A Merry Heart
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Light In
The Darkness

The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Tis The Season

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Volume 3, Issue 4 - December 2006

"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, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

~ Isaiah 9:6 NIV ~

Hello and Happy Christmas! May it be a time of great blessing and joy for you and your loved ones as you celebrate the birth of our Savior and King.

It seems impossible to believe that this very special day is only weeks away again. Amidst all the preparations, I hope you'll take some time out to enjoy this month's Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine. As always, there's something for everyone--including the youngest members of the family.

Have you ever stopped to think what it would have been like if Jesus had been born today? I know I've often tried to put myself into Mary's place--a teenage, unwed mother at a time in history when such a woman was not looked on with compassion or grace. Today, attitudes have changed quite dramatically, and in a relatively short space of time; however, the more things change, the more they often stay the same when it comes to our own families and our own circumstances.

From the Editor: Our authors were invited to write a story or article based on the theme: "If Jesus was Born Today." A group of readers then chose their favorite story from those that were submitted, and the vast majority chose this wonderful piece by one of our favorite writers from New Zealand, Christine Miles. I am certain you will enjoy "The Family Reunion that Wasn't."

The Family Reunion that Wasn't
By Christine Miles

"Mum? Dad? Joseph and I need to talk to you. Can we come for dinner tomorrow night?" Mary's knuckles gleamed white as she clutched her cell phone. She tried to keep the wobble from her voice. Joseph straddled the park bench beside her, reaching out to press his hand reassuringly against Mary's back as a lone tear trickled down her face.

"This will kill my parents," Mary whispered to Joseph as she slid the phone into her jeans pocket. "I can't begin to imagine them believing about the angel, and Dad's going to get a really hard time from the church elders."

Joseph nodded. When Mary had told him she was pregnant, he had wanted to run. Shame coursed through him as he recalled his cowardice-he'd thought of himself first, ...

Read Complete Article...

So with that thought in mind, I asked our writers to consider how it may have been if our Savior had arrived today, instead of 2,000 years ago--and our front page featured story is the result. One of our favorite writers from New Zealand, Christine Miles, has captured the idea brilliantly with her story "The Family Reunion that Wasn't." This is a respectful and quite beautiful piece of writing.

I really don't know what it was about it, but the last sentence brought a tear to my eye and helped me to appreciate even more the lowliness of our Savior's birth. Perhaps we have sterilized the nativity so much, with its gentle barnyard animals, clean straw and shining halos, that we often forget the scene was anything but pristine. It was a harsh and dirty entrance into the world for the King of kings, and I believe that's where Christine's story helps to bring some concept of that uncomfortable and unwelcomed entry to the world back to the forefront of our minds. I hope you enjoy "The Family Reunion that Wasn't."

As promised, there's something very special for our younger readers in this month's Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine, and I really hope many parents will take the time this month to read this special Tree House story to their little ones. Cassie Memmer has written a quite delightful piece called "The Littlest Star." Not only is this a very sweet Christmas story, it also carries a wonderful message for all of us about the plan and purpose God has for each of our lives. Whatever your age, I'm sure you'll be blessed by The Littlest Star.

There are no prizes for guessing that December is the Season for Christmas, but it is also the season for Hanukkah, and I am thrilled to be able to include a wonderful short story by Joanne Sher in our 'Tis the Season department. "Lesson Learned" definitely taught me something about both the significance of Hanukkah, and also a little about the persecution of the Jewish people throughout history. If, like me, you don't know much about this annual holiday on the Jewish calendar, then this is a must read.

Whether to include Santa Claus as part of the Christmas celebrations in a Christian family is often a huge decision for parents to make--and it's a personal choice which should never attract the criticism of other people. However, for those families that do decide to include the jolly, fat man in the red suit, there eventually comes a time when one of the children will ask that big question: "Is Santa Claus real?" If a parent isn't prepared, it can leave them tripping over their tongue as they try to find the right answer.

Brad Paulson knows exactly how that feels, but when the time eventually came, he was prepared because he had been given a tiny insight into the role Santa can play in communicating the greater truths of God. If your children are reaching the age where you just know that question is coming, then make sure you read Brad's article, "The True Spirit of Christmas," in The Parent's Survival Guide.

Christmas is a time when our hearts most long to be with the people we love; which is why the death of a loved one at this time of year can seem, if at all possible, even worse. In 1991, Lynda Schultz was dealt a double tragedy. First, her father died in October, and then her mother followed, suddenly, only days before Christmas. The temptation to cancel Christmas must have been so strong, but something Lynda's mother said caused Lynda to make it "A Glorious Christmas" instead. If you are grieving this Christmas, or know of someone who has experienced the death of a loved one, please take time to read this and let God minister to you through Lynda's testimony.

Once again, these are just a few of the highlights in this month's special Christmas edition of FaithWriters' Magazine. There's plenty more to read and enjoy inside, and you can find everything listed on the Contents page.

So from all at FaithWriters, we wish you every blessing this Christmas. May it be a wonderful, peaceful, and joyful celebration.

Happy reading!

Deb Porter
Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine