Each year during the Christmas season people may feel pressure to do things bigger and better than before — more gifts, more decorations, more parties — keeping them busy, overburdened and missing the true meaning of Christmas. This holiday season, Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren shares in a column posted on pastors.com three simple concepts to help Christians stay focused on what's really important. Below is a summary of the column.
1. Keep it Simple
You don't have to spend your holiday participating in grand, impersonal, events and activities in order to feel fulfilled. Rather, Pastor Warren encourages Christians to engage in activities that enable personal interaction and service, such as feeding the hungry, or providing support for needy single parents. Personal interaction has been key for Saddleback's 20,000 members. " … We've found that the larger we grow, the smaller we must become," says Warren. more >>
Perhaps one of the most beautiful Christmas carols if not songs ever written, "O Holy Night" is a powerful musical celebration of Jesus' birth.
Such a powerful song gets an excellent rendition courtesy of Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning singer Kari Jobe.
In a video posted to YouTube back in 2013 but still germane to this year's Christmas season, Jobe powerfully sings the classic manger-centered song at the K-Love Music City Christmas event. more >>
A photo of a little boy praying with Santa Claus at a shopping mall has gone viral, spreading the word about the needs of a sick baby.
Unlike most little kids who get to sit on Santa's lap, 4-year-old Prestyn Barnette asked Jolly Old St. Nick to pray with him on behalf of a baby on life support.
This touching scene of Santa and Prestyn praying took place at the Dutch Square Mall in Columbia, South Carolina. more >>
A county courthouse in Mississippi plans to keep a nativity scene on public display despite a letter of complaint from an atheist organization.
Earlier this month the American Humanist Association sent a letter to Harrison County officials demanding that a crèche on display at their courthouse grounds be removed.
Christians in South Sudan are praying for peace this Christmas time following two years of devastating civil war, which according to some estimates has killed up to 100,000 people.
"Two years after the outbreak of the civil war we continue to hope for peace, and perhaps this Christmas will be different from the last two, where we experienced suffering and fear," a South Sudanese missionary told Fides News Agency.
The country marked this week the two year anniversary of the civil war that has plunged the world's youngest nation into a deep crisis. more >>
A Kentucky elementary school announced it will eliminate the well-known biblical reference from an upcoming student production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Protesters have gathered in front of W.R. Castle Elementary School in Johnson County, Kentucky this week to protest the school's decision to eliminate the scene from its school production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," set to premiere Thursday evening.
Additionally, the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group issued a letter to Johnson County Schools this week encouraging the district to follow through with the original production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." more >>