To all our Christian Banner readers, we wish you a wonderful Christmas and the best year ever!
Virgil and Lela Trotter
His Name at the Top
Written by: Author Unknown
Submitted by: Lela Trotter
I had the nicest Christmas list,
The longest one in town,
Till Daddy looked at it and said,
"You'll have to cut it down."
I knew that what he said was true
Beyond the faintest doubt,
But was amazed to hear him say,
"You've left your best friend out."
And so I scanned my list again,
And said, "Oh, that's not true!"
But Daddy said, "His name's not there,
That Friend who died for you."
And then I clearly understood,
'Twas Jesus that he meant.
For Him who should come first of all
I hadn't planned a cent!
I'd made a Christmas birthday list,
And left the Saviour out!
But, oh, it didn't take me long
To change the list about.
And though I've had to drop some names
of folks I like a lot,
My Lord must have the most---because
His name is at the top!
All You Can
Written by: Frankie L. Morton
Submitted by: Alice Harrelson
Serve the Lord all you can
Read the Bible all you can
Make all the friends you can
while you’re going through this land
When it comes to money
waste none but make all you can
So you can help your fellow man
Go to church all you can
Love one another all you can
Be cheerful all you can
Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you all you can
One Christmas Eve
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright
One Christmas Eve, cold and damp
While sitting by the old kerosene lamp
Thoughts of that first Christmas came to mind
And suddenly I was frozen back in time
Herod had taxed all the world, showing no pity
For each had to register in their own city
Mary and Joseph were on the road to Bethlehem
And being great with child, what would happen to them?
No room at the Inn was the cry!
But perhaps because they were poor, were they being denied?
Mary being somewhat alarmed
Joseph tries to comfort her in his arms
A crude old stable was the only source to be found
And the animals must have known this child was special, for they gathered all around
And soon a child was born
On that special Christmas morn
A child, a perfect delicate rose,
Lying in a manager, wrapped in swaddling clothes!
Shepherds on a hillside, watching their sheep
While others perhaps were caught up in sleep
Then the angel of the Lord did appear!
And they were filled with much fear!
All the shepherds fell to their knees
That angel softly spoke and said “Be not afraid” for the Lord has sent me
I bring you good tidings of great joy
For Mary has given birth to a baby boy!
He is the Savior, Christ the Lord
And suddenly the heavenly host rejoiced in one accord!
And there in the east, stood a bright and shining star
That led the wisemen from afar
And lo the star stopped at the Savior’s bed
And shone brightly all around his head
They worshipped Him, and presented Him with frankincense, gold and myrrh
But not all rejoiced at the good news, for evil was on the earth
So being warned in a dream, the wisemen journeyed home another way
For God planned that this tiny babe would be crowned king one day!
Soon its Christmas morn and church bells were ringing
And the wind blowing through the trees seems to be singing
Perhaps I had awaken from a dream too
But how do I explain the sand upon my shoe?
And as I pondered upon this gift we had all received
I marveled at how it all must have begun that “one Christmas eve”!
Written & submitted by: Pat Lewallen
I recently saw a sign at a local company offering second chance financing. This sign caused me to stop and think about the difficult financial times we live in today. Many of us know loved ones and friends who have lost jobs. So many people are in a daily struggle just to make ends meet. For many, the struggle has become too much. They have defaulted on a loan and lost a vehicle. Many have lost their home because they could no longer afford to pay their house payments. I was so glad to see a local company advertising they are willing to give folks that are struggling a second chance.
There are several times in life that we as humans have to ask for a second chance. Sometimes people hurt someone they love and have to ask for a second chance to make things right again. Some people get into trouble with the law and have to pay for what they have done. Some people can learn from their mistakes, and if given a second chance, can live a happy and successful life.
Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. He lived a sinless life on this earth. He suffered and died on a cruel old rugged cross for our sins. Jesus died to give us as human beings a second chance to be saved from our sins. It’s a natural thing for us as humans to sin. The Bible declares: Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. Job 5:7 (NIV version)
The Bible is full of the stories of people who took advantage of second chances in their lives. Maybe your life hasn’t turned out the way you would like and you need a second chance. I have great news for you! Jesus offers second chances! All you have to do is ask God, through Jesus name, to forgive your sins, wipe the slate clean, come into your heart and give you a second chance to live for Him.
If the Lord has been dealing with your heart, please don’t put off asking the Lord for a second chance. Once your earthly life ends, you’ve run out of second chances. No one can pray you out of Hell and torment. And this torment will last for all eternity. Jesus is waiting for you to ask Him to forgive you and save you right now. Please don’t turn Him away. You may never get another chance.
People Need the Lord
From song written by: Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh
Every day they pass me by, I can see it in their eye;
Empty people filled with care, headed who knows where.
On they go through private pain, living fear to fear.
Laughter hides the silent cries only Jesus hears.
People need the Lord. People need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He’s the open door.
People need the Lord. People need the Lord.
When will we realize, People need the Lord.
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness or RACK
Written by: Kristina Kerns
In a world where we’re constantly reminded to put ourselves first, it’s even more important that around the holidays we, as Christians, spread Jesus’ love and put others before ourselves. We’ve all heard of doing random acts of kindness.. but have you heard of RACK? RACK stands for random acts of Christmas kindness. This version is a Christmas countdown that will encourage children and remind ourselves to give, serve and help others throughout the holiday season. And if you’re thinking you just don’t have anymore time to add one more thing to your already busy schedule, think again. This is such a simple activity that will help us all experience the true meaning of this glorious season.
We are here on earth to serve others and to spread God’s love to those around us. While our intention is to serve and bless others, we in turn become the ones who are truly blessed. It truly is far better to give than to receive.
- Buy the lunch of the person behind you in the drive thru line
- Purchase toys for kids in need (Toys for Tots, Angel Tree, etc.)
- Donate blood
- Collect canned goods for a local food pantry
- Pay for Santa pictures for someone at the mall
- Buy coffee for a stranger, a coworker or even your child’s teacher
- Leave a present in your mailbox for your mail carrier
- Ring Salvation Army bells
- Hand out Starbucks gift cards ($5.00 each) at the mall
- Pay the past due library fees for five people
- Sing carols at a local nursing home
- Adopt a local classroom and give them needed school supplies
- Bring treats to the employees at your local post office
- Donate books to a school library in need
- Bring lunch for a coworker or your child’s teacher
- Buy hot cocoa for someone ringing the Salvation Army bells
- Leave a generous tip for a hardworking waitress
- Hand out pretty Christmas flowers at a nursing home or at the mall
- Bake and deliver cupcakes to the local library
- Buy a solider and his/her family dinner
- Take an all night drug store employee a special treat (it’s no fun to work on Christmas Eve!!)
- Since Christmas falls on Sunday this year, take your Pastor a special treat or plate of cookies
- Visit a lonely widow or widower who can’t attend church anymore.
- Call a family member or a friend and wish them “Merry Christmas”.
- Attend church with your family.
Seven Reasons Why Jesus was Born
- Because of mankind’s sin.
- God wanted to reveal His own character to humanity.
- To remove the sins of humankind through a perfect sacrifice
- For mankind to have a Mediator.
- To provide the promised seed of Abraham
- To make God’s spirit available to all humankind.
- For God to redeem mankind.
Written by: Mark Bullock
Submitted & Copied by: Lela Trotter
When you ask God in the morning
For His guidance through the day
Thank Him for the many blessings
He in love has sent your way.
When you’re asking aid from Heaven
Mingle with your morning prayer
A word of praise and gratitude
For all His kindly care.
When you send up your petition
To the throne of grace on high
Thank Him for the many favors
That His mercy does supply.
Be more mindful of the blessings
That His kindness does impart
And the Lord will doubly bless you
For the joy you brought His heart.
A Tit-Bit of History on the First Thanksgiving
Written & Submitted by: Irene Wright
The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and was brought to Europe in the 16th century. They were initially used for their feathers and not their meat or eggs as they have been used extensively since that time!
Although there is not any real evidence of turkey being served at the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving, there was mention of wild turkeys written in a book by their Governor, William Bradford. In 1621, he proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving that was shared by all the colonists and native Indians. The custom was usually held after each harvest which was actually thought to have taken place in October instead of the month of November. The harvest meal usually consisted of fruits, vegetables, canned fish, cured meat, and corn. The harvest carried them through the winter!
In the 1770’s, a day of national Thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the 4th Thursday of every year during the month of November as the appointed Thanksgiving Day!
A turkey farmer was always experimenting with breeding to perfect a better turkey. His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there were never enough legs for everyone. After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the general store get together. "Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has 6 legs!"
They all asked the farmer how it tasted.
"I don't know" said the farmer. "I never could catch it.”
Warning Found in a Church Bulletin
Latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating in many of our churches. They have been identified as: Bin Sleepin, Bin Arguin, Bin Fightin, Bin Complainin, and Bin Missin.
Their leader, Lucifer Bin Workin, trained these groups to destroy the Body of Christ. The plan is to come into the church disguised as Christians and to work within the church to discourage, disrupt, and destroy.
However, there have been reports of a sixth group. A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin is actually the only effective counter terrorism force in the church. Unlike other terrorist cells, the Bin Prayin team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes along.
Bin Prayin does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the Body of Christ. We have noticed that the Bin Prayin cell group has different characteristics than the others. They have Bin Watchin, Bin Waitin, Bin Fastin, and Bin Longin for their Master, Jesus Christ to return.
NO CHURCH IS EXEMPT! (However, you can spot them if you bin lookin and bin goin.)
PECANS IN THE CEMETERY
On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucket full of pecans and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the pecans. 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,' said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.
Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.' He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off.
Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. 'Come here quick,' said the boy, 'you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.' The man said, 'Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk.' When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.
Standing by the fence they heard , 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.' The old man whispered, 'Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord.'
Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.
At last they heard, 'One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done.' They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.
I Miss My Friend
Written & Submitted by: Pat Lewallen
LC Fran, oh how I miss her
My precious four legged friend.
The last day I saw her I didn’t know
I’d never get to see her again.
We met in 1996 after Hurricane Fran,
That’s why “Fran” was in her name.
I found out after only one feeding
She liked me; my home she did claim.
LC Fran was an outside cat,
I’d let her come inside to eat her meal.
She liked this time away from dogs,
And her food they couldn’t steal.
Growing up I never liked cats.
My sister always had at least one stray.
Each cat would learn real quickly
I didn’t like cats and not to get in my way.
I had always heard an old saying
“You never own a cat, they own you.”
LC Fran taught me I could love a cat
And that old saying - oh yes, it’s true!
One year has passed since
LC Fran and I had to part.
I’m glad she came into my life,
Her memories I keep in my heart.
I don’t know all about Heaven.
I don’t know how cats fit into God’s plan.
But if He’s reserved them a place too
I’ll want to see my LC Fran!
Psalm 9:1 (KJV)
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
Psalm 100:4 (KJV)
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psalm 105:1-2 (KJV)
O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
A Turkey’s Point of View
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright
(A little humor for these trying times. I pray everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!)
I was feeling great this morning, strutting all about
When I heard someone begin to shout
Could it be a hunter I see?
Lurking behind those trees!
Scratching my head in disbelief, pondering upon soon becoming an unlucky dude
I was suddenly in such a “fowl” mood!
Tried to “gobble” my way out of the situation
But he could not understand my “pronunciation”
So I will have to admit
I was about to have a “turkey” fit!
Calmly, the hunter said, ‘“Why are you so stressed?”
“Soon you will be ready and “dressed!”
Although you’re looking a little thinner
You are still invited to our Thanksgiving dinner.”
Sweating from head to toe
I said, “I really wasn’t planning to go!”
“I’m surprised” he remarked,
Not caring it was getting dark!
Said you should be thankful on this Thanksgiving Day!
Count your blessings along the way!
So with one last sigh
I soon replied,
“It is not gratitude I feel
When I always end up as the main course meal!”
If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Why did Johnny get such low grades after Thanksgiving?
Because everything is marked down after the holidays.
Why did the turkey cross the road?
It was the chicken’s day off.
Why was the turkey the drummer in the band?
Because he had the drumsticks.
What happened when the turkey got into a fight?
He got the stuffing knocked out of him.