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“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein

December 2013



4162 Clemmons Rd. (Next to Harris-Teeter)


Thai Cuisine AndSushi Bar “Everything we order at Chang Thai is delicious, and the sushi is absolutely wonderful!” Norm and Reba


Feature Articles...

In Every Issue...

4 Meet Mayor Nick Nelson 6 Senior Musings 16 Nature’s Pearl 22 Do You Know the Secret to Celebrating Christmas? 24 Finding the Right Fitness Program

8 Survivalist 10 Business Brief 12 Going Green 14 All About Pets

Publisher PK Publishing Editor Brenda Gough Assistant Editor W. Kay Angell Sales Directors A.M. Delancy Martha Warren Design Red Dog Media Distribution points are located throughout Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, and Yadkin County. To locate a spot, visit our website or give us a call.

Contact Information: Tele: 336.766.7877 PK Publishing 2513 Neudorf Road Clemmons, NC 27012 Copyright 2013

We are very excited about this special Holiday edition of the Villager. As always, we are focused on the special people in our community! We are featuring the newly elected Mayor of Clemmons, Nick Nelson. Nick shares his personal reasons for moving back home to Clemmons and entering public service. He also describes short- and long-term initiatives for improving service, infrastructure, and the welfare of the citizens that he serves. The Silver Stocking Project is now in its eighth year providing good cheer and gifts to people in nursing/retirement centers who do not have family or visitors. You are invited to participate by donating requested items or helping deliver a little Christmas kindness. Cousin Poinsettia Polly jumps out from the Dysfunctional Family Tree archives with that Mona Lisa smile; Nancy Hall encourages us to celebrate the holidays at our own speed and enjoy; and Nature’s Pearl of Advance announces another world-wide expansion of its muscadine grape juice products; Going Green provides useful tips for making Christmas and all its trimmings more environmentally friendly; Our resident survivalist lists emergency planning supplies for our home and car; and don’t forget your pets when the temperature starts dropping. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Brenda Cover barn photograph by Bill Talich. VIew more of Bill’s work at the Broyhill Center in Clemmons.

December 2013



NICK NELSON My family moved to this area when I was about one and a half. My parents still live in Clemmons and my two sisters live in the area as well. After I graduated college I knew I wanted to be close to family. It was only natural to come

back to Clemmons. When I moved back in 2007 I began working with Kensington Financial Group an investment group in Winston-Salem, and have been here since. I am assured I made the right decision every day. While volunteering at Southwest Elementary as a tutor I was introduced to my wife Catherine. We are rounding our four-month wedding anniversary, and she has been an incredible support throughout the campaign. About 7 years ago, I was handed a campaign pin at work. The pin was for an individual running for Clemmons Village Council. I can remember my grandmother telling me all about my grandfather getting involved in local campaigns. I can probably pinpoint those two reasons as to why I started going to Council meetings. I wanted to know why my grandfather was so passionate about local campaigns, and I wanted to make sure I knew what the candidate in Clemmons was all about before I voted. Something that has had the greatest effect on me are the issues my neighbors, friends and family face. In one of the first meetings I went to a woman came into the meeting asking the Council to do something about her house, it would flood anytime it rained. That was around the same time I applied for an opening on one of the boards. I served on the Zoning Board of Adjustments, Stormwater Advisory Board and the Planning Board before I decided to run in 2011. I knew when I decided to run I was going to make it my mission to talk to every citizen that was willing. At that point, I had realized after four years of


Council meetings very rarely does an individual come to speak unless something is immediately affecting them. I wanted to find out the issues that weren’t necessarily pressing, but still a concern for this community. Where did they want to head? Obviously, in the 2011 election the big issue was the bond. Since my time on Council I have not changed my stance on citizen outreach as an elected official. I took the same approach I did in 2011, to find out what citizens want. In the last two years I have worked to ensure our elected officials demonstrate fiscal responsibility and to be a voice for citizens. I am a firm believer that if you are going to serve as a representative, you have to listen first! What I have heard from citizens is their desire to improve services and infrastructure for our neighborhoods, i.e., quality of life. This includes Leaf and Limb, public safety, i.e., deputy visibility and better opportunities for connectivity. Lewisville-Clemmons Road continues to be an issue; residents are looking for fresh solutions while keeping Clemmons out of debt. As Mayor, I know this will require the new council to develop a private and public collaboration to nurture the small

businesses invested in this community. A design charrette for Clemmons’ future was constructed and led by past Council. The result was a Clemmons thirty-year comprehensive plan set in place three years ago. About 200 residents participated in this event. While this provides us a starting point for the future I believe it is Council job to take these ideas and balance them with the Village budget. I think it is also our job to seek out more input. Two hundred is a good start, but there are over 18,000 residents in Clemmons. I understand the need to remain responsive to the community needs and not a document. The decisions made on how citizen money is spent need to strike a balance between the taxes required for the services we need and the extra items we might like to have. I want citizens to be certain that any money spent has been thoroughly considered and evaluated to avoid wasteful spending. As Mayor, I am committed to taking care of our number one asset (our neighborhoods) and keeping Clemmons a safe, friendly haven that we can all call home. Most importantly, I want citizens to know they have representatives that are listening and here to work for them.

About the Village of Clemmons •

The Village of Clemmons was founded in 1802 and incorporated in 1986.

Clemmons encompasses 12 square miles.

The Village of Clemmons operates under the Council/ Manager form of government. Policy and legislative authority rest with an elected Council which is composed of a Mayor and five Council members. The Mayor and one Council member are elected for a twoyear term with the remainder of the Council elected to four-year terms.

The Village Council, among other responsibilities, passes ordinances, adopts an annual budget, appoints citizens to boards and committees, and hires a Village Manager. The Village Manager is responsible for implementation of the Council’s policies and ordinances, supervision of the Village employees, and overall maintenance of the day-to-day operations of the Village.

The tax rate for the Village of Clemmons is 11.5 cents per $100 of property tax value.

Services provided by the Village of Clemmons for its citizens include, but are not limited to: garbage collection (weekly); recycling collection (weekly); street maintenance; streetlights; police protection under a contract with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department; leaf/limb collection.

The Village Hall, located at 3715 Clemmons Road, Clemmons, North Carolina is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. source:

December 2013


seniormusings HOPE THE HOLIDAYS ARE FULL OF WHAT YOUR HEART DESIRES BY NANCY M HALL It is nearly two weeks before Thanksgiving, and I notice the city is putting up its Christmas lights. And I bet that many of you have already dug into your closets and drawers to pull out your holiday decorations. Big box stores have announced even earlier opening times for Black Friday. Why has everything seemed to accelerate? Why are we rushing? I understand the competitive need to get customers first. But what about us customers? Will we relax when we have reached our goal, or will we rush on to something else? We don’t seem to know how to slow down, calm ourselves. So we pay big bucks to go away to a meditation center to learn how to be calm and still. Or we learn how to do this through lessons at home. Seems like a good habit to cultivate. 6 VILLAGER VOICE

I realize that we have different temperaments. Some people love the hustle bustle; they would not want to live any other way. They seek and thrive on an adrenaline rush. Some find multi-tasking necessary and satisfying, although some recent brain research indicates this may be too taxing for

it. Recently, I came across this figure: there are 86,400 seconds in each day.1 These seconds add up and become our life. I have to ask myself how many of these seconds do I spend in worrying, obsessing, or trying to “live” in the future. Too, too many. As I was preparing this musing, a line from an old hymn comes to mind...”take time to be holy...” Some of us hear weekly, the phrase.....” let us pause and give thanks.” We all give ourselves messages, whether we realize it or not. What are your self -messages? Living in a way of gratitude, love and forgiveness? I hope that the holidays are full of what your heart desires. Only you can decide what these are. I am 1 Andrea’s Weekly Enlighten Up Message-11-16-2013 internet

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Preparing for winter weather long before it strikes is easy and will go a long way to helping you and your loved ones stay safe through this winter.  Take time at the beginning of the winter season to assemble winter survival kits – one for home and one for each vehicle.  A good home kit is easy to make and consists of: •Several days’ worth of food that needs no cooking or refrig-


eration, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits. Remember baby food and formula if you have young children. •Other baby items as needed, such as extra diapers. •Several days’ worth of water stored in clean containers, or purchased bottled water (5 gallons per person). •Several days’ worth of medicines that any family member may need.

•Blankets. •Flashlights and/or battery-powered lanterns. •Battery-powered radio and clock. •Extra batteries. •Non-electric can opener. •Snow shovel. •Rock salt, to help melt ice. Having these items on hand will help you avoid having to venture out into hazardous conditions and will help sustain you in the event of widespread power outages or

fallen trees that may block roads and keep you at home.  The old North Carolina tradition of buying bread and milk at the first mention of wintry weather is really not the wisest choice, considering the milk will go bad quickly if the power goes out!  Cans of food with flip-top lids, and pantry items such as granola bars and dry cereal are better choices to get you through a long power outage. For a winter survival kit for your vehicle, consider adding these items: •Blankets •Battery-powered NOAA weather radio for the latest storm updates •Basic first aid kit •Windshield scrapers and brush •Jumper cables •Mobile phone •Bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow for added traction) •Tow rope •Small or collapsible shovel

•Container of water and nonperishable, high-energy foods such as granola bars •Flashlight and extra batteries •Tire repair kit and pump Survival Tips Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full. Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take. If stuck: Tie a fluorescent flag (from your kit) on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance. Reduce battery drain: Use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles. If you’re with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times. Stay in your vehicle: Walking

in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter. Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk a heart attack or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia. Fresh Air: It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea. Don’t expect to be comfortable: You want to survive until you’re found.

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December 2013



Alterations can make an ordinary outfit extraordinary is a motto Aphroditi Katsoudas hopes will start to ring true for Davie County and Forsyth County residents. Aphroditi (named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty) is a seamstress with over 30 years’ experience that recently expanded her home business to a storefront in Clemmons, NC.

space at home and knew it was time to expand to my own store,” Aphroditi said, “but sometimes God’s timing can be different from yours.” When Aphroditi was diagnosed with Breast Cancer the summer of 2013 she thought plans for her store would have to take a back seat. While she focused on her health, her family took the rains. Her husband and children jumped to action and helped her find a location, prepare marketing materials, paint, build and prepare the space. After Aphroditi’s last radiation treatment her hands went back to sewing, carefully creating the window treatments and display items for the store. It was only fitting that she would finally open in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Homestyle Draperies + Alternations started as a home business for Aphroditi and her husband Jimmy in 1999. At the time they focused on custom window treatments, pillows, bedding and other fabric accessories for the home. Then clients started bringing their alternations and tailoring items. Aphroditi’s attention to detail and careful handling of garments slowly spread. “I had outgrown the


Homestlye Draperies + Alterations is located at 2565 Old Glory Road, Suite A in Clemmons and is a full service alterations shop for men and women’s clothing. In addition to alterations, Aphroditi creates custom draperies, window treatments, bedding, pillows and headboards. Looking at all that was accomplished during such an emotional time, Aphroditi noted, “maybe God’s timing is the best after all….”

Pastor Leroy Kelly, Producer of The Lost Shepherd presents Major Allison of The Salvation Army a check for $1,500 on behalf of TLS (The Lost Shepherd) Production at the Kickoff of The Red Kettle Campaign. Central Triad Church hosted the event in which the National Capitol Band from Washington DC performed. The TLS would like to thank the supporters of the TLS for helping to make this possible and look forward to you joining us in 2014.

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December 2013


gogreen GOING GREEN FOR CHRISTMAS Earth-Friendly Gift Wrapping Options There are plenty of eco-friendly gift wrapping options. All you need is a bit of creativity and lots of reusable materials!

Old maps Sheet music Colorful ads from old magazines Scarves and handkerchiefs Leftover fabric or fabric gift bags Lightweight wallpaper Pages from a child’s coloring book taped together Newspapers (foreign newspapers are great) and Sunday comic pages Last year’s holiday paper Pictures or advertisements from magazines and catalogs

Recycle Your Tree After the holidays, look for ways to recycle or reuse your tree instead of sending it to a landfill. Check with your community solid waste department and find out if they collect and mulch trees.

Here are some interesting things to use for gift wrapping::


Donate Your Time or Money to an Environmental Group Get into the holiday spirit by vol-

unteering! There are countless ways to help improve your community - and the planet - from cleaning up a local river to helping inner city kids experience the outdoors for the first time. Contact your local Sierra Club to find out about volunteer opportunities near you. A donation in honor of a loved one can also be a special holiday gift.

Stocking Stuffers Do you have a family member who loves the outdoors? Stuff their stockings with Sierra Club Knowledge Cards, which come in a variety of outdoor themes ranging from survival skills to baby animals. Another great stocking stuffer is “guilt-free” chocolate! Give the gift of organic, fair-trade chocolate and you can eat your way to a better planet.

Buy Energy-Saving Holiday Lights Now you can decorate your house with LED lights that use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights, and can save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season! LED lights are available at many major retailers.

From the Ariel Bouvier Archives

Everyone loves Dudley. He’s a laid-back dog that tolerates almost anything. The neighborhood children nicknamed him “Cudley Dudley” because he is so sweet. He’s the perfect dog until the month of December, and then his personality changes dramatically. He hates Christmas music, decorations, and, above all else, he hates the Christmas tree. It becomes his personal urinal during the holidays! That’s right. Dudley loves nothing better than “tinkling” on the twinkling Christmas tree. We have tried everything to stop his erratic behavior. We replaced our live tree with an artificial one. Didn’t work! We replaced our Martha Stewart pre-lit tree with a bright shiny 1950’s replica tinsel tree. Didn’t work! We then tried a snow white tree with feathers for branches. He still took aim! Last year we decided to forego a tree altogether. We consulted a dog behavior therapist, and he suggested that Dudley might have suffered some type of trauma associated with a Christmas tree, and so we decided to research his canine history. Like all of our dogs, we adopted him from the local shelter. After months of letters and telephone calls, we finally were able to discover the truth about Dudley’s Christmas tree phobia. His previous owner had a Christmas tradition of drinking a fifth of tequila every Christmas Eve and dancing around the Christmas tree naked. One tragic Christmas, as he danced around the tree, he fell right in the middle of the tree and was electrocuted by the defective Christmas lights. So, see, Dudley wasn’t being a bad dog after all; he was simply protecting us. What a guard dog!

Cousin Poinsettia Polly Christmas was always funny at Poinsettia Polly’s house. Each Christmas her mother would buy the largest poinsettia she could find and park Polly beside it in order to take hundreds of photographs. Polly wanted to become a model so her mother took photographs for Polly’s portfolio. We didn’t have the heart to tell Polly that all of those endless of hours of sitting beside that poinsettia was never going to get her a modeling contract even if she did have Farrah Fawcett bangs. But she sat there year after year, photograph after photograph with that slight smile upon her face. That’s when we decided to call her Poinsettia Polly and we even made bets revolving around how long she would sit by that plant. She was always dressed in a red jumper with a freshly starched white blouse. She looked rather stoic instead of sexy. Unfortunately all of that sitting never did anything to advance her hopes of becoming a model. However, she developed such a love for poinsettias that she became a botanist. And as for all those photographs, her mother became quite wealthy selling them to gardening magazines.

Ariel Bouvier’s books are available at: The Cricket’s Nest 4401 Country Club Road Winston-Salem, NC 27104 December 2013


Winter Pet Tips

•Brrrr—it’s cold outside! The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags. Thoroughly wipe your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.


Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for more information.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect. • Honk your horn or pound on the hood before starting your car on cold days. To a cat, a warm engine block can seem like a nice escape from cold winter winds.

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goodhealth NATURE’S PEARL TAKES NORTH CAROLINA’S STATE FRUIT GLOBAL Local Davie County company Nature’s Pearl Corporation has succeeded in taking North Carolina’s state “SUPER FRUIT”, the Muscadine Grape, to the global stage. Nature’s Pearl Muscadine Grape Seed products are available globally through a network of over 12,000 independent distributors. Nature’s Pearl is sold in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Curacao, Bermuda, Jamaica and the Philippines. Nature’s Pearl is a leader in the muscadine industry with products aimed to support a healthy lifestyle and supplement the body with a powerful antioxidant complex that the muscadine grape is noted for. The Muscadine grape is grown exclusively in the southeastern United States and naturally contains over 100 antioxidants such as resveratrol, ellagic acid, and OPCs. Nature’s Pearl offers a complete line of antioxidantrich products, which include a muscadine grape seed capsule supplement, a 100% muscadine juice, an all-natural energy shot and a full line of toxic–free skincare and personal care products. “We are committed to sharing our products with the world,” said President Brock Agee. “We believe we have the best Muscadine products on the market and we have customers who have been enjoying and benefitting from our products for years. Now we want to share it with the world,” said Agee. Nature’s Pearl Corporation has an impressive, stateof-the art, 120,000 square-foot, manufacturing facility located in Mocksville, NC. With full-time scientists on site, Nature’s Pearl is able to monitor and insure the highest quality control standards.


“Due to increased consumer demand, we sold all of our muscadine juice from last’s years harvest.” said Agee. “To meet the demand for our juice, we tripled

production and installed a new 12 ounce bottling line to package the juice in a convenient size.” Buyers can find Nature’s Pearl 100% Muscadine Juice in grocers throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. As the demand for Nature’s Pearl Muscadine Juice has increased, the brand has climbed the ranks to become the top selling juice in Lowes Foods, Ingles, Harris Teeter, Food City and other fine retailers. Nature’s Pearl Products are sold through a successful and continually growing home-

based business model. Thanks to the Nature’s Pearl’s continued growth, the company is providing supplemental income to thousands of individuals across the globe. “Our goal is to manufacture a product that we are proud of, that our partners are proud to sell and a product our consumers are proud to take. In short, we strive to produce the best Muscadine products on the market,” says Nature’s Pearl Director of Marketing and Communications, Ashley Seamon. About Nature’s Pearl Corporation: Nature’s Pearl Corporation is a leader in the muscadine grape seed

~ The Candle Tea ~ The Candle Tea, regarded by many as the opening event of the Christmas season in Winston-Salem, is held annually in the historic Single Brothers’ House on Salem Square, which was built in 1769. The Women’s Fellowship of Home Moravian Church coordinates this event. All profits from the Candle Tea are distributed to non-profit agencies, locally and internationally. Guests are greeted by hosts in early Moravian dress and are guided through the Candle Tea. Guests are admitted to the Candle Tea in groups of 35 approximately every 15 minutes. Reservations are not available. • • • • • •

Share a meaningful event with family and friends. Sing Christmas carols, accompanied by our 1797 Tannenberg organ. See how we make the beeswax candles used in our Christmas Eve candlelight lovefeasts Enjoy the warmth of a cup of Moravian coffee and a piece of sugar cake Hear what life was like for those who founded and lived in Salem.View the putz (miniature replica) of early Salem. Listen to the Christmas story as you view the lighted Nativity putz.

Contact information: or call 336-749-9463

The Putz at the Candle Tea The Putz (pronounced “puts”) is a German word meaning “to decorate” and is a miniature scene. In Salem, it was common for each family to have a putz in its home, which would always have included a Nativity scene, and sometimes a village or farm scene as well. Setting up the putz was an exciting family tradition that began with gathering greenery for the scene. After the scenes were assembled, families visited each other to see each putz. Our Salem putz is a scale model of what Salem looked like many years ago. You will see carefully constructed replicas of the earliest houses in Salem as well as many daily activities such as laundry being hung on clotheslines, firewood being chopped, even a few deer and cows in places you would not expect them. At our Nativity putz, you will watch the lighted scenes as you listen to the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

December 2013


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December 2013


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Many elders in nursing homes and retirement centers are often forgotten during the holidays. Imagine being alone and without a gift or visit during the holiday season? The Silver Stocking Project is a grassroots, community based project that delivers gifts to our elders who are without friends or family. A personal visit is included when the gifts are delivered. In 2005, gifts were given to 138 residents in seven homes. In 2006, gifts were given to 202 residents in eleven homes. In 2007, gifts were delivered to 702 residents in 22 homes. The numbers have continued to increase over the years, and new homes and residents are added each year. ITEMS REQUESTED Personal Care Items: Baby Powder, Lotion, Body Wash, Shampoo/Conditioner, Deodorant, Toothpaste, Kleenex, Razors, Shaving Cream, After Shave, etc. Clothing: Socks, T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Slippers, Night Gowns, Sweat Suits, Ball Caps, Lap Throws, Knit Scarves, Blankets Food: Candy (Regular & Diabetic), Fruit, Crackers If you would like to volunteer or donate items, please call:



Goin Postal Pete’s Capital One BB&T Red Door Food Lion-Kinnamon Shopping Center


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Winston Salem BB&T Ego Hour Stratford Rd.

Please check the website for additional Drop-sites.

“The volunteers at Silver Stocking take time out of their holiday schedule to deliver the gifts a few days before Christmas. The smiles on the elderly faces of the residents that the Silver Stocking Program serves can be life changing.” Cyndy, Southfork Assisted Living

December 2013


Do You Know the Secret to Celebrating Christmas? by Dr. Stephen Corts

For most of us, Christmas is a full experience—at least in terms of celebration. Yet, when all the hoopla passes and the glittering decorations return to the attic, we’re sometimes left with achingly empty hearts as yet another Christmas is written off as the latest holiday edition of unfulfilled expectations.

God really desired from him and how he could know for sure that he’d go to heaven. Teaching Nicodemus that entering heaven requires a new birth, Jesus revealed three important facts that are worth celebrating—not just on Christmas—but every day!

We aim for the “perfect” Christmas, believing that if we have just the right combination of gifts, people, and decorations—we’ll have the greatest Christmas celebration ever! Yet it never seems to work out that way.

We celebrate in Jesus a Divine Person willing to come to us.

When Christmas leaves only emptiness behind, we’ve missed the secret of the celebration: knowing not how but what to celebrate. Scripture records Jesus talking to a wealthy religious leader named Nicodemus who came to Jesus one night with a burning question, wanting to know what


In Christ, God revealed His willingness to be where we are and to live among us. Many today conclude that celebrating Jesus’ birth is not as important as His life and teachings, suggesting instead that Easter might be a more appropriate holiday for Christians—consigning Christmas to a secular gift exchange. But the cradle and cross are inextricably intertwined! Christmas reminds us that God has come to us in the

flesh, becoming like one of us! “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” John 1 says. That God became flesh and dwelt among us is both our greatest mystery and the only explanation for His own obvious power over death. It is also the only explanation of how one Man’s death could mean life for millions to follow! In Jesus, God Himself has come to us in a way that we could understand. He took on human flesh, breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows—yet all without sin! The heart of all that we celebrate in Christmas is that God Himself was willing to come to us! We celebrate in Jesus a dynamic Person able to conquer for us. Not only was He willing to come, He came able to conquer! Christmas is all about a rescue, about Jesus’ ability to undo what we have done. He came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus told Nicodemus that “the Son of Man must be lifted up so that everyone [who] believes in Him may have eternal life [and] that what is defeating humanity might be defeated.” We needed a perfect Savior who could die in our place. Jesus explained that as the rescuing “Son of Man,” He would be lifted up on a Cross so that everyone believing in Him could have eternal life. Paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, Tony made his way out of the bar just past midnight. Starting across some railroad tracks, he suddenly found himself stuck in the very center. “Surely someone will come along and help,” he thought to himself. But no one did and—when he heard the unmistakably horrifying sound of a train whistle—he knew he was in trouble. “Somebody help me!” he screamed. Channel surfing in a house nearby, Tom Sevenland heard the screams and thought he’d better check it out. He rushed out his back door and ran to the helplessly stranded man in the wheelchair just as the gates were coming down. He managed to wrest the chair free and shove them out of the way just 5 seconds before the train crossed the track. “I don’t know where he came from,” Tony said afterward. “All I know is that he saved me—just in time!”

That’s a great picture of what Christmas means to us. Jesus came to rescue us, trapped in circumstances from which we cannot rescue ourselves. Jesus was not only willing to come but was also able to conquer what was defeating us. On a cruel cross, He—altogether pure and blameless—took the place of sinners. And that instrument of execution has become for us a symbol of victory. All who look to the Son are rescued and saved! Because Christ in His coming and dying has conquered, we can now live! Jesus has come in order to give us a new life forever . . . that starts now. We don’t have to wait for heaven even; eternal life begins the moment we are born again! Finally, we celebrate in Jesus a determined Person committed to care about us. In John 3:16, Jesus told Nicodemus that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus made it clear that He knew why He was coming: He was making His way to a cross because His love for sinners in need of rescue left no room for concern over the cost to self. He was not only willing to come and to rescue us by conquering what was conquering us; He was committed to loving us even when we had no interest in Him. Christmas celebrates a person willing to come, able to conquer, and committed to care. It celebrates a person who loved enough to die. This Christmas, let’s stop worrying about how we’re going to celebrate and remember what and why we celebrate. Don’t spend one more Christmas in which your hands and stomach are full while your heart remains empty! Set your eyes upon Jesus and feel a surge of joy in celebration of His coming. This Christmas, may we be less concerned with how we celebrate than with having our hearts filled with the Savior who loves us. Dr. Stephen Corts is the Senior Pastor at Center Grove Baptist Church.

December 2013



Finding the right fitness program may be your ticket to getting in shape. Set your goals, consider your likes and dislikes — then go for it!


Fitness programs abound, from yoga and Pilates to step aerobics and strength training — either at home or in a gym. So which type of fitness program is best for you? Use these six simple steps to find out.

Step 1: Assess your fitness level

You probably have some idea of how fit you are. But assessing

and recording baseline fitness scores can help you set your fitness goals and measure your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition, consider recording: • Your pulse rate before and immediately after a one-mile walk • How long it takes to walk one mile

• How many push-ups you can do at a time • How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you • Your waist circumference at the level of your navel • Your body mass index You may also want to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program, especially if you’ve been sedentary or you have any chronic medical conditions.

Step 2: Determine your fitness goals Keeping your fitness level in mind, think about why you want to start a fitness program. Perhaps your doctor has suggested that you start a fitness program to lose weight. If you’re already active, perhaps you want to rev up your fitness program to prepare for a 5K race or get ready for a favorite sport. Having clear goals can help you stay motivated.

Step 3: Consider your likes and dislikes

Next think about the types of physical activities you enjoy most. After all, a fitness program doesn’t need to be drudgery. You’re more likely to keep up with a fitness

program you enjoy. If you love riding your bicycle, consider a cycling class. If you have a blast on the dance floor, an aerobics class that includes dance moves would be a good bet. If you’re a social person, a gym or health club membership may be the ticket. If you prefer to exercise alone or you find health clubs intimidating, exercises you can do at home may be best.

Step 4: Think variety

Varying your activities — or cross-training — can keep exercise boredom at bay. Crosstraining also reduces the risk of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint. When you plan your fitness program, consider alternating among activities that emphasize different parts of your body — walking, swimming and strength training, for example.

Step 5: Do the math

Make sure your fitness choices are in line with your budget. If a gym membership or home exercise equipment is too pricey, consider cheaper options for getting in shape. You can base a fitness program around brisk daily walks and inexpensive hand-held weights or resistance bands. Many recreation depart-

ments offer discounted fitness classes to local residents, and many schools open their pools to the public for inexpensive lap swimming. You might also consider buying used exercise equipment — or sharing the cost with a friend.

Step 6: Go for it!

You’ve thought through your likes and dislikes and the pros and cons of various types of fitness programs. Now it’s time to get physical! Remember to start slowly and build up intensity gradually. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends: • At least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (think brisk walking or swimming) or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running) — preferably spread throughout the week • Strength training exercises at least twice a week Remember, each workout puts you one step closer to reaching your fitness goals. If you get bored or lose interest in your fitness program, don’t be afraid to try something new. Reassess your fitness level and set new fitness goals. The result? A future of improved fitness and better health.

Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

December 2013


Help Make the Holidays Brighter for Veterans with the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is asking for help in making the holidays brighter for veterans. In the past 8 years, the community has come together to send over 16,000 cards to veterans staying in over twenty-eight VA hospitals in 9 states. To continue the tradition, the Ship is reaching out in efforts to build on the foundation and reach more veterans than in years past. To participate, an individual, organization or company can create holiday cards wishing our veterans a Happy Holiday and a Thank You for serving our country. Decorate the front of the card and on the inside or back side, please include your first name only and what school, church, or group you are affiliated with. Participants are encouraged to use traditional holiday images (trees, wreaths, angels, etc.) to decorate their cards.

marily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship’s Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. The ship is located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River. Visit or follow us on and battleshipnc for more information. Relive with the crew on the Battleship Blog The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is an historic site within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (

Completed cards should be brought or mailed to the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA by December 17, 2013. Cards will not be accepted after this date, to allow for shipping time to the hospitals. Veterans Affairs Hospitals located in North Carolina and several neighboring states will receive cards based on the quantity created. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is selfsupporting, not tax supported, and relies pri-

Card printed aboard the Battleship. Officers and crew sent it to their families.


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December 2013


~Visions of sugar plums have met their match~



We make the holidays delicious.

Visit the West Forsyth High School Fundraising Store to benefit The Marching Titans at Tanglewood Commons!* Visit for complete store listings and to shop online. *Opening mid-November 28 VILLAGER VOICE

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