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Stories tagged with: christmas

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  • Widows and widowers not forgotten in Christmas revelry

    by Michael Smith, posted Friday, December 22, 2017 (29 days ago)

    Photo courtesy of Bob and Karen Davis
    SEARCY, Ark. (BP) -- Bill Roussel has a heart for widows and widowers.

    For years Bill visited with two widows on Sunday mornings at First Baptist Church in Searcy, Ark. One day he told his wife Amy they should do something for the ladies, who had long worked in the children's ministry, to add an extra measure of joy to their lives during the holiday season.

    The Roussels decided to host a Christmas dinner for the church's widows and widowers ... Read More

  • Holiday grief confronts Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (BP) -- Some churches long have held special Christmas services to acknowledge the pain and loss many people feel surrounding the holidays. But in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Las Vegas, sadness and grief are particularly intense this year for those impacted by two senseless tragedies.

    Amid the aftermath of deadly massacres this fall in both cities, pastors there are seeking avenues to bring consolation and comfort.

    The "primary" way to minister to grieving people "isn't a five-step method as much ... Read More

  • CHRISTMAS: No need to grieve alone

    by Jesse Campbell, posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- I just wanted to make her smile once. That was all I wanted that Christmas. I wanted my wife to smile again.

    Christmastime has taken a quantum leap toward the better in my family over the past few years. Our 2012 Christmas was mired in grief with few glimmers of glee. Today, it is conversely defined mostly by joy with sparse speckles of pain.

    The climb out took time and a work of God's Spirit through His Word in our hearts. God's Word can do the same for you and I will share with you how. Just know first ... Read More

  • CHRISTMAS: Herod, Joseph, you & me

    by Michael Kelley, posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 (one month ago)

    Michael Kelley notes how the Herod, volatile and murderous, and Joseph in his humility had something in common: They both recognized they must respond to this infant born in a meager stable. Read More

  • CHRISTMAS MOVIES: Beyond 'Ho, Ho, Ho'

    by Phil Boatwright, posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 (one month ago)

    Phil Boatwright looks beyond traditional Christmastime fare at some cinematic treasures that convey themes for reflection during this season of celebrating Christ's birth. Read More

  • Nazareth mayor: Christmas events not canceled

    by David Roach, posted Monday, December 18, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    NAZARETH, Israel (BP) -- Israeli Arab officials in Nazareth, Jesus' hometown where an angel announced His incarnation to the virgin Mary, have walked back statements that Christmas celebrations there would be canceled to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Meanwhile, when the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, Jesus' birthplace, learned of Trump's Dec. 6 announcement regarding Jerusalem, it briefly switched off the area's Christmas lights in protest, Reuters reported, as did Ramallah in the West Bank. Read More

  • Pew: Christmas celebrations, beliefs less religious

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, December 13, 2017 (one month ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Most Americans believe society is increasingly abandoning the religious aspects of Christmas, according to new Pew Research Center findings, but most Americans are not troubled by the trend.

    Only 32 percent of Americans find the trend troubling, Pew found in the study released Dec. 12. While 56 percent of U.S. adults identified such a trend, a quarter of that group said the trend doesn't bother them.

    Concurrently, Pew said a religious appreciation of the season is declining among individuals themselves. Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Christmas acts of kindness

    by Anthony L. Jordan, posted Friday, December 08, 2017 (one month ago)

    Anthony Jordan sets forth ideas for generous giving and ministry to others that can lift a family's Christmas joy beyond society's holiday focus on retail materialism. Read More

  • Church imparts a heart for missions to its young

    by Grace Thornton, posted Wednesday, December 06, 2017 (one month ago)

    Photo courtesy of Mon-Aetna Baptist Church
    UNION, S.C. (BP) -- After Myra Middlebrook's mother died in 2010, she found some money her mom had tucked away -- and she knew exactly what it was.

    "I knew it was her Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for that year," Middlebrook said. "She put money away all year for missions. She always had."

    For the years that her mother worked, she squirrelled away a portion of her income in a jar each month. Then after she retired, she began a quilting business and gave a 10th of the profits to the annual offering, which goes to fund the work of International Mission Board missionaries overseas. Read More

  • Hark! Skipping Christmas carol verses discouraged

    by David Roach, posted Monday, December 04, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- As worship pastor Andrew Lucius selects songs for Christmas worship, he is considering specific needs in the Georgia congregation he serves. Among his conclusions: singing only the first verse of familiar carols could leave worshipers spiritually malnourished.

    The widow "who's going through the Christmas season the first time this year without her husband ... needs more than the first verse of 'Joy to the World!'" said Lucius, associate pastor of music and worship at Bull Street Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga. "She needs to sing, 'No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ... Read More