"Jesus, the reason for the season". Yes, Jesus is the reason for this Christmas holiday season. In fact, shouldn't He be the reason for "every" season throughout the year!
2010 Christmas Reflection
"Merry Christmas!???" I've been getting this a lot lately, like every year. However, it just don't feel like "merry" as I get older for some reason. It is probably for many different reasons for this particular year (e.g. been to 4 funeral services the past 2 months, learning more and more that Jesus wasn't born the 25th -read down below the site, growing in my "daily" personal relationship with Heavenly Father and knowing Jesus is all "season" -everyday) for me and not just during a "holiday" this season. It also hurts me to hear sad news (e.g. Violence Against Iraqi Christians Escalates-pbs.org: Iraq) that makes me more grateful of "freedom of religion" living in this "unperfect" (no nation is perfect) nation. Does this cause me to just "forget" this day of celebration? I choose to live this day "joyfully" (with "careful" awareness of others around me) like any day in life because life is too short to be wasted by being "stubborn", "angry", "depressed", etc... Enjoy each single "second" with family, friends, and/or love ones because tomorrow is never promised with the uncertainties of our current world. I say the "spirit of giving" (doesn't have to me always materialism) should not just be a one-day event, but an "everyday" event as one lives for Christ (see "Christ-like"-especially with all the "negativity" in the world. Instead of conforming to the increasing "negativity" of our world, why not do the opposite and "try" to be a light? How can we all each individually do this or why would we want to do this?
Have you finished Christmas shopping? That has been a frequent question lately or almost every season-depending on your work status! This question was very difficult for me to answer when I was "laid" off from my full-time job right before the Thanksgiving Holidays. Just this week, I started working back my full-time hours. During my time being "laid" off, I did a lot of reflecting (e.g. purpose in life), which I felt was needed in my life. I'm now trying to approach the purpose of the way I live every day, which is to try to be open to what God has for me to do everyday ("Good Samaritan"). Sometimes we just need to "stop" and "reflect" from our "busy" daily life; what is life-what is Christmas?....
2006 Christmas Reflections
Merry "Be-lated"/"Early" (depending on one's views of the exact birth-Luke 2- of Jesus because some believe He was born during the Spring time-see Christianity Today article) Christmas! I (Sal)
write to you all today because I wanted to share how bless/thankful I am. As the year (2006) winds down, I want to share that this year hasn't been easy. However, with my Savior (received Him in 1997-see personal story), I've been able to make it this far!
A friend of mine quoted last week, "This Christmas will mean a lot more (after facing some challenges, like many of us this past year) to me than in year's past because I've understand how important my family means to me more. I don't need any present because my sons/family are the best I can ask for". I thought this was very touching and I would like to add that the "best" gift I can get is what I already have, which is God's son to me and the world (John 3:16).
I'm currently spending the Christmas holidays in St. Paul with family and friends (including a couple from Bulgaria I'm hosting in my house and my mom's until January 7th). Last night, we drove around the neighborhood checking-out the beautiful christmas/holiday light decorations in some houses in the community. Do this before they put their lights away!
May we all continue the spirit of giving, love, and joy all year round; not just one-day or one-season of the year!
Have a Happy New Year and ""May God bless us, every one"-Tiny Tim, charactar from "A Christmas Carol (Scrooge)", Charles Dickens
It's Friday, December 19th of 2003-another Christmas holiday season! Excited? Yes, I'm because it's another opportunity to share Christ's love in a more direct open way compared to any other season-besides Easter! However, as I got out there (stores), the excitement seem to be more "hurry" "hurry" or "stress" "stress". It seem many kind of forget the meaning of this holiday season:
I was accompanying a friend of mine at the Mall of America yesterday (Sunday, December 11th of 2005) and was suprised to see an unexpected "concert" (photo gallery, which I saw w/laughter as the group went up and down the escalator singing in front of Bloomingdales. I would later find out more about who they were after talking to a staff at Nordstroms. The staff told me that they were singing "Stop Shopping and Start Living", which the mall security guards were not satisfied. I really coudn't make up the words they were saying. I then saw the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which they had a corner picture of a description of what this group's mission. I thought it was a cool mission and decided to look them up..
Twin Cities Revival w/rev Billy hosted by Minneapolis church Sabathani Community Center Rev Billy "Corporate Christmas is the Total Falsehood that holds within it a great opportunity. Brave the neurotic elves and smiling Wal Mart hostesses, look for a moment into that blinding darkness. Here is THE ECONOMY THAT WARS ON THE IDEA OF GIVING"
Awhile ago (December 2007 now), I just saw a documentary of this new film...
What Would Jesus Buy?
" STOP the SHOPOCALYPSE!
Sho�po�ca�lypse [shah PAW kuh lips] n.
The end of mankind from consumerism, over-consumption
and the fires of eternal debt!
What Would Jesus Buy? follows Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir as they go on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse: the end of mankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt!..."
*see What Would Jesus Buy, the movie
Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Part 1 of 3
"The father of a Wal-Mart worker trampled to death on Black Friday said could have been avoided. Meantime, investigators are searching for the shoppers who may have been involv..."
Charges Possible in Black Friday Wal-Mart Death
"Police were reviewing video from surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify people who trampled on a Wal-Mart worker killed when a crowd of post-Thanksgiving shoppers burst through the doors at a suburban store and knocked him down. (Nov. 29) " Wal-Mart worker dies in Black Friday stampede
BY JOSEPH MALLIA AND MATTHEW CHAYES | firstname.lastname@example.org
11:03 PM EST, November 28, 2008 (newsday.com) "...Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens, was pushed to the ground by the 2,000-plus crowd just before 5 a.m. as management was preparing to open the store, which is located across from the main Green Acres Mall building. Hundreds stepped over, around and on the 34-year-old worker as they rushed into the store...
Authorities said Damour, who died at Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream, was working at the store through an employment agency that contracts with the retail giant..."
Alphabet® Photography " is the work of Jennifer Blakeley. Jennifer and her husband Sam run the business together, along with other members of their close-knit team. Alphabet Photography is based in Niagara Falls, Ontario."
For some, this holiday season is a time that people just want to ignore or just move on! They might of had a bad Christmas growing-up (e.g. parent left them, alcohol became a "party pooper", or some family/relative dispute, etc..) so they never look forward to this holiday.
When Was Jesus Really Born?
It's 2005, which I've been challenged with this question as the Christmas season approaches. Here is what I came up with..
"The church probably began to celebrate the birth of Christ when they did in order to replace pagan holidays with Christian ones. Beginning with the emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity, there was a decided movement in this directio"-
Belief.net"Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night. But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well. There is no sound objection to it."-bible.org "The word Christmas is formed of Christ plus mass meaning a religious service in commemoration of the birth of our Savior. It is a normal expression of love and reverence for Jesus Christ. The day or date doesn't matter as much as our heart attitude toward Jesus."-Jesus Cafe Ministries
The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived...
Personal Growing-Up Story
I was fortunate to have had "good" Christmas' with my family growing-up. Despite some "problems" (like any other) in my family, we "try" set-aside many of these "negatives" for this once a year "positive" celebration. We attend church in the morning and came home anticipating what is inside those wrapped gifts. It was hard to sit down at church as I would be thinking about what gift I got this year.
When I came to a personal relationship with the birth of this "boy" that we've been celebraring on Christmas, the holiday meant a lot more to me. (More than just materialistic stuff-eg. "How the Grinch that Stole Christmas") Happy Birthday Jesus! He's the greatest gift that anyone can ask for that means more than what is inside that unwrapped gift.
As you are reading this, if you never got that gift as a kid or don't get that specific gift for Christmas this season; Just remember what you have been blessed (Jesus, family, friends, love ones, etc..) already. Ask God how you could be a blessing to someone in need...
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "-Acts 20:35
Read the Good News to someone who hasn't heard to let them know why we are celebrating this season. "He is the reason for the season and every season".
Also, there are others just "next door" in need this Christmas season. Just stopped by at your: neighbors by dropping extra "fatty" cookies, visiting/inviting someone who doesn't have any loveones-jail, group home, hospital, senior center, etc.., writing to someone in prision, and the list goes on. Yes, it become overwhelming as you think about the many people who are in need. But, like what Jesus did, one person at a time!
"In Christian tradition the Magi, also known as the Three Wise Men, The Three Kings, or Kings from the east - although it is not said in the Bible how many Magi there really were - are sometimes considered to be Median, perhaps Iranian Zoroastrian priests, who were also proficient in astrology from Ancient Persia. The Gospel of Matthew states that they came "from the east to Jerusalem" to worship the Christ, "born King of the Jews". According to Matthew, they navigated by following a star which came to be known as the Star of Bethlehem. As they approached Jerusalem, Herod tried to trick them into revealing where Jesus was, so that he might be put to death. Upon finding Jesus, the Magi gave him three highly symbolic gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Because three gifts were recorded, there are traditionally said to have been three Magi, though Matthew does not specify the number."
"While much is known about the gifts themselves, the bearers, known as the Magi or "Wise Men," remain somewhat mysterious to modern scholars.
"The Gospel of Matthew, which is the only Biblical document that tells us about the Magi, does not mention how many there were, nor how they got from place to place," Horton says. "We do know something about Magi in the ancient world, however. Often the word 'Magi' refers to wandering Mithraic priests."
Archeological excavations in Caesarea, a city on the coast of the modern state of Israel, have uncovered clues to the identity of the Magi mentioned in the Bible. In 1973, a group found a mithraeum, or place for worshipping the god of Mithras, there. Horton has led several digs in Caesarea since 1976.
Horton says Matthew's mention of this ancient religious group in his Gospel was no accident.
"The author makes it clear that the birth of Jesus was an event not just for the Jews, but for the whole world."
"The ancient Magi were a hereditary priesthood of the Medes (known today as the Kurds) credited with profound and extraordinary religious knowledge. After some Magi, who had been attached to the Median court, proved to be expert in the interpretation of dreams, Darius the Great established them over the state religion of Persia. (2) (Contrary to popular belief, the Magi were not originally followers of Zoroaster. (3) That all came later.)
It was in this dual capacity, whereby civil and political counsel was invested with religious authority, that the Magi became the supreme priestly caste of the Persian empire and continued to be prominent during the subsequent Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods. (4)"
Members of the Morris Fire Department and Morris Girl Scout wewre just two groups of volunteers "doing the most good" as bell ringers for the Salvation Army.
Morris were ringing the bell in front of Willie's Super Valu on Saturday, Dec. 18.
The Girl Scouts were singing Christmas Carols at Pamida.
If you're interested in being a volunteer bell ringer, contact Peggy Kill with The Salvation Army at 320-589-2329.
This Christmas season, New Testament Church in Alexandria will again present The Gospel According to Scrooge. This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will once again warm the hearts of the audience with its restorative message of Christmas hope., Published November 25, 2011, 12:00 AM "This Christmas season, New Testament Church in Alexandria will again present The Gospel According to Scrooge.
This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will once again warm the hearts of the audience with its restorative message of Christmas hope.
Audiences will be appalled by Scrooge’s “Bah humbug” approach to Christmas and touched by Tiny Tim’s courageous outlook on his own Christmas trials.
The cast of The Gospel According to Scrooge features nearly 100 people from New Testament Church. Members of the cast and crew hail from many area towns including Alexandria, Glenwood, Osakis and Sauk Centre.
Performances are Wednesday, November 30 through Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m. Performances will take place at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, a handicapped accessible facility.
There is no cost for admission or parking. A free will offering will be received, with a portion of the offering being donated to local food shelves."
"Celebrating its first holiday season in Minnesota, Holiday Lights in the Park is a new community event that focuses on raising funds for local charities and providing an impressive and affordable means of holiday entertainment for people of all ages. Visitors will enjoy a spectacular array of holiday lights and animated displays as they take an evening drive through Phalen Park. The delightful tour is approximately 0.6 miles in length along Lake Phalen and Phalen Golf course. All net proceeds of the event will be distributed to local charities in the Twin Cities."
LEROY, Minn. (AP) - A retired farmer had a reputation in his small Minnesota town for being very frugal. So, when the checks arrived at the senior center, fire department, churches and other places in Le Roy following the farmer's death, surprise would be an understatement.
Ninety-four-year-old Loren Krueger spread $3 million around the Mower County community of about 900. Krueger outlived two wives and a son and lived in a simple white house on Le Roy's main street, quietly amassing a fortune.
Checks for more than $400,000 arrived at two local churches. St. Patrick's Catholic Church received about $1 million. The senior center, which was getting by on $600 in county funding each year, got $220,000.
KARE-TV says while many in Le Roy tagged Krueger as frugal, now they're remembering him as generous.
The following articles will help you understand why God send his son to be born a baby - both Son of God and Son of Man. Read about the birth
of Jesus Christ and the virgin conception of Mary. Discover facts about the Three Wise men who followed to Star of Bethlehem, the lives of Mary and Joseph, and the celebration Jesus' birth at Christmas. Grow in your Christian faith and Biblical understanding as you learn about the truth of the Nativity from the Bible and why the birth of the Savior was the greatest gift of all."
"This is the best part of the Charlie Brown Christmas. I put a Jeremy Camp song behind it. I think it's pretty cool" original soundtrack imdb fact monster "Schulz wanted A Charlie Brown Christmas to have the religious meaning that was central to his own experience of Christmas. And though the special was made in California, (Charles) Schulz wanted it to include snowy scenes that recalled his native Midwest."
It was criticized as being too religious�Linus quotes straight from the King James Bible (Luke 2:8-14)
I was watching ABC Nightline and it featured "Sign of the Times", which they talked about this movie's history and it's message: "What is the meaning of Christmas?"...
and the message that Christmas is really about the joyful miracle of Jesus's birth"
"Forget the red suit, white beard, and belly. Sometimes Santa goes for a slightly different look.
Justin Martin is all the Santa the children at an inner city school in Newark, N.J., could want.
"This is my third year doing it, and so far in all the years I've done it I've given away 2,000 bears," Martin said.
Just 8 years old, Justin has a deeper understanding of the holiday spirit than many adults ever will.
"What feels better," Axelrod asked. "The presents you get or all these bears that you give?"
"The bears that I give," Justin said. "I don't know why."
Three years ago, when he was just five, Justin got to thinking. "I was wondering if everyone in the world had a bear like mine."
When his father told him they didn't, Justin started raising enough money to give away a thousand bears to needy and sick kids each holiday season.
"It's fun yeah to go around and give bears to less fortunate children," Justin said.
Justin's father Quin said, "Whatever he does he just has a big heart, he goes at it very, very hard."
Justin Charity Bear Fund
While Justin's charity is clearly a labor of love, we can't stress enough how much labor is involved. Justin doesn't just deliver the bears he gives away - he makes them as well.
Justin works at a local Build-A-Bear workshop which provides bears at a discount. Still he needs to raise $25,000 annually to meet his goal.
"It's better to give than to receive," Justin said.
It's a holiday lesson that never gets old, especially powerful when the teacher's so young.
... A Little Boy With A Big Heart
December 23, 2010 4:20 PM cbsnews.com "As part of our continuing series "The American Spirit," Jim Axelrod tells the story of a little boy who spreads Christmas cheer to those less fortunate."
"LAKE FOREST, CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- "What do you do when your plans don't go the way you want them to, like the economy drops out of the bottom? What do you do when all of a sudden your future seems uncertain and you don't know which way to turn or what to do?"
These are the questions 'Purpose Driven Life' author and Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren will seek to answer during his Christmas sermon series.
During the current economic state, many Americans are looking for a sense of peace amidst troubled times.
Warren says: "When things don't go the way you plan you need to remember three things -- God is trying to get your attention; God has a better plan; and God wants you to trust Him."
Christmas is celebrated on December 25. It is a Christian holiday, but it is also observed by many non-religious people who participate in its secular traditions. Schools, banks, post offices, and government offices are closed on Christmas. Most malls and stores are also closed. The night before Christmas is called Christmas Eve. People celebrate Christmas by singing carols, sending cards, and giving gifts. Some people go to church on Christmas. Symbols of Christmas include nativity scenes, Christmas trees, wreaths, holly, Santa Claus, reindeer, and the colors red and green. Goodwill, compassion and peace are the values promoted this time of year. (3 pages)
Christmas Calendar Showing December 25
Dallas church pays it forward
"In our Faces of Faith segment, a church in Texas goes out of its way to help people who are struggling financially."
"A video about christmas we showed in new years eve! This video has a good lesson!"
*Im more thankful of my state of Minnesota after watching this! Great message! Yes, Jesus...the reason for the season-every season in fact when you come to have a personal relationship with Him!
Christ in Prophecy: The Virgin Birth of Jesus
"Learn how essential the virgin birth of Jesus is to the Christian faith with Dr. David R. Reagan and Dennis Pollock on the show Christ in Prophecy"
Atheism: Unyielding Despair
"Pastor Mark Driscoll examines Luke 2, where an angel announces the birth of Jesus, Christ the Lord, to shepherds in a field. The angel reveals how we are to see Jesus. We are not to insert him into a false ideology (e.g., atheism, deism, pantheism/panentheism, or theism) that offers no hope, no good news, no savior. Rather, we are to praise Jesus like the angels, Mary, and the shepherds did. "
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Liberal Arts: Atheism, Philosophy, Religion, Thinker, etc...
"Scrooge gets a ghostly visit from his deceased friend. Very creepy and memorable scene. And yes, that is Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley
There are many movie versions of this story, everybody seems to have a favorite. This one is mine. It's the one I grew up on, I think I watched it on tv during every christmas season of my childhood.
Christmas Carol is not the name of the movie of course but I'm trying to protect my videos from extinction by choosing a more generic title.
If you like the clips then I strongly recommend finding the dvd somewhere before the holidays are through, because it's a damn good movie :"
God bless us, Everyone - A Christmas Carol
Related Sites: Wikipedia "what Charles Dickens described as his "little Christmas Book" and was first published on December 19, 1843 with illustrations by John Leech. The story was instantly successful, selling over six thousand copies in one week and, although originally written as a potboiler to enable Dickens to pay off a debt, the tale has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time."
It's a Wonderful Life: Colorized Version *HD* - Part 1 of 14
"On Christmas Eve 1946, George Bailey (James Stewart) is deeply depressed, even suicidal. Prayers for George are heard by the angels. Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), an Angel Second Class, is sent to Earth to save him—and thereby earn his wings. Joseph, the head angel, reviews George's life with Clarence."
*I finally watched the whole movie for the first time today (Saturday, Decmeber 12th of 09') after seeing this in a theatrical performance on Friday, December 11th of 2009.
"After leaving the Army after W.W.II, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act"
Bing Crosby - White Christmas
"From the movie White Christmas (1954) with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen. Classic Christmas movie"
White Christmas - Snow Song
"Father Jonathan Keene - a cold, impatient Catholic priest arrives in a tiny fishing village the week before Christmas to do what he does best: shut down a dying parish. But things take an unexpected turn as he becomes entangled in the various lives of the village's eccentric characters, including their beautiful librarian, the childlike priest he is displacing, and the magical experience of Mrs. Worthington's legendary Christmas Party, where everyone is welcome and anything is possible"
-Birth of Jesus
The Nativity Story Part 1 OF 10 (A MUST SEE!) Jesus Birth Story
"Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.
The Conception of Jesus Foretold
Mary, a virgin, was living in Galilee of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel visited her and explained to her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would carry and give birth to this child and she would name him Jesus.
.." The Nativity Story 1/10 , from youtube.com
"GORGEOUS! Mark Lowry sings his signature and most popular "serious song" with David Phelps and Guy Penrod helping him out in the background towards the end. It's so pretty! I love it because it proves that this man isn't just funny, this man loves god and has such a way with words. He has serious god-given talent in singing AND writing. Beautiful!"
Related Sites: HomewithGod, piano version
"is a 1953 autobiographical novel by James Baldwin. The novel examines the role of the Christian Church in the lives of African-Americans, both as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a source of inspiration and community. It also, more subtly, examines racism in the United States.
Article : "Retirees distribute holiday lawn signs emphasizing Christ" MCC Staff Report "
TWIN CITIES - In 2004, at 86 years old-a time when most citizens sit back-retired life insurance salesman Al Jagger got fed up with the commercialization of Christmas.
"I just got so disgusted that they told the retail stores not to say 'Merry Christmas.' I felt it was time for somebody to do something," said Jagger, from Eugene, Ore.
Brainstorming with a friend, a political lawn sign caught their attention. "Why not put Jesus' birthday on a sign?" they thought.
Soon, a beige corrugated plastic lawn sign simply stating, "Christmas, Jesus, Celebrate His Birth" was created and people began asking, "Where did you get that sign?"
Local residents quickly snatched up the first 500 signs. As demand grew, an additional 5,000 signs were ordered and spread across Oregon and into California, Arizona, Idaho, and Colorado.
"It's just spread so fast! I was overwhelmed with it," said Jagger.
Jagger formed Messengers of Truth (MOT) to distribute the signs and in 2005, Easter signs were added stating, "Easter, Jesus, He Is Risen." To date, 47,000 Christmas and Easter signs have been distributed. Jagger's goal is to place 50,000 Christmas signs across Oregon.
Minnesotan Joe Carlson, a retired small businessman, caught the MOT vision and began circulating the lawn signs locally last Christmas. Carlson handles many local orders and often drives bulk orders of the signs to church gift shops and private buyers.
"In addition," Jagger said, "this year we have static-cling window signs for home or car." He has more ideas, too.
This article originally appeared in IMPACT, the newsletter publication of Coral Ridge Ministries.
To read more about Messengers of Truth, visit www.messengersoftruth.org. Lawn signs can be ordered locally for $5 each by calling Joe Carlson at (612) 827-0040. "
A Christmas Story to Remember
Watch a true Christmas story where a poor, crippled , elderly widow gave me the greatest Christmas gift of all. She gave me Jesus! If you need a miracle today, please go to my wife's website, www.cindysmiracle.com."
"Short video prepared for our church's Christmas Eve service. It was designed to give Christmas visitors & guests to our church a chance to rethink the way we treat Christmas and remember Jesus' birthday. We were pleased with the results for a very tight time-frame and minimal budget."
Today people from all over the world are more connected than ever before. Children of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures often attend the same classrooms together in a true melting pot fashion. Where some students may be born and raised in the United States, other students may have been born in Africa, China, India or any other country in the world. In other cases, students born in the U.S. may have parents, grandparents, or other family members from another country who still celebrate the traditions and customs from their homeland. As a result, this diversity opens up the door for teachers and other early educators to bring a more multicultural and diverse education into their elementary classrooms. This not only makes the classes more inclusive to all of the students, but it also helps them to better understand and appreciate cultures that are not their own.
*referred by Liz S. (10/22/12)
The Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world -- from September to January
The festive season is marked by traditional masses, spectacular light displays and family gatherings
Traditional paper and bamboo lanterns known as 'parols' light up many Filipino villages and towns
Some villages organise contents for the best Christmas decorations
"Uploaded on Dec 19, 2010
A project of Taipei International Church - Tagalog Fellowship
Held last Dec. 19, 2010 at Taipei American School Auditorioum
Taipei City Taiwan R.O.C.
*see 7:25 "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"
Sana Ngayong Pasko : Ariel Rivera
BRO IKAW ANG STAR NG PASKO CHRISTMAS STATION ID 2 ABS-CBN
Dancing Christmas Lights at Ayala Triangle Park in Makati Philippines
Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come, songsandhymns.org "..Hymn Story:
When declining health forced Isaac Watts to cut back on his preaching, he turned to another task, Christianizing the Psalms. At the age of forty-five, he sat under a favorite tree on the Abney estate-property of the close friends with whom he lived-and penned the now famous words of "Joy to the World." His 1719 hymnal, Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, included the words under his original title for the poetry: "The Messiah's Coming and Kingdom."
As part of his effort to bring New Testament meanings to the Old Testament psalms, Watts based "Joy to the World" on the last half of Psalm 98: "Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth, . . . Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth." (vs. 4, 8).
Psalm 98 celebrated God's protection and restoration of his chosen people. Watts' carol rejoices in the same, as it expresses praise for the salvation that began when God became man. Both the psalm and the hymn also look ahead, to Christ coming again to reign: "He will judge the world with righteousness" (v. 9)
"Joy to the World" includes references to other Bible verses as well, including Gen. 3:17, Rom. 5:20, and Luke 2:10. Yet despite its lack of reference to Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, wise men, or the manger, it became one of the most loved Christmas carols. In a season for celebrating our Savior's birth, Watts' hymn beautifully expresses our joy at the coming of our Savior.
Angels We Have Heard on High
By Kenneth W. Osbeck
Guest Writer cbn.com "The Bible teaches that angels are the ministering servants of God and that they are continually being sent to help and protect us, the heirs of salvation. Certainly their most important task, however, was this momentous occasion announcing Christ's arrival on earth!
Although little is known of its origins, this inspiring eighteenth-century French carol has become a universal favorite.
'Another famous Christmas carol was written around this time as well. �Silent Night, Holy Night,� was penned by Joseph Mohr, a priest in Austria, in 1818. He wrote the song one Christmas Eve after discovering that his church�s organ was broken. He put together a song that everyone could sing without the need for the organ, and Mohr saved Christmas for his congregation that year....
"...Early Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones. In AD 129, a Roman Bishop said that a song called 'Angel's Hymn' should be sung at a Christmas service in Rome. Another famous early Christmas Hymn was written, in 760AD, by Comas of Jerusalem for the Greek Orthodox Church. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write carols. However, not many people liked them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that the normal people couldn't understand. By the time of the Middles Ages (the 1200s), most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether....
"Which brings us to our first fascinating Carol Story and to one of the most prolific songwriters of all time. His name is Charles Wesley � all you Methodists will recognize that name as it was Charles� brother, John, who became the patriarch of Methodism. During Charles� lifetime, he wrote over 600 songs (quite a catalog for any songwriter)! One of his most famous lyrics is Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, which many theologians say is the entire Gospel of Christ in one song. The melody for this familiar carol was composed by the famous Felix Mendelssohn almost a hundred years after Wesley wrote the text. How did the words and music come together? Here�s the scoop behind the carol�...
The little known fact is that neither Charles Wesley nor Felix Mendelssohn would have wanted this music to be joined with these words. Felix Mendelssohn, a Jew, had made it very clear that he wanted his music only to be used for secular purposes. Charles Wesley, on the other hand, had requested that only slow and solemn religious music be coupled with his words. However, in the mid Nineteenth Century, long after both Mendelssohn and Wesley were dead, an organist named Dr. William Cummings, joined the joyous Mendelssohn music with Wesley�s profound words to create the carol we know and love today! (By the way, if you hear a slight whirring sound as you sing this carol�..it is probably just the sound of both Mendelssohn and Wesley turning over in their graves as they hear us sing the words and melody together!)
OK, on to the next carol! We have all sung the fun but zany lyrics to the Twelve Days of Christmas, but � if you are anything like me � you have absolutely no idea what the crazy images have to do with Christmas. Is this just a nonsense song? Not hardly!! The roots of this carol go back to that very depressing Puritan era in England when English Catholics were not allowed to openly practice their faith. The Twelve Days of Christmas was actually written as a catechism song for young Catholics to learn the basics of the faith. The True Love in the song represents God and the various gifts He offers to believers. The partridge in the pear tree is very symbolic as well. Apparently mother partridges will act as decoys to lead predators away from their young. So, in the carol, the partridge represents Jesus. Some of the other symbolic images are as follows
Two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments
Three French hens are the three eternal virtues, faith, hope and love
Four calling birds are the four Gospels
Five gold rings are the first five books of the Old Testament which give the story of creation and man�s fall into sin.
�.and the images continue throughout the song!
Once you know the story behind the Twelve Days of Christmas, you will never hear the song again without being reminded of its deeper significance.
Now, we can�t ignore America�s contribution to our catalog of Christmas favorites! Did you ever wonder who wrote Jingle Bells? It�s one of the first carols we learn as children and is so much a part of our lives that most of us probably never even have thought about the fact that somebody really did write it! That somebody was James Pierpont and he wrote both words and music for the song which was to be part of a Thanksgiving program at his church in Boston back in 1857. Jingle Bells became such a hit that the children in his choir were asked to sing it over and over again every Christmas�.and we have been singing it ever since!
Or how about O Little Town of Bethlehem? The writer of this carol was the influential American theologian of the Nineteenth Century, Bishop Phillips Brooks. Bishop Brooks wrote the beautiful words that we all know in 1868 in Philadelphia as he recalled a trip he had made to the Holy Land several years before. His organist, Lewis Redner, decided to write music for Brooks� lyrics so that the song could be used by his children�s choir at Christmas. If anybody is still under the misconception that kids� music is not as influential as more adult genres, consider the fact that both Jingle Bells and O Little Town of Bethlehem had their starts in kids� Christmas programs!
And that brings us to one of the most beloved of all the carols � the lovely and elegant, Silent Night. The story behind this carols started way back in 1816 in Austria when a pastor named Joseph Mohr wrote the simple words as a poem. Then, as Destiny would have it, two years later on Christmas Eve, the organ in Pastor Mohr�s church broke down just before the Christmas Mass. Determined that the Mass should not be without music, Mohr gave the poem he had written two years earlier to his organist and friend, Fanz Gruber. Gruber immediately composed the melody and arranged it for two voices, choir and guitar � just in time for the midnight service.
But that was just the beginning of the impact of that simple song. The two writers of the carol thought they were simply doing something to get through a difficult situation with their church service. But almost two hundred years later, Silent Night is still the most performed and recorded Christmas song in history! In fact, there is a wonderful story about the song that comes out of World War I. On Christmas Eve fighting was actually suspended on many of the European fronts while people turned on their radios to hear Austrian opera star, Ernestine Schumann Heink, sing Stille Nacht. She was not only an international celebrity, but Ms. Heink was also a mother with one son fighting for the German Axis and another son fighting for the Allies. Her rendition of this beautiful song had the power to actually bring a few moments of peace to a very troubled world!
Such is the potential of a song and the challenge to us as songwriters. As you celebrate Christmas this year, let yourself experience and feel all the wonder of the Season�.and then, let those feelings flow into your songs. Who knows? Maybe someday someone will be telling the story behind YOUR carol.
* Be born of a woman (Gen 3:15)
* Be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
* Be the son of God (Psalm 2:7)
* Be descended from Abraham (Gen. 22:18), Isaac (Gen. 21:12), Jacob (Num. 24:17), tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), family of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), house of David (Jer. 23:5)
* Be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
* Be Presented with gifts (Psalm 72:10)
* Be threatened by Herod (Jer. 31:15)
* Be God and man (Isaiah 7:14)
* Be a Prophet (Deut. 18:18) a Priest (Psalm 110:4) a Judge (Isaiah 33:22), and a King (Psalm 2:6)
* Be preceded by a messenger (Malachi 3:1)
* Teach first in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1)
* Perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5,6)
"..What is a “Messianic” Prophecy?
The Old Testament books in the Bible (all of them written between 1450 BC and 430 BC) contained hundreds of prophecies about an “anointed one” (“Messiah” in Hebrew) who would arrive in their future. The Messiah would “deliver” or “save” all the Jewish people, bringing them to paradise or heaven. These prophecies also stated that the Messiah would save all the other people in the world “through the Jews.” For this reason, people who are not Jewish need to learn about the Messiah, too.
We constructed the table below, listing many important Messianic Prophecies. ..
"From what we have seen so far, one could argue that the Messiah could descend from either Ishmael or Isaac. However, as biblical generation follows generation, God narrows the lineage of His Son further. As He reassures Abraham in Genesis 21:12: "For in Isaac your seed shall be called."
Again, the genealogies of Jesus confirm He is a descendant of Isaac (Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:34). Spiritually, this fact becomes significant, as Paul explains in Romans 9:6-8:
For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. (See also Galatians 4:21-31.)
Another generation appears on the scene, and again God chooses the line of descent for His Son. As God had promised his father and grandfather, He tells Jacob at Bethel, "In your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 28:14; 35:11). Centuries later, He inspires Balaam to prophesy: "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel. . . . Out of Jacob One shall have dominion" (Numbers 24:17, 19)....
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Science: Astronomy-Aliens, Outer Space Travel, etc...
"...Despite being associated with a Christian festival, many have made the claim that the tradition's origins are pre-Christian, originating in ancient Germanic history. Germanic tribes lighted trees (Tannenbaum) and celebrated the fest of light (Lichtfest) around the shortest day of the year, December 21. The Christmas tree is dated to 16th century Germany, and it was popularised across the Western world in the 18th and 19th centuries..."
"The story of the birth of Jesus Christ is told by Joseph's donkey, Zeke. This telling of the wondrous birth of Jesus will delight children and adults alike and remind us all of the real meaning of C... more >>
The story of the birth of Jesus Christ is told by Joseph's donkey, Zeke. This telling of the wondrous birth of Jesus will delight children and adults alike and remind us all of the real meaning of Christmas. Please share this video with all your family and friends. For more information, please go to www.firstchristmas.net
Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. "