2018 – Changed Lives Archives – Nov/Dec
Don’t Stop Believin’
Remember the song, Don’t Stop Believin’? It was described by AllMusic as “one of the best opening keyboard riffs in rock.” It’s been the best-selling digital track from the 20th century with over seven million copies sold in the US. Not bad for a guy who started out playing the accordion! We are talking about Jonathan Cain, member of the band, Journey, since 1980.
Cain is a Chicago native who has loved music from an early age and has also had a strong connection with his father growing up. In an interview with CBN News, Cain described the impact his father had on his life. He said, “My father was a very spiritual man who taught me how to pray at a very young age. So I took Jesus into my heart.”
We never know about the crossroads we will encounter in life. While Jonathan’s young life rested on a foundation in God, his faith was shattered at the tender age of eight when calamity struck. It so happened that on December 1, 1958, the school he attended–Our Lady of the Angels–had caught fire. Tragically, 100 children and 3 nuns died. Looking back, he said, “Here I am only 8 years old and I am standing there watching it helplessly, praying that Jesus might save the day . . . We had no counseling and we were told not to talk about it. It sort of pushed me away.”
But God’s plan for Jonathan was already in the works. He was not only spared of this catastrophe by escaping, but his dad stepped in to help shape Jonathan’s life. In addition to being a spiritual role model, he encouraged Jonathan to channel his energies into music, and that became Cain’s sustaining force for many years to come.
In the mid-nineties, Journey released an album called, Trial by Fire. Steve Perry worked closely with Cain on the project. The story is that one day, Perry brought a Bible with him into the studio. That triggered Cain into realizing that he had lost his relationship with God, and he yearned to have it back.
Soon after that, Cain found himself traveling by plane to a certain destination when he met a young women on the flight who just happened to be a pastor. They struck up a conversation that became quite deep. Finally, he asked her, “Is it possible that that little boy could find the Jesus that he knew. Is it possible that I can feel that?” She answered and said, “The Lord has something for you.”
The lady went on to lead him back to God. And to add to God’s blessing, the couple continued their relationship long after their flight had ended. They eventually became husband and wife.
Isn’t God good!? When the Lord gets involved in a person’s life, everything changes. And He is a God of encouragement, too.
Cain had a wonderful father in his life who tried to always steer him in the right direction. When Jonathan used to call home feeling all defeated, his dad would say, “Don’t stop believin’.” Then God reminded Jonathan through his friend and band-mate, Steve Perry, that His Word stands true. And finally, the Lord sent to Jonathan not only a pastor to talk to, but a wife!
From one of the greatest bands in history comes a reminder to never give up hope. In this long-awaited memoir, complete with color photographs, songwriter and keyboardist Jonathan Cain takes us on an odyssey from center stage with Journey when all America was listening to songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” and “Open Arms,” to his hope and faith today. He tells of the thrilling moments when the music came together.
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Jonathan Cain, longtime keyboardist and rhythm guitarist in Journey, is no stranger to writing songs about belief. He helped co-write Don’t Stop Believin’, one of the best-selling hits of all time. Now on his new Christian album, What God Wants to Hear, Jonathan shares personal songs about his faith journey.“
This is a small way of giving back what the Lord has given me over the years,” Jonathan says. “As a result of the Lord blessing me and blessing Journey, this is my offering back to him.”
To love God and serve Him is one of the highest goals we can have. Where do you fit in? If you’re willing to ask, God will show you His plan for you.
Moved By Compassion
The Cross And the Switchblade is a title well recognized. The book, by David Wilkerson, was written just after his early years as a young preacher. He grew up in the hills of Pennsylvania but because of God’s profound call, he moved to New York City to help troubled teenagers and inner-city gang-bangers. Soon he started Teen Challenge, a ministry still operating today. His book was about that work; it became a best-seller, with over 50 million copies sold in 30 languages.
Wilkerson comes from a Christian family and a Pentecostal, Assemblies of God background. He tells how he was baptized in the holy Spirit at the age of eight. In other words, he was filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God which the Lord purposed for him so he would have the power to minister. And that he did!
It all began while he was serving in a small town church. He was restless during his prayer time one evening and picked up a Life Magazine. In it, he saw a picture of seven teenagers who were gang members of the New York “Egyptian Kings”. He was drawn to their circumstances and was deeply moved with compassion. So much so, that he traveled to New York and interrupted an actual court hearing because he had something life-changing to share with these young men. The judge turned him away, but that didn’t stop David.
Wilkerson went on to start a street ministry, reaching young drug addicts and the like. One of those derelicts was Nicky Cruz, leader of the Maus Maus gang. The book describes the story:
“When he [David] met Nicky Cruz, a vicious teenage knife-fighter . . . Nicky told Wilkerson, ‘Go to Hell, Preacher.’ He replied, ‘You don’t think much of me, but I feel different about you. I love you, Nicky.’ As Wilkerson took a step towards him, Nicky said, ‘You come near me, Preacher, I’ll kill you.’ He replied, ‘You could do that, you could cut me into a thousand pieces and lay them out in the street and every piece would love you.’
In a dramatic manner, Nicky was later convicted by the Holy Spirit and received Jesus during an evangelistic meeting organized by Wilkerson. Cruz was gloriously saved and went on to be a Minister of the Gospel himself.
Wilkerson worked the streets for some 30 years when God called him to start Time Square Church, a non-denominational congregation of believers. He said, “. . . This church does not belong to any denomination. We are not Assemblies of God, we are not Baptist, we’re not Methodist, we’re not Catholic. We’re just Holy Ghost people believing this book.”
What book? The Bible of course. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. It contains the plan of salvation and of hope. It will guide us every day of our lives if we will open our hearts to its truths. Most of all, it will ignite God’s love inside of us.
We’ve heard it said that love is not just a feeling. It’s so much more. It’s what we do for one another and it matters not the cost. David Wilkerson loved hurting people and he put that love into action. He faced danger and death. He laid down his life for those that seemed worthless to most. But God loves all people and desires to save each one, if they will only come to Him.
Everyone experiences times of sadness, trials, and pain. But what happens when grief and depression seem so overwhelming that we feel like giving up? As the founder of World Challenge, Inc., David Wilkerson worked with troubled people of every type: students, parents, alcoholics, delinquents, businessmen, pastors, teachers, and drug addicts. In this hopeful and encouraging book, Wilkerson examines the universal problem of discouragement. He shows readers how to let God heal their wounds, restore their faith, and give them genuine, lasting peace.
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Wilkerson once said, “When God calls you to something, He is not always calling you to succeed, He’s calling you to obey! The success of the calling is up to Him; the obedience is up to you.” Yes, God will do the work . . . if we are willing to let Him.
The ministry and legacy of David Wilkerson continues to reach out today. With over 30 books on the market, David has labored to offer a message of hope to the world. That hope is Jesus Christ. He is the answer to all of life’s problems. And he alone gives a peace that passes all understanding. Do you know Him today? Find out how to become a Christian. Go to https://www.kathyveer.com/become-a-christian.html. Jesus is waiting for you.
A Doctor’s Journey
Dr. Greg Lehman
What does God think of people who try to disprove His existence? Does He find it amusing? Does He dismiss them, or does He lead them to discover Him? Dr. Greg Lehman is one of those people. He once was an atheist and actually tried to prove it. After all, isn’t that what a scientifically trained doctor should do?
In a story published by Christianity today, Dr. Lehman described his own self-righteous mind set. He said he “got irritated with people, even his own wife and their Christian neighbors as well whom he labeled ‘hypocrites’ for living a lifestyle that he thought didn’t conform with the teachings of the Bible.”
While Lehman was indignant about his religious acting acquaintances, he was at the same time secretly troubled. In another interview with GodReports.com, the very successful doctor talked about how frustrated and dissatisfied he had become with his personal life. He listed all the things he had worked for: trips and vacations, luxury cars, a fancy home, new clothes, and expensive hobbies like wine collecting.
He also had a successful medical practice that others admired. But in reality he was asking himself, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I not fulfilled? Why don’t I feel like I have achieved what I worked my whole life for?” So in the middle of feeling empty, angry, and sad, Lehman set out to prove that God was a dead end too.
The fine doctor’s approach was to go straight to the source: the Bible. He wanted to show his hypocrite neighbors that they weren’t living right and he wanted to have the Scripture to prove it! So he began to read the Word of God. But to his amazement, he found God speaking to him through his endeavor.
The first truth he discovered was that Jesus Christ had claimed to be God in the flesh. How astounding. That undeniable fact had changed all of history. And through Christ’s work on the cross, He offered salvation to the world, redeeming man kind from their sins.
The second truth that emerged was the fact that Jesus arose from the dead. Or did He? Lehman delved deeply into the arguments made by all the leading critics. He carefully examined each debate and finally concluded that the opposing arguments were not plausible and the resurrection proved true.
Furthermore, Lehman was greatly impressed by the Apostle Paul who was miraculously converted from a Jewish prosecutor and naysayer of Christianity to a devoted follower of Christ.
Being impressed is good, but having all the knowledge in the world about Jesus is not enough. Christ is not looking for people to acknowledge Him, but to know Him. It takes a heart to heart, daily relationship with Jesus to actually be a Christian.
In the midst of Lehman’s search, a patient of his confronted him one day with the question: “Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as you personal Savior?” He didn’t know what to say so he just exited the room. He grappled with the matter for the next two days. He had to admit his attitude had been bad toward everyone around him, but he didn’t know how to change that.
Paul E. Little encountered several crucial questions about the Christian faith during his twenty-five years as a university speaker and teacher. For example, Is Christianity Rational? Is Christ God? Did Christ Rise From the Dead? Are the Bible Documents Reliable? Do Science and Scripture Agree? Why Does God Allow Suffering? And more . . .
Little uses these questions to jog readers’ thinking and help them examine their present worldviews, preparing them to answer others out of the wellspring of their own certainty.
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Lehman finally surrendered his heart to Jesus. He asked God to forgive him and help him live his life in a renewed way. Looking back he said, “I was completely peaceful. Something was really different. I had been changed. Since the day I was saved, I’ve never felt alone. I’ve never felt empty. I’ve never felt all that discontentment and stuff.” His wife added, “I feel like I’ve got a new husband.”
As a new believer he continued with some final thoughts: “Every other religion is man seeking God. Christianity is God seeking man. The real test of Christianity is you call on Him, you put Him to the test, He’s not just going to forgive your sins, He’s going to show you so that you know that it’s true. That’s the big difference.”
Just A Dream
Jimmy Clanton was a teenage idol back in the late 50s. One of the songs he wrote, Just A Dream, catapulted him to super stardom; of course there were other songs too. His records charted in the U.S. Top 40 seven times! But this particular song–on the Ace Record label–reached number four on the Billboard chart and sold almost two million copies. Imagine that!
Jimmy grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In high school, he played in a band called The Rockets. They played everywhere the doors opened to them. Then in 1958, he and his band traveled to New Orleans to make their first record. They also auditioned for the President of Ace records who was very impressed and signed Jimmy to his label as a solo artist.
That summer, Just a Dream, hit the airwaves and Jimmy Clanton became an
overnight success. His single sold over 1,750,000 copies in just a few weeks. Jimmy was also invited to American Bandstand, where he received his first gold record from Dick Clark.
In an interview with MyBestYears.com, Jimmy was asked what it was like to become so famous so quickly. He replied, “It was a whirlwind that is still hard for me to believe, even after all these years.” he added, “Elvis Presley, after hearing Just a Dream, invited me to Graceland for a visit.” The two became good friends over the years.
From then on, Jimmy Clanton was a household name. He performed with many greats like Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brenda Lee, the Platters, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Frankie Ford, The Beach Boys, and Chubby Checker to name a few.
Clanton honed his acting skills as well. He played lead roles in movies like Go Johnny Go, and Teenage Millionaire. And if that isn’t enough for one lifetime,
Clanton was inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame, which also has inducted such performers as Tex Ritter, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top and B. J. Thomas. Then in 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Additionally, Clanton received several awards for his music. His best songs were, Just a Dream, A Letter to an Angel, Ship on a Stormy Sea, and Venus in Blue Jeans. Each sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs.
In the middle of all these accolades and awards, there is one more thing that stands out about the great Jimmy Clanton. It is reported on Wikipedia, that Jimmy had a “religious conversion” in the 1980s. As he explained to MyBestYears.com, God pursued Jimmy in a very special way. Here’s his story:
Since it was first published more than twenty years ago, The Way of the Heart has helped millions of men and women cast off the anger and greed that trouble the world–and find love, compassion, and peace in the heart of God.
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“I happened to be home and watched a Christian television program. It was a real miracle, because where we lived at the time in Pennsylvania, our home was in a valley, and there was no cable or anything. We didn’t have a satellite dish or anything. Television with the “rabbit ears” was spotty, at best. Anyway, the person on the TV really spoke to me. My wife Roxanne and my girls had been praying for me for some time, and their prayers were definitely answered. Before the television program was over, I prayed to accept Jesus Christ into my life. It was the beginning of so many new directions.”
Jimmy is still performing today. Most recently, this author saw him perform live at the Artists Music Guild Awards Show. But briefly meeting him off camera was special too, because at once, I could tell he loves Jesus. It showed in his mannerism and in the way he spoke to others. That in itself is a wonderful testimony. It attests to the fact that no matter how much one accomplishes in life, no matter how big of a star one might become, no matter how well known one is or how much money one has, each one of us needs Jesus. The Lord makes such a difference in people’s lives. Like Jimmy says, “It took a lot of time to get cleaned up, and I’m still a pilgrim on the path, so to speak, but God has sure done a lot for me.” How about you?
Support Our Troops This Christmas
This is a story about a lady named Laura and a man called “Charlie”. It was the week before Christmas and Laura had prayed about how she could help make a nice Christmas for our troops overseas. She visited www.anysoldier.com and found a list of what was needed.
Laura spent the next two months gathering donations from schools and the community. Her wish was coming true; she gathered so much she worried about the cost of mailing but Laura was determined to mail it all.
She arrived at the post office. There, an elderly, silver-haired gentleman held the door for her. He asked her where the packages were going, and if she had family in the military. As he learned of her mission he asked why she was doing this. Laura explained how she had asked God to help her bless the soldiers and how He had directed her. Then Charlie asked what he could do. Laura said a couple of dollars to go toward the shipping would be nice. He said he would help.
While packages were being weighed they talked a bit about life, soldiers, family, work, and religion. Then Laura went next door to get a coffee. When she returned he was still there. Charlie began to share that he was a veteran and had also proudly served our country years ago. He knew how important a package from home could be.
The clerk completed his tally. Laura was shocked. The packages would cost $170 to ship! She didn’t have that kind of money. Without hesitating Charlie paid for the entire mailing! Laura was stunned and tried to refuse his help. But a lady standing nearby said, “Don’t refuse his offer. It would ruin a blessing for him.” Charlie agreed. So Laura accepted the blessing with a grateful heart and all people in the store had tears in their eyes. It was a wonderful thing, that a complete stranger would fulfill her wish to help our troops, so far away from home at Christmas time.
Then Laura had another surprise. Charlie handed her $500 for future mailing expenses. Laura was speechless. This man’s love, compassion, and willingness to give was saintly. Others in the room were also a witness to this tender, giving side of the human spirit. Laura thanked Charlie again as he disappeared into the night saying, “Merry Christmas to you all.”
Laura put her extra funds to good use. The next day she went shopping and brought another batch of packages to mail. The fee was almost $500. Charlie had given enough to cover the entire amount and more.
This has been a story about Christmas “Charlie”. But it takes someone like Laura to find a “Charlie sized blessing”. God is looking for Laura’a and Charlie’s in this world. It takes a sensitive person to hear God’s call and be willing to answer it. There are no shortage of needs, though. And our deployed men and women in uniform who protect us have sacrificed being with their families and loved ones during Christmas and through the year.
Would you like to be a Laura? Do you know any Charlie’s that would be willing to help. Maybe you’d like to take that role. Either way, please take a minute to go to visit www.anysoldier.com and be a blessing to our military heroes. It would be a wonderful thing to do.
The Music and Life of
Fanny J. Crosby
Giftedness seems to descend through family lines. Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted at organizing, or running a business, or drawing and art work, or singing? Remember the well loved crooner, Bing Crosby? You’ll never guess who he descended from: the great Fanny J. Crosby.
Miss Fanny was very musical. She learned to play piano, organ, harp, and guitar. But you need to know one more thing . . . she was blind.
When Miss Fanny was just six weeks old, she caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. In those days–the early 1800s–folks did the best they could. So they applied mustard poultices to her eyes, hoping to relieve the discharge, but the treatment seemed to have damaged her optic nerves instead. Modern doctors believe her blindness was congenital.
Crosby said, “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for allowing it. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”
Fanny Crosby was an only child, born March 24, 1820, about 50 miles north of New York city. From the age of ten, she memorized five chapters of the Bible each week; by age fifteen, she had memorized the four Gospels, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, the first five books of the Law known as the Pentateuch, and many of the Psalms.
Miss Fanny married Alexander van Alstyne, Jr. In the summer of 1843. In 1859, they had a daughter named Frances who died in her sleep soon after birth, probably from SIDS. It is said that Crosby’s hymn, Safe in the Arms of Jesus, was inspired by her death.
Crosby is one of the most well known hymn writers in history. In fact, she was known as the “Queen of Gospel Song Writers” and the “Mother of modern congregational singing in America”, with most American hymnals containing her work. She wrote more than 8,000 hymns and Gospel songs. Books containing her lyrics sold over 100 million copies and Crosby donated most of her royalties to worthy causes.
Some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, so she used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.
Miss Fanny, in describing her hymn-writing process said, “It may seem a little old-fashioned, always to begin one’s work with prayer, but I never undertake a hymn without first asking the Lord to be my inspiration.” She aimed to reach a million people for the Lord, and prayed her hymns would bring men and women to Christ.
Throughout her life, Crosby was described as having “a fear of wealth”. She never set prices for her speaking engagements and “what little she did accept she gave away almost as soon as she got it”. She and her husband also organized concerts, with half the proceeds given to aid the poor. She said, “From the time I received my first check for my poems, I made up my mind to open my hand wide to those who needed assistance.”
This classic reprint is an account of Fanny J. Crosby’s life as told by herself, as only she could tell it. Though millions have sung her hymns, this book will help you get to know Fanny personally. Read it today!
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Some of Crosby’s best-known songs include, Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home, Praise Him, Praise Him, Rescue the Perishing, and To God Be the Glory.
Crosby met and was praised by John Quincy Adams, President James K. Polk, and President Grover Cleveland. She died at Bridgeport, February 12, 1915 after a six month illness resulting in a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 94. Her family erected a very small tombstone at her request which carried the words, “Aunt Fanny: She hath done what she could; Fanny J. Crosby”.
Fanny J. Crosby was a true hero for Jesus. Her testimony serves to challenge every believer to dedicate and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christian believers do the work of God, people’s lives change. Are you a Christian? If so, how are you serving Him today?
Looking For His Father
The Life Of Steve McQueen
His mother was an alcoholic who married and divorced several times which left Steve growing up with several stepfathers but no real father figure in his life. As a result, Steve McQueen, the Hollywood star dubbed “the King of Cool” grew up a troubled kid.
In 1947, McQueen joined the United States Marine Corps and saved the lives of five other marines during an Arctic exercise, pulling them from a tank before it broke through the ice into the sea.
Later, Steve McQueen became famous for the TV series Wanted dead or Alive. His 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 fastback became famous too, from the movie Bullitt; the fast driving car was used in other chase movies as well.
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries had the chance to write about McQeen’s journey. In an interview with The Lake County Record-Bee, Laurie uncovered many interesting details about McQueen’s life. He explains that while performing hair-raising motorcycle stunts and car chases he may have seemed larger than life on screen but he was very much human and in every way an ordinary man. He didn’t grow up in a stable family. He didn’t have wealth or education. He was arrested and spent some time in a chain gang. It all seems exciting and yes, he found fame, fortune, drugs and women, but he grew tired of it all.
A major turning point for McQueen came on a day when he was supposed to have gone to a party at the home of pregnant actress, Sharon Tate. For some reason McQueen missed that party. It was at that party that Sharon Tate and four other people in her home were murdered by Charles Manson and members of the Manson family. McQueen should’ve been there that day and “that freaked him out,” he said.
Like many others, the realization of his mortality led McQueen on a spiritual quest to fill that hole in his heart. He said, “I was looking for my father, but deep down I was looking for God just like everyone does.”
Leonard DeWitt, pastor of Ventura Missionary Church said in his book that McQueen found his church through Sammy Mason, a flight instructor. Steve had hired him to teach him how to fly his newly purchased yellow bi-plane. McQueen said there was something about Sammy that he couldn’t put his finger on and when he asked him, Mason said, “It must be my relationship with Jesus Christ.”
McQueen began to attend Pastor DeWitt’s church and become a born-again Christian there. Just six months later, McQueen learned he had end-stage mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He was given only a few months to live. Even as he was undergoing cancer treatments in Mexico, he talked to his therapist about his faith. Soon he learned his days were numbered, so he requested a meeting with the Rev. Billy Graham. During their meeting, Reverend Graham gave McQueen his personal Bible and prayed with him.
McQueen was a complex, contradictory man who lived the same way he drove his motorcycles and cars: fearlessly, ruthlessly and at top speed. Author, Greg Laurie, will follow the seeds of Christianity that were sown throughout McQueen’s improbable life where a Light finally shone into the darkness of his troubled life.
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McQueen died four days after that meeting with Graham’s Bible resting on his chest. His son, Chad, found his father the next morning. His eyes were open and his hands were clutching his Bible. He was 50 years old.
When we experience pain, we can either become bitter or better. People can change for the better and the story of Steve McQueen is proof of that. His life was changed by accepting the love of a Father, who became his heavenly Father. He was given only a few months to live but he but he lives on in eternity. When it comes to salvation, not much separates us from movie stars and celebrities. God accepts all who will accept His Son, Jesus Christ, even the king of cool, Terence Steven McQueen, (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980).
Miracle On 34th Street
Remember that old movie classic, Miracle On 34th Street? It’s about an elderly gentleman that presents himself as the real Santa Claus. The original movie came out in 1947. A remake also came out in 1955, 1973 and again in 1994. The film won three Academy Awards and is shown on television every Christmas.
The movie is all about Kris Kringle. In the story–as tradition would have it–Macy’s is getting ready to present their annual Thanksgiving parade. Just as things are about to get started, the store Santa becomes drunk and unable to carry out his role. So they hurriedly try to find a replacement and spot a bearded, elderly man who seems perfect for the part. Doris, the store supervisor, pleads with him to take the job. He agrees and introduces himself as Kris Kringle. He does so well in the parade that he is immediately hired to be Macy’s store Santa for the holidays.
The children come to meet him and tell him their Christmas wishes. They soon begin to believe that Kringle is the real Santa, but Doris is having second thoughts about his hire. In an effort to be kind, this deluded St. Nick starts sending customers to shop elsewhere when they can’t find the items they need at Macy’s. Doris is amazed when Mr. Macy embraces the idea, thinking it’s a great customer-service “gimmick”.
Kris finds a place to live during his off-duty hours. He ends up sharing a room with lawyer, Fred Gailey, who is sweet on Doris. Kris hopes to bring the two together, and also hopes he can lift Susan’s spirits, (Doris’s little girl), as she has experienced many Christmas disappointments.
Meanwhile, Kringle’s antics at the department store call for an evaluation by a psychologist who declares him to be a lunatic and should be locked up at Bellvue. So his lawyer friend, Fred, ends up defending him at a court hearing. What follows is a very interesting case about how it is that Kris Kringle actually could be the real Santa Claus. Ah, yes. It is truly a heart-warming story. It would be so wonderful if movies like this were still made.
A cherished holiday family tradition.
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Christmas is a favorite time of year for many folks. It’s a time when hope and faith seem to be renewed in our hearts. Just like the young girl in the story, Miracle On 34th Street, we too can believe in miracles, because the greatest miracle of all was given to us 2000 years ago: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
God sent His only begotten Son. He was born of the virgin, Mary, surrounded by lowly farm animals. He was laid in a manger-trough in the inn keeper’s stable. And yet He was a King. He was the living Son of God who became a man for a season. He was born to serve and to die for all mankind, so that anyone who believes in Him would not die, but would live and have eternal life.
When a person accepts Christ’s sacrifice for their sins and receives Christ into their heart, they become born “anew” or born-again. Anyone who has had their life changed through the miracle of salvation knows that God is a God of miracles. And God is still in the miracle business today. Will you seek Him this Christmas? Will you surrender your heart to Him? You, too, can experience the wonderful love God . . . and that my friend is so much greater than anything “Santa” could offer. For help with “How To Become A Christian, visit: https://kathyveer.com/become-a-christian/
How It All Happened
The Christmas Story
This week, we offer you an original Christmas poem written by R. Douglas Veer. We wish all of you a blessed Christmas and God’s will fulfilled for you and your family in 2019.
How It All Happened
The Christmas story
Isaiah listened to the Lord,
and in obedience
“A child will be born to a woman
of total innocence.”
She will be pure and He will be,
And on His shoulders He will carry
the weight of the whole world.
Isaiah just repeated
what the Lord had spoken to him,
but many years would pass
before that marvelous life would begin.
Time had passed on and One was chosen
to be the mother . . . a virgin,
who would give birth to the One who would carry,
the world and all its burdens.
A virgin child? How could that be?
How could she birth a child?
Nothing like this had ever been heard.
This was way too wild!
She was espoused to marry a man
of excellent reputation;
one who had not been with her
in an intimate situation.
And yet an Angel spoke to him
and told him, “Do not fear.
Take this child and treasure her,
and the child you will hold dear.”
So the man obeyed the Angel
and took her as his wife,
even after she gave birth
to a precious little life.
And the girl became a woman,
a wife and mother too,
because she trusted the Angel
who told her what to do.
She married the man . . . he married her
. . . and just as the Angel told,
He became the Savior of the World,
a world that was so cold.
A world that was so cold with hate,
that it rejected Him,
and would not follow in His steps,
and walk away from Sin.
Could they have been so wrong, so wrong?
That they just couldn’t see?
Couldn’t they see how much He loved them;
enough to set them free?
Well years have passed since Isaiah spoke,
God’s prophetic Word,
and the child was born to the virgin
and now mankind has heard
that if we listen closely
to what God has spoken here,
we’ll see how trust and obedience
has triumphed over fear.
God sent His Son to keep us free
and offer life to us,
and all He asks is that we give
Him the right to win our Trust.
If man back then could listen . . .
and God they would obey,
you and I can do the same,
and trust in Him today.
ISAIAH SAW THE GLORY OF JESUS
This study in Isaiah is ideal for individual, Church, or home Bible study groups. It examines the numerous ways Isaiah saw Jesus and His glory. Many “code words” used to identify Yeshua–Jesus–are explained. Once Isaiah’s use of these code words is learned, Isaiah will come alive to the reader as never before. These lessons will: Provide an in-depth view of Isaiah’s “end-times” prophecies and their implications for us, for the Church, for Israel, the Middle East and the world at large Reveal the danger of disconnecting modern Israel and its people from prophetic promises made to them centuries ago Allow Scripture to interpret and explain Scripture, underscoring the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word Examine the unity of Scripture and the fulfillment of prophetic events–past, present and future Students will come away with a new sense of urgency to apply what they have learned and to share it with others.
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Matthew 16: 26, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but
lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”