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Old 11-14-2013, 06:34 AM   #3361
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Think About It

- Is there another word for synonym?

- Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"?

- What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

- Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

- If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

- Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

- If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

- Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

- How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #3362
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Truth comes from the mouths of babes. Listen to what this angel has to say about being kind to others, she has the love of God in her heart!

Sweetest Little Angel Delivers a Message of Love and Kindness You Need to Hear
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:58 AM   #3363
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"Our circumstances are not an accurate reflection of God's goodness. Whether life is good or bad, God's goodness, rooted in His character, is the same."
— Helen Grace Lescheid
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #3364
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Ara and Robert Hunt are doing something this Thanksgiving that will make a boy extremely thankful. Their house will be a little more crowded. The couple, who have four children from past relationships and three kids they adopted together. Now they are adding ANOTHER child to the dinner table, a 19 year-old named Seth Miller.

A Boy Without a Family Finally Finds Something to Be Thankful For - So Heartwarming
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:54 PM   #3365
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Heavenly Father, sometimes I find it difficult to move forward. Help me to trust in You so I can continue on my journey. Even though I do not know where I may end up, help me to remember that You will always lead me on the right path. Amen.

Scripture Readings: 1 Maccabees 2:15-29
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #3366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smileyj View Post
Heavenly Father, sometimes I find it difficult to move forward. Help me to trust in You so I can continue on my journey. Even though I do not know where I may end up, help me to remember that You will always lead me on the right path. Amen.

Scripture Readings: 1 Maccabees 2:15-29

Joan, God is faithful and is carrying you in His loving protective hands. God loves you, always has and always will.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #3367
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Attitude
It's all a matter of attitude,
When everything is done and said,
The main ingredients of happiness
Are there inside your head...

So much depends on gratitude
To the God who gave us our lives,
To the parents and others who raised us,
To teachers and friends, husbands and wives...

Nothing is keeping you from contentment,
From satisfaction with your goods and status,
Except your own will, your own ambitions:
For grace and peace are given to us gratis...

It's really a question of acceptance
Of the circumstances the Lord bestows,
And trusting in the Lord's benevolence:
A small but hopeful faith that daily grows.

~ Joseph L. Campanello ~

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Old 11-23-2013, 06:49 PM   #3368
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If YOU had the chance to ask God one question... what would it be? Each of these kids from around the world prepared a question for Him. What they ask will astound you.


Children From All Over the Globe Ask God a Simple Question
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:56 PM   #3369
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“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
― John Wesley
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:15 PM   #3370
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The Glass Harp

Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky



Click below:
Sugar Plum Fairy by P.Tchaikovsky - Glass Harp LIVE (HD) - YouTube
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #3371
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You probably have heard the story of the first Thanksgiving before, but take some time to listen to this adorable version!


Listen to the Story of Thanksgiving ... Unlike You Have Ever Before
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:15 PM   #3372
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Seven year-old Anna loves Thanksgiving SO much, when she had to write about the holiday in school she chose to write about how her parents prepare a turkey. She might have gotten a few details wrong, but we think it's absolutely adorable and we give thanks to the Lord for precious angels like her.


This Adorable Little Girl Will Make You So Thankful - Happy Thanksgiving
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:32 PM   #3373
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Pass It On

Growing up in my Grandma’s house as a boy was an experience that would shape me for the rest of my life. We were poor in everything but spirit, yet I learned so much about life there. My Mom, Dad, Nana, two brothers, and I were crowded into a home made from two old shanty cars and several built on rooms. I always knew what my next set of clothes would look like because I had seen my older brother wearing them the year before. I always knew what we were going to be eating in the Winter, because I had weeded it in the garden during the Summer. Still, I never felt poor. No king ever ate as good as we did on Sundays after church when Nana cooked her homemade meatballs, spaghetti, and freshly baked bread.

Even though we had so little I can still remember Dad, Mom, and Nana giving so much. We were always sharing with others. Everyone who visited us could expect a plate of spaghetti, or a mason jar of canned vegetables, or a flower pot full of fresh blossoms to be given to them. I can still remember the sparkle in Mom and Nana’s eyes whenever they passed something on to others. We never felt richer or more blessed than when we shared what God had given us. I learned early on that the greatest joy comes from giving rather than getting. Giving fills your heart with love. Giving fills your soul with God. Giving brings your spirit closer to Heaven.

Don’t be afraid to pass on your blessings, riches, gifts, and talents to others. That is why God gave them to you in the first place. Share everything you have. If you have a beautiful smile then pass it on. If you have a lovely laugh then pass it on. If you have a few extra dollars then pass them on. If you give great hugs then pass them on. If you have a special talent then share it with others. If you have a heart full of love then give it to the everyone. No life is ever truly lived until it becomes a gift in itself, so make your whole life a gift to the world.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:04 AM   #3374
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The Threat

As a fellow policeman and I were eating lunch in a cafe, we heard a woman nearby say loudly, "Jimmy, if you don't eat all your peas, I'll have those policemen come over and talk to you." My friend promptly walked over to the five-year-old who was being scolded.

"Jimmy," he said, just as loudly, "I'm six-foot-two and weigh 200 pounds. And I never ate a pea in my life." As we left, the other patrons were laughing, Jimmy's mother was absolutely silent, and a smiling Jimmy was no longer afraid of policemen.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #3375
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God Whispers.
This is awesome!

God Whispers yt.wmv - YouTube
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #3376
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Lord, Open My Eyes

God, sometimes I get so caught up in my own life that I become blind to the needs of those around me. Open my eyes this Advent to see how my life fits into the larger story of your plan for the human family.

— from The Advent of Christ
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:25 AM   #3377
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I said a prayer and He answered. Thank you for being the messenger.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:36 AM   #3378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv Flowers View Post
I said a prayer and He answered. Thank you for being the messenger.
God is good! He loves you, always has and always will.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:13 PM   #3379
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Thought to share this, what a treasure from a son to his mother....

Christmas Poem
My son always wrote me a poem on my birthday and at Christmas. He wrote this one last year. I pulled it out because he is leaving for college and I will not see him again until next Christmas. I will miss him so....

Merry Christmas Mom

For all of the presents
You put under the tree,
For all of the times
You picked up after me...

For all of the times
That you tucked me in tight
And we stayed up to talk
Long into the night

For all of the days
I was feeling so down
And the times that you turned
To a smile my frown

For the cookies you baked
And the stockings you stuffed,
For the cuts that you healed
And the pillows you fluffed...

For the time that you took
Off the training wheels
For the nights that you made me
My favorite meals

For the years throughout
Elementary school
For knowing the right thing
Isn’t always what’s cool

For putting up with
Those preteen years
For making it through
All the laughs and the tears

For all of the days
That you loved me so much
Even during the times
That I made it so tough…

For all of the memories
We have already shared
For the future for which
We cannot be prepared

For being there for that one-year-old boy
Who sat in the house and sucked on his thumb
For working so hard at being his mom
And making that boy into the man I’ve become
Look back on all that we have been through
And look at me now mom, how far I have come

For all of the times I’ll never forget
Merry Christmas to you Mom
Here’s to the memories
We haven’t had yet

Merry Christmas…Love, Nick
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:00 PM   #3380
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You are so special and so sweet. Thank you for following the mission God put before you. Hugs!
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #3381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv Flowers View Post
You are so special and so sweet. Thank you for following the mission God put before you. Hugs!

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:19 AM   #3382
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"To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God."
— William Temple
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:38 PM   #3383
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Both Lindsey Stirling and Kuha'o Case were blessed with amazing talent. Listen as they perform Oh Come, Emmanuel together. You're going to get chills.


A Blind Piano Prodigy and Famed Violinist Perform an Amazing Christmas Classic
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #3384
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When Zach Sobiech was dying of cancer, he wrote a touching song in his final days. Now, thousands of people are honoring his memory by singing it... grab your tissues.

Thousands Gather to Honor a Boy Who Died From Cancer by Singing His Song
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:14 PM   #3385
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Four Boyfriends

Once upon a time there was a girl who had four boyfriends.

She loved the fourth boyfriend the most and adorned him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the best.

She also loved the third boyfriend very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another.

She also loved her second boyfriend. He was her confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with her. Whenever this girl faced a problem, she could confide in him, and he would help her get through the difficult times.

The girl's first boyfriend was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth and kingdom. However, she did not love the first boyfriend Al though he loved her deeply, she hardly took notice of him!

One day, the girl fell ill and she knew her time was short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered, 'I now have four boyfriends with me, but when I die, will I be a alone.'

Thus, she asked the fourth boyfriend, 'I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?

'No way!', replied the fourth boyfriend, and he walked away without another word.

His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her heart.

The sad girl then asked the third boyfriend, 'I loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'No!', replied the third boyfriend. 'Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to marry someone else!' Her heart sank and turned cold

She then asked the second boyfriend, 'I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me.. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?'

'I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!', replied the second boyfriend. 'At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.'
His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and the girl was devastated.

Then a voice called out: 'I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go. ' The girl looked up, and there was her first boyfriend. He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition and neglect.

Greatly grieved, the girl said, 'I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!'

In truth, you have four boyfriends in your lives:

Your fourth boyfriend is your body. No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it will leave you when you die.

Your third boyfriend is your possessions, status and wealth.When you die, it will all go to others.

Your second boyfriend is your family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.

And your first boyfriend is your spirit. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world.

However, your spirit is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity.

Thought for the day: Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray.

Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #3386
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Beautiful story.... makes you understand that things happen for a reason.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials 'EBG' were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again in all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #3387
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One Thing That Changes Every Marriage

A few months ago, I was running late one morning (not unusual) and needed to swap cars with Trish before I could head to my meeting. Trish called me and said, “Your car needed gas, so I am filling it up for you. Why don’t you meet me at Kroger and you can leave from there. It will save you from having to stop and get gas.”

You are thinking what I was thinking, “My wife is amazing.”

So I left and went to Kroger. I drove around and drove around and couldn’t find Trish. About half way through my third lap around the parking lot, Trish called me, “Where are you?”

“I’m at Kroger, where are you?”

“Which Kroger? I’m at the one on Highway 100.”

“Well, I’m at the one on Highway 70. I’ll stay here and you can meet me here.” and I hung up the phone.

As I sat there, I started to get more and more angry. I was going to be really late now. This was all her fault. If she would have gone to the right Kroger in the first place, I wouldn’t be late to my meeting.

In that moment, I felt God speak to my heart, “Are you really going to be angry with your wife when she went out of her way to serve you? Where is the grace in that?”

By the time Trish got there, my anger had left and I felt appreciative for all she had done to try to get me to my meeting on time. She didn’t cause me to run late, we just both accidentally went to the wrong location.

There was no malice. There was no ill-intent.

As we’ve interacted with thousands of couples over the past four years, there is one missing ingredient that causes a marriage to struggle: grace.

When a marriage is missing grace the entire disposition of the relationship changes.

Little things cause big fights.

Motives are constantly questioned.

Tempers are short and often lost.

Assumptions are always made.

Conclusions are frequently jumped to.

Husbands and wives consistently lead with anger.

The past is always brought up.

The score is always kept.

When grace is missing from a marriage, three words dominate that relationship: You. Owe. Me.

A lack of grace will cause a husband to be furious with his wife for going to a different gas station than he went to. A lack of grace will cause a wife to notice all that her husband does wrong and not see all he does right.

It is easy to give grace to others and refuse to give it to your spouse. You can’t show grace to someone you are trying to make pay.

If you want to see change and improvement in your marriage, take a few minutes this week to think about how messed up and imperfect you are…and how God loves you anyway. That is grace.

So many couples try to correct their behavior or change their communication patterns, but without grace those changes are temporary and exhausting. Grace is the starting point from which all change is made.

When you connect your heart to the grace of God, it becomes much easier to dispense that grace to the person you love the most.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #3388
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What an incredibly lady!

Alice Herz still plays her piano everyday. The music can be heard streaming from her Belsize Park apartment in London. But she used to play in a far darker place: Theresienstadt, the Nazi concentration camp. There, Alice played with fellow musicians and composed hope even as friends and family boarded trains bound for Auschwitz. What does she say now? She keeps playing, because the music can’t stop, love can’t stop, but evil was stopped. Check out her story in the video below.

Read more at Alice Herz Is The World?s Oldest Pianist. And You Won?t Believe What She Survived | Jesus Loves You


Alice Herz Is The World?s Oldest Pianist. And You Won?t Believe What She Survived | Jesus Loves You
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:12 AM   #3389
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Daily Prayer for December 15, 2013

Heavenly Father, help me to keep a smile on my face so that I can touch the hearts of those I pass. May I reach out to strangers in need when the opportunity arises. Help me to find ways to make someone else’s day easier. Help me to remember that one small, kind gesture today can impact someone’s life forever. Amen.

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:46 AM   #3390
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On December 14th, 2012, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He never walked out, and neither did twenty precious children and six staff members who tried to protect them. One of those precious young lives belonged to Emilie Parker. The exuberant blonde six-year-old was by all accounts selfless and engaged. Her mother Alissa and father Robbie faced a year of astounding grief that only brought an awareness of God’s overwhelming love. As Alissa puts it: “Evil did not win.”

See this transforming testimony in the video below!


Why Does God Let Evil Things Happen? We Don?t Know, But We Know Evil Doesn?t Win! | Jesus Loves You
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #3391
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"All I know is that I am a product of God and all I can do is the best I can to thank Him and honor Him and try to grow in Him, step by step."
— Bob Smith
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #3392
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Joy to Your World -
Carol McLeod

My name is Carol, and I’m a Christmas-aholic!

Yes, I am one of those eccentrics who embraces the tradition of singing Christmas carols starting Oct. 1, of giving gifts to every person living on my street and of smiling at strangers in the outrageously long holiday post office lines.

But it was not always this way. Many years of my adult life, I was locked in the cold dark of a depression that shunned celebration and gave little reason for mirth. There was a time when I acutely dreaded turning the calendar page to December and when I realized I could be the present-day embodiment of Charles Dickens’ Scrooge.

Although my husband and I had been given the gift of two precious boys who were quickly growing up, we also sent five consecutive babies to heaven, each of them between 12 and 20 weeks in utero. Our holiday mantle remained void of miniature Christmas stockings, and my arms and my heart went empty year after endless year.

After sending those five tiny lives back to the arms of the Father, the doctors then told me I would be unable to conceive again. But I believed with my entire being I was made to be the mother of a large family, and I begged God for the gift of another baby ... or two ... or three. During that season, my circumstances continuously assaulted me with disappointment, while the black hole of depression relentlessly called my name.

Eventually, I did bear another child—three more children, in fact. But before I ever felt the flutter of new life or held the miracle of new life in my arms, something changed for me regarding Christmas.

You see, I developed an addiction during the darkest days of my life. My addiction of choice was not an over-the-counter medication or shopping or even chocolate. Mine was an addiction that injected hope into the cold and emptiness of my circumstances.

During my days of paralyzing and debilitating depression, I became addicted to the miraculous cure of the Word of God. Somehow, as I read the Bible, I found the strength to nestle into the truth of Christmas rather than the fantasy of the culture. Celebrating Christmas with faith and joy rather than the fairy tale of seasonal merriment turned me into a believer—and I know it can make you one too.

Carrying Christ The true Christmas story—the one I have chosen to weave into the fabric of my life—is the story of a girl who was ordinary, young and unqualified. God chose to place Himself inside her womb so you and I could one day carry His presence inside our lives as well.

God the Father, the Creator of the universe, the instigator of everything glorious and miraculous, chose you and me as the vehicle through which our generation would receive its greatest gift. It is our miracle that we have been called to demonstrate Jesus to the world in which we live.

But the world will only experience the joy of His birth to the extent we exhibit joy. The world will only taste the peace of His coming to the extent we reveal His peace. The world will only know the hope of Christmas when we respond to pain and disappointment as hopeful believers.

The glory of Christmas is found in the simple yet eternal fact that your depression or disappointment in life does not alienate you from celebrating an event so rich and rare that all of humanity stops to stare in wonder.

Jesus was born for your depression. The skies exploded over Bethlehem to melt away your darkness. The angels sang to heal your weary soul. Joy was eternally announced into your hopeless life.

A Cleaned-Up Life The shepherds were dirty, uneducated men with grime under their fingernails and sludge in their brains. A group of them huddled one night around a fire in the inky black of night. These muddy specimens of humanity were cold and shivering while they tried to stay awake. Their only responsibility in life was to keep track of a herd of dumb sheep who were restless, disobedient and lice-infested.

These men were diseased by the sickening disappointment that nothing about their lives would ever change. Life can become quickly pointless if you are a man with sheep drool on your clothes and sheep dung between your toes.

Perhaps you are in a place where you feel like one of these hopeless, cold shepherds surrounded by darkness and dung. Perhaps you, like me for so many years, dare the holly-jolliness of the season to get close to your muddy, murky existence.

If so, get ready for a God-induced, Christmas-sized, eternity-driven explosion! God loves to invade the world of lonely shepherds and despondent humanity with the combustion that belongs singularly to Christmas.

That night more than 2,000 years ago, heaven exploded into the cold and dark world of the shepherds. The song of the angels burst forth into the war zone of earth and proclaimed the joy of heaven into their hopeless and meaningless existence. Stars were falling and bursting in rare and glorious colors while the heavens opened and a majestic angel choir began to sing a mighty symphony that can still be heard today.

Christmas has come to you in your depression and darkness. As the God of creation proclaimed, “Let there be light,” the God of Christmas proclaims to you in the middle of your mess, “Let there be Christmas!”

No Longer Afraid Every time an angel appears in the Christmas story, the message is always the same: “Do not be afraid!” The angel said it to Zachariah, then to Mary, then to Joseph and finally to the shepherds on the hillside: “Do not be afraid!”

I believe this just may be the message heaven is sending you this Christmas season. Christmas definitively proves Jesus and fear are mutually exclusive. When Jesus arrives on the scene, there is no reason to be afraid. His presence powerfully removes any reason for fear.

The message of Christmas has not changed in 2,000 years, and the words of the angels still ring clearly into our 21st-century world: “Do not be afraid!”

When your circumstances are falling apart, remind yourself: “Do not be afraid!” When there is not enough money to pay the bills, remind yourself: “Do not be afraid!” When you are dealing with disappointment, pain or loneliness, remind yourself: “Do not be afraid!”

It is time for you to step away from your fear and step boldly into His presence. I pray that this Christmas—and every day this coming year—you realize that when Jesus is birthed in your heart, there is absolutely no reason for fear or worry.

Filled With Joy The first word the angel that appeared to the shepherds used to describe the birth of Jesus Christ was the word joy: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, NASB).

I believe joy should also be the first word used to describe every believer at every moment in history. Joy is the birthmark of a Christian, because when you accept Jesus—the Baby found in the manger—into your heart, you are branded for life with His joy. Your life becomes purposeful as you carry the Christ child to this dark and restless world. The hopelessness of your life dissipates as you understand the honor of transmitting the joy of His presence to the muddy specimens of humanity.

Similarly, when the star stopped the magi in their wealthy tracks, the Bible says these learned men “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matt. 2:10). Just five words, yet what richness their scarcity holds. These five simple words are some of the most expressive words in all of Scripture.

Rejoiced means “let the hope of future blessedness give you joy.” What rich intent and calling!

This communicates to all of us, from every generation and every historical juncture, that because of the Baby born in the manger, we can look ahead with hope and expectation. When you encounter Jesus, there is reason to rejoice because of the many blessings now headed in your direction.

Exceedingly is defined as “greatly” or even “violently.” These first-century professorial types did not just bow low with scholarly hands clasped in front of their wise faces. The joy they experienced in the presence of Jesus was an explosion that knocked their mortarboards off their wizened heads. These men of highly respected academia were jumping up and down!

Great in this sentence means “with great effort of the affections and emotions of the mind.” It is significant that this particular definition of the word includes the word mind. The magi were men of scrolls and cerebral intensity, but at the moment this star stopped in the presence of Jesus, all they had ever learned or studied paled in comparison to this one momentous event.

And finally, the word joy is rich in meaning and texture because it is defined as “the blessedness that the Lord enjoys.” Every blessing that the Lord has, you now have—because of Christmas!

Compelled to Worship The magi fell on their faces and worshipped Jesus in full-blown, dynamic heart worship: “After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him” (Matt. 2:11).

These learned and respected men fell on their faces in His sweet presence. While Jesus was babbling in a language only his mother could understand, these men who were known for solving the mysteries of the ages lay prostrate before Him.

True worship always entails a change of position and a change in prominence. In the presence of the holy Child, these men cared not for tradition or liturgy. They only knew He was worthy to be worshipped, so they fell at His baby feet in heartfelt praise.

Will you fall on your face this Christmas in the presence of Jesus?

True worship always involves joy! These wise men had their scholarly world rocked with the joy that was found in the presence of Jesus Christ. They changed their academic regalia for a garment of praise.

Will you let go of your emotional human make-up and allow the joy of His presence to infiltrate your world?

Christmas Today In this Christmas season, I am the mother of five extraordinary young adults, the mother-in-law of three young women who have captured my heart in their own endearing ways, and the grandmother of five precocious and beautiful preschoolers who flood my heart with their own brand of sweetness.

Yet however priceless the gift of my beloved family is, it is not these family members that have taught me how to celebrate Christmas. My five children on earth have made me happier than any one woman deserves to be, but it’s my five babies in heaven—the ones I lost before they were born—who have taught me the miracle of the joy of Christmas.

I learned how to celebrate Christmas while my world was falling apart because Christ invaded my world with His joy. I learned how to embrace the beauty of heartfelt giving when all I felt was alone and forsaken. I began to sing the glorious anthem of the angels when my world was dark and broken.

The true miracle of Christmas is that He came while I was yet depressed. The Baby in the manger came for lost, lonely and heartbroken people like you and me. Christmas should never induce additional pain, but it has the miraculous power to alleviate all emotional diseases forever.

The mistake many of us make is being distracted by the magic of the season when what is actually occurring is miraculous. The miracle of Christmas is just one choice away. Will you yearn for snow, gifts and family—or will you lift your eyes to the miracle of Christmas?

I celebrate Christmas today not because my life is perfect but because He loved me enough to declare over my emotional darkness, “Let there be Christmas!”

Carol McLeod encourages and empowers women with practical biblical messages mixed with her special brand of hope and humor. She is the founder of Just Joy Ministries, author of three books and a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats.


Joy to Your World
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:11 PM   #3393
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This is the most unique presentation I have ever seen................and a pretty good way to teach rhythm!


Hallelujah Chorus -Quinhagak, Alaska - YouTube
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:58 AM   #3394
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It's easy for people to forget the reason why we celebrate Christmas when so much focus is on gifts and Santa. Just watch this and share - remind people why we celebrate.

Mary did you know.... do you know?

This Powerful Video Will Remind You Why We Celebrate Christmas
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #3395
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Some people don't realize what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is. So, you should probably show them this video.

This is Christmas... in a Nutshell. Watch and Share the True Meaning of Christmas
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #3396
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The Toothless Grin

I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it.

He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?" As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at the most. He was with his father as well, and kept picking up the Pokemon video toys. Each time he picked one up and looked at his father, his father shook his head, "No."

The little girl had apparently chosen her Barbie, a beautifully dressed, glamorous doll that would have been the envy of every little girl on the block. However, she had stopped and was watching the interchange between the little boy and his father. Rather dejectedly, the boy had given up on the video games and had chosen what looked like a book of stickers instead. He and his father then started walking through another aisle of the store.

The little girl put her Barbie back on the shelf, and ran over to the Pokemon games. She excitedly picked up one that was lying on top of the other toys, and raced toward the check-out, after speaking with her father. I picked up my purchases and got in line behind them. Then, much to the little girl's obvious delight, the little boy and his father got in line behind me.

After the toy was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and whispered something in her ear. The cashier smiled and put the package under the counter.

I paid for my purchases and was rearranging things in my purse when the little boy came up to the cashier. The cashier rang up his purchases and then said, "Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and you win a prize!" With that, she handed the little boy the Pokemon game, and he could only stare in disbelief. It was, he said, exactly what he had wanted!

The little girl and her father had been standing at the doorway during all of this, and I saw the biggest, prettiest, toothless grin on that little girl that I have ever seen in my life. Then they walked out the door, and I followed close behind them. As I walked back to my car in amazement over what I had just witnessed, I heard the father ask his daughter why she had done that. I'll never forget what she said to him.

"Daddy, didn't Nana and PawPaw want me to buy something that would make me happy?"

He said, "Of course they did, honey."

To which the little girl replied, "Well, I just did!"

With that, she giggled and started skipping toward their car. Her toothless grin said it all. Apparently, she had decided on the answer to her own question of, "Do I have enough?"

I feel very privileged to have witnessed the true spirit of Christmas in that toy store, in the form of a little girl who understands more about the reason for the season than most adults I know!

Written by Sharon Palmer
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:22 AM   #3397
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"More light than we can learn, more wealth than we can treasure, more love than we can earn, more peace than we can measure, because one Child is born."
— Author Unknown
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #3398
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Merry Christmas! May the birth of our savior shine bright in our lives!
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:38 AM   #3399
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Dear Weary Military Personnel
Appreciation for Service People.

I do not know each name,
but I am sure I know your heart;
You have not done for fame
the service of protection you impart.

To each and every citizen
and many who are not,
the joys and peace of freedom
from overcoming devices, plans and plot.

My hat is off to you dear fighter,
my thanks comes from my heart,
knowing you suffer personal loss
as you stand and do your part.

Tears of thanks roll down my face
whenever I think of you,
your very life laid on the line,
your standard held upright and true.

May our glorious Heavenly Father
bless you soul and spirit too
as you stand and face such hardships
for the old red, white, and blue.

For those who already served your time,
and re-enlisted yet once more,
I pray you will enjoy your freedom
when the hardships of this war are o'er.

~ Joyce Guy ~
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Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:26 PM   #3400
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Smile

Great idea for the new year!
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Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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