A WEAPON CALLED CHRISTMAS

The leading newspaper in the nation has not mentioned Christmas in 10 years. Christmas is attacked by both God haters and religionists. It has fallen into great disfavor—accused of everything from paganism to materialism. It is socially unacceptable to celebrate Christmas.  It is 1843 England. Also known as the hungry 40’s.
A young and gifted writer is deeply restless and can’t sleep. He asks an assistant to meet him in the middle of the night, “take me to see the worst of London. Do not spare me anything.”
What he saw horrified him and left a mark in his soul that would haunt his novels for the rest of his life. Children, living like stray dogs scavenged through garbage in sub-zero temperatures.
Charles Dickens had to do something. So, he mustered his considerable weapon: he marshalled the English language and sent it into war against child abuse. Vast corruption must be exposed! This nation-destroying curse must be lifted!
He set ink to paper with the force of a volcanic eruption and the skillful cuts of a surgeon. The result was a pamphlet entitled An Appeal on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child. Then something happened:
He never released the pamphlet. Historians are divided about why. Usually, it does not fall upon facts but on anti-Christian bias. Here is what really happened: He heard the voice of God. “If you release this pamphlet it will bring good for a season, but if you write the story, I am about to give you, it will bring good for all time.”
It would be a story where the main character is the most uncompelling, and unsympathetic character to any audience: an old man—a wealthy miser! Even his name is off-putting: Ebeneezer Scrooge.
With only weeks left before Christmas how could he finish it and get it published? Astonishingly it was published on December 19, 1843. Not only that, it was made into a script and opened in 2 theaters that Christmas day.
This story is not only credited with saving Christmas, it has been synonymous with Christmas ever since.  Outside the Bible, no written word about Christmas has been more influential and widespread in its power to evoke love for children and the poor.
Christmas has inspired the best music. Musical artist regardless of their fame are compelled to release a Christmas album. It has a power that no one can explain or predict. Opposing armies have stopped combat, met on neutral ground in the middle of a war to celebrate Christmas.
Here is Nephew Fred from A Christmas Carol: “I have always thought of Christmastime… as a good time: a kind forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
The supernatural power of Christmas is also seen in the creation of Silent Night. It was written because the organ broke and a song for a guitar was necessary.  Christmas again showed its power with Handel’s Messiah. Handel wrote it in 24 days. When he finished the Hallelujah Chorus, he said it was as if the roof came off his room and he saw the great God Himself.
Christmas is a weapon! It brings proof of the Deity of Christ by its inexplicable effect on the world. Even when it offends it is doing God’s work. Even Scrooge screamed, “then let me leave it alone!” But Christmas won’t let us leave it alone.
But the message about Scrooge transcends even Christmas. It is about God’s power to create a weapon to combat evil through anointed artforms.
It is because of Scrooge, that I find much of today’s formulaic Christian music unimaginative, predictable, and even snowflake like. Bono from U-2 called it “dishonest.” How dare I make such a criticism? Because we didn’t use to scare so easily. We wrote songs of sacrifice and commitment; towering themes filled majestic hymns.
Somewhere in the mid to late 20th Century the church developed an insecurity complex and began to “do things almost as good as the world does.” Not just in music, but in all art forms. We even have green rooms which is a nod to Hollywood.
A great exception is Black Gospel Music. It was so original the world had to copy it for Motown and R and B. Black Gospel was so powerful the world kept trying to steal talent out of the church. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and many others began in church.
The spark of divine creativity does not rest on those who surmise what might sell or what won’t offend. It comes on those who would sacrifice all to obey God.
However, there is another reason creativity is in short supply: We don’t recognize the multiple opportunities of service outside the pulpit. Not everyone is a preacher—nor should they be! The gifts of God fit in business, art, media, healthcare, education and yes, politics.
Because God came upon a famous novelist like Charles Dickens, the devil was blindsided. What if you are supposed to create something no one has seen before?
Finally, the idea that we need to tone anything down to win souls is hogwash. Johnny Cash comes to mind. It is truly amazing the influence he carried. Bob Dylan, Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones revered him. Yet, he never muted his faith or his witness. God gave him a sound the world couldn’t resist.
A heart filled with love for God and hatred for evil, who is willing to be completely open to do something new is our greatest need today. God is searching to drop original miracles on someone like you.

No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

Christmas dinner in San Francisco with Mario and Mechelle Murillo

Mechelle and I are bringing back a beloved tradition.  For years, in different cities across America, we would gather partners, and friends to have a Christmas Dinner together.

Our partners looked forward all year to these wonderful dinners.  We celebrated Christmas—the way Christmas should be celebrated—with wonderful music, unforgettable fellowship, a sumptuous dinner, and a powerful vision for winning souls in the New Year.

This year there will only be one of these dinners.  It will be in San Francisco! 

Here are the details:  Saturday December 9th at 7 PM at the beautiful Marriott Waterfront near the San Francisco Airport. 

The tickets cost $50 per person.  But right now, you can get them for only $25 by using the special link below.  The link will direct you to an easy-to-use page to order your tickets.

I promise you—you will be making a Christmas memory that will last a lifetime.  We could sure use a joyous break from the stresses of this time.

This is going to be an exciting reunion, wonderful fellowship over dinner and a chance for Mechelle and I to greet you personally.

Do not be disappointed.  Space is limited.  Order your tickets as soon as you finish reading this!

It will mean so much to Mechelle and me to be able to celebrate Christmas with you.

REMEMBER, IT’S SATURDAY DECEMBER 9TH 7 PM AT THE WATERFRONT MARRIOTT AT SFO.  IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CALL US AT 775 238 3473

Click here to buy tickets at this special price:

https://mariomurillo.org/christmas-dinner/

PS you can also reserve a room at special rates at the Hotel by using this special link

https://aws.passkey.com/e/49385627

Breaking news from Mario Murillo

Today’s news is so bad and the division is so deep that pundits are saying a popular horror movie is helping the nation.  How low do you do go when a horror movie is your comfort?  Since good news is needed this bad, we decided not to wait to make this announcement.    Mario Murillo Ministries is announcing two events that you do not want to miss.  We are going to celebrate!

These are homecomings, they are nights of miracles, they will celebrate, not only what God has done, but what He is about to do.  We have chosen the two most Christmassy locations possible  for our celebrations:  Branson Missouri and San Francisco California.  It is not too early for your to secure your place in these two amazing events.

The first celebration honors Christmas in an atmosphere of ongoing revival and signs and wonders.  Here’s why

It’s Sunday Morning, August 23, 2015 I am preaching to a small congregation in Branson.    I ask a woman to place her hand on the back of the neck of the woman beside her.  Instantly, a bulging vertebra flattens.  The audience bursts forth in praise.

Word spreads.  That night the audience doubles.

August 27th, I call out Pastor John Willis’ diabetes.  Two years later his blood sugar is still normal.

I am forced to stay in Branson.  Crowds form by 4:30PM. Divine healings and dramatic conversions replace local gossip over lunch counters, in stores, and at schools all over Branson.

God can stun an audience into silence—people give each other a knowing look, a look that says, “this is not going to fade with time, no one will ever be able to talk me out of what I just saw.”  It is still going 2 years later!

That’s the atmosphere you will walk into when you join us at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake on Monday November 6th and Tuesday November 7th.  Bring those who need Jesus or a healing.

My Special guest will be none other than Dino.  He will present a worship concert that include your most cherished songs. Including Christmas!  I will bring a message about God’s plan to take back America.  There will be surprise guests as well.

This is a homecoming for the entire MMM family nationwide.  These nights are free but please register!  You can print out your own ticket and have a guaranteed seat for you and your group.

Some sticklers may ask, “how can you celebrate Christmas in early November?”  The loving answer is: “this is Branson silly…it’s Christmas all year round!  Act now, do not be disappointed.  These nights are free but please register!  You can print out your own ticket and have a guaranteed seat for you and your group.  Click here now to print your ticket:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mario-murillo-in-branson-mo-tickets-37859564978

Saturday, December 9th, 2017 we are bringing back the most cherished tradition of Mario Murillo Ministries.  How can I describe it to you?  Think of grabbing a beautiful ornament out of a box in the attic.  As you dust it to its original gleam, you are flooded with emotions and memories.  Yeah, it’s like that.

Our partners used to look forward—all year long—to our Christmas Dinners.  Then the times changed.  Well, those times have changed back.   We get to meet and greet you.  This is the Christmas you remember.

We will rejoice together in an elegant setting over a Christmas Dinner.  We will celebrate the past, sing carols and seize the future with a glorious vision.

San Francisco at Christmas time is the best.  Even this notorious town succumbs to glory of the birth of Christ.  If that were not enough—here is the bottom line:

The regular price for tickets is $50 (they will have to be $75 at the door) but right now you can use the link to buy tickets for half price.  You heard right—you can get

them for $25 each.  Join us Saturday night December 9th at 7 PM at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront.

Do not think it is too early for you to get your tickets!  Get them right away so you will not be disappointed.  This is the event you do not want to miss.  Click here to buy your tickets right now!

https://mariomurillo.org/christmas-dinner/

 

 

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

“What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.”

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

By Mario Murillo

What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.

It has moved writers…yea, it has seized them.  Billions of words have been consecrated to it.  When reason screams “don’t write anymore!” Christmas moves the foolhardy to write again—to find that fresh meaning—about the most repeated story in history.

The power of Christmas turns children into righteous grownups.  Then it turns righteous grownups back into children.

A testament to its glory is the cosmic grudge Satan bears against Christmas.  He never leaves it alone.  He must commercialize it.  In one instance—he grew so desperate to harm it—he had it banned in England through misguided ministers.  They thought it was carnal!  The London Times didn’t mention Christmas for 10 years!

Then in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the story of Scrooge and Christmas was back.  Here—from the story—is one of the best descriptions of Christmas ever:

 “But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

However, no musician, no orator, and no artist, no writer (including Dickens), can touch the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.

The reason is simple.  The words I will refer to were forged in heaven by God Himself.  It was a note sent on ahead to explain what He meant by sending His son to earth.

“He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.”

He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.

Then he chose messengers whom He solemnly charged to speak these matchless words.  Relive with me that night when the best words ever spoken about Christmas were given to man.

Luke 2: 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Christmas says “do not be afraid of the supernatural!”   The angels knew humans are terrified at the appearance of angels.  Fear not!  It is a normal part of the life of the righteous to see signs and wonders.

Don’t be afraid of needing miracles.  Don’t be startled by the way God answers your prayers.

Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.

Not only is the supernatural normal—it is good news!  When the Holy Spirit begins to act in a sedate church, the pastor should recognize that it is not an emotional thing—not a heretical thing—but a glorious thing.  It is a takeover that will push the work of God forward.  Miracles are not a menace.  They are the perfect solution.

This will be to all people.  Christmas will not stop until it has achieved its goal.  Nothing can stop the march of the Son of God.  Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.  The Kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.  And He shall reign forever and ever.

“Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.” 

This child is the perfect gift from God to you.  God has given you His best.  He has come because of your need.   Here is the absolute answer to mankind’s curse.  This cure has no side effects.  This solution does not miss the mark.  It is for you from someone who totally knows you.

Break out in Joy! Use joy as a weapon. Use joy for renewed strength.  Let joy do its job.  Don’t restrain joy because of the evil around you.  Release joy because of the evil around you.

Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.  It is not that you can’t fight Christmas…it’s that you shouldn’t!  That is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.   Merry Christmas.

Now check out the video my son filmed of a Christmas Village I built

 

Who were those shepherds who saw the angels that Christmas night?

Who were those shepherds who saw the angels that Christmas night? The answer to that question is more important than you know.

They are us. Their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common theme.  We share a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on the hopes of believers today.  They are so much like us!  Their future was sold to pay a debt to a foreign empire.  For them it was Rome for us it is China.  Their leaders forged an unholy alliance with Augustus Caesar.  Our leaders appease our enemies, attack Christian values and apologize to the world for our greatness.

The faith of their Fathers was diluted by false ministers and mocked by pagans. Our Faith suffers the same fate! Their weak economy created a crime wave that forced them to stay out in the fields watching their sheep. We spend hours at our job, actually hoping for overtime and then the final insult of a cruel commute home.  Can you relate to getting through a day by choking down emotions and robotic ally doing your job?

What do we want most for Christmas?  Let me brave an answer.  What we want most in all of this mess is good news.  We could sure use some good news!  It would be so wonderful to see the unrelenting torrent of scary headlines, dire predictions and disappointing reports swallowed up by good news! But what would be good news to you right now?  What message do you need from God right now?

What we want most is a visitation of God.  It is easy to think that we want something else but nothing would help us more, nothing would do the job better, nothing can compare to it.

San Jose California 1982:

I watched San Jose enveloped by the Glory of God.  It was a time when the economy was as bad as it is now.  The prime rate soared to 22% and unemployment was even worse than today.  Yet thousands crowded into the meeting every night for 22 weeks!  The atmosphere in the building evaporated fear and worries.

Yes, the people needed jobs desperately but somehow it was overruled by the Glory.  Each night they sang their hearts out, each night tears of joy washed away the cares of their life.  Other things became important.  Something priceless had come to them and they were not about to let human concerns rob them of this precious moment of their life.

I am a Pentecostal it is that simple.  I know what it means to have the Holy Spirit drench me. I know that when the Spirit of God is upon me fear, worry and anxiety vanish.

What the Angels did is turn their priorities upside down.  We know the Bible says “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments ago these men were taut with tension and defensive of their herd to point where they would have gladly have fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now they are ready to run to a manger oblivious of the sheep they leave behind.

Yes we need jobs, healing and many other things but what we need most is the Glory.  Glory will make our soul gaze at God and while we gaze distracted by His splendor God will fix the issues of our life.  Modern pulpits have done us a great disservice by focusing on “how to” Christianity.  It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money and handling emotions.  And that is the very problem we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves.

This is the bait of Satan: to get us to strive and fret and battle by our wits and not by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  What leaders are failing to do is to seek and obtain a move of God among their people.

Why did God skip the theologians, the Priests and the King and send these angels to the shepherds?   This is the question of the ages! How embarrassing to all of those in power and to all of those who made a life out studying the prophets, reading the times and being “in the know” who were overlooked in favor of these shepherds!

We are constantly trying to qualify for a career, a credit card, a club or some kind of status but are we qualified for a visitation of God?

What if something good can come out of these “bad times”?   Maybe it was an worse time back when you had money and toys.  Maybe in these hard times you are holding your loved ones closer, praying a little deeper and trying a little harder to be humble and grateful.  Maybe instead of suffering, you are merely getting into position to be visited by God.

2016 Murillo Christmas Village Video

 

I don’t golf. I don’t collect cars.  So, I learned how to make a village that told the story of Scrooge.  I hope you enjoy my little village video and the pictures.

In 1843, Dickens was the most famous writer in England.  Early that year, he made a strange request.  “Show me the most horrible parts of London.”  He set out with a guide late one night.  He thought he had steeled himself for what he might see. But nothing could have prepared him for the unbridled horror of seeing abandoned children living like animals in sub zero weather.

lo-rez-village-shot

 

Scarred for life, Dickens vowed he would strike a “sledge-hammer blow . . . on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.”   He penned a tract entitled An appeal on behalf of the poor man’s child.

When and how the miracle happened is a matter of debate.  Many say that God gave Dickens a special message.  God told him his pamphlet would only have a limited impact but an original story would have endless impact.

Thus he created the sledge—hammer:  A Christmas Carol.

lo-rez-harbor

The following are excerpts for Charles Dickens info.com

It only took Dickens about six weeks to write A Christmas Carol.  Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit helped speed up the process.  When Dickens wrote he “saw” his characters much like the way that young Ebenezer Scrooge saw the characters from the books he had read.  As Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol he said that the Cratchits were “ever tugging at his coat sleeve, as if impatient for him to get back to his desk and continue “the story of their lives”.

“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”   This line appears toward the beginning of the novel.  Dickens included this because of a dream.  He had dreamt that one of his good friends was pronounced to be “as dead Sir . . . as a door-nail”.

The Cratchit family is based on Dickens’ childhood home life. He lived in poor circumstances in a “two up two down” four roomed house which he shared with his parents and five siblings. Like Peter Cratchit, young Charles, the eldest boy, was often sent to pawn the family’s goods when money was tight. Like many poor families, the Cratchits had nothing in which to roast meat. They relied on the ovens of their local baker which were available on Sundays and Christmas when the bakery was closed.

lo-rez-scrooge-grave

 

A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843.  Initially six thousand copies of the book were printed.  More copies were ordered after the first printing was sold in only five days.

Why does the story of Scrooge impact me so deeply?  First, it gives me—as well as most who have heard the story—a deep need to help the poor.

 

However, it hits me just as hard in another way.  It shows the power of creativity with a cause.  It shows us that we can be original without softening the blow of truth.  It shows us that God can deliver a sledge hammer to a corrupt culture in ways we never imagined.

lo-rez-fire

 

Scrooge rebukes cowardly Christian celebrities who can’t declare the whole counsel God and think it they are being creative when they hide truth.

Scrooge is also a spanking to the lazy preachers who refuse to press in and find a fresher way to deliver timeless truth.  We are not supposed to give out the truth like a cold plate of stale food.

Scrooge reminds us that God stands ready to give us power to pierce a culture with new weapons that are both fresh and effective.

 

lo-rez-double-waterfall