media helps them to know what’s going on and feel better connected to the church.
3. Fosters better relationships among members. Through your church’s use of Facebook or Twitter, members of your church meet and get to know other members of the church.
4. Enables the entire church to be the church – praying, encouraging, teaching each other – online. FULL POST
Posted 7/31/12 at 11:55 AM | Peter Mattice
Some very interesting threads raise lots of interpersonal, moral, and cultural issues. Occasionally religions and philosophies are discussed, including differences. I, for one, think differences may all be part of a bigger picture relating to basic religions, interpretations of religions, and the effects of religions and their interpretation on people (especially as interpreted by some so-called religious leaders).
Doing a bit of background research, I've not been able to find any proven, witnessed, documented, or otherwise authenticated "sightings" of God (pick any name or interpretation you like!). So here we have this abstract concept that, for the most part, states:
1. God is great and glorious and loving
2. God created the world and all of humanity
3. Humanity must worship and love God
4. Man must behave morally (within the limits defined by interpreters of religions)
5. "Thou shalt not kill" is stated in many ways as a prime part of all modern religions.
So here's the conundrum: given the abstract nature of God, interpreted over the centuries by many people (with mixed motives and ambitions), we now have numerous Christain sects (Cathlics, Protestants, Pentecostal, etc.), Muslim sects (Shi'ite, Sunni, etc.), Jewish sects (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc.), and other religious and life-philosophy sects. The only thing these sects seem to have in common is that they basically hate each other! FULL POST
Posted 7/25/12 at 10:11 AM | Peter Mattice
If you look close at the pic can you see an angel over the vigil in aurora.
Posted 7/24/12 at 11:39 AM | Peter Mattice
James holmes was a fan of Batman. Does that mean the movie is to blame?
It seems when someone goes on a rampage we the public and the news media blames everybody else but the person who opened fire.
A few years ago a teen listened to a song by Judas priest and then committed suicide. The band was blamed for his death. They even had to go to court and they were cleared of his death.
Is it to hard to believe that James Holmes would have done the same thing if it wasn’t opening day of Dark Knight Rises?
What do you want to blame the Oklahoma bombing on?
That was an act of terrorism what video game or movie do you want to blame it on? We can go through the years and show that it is not just movies and video games that inspire people to kill.
The Manson Murders
Just to name a few. We need to stop wasting time on CNN and other news organization and blogs blaming the movies for the act of the person. And start blaming the people responsible. The people who didn’t see the signs and get them help they need.
I know kids ,teens, and adults today that need meds for their mood swings and bipolar but doctors either refuse to medicate them when they know that the patient needs drugs. FULL POST
Posted 7/23/12 at 10:28 AM | Peter Mattice
The whole issue of entertainment has been a long discussed topic in Christianity. It isn't a modern phenomenon, this very issue has been entertained (pun intended) for centuries. And should there ever be anyone who treads on the thin ice of this topic; to question, probe, and offer guidelines to entertainment, he will invariably face some opposition. This writer is in fact prepared for opposition, but hopes and prays that the principles and arguments brought forth in this article would enlighten and challenge some young minds and, as we shall see in this article, some not-so-young minds.
Concerning the entertainment of Christians, there are many opinions. And concerning the topic of videogames (VG) and whether to play them, there are even more opinions. There are many organizations that fight against the VG industry with rabid vigor (such as Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence; www.mavav.org) and others which defend the playing of computer games with equal vigor. Which is correct?? Is it entertainment or is it enslavement? In order to understand the issues involved, let us take a look at the history of VGs (which will also include PC games). FULL POST