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December 21, 2012 -- Issue #41 - Volume 13




Today's articles are listed, below. When replying, highlight the text that is pertinent to your response, then hit reply. Title your message to reflect the content.

1) Our Earthly Tabernacle  
2) Jesus Is Coming - Poem
3) Max Lucado's Prayer for Newtown, CT

4) Books of the Bible Curriculum
5) The Candymaker's Gift - YouTube video
6) Wise Men Still Seek Him - Poem
7) An Atheist's Christmas Message. . .what?


1) Our Earthly Tabernacle


The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork . . . 
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun
(Psalm 19:1-4). 


Watching the sunrise burst over the ocean inlet this morning and reading Psalm 19, I was reminded of Godís glory, that blazing Glory Presence that guided the Jewish people through the wilderness in the cloud and fire pillar. That same Glory filled the earthly tabernacle tent and later the stone temple where Godís people worshipped. That Glory Presence shone roundabout the shepherds, announcing the birth of Messiah. That Glory Star guided the wise men to the baby Jesus. That fiery Glory that danced atop the heads of the faithful at Pentecost. And now today, unbelievably, miraculously, that same . . .Get the rest of today's devotional,   "Our Earthly Tabernacle" in our Teens & Adult Devotional section.


2) Jesus Is Coming - Poem

Editor's note: The posting, below, was sent in by one of our faithful teachers, "Emmalea Butler." Her account is a wonderful reminder for us of the impact we can have on the children we teach! "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

"I wrote a song for a little guy named Josiah when he was less than 3 and was in the nursery when I was director. I called it Josiah's Song. Josiah just graduated from "Gospel For Asia" this past week, a missions training college in Texas. He has also been hired on to be staff there now! I think Josiah is 21.

At less than 3 years of age Josiah was hearing his parents talking a lot about JESUS returning - about the Rapture and also about the 2nd coming for JESUS to rule over this world.

His mom told me that he began going and standing at the window when he would first get up in the morning. Anytime he was not being entertained or eating - Josiah was standing at the window. After a few days, Mom asked him, "Josiah, why are you looking out the window all the time - what are you looking for?" Josiah responded, "I'm looking for JESUS! WHEN is HE coming?!!!"

Mom asked me for advice. Josiah's faith was so large when he was SO small - and it truly bothered him that Mommy couldn't answer him.

So, I wrote this song/poem. (I can sing it - but can't write or read music - so its a poem now.) LOL."

Jesus is coming, HE's coming again
The BIBLE tells us 
But, doesn't tell when
Caught up in glory
way up in the sky
Jesus will meet us 
Oh! What a surprise!

Will you be ready
Forgiven of sin?
Has your heart sought JESUS 
Asked HIM to come in?
A clean heart that loves HIM
Has ties that will bind,
But a dark heart without HIM
Will be left behind.

Jesus is coming, HE's coming again
The BIBLE tells us 
But, doesn't tell when
Caught up in glory
way up in the sky
Jesus will meet us 
Oh! What a surprise!

"Cool thing is that Josiah was calmed by this -- waiting for the SURPRISE. He didn't have to look out the window all the time anymore -- because he didn't want to spoil the 'surprise!'

Their family moved from our church but I would see them from time to time. He was homeschooled (as was his other 5 brothers and sisters). He became quite talented in playing guitar and singing. He even returned to help in a public middle school ministry I was part of a few years ago. He also helped 1 semester at GAC. I reminded him of the story about him and even sang Josiah's song to him. He said he actually remembered looking out the window for Jesus to come and that I had made a song for him. Sweet to hear that after so many years.

All that to say -- Jesus is Coming - HE's Coming Again -- -the Bible tells us --- but doesn't tell when!

The season is sure ripe for HIS return. I'm ready and trying to help others be ready too! I know you are as well."



3) Max Lucado's Prayer for Newtown, CT

Dear Jesus,

It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated. 

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger. 

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Your Children


4) Books of the Bible Curriculum

Do you offer a curriculum for learning the books of the bible? I've enjoyed teaching from your lessons I recently purchased and need your help with this one. Thanks! Denise

--from SSTN: Hi Denise, we've got Bible Stack-O!, (see right). This resource helps kids learn the names of the Bible books, as well as content summaries. You can learn more at: 
(Make sure you read the comments at the bottom of that page too.)


5) The Candymaker's Gift - YouTube video

The Gospel message of Christmas through the Candy Cane can be used in classrooms, Church programs, in homes, on smart phones and tablets. Share the video link with friends, relatives, ministries, and anyone you wish to sow a seed of God's word into their lives this Christmas. Enjoy the video and Candy cane Celebration on the following page: 


          Don't keep it to yourself! Share SSTN with friends & coworkers!    


6) Wise Men Still Seek Him - Poem 

Before the precious Lamb of God came down to dwell on earth,
Before the angel choruses proclaimed His royal birth,
Before the bright and shining star illumined where He lay,
Before the shepherds worshipped Jesus on His bed of hay,
Some wise men there were waiting as they watched the eastern sky,
For promised signs to signal that His birth was truly nigh.
He came to be a sacrifice for all the sins of men,
And when he rose up from the grave, He said, "I'll come again."
He promised He would take His children home to Heaven's shore,
Where there will be no sorrow -- only joy forevermore.

So still the wise men of today are looking to the sky,
And longing for the time when their redemption will draw nigh.
No man can know the day or hour when Jesus will return,
But for that blessed homeward journey, hearts still wait and yearn.
He wants us to be ready, with our lamps all trimmed and bright,
As daily we walk close to Him, by faith and not by sight.
Perhaps today will be the day when we shall see His face,
And bow in humble gratitude for all His love and grace.
The night is almost over, and the dawn is breaking fast,
So we must walk in faith until we're with our Lord at last. 

© 2003  Betty Jo Mings


7) An Atheist's Christmas Message . . . what?

Last night I watched a spokesperson for atheism in America promote their Christmas message: "Keep the Merry, Forget the Myth." Their jarring promotion shows a picture of a laughing Santa, next to the suffering face of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. I thought it was quite poignant they didn't attack the Christ child. No, they went right for the heart of the matter, Christ on the cross. You see for many people, apparently atheists included, it's easy and okay to celebrate the joy and merriment of Christmas with the jolly ole' man, the Elf on the Shelf, and Rudolf the Red-nosed reindeer! There's no commitment to God, no call for repentance, nothing is really required. (But we do spend a lot of money trying to have a "merry Christmas.")  

The atheists understand the implication of believing in the baby in the manger; it's beautifully stated in the hymn, Hark the Herald Angels Sing,

Born to raise the sons of earth; 
Born to give them second birth.

They know the baby grew up. He died a terrible, bloody death on the cross. There isn't anything "merry" about that picture! But it wasn't supposed to be! "For our sake he (God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 CO 5:21 ESV).

To truly celebrate the Savior's birth, we must be willing to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him (Luke 9:23). Atheists of course are not willing to do this. But are we who celebrate the babe in the manger, willing to submit to the Crucified and Risen One? Jesus IS the reason for the season! His birth was for his death. His death was for our birth. In him true Christmas joy is found! 

May you have a blessed Christmas day worshipping the ONE who loves us with an everlasting love! See you in 2013!

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><




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