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JOYEAUX NOEL
The Birth of the Child Christ

Benjamin FranklinLet Not Your Heart Be Troubled Joy, Joy, Joy
Guest essay by Allan Erickson

Even though 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, a tradition going back many centuries on this continent, the only tradition some people wish to establish is an attack on Christmas. How strange that a celebration of joy, peace and love should be rejected by a tiny few. Then again, perhaps it isn't so strange.

Everything is politicized these days: warring factions facing off in constant conflict, seeking domination. Curious how no one forces anyone else to celebrate Christmas. Even so, many unbelievers sense something special about Christmas, the joy and wonder of the season, but a small group claiming offense demands an end to all the symbols, songs, and celebration.

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Benjamin FranklinAn Advent Devotional
Guest Essay by Ronald Kirk

Contrary to the Scriptures’ broad portrayal of Christ’s coming dominion, most Christmas advent devotionals focus strictly upon what we like to call spiritual matters. These typically focus on Christ’s coming as our personal Savior. Oh, yes! Christ did come to save us from our individual sins. But the Bible claims Jesus came to do much more! He came to bring a down payment of the blessings of eternity to earth as we allow Him to work in us. Indeed, Paul says that God will “punish all disobedience when [our] obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:6*).

What promises did the Christ’s heralds of coming make to us?

Isaiah in Chapter 9, the passage commonly understood as prophetic of Jesus, says:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined (v. 2).
We know that Christ is our light, and brings us out of the shadow of death....But also:
You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian (v. 4)
We well know the passage that says, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given (v. 6). Yet, Isaiah also says:
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (v. 6-7)
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Chuck Crismier
Author Ron Kirk Radio Interview on ViewPoint with Chuck Crismier.
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A Christmas remembrance from early America - Valley Forge, 1777

"The patience and endurance of both soldiers and officers was a miracle which each moment served to renew," said Lafayette in his old age. But the noblest tribute comes from the pen of him who knew them best: "Without arrogance or the smallest deviation from truth it may be said that no history now extant can furnish an instance of an army's suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done and bearing them with the same patience and fortitude. To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes (for the want of which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet), and almost as often without provisions as with them, marching through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winter quarters within a day's march of the enemy, without a house or a but to cover them till they could be built, and submitting without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled." Christian History of the American Revolution—Consider and Ponder by Verna Hall

Such was Washington's opinion of the soldiers of Valley Forge. (Verna M. Hall, The Christian history of the American Revolution : Consider and ponder (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education: 1976), 62.)


There was no room for Him, once long ago,
Only a cold and drafty barn, and, like a blow,
The smell of dung did greet
Him, Who came from heaven, none to meet
Him, save the displaced cows and sheep
Whose restless night disturbed His sleep.
Only some sheep men came to pray.
No scholars came to mark the day.
Still as of old the world denies
Room to its King and from Him shies,
The Cross His only gift from men
And man as brutal now as then.
Lord, if again a barn do not offend Thee,
This dung and filth would comprehend Thee,
Here is my heart, with its unclean floor
A barn to house Thee, as of yore.

~ R. J. Rushdoony, 1951


Featured Video: William Federer - The History of Christmas Traditions
Featured Video: The First Thanksgiving
Ted BaehrMOVIEGUIDE’s Top Ten Family-Friendly Christmas Movies
Guest Essay Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

MOVIEGUIDE® has put together a list of great movies for the Christmas season, starting with the movie that shows clearly the reason for the season, THE NATIVITY STORY.
  1. THE NATIVITY STORY, Quality: * * * * Acceptability:  +4 - 2006
    THE NATIVITY STORY is one of those very rare movies that brings the Gospel alive in a compelling, interesting, entertaining manner that shatters expectations. The movie references and quotes Scripture throughout. King Herod sends out the troops to kill all the innocents in Bethlehem and stop the prophecy that there will be born a King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The movie then flashes back to a year earlier in the town of Nazareth, introducing the audience to the life of Joseph and Mary. Soon, an angel of God comes to Mary to tell her that she is with God's child, born by the Holy Spirit. Joseph and Mary have to journey to Bethlehem to register for the Roman census. In the fullness of time, the prophecies of God are fulfilled.

    THE NATIVITY STORY is a nearly perfect movie. It has one of the best scripts ever for a biblical story. A sense of jeopardy is present throughout. The dialogue, the plot development, the turning points are refreshingly dramatic. Best of all, THE NATIVITY STORY testifies in every way to Jesus the Messiah and is clearly evangelistic without being preachy.
     
  2. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +3 - 1946: Jimmy Stewart plays the beleaguered but good-hearted George Bailey, who finds out what life would be like if he'd never been born. A very slight caution is urged because of the false angelology, although the movie is number one on our list because of its emotive revelation of man's relationship to God, who answers our prayers.
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Also see: Does Jesus Make a Difference for the Sick and Dying?
by E. Calvin Beisner



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"Thank you for this lovely article!" —A. A.




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