Familiar Christmas Carols come with fascinating backstories.
For centuries, yuletide carols have proclaimed the greatest news in history~ .. From the wondrous night of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem and up to our present day, Christmas has been a season of song. Here are the stories behind a few of the best known Christmas hymns still sung today.
"Joy to lite World"
"Joy to the World" was written by Isaac 'Watts, an English Christian Minister born in the late 1600s. At the time the British Church sang poems of rhyme and from Psalms of David. Watts as a young man decided to explore further. He studied the Psalms from the perspective of Jesus and the New Testament and formed them into song, beginning the concept of the English hymn.
The season of giving.
The Christmas season often is referred to as the season of giving, and with good reason. More people contribute to or volunteer at churches, homeless shelters, food banks and other charitable organizations during the holiday season than any other time of year.
There is no shortage of needs to fill or opportunities to serve. From coat drives to angel trees to Salvation Army collection buckets, opportunities to give back to the community are everywhere.
These are all wonderful ways to serve others, but sometimes God calls us to step out of our comfort zones and serve in new and creative ways.
Here are some ideas on ways to love where you are this Christmas season.
Piercings are popular.
It started with the ear lobe . . . and worked its way up . . . and down.
But piercing is not new. And it did not come from good or noble precedent.
The notoriously vicious Assyrians, in ancient times, took their captives home by inserting a hook through the cheeks of those captives. Keep up, or else, as you are dragged along!
In fact, many cultures, ancient and modern “marked” their captives as slaves by a ring in the nose or ear. It was always the sign of an ultimate death penalty.
How to express gratitude this thanksgiving season.
First Thessalonians 5:16-18 declares, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Take just a minute to reflect on this simple verse. Do you want to know God's will for your life? It says right here that it is to "give thanks." This seems so simple, and yet so often, we don't take the time to stop long enough to thank God for all the things He's blessed us with-the things we deem to be "good" and even the things we might not like at the time.
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