We Wish You the Many Joys of the Christmas Season and A Happy New Year!
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East Bay Edition
December 2010/January 2011
Plan of Salvation: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Romans 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Sears celebrated Black Friday by rolling out the red carpet at its flagship store in Chicago. Festivities started at 3:30 a.m. as customers in line were treated to music, coffee, donuts, hats, gloves and gift card giveaways while they anxiously awaited Doorbuster deals on everything from appliances and electronics to apparel and toys. (PRNewsFoto/Sears Holdings Corporation) 2010
Five Reasons Why People Love Christmas by Steven M. Gagnon For many people across the world the Christmas season is their favorite time of the year. Memorializing the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas in America is both a holiday and a holy day. With the exception of a few service providers, such as waitresses and bartenders, people typically take the day off from work and try and spend some quality time with their friends and family.
There are almost an infinite number of reasons why people love Christmas. You can, however, boil the primary reasons down to a handful of similar concepts. As such, here are our top five reasons. 5. Joyful Environment - It is really difficult not to smile a lot during the Christmas season. 4. Quality Time - Everyone has a hectic life. The Christ-
CHRIST-mas Tree Design Counters ‘War on Christmas’ Boss Creations, a faith-inspired holiday decor company, has re-launched its innovative CHRIST-mas Tree, featuring an illuminated cross in the center of a fir-style tree. Marsha Boggs, the owner of the company, says it was specifically created to counter the "war on Christmas." "I believe we need to take a stand and rescue our religious holiday," says Marsha Boggs, founder of Boss Creations. "Adding a cross to a tree as a reminder of Christ may seem trivial to some, but I think it's an important statement of faith for us as we uphold the sig-
nificance of the Christmas season and Christianity in America." The growing debate over the "War on Christmas" has erupted in legal battles and widespread media attention in recent years. Bans on religious symbolism in public areas and retailers who substitute "happy holidays" for "Merry Christmas" have Christian groups upset by what they consider the secularization of the Christmas holiday. Boggs says her company is making a statement of faith with her product and wants others to join her in
Page 2 December 2010/January 2011 True Images of Christmas on Display Attacks from Hate Groups and Domestic at Billy Graham Library, Dec. 1-23 Terrorism Will Not Stop Praylive.com Billy and Ruth Graham from all over the world. The festivities also include a number of features visitors have enjoyed in previous years: horsedrawn carriage rides; Christmas story time for children; hot cocoa in the Graham Brothers Dairy Bar; live music from carolers; a beautiful display of lights; a huge, ornamented Christmas tree; and a live Nativity, depicting the very first ChristBILLY GRAHAM CELEBRATES 90TH BIRTHDAY: . Pictured are four generations of William F. Graham, including the evangelist and, left to right, his son, Franklin; grandson, "Will"; and great-grandson, mas night. "Quinn." (PRNewsFoto/Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) Photo 2008 The Library will extend its Whether drawn by the and CEO of the Billy Granormal operating hours to lights, the music or the ham Evangelistic Associa9:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Dec. opportunity to do sometion. "We want people to thing special this Christmas come and experience all of 1-23, with Christmas activities running from 5 to 10 season, thousands are exthe festivities, enjoy the pected again this year to lights and decorations and p.m. Guests can pet some of the animals from the live visit the Billy Graham Lihave a wonderful time tobrary in Charlotte, N.C., gether. But most of all, we Nativity from 12 noon until for its third annual want to point every visitor 2 p.m. each day. Throughout the day, visitors are "Christmas at the Library" to God's greatest gift, His also invited to tour "The celebration Dec. 1-23. son Jesus Christ, who is Journey of Faith," the main always the focus at the Lipresentation of the Library, "Christmas is my favorite brary." time of year at the Billy New this year is a display in which covers the life and ministry of evangelist Billy Graham Library," said the Library's lobby of Graham. Franklin Graham, president unique gifts received by
Wender Weis Foundation for Children to Host 14th Annual Heroes Event, 'Holiday Heroes' at AT&T Park, December 7 Just announced: World Series Heroes, Andres Torres & Sergio Romo, join forces with Kristi Yamaguchi, Brandi Chastain, Josh Morgan and more at this holiday spectacular benefiting 5 Bay Area children's charities.
with the opportunity to meet and mingle with Bay Area sports stars as well as view the Giants World Series trophy.
Holiday revelers of all ages are in store for a festive evening of fun and excitement when the Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC) transforms dazzling AT&T Park into the season's ultimate holiday party benefiting children in need. Formerly Halloween Heroes, the 2nd annual "Holiday Heroes" takes place on Tuesday, December 7th. Proceeds from this special evening benefit the Junior Giants Baseball Program, Always
At 5:30 PM, the doors open for the main event on the Club Level offering classic holiday fun for all including rare access to the SF Giants dugout and batting tunnels, Bon Appetit catered light supper, Scoreboard Guitar Hero, kids activities, a photo booth, photo baseball cards, video games, courtesy of Arcade Party, and a fabulous silent auction, featuring over 100 items.For more info: visit www.holidayheroes.org.
Dream Foundation, Raphael House, Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center. WWFC will work with each beneficiary to sponsor and provide transportation for 200 underprivileged children and their families to attend the event. The festive evening kicks off at 4:30 PM with a private Sponsor reception in the Giants Clubhouse for WWFC's most generous contributors
Praylive.com has been under attack by domestic terrorism, ethnic intimidation and cyber bullying for the past few weeks. Because of the severity of these attacks, for the first time since its origin, Praylive temporarily shut down its 24/7 live, interactive internet radio station for a few hours in order to work on some technical issues. Wenda Royster, Founder of Praylive has stated, "It is incredibly sad that while Praylive has been a source of encouragement to so many people, especially during this time of unemployment, homelessness and sickness, there are those who are determined to stop it. But, we are not backing down. Hate groups will not take over!" The telephone lines, as well
as the internet have been inundated with racial slurs, profanity and threats during their broadcasts. The various pastors and intercessors continue to stand at their posts. Whether on the radio or not, the "effectual, fervent prayers" continue to go forth. Needless to say, while annoying, such harassment cannot stop what God has ordained. In Fact, this has increased the strength of Praylive whose main function is to "pray."
complied with their request for tapes of the calls and as of this writing, there has been no further communication from the FBI. Although the FBI has chosen to treat this so trivial, we have a strong weapon. Praylive is asking that the Body of Christ join with them in a corporate fast to come against these attacks which have been directed against them. This will also demonstrate to any hate groups, that "greater is he that is in me [us] than he The FBI has been contacted that is in the world." If we all join together, the Power but has not given ample support. In fact, they have of the Lord will manifest, He will be glorified and, as given patronizing statements such as, "please send some preachers have us the information and we'll stated, "Satan will be horriget back to you," as well as fied." We are the Body of Christ! "we are aware of your "If God is for us, who can situation." Praylive has be against us?"
7th Harry Potter Movie 'Spells Trouble' for Society Opinion: Steve Wohlberg Pottermania strikes again with the November 19, 2010 release of Part 1 of the Grand Finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When the book was released in July 2007, 11 million copies sold in 24 hours, making it the "fastest selling book in history." When HP 7 hits theaters this Friday, once again, global interest will soar higher than Quidditch players seeking Golden Snitches.
sites, discover new "Love and Money Spells," and seek to sharpen their skills at practicing apparently wholesome "white magic." Is it all just fun and fiction, or is something truly dark going on?
Something dangerous? Steve Wohlberg, bestselling author of Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft: The Menace Beneath the Magic (Destiny Image, 2007) has read all the Harry Potter books. He's no rabid witch basher, but believes in full While most consider all religious freedom. Neveranti-Potterism downright Mugglish, concerns remain theless, Wohlberg is concerned about both Hogamong many parents over "Wicca" (witchcraft), vam- warts and the explosive pirism, and exploding inter- trend toward witchcraft, vampirism, and occultism est in occultism among teens. While millions will sit among teens. spellbound in public thea"Plenty of real occultism is ters watching the next embedded in Harry Potter Harry Potter film, behind 7," Wohlberg contends, the scenes vast numbers will also surf Wiccan web- "and in spite of na誰ve popular opinion, the net film will
once again aid Wicca's growth." "Occultism has a dark side," he warns, "and dabblers can easily become trapped like a fly in a spider web." Ex-witches themselves share riveting testimonies in Wohlberg's book. Steve Wohlberg is the Speaker/Director of White Horse Media (Newport, WA). TV producer (Amazing Discoveries, Israel in Prophecy, Hour of the Witch), radio host, and the author of 24 books, he's been a guest on over 500 radio and TV shows, has appeared in three History Channel documentaries (Strange Rituals, Secrets of the Seven Seals, The Armageddon Battle Plan), and has spoken by special invitation inside the Pentagon and U.S. Senate. For more information, visit www.avoidharrypotter.com
To Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org Page 3 Christmas Tree Continued from Page 1 Christian groups upset by what they consider the secularization of the Christmas holiday. Boggs says her company is making a statement of faith with her product and wants others to join her in what she considers an important movement nationwide. "We're getting an incredible response from people all over the country," says Boggs. "So many Americans are troubled by the secularization of Christmas and the politically correct environment we're living in. Our goal is to enhance our celebration of this wonderful holiday while defending the meaning and traditions we believe and love." Two new designs of The
CHRIST-mas tree are on sale this year-- The
CHRIST-mas Tree II and the "Christian Nation" Christmas Tree. Both are available at www.bosscreations.net with a portion of the proceeds going to the
Parents now have the opportunity to channel their children's love of video games into a fun Bible learning and Christian sharing experience. BIG Bible Town is the first online game that teaches God's Word and builds Christian character as K-6 kids practice putting their faith into action. Families can start playing for free at About Boss Creations www.BIGBibleTown.c Founded in 2007 in Annapo- om. lis, MD, Boss Creations strives Designed To Connect to provide its customers with unique, high quality Christian With Kids. BIG Bible decoration products for inside Town is designed to and outside of the home. The capitalize on the most company remains committed popular styles of online to giving to others with a gameplay that are proportion of the proceeds from pelling the video games all sales going to a variety of market to over $90B charitable organizations. For Wounded Warriors Project, a non-profit charity for wounded veterans. The company also offers a variety of ornaments, wreaths and gift items, all with Christian-based themes. "This is not about picking a fight with people over religion," says Boggs. "This is about focusing our attention on our honored traditions as a nation and cherishing the reason for the season in a real and meaningful way."
more information, visit www.BossCreations.net
Teen Defenders International Walk for Life Teen Defenders, a Pro-Life Unity project, is inviting teens from all over the world to walk for the unborn this January 24th in Virginia. The walk will end at the site of the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. at 11:30 am. Jake Dagel, International Youth Director for Pro-Life Unity and Teen Defenders, stated: "Teens are the ones who will help end what was started by so many good leaders in the movement. For almost 38 years, strong and determined pro-life leaders and organizations have carried the torch to end abortion around the world. We are ready to accept that torch and bring an end to the intentional killing of children in the
announced, but teenagers should seek reservations for flights and hotels immediately, as the March for Life and other events of the week bring many thousands of good pro-life people to the Washington D.C. area. For too long, pro-abortion Teens who cannot make it people have claimed that to Washington D.C. are the pro-life movement is encouraged to start their made up of angry old men own Teen Defenders Walk who have no feelings for for Life in their town or women who are struggling city. People who wish to do with pregnancy. so can contact Teen Defenders at The youth of the world will email@example.com or by help those people undercalling 703-953-2134. All stand that a woman will Teen Walks for Life and suffer more by killing her other walks/marches will be child, and that abortion is posted on the website. Go to TeenDefenders.com for not compassion." The exact time and location more information. of the 1st Annual International Teen Defenders Walk for Life are to be womb." Peter Shinn, President of Pro-Life Unity added, "I'm glad to see the determined spirit of defending the unborn rising out of the young population.
Third Day Games Announces Launch of BIG Bible Town Online Game for K-6 Kids by 2015. Proof that the online games revolution has reached kids' games is demonstrated by the millions of children that are playing Club Penguin and several other successful online games. According to Bobby Wells, CEO of Third Day Games, "We developed BIG Bible Town to leverage the revolution in online games to benefit millions of families looking for Christian alternatives in today's mostly secular games market. Plus, the growth of broadband Internet allows the company to bypass big box retailers, who have been resistant to
Christian game titles in the past." How Does It Work? The objective of the game is to create your own BIG Bible Town homestead, while also building a vibrant, church-centric BIG Bible Town. With their parent's permission, kids first sign up for a free account to customize their game character; begin earning game coins by playing the two free Bible adventures - Noah's Ark and Jesus and Zacchaeus; and using these game coins to purchase virtual items for their homestead. For more info go to: www.BIGBibleTown.c om
San Francisco 49er Justin Smith Wins Perry/Yonamine Unity Award and Donates Award Money to Okizu to Support Families With Childhood Cancer In a pre-game ceremony during the last 49er home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the winners of the fourth annual 49ers Perry/Yonamine Unity Award were recognized for their outstanding community achievements for 2010.
making a $10,000 contribution on behalf of Justin Smith to Okizu, to help provide peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs to meet the needs of all members of families affected by childhood cancer. "Being named the Perry Named for the former 49ers players and pioneers Yonamine Unity Award winner is a great honor and of unity and diversity, Joe I am very humbled by it," "The Jet" Perry and Wally said Smith. "Okizu is a great Yonamine, the award was presented to 49ers defen- organization and anything that involves children is sive end Justin Smith. The award annually honors definitely a good cause. I'm a current 49ers player that excited I can help give back has demonstrated, as Perry in some way to youth in need." and Yonamine did, an exceptional commitment to Smith was chosen by his promoting unity within their fellow teammates and team and in their commucoaches for the leadership nity. and determination he demonstrates both on and off In honor of his achievethe field, all of which conments, the San Francisco stantly unite his teammates. 49ers Foundation will be The 10-year veteran exem-
plifies the spirit of unity and teamwork with his tremendous play on the field and dedication to the game along with his efforts outside of football. Okizu Founder and Board Chairman John Bell said, "This donation will help us to give kids with cancer a normal, happy week at summer camp, and will make them part of the Okizu team -not having to face their treatment and its side effects alone. We are glad to have Justin on the Okizu team helping us all tackle cancer." As part of an ongoing partnership with the San Francisco 49ers Foundation and the 49ers, the $10,000 contribution will be used to sponsor Okizu's Annual Art Inspiring Hope Gala to be held in San Francisco on March 12, 2011.
Page 4 Good News Press Holiday Events National Association of Independent Schools People of Color and Student Diversity Leadership Conference 2010 December 2-4, 2010 San Diego, CA 3,300 administrators, teachers, and students from independent schools around the world will meet in San Diego December 2-4 to attend the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC). The conferences bring together people of color in independent schools and diversity advocates of all backgrounds to celebrate experiences of people of color in independent schools. The conferences will take place at the San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
the Holiday Season. ————————————
rus and OYC Alumni Chorus will join in this holiday celebraCommunity Christmas tion. $10 - $20; For more info: 510-287-9700. First PresbyteDay Dinner rian Church of Oakland, 2619 December 25, Noon - 3 PM Veteran's Memorial Hall, 6th & Broadway Oakland, CA 94615. (510) E Streets, Antioch For more information, please contact the 444-3555 ———————————— dinner coordinator, David Coat Give Away at Bethel Victor, at 756-7788 Temple Church ———————————–
Men's Breakfast Saturday, December 4, 8:30 am Join the men of our church for a delicious breakfast at Omega Restaurant to hear stories from men whose lives have been changed powerfully by the Lord. Sign up beginning Sunday, November 14 at the Men's Ministry booth. For more information contact Paul Mayes at (408) 240-7950 or firstname.lastname@example.org ———————————
Uncle Phil's Diner 3 Coming December 3-5 & 10For more details about the NAIS People of Color Confer- 12 ence, please visit Join your friends from CCCM http://www.nais.org/go/pocc. as we return to Uncle Phil's ———————————– Diner for another fun filled Jack London Square Lights evening of food, music, and Up the Holidays dancing from the fabulous 50's! Friday, Dec. 3, 2010, 5:30 We're celebrating Christmas, 7:30 p.m. so dress in your favorite 50's Celebrate along Oakland's clothes and join us for this waterfront. Festive holiday holiday celebration! This is an music and the lighting of their exciting outreach opportunity 15-ft 8,000-lb Christmas Tree. so reserve a table for 8 and Lighting takes place at approxi- invite your friends! Dinner mately 6pm at the foot of theater tickets are $10. Broadway and Embarcadero. Age appropriate for 12 years ———————————— and up; Child care by reservation only. Oakland Children's HoliChrist Community Church of day Parade Milpitas Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, 2 p.m. 1000 S. Park Victoria Dr. Oakland Children's Holiday Milpitas, CA 95035 Parade is one of the nation's (408) 262-8000 premier parades, drawing over ———————————100,000 spectators every year. Oakland Youth Chorus' The parade takes place at Annual holiday concert Broadway and 11th Street to Saturday, Dec 11, 7 p.m. 20th Street, to Harrison Street. Festive Holiday Parade at First Presbyterian Church of floats and costumed characters Oakland, Oakland, CA fun for kids and big kids too! An annual tradition for over 35 years, Oakland Youth Cho———————————–rus' holiday concert is a great Lighted Yacht Parade way to get into the spirit of Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, 5:30 - the season! Featuring all of 9p.m. OYC's choral ensembles, inCome and see the magical cluding Concert Chorus and Lighted Yacht Parade as it sails Chamber Singers, Middle through the Oakland/Alameda School Magic and our kinderestuary. Each year, on the first 5th grade Miracle Choruses. Saturday in December, the Special guests Lynne Morrow Lighted Yacht Parade kicks off and Oakland Symphony Cho-
Friday, December 17-19, 7 10 p.m. We will come to your Holiday Party. The St. Anthony Knights of Columbus Council 10414 together with the Columbiettes would be honored to visit you, our parishioners, our families and our friends to share in the tradition of CHRISTMAS CAROLING.
is a fun time for individuals and families to shop for the holidays. Oakland Marriott Convention Center. http://aabexchange.com ————————————-
Harlem Globetrotters 2011 World Tour Saturday, January 15 -16, 2011 The legendary Harlem Globetrotters will celebrate their 85th consecutive season when their dazzling 2011 World Our ―band‖ of merrymakers will be wandering the country- ———————————— side ( Antioch, Pittsburg, Oak- Allen Temple Baptist Choir Benefit Concert at Christ Episcopal Church, Alameda Saturday, Dec 4, 7 p.m. ―Celebration of Light‖ A Christmas Experience featuring The Allen Temple Baptist Choir to benefit The Seamen's Church Institue - Bay Area's work at the International Maritime Center in partnership with Seafarer's Ministry of the Golden Gate. Adults $25, Youth $19, Chrildren (7 years & under) Free. For more info:(510) 893-3104. Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, CA 94501. ————————————
Oakland Bay Area Community Chorus Sunday, Dec 19, 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, Oakland, CA The Oakland Bay Area Community Chorus presents its annual Christmas Concert featuring the performance of seldom heard African American Christmas spituals. William Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates "Grinchmas" with Grinch, his faithful dog Max, tons of fresh snow, (Bill) Bell, Director and Founnightly tree-lighting ceremonies and a "Whoville Whobilation" at the original movie sets where the classic der of OBACC states that this "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was filmed. (PRNewsFoto/Universal Studios Hollywood) 50 voice chorus continues to make the mark with its sterDecember 4, 2010,10 a.m. - 12 ley, Brentwood, Knightsen, Discovery Bay) and spreading ling choral p.m. Get a free coat, hot sound. Bell, chocolate, tea or coffee. Coats Christmas cheer on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Decem- well known as for Adults and children. Must ber 17, 18, 19 - 7:00 PM to the Jazz Probe present to get coat. First fessor, will come first serve. 3429 Cutting 10:00 PM. Please reserve early, as our schedule will fill present his Blvd, Richmond Location up quickly. arrangement www.betheltemplechurch.org of the ChristContact Person Name: Pablo Valdez Quiba III, Grand mas Spiritual Lorraine Hendricks E-mail: "Rise Up email@example.com Knight firstname.lastname@example.org Shepherd, and rg Telephone: 510.236.3598 925.813.4311 Follow" at the ext 1 Fran Kennealy, Columbiette concert ———————————— President ————— The Gospel Accordfjkennealy@aol.com Antioch ing to Scrooge Bible Study 925.437.8425 Dec 10-12th and Dec. 17-19th Fridays at ———————————— 7p.m. Concord, Calvary Temple www.scroogeinfo.org 25th Annual Holiday Open to all 925-458-9100 Gift Show women of Please join us as Ebenezer Saturday Dec. 11– 12, 11a.m. - Antioch and Scrooge; Three angels, and 6 p.m. nearby comTiny Tim come together. The 25th Annual Holiday Gift munities. in a Christmas tradition for all Show, held at the Oakland Antioch time! -Scrooge- returns to Marriott Convention Center, Church on Calvary Temple.
the Rock, 50 Walter Lane, Antioch. For more info contact: Jennifer Welsch, (925) 757-4359 or Jennifer@antiochcotr.org
——————————— Seasoned Citizens Bible Study Sundays at 9 a.m. A discussion and study group for those 50 and older. Trinity Christian Center Library, Mountain View Christian Center, 5000 Amaryliss St., Oakley, CA. Led by Rev. Austin Miles. (925) 625-9570 ext. 102 ———————————
New Year’s Celebration at Acts Full Gospel Church, 1034 66th Ave, Oakland CA.
9 p.m. until midnight. For more info: (510) 567-1300. www.actsfullgospel.org. ———————————
New Year’s Baloon Drop Celebration at Chabot Space and Science Center. January 1, 2011 Special prizes for all kids who make a conscious effort to reuse and reduce. Advanced registration required. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, 510336-7373. ———————————— New Year’s Eve Celebration and Fireworks along the Waterfont, San Francisco, CA.
Good News Press: (888) 76.PAPER Page 5 Local Community Outreach Christmas Offerings
8501 International Blvd, Oakland, CA City of Oakland Hunger 510-544-8910 Davis Street Community Relief Program Center Christmas: Black Firefighters 3081 Teagarden St., San Lean- 510-986-2721 Annual Food Give-away Christmas: call 510-777-TOYS dro, CA 510-635-8200 for Mayors Toy Drive informa- Toy Giveaway Dec. 18, Residents of San Leandro, San tion. People’s Missionary BapLorenzo, and Castro Valley tist Church Harbor House Ministries 8825 MacArthur Blvd., Oakonly. 1811 11th Ave. Oakland, CA land, CA Must provide proof of income, 94606 510-534-0165 510-430-1496 verification of residence, ID, Christmas Adopt a Family and Christmas Dinner: December immunization cards, social Christmas Store 25th security, or Medi-Cal cards for Toys at greatly reduced prices. all children. Christmas Food Baskets Alameda Food Bank 650 W. Ranger St. Alameda, Alameda County Food Every year Harbor House CA 510-523-5850 Bank partners with the Alameda Christmas Toys: 7900 Edgewater Drive County Community Food Oakland, CA 94621 Bank, churches and community Tri– Valley Haven 1-800-870-3663 groups to provide special holi- 418 Junction Ave, Livermore, 510-635-3663 day baskets of food to the CA925-449-1664 families in our community. Christmas Baskets Christmas Toys Contact Tiffany Shieh or 510Salvation Army 534-0165 x206 Salvation Army, Hayward 1601 6th Ave., Oakland, CA 510-581-6444 510-645-9710 Christmas Baskets: Need ID, Christmas Meal: Saturday De- Allen Temple Baptist proof of income, and PG&E cember 25th Church bill. Toy Registration: Call for
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Page 6 Articles Why Do We Celebrate Christmas? By Gregory E Hanson Why do we celebrate Christmas? Ask around, and you'll get a variety of responses: It's all about the children, about tradition, about the decorations, about the family, or about the food. Many people celebrate Christmas because of the gifts: giving them and getting them. Of course, several people say Christmas is all about Santa Claus. According to a MSNBC poll, 86% of us believed in Santa as a child. Some of us never stop believing! Then there are those who will mention that Christmas is about the birth of a baby named Jesus. They will even read the Christmas story from the Bible and go to a Christmas Eve service every year. Is it possible, though, that Christmas isn't about any of those? They may play a part in our celebration of Christmas, but they are not really what Christmas is meant to celebrate. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, THE SAVIOR. Those two words make all the difference. Without those two words, then the birth of Jesus is just a nice
story about something that happened a long time ago. The fact that a baby named Jesus was born is certainly no reason to go on celebrating for 2000 years. However, the fact that this Jesus who was born is also THE SAVIOR is plenty of reason to celebrate. "On the night Jesus was born, there were shepherds taking care of their sheep in the fields on the outskirts of Bethlehem. There they were, minding their own business, when suddenly an angel appeared right there among them. This angel had a bright shining light radiating around him, and the shepherds were understandably terrified! But then the angel said: 'Don't be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!' (Luke 2:10-11, New Living Translation)" Imagine... what if the angel had shown up and said, "A baby's been born." How do you think the shepherds would have reacted? They would still be frightened by the appearance of the angel, but would the announcement have carried the same weight? Would
they have left the sheep alone in the field in order to stumble their way through the darkness to the town of Bethlehem? Would they have bothered to search for the baby to see Him for themselves? Probably not. They may have found the announcement interesting, but it would not have changed their lives. But it was not just a baby who had been born. It was THE SAVIOR who had been born. He was born to be the Savior of all peopleincluding those shepherds. So they left their sheep and went to find this Savior. And ever since, Christians have celebrated Christmas not just as the birth of a baby but as the birth of THE SAVIOR. Greg Hanson is a pastor and freelance author. This article is adapted from his "Who Is Jesus?" sermon series available at http://www.PowerPointPast ors.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?ex pert=Gregory_E_Hanson
Five Reasons Why People Love Christmas Continued from Page 1 The Christmas season allows us to slow down and enjoy our families more than we normally get the chance to! 3. Gifts - Who doesn't like receiving presents? I would wager that this is perhaps the main reason why kids like this holiday so much. 2. Decorations - Decorating the house is such a fun tradition to start with your
family. If this is something you have never done before, start slowly and make it fun. Your teenage children will not appreciate spending hours decorating the house if you have not done this before. 1. Jesus Christ - Perhaps the most important element of Christmas is Jesus Christ. It is difficult not be overwhelmed when you
think about the fact that the Creator of the World came to Earth just to save us from our sins. If you are starting to look around for beautiful decorating ideas for your home or business, check out our site on crystal Christmas ornaments and hand blown ornaments. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?ex pert=Steven_M._Gagnon
Countdown By: Donald Mehl lieved that all of scripture was God’s holy inspired and unchanging Word as He commanded for all of His followers. They knew the Bible was absolute truth from cover to cover. That included all things from the creation account, the salvation message, eternity future, and everything in between. Many hundreds of prophecies 7....6....5.... had been fulfilled in the past, all with detail exactly Countless millions of peo- as foretold. The remaining ple at some point in their unfulfilled prophecies, inlife had heard something cluding the second coming about this event. Most of events, would surely hapthem scoffed at the idea pen exactly as foretold as The timing for that event claiming that it was ridicu- well, all according to God’s was now exactly right, all lous and would never ever perfect plan and timing. according to a perfect mas- happen. Some of them The folks in this group ter plan. With all systems were skeptical saying that were true born again beset to go, the command even if it were to happen, it lievers washed by the was given to start the final would certainly be at least blood of the cross and countdown. a hundred years or more were anxiously awaiting into the future. Many oth- Jesus’ promised call to 10 . . . . 9 . . . . 8 . . . . ers did not want to see it spend all of eternity with occur during their lifetime Him. The event that was The concept of this because they loved the about to take place would planned occurrence had trappings of this world not alarm or surprise any never been concealed from more than they loved the of them because they had anyone for nearly two things of God. They simply obeyed the many scripture thousand years - nor were didn’t want their lives dis- commands to watch, pray important details ever rupted by such an event, so and expect His imminent withheld from anyone who the warnings were ignored. return. chose to learn about them. Over the years, many 4....3.... 2 . . . . 1 . . . . RAPwarnings had always been TURE! readily available alerting all There were many other Revelation 3:10 (NIV) to the fact that the event people, however, who be- Continued on next Page A life-altering event that would soon change the course of all humanity had been scheduled for a very long time. For many people, or perhaps even most of them, the life altering changes would consist of a devastating time of disaster and trouble that had never before been experienced by anyone. However, a few other folks would experience a wonderful and glorious change in their existence that would be far beyond anything they could ever imagine.
would surely take place one day. The exact day and hour had remained a closely guarded top secret, and therefore, had never been disclosed to anyone. However, the warnings were always very clear concerning certainty and imminence as well as urgent pleas for preparedness.
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Ten Crafty Ways to Make the Holidays Green TORONTO, ONTARIO-Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2010 - It's time for the holidays. Whether you're decorating the home, shopping for presents or getting the holiday menu ready, this year, Direct Energy suggests consumers think green. In fact, it could be the start of a holiday tradition, such as the One of a Kind Christmas Show. This year, Direct Energy is a proud sponsor of the One of a Kind Green section. Visit us now until December 5th at the Direct Energy Centre and fill your stockings with some of the environmentally friendly, hand-crafted items. Over 800 local artisans are being showcased at the show this year. Direct Energy also recommends these measures to make your holidays green:
to 1,000 hours. Buy miniature decorative lights, which use about 70 percent less energy. Connect them to an automatic timer to reduce the chance of leaving your holiday lights burning all night long.
Unplug your tree. Electronics that are plugged in, but not powered up, still suck power from the outlet. Unplug anything you're not using and turn off power bars.
Reduce your homes carbon footprint every day and sign up Wrap gifts with conservation in for Direct Energy's carbon mind. If everyone wrapped just neutral 3 year gas price plan, three gifts in reused paper or special One of a Kind show fabric gift bags, it would save offer. Also consider getting an enough paper to cover 45,000 energy audit of your home. ice hockey rinks. Visit www.directenergy.com/oneofa Turn down the heat a few kind to learn more. degrees it could save 10 percent on the heating bills. ReAbout Direct Energy duce the heat before guests arrive because all their extra Direct Energy is one of North body heat will soon warm up America's largest energy and the room. energy-related services providers with over 6 million residenDim the lights and have memo- tial and commercial customer rable holiday meals by candle- relationships. Direct Energy light. You could even "go orConsider using fewer or no provides customers with ganic" and try soy candles. lights at all when you're trimchoice and support in managing ming your tree. The One of a their energy costs through a Kind Christmas Show has many Don't open the oven door to portfolio of innovative prodpeek at what's cooking. It can unique and environmentally ucts and services. A subsidiary lower oven temperatures as friendly ornaments. of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one much as 25 degrees, which of the world's leading inteincreases cooking time and Decorate using LED bulbs, grated energy companies, Digobbles energy. which have a rated life of rect Energy operates in 20 50,000 hours, representing states and 10 provinces in CanUse your dishwasher for nearly 20 years of normal usada. To learn more about Diage. Compared with incandes- cleanup. A dishwasher requires rect Energy, visit cent lights, which last just 600 37 percent less water than www.directenergy.com washing dishes by hand.
Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live in the earth. Colossians 3:4 (NKJV) When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 (NKJV)For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an
archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. The final countdown for the rapture could happen today. Are you ready for that hour? Are you watching and anxiously awaiting the trumpet sound announcing that great meeting with the Lord in the air? Do you long to see Him face to face? At the rapture, Jesus will only appear to those who have truly surrendered their heart and life to Him, and who are expecting Him to appear for them at any moment. Have you met Him at the cross and humbly reached out by faith alone to receive His free gift of salva-
tion? Is He your Savior, Master and the Lord over all things in your life? Can you answer ' yes ' to all those questions? You must be very sure! Article Source: http://christian-topics.info Mr. Mehlâ€™s hope and prayer during his retirement years is that he might serve the Lord in part by sharing the Good News of the Gospel through his written work. As the Lord leads and uses his writing style, scripture knowledge and insight, his work will be informative, challenging, assuring and interesting for the reader. His articles appear monthly in Christian newspapers and online magazines as well as several Christian websites. Watch, pray and keep looking up for the Blessed Hope!
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