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DECEMBER 2004
ISSUE HOMEPAGE

A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Treehouse
'Tis the Season
The Joy of Family
The Rhythm of Life
We Are the Church


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From the Editor -
Diane Exner
A Woman's World
Featured Article

The Dawn of Redeeming Grace
By Diane Exner

'How will I ever get through this day?' Annie thought to herself as she wandered aimlessly through the park. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed, she crumpled onto the bench at the edge of the path.

Seeing a grandmother and young girl walking toward her, Annie tried to look away. The young child reminded her too much of her own daughter, who had lost her life because of a drunk driver. Closing her eyes, she recalled the scene. It was Christmas Eve, they were coming to play in this very park, but before they could cross the street, it happened.

Annie had pushed the button for the crosswalk lights and started across. Charity was only two steps ahead of her. Annie was still holding her hand, when the car came from nowhere. The front corner of the car threw her daughter back to the sidewalk as if she were a rag doll. The car kept on driving as if nothing had happened. She was stunned; frozen in her tracks. Repeatedly this scene replayed in her mind, and again she would see the lifeless body lying on the snow-covered sidewalk.

She had found out later that it was a drunk driver. The police had found the car and driver crashed into a dumpster only a couple blocks away. The driver passed out at the wheel.

Annie opened her eyes, not wanting to relive that moment anymore. The images were vividly burned on her brain, even though it had happened two years ago.

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Peaceful Moments
By Marie Williams

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace." (Ephesians 2:13-15 KJV)

It is 5:00am and my sleepy community is slowly awakening. Stepping into my office, the moon is at its peak of beauty. Brilliant and luminous, it casts light on the glistening grass still moist from the early morning dew.

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Christmas in the Lamb
Roberta J. Kittrell

As the Christmas season draws nigh, my thoughts go back to a Christmas I will never forget – Christmas 1999.

I had retired from my job a little over a year before to become the loving all day, every day, caregiver to the younger of my two sisters, Barbara (Babs). God had taken us on many journeys during that time. She was taken into the world of home IV therapy.

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MomsJust a Thought
By Diane Exner

'Truly Blessing Someone with a Homemade Gift'

If you are a crafter, as I am, you will to relate to my latest discovery – 'Truly Blessing Someone with a Homemade Gift', before they receive it.

One such project I’ve taken on this winter is making a 'Memory Scrapbook Album' for people I dearly love. I also discovered how I could have confidence that this gift will be a blessing to them, even as I am making it. As I was working on a particular section of the book, I found myself starting to pray for that aspect of their lives.

For example, during the 'Wedding Day' pages, I started praying for this couple's marriage, for it to be strong and forever fruitful. Another page brought prayers for their children, that their relationships would be strong and full of love. I pray these same things for my own family, so why wouldn't I take this time to bless someone else with the same sorts of prayers?

My Challenge to You …

This month, consider making presents for your friends and family for Christmas. Not only will the gift be a blessing when they receive it, but even before they receive it, you will have blessed them through prayer and brought them to the attention of God in heaven.

When I receive a homemade gift, I cherish it that much more because I know the time, effort and love that went into making it.

Merry Christmas everyone, and have fun being a creative blessing.