Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I hope all of you are getting excited about Christmas!

Check out all of the articles below. Read and interact! Add your comments and send in your ideas, see below for more info.

Remember to find Christ in CHRISTmas!

Mandy and Rachel

JESUS-Prophesy to Birth

JESUS-Prophesy to Birth

Now is the time of preparation for Christmas. We ready our hearts and our lives for the celebration of the coming of Christ. We should reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. What does Christmas show us about God? Who is this Christ? Why did He need to come? Christ came for us, to fulfill God’s promises. All the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus. What new thing will you learn about Jesus this Christmas? How will it impact your life? Or someone else’s?

“It had taken centuries for God’s promises to be ready, but now the time had almost come for the best part of God’s plan.” 

“God himself was going to come. Not to punish his people – but to rescue them.”

“God was getting ready to wipe away every tear from every eye.”

“And the true party was just about to begin…”

~The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd-Jones (Page 173)

From the beginning of time, all of those centuries ago, God promised that He would send His Son to be our Savior, to wipe away our tears and to love us, if we will commit our lives to Him.

Prophesy to Birth

The first prophecy is found in Genesis, just after the first sin.

Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Then the Old Testament Prophets also tell of the coming of the Savior Jesus Christ. This passage
gives us some names for Him and how He will rule forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

In Micah, God tells us from what tribe and line Jesus will come from and where He will be born.

Micah 5:2 (NIV)
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

The next verse in Isaiah, tells us how God will send his Son.

Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

“Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here at last! God was coming to help his people, just as he promised in the beginning.”

“But how would he come? What would he be like? What would he do?”

“Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came.”

~The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd-Jones (Page 174)

Now in Matthew, the Bible shows us how the prophesies have come true.

Matthew 1:21-22 (NIV)
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

God demonstrates to us how he had planned a Savior for us all the way back in Genesis. And He goes on to tell us about His plan for Salvation all the way through Scripture, especially through the prophets.

Most importantly, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 8 Jesus not only came to earth as man, but then He died to save us. He gave us the greatest gift of all.

Take time this season to Thank God for sending His Son so that we have a way to eternal life with Him.

2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

And read the whole Christmas story in Luke 2!

JESUS-Add Your Comment Here-December 2010

JESUS-Add Your Comment Here-December 2010

My family’s Christmas tradition[s] is/are…

OTHERS - By Faith…Simeon and Anna

OTHERS - By Faith…Simeon and Anna
 Based off of Luke 2:21-38(Read the whole story there) All quotes are taken from the NIV Bible

Simeon and Anna were used by God in the very first Christmas story to show how much they trusted Him to send the world a Savior. Each day they lived “by faith” waiting for the coming Messiah.

Eight days after the child was born, it was time for Him to be circumcised. The Law of Moses said that “’Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’”, and the parents should offer “a pair of doves or two young pigeons” as a sacrifice.

So Mary and Joseph took Jesus to be circumcised at the Temple in Jerusalem. At that time He was named Jesus, “the name the angel had given him before he was conceived”.

Now there was a righteous and devout man in Jerusalem named Simeon. “He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:”

“’Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’”

Mary and Joseph were amazed at what was said about Jesus. “Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’”

~Simeon had faith in God that He would do what he had promised. He had faith that he would see the Messiah. And he had faith enough to say, “You may now dismiss your servant in peace”, because he knew his Savior had come. ~

“[Now] there was also a prophet, Anna... She was very old…and was a widow.” “She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” She also came up to the little family. “She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem”.

~Anna also had faith. She had great faith in God and worshiped him around the clock. She was a widow and it appears she did not have family to take care of her because she was always at the temple. She had faith that the Child was truly the Savior and she went and told everyone! ~

God used these two people to show us their anticipation for the coming King, Jesus Christ. Anna and Simeon waited and waited for that day, the day when they would hopefully see their Messiah. They truly did live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And God rewarded them for it by letting them see the Christ Child. 

As Christmas approaches, are you anticipating the celebration of the birth of the Savior? And more importantly, are you anticipating the day that is still coming when we will meet Him face to face?

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
For we live by faith, not by sight.

OTHERS-Helping in the Harvest: Angel Tree

OTHERS - Helping in the Harvest: Angel Tree

Have you ever seen those Christmas trees covered with paper angels? Not just any paper angels, but ones that have the name of a child and what they would like for Christmas. Have you ever wondered what they are for? Or maybe why people walk up and take the angels?

Well, the “angel trees” are actually part of an outreach headed by a division of Prison Fellowship called Angel Tree (you could have guessed the name, right?) Angel Tree was made as a way to reach out to children whose parent or parents are imprisoned and can’t give them a gift this Christmas. At the same time, it shows both the children and their parents God’s love though the compassion of His people.

The program starts with Angel Tree Ministries and other prison ministries who sign up incarcerated parents who would like help to send a gift to their child. An angel-shaped tag is made with each child’s name, age, and what they would like for Christmas. These tags are distributed to local churches and stores who have signed up to participate in Angel Tree.

The churches and stores then set up their own “angel trees”. People can take a tag and buy a gift for the child. They wrap it and bring it back to the Angel Tree location. On the week of Christmas, the gifts are delivered to the kids with a note from their parent. While the gifts are being delivered, the volunteers get to share the real reason of Christmas with the kids. The children learn the joy of knowing that their parent still cares for them and that God cares for them too.

It is not just the kids, though, who grow closer to God through this ministry, but their parents as well. The parents see Christians who care enough to buy a Christmas present for a child they don’t even know. Then when it is given, those people don’t take any credit, but give it solely in the parent’s name. You can only imagine what the parents think when they witness this love and kindness.

Angel Tree is simple, but it makes such an impact. It helps to restore the relationship between a child and their parent. The gift opens doors to talk to people about God’s love. And what better thing to focus on as Christians than God’s love- especially during this time of year?

“...I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Matthew 25:36b

How to Help
Talk to your pastor or church secretary to see if your church is involved in Angel Tree. See if you can help coordinate it. Tell your friends about the ministry. Maybe your family could buy a gift for a child together. No matter how creative you get, remember to get the gift back on time! To find out more about Angel Tree go to

Prayer is so important. Pray for the child your gift is going to as well as their parent. You can also look at and pray for the children in the stories featured there.

Another fairly simple way to help is to give. Angel Tree has an online option for getting a gift to a child which is a great way to get involved if your church is not registered. You can choose a child based on age, gender, and the state they live in or let Angel Tree choose one for you. Go to for the online gift option or go to to support the ministry.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is known to be my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly be rewarded.”
Matthew 10:42

YOU - 5 Uses for…Christmas Cards

YOU - 5 Uses for…Christmas Cards

1. Christmas gift tags – Cut out shapes from the Christmas cards and glue them together or glue them to a blank piece of paper, so you can write, “to” and “from” on it!

2. Make gift bags – Cut apart Christmas cards and glue them to paper bags to make a festive gift bag!

3. Lacing or sew cards – These may be fun for your younger siblings or cousins. Cut off the front of the card. Punch holes all the way around. Grab an old shoe lace or some yarn (with tape on the end to make easy lacing) and do some sewing!

4. Make new Christmas Cards – Cut the old ones apart and glue onto new cardstock or paper.



5. Gift Wrapping – Use to decorate Christmas Presents! Cut the cards apart and glue onto the presents, Tie them to a bow, or be creative and see what you can come up with.

6. Decorate your room or the house – Glue the fronts together and hang from a string from a curtain. Use sticky stuff and put on the wall or your window.

Use your imagination! Send in your ideas for Christmas cards to:
or comment below

YOU - Gift Wrapping

YOU - Gift Wrapping

Are you sick of using the same old wrapping paper for Christmas or you just want to try something new?
Here are some ideas for wrapping those fun gifts and ways to decorate them!

Wrapping Materials

1. Newspaper
 2. Comics (from the paper)
3. Fabric
 4. Wallpaper
5. Plain paper (decorated of course)
6. Tissue Paper
7. Maps
8. Paper shopping bags (Re-decorated)
9. Garbage Bags (With ribbon around the top)


1. Ribbons
2. Yarn
3. Leftover scraps of paper
4. Markers
5. Stickers
6. Stamps
7. Bows
8. An ornament
9. Cookie cutter
10. Pipe Cleaners

Wall Paper with scrap paper decoration
Fabric with fuzzy yarn

Newspaper with beads, stamps, stickers

Comics with ribbon

Tissue paper w/ yarn and pom-pom

White paper decorated
Scrap book paper w/ fuzzy yarn

Tissue paper and recycled card
Tissue Paper with Letters

Have some fun with these ideas! See what you can come up with!

If you like how they turn out, send us some pictures of your fun wrapped gifts and we may post them (with your permission). Send to: