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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Issue #2, Dec 1, 1999


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
#2, Dec, 01 1999
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Henry
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Patricia Moon


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. "A Great Harvest" by Kathie Smith
3. "The Meaning of Christmas to the Believer" by Ron Gillispie
4. History of Hymns
5. "The Season of Advent" by Ken Collins
6. "Let Your Light Shine! A Reflection For Advent"
by Pastor Gene Smith & The People Of Milton-Marlboro United Methodist Church
7. Some Additional Advent Facts and Verses by Elissa Henry
8. Christmas Links
9. Contest for subscribers...with a great prize!!
10. Nov's contest winner
12. Closing letter from the gang and a question
13. Subscription Information

1. Welcome from the editor

Hi all, hope this newsletter is received in the manner it was love and through God!!

If you're reading this, it means you made it through Thanksgiving! While I love the word and the turkey, seasons can be stressful. I sure hope everyone was able to take the time to reflect upon what we really do have to be thankful for!

Onward and upward to the next holiday....CHRISTMAS!!! This second issue of Seedling will concentrate on the birth of Christ, the season of Christmas,and Advent.

The Birth of Jesus: Matthew 1

18. This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, [1] because he will save his people from their sins."
22. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23. "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" [2]--which means, "God with us."
24. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Luke 2

1. In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3. And everyone went to his own town to register.
4. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7. and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
[3] the Lord.
12. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18. and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

WOW! Think about the great faith in God these characters alone had. Then, think about how much God loves us, for he gave us his ONLY begotten son, knowing he would die for US!! Jesus, his birth, his life, his teachings, his death, his resurrection, are all vitally important. It is imperative that we celebrate his birth, and God's plan for our salvation!

Please, you all, read on, be blessed, and know that, above ALL, God loves you!

2. A Great Harvest
By Kathie Smith

In order to have a plentiful Harvest it takes time, energy, a lot of hard
work, but most of all prayer. We can labor and pour out all that we have, but
it is still God that gives the increase. This applies not only to a harvest
of vegetation, but in the lives of our children as well. Do you ever sit back
and wonder what we are planting in the lives of our children? I do. I
wonder,( and worry I might add) that I cannot do enough or be enough to help
them grow up in the manner in which God intends.

I started on the path of unschooling because I realized after two and a half
years trying to homeschool the traditional way, that we were all less than
satisfied. There was no joy in learning, it had become a dreaded chore. I
felt like a tremendous failure. I am not saying that we didn't have areas
that were productive. The process of learning together as a family, rather
than being separated by school walls, strengthened our understanding and love
for one another. Still I was disappointed because I saw areas of fertile
ground in my children's lives that were untouched. Areas that were left
barren due to the fear and resentment that accompanies being forced to comply
with another's course and schedule. It was as if they had been given a field
and their longing was to plant pumpkins. If I came to them and said, "
Pumpkins are not a reasonable endeavor, plant wheat and corn it would be more
profitable to you." They might get frustrated at not being able to plant the
crop that they desired and in turn sow nothing at all.

We often plan out a course for our children thinking that we can shape them
into productive, intelligent adults, without even considering whether it is
God's intended direction for their lives. I believe that God has filled our
children with the gifts and abilities to accomplish His will. We forget that
He is the teacher and we are His tools. If you ask Him for the wisdom to show
you how to be an effective device in the lives of your children, He will show
you. That is what I desire to be a useful implement in the hand of a creative
God who wants to produce in our children a bountiful harvest of spiritual

Unschooling has given me the freedom to relax and observe the gifts that are
my children. Instead of spending every minute planning out our "school" day,
I have had the time to ask God to show me how to minister to my children and
how to help them grow in His wisdom. I don't have to worry when we are unable
to complete an assignment because I have realized that God has the bigger
picture in mind.

Recently, I was getting concerned because my eight-year-old daughter had not
shown any interest in cursive writing. I know it does seem to be such a silly
worry, " but hey, other eight-year-olds had been writing in cursive for a
while now, and we don't want her to fall behind, right?" I bought her the
handwriting book that she wanted and left her alone to discover it. After a
few months, only a couple of pages were done and I began get anxious that she
would grow up unable to write in cursive. She might be doomed to print
forever! Do you know that last week she made her own decision to write
exclusively in cursive. I look at her journal and smile to myself, for one
day there is a little girl's printed entry and the next day is a young ladies
lovely script.

We can trust that God has put gifts, ability, and hunger into our children
that will produce a people full of His wisdom and ready to fulfill His
purpose for their lives. God's desire for parents is to model a life of
obedience, to water them in His Word, and to cover them in prayer. We can
trust that God will use our example to bring an increase; and produce in the
lives of our children a great harvest for Himself.

3. "The Meaning of Christmas to the Believer"
By Ron Gillispie

To the readers of this e-zine, God Bless your wonderful believing hearts in
the name of Jesus Christ!

There is a time for all things and a thing for all times. The thing for all
times is the love shown towards us by God in the giving of his Son, Jesus

Now that the hype of Halloween is past in the stores and media, we move into
the hype of the Christmas season. This is the time when we, ostensibly,
celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The birth, life, death and resurrection
of Jesus Christ is the pivotal event of all the history of this world. Jesus
Christ is the subject of the Word of God from Genesis 3:15, when God speaks
of the seed of the woman to Revelation 22:21. The significance of this great
historical event is awesome to me and it is what I try to convey to my son
each year at this time. We don't do Santa Clause as he knew all along that I
was Santa. I'm not sure where that information came from, but he seemed to
know since about age three or so.

Although there is much Biblical and historical evidence pointing to the fact
that Jesus Christ wasn't born at this time and there is no record in Gods
Word of anyone celebrating anyone's birthday at any time, we must recognize
this time as a time to celebrate the wonder of the coming of Jesus. We must
utilize this time to speak Gods Word and the magnificence of the promises and
the principles contained therein. As the world begins to focus on the season
and our culture becomes increasingly secular, we must speak the Word with
ever increasing boldness and love. This is such a wonderful opportunity to
share the wonderful truth of Gods Word, showing people how it fits together
with mathematical precision and scientific accuracy.

As it is written in 2Corinthians 5:19 - end....

19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not
imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of
20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him.

This is our great call from God. We are AMBASSADORS charged with reconciling people back to God! What better time to put on our best bib and tuckers and get out and speak the greatness of what God has done for us and can do for a lost world. We, as believers, are charged with the greatest commission in all history to reconcile man back to God. What a wonderful truth! If it is written in Gods Word, it HAS to be available to all who believe and love God to rise to this standard and just get out and boldly hold forth that word as
an ambassador of the one true God! God has committed His Word to us, and given us this most awesome privilege and responsibility.

The thing for all times is the love of God and the time for that thing is
now, especially now when the world is beginning to celebrate this wonderful

God Bless you all in the wonderful name of our living Lord and Savior, Jesus

4. Hymn Histories

Christmas Carols (Piano Arrangements with Chord Symbols for Organ and
Guitar), selected and arranged by Karl Schulte; designed and illustrated by
Ernest Kurt Barth, Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin, 1964

Silent Night by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr

The parish priest of the little church of Arnsdorf, Austria wrote the words
for the beautiful Christmas song on the day before Christmas Eve in 1818.
Mice had eaten at the bellows of the church organ. The priest and organist
were sadly trouble by the lack of music for midnight Mass, but when the
organist, Franz Gruber, heard the words, he set them to the lovely music now
so familiar to us.

Verse 1:
Silent night, Holy night,
All is calm, all is bright,
'Round yon virgin mother and child,
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Verse 2:
Silent night, Holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven a-far,
Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Verse 3:
Silent night, Holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

O Little Town of Bethlehem, Lewis H. Redner, Phillips Brooks.

One of the few carols by American writers, this lovely hymn was composed by
Phillips Brooks in 1868 while he was the rector of the Church of the Holy
Trinity in Philadelphia. His Sunday School classes asked him for a Christmas
song, and after writing this, he took it to the church organist for a tune.
The organist, Lewis Redner, says he heard this melody in a dream on Christmas
Eve and finished the arrangement in time for the service the next day.

Verse 1:
O little town of Bethlehem! How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

Verse 2:
For Christ is born of Mary; And gather'd all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond'ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

Verse 3:
How silently, how silently, The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in.

Verse 4:
O holy Child of Bethlehem! Descent to us, we pray;
Cast out our sins, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us;
Our Lord Emmanuel!

The First Nowell, a traditional English melody, harmonized by Sir John Stainer

Both the verses and melody of this ancient hymn are traditional. Sir John
Stainer, the English composer and organist, harmonized this version for
present-day singers. The words of all folk songs varied with the singer.
The ones given here are the best known but they do not follow the Gospel
account: the shepherds did not see the star. Neither the words or the tune
of this carol can be later than the 7th century.

Verse 1:
The first Nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell
Born is the King of Israel.

Verse 2:
They look-ed up and saw a star
Shining in the East, beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

Verse 3:
This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay

Verse 4:
Then entere'd in those wisemen three,
Full rev'rently upon their knee,
And offer'd there, in both His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.

5. The Season of Advent
By Ken Collins

Theme: Anticipating the Coming of the Lord

Dates: Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the
day before Christmas. Thus it begins on 28 November 1999 and ends on 24

Colors: In most churches, the decorations are purple or blue; royal colors to
welcome the King. You can read more about color in worship.

The East: Orthodox churches do not have an Advent Season. Instead, they have
a Lenten season lasting from 15 November through 24 December.

Advent originated as a period during which converts prepared themselves for
baptism through instruction, prayer, fasting, and reflection, much like Lent.
The length of Advent varied from three days to six weeks—six weeks being
approximately 40 days, the length of time that Jesus spent in the wilderness
preparing for His ministry.

The Western Church
The general topic of Advent is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

In the west during the Middle Ages, Advent became a time to prepare for the
Second Coming, because in those days, many people were convinced that all the signs pointed to the imminent return of Christ. In time, Advent spread
throughout the western Church and became fixed at its present length. Over
the last fifty years, Advent has come to anticipate the Nativity as well. For
many people today, especially retailers, Advent is just a ramp-up to
Christmas. In most churches, the Bible readings and sermons during Advent
include prophecies of the birth of Christ, but primarily concern the Second
Coming, judgment, and eternal rewards for obedient Christians.

Advent consists of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. If 24 December is a
Sunday, it is the fourth Sunday in Advent until sundown, when the liturgical
day begins, then it is Christmas Eve.

The Eastern Church

The eastern Church does not have a season of Advent, in the western sense. It
retains the original forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and reflection.

Roughly speaking, the western Church consists of Protestants, Catholics, and
Anglicans. The eastern Church consists of the Orthodox churches, the Oriental
churches, and the eastern-rite churches affiliated with the Roman Catholic

Copyright ©1999 by Kenneth W. Collins. All rights reserved.

6. Let Your Light Shine! A Reflection For Advent
by Pastor Gene Smith & The People Of Milton-Marlboro United Methodist Church

Symbols have been called our silent teachers. They are universally used and
our Christian tradition is rich in symbolism. Almost every facet of the
Christian faith has found a symbolic form of expression. Thus each season of
the Christian year has its own special symbols. The Advent Wreath and Advent
candles used during the weeks leading up to Christmas symbolize Christ's

Why candles? Candles have been used for centuries as a symbol (as well as a
source) of light. It is the Living Light, the living flame of the candle,
that gives meaning to this tradition. Jesus Christ is the Living Light of the
world, one that broke forth on the first Christmas when he was born as the
Prince of Peace. He is the light that ultimately penetrated into all the
world, as outlined in the Epiphany Story.

The five candles -- one for each of the four Sundays in Advent and the fifth
for Christmas Eve --have been given these names:

The Prophecy Candle: opening up the period of waiting.

The Bethlehem Candle: symbolic of preparations being made to receive and
cradle the Christ Child.

The Shepherd's Candle: typifying the act of sharing Christ.

The Angel's Candle: the candle of love and final coming.

The Christ Candle: lit on Christmas Eve after the other 4 to mark the birth
of the Light of the World.

May God's grace and peace and the love of Jesus Christ illume and warm you
and yours during the days ahead!

© Copyright 1998 HCS/Milton-Marlboro UMC All Rights Reserved

7. Some Additional Advent Facts and Verses
by Elissa Henry

Each Sunday of Advent has its distinctive theme:

First Sunday: Christ's coming in final victory ,
Jeremiah 33:14-16
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36
Matthew 24:36-44

Second Sunday: John the Baptist,
Luke 3:1-6
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

Third Sunday: John the Baptist,
Matthew 3: 1 - 12
Mark 1: 1 - 8
John 1: 10 - 28
Luke 3: 7 - 18
Matthew 11: 2 - 11
Luke 7: 18 - 35

Fourth Sunday: The events immediately preceding the birth of Jesus Christ
2 Samuel 7:1-11,16
Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]
Romans 16:25-27

8. Christmas Links


Christmas Crafts X 2
Christmas Crafts 1
Christmas Crafts 2
Santa's Home Page
Craft Central Station
Ben & Jerry's Yuletide Stuff
Christmas Crafts & Activities
Christmas Fun & Crafts
Free Christmas Stuff
Hanukkah Crafts
Holiday Crafts for Kids
HomeArts for the Holidays
Martha Stewart Living
Mom and Me
Reader's Digest: Christmas Crafts
Santaland Crafts

Christmas Recipes the World Over
December In The Kitchen
Holiday Menus
Holiday Survival Guide -- Holiday Menus
Jewish-Food Recipe Archives
Jewish Holiday Recipes
Kwanzaa Recipes
Mimi's Cyber Kitchen: Christmas
Mimi's Cyber Kitchen: Hanukkah
Mrs. Claus' Kitchen: Santa's Secret Village
Santa's Favourites: Food & Recipes
Seasonal Favorites
Slovak Christmas Food & Drink
Southern Christmas Recipes
Vegetarian Society - Christmas Recipes Christmas Menus
Victorian Christmas Dinner Menu
Christmas Cookie Recipes
Christmas Cookie Recipes
Holiday Cookie Club
Mrs.Claus Cookie Recipes

Misc. Stuff

Christmas Software
Free Screen Saver
Free Wallpaper
Advent Calendars
Electronic Christmas Cards
SMS Christmas Carols on the Net
Christmas ClipArt
Christmas Stories
Santa's Christmas Page
Christmas With the Bell Family
Christmas Reflections

9. Contest

This contest is for kids:)

Have your child write up to 250 words on why they like to read. The winner
will receive a free book from Reconciliation Press titled Under the Sky of an
Angry God. This is a historical fiction that looks fantastic from the reviews
I've read. Please include first name only and age of child. The winner will
be published in the January issue of Seedling. Entries should be received by
Dec. 20th and winners will be announced in the next edition of Seedling!

Donated by: Reconciliation Press

10. Nov. Contest Winner: Kathy in Arkansas

Kathy in Arkansas wins a year's subscription to TEACH! TEACH ("To Encourage
And Challenge Homeschoolers"), a 28 page quarterly
publication, where you will hear from some experienced "keepers of the
home" and prominent homeschoolers. We desire to offer specific ideas to
increase your enjoyment in learning with your children.

See for yourself: Send $2 to: 18016 West Spring Lake Drive, Renton, WA
98058 for a printed copy, view text only:, or send a blank email to:

11. Information on the 6th Annual EARTH & SKY

This year's grand prize winning team will win a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond
and four other winning teams will win a $500 bond each. All five Young
Producers winners will be played on the Earth & Sky radio series in April
or May of 2000.

In addition, all students who enter the contest will receive an attractive
certificate, suitable for framing, stating that the student is "A Young
Producer for Earth & Sky."

Each teacher may make up to three separate entries ONLY. Teachers might
want to consider holding a local contest within each class, to determine
which show from each class will be sent to the national contest.

The Earth & Sky Radio Series and Young Producers Contest are sponsored by
the National Science Foundation.

How do I enter?

To enter the Young Producers Contest, all you have to do is produce
a ninety-second radio program about any science topic you think is cool. Just
follow the guidelines and get it in the mail by December 15, 1999.

Sadly, this is MUCH too long to run in it's entirety. Email me if interested
in guidelines and I will send it out promptly.

12. Closing Letter from the gang.

Well, you all, thanks for reading!! Hope it touched your heart!

Listen, we are coming upon a dilemma here, this e-zine is getting
loooonggggggg. Do you all know how to download a .txt attachment?? If not,
we can send this out in 2 is up to you. We would love feedback

This has to be a short ending note, (out of room!!) but we want to let you
know some things!

1) We are now working on the final draft of the proposal for the
book......thing u send to publishers to show and interest them.
2) New website, while slow going, will become a reality soon.
3) Next month's issue will be eclectic in topic.
4) February's topic will be courting.
(please send submissions!!!!)

Merry Christmas
Be Blessed,

Elissa Henry
Teri Brown
Patricia Moon

13. Subscription Information

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