Author: Carla Alvarez

Experiencing the Spirit of Christmas

The holidays can be a busy time with end of term tests and papers, concerts, parties, and one volunteer effort after another. The activity load can be so intense that it can be easy to equate “stress” with the “spirit of Christmas.” However, the “things” and the “doings” are not Christmas. Certain things, traditions, can help us remember the past and build memories for the future, but it is not the thing that Christmas is itself. The Spirit of Christmas is Family The Spirit of Christmas is family. Christmas is a time when families get together, whether they like...

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Hearing the Angels Sing

We were talking about angels. The lesson in our Sunday school class was on Luke 2 when the angels announce the birth of Jesus on the hillside. The shepherds were minding their own business on the hillside, sitting out with the sheep. Unlike David who watched his sheep on that same hillside alone, there were several. I wonder what there thoughts were on before they were suddenly interrupted. Were they wondering, like David, when their opportunity to escape this low level job would arrive. Were they thinking, “there has to be more to life than this?” Were they looking...

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Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

  Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is coming. But along with the Christmas season, come those who criticize and bash it. It is easy to respond to attacks from atheists and Christian cults such as the Jehovah Witnesses that don’t believe anything should be celebrated; however, often Christians have a hard time responding to those who have bought into the propaganda stemming from spurious works such as James Frazier’s “The Golden Bough” 1James Frazier. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. (London, UK: Macmillian, 1890). and believe that anything related to Christmas, and even the origin itself, has...

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Tell Others What God Has Done for You

“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.” Psalm 66:16 NIV Earlier I mentioned that one of the reason that we can have confidence that God will fulfill his promises to us is to protect is own name. This is a second reason that we can have confidence in God’s actions. He acts in our lives so that we can tell others what He has done for us. This in turn builds faith in the lives of those around us and draws others to seek God. What are the...

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Key to Overcoming Fear

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 We are almost to the end of our focus on overcoming fear. What is the message God has for us? How does he tell us to combat the fear and worry that is always trying to wear us down, steal our joy, and misdirect our focus. In each passage that speaks about fear, there is a pattern. It is this: Seek God Trust in Him Obey his instructions Wait for his timing and watch for his acts. Jesus didn’t just die...

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