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It's All in the Name

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Here are some thoughts about the names from the book  Christmas Cookies: Edible Treats for Your Body and Soul

Away With the Manger

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A controversy in Boston developed several years over what to call their city’s 48 ft spruce tree in their December ceremony. The city’s website called it a “holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree and it set off an angry backlash. The righteous indignation became the voice of the people and the city officials relented. Bostons longest serving Mayor Thomas Menino told the reporters that he would keep calling it a Christmas Tree. He explained, “I grew up with a Christmas Tree: I’m going to stay with a Christmas Tree.”
 The next year in Plano TX an independent school district banned students from wearing red and green at their winter break parties because they were considered Christmas colors. In Wisconsin students were asked to change the religious words in Christmas carols for their upcoming concert.  You remember it was an atheistic movement that tried to eliminate the phrase “in God we trust” from the currency and “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance
So why all the fuss? Why M…

How to Have a Mary Christmas

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Luke 2:8-20 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When …

Happily Ever After

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"Once upon a time" is a staple of story beginnings. There are only a few movies that begin with this phrase in the title and for the most part they are filled with quality and length. Imagine today that we were able to write our own story. We would begin with this popular opening..."once upon a time" and then the story begins.  I bet that our stories would be adventurous, dangerous and at times exhilarating. There would be incredible high times of joy and happiness and there would also be overwhelming times of pain and sorrow. Every good story has some wonderful characters and ours would be no different. Heroes and villains, stable and unstable, loyal and not so loyal. And when the story is finished, we would most likely live forever and be incredibly happy! The reality of our lives is this: God has a plan. He has the pen and we provide the canvas on which He can write. Through every situation He will write a way out of difficulty and script the best possible outc…

A Reward for Giving

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Jesus taught many wonderful lessons in the short period of time he ministered on earth. In Matthew 6 we can see a few nuggets of wisdom. Each of these come after the words "when you" indicating that you and I should absolutely be doing these things. Matthew 6:2-4“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Again notice that this text says WHENYOUGIVE. Giving is a lifestyle, not an action or task. You and I are to be generous on every occasion. We are givers. But just being a giver isn't the only requirement. We know God loves a cheerful giver. God loves a generous giver. God loves a subtle giver...one who d…

Taking Chances

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Life is filled with opportunities to "take chances". Some things are indeed risky. Others are simply moments where we are faced with something so much bigger than we have ever imagined. That is where FAITH can rise up and be activated. In fact, faithfulness has been defined as the willingness to take risks that require faith in order to produce fruit.  What if you are presented with an amazing opportunity that causes some fear and trepidation to rise up within you? Introduce that anxiety to your personal faith in a God that is able to do the impossible, heal the incurable and reach the unreachable. With Him, nothing...no thing will be outside of the realm of accomplishment. Is it scary? Yes! Will it be worth it? Absolutely! Can you do it? Certainly! Most of the incredible moments in our lives will occur when we take a step through the outer layer of our comfort zone into an area that feels a bit risky. Speak to the mountain. Activate faith now. Be willing to risk being unco…

Choose the Better Side of Life

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This was just too good not to share. Life is like a two-edged sword. Every negative side needs to be transformed into something positive. Choose the better side of life.