YouTube Video, Christmas, and Charlie Brown

Dinner Topics for Thursday

This comment was found at the site of this endearing Charlie Brown video:

keyMy wife teaches in a public elementary school and she told me it was amazing how many of the kids don’t even know the original Christmas story. You know, the shepherds and all. We are swiftly becoming a pagan nation. ~David Heesen (Thanks to the public schools~C.D.)

Linus explains: this is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

In fact, atheists even protested against this Charlie Brown message in a church.  Let’s not be intimidated by bullies who try to keep us from being who we are. Christians have always been persecuted, and it’s not going to go away. Wear it like a badge of honor. Let us not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We can take a lesson from Linus, who inspired Charlie Brown. Watch how all Charlie Brown’s friends had a change of heart and caught the Christmas Spirit.

Christmas Gift Ideas: Young Adult Literature Relevant to Today, will Strengthen Faith and Family

 

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YouTube Video: Disney Christmas Stories for Children

Dinner Topics for Monday

keyEnjoy a little history. This YouTube Video has stories for children, revived from 1933, with a traditional Christmas tree and Christmas songs, before Political Correctness took over both the wonderful Walt Disney legacy, and Christmas.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

DisneycartoonsWalter EliasWaltDisney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon,[3] and philanthropist, well known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world. The corporation is now known as The Walt Disney Company and had an annual revenue of approximately US$36 billion in the 2010 financial year.[4]

Disney is particularly noted as a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created some of the world’s most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself provided the original voice. During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year,[5] giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history.[6] Disney also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

The year after his December 15, 1966 death from lung cancer in Burbank, California, construction began on Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. His brother Roy Disney inaugurated the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971.

Disney was born on December 5, 1901, at 2156 N. Tripp Avenue in Chicago’s Hermosa community area to Irish-Canadian father Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney, who was of German and English descent.[7][8] His great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, had emigrated from Gowran, County Kilkenny, Ireland where he was born in 1801. Arundel Disney was a descendant of Robert d’Isigny, a Frenchman who had travelled to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.[9] With the d’Isigny name anglicised as “Disney”, the family settled in a village now known as Norton Disney, south of the city of Lincoln, in the county of Lincolnshire.

In 1878, Disney’s father Elias had moved from Huron County, Ontario, Canada to the United States at first seeking gold in California before finally settling down to farm with his parents near Ellis, Kansas, until 1884. Elias worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and married Flora Call on January 1, 1888, in Acron, Florida, just 40 miles north of where Walt Disney World would ultimately be developed. The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1890,[10] hometown of his brother Robert[10] who helped Elias financially for most of his early life.[10] In 1906, when Walt was four, Elias and his family moved to a farm in Marceline, Missouri,[11] where his brother Roy had recently purchased farmland.[11] In Marceline, Disney developed his love for drawing[12] with one of the family’s neighbors, a retired doctor named “Doc” Sherwood, paying him to draw pictures of Sherwood’s horse, Rupert.[12] His interest in trains also developed in Marceline, a town that owed its existence to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway which ran through it. Walt would put his ear to the tracks in anticipation of the coming train[8] then try and spot his uncle, engineer Michael Martin, conducting the train.

Teenage years

In 1917, Elias acquired shares in the O-Zell jelly factory in Chicago and moved his family back to the city,[17] where in the fall Disney began his freshman year at McKinley High School and took night courses at the Chicago Art Institute.[18] He became the cartoonist for the school newspaper, drawing patriotic topics and focusing on World War I. Despite dropping out of high school at the age of sixteen to join the army, Disney was rejected for being underage.[19]

After his rejection by the army, Walt and a friend decided to join the Red Cross.[20] Soon after joining he was sent to France for a year, where he drove an ambulance, but only after the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.[21]

Hoping to find work outside the Chicago O-Zell factory,[22] in 1919 Walt moved back to Kansas City to begin his artistic career.[23] After considering whether to become an actor or a newspaper artist, he decided on a career as a newspaper artist, drawing political caricatures or comic strips. But when nobody wanted to hire him as either an artist or even as an ambulance driver, his brother Roy, then working in a local bank, got Walt a temporary job through a bank colleague at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio[23] where he created advertisements for newspapers, magazines, and movie theaters.[24] At Pesmen-Rubin he met cartoonist Ubbe Iwerks[25] and when their time at the studio expired, they decided to start their own commercial company together.[26]

 

Hollywood

Disney and his brother Roy pooled their money and set up a cartoon studio in Hollywood[37] where they needed to find a distributor for Walt’s new Alice Comedies, which he had started making while in Kansas City[35] but never got to distribute. Disney sent an unfinished print to New York distributor Margaret Winkler, who promptly wrote back to him that she was keen on a distribution deal for more live-action/animated shorts based upon Alice’s Wonderland.[38]

Mickey Mouse

Main article: Mickey Mouse

After losing the rights to Oswald, Disney felt the need to develop a new character to replace him, which was based on a mouse he had adopted as a pet while working in his Laugh-O-Gram studio in Kansas City.[41] Ub Iwerks reworked the sketches made by Disney to make the character easier to animate although Mickey’s voice and personality were provided by Disney himself until 1947. In the words of one Disney employee, “Ub designed Mickey’s physical appearance, but Walt gave him his soul.”[41] Besides Oswald and Mickey, a similar mouse-character is seen in the Alice Comedies, which featured “Ike the Mouse”. Moreover, the first Flip the Frog cartoon called Fiddlesticks showed a Mickey Mouse look-alike playing fiddle. The initial films were animated by Iwerks with his name prominently featured on the title cards. Originally named “Mortimer”, the mouse was later re-christened “Mickey” by Lillian Disney who thought that the name Mortimer did not fit. Mortimer later became the name of Mickey’s rival for Minnie – taller than his renowned adversary and speaking with a Brooklyn accent.

walt DisneyThe first animated short to feature Mickey, Plane Crazy was a silent film like all of Disney’s previous works. After failing to find a distributor for the short and its follow-up, The Gallopin’ Gaucho, Disney created a Mickey cartoon with sound called Steamboat Willie. A businessman named Pat Powers provided Disney with both distribution and Cinephone, a sound-synchronization process. Steamboat Willie became an instant success,[42] and Plane Crazy, The Galloping Gaucho, and all future Mickey cartoons were released with soundtracks. After the release of Steamboat Willie, Disney successfully used sound in all of his subsequent cartoons, and Cinephone also became the new distributor for Disney’s early sound cartoons.[43] Mickey soon eclipsed Felix the Cat as the world’s most popular cartoon character[41] and by 1930, despite their having sound, cartoons featuring Felix had faded from the screen after failing to gain attention.[44] Mickey’s popularity would subsequently skyrocket in the early 1930s.[41]

Children

The Disneys’ first attempt at pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Lillian became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter, Diane Marie Disney, on December 18, 1933.[60] Later, the Disneys adopted Sharon Mae Disney (December 31, 1936 – February 16, 1993).[61]

Diane married Ron Miller at the age of 20 and is known as Diane Disney Miller. The Millers established and own a winery called Silverado Vineyards in California.[62] Diane and Ron Miller have seven children: Christopher, Joanna, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter, Ronald and Patrick.[63] Years later, Diane went on to become the cofounder of The Walt Disney Family Museum, with the aid of her children.[60] The museum was created to preserve her father’s image and reach out to millions of Disney fans worldwide.[64] The museum displays a chronological view of Walt Disney’s life through personal artifacts, interactive kiosks and various animations.[64]

Golden age of animation

Following the success of Snow White, for which Disney received one full-size, and seven miniature Oscar statuettes, he was able to build a new campus for the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, which opened for business on December 24, 1939. Snow White was not only the peak of Disney’s success, but also ushered in a period that would later be known as the Golden Age of Animation for the studio.[73][74] Feature animation staff, having just completed Pinocchio, continued work on Fantasia and Bambi as well as the early production stages of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Wind in the Willows while the shorts staff carried on working on the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto cartoon series, ending the Silly Symphonies at this time.[clarification needed More info needed on end of the Silly Symphonies to make a new and separate sentence.] Animator Fred Moore had redesigned Mickey Mouse in the late 1930s after Donald Duck overtook him in popularity among theater audiences.[75]

Pinocchio and Fantasia followed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs into the movie theaters in 1940, but both proved financial disappointments. The inexpensive Dumbo was then planned as an income generator, but during production most of the animation staff went on strike, permanently straining relations between Disney and his artists.

Disney was a founding member of the anti-communist group Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.

Other honors

Walt Disney was the inaugural recipient of a star on the Anaheim walk of stars awarded in recognition of his significant contribution to the city of Anaheim and specifically Disneyland, which is now the Disneyland Resort. The star is located at the pedestrian entrance to the Disneyland Resort on Harbor Boulevard. Disney has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and the other for his television work.

Walt Disney received the Congressional Gold Medal on May 24, 1968 (P.L. 90-316, 82 Stat. 130–131) and the Légion d’Honneur awarded by France in 1935.[120] In 1935, Walt received a special medal from the League of Nations for creation of Mickey Mouse, held to be Mickey Mouse award.[121] He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on September 14, 1964.[122] On December 6, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Walt Disney into the California Hall of Fame located at The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.

A minor planet, 4017 Disneya, discovered in 1980 by Soviet astronomer Lyu

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Dinner Topics Newsletter: Christmas is about Jesus Christ

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December 2016 Dinner Topics Newsletter: Christmas is about Jesus Christ Culture-Wars Dear Friends, Welcome to Epicworld Dinner Topics! CHRISTMAS IS NOT multi-cultural. Christmas is unique to Biblical Culture, for without Christ, there would be no Christmas. It is called Western … Continue reading

Reality of Christmas is Jesus Christ

The Reality of Christmas

By Bishop Gary E. Stevenson

keyWithout Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy.Without the Savior’s birth and Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.

Month-Defining Moment

arrowheadsWhen my father was a boy, he lived in a small town in central Utah near Utah Lake. In the days before the pioneers, Native Americans hunted and fished in the area. Certain locations around the lake became popular for those looking for arrowheads.

At a fathers-and-sons activity when my father was five years old, his ward went to Utah Lake to look for arrowheads. After the group had spent the day searching, my grandfather asked my father whether he had found any arrowheads.

“No, I didn’t find any,” my father replied. Then he reached into his pocket and said, “But I did find this nice rock that is shaped just like a Christmas tree.”

My father had found an arrowhead after all, but he didn’t know it. He held the real thing in his hand, but he didn’t recognize it.

Recognizing the Redeemer

mary-and-joseph-donkeyFor many people today, their vision of what is real and most important—Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world—is blurred by things that are not real.

Recently I saw a television program on Jesus Christ that questioned whether He really was born of the Virgin Mary. Even great professors from esteemed institutions of learning speculated about whether this could be.

Responding to such doubters, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) said: “The so-called scholars seek to convince us that the divine birth of Christ as proclaimed in the New Testament was not divine at all and that Mary was not a virgin at the time of Jesus’ conception. They would have us believe that Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, was His physical father, and that therefore Jesus was human in all attributes and characteristics. They appear generous in their praise of Him when they say that He was a great moral philosopher, perhaps even the greatest. But the import of their effort is to repudiate the divine sonship of Jesus, for on that doctrine rests all other claims of Christianity.”1

I have skied on artificial snow, and I have decorated fake Christmas trees with fake icicles. Sometimes it can be difficult to grasp what is real, especially in a day of virtual reality. So how do we know what is real? How do we obtain a testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ?

We gain a testimony of what is real as we read the word of God in the scriptures—both ancient and modern. We learn the reality of the Savior as we listen to and read the testimonies of living prophets and apostles. We find the truth as we pray “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” (Moroni 10:4). We discover “the right way” as we “believe in Christ, and deny him not” and as we “bow down before him, and worship him with all [our] might, mind, and strength, and [our] whole soul” (2 Nephi 25:29).

Prophecies of Christ’s Birth

isaiahldsScriptures abound that prophesy of the birth of Christ—the first Christmas. We may forget when we read these scriptural prophecies that they were indeed prophecies. They offer great detail about what was going to happen but had not yet happened.

Eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah said, “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).

Six hundred years before the Savior was born, Nephi described a vision he had of the mother of the Son of God:

“I looked and beheld the … city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. …

nativity“And [the angel] said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God . …

“And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.

“And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God” (1 Nephi 11:13, 18, 20–21).

One hundred twenty-four years before the birth of the Savior, King Benjamin said:

“Behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent … shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles . …

“And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary” (Mosiah 3:5, 8).

Eighty-three years before the birth of Christ, Alma said, “And behold, [the Son of God] shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel” (Alma 7:10).

And only six years before the first Christmas, Samuel the Lamanite declared:

“And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness . …

chstar“And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld” (Helaman 14:3, 5).

The Jewish people anxiously anticipated this great event. They knew the Messiah would come, and they expected Him to come in glory, liberate them temporally, establish an earthly kingdom, and rule as their King.

Who would know first of the Messiah’s birth? Would it not be the Sanhedrin or others in positions of power and influence?

The Bible tells us that it was lowly shepherds sleeping on the ground to whom an angel declared the “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10) and that it was Wise Men from afar who saw “his star in the east, and [came] to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). The powerful and the influential, whose vision was blurred by the philosophies of this world, were not with the Savior at His birth or during His ministry. They had before them the real thing but did not know it or accept it.

Becoming More Christlike

christs-outstreched-hand-lindsleyPresident Benson said that one of the greatest things about Christmastime is that it increases our sensitivity to things of God:

“It causes us to contemplate our relationship with our Father and the degree of devotion we have for God.

“It prompts us to be more tolerant and giving, more conscious of others, more generous and genuine, more filled with hope and charity and love—all Christlike attributes. No wonder the spirit of Christmas touches the hearts of people the world over. … For at least a time, increased attention and devotion are turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”2

This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) gave some practical advice that helps us do that:

“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”3

Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and His Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.

I celebrate with you the beautiful and miraculous reality of the birth and mission of the Son of God, and I bear my testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer—the promised Messiah.

Finding the Savior

“Sometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or will not see them. …

“I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him—on Christmas and throughout the year.” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf,

Christmas vs. Atheism

Dinner Topics for Thursday

The Fight for Christmas

Ed Vitagliano

warchristmas_homeAFAAnother Christmas is upon us, and that means gifts under the tree, excited children, family travels and, of course, wars over Christmas itself.

Although it is not exactly breaking news for those familiar with AFA, for the last seven years the ministry has argued that there exists a “War on Christmas.” AFA’s Naughty-and-Nice List, citing companies that profit from Christmas shopping but refuse to publicly acknowledge the existence of the day itself, is in the media every year at this time.

For each of the past five years, AFA chose one company on the “Naughty” list and called for a limited boycott, covering the shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Initially, criticisms aimed at AFA over this issue came mostly from left-leaning members of the media or people who simply hated everything the ministry did anyway.

In a New York Times op-ed piece last December, for example, Gail Collins derided AFA and others for embracing “a seasonal victimhood” that is meant to force stores to link corporate greed with the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but we learned long ago that the secular news media sometimes cares little for the truth when it comes to evangelical Christians. A good smear is quicker and cheaper than actually trying to understand us.

However, over the last couple of years, AFA has found itself being targeted – either implicitly or explicitly – by other Christians. Whether it’s from Rachel Held Evans on the evangelical left or Russell Moore on the evangelical right, some Christians have chided and condemned AFA’s pro-Christmas campaigns.

So is the fight worth it?

A wider war

nativityclipartAFA’s efforts in this arena have never existed in a vacuum. The ministry holds three propositions in tandem: (1) There has been an intentional effort for over 100 years to secularize the U.S. (2) The war on Christmas does exist, and it has been part of this wider effort. (3) The attempt to secularize the nation is bad for America and ultimately threatens the very existence of the Republic.

Since the latter half of the 19th century, secular humanists have busily attempted to dismantle the Christian foundations of America. For example, Humanist Manifesto, one of the key declarations of principle penned by secular humanists, stated in 1933: “We consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate.”

While Christians might not want to admit it, humanists in America have made tremendous progress. Here is the general outline of secularist achievement that has emerged over the last century or so:

(1) Removal of Christian influence in our laws: The founders believed in a Creator who made plain His intention for mankind through natural law as well as Scripture. However, this view was successfully scrubbed away from the nation’s law schools and universities in the first half of the 20th century. It was not surprising, therefore, when the U.S. Supreme Court, beginning with its 1947 decision in Everson v Board of Education, began making brand new pronouncements about the role of religion in America. In fact, the 1947 ruling was the first to create a “wall of separation between church and state.” This was without precedent in American jurisprudence, and it was no accident; the principle was created out of whole cloth.

(2) Restriction of Christian influence in our culture: The founding generation assumed that Christianity – and the morality that flowed from it – would allow citizens of the new Republic to govern themselves without widespread intrusion from a centralized government. However, secularists began successfully undermining Christianity’s influence in education, sexual mores, entertainment and elsewhere. Now the majority religion in the U.S. is not simply ignored but often openly ridiculed and attacked.

(3) Removal of Christian symbols from the public square: Since the creation of our nation in 1776, Christian symbols were conspicuous because Christianity itself undergirded American culture. But secularists argued that, if Christianity was no better than any other religion – and, as most secularists believe, if religion itself is bad for a modern society – then its symbols should no longer have a prominent place. From the removal of crosses and the expulsion of the Ten Commandments from public land, to the exclusion of Nativity scenes from local commons, the scrubbing away of Christian symbols has been remarkably successful.

(4) Restriction of Christian practice in the public square: The founders believed that the beliefs of religious people would inform their political views, and that ideas based in religious principle would have a valid place in policy decisions. However, the discrediting of that belief is under way. While it is by no means a fait accompli, Christians have been alarmed at recent federal court decisions that have insisted that laws passed on the basis of a morality rooted in religion are invalid.

Why should people care? The founders believed that previous republics and democratic societies eventually died or were destroyed because humanity carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction. To restrain such sinful tendencies, there were only two powers strong enough: external government coercion or internal restraint. For people to live in a nation free of overbearing government compulsion, they must govern themselves.

From where would such self-governance come? In his Farewell Address, the nation’s first president outlined the dual pillars upon which the nation’s political system would rest. George Washington said:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. …

A Christmas war


AFA has always believed that the war on Christmas should be viewed in this context. When schools forbade students from handing out candy canes or religiously themed cards; when school boards changed “Christmas break” to “winter solstice;” when cities banned religious floats in parades; or when stores banned employees from wishing customers Merry Christmas, AFA recognized the attempted secularization of America as the driving force.

“The very word itself – Christmas – is a reminder that this particular holiday is the celebration of Jesus Christ,” AFA president Tim Wildmon said in a guest column for Charisma magazine last December. “Those who promote political correctness and extreme multiculturalism resent this because it is exclusionary in their view.”

Wildmon said there is no doubt that the Christmas holiday elevates one particular religion over other faiths. That never used to be a problem – not because America persecuted non-Christians, but because everyone understood that Christianity was the foundational faith of the country. With secularists, however, that didn’t sit well.

“Therefore, Christmas must be replaced with words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America’s public life,” Wildmon said. “It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism.”

About a decade ago, many stores and businesses began quietly dropping the word “Christmas” from advertisements, store decorations and the employee lexicon. AFA and others began to notice.

Of course, it was entirely possible that many business people were motivated more by a desire not to offend those who do not celebrate Christmas, rather than an impulse to expel religion from the public realm. In fact, that was the reason most companies gave for dropping references to Christmas.

AFA didn’t buy that explanation, however. For one thing, the vast majority of people in America celebrate Christmas. In 2010, the trade magazine Ad Age cited a National Retail Federation survey that found that 91% of consumers were planning Christmas festivities.

Moreover, no one really seemed to mind the Christmas trees, Nativity scenes or retail well-wishers who said, “Merry Christmas.” Very few customers complained that a store was selling “Christmas trees” rather than the ludicrously named “holiday trees” that some stores were selling in the parking lot.

Ellen Davis, a vice president at NRF, told Ad Age that in 2009 retailers began returning to the emphasis on Christmas. The result? “[T]here wasn’t much push back,” she said. “There wasn’t a huge outcry from groups offended that retailers were saying Merry Christmas.”

Following the actions of AFA and others, the tide is turning back. Randy Sharp, director of special projects for AFA and spearhead of the ministry’s Naughty-Or-Nice campaigns, said over the past decade “our research shows 80-90% of companies have again embraced Christmas.”

He said, “We’ve had a complete flip in perspective. Companies are beginning to see that people who buy from retailers at Christmastime don’t think there’s anything wrong with everyone being open and honest about why that’s happening.”

On the other hand, apparently the boycott threat was very real to retailers. “Shoppers vote with their wallets every day,” Davis told Ad Age. “ [When it comes to boycotts,] retailers realize, ‘It could just as easily have been us.”’

Principles matter

It might appear to some that this was all a lot of fuss about nothing, that AFA was making a slag heap out of a lump of coal. After all, if you compare the selling of “holiday trees” to the murder of Christians by Islamic radicals in Iraq, the war on Christmas certainly pales in comparison.

But when it comes to Christian involvement in culture, should we really set the bar so high? If it doesn’t come to the level of martyrdom, should believers be silent?

We really don’t treat matters of principle in this fashion in other areas of life, do we? If the boss asks an employee if he’s the one that keeps stealing lunches out of the office refrigerator, does the employee respond: “Are you serious? People are starving to death around the world – how dare you concern yourself with a few missing bologna sandwiches!”

Certainly, office politics or an employee’s character doesn’t reach the levels of concern evoked by Ebola or terrorism.

But principles do matter, and if the employee is suspected of stealing, not just bologna, but billions of dollars, the principles matter even more.

In the case of the secularization of our nation – and the danger it poses to our Republic – a whole lot more than Christmas is being stolen.

– See more at: http://www.afajournal.org/archives/2010-present/2014/december/features/the-fight-for-christmas.aspx#sthash.FfD1sm9v.dpuf

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Faith in Jesus Christ

December: Christmas is about Jesus Christ

nativityclipartDear Valued Readers,

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christmasshepherdsTheme Quotes for December: Christmas is about Faith in Jesus Christ

Without Jesus Christ, there would be no Christmas. He is the Reason for the Season.

Wise men still follow Him.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare him room. ~Isaac Watts

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful, joyful and triumphant! Come and behold him, born the King of angels; Oh, come let us adore him; Christ the Lord. ~John F. Wade

Jesus Christ is the Gift from God. For God so loved the world, He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him may not perish but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

I challenge you to …return to [your] Christian faith and to the strong religious foundation that is so essential for peace of mind and real happiness. ~L. Tom Perry

JesusatdoorSometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or will not see them …I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him—on Christmas and throughout the year. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

At the meridian of time, in a place so obscure and humble that it was overlooked by the wise and mighty of the world, our Redeemer was born. If this same small, innocuous event occurred in our time, we might well wonder if our own eyes would know what to look for; if we would see our Friend, and open the doors of our souls. ~C.A. Davidson

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As time goes on, and our traditional values become increasingly at risk, I look forward to working with you to restore Judeo-Christian values for our families and our posterity.

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Accept the Gift of God

nativity31This year, remember the Reason for the Season. Without Jesus Christ there would be no Christmas. Someone suggested that on Christmas eve they have a “Silent Night;” that is, they turn off the phones, games, TV, computers, electronic devices, disconnect from the world, and tune into Christ through the Holy Spirit. Then listen—to the Spirit, to your loved ones, to holy music.

See video here: He is the Gift (Wait a moment for it to load)

Sometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or will not see them …I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him—on Christmas and throughout the year. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Classical Music stress relief this month provided by Sibelius, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Puccini

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December Preview

The Dinner Topic Theme for December: Faith in Jesus Christ

Defining Moments

“Defining Moments” is a monthly feature. Kind of a fancy name for a glossary. When I was growing up, we had a huge dictionary on a tall, narrow, rolling table. Whenever we asked the meaning of a word, we were told to “look it up.” We still do that. You’d be surprised at some of the interesting things you find in the dictionary, especially the 1828 American Dictionary. Now, with all the twists and spins that politicians and the media do to common words, it’s valuable to go back to the original meaning. It can make for interesting conversation, too.

JesusChristresizeThis month:

The Reality of Christmas

See more Defining Moments

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Chastity and Fidelity

Famous Birthdays: Sibelius, Disney, Beethoven, Puccini

chtreeCulture: Ben Stein, a Jew, speaks his views on Christmas trees and other Christian symbols

Don’t be Discouraged

Are most people offended by “Christmas”—as the media implies?

Christmas symbols

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

Christmas music for the soul

christmasshepherds2Faith: The Reality of Christmas

Helping others find faith in Christ

Abuse Report—There are so many government and other abuses now that there is not room to report them all, so they will be summarized and listed in one report, with links to the complete article.

Moral Repair Plan—always looking for reasons for optimism

Truth Detectors: Truth about the border crisis

In these days when Truth is endangered by political expediency, it is important that we learn to discern Truth from Error, fraud, or downright deception. To find other articles on this topic, type Truth Detectors (hyphenated, to filter) in the search bar of this site.

And as always—current events, updates, and analysis

Alert!

Seeing the widespread injury done in any given week, (many incidents go unreported), stay aware of important news and insights at Epicworld Dinner Topics.

Traditional Bible-believing parents may have to consider withdrawing their children from public schools to protect your family spiritually and financially from the rising tide of persecution and ruinous lawsuits by anti-Christian fascists.

If it is not possible for you to home school, try to teach your children Judeo-Christian values at home. The easiest way to do this is to tell stories and discuss principles at the family dinner table. I hope these dinner topics help you with this vital effort. Just don’t give up! Our precious children are worth fighting for.

Ongoing

  1. New! Tea Party Update listed each month.

teapartypatriotslogoIt is important to understand that the Tea Party is not a third political party. Nor does it represent all the slanderous falsehoods hurled upon them by those who hate America and her Founders. It is organized to restore Constitutional principles to the government of America. If you love the USA with good, old-fashioned patriotism, then the Tea Party is the best organization to work for the principles and values you cherish.

Tea Party Defined—the Voice of Real Americans

Support Tea Party in Key States

Every month we will keep you informed on the latest projects and progress of the Tea Party, with an updated link to our monthly newsletter; most recent updates at top of the list.

December

YouTube Video Update: The Truth about the American Border Crisis

  1. Work to make your state sovereign!

Example:

State Liberty vs. Government Agenda

  1. Study the U.S. Constitution! It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar.

Thanks for visiting. Come often; Stay Late.

Remind your children of the Reason for the Season, and may the Spirit of Christ bring you peace,

C.A. Davidson

 

Atheists Bully Christmas Display

Atheist Bullies Shut Down Christmas Displays

With the liberal interpretation of church-state separation — a concept not found in the Constitution — the courts are effectively installing a state religion in violation of the First Amendment. As more and more of our Western heritage is swept aside by the courts, one day the atheist state religion will have to reckon with the power of Islam. On that day, the atheists may long for a little Christmas and Hanukkah. ~Political Outcast

 

Once again, atheists have shut down the First Amendment rights of Christians and Jews with the blessings of a federal court.

For 60 years, the city of Santa Monica, California, has allowed private Nativity and Hanukkah displays in its Palisades Park, which overlooks the ocean and the famed Santa Monica Pier.

But as has happened in so many other places, a tradition enjoyed by an entire community that was just intended to make the world a nicer place drew the attention of a mean-spirited atheist with his nose out of joint because he hates Christians and Christmas.

Atheist Damon Vix wasn’t content with just putting up his protest booth three years ago. Last year, he recruited a bunch of other atheists to flood the city with applications, packing what was supposed to be a fair lottery.

The atheists managed to steal 18 of the 21 spaces, leaving only three for Christian and Jewish groups. They only actually used half of the spaces, leaving the others empty. The ones they did use were filled with signs and displays insulting people who believe in God, including one featuring Richard Dawkins’ “Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

Rather than step in and do something to preserve a community tradition, Santa Monica city officials this year chickened out and just banned all holiday booths in the park.

A federal judge this week rejected the request by the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee to allow the display this year while its lawsuit against the city proceeded. The judge ruled that the city can bar Christian groups from putting up the Nativity displays in the park and that the city had provided other avenues for religious expression.

The city claimed that it wasn’t shutting down the displays because of the religious dispute, but because of growing costs. Yet, it still allows displays elsewhere in the city. The opening of the city’s other parks to displays with permits was just an effort by the city to appear blameless in all of this, and it worked.

But Palisades Park is the prime spot for community groups, providing visibility on one of the city’s main thoroughfares and on the Pacific Coast Highway, as well as from the beach and pier. It’s sort of like if the city of New York decided there could be no Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center,  but offered a spot at a neighborhood park 10 blocks away instead.

“The atheists won and they will always win unless we get courts to understand how the game is played and this is a game that was played very successfully and they knew it,” said attorney William Becker, who compared the city to Pontius Pilate.

Vix, the troublemaker who started all the problems, said, “So many people don’t understand atheists. If you read the signs we put up, one said, ‘Love is all around you.’ That’s really a better understanding of who most atheists are.”

That statement might be less laughable if atheists weren’t perpetually trying to sue Christians into oblivion with the excuse that they are “offended.”

By hiding behind the law and claiming not to be religious, atheists have made serious inroads through the courts toward the ultimate goal of keeping Christians and Jews from participating in public life.

With the liberal interpretation of church-state separation — a concept not found in the Constitution — the courts are effectively installing a state religion in violation of the First Amendment.

As more and more of our Western heritage is swept aside by the courts, one day the atheist state religion will have to reckon with the power of Islam. On that day, the atheists may long for a little Christmas and Hanukkah.
See here for some comments worth reading: Political Outcast

Persecution of Christians is only going to get worse. If we want to preserve our Judeo-Christian culture, we can only do so by teaching it  in our homes. This collection of Christian Dinner Topics helps parents transmit Judeo-Christian traditions every day. Learn more