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New Christmas Movie

THE STAR P.6

Kettle Reflections

A JINGLE IN TIME P.5

Knocks at the Door

ARMY HELPS P.8

Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G

faithandfriends.ca

CHRISTMAS 2017

Deck The Halls

AT CHRISTMAS, THE SALVATION ARMY BRINGS A SMILE TO FAMILIES IN NEED. P.12


Beacon of Hope In the Christmas story as told in the New Testament, a star from the East guided the Wise Men on their journey to the newborn Jesus. And wise they surely were. That star was a beacon of hope for all of suffering humanity, a promise that the world would never be the same again with the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem. More than 2,000 years later, Jesus’ message of love still resonates. We may not have a star from the East to guide our way, but if we read the Bible, join a Christian fellowship and live out our faith by helping our neighbours, our own journey will be incomparably happier. Merry Christmas! To discover your own beacon of hope, mail the coupon on page 22, email us at faithandfriends@can.salvationarmy.org or visit your local Salvation Army church.

Photo: Used with permission. © Ray Majoran, compassiongallery.com

“They went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” —Matthew 2:9-10


December 2017

VOLUME 20 NUMBER 12

10

DEPARTMENTS COMMON GROUND

5 A Jingle in Time

Ringing in the Christmas season. FAITH BUILDERS

6 Star Power

DeVon Franklin’s new movie The Star brings the Nativity story to the big screen this Christmas. SOMEONE CARES

8 Knocks at the Door

Surprise Christmas visits decades apart had one thing in common: The Salvation Army. FEATURES

10

COVER STORY

12

16

Glimmer of Hope

Could Janice Keats help a woman on Christmas Eve?

All the Trimmings

For the past 16 years, a Salvation Army church in St. John’s, N.L ., has been making Christmas special.

It’s Relative

Jesus used a family tree full of broken people to help the broken here on earth.

16

DEPARTMENTS BETWEEN THE LINES

Cover photo: © asiseeit/iStock.com

19 Seasonal Selections

Christmas With Hot Apple Cider will satisfy every literary taste. LITE STUFF

20 Eating Healthy With Erin

Word Search, Sudoku, Quick Quiz. EVERYDAY ETHICS

23 Giving Outside the Box

Sometimes we forget what the Christmas story is really about. faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

FROM THE EDITOR

“Fries With That?”

I

n my time, I’ve sold shoes, delivered telegrams and even spent one long, hot summer in my teens reorganizing a badly ventilated office supply warehouse. I thought I’d done it all— but there I was last year in Newfoundland and Labrador, helping serve full-course chicken meals to the guests who attended the 16th annual St. John’s Temple Christmas dinner. Organized by The Salvation Army in partnership with Mary Brown’s, a chain of eateries primarily based in Newfoundland and Labrador, the event draws hundreds from the St. John’s area for an evening of song and a visit from Santa, along with tasty chicken and all the trimmings. Hundreds of volunteers (including yours truly, who also helped clean up after) laboured for months to make the evening the success it is. Why spend all this time and effort year after year? “The purpose is to help make Christmas special for those without,” replies Major Rene Loveless, now the Army’s divisional secretary for public relations and development for Newfoundland and Labrador but who, as pastor at St. John’s Temple, organized the event for four years running. “We serve up these great meals with love and compassion.” This is just one example of how The Salvation Army makes lives better for those at their greatest point of need, at Christmas and throughout the year. From thrift stores to halfway houses to, yes, chicken and fries, the Army is giving hope today. But without your help, it wouldn’t happen. So when you pass a Salvation Army kettle this Christmas season, give and give generously. Ken Ramstead 4 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

Mission Statement To show Christ at work in the lives of real people, and to provide spiritual resources for those who are new to the Christian faith.

Faith & Friends is published monthly by: The Salvation Army 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto Ontario, M4H 1P4 International Headquarters 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4P 4EP, England William and Catherine Booth FOUNDERS

André Cox, GENERAL Commissioner Susan McMillan TERRITORIAL COMMANDER

Lt-Colonel Jim Champ SECRETARY FOR COMMUNICATIONS Geoff Moulton, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ken Ramstead, EDITOR

Brandon Laird DESIGN AND MEDIA SPECIALIST

Timothy Cheng SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pamela Richardson, COPY EDITOR, PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR

Ada Leung CIRCULATION CO-ORDINATOR

Kristin Ostensen STAFF WRITER, PROOFREADER

Giselle Randall STAFF WRITER Scripture Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from New International Version Contact Us P. (416) 467-3188, F. (416) 422-6120 Websites faithandfriends.ca, salvationist.ca, salvationarmy.ca Email faithandfriends@can.salvationarmy.org Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 circulation@can.salvationarmy.org All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131


Faith&Friends

COMMON GROUND

A Jingle in Time Ringing in the Christmas season. by Jeanette Levellie

(left) “People give generously because they know the money helps the Army assist thousands all year,” says Jeanette Levellie, here with her husband, Kevin

I

t was our first time to ring the Salvation Army bell, on one of the coldest weekends of the year. My breath came out like spurts of warm fog every time I said “Merry Christmas!” to the shoppers who braved the icy weather. My musical husband, Kevin, rang his bell in a jolly rhythm, grinning like a kid on Christmas morning. “We may as well put some spirit into it and have a little fun,” he said. And it was fun. The minutes flew by. But I could not manage to keep hold of my bell. Perhaps I was concentrating more on chatting with the shoppers. Perhaps my mittens were too soft to allow a good grip. Perhaps I didn’t want to clutch it too tightly for fear my hand would tire. For whatever reason, in the course of 30 short min-

utes, I dropped that bell seven times. Yes, seven. No one seemed to notice. The kettle filled up with donations from warm-hearted individuals in spite of my bell-dropping. But I was embarrassed. Making Music Although I teased Kevin that I was winning the game of “drop the bell,” I couldn’t help comparing it with my life. Every time that bell skittered across the pavement with a tinkle and a thud, it reminded me how often I drop the ball in my life. Fortunately, God chooses to forgive my faults. He tells me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God blesses my efforts to follow Him in spite of the times I don’t have a tight grip on His good plans for my life. Like my bellringing skills—or lack thereof—none of us have to be perfect for God to make music from our lives.

faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

FAITH BUILDERS

Star Power Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation

DeVon Franklin’s new movie The Star brings the Nativity story to the big screen this Christmas. by Diane Stark

H

e’s worked with Hollywood A-listers such as Will Smith, produced acclaimed movies such as Heaven Is for Real and authored three best-selling books. Now, DeVon Franklin is trying something new. He’s produced his first animated movie, now in theatres. “I hope The Star reminds viewers this Christmas that God has a purpose for their lives,” he says. “We’ve got to follow the star that God has for each of us.” Where There’s a Will … DeVon grew up in church and knew from an early age that he wanted to inspire people through entertainment. “When I was growing up, people always told me that Holly-

6 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

wood was no place for a believer,” he says. “But I felt God leading me toward entertainment. I believed that I could do what God was calling me to do without losing my faith in Him.” In 2000, DeVon graduated from university with a major in business administration and a minor in cinema and television. During that time, he worked as an intern for Will Smith. “I spent six years learning from him, and we built a friendship.” Years later, while working for Sony’s Columbia Pictures, DeVon produced several of Smith’s movies, including Hancock, The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds. “I followed the path that God laid out for me, and it brought me back to working with Will,” he says.


Following the Path “I found out that animation is not for the faint of heart,” DeVon says. “There’s a big learning curve. They’re more expensive and take longer to make than live-action movies.” Despite the huge learning curve DeVon faced producing his first animated movie, he thinks the results are worth it. “This movie reminds us that there’s always hope because of Christmas,” he says. “I want each family who sees it to be reminded that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, and we can be filled with joy because of Him.” The Star tells the Nativity story through the eyes of a brave donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun, The Walking Dead). Bo feels stuck in his small village, and yearns to live a life of purpose. When he finally breaks free, he searches for a caravan to take him somewhere exciting.

But Bo never imagined that he’d become part of the story of the first Christmas. “Bo is the underdog,” DeVon says. “He dreams of doing great things and he ends up finding his purpose.” The Star features an all-star cast, including Gina Rodriguez, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. “We wanted the best artists available to render this story,” DeVon says, “so we can create the best content possible to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.” The Star is the story of Jesus’ birth, but there’s another message in this film. “God has a path for each of us to follow,” DeVon believes. “We are all called to do great things for the Lord.”

Photo: Courtesy of PMK•BNC

From Shelf to Screen In 2014, after much prayer, DeVon decided to start his own production company, Franklin Entertainment, and signed a first-look production deal with Sony. “One of the movies in that deal was a faith-based animated movie,” DeVon explains. “But the script just wasn’t coming together. Then we remembered this other movie that had been written but had been sitting on a shelf for the last 12 years.” That movie was The Star.

(above) In 2012, DeVon did something he never thought he’d do. “I never wanted to marry an actress, but when I met Meagan Good, I felt God telling me to trust Him”

faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

SOMEONE CARES

Knocks at the Door Surprise Christmas visits decades apart had one thing in common: The Salvation Army.

Photo: © Photographee.eu/stock.Adobe.com

by Deirdre Caskanette

T

he Christmas of 1963 was coming far too quickly for our family that year. There was still so much to be done: cards to be sent, presents to be bought, decorations to be put up. On this day, however, my mother and I were going to do some lastminute Christmas shopping. Just me and Mum. What fun! Before we left, my mother gave me my allowance. Wow! A whole quarter to spend any way I wished. I’d probably get my two older sisters some licorice and candy canes again, and I’d already gotten Mum her gift. I’d gathered a year’s worth

8 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

of the recipes the grocery store had put out for customers, and had assembled them in a binder. Our family didn’t have a lot of money to go around so I was pleased with my frugality. As we approached the department store, I heard the jingle of bells. Inside, a smiling woman was standing beside a plastic globe on a stand. It was half filled with bills and coins. This was the first Salvation Army kettle I had ever seen. Curious, I was told that the money collected would be used to purchase gifts for the less-fortunate children in our town. Although well aware of our own family’s low-income status, I promptly put in my quarter. “You won’t get any more money, you know!” my mother admonished. For a split second, I felt grief-


We weren’t expecting company so who could it be? stricken as now there would be no gifts for my sisters from me! But the warm smile of the Salvation Army volunteer and her “God bless you!” eased the ache in my heart. Mum grumbled a bit more about what I had done as we wove our way through throngs of shoppers, so I was glad to finally leave the store. At home with the rest of the family, my impromptu gift-giving was discussed. My parents were not into charitable giving and what I had done was not our family’s way of doing things. After we put our groceries away, the doorbell rang. We weren’t expecting company, so who could it be? Dad went to answer the door with my curious 10-year-old self at his heels. On our doorstep stood two men, strangers to us, who identified themselves as Salvation Army volunteers. Beside them was a large box, which they insisted was meant for our family. Dad was flustered— we certainly had not ordered it, nor did we know anyone who had. What’s more, we were irregular churchgoers due to our father’s dislike of organized religion. Seeing my eagerness, Dad let me open the box. Much to our astonishment, it was filled with toys, books,

puzzles and dolls. I named my new doll “Noelle.” Two Quarters, Two Decades Several years later, I became a Christian, in part because of the seeds of hope and faith planted in my soul that special Christmas. But my story doesn’t end there. About 20 years later, I had another Christmas surprise. My husband and I heard that a small café in town was having a carol sing-along with homemade goodies, tea and coffee available for a donation. My husband was self-employed and most of his work was seasonal, so we weren’t exactly rich, but I gave what I had in my purse. You guessed it, a quarter. Between bites and singing, I told my husband about the Christmas of 1963. No sooner had we arrived home when there was a knock at the door. On our doorstep was an acquaintance, who was there to give us some Salvation Army food hampers, enough for our family and more. Without that unlooked for gift, we would have been hard-pressed to make it through Christmas. To this day, I continue to give as generously as I can to The Salvation Army and have been ever so blessed in doing so.

faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

FEATURE

Glimmer of Hope COULD WE PROVIDE THE WOMAN WITH THE HELP SHE SO DESPERATELY NEEDED ON CHRISTMAS EVE?

Photo: © Africa Studio/stock.Adobe.com

by Janice Keats

I

t was Christmas Eve, and we were moments away from closing our doors for the Christmas break at The Salvation Army Centre of Hope in Halifax, when Sandra appeared. Sandra was a single mom with a teenage son and daughter and a five-year-old son. Formerly a nurse practitioner, she’d decided to pursue a career change. Shortly after, however, she was involved in a car accident that left her partially disabled. 10 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

The accident derailed her life. She could no longer work and was without a medical plan. The mortgage payments could no longer be met. The bills began to pile up and there was no money coming in. Eventually, she lost her home and even her wheelchair was confiscated. Sandra and her children had no place to go, so she moved into her van with her youngest son. “Where did your older two kids go?” I asked.


“When there’s no money for bills, there’s not much left for food and clothing.” SANDRA “They have gone to their friends’ homes until we figure something out. I didn’t know what else to do,” she replied. Finally, a close friend reached out on her behalf and turned to the Centre of Hope to seek the help Sandra so desperately needed. I urged the friend to ask Sandra to come by the office so we could offer her support, then I called my co-workers together and explained the situation. “That’s Where I Sleep” It wasn’t long before Sandra arrived. My colleague and I gently guided her to a private place where we could talk. “When there’s no money for bills, there’s not much left for food and clothing,” she told us over a cup of tea. Sandra had even contemplated suicide, but as she looked at her youngest child in the van with her, she couldn’t go through with it. To compound matters, in a threemonth period, her sister died, her sister’s husband committed suicide

and her father died of a heart attack. In short, she came to us in total despair—no money, no food, no shelter, no family, no hope. But there was hope for Sandra. We consoled her and supported her, both practically and emotionally. The staff prepared Christmas gifts and food parcels for the children, as well as warm clothing for the entire family. Equally important, I connected with a women’s shelter and made referrals to seek the help Sandra needed, and she agreed to seek further assistance. As I walked her to her van, I sensed that Sandra was feeling better. I placed the items in the back of her vehicle, where I saw the makeshift bed that stretched out across its width. “That’s where I sleep,” she smiled shyly. “Not for long,” I assured her. “See, there is a glimmer of hope, isn’t there?” I asked gingerly. Somehow, she was able to broaden that smile. “Yes, there is.”

(left) Janice Keats is the emergency and disaster relief co-ordinator at The Salvation Army’s divisional headquarters in Halifax. She has authored three books and is actively engaged in sharing her faith story and teaching evangelism workshops based on her works from her most recent book, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

COVER STORY

All the

Trimmings A SALVATION ARMY CHURCH IN ST. JOHN’S, N.L., MAKES CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FOR HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES. by Ken Ramstead EVERY CHRISTMAS FOR THE past 16 years, The Salvation Army’s St. John’s Temple has been hosting a special event. Hundreds of families are invited to a Christmas supper at the church. There, serenaded by a Salvation Army band, they are treated to a sit-down meal of chicken with all the trimmings. The highlight of the evening is, of course, a visit from Santa Claus. The purpose? “To help make Christmas special for needy families,” says Major Rene Loveless, then pastor at the church and now divisional secretary for public relations and development for The Salvation Army in Newfoundland and Labrador. “This just fits in with our mission, what Christmas is all about for us.”

12 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

Sharing the Story The origins of the Christmas supper can be found in 2001, when the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain of stores in the city contacted St. John’s Temple and inquired about what they could do to help people in the community during the Christmas season. After Mary Brown’s took over the KFC stores six years ago, the tradition continued, says Dennis Kavanagh, special projects manager. “Our 140 store operators put an emphasis on giving back and helping out in the community, especially when we can partner up with good people like The Salvation Army, and this is just one of many things we try to do to help out,” he says. Preparations for the event begin in


(left) Santa and two of his elves pose with some happy guests

Photos: SteadRock Entertainment

(below) Major Rene Loveless, then pastor at St. John’s Temple, chats with a new friend

(left) The smile on this little guest shows how much she is enjoying her evening out

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Photo: © asiseeit/iStock.com

Faith&Friends

COVER STORY

“The event brings many smiles and brightens the season for every family.”  MAJOR RENE LOVELESS

the fall, when a planning committee organizes and directs the various activities associated with the event and assigns more than 120 volunteers to different areas of responsibility, such as registration, transportation, security and meal co-ordination. “Registration is done through our family services,” says Major Rene, “in conjunction with our Christmas hamper registration. We see people of every age from all over the metro area, including the working poor, homeless people, frequent visitors to food banks and new Canadians.” Getting there is a big part of the puzzle. Free transportation is provided to all those who cannot make it to the dinner without it, and 35 volunteers are involved, using their own vehicles. Once the guests arrive to a warm welcome from the volunteers, they are treated to carol singing and Christmas music by the worship team. In this joyous setting, happy children line up to meet and have their photos taken with Santa Claus. A Salvation Army pastor provides a few brief words of welcome and shares the Christmas 14 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

story with those assembled. Giving Back The highlight of the evening is a fullcourse sit-down chicken meal with all the trimmings, prepared by more than 30 off-site volunteers from Mary Brown’s and served by dozens of church and community volunteers. With almost 500 guests, the Christmas dinner needs to be split into 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. sittings. As the last of the guests from the first meal depart, the entire dining area has to be tidied up and prepared for the second group. “It’s a smooth operation but everything has to come together for all of this to work, from food delivery and servers to the meal itself to transportation to clean-up,” says Major Rene. Every child receives a loot bag of goodies, and movie passes are provided for the family, thanks to the generous support received from community sponsors. The evening does not go unappreciated. “The event brings many smiles and brightens the season for every family


(above) The main hall at The Salvation Army’s St. John’s Temple can sit 250 guests at a time. With two suppers, almost 500 people were in attendance this past year

(above) A happy father and his baby chat with a volunteer (left) Two volunteers show off the main course. Staff from Mary Brown’s also help to serve

as they enjoy a night out together, with warm fellowship and a great meal, served up with compassion by our many volunteers,” Major Rene notes. “We get Christmas cards from our guests afterwards, thanking us for the wonderful evening. For many lonely people and shut-ins, this meets a need for companionship and

social interaction.” When asked why The Salvation Army hosts this event year after year, Major Rene replies, “Christmas is a time for giving, and what we do here comes from our desire to add something special to Christmas for those who might not otherwise have this opportunity.” faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

FEATURE

It’s Relative

AT CHRISTMASTIME, IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT JESUS USED A FAMILY TREE FULL OF BROKEN PEOPLE TO HELP THE BROKEN HERE ON EARTH.

Photo: © annebaek/iStock.com

by Diane Stark

S

ilver bells, silver bells,” the class of third graders sang at their Christmas program. They were all adorable, but I was only interested in one of them. A little blond boy in the front row. He wasn’t my son, but he’d asked 16 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

me to come and watch him perform. It hadn’t been easy, but I cared enough about him to rearrange my schedule in order to attend. Making Progress Sam (not his real name) was one


of those kids most people labelled “at-risk.” His home life was not ideal, and he was far behind his peers academically. I’d been tutoring Sam every Friday for the past three years. It was difficult in the beginning. Sam rarely smiled and never laughed. He answered questions in as few words as possible. But over the last few months, we’d

Sam’s mom. But Sam shook his head. “She’s not here.” “Oh,” I said, trying to hide my surprise. His mom didn’t have a job, so I wasn’t sure what kept her from coming to watch her son’s Christmas program. I fought off my irritation and smiled at Sam. “I’m sure she had a good reason.”

“Sam, where you come from doesn’t mean that’s where you have to wind up yourself. You can be different.” finally developed the bond I’d spent three years praying for. Now, Sam’s face lit up when he saw me each Friday morning. He spoke to me more openly and I was even treated to the occasional hug. When he invited me to his Christmas program, I knew it was a huge step in our relationship. I’d finally become someone important in his life. Praying for Help “Seeing you at my program made me very happy,” he said to me when we spoke after the performance. “You did a great job,” I said, glancing around, hoping to see

“She said she was busy today,” he shrugged. “When I grow up, I want to be different than that.” “You can be different,” I said. “You can be anything you want.” But Sam shook his head. “You don’t know my family. They’re all the same.” Sam had told me about his drug-addicted father, his incarcerated older brother and his teenage sister who already had two children of her own. “Sam, where you come from doesn’t mean that’s where you have to wind up yourself,” I said. “You can be different.” “I don’t see how,” he said sadly. On my way home from the faithandfriends.ca  I  DECEMBER 2017

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Faith&Friends

FEATURE

program, I prayed for Sam and asked God to help me prove to him that someone’s family tree doesn’t determine their future. “Lord, Sam just seems so hopeless sometimes,” I prayed. “Show me how to help him.” Healing the World That Sunday at church, the pastor announced that he would be preaching a series on Jesus’ genealogy. I groaned inwardly. In the Bible, Jesus’ family tree was described in detail in the first 17 verses of Matthew Chapter 1. I’d always thought of them as rather boring verses with way too many hard-to-pronounce names. While I’m not proud of it, they were the verses I skipped over in my own Bible reading. That first week, when the pastor read Jesus’ genealogy aloud, he mentioned a name I hadn’t expected to hear in the Prince of Peace’s family tree: Rahab the Harlot. The next week, he spoke about Judah, the man whose idea it was to sell his own brother, Joseph, into slavery. And the third week, the pastor reminded us that David, a murdering adulterer, was in Jesus’ family tree. “Matthew is the only Gospel to include Jesus’ genealogy,” he said. “Why did Matthew write it? And why did he include the names he did? Names that, if they were in our 18 • DECEMBER 2017  I faithandfriends.ca

own family tree, we wouldn’t want to claim?” The pastor smiled. “He did it to show us that Jesus didn’t come for people who had it all together. He came for the sinners and He came through the sinners, too. Jesus has flawed people in His family tree, and I think God did that to show us that He can use us, no matter where we come from.” Suddenly, I knew how to help Sam. The next Friday, I told him about Jesus’ family tree. “Jesus came here for messed-up people,” I said. “And the truth is, we’re all messed up. But Jesus doesn’t care about that. We celebrate Christmas to remind us that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sin.” I smiled. “You might think your family is messed up, but it’s not too late for them—or for you, Sam. Jesus loves you, no matter what.” He nodded thoughtfully. “I never knew Jesus had messed-up relatives.” I smiled. “He did, and that means Jesus understands what you’re going through. So you can talk to Him about your problems.” Sam returned my smile. “I’m glad I can talk to you, too.” I hugged him, and thanked God for sending Jesus to earth using a family tree full of broken people. Because we’re all broken. But Jesus came to heal the world.


Faith&Friends

BETWEEN THE LINES

Seasonal Selections An eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, Christmas With Hot Apple Cider will satisfy every literary taste. by Ken Ramstead

A

s Christmas titles go, “The Time When Arnold Palmer Lost His Foot” might seem the most un-Christmas-y of stories. But Martin Smith’s delightfully funny fable dealing with his long-dreamedof Arnold Palmer Indoor Golf Game is the stuff the season is made of. When Martin broke his beloved putter in a fit of childhood anger, he feared confessing the deed to his mom. “I began to weep. ‘I’m sorry! ’ ” But Martin needn’t have worried. “I found myself sitting on the couch, my mother holding me,” he writes. “I learned an important lesson from that Christmas long ago.” Reading Comfort This is just one of 62 featured accounts in Christmas With Hot Apple Cider: Stories from the Season of Giving and Receiving. Along with contributions by Faith & Friends writers Melissa Yue Wallace and Colonel Eleanor Shepherd, Hot Apple Cider includes stories about:

· A teacher witnessing joy at a Nigerian orphanage. · An immigrant family puzzling over Canadian customs. · A Mennonite teenager experiencing Handel’s Messiah. “Christmas can be the best or the hardest of times,” writes the editor. “We hope that our stories of faith, courage and love will bring light and comfort to all who read them.”

Why “Hot Apple Cider”? “One of the reasons for choosing the title for the anthologies,” writes Les Lindquist of That’s Life! Communications, “is that hot apple cider is generally regarded as a comfort food. All the books include stories that will comfort readers. But there are also stories that will challenge, encourage and inspire.”

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Faith&Friends

LITE STUFF

Eating Healthy With Erin EASY HOLIDAY SOUP TIME 40 min  MAKES 6 servings  SERVE WITH French bread

Sudoku Puzzle

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3 × 3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.

QUICK QUIZ 1. What number did Bobby Orr wear while playing for the Boston Bruins? 2. What NHL team wears only red and white? 3. Who did the Toronto Maple Leafs beat to win their last Stanley Cup in 1967?

6 5 6

Answers on next page.

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3. Fry pancetta or bacon in skillet for 5 minutes and add to pot. Add lentils. Allow to simmer together for 5 minutes.

4

5

2

8 1

5

1 2 8

2 6

5 4

3

9 8

7 5

5 4

4 8

3

4 8

2. Add vegetables, chicken broth and spices to pot and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft.

9

9 5

1. Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft. Transfer to pot.

3

Recipe photo: Erin Stanley/veganvirgin.ca

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 250 ml (1 cup) Spanish onion, minced 125 ml (½ cup) carrots, diced 60 ml (¼ cup) celery, diced 250 ml (1 cup) tomato, diced 250 ml (1 cup) kale, diced 1 L (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth 5 ml (1 tsp) oregano 2 ml (½ tsp) smoked paprika 2 ml (½ tsp) thyme 500 ml (2 cups) cooked lentils, drained and rinsed 125 ml (½ cup) diced pancetta or cooked bacon Fresh ground peppercorn to taste


Word Search 36 Words For Snow Z C U J L A S J G A S H W A A I K X D J M G P N Z S N R V U F L Z O W T C K L S I I E S N I E G A S I K U D W T H E L U C U H E Y N R D S Y T H K Q G G R H A T N H A E A T E O D I D S K I N A Q S C P N C B T K N G R I A S E P D R T M B F C H E R B G C I L E U G J H A O L H E L T O J H L B J T G V I R R K E L U R R A K S V Y I B G N O E S I U O B R S O C W H F K L S G I N N J P H A C P O G Y K J Q V W W E E I M U L U W Q X P G N P R Q M H V G J L L O P T H A S Y S J D Q W E L O E L A H J R A Q Z G O Y V Y S U N S G N K K H U K L I H O G V K L E S C R S S N U Q F G I C M K Z D U L D Y V I U C E I B Y Z B U L U W R Z U L P P A O Z O F F Q V N

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4

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5

1

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6

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7 2 3 9 1 6

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8 6 1 2 4 7 3 9 5

7 9 4 6 1 3 5 8 2

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Quick Quiz Answers:  1. 4; 2. Detroit Red Wings; 3. Montreal Canadiens.

SCHNEE SIKU SNEACHTA SNEEUW SNEG SNEH SNIEGAS SNIEGS SNIH SNIJEG THELUJI TUYET

3

LUMI NEGO NEIGE NEU NEVE NILAK NIYEBE ORAMPANALA PULAK QANIK SALJI SALJU

2

ANIU APUTI BARAF BORE BORRA CHER DAUS EIRA ELURRA HUKARARE IQHWA LEHLOA

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Faith&Friends

EVERYDAY ETHICS

Giving Outside the Box  Look for people in your community who are lonely this time of year, and invite them to a family gathering.  Ask the leaders at your church if there’s a sick or elderly person you could help or visit.  Serve at a local homeless shelter or food bank, and consider going back throughout the year.  Give relational, thoughtful, meaningful gifts.  Donate to your favourite charity on someone’s behalf.

Photo: © alexsl/iStock.com

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Sleigh bells jingling, ring-tingtingling. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree. All these things help to make Christmas merry and bright. But sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the joy and merriment of the season—and the cultural pressure to consume—that we forget what the Christmas story is really about. So how can we keep our hearts fixed on Jesus and why He came to be with us? How can we live out the values of His kingdom?

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Faith & Friends December 2017  

To show Christ at work in the lives of real people, and to provide spiritual resources for those who are new to the Christian faith. http://...

Faith & Friends December 2017  

To show Christ at work in the lives of real people, and to provide spiritual resources for those who are new to the Christian faith. http://...