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Issue #52 - December 16, 2008              For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. ~ Jesus

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In this issue of the SSTN Newsletter:  

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Poem: There is a Christ in Christmas
2) Are you a Worry-wart?
3) Back to Bethlehem
4) I'm Dreaming of...?

Download a 5-Piece Nativity Set today! Click here.
Print as many as you need! For class time or family get-togethers!

5) Bible Curriculum Reviews
6) New Year's Eve Ideas

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1) Poem: There is a Christ in Christmas

Here is a poem that my aunt wrote for our local newspaper. It was written by Renee' Grochowski from Ishpeming, MI, submitted with her approval by Jody Larmour of Ishpeming, MI. If you use this in your Christmas celebrations, please give Renee' the credit, as she worked very hard to put this poem together. Thank you, and Merry CHRISTmas!!!


Here I sit with a heavy heart,
As a tear rolls down my cheek.
In front of me lay 6 inserts
From the newspaper this week.
All so colorful and bright,
Yet not one of them shows evidence
Of that Holy Night. 
They advertise of Christmas toys
And gifts to give away.
There is no mention of the “Christ Child” 
Born that special day.
There are no offers of stars so bright
To sit upon a tree.
No manger scenes to remind us
Of what Christmas really means.
Words like “Nativity” and “First Noel” 
Are absent from the page
While Santa and his reindeer
Enter center stage.
Christmas lists and crowded malls
Seem to steal our time
While anxious thoughts and second guessing
Fill our hearts and minds.
Always busy, always running
Until there’s just no place
For drummer boys and angels
That once hovered near His face.
Oh, those of us who truly know
The reason for our Joy
Repeat the story of Christ’s birth 
To every girl and boy
So that the memory and the meaning
Live on and not be lost.
The gift to celebrate and share this truth
Was bought for everyone
At a very high cost. 

Renee Grochowski
Ishpeming, Michigan 


2) Are you a Worry-wart?

"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable than they are. Can all your worry add a single moment to your life?"

Of course not.

"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs...

and he will give you all your needs and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

...So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today!" 
Matthew 6:25-34 NLT

About this week's promise: 
"Jesus encourages us not to worry about that which we cannot control or about that which is not important. Worry instead, he says, about your priorities and the condition of your soul. When you find yourself overcome with worry, take a careful look at the priorities of your heart. When God is firmly established at the center of our focus and desires, worry loses its grip on our lives.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!
Lisa Thomas


3) Back to Bethlehem

This week a local church in our area staged a "Back to Bethlehem" walk. It was fabulous! They have a website too, check it out:  

There's also a scaled down version in Check out "Drive thru Bethlehem" at:

4) I'm Dreaming of...?

SSTN Teachers, I'm writing today to ask the children in your class to think about and write on the following topic and then have you submit their answers to SSTN. If we have a successful response, then after the New Year, we are in conversation with another website to set up pages for other topical issues and student's responses to them.

Here's the pilot question to pose to your students:
"If you were given one hundred dollars to spend on someone else, how would you use it?" 
(Someone else can mean a family member, friend or acquaintance.)

If you would like to participate, reply to SSTN. And in the meantime, if you have other questions to pose to students, submit those too!

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><


5) Bible Curriculum Reviews

FYI: We've posted Bible curriculum reviews for SSTN. Go to the following page and scroll down to read them at:

New Year's Eve Ideas

Have people bring photos of themselves when they were younger (for people age 30 and younger, photos of when they were in elementary school, and those over 30, when they were teenagers). Post the pictures on a wall and number them, then have everyone try to guess who's who and write their answers down. You could give prizes.

You could also have a "Resolution Wall" with activities to accomplish for your church in the coming year. For example, 
a) volunteer to work at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter or other local mission your church is involved with; 
b) help in a "love your church day", whereby people volunteer to fix up the church grounds by painting, planting flowers, cleaning supply closets or other areas within the church that "needs a little love", etc.
c) volunteer in a ministry within your church that you've never been involved with before.

The "Resolution Wall" could be in the form of a large calendar that people could write their names and phone #s down to volunteer for the posted activities.

Merry CHRISTmas,
Sarah Keith <><

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