Glory to the Newborn King – Merry Christmas!

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For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Work of Christmas Begins

“When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.

— Howard Thurman, adapted

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Wishing all of my Spiritual Sounding Board friends and their families a Merry Christmas!  I’m going to be enjoying time with the family and also visit friends and extended family over the weekend, so there will be no new posts for a few days.  Comments will remain open and I will be checking in from time to time.

~Julie Anne

35 comments on “Glory to the Newborn King – Merry Christmas!

  1. Merry Christmas Julie Anne and thank you for this mini church service today. You laid this all out nicely. Merry Christmas to all of you. I will be spending most of today with a friend on a mini road trip. We plan to stop for Chinese food (thank you for being open on Christmas Day) see “Exodus” in a theatre along the route and then spend time in the pool and hot tub at the hotel. We chose a small town with very old buildings and hoping they are lit up like a beacon. I hope you all are having a Very Merry Christmas and Christ is renewed in your hearts and you are filled to over flowing. It has been sheer joy for me hearing the true story of Christ retold throughout the many services over the past couple of weeks.

    John, Here in MI where I live we have NO snow. I know I said I would send you some, but I have none to offer this year. It’s really weird!!

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  2. Brenda R, lol no snow. I’m sure that will change. Thank you for the offer any way! It’s a very chilly 72 degrees here! Merry Christmas Brenda R.

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  3. JA,

    I love the Pentatonix song. But then, I could listen to those voices all day long.

    Sarah Mclachlan’s “First Noel” brought tears to my eyes. Eight years ago I was heavily pregnant while listening to this song for the first time. I decided if we had a girl that her middle name would be Noelle. She was born the day after Christmas.

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  4. Feliz Navidad to all the wonderful people at SSB! I wish we could have all “met” under different circumstances, but I’m so grateful for this supportive community. May the coming year be a better one for all of us.

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  5. Merry Christmas to Julie Anne and everyone at SSB! I’m visiting with family in the U.S. right now, so for a few days my time zone will almost match JA’s, for a change. Blessings and much happiness to all!

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  6. BTDT, three of my kids are coral geeks. I bought the new Pentatonix CD for my daughter. It’s phenomenal.

    I’m glad you enjoyed Sarah McLachlan’s song as well. It’s a favorite of mine, performed so uniquely and beautifully.

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  7. J.A. I loved that Sarah McLachlan’s song & video! My husband & I celebrated Christmas last night with family, so I am resting & having a quiet day. Kinda nice after all the running to & fro.

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  8. JA, I loved ” The Merry Broken Christmas”. There are so many people in our world who suffer. In fact, no one escapes suffering. When it appears that the rest of the world is rejoicing with their perfect family, around a perfect table groaning with food and a tree surrounded by presents, those in pain feel their wounds ripping apart even more. This article so perfectly shows how the birth of Christ is for everyone.
    The presents, tree, and appearance of family perfection is just a dim facade of what Christ has brought for us. I wish more of us can be aware that the birth of Christ is to bring peace and joy for us all, more so for the suffering and hopeless. I pray for this peace for all who are reading here. Merry Christmas!!

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  9. Gail and Julie Anne, thank you so much for asking and for caring so much. I am certainly not used to it. God has blessed me so much here through you and others. Monday, I have chemo and I am half way into it. I am having some increasing difficulties, thought about quitting, but that’s not me. My oncologist said I have reached saturation so it’s the same every day now. Very hard without my family. I officially survived today. My main problems are the extreme burning, I am losing way too much weight. 6’3″ 149 pounds, at one point I was 275 ( working out prior to the heart attack)!with a 32 inch waist. Big change for me. I bleed a lot , just start bleeding, and now losing sight in my right eye which they said is probably temporary.

    Meanwhile, one of the man boy pastors decided to talk with me and showed his true colors. Then followed up in an incredibly offensive non biblical email. My doctor told me if the stress didn’t, change meaning me, treatment was in jeopardy. I’ve got to get my act together. The nurses point out to me I am the only one in the room alone during treatment. I’m not alone, He is with me. I will say it would be great to have my family, but this was the third Christmas alone. I think it’s time that I faced reality, it’s dead. I am so blessed to have such great doctors and nurses. I am in approximately 3-4 days a week in between treatments for fluids, nausea, steroids and anxiety. They are ALWAYS so kind, loving and patient with me!

    Thank you both again and for everyone else who cares so much here. There is no doubt God brought me here. I am so blessed in many ways. Thanks for the link Julie Anne, I confess to not feeling very merry. The love here is incredible!!!! And real.

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  10. John,

    Thank-You for responding, I have been praying for you & wondering how you were doing & I suspect that I am not alone… The crowd/tribe here at SSB is a taste of the true body of Christ, we have so many different parts here that express the TRUE Jesus. I won’t name names, but holy macaroni, this blog has instructed, educated, enlightened, my mind & heart.

    You are in the thick of it, and I am sad to hear all that you are suffering. My husband & I spent many years in sickness, surgeries. I earned my caregiving badge for my brownie sash, he probably earned his wings. Long story, however, if anyone told me 4 years ago we would be where we are at today, I would have said sarcastically, right, sure, dream on. Not that makes any difference to what you are going through, but, eventually everything comes to pass. God Bless!

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  11. Gail, thank you for sharing with me, a real life situation of yours that gives me realistic hope. You are so kind. Sorry to hear of you and your husbands health issues, happy you guys are doing better. I guess iI am at that stage of “yeah right” lol. First 3,different normally terminal heart issues and 52 hospital stays in 3 years now two for cancer with more after chemo. Lost everything and everyone. So happy to just read here! You are right, a real group of people so far for me. Thank you again! God used your suffering to lift me up with hope and much much more I’m sure.

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  12. I have had hard days for the past several months since I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned by my four pastors/elders at my independent, Bible-believing church in Silicon Valley (California). I’d discovered that a fellow church member, who it turns out is one of the good friends of the pastors/elders, is a convicted sex offender on Megan’s List. They defend him to the hilt, didn’t tell parents, and have moved him in to positions of trust, including inviting him to be around children. The pastors/elders said he’s harmless and that he’s coming off Megan’s LIst; The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s sex offenders task force and The California Attorney General’s Office called my pastors/elders claims “all lies”.
    The pastors/elders demanded I apologize to them for repeating to them what the California Attorney General said (I refused to apologize and said they owed me one), banned me from church property and services, from having contact with church members, and lied about me before everyone and excommunicated me! (Just a couple of months ago.)

    I did manage to get out of my sweat pants, give myself a face pedicure, got semi-dressed up, and went to a small Christmas dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s friends’ home. It did me a world of good and brought me out of my funk and to be around people who aren’t even believers but are decent, nice, kind human beings. The wife and I were doing some food preparation before other people arrived. I told her about my shunning and excommunication and she gasped. She said of the people who’ve known me for 8+ years and won’t talk to me on orders of the pastors/elders, “They were never really your true friends in the first place. Your true friends would have defended you.” Another woman, who also didn’t want to leave home because she was depressed over the death of her father, came finally. We all ended up laughing and having the best time!

    I am honestly glad to be away from the majority of my former church members who were insufferable hypocrites and lacking in love.

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  13. John,

    Thank-You. I was concerned that I might have sounded like I was being trite over your horrid circumstances. 52 hospital stays in three years, oh my gosh, that is a lot. I may have said this to you before, but, I imagine you bless all the wonderful nurses, doctors, & staff that come into contact with you. Not that you will tell on yourself ( ;

    I love this verse in Galatians 3:6 “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS FAITH EXPRESSING ITSELF THROUGH LOVE. Some of your ugly man boy pastors should try practicing that. Jerks.

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  14. John, you are such an inspiration as you continue on your journey. When you don’t have your health, everything else seems insurmountable. Please continue to accept help from anyone willing to offer a hand. Especially through your worst times, I pray that God may send someone (maybe a person you wouldn’t expect) to hold your hand and walk with you.
    Michaela, I was disgusted by the way your church friends allow these church men to dictate who they can be in fellowship with. Some days I want to hide all the Bibles, so evil men don’t have access to them to twist scripture to suit their own desires. I am so glad you ended up having fun with family. Thank God you are independent enough to not shun them for being “unbelievers”. We never know who God uses to show us his mercy! We never know who God might work through to comfort us.

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  15. Oh Ann, you nailed this! “Thank God you are independent enough to not shun them for being “unbelievers”. We never know who God uses to show us his mercy! We never know who God might work through to comfort us.”

    I lost all, but one friend, when I left the building that called itself a church. Went awol from all things called Christian for several years. Six years ago my husband had 2 difficult scheduled surgery’s in NYC far from our home in MI. He was in the hospital for six weeks and then airlifted home to local hospital for another three weeks.

    Guess who flew out to sit with me during his first 8 hour surgery, I bet, you guessed it, unbelievers, a week later they turned hubby over and he underwent 2nd procedure that lasted 12 hours, and once again, another couple showed up to sit with me while he was in surgery. I was floored at their generosity to fly, pay for hotel rooms, they took me to dinner several nights…

    (God shows up in His many different disguises shower us in His love & mercy)

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