A small but growing movement of Christians is rethinking how to do Christmas. By redirecting their giving, they are discovering the profound simplicity of the Christmas message amid the consumerism of the season.
New York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp of One Thousand Gifts, tells the story on her blog of how, over 10 years ago, her young son gave her the biggest challenge of the Christmas season.
She writes, “He stops me with just one question: ‘What does Jesus get for His Birthday?” Voskamp tried to answer with something like, “a cake, our love?” But her son persisted, “Why don’t we give up things so we can give to Jesus for His birthday?” more >>
Santa Claus may be coming to town, but a new study says half of American adults believe the big guy in the red suit takes something away from the religious significance of Christmas.
According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll conducted earlier this month, 57 percent of Americans think that Santa Claus plays an important role in holiday celebrations, as opposed to the 43 percent who said the opposite was true.
But when asked, “Do you think the Santa Claus tradition does more to...?” 48 percent of those surveyed said Santa detracts from Christmas' religious significance, while 37 percent said it actually enhances its religious significance. About 13 percent said neither of those answers is true or said the tradition has no effect on religious significance. more >>
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama thanked and urged prayers for U.S. troops and their families in their weekly address early Saturday during which they wished all Americans Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
“This is a such a wonderful time of year, it’s the time to honor the story of love and redemption that began 2,000 year ago, a time to see the world through a child’s eyes and rediscover the magic all around us, and a time to give thanks for the gift that blesses every single day,” Michelle Obama, sitting beside the president, said in the weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday morning.
“Our troops are coming home. And across America, military families are being reunited,” Obama stated. The address comes days after the U.S. forces’ complete withdrawal from Iraq, which formally ended a more than eight-year war in which nearly 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives along with tens of thousands of Iraqis. more >>
A case involving two Texas school principals allegedly infringing on students' constitutional right to freedom of religious expression – known as Morgan v. Swanson, or the "candy cane" case – which started with one school banning distribution of candy cane pens, was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday after eight years in litigation.
The case has come to symbolize what many call "the war on Christmas," and it represents families of school children whose constitutional right to freedom of religion was allegedly violated. The parents were joined in their fight by Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian non-profit, which provides them with legal help.
The case originated in 2003 when third-grade student, Jonathan Morgan, brought candy cane-shaped pens to school to hand them out to his fellow classmates during a “winter party” at Thomas Elementary School in Plano, Texas. The pens had religious messages attached to them, explaining the Christian origin of candy canes. more >>
“What if the birth was just the beginning?” is the theme of Willow Creek Community Church’s Christmas message this year. And to show that to the estimated 80,000 people attending their 12 services at the South Barrington location, they are adding a short film, scored to a 22-piece live orchestra, into the mix.
The film sets the birth and life of Christ in modern-day Chicago. A TV news anchor is the main character, and the trailer on the website opens with her announcing the birth of the Savior of the world.
Hundreds of volunteers from Willow Creek participated as extras in the film. Writer and Director Blaine Hogan, also a staff member at the megachurch, hired professional actors for the leading roles. more >>
Jason Bare is an exemplary model for independent artists. Releasing two successful albums in one year, his Christmas album Have You Heard has been steadily climbing the charts and this singer/songwriter has much more in store!
Releasing his debut album Beautiful Design earlier this year, Bare came with a delightful surprise with his Christmas project.
With his career blossoming, and bringing life changes, this independent artist shares his journey, things to come, and his heart in an interview with BREATHEcast.com. Check out the podcast! more >>