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Today's Commentary --- "Huckabee" preview -- "Person of the year" -- "Love thy neighbor as thyself" -- From the mouths of babes... -- A unique Christmas experience -- "Feliz Navidad" -- A close encounter with the real Santa Claus --- Evening Edition -- Daily Verse
A few years ago, inspired by my book “A Simple Christmas,” I asked listeners of my radio show to share their own favorite Christmas memories. While my staffers and I are enjoying some time off with our families, I’m digging into the archives to share some of those wonderful stories again. I hope they’ll add some extra joy to your holiday season...
By Pat Reeder
I hope you’ve enjoyed the “Simple Christmas” stories I’ve been sharing from my radio listeners. We’ll be back Monday with a New Year’s Eve wrap-up of news of the past week and some looks back at the past year. I imagine that means we'll be back at work before the government is.
In the meantime, 2018 is almost over, but there’s still time to squeeze in one more brand new episode of “Huckabee” on TBN! Tune in tonight as I welcome Bill O’Reilly and best-selling “American Sniper” author Scott McEwen. Former Dollar General CEO Cal Turner Jr. will talk about his grandfather’s small town values turned a family-run general store into a 14,000-store, $20 billion retail giant. The hilarious Chonda Pierce will check in from the road with another edition of “Chonda’s America” and drop by for an exclusive interview. I’ll have some crazy year-end news “In Case You Missed It,” and some commentary, serious and otherwise. And top it all off with the music from the men who launched the “Urban Cowboy” genre, Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee.
It’s all headed your way tonight at 8 and 11 EST, 7 and 10 CST, only on TBN. To find the channel in your local area and to stream previous episodes of “Huckabee,” visit https://www.tbn.org/programs/huckabee
"Person of the year"
By Mike Huckabee
I couldn’t possibly agree more with Frontpage magazine’s choice of their “Person of the Year” for 2018. Unlike with Time magazine, not only is this title an honor, but their choice to receive it richly deserves it. And I don’t just say that because she’s my daughter.
"Love thy neighbor as thyself"
By Mike Huckabee
On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the One who told us, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” But on holidays like this that emphasize parties and socializing, many people feel lonely or abandoned. They may not realize how many people around them really do care about them.
Linda from North Carolina wrote:
"Several years ago, we had a family up the hill who were having a very rough time. They had broken glass in their windows, no heat and no prospects for a nice Christmas.
We got neighbors together and one day when they were gone, the men went up and put in new glass, bought heaters and warmed up their trailer and went to get them a Christmas tree. The ladies and kids made ornaments, went to stores and got donations of toys and clothing, food and electric blankets. We all met at the trailer, cooked, decorated, put up the tree, wrapped packages, and made beds with the new blankets then went to our home to wait for them to return.
A while later, the family came running down the hill in the snow and flew into our house, trying to tell us through tears what someone had done. The mother couldn't believe that so many people cared about them. She didn't realize it, but being able to do that for them made Christmas very special for all of us.”
Thank you, Linda, for that perfect story to remind us that the gifts that give us the most satisfaction aren’t those we get, but the ones we give to others.
From the mouths of babes...
By Mike Huckabee
Mary from Ohio wrote:
“Our 6-year-old grandson, Isaiah, who was adopted from Guatemala, posed this question to his parents: ‘Was Baby Jesus adopted?’ Wow! The answer is so deep, and leads to so many other Biblical references to adoption. Joseph wasn't Jesus' father - God was, but Joseph raised him here on Earth. When we accept Jesus, we're adopted into His Heavenly Family, so we're all brothers and sisters. When we become a member of Jesus' family, we're also adopted into the Family of His chosen people, the Jews. So...it seems to me, not only was Jesus adopted, He was the author of Adoption. From the mouths of babes.”
Thank you, Mary. I have a feeling that as that special little boy has grown up, he’s given your family a lot to think about!
These days, a lot of people are trying to take religion out of the Christmas season. It sometimes makes me think, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do…or what they’re missing.” Maybe this letter will make it clear.
A unique Christmas experience
By Mike Huckabee
A Reverend wrote to me from Malawi:
“After having been raised up in urban North American culture, it was refreshing, but also a bit disorientating, to spend my first Christmas in Africa in 2009. There was a Baptist Church of course, but no Christmas Trees and no caroling in the streets, and no mad dash to the Mall to buy presents. The mixed congregation of ex-pats and nationals who attended the Christmas Sunday service sang the carols we were accustomed to, but there appeared to be far less excitement…
This is the ‘Hungry Times’ when most folks, aside from us ex-pats, are living off of the stored up remnants of last year’s harvest, with an eye to how little there is left and how long until the next harvest comes in. Nevertheless, on the morning after Christmas, we were all called to return to the Church and bring food and clothing and the Word of God and prepare to visit Zomba Central Prison to distribute some hope and good cheer.
This Prison is a daunting facility built by Colonialists in the 1930's that, today, houses twice as many inmates as it was designed for. We shared the goods and the Gospel with inmates, in both men's wing and women's wing. And so, for me, began a ministry of Prison Chaplaincy in the Prisons of southern Malawi.
…It’s ‘Hungry Time" again, but I thank God that the inmates are hungry for the Gospel. In the six Prisons and Prison Farms where we work, we have seen over 240 decisions to accept Christ (including many from Muslim backgrounds) and 160 inmates Baptized and inmates are being transformed by the power of God. Some of those counseled before release are eager to return to their villages and tell others of the one who came as our Savior that first Christmas morning. And for that, I'll forever enjoy a different kind of Christmas.”
Thank you, Reverend, for sharing your unique Christmas experience with us. If you’d like to learn more about the fine work done by Emmanuel International Mission in Malawi and elsewhere, you can read about it online at www.EIM-US.org
By Mike Huckabee
Jim in Alabama shared a story that reminded us of how the Christmas season brings everyone together. During his time in the military back in 1973, Jim was stationed near Nuremberg, Germany. He writes:
“Being born and reared in the South, I had never met people from Puerto Rico. But we had four guys from Puerto Rico and Queens, New York. Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” would play on Armed Forces Radio and these guys made us all start to dance and sing along. They sure knew how to have a good time. They helped us all not be so homesick.”
Thank you for that great memory, Jim. I can’t think of anything more American than guys from Alabama, New York and Puerto Rico all joining the US Army and celebrating Christmas in Germany listening to Jose Feliciano sing “Feliz Navidad!”
A close encounter with the real Santa Claus
By Mike Huckabee
Next, what might be a close encounter with the real Santa Claus. Margaret from Washington wrote that her 60-year-old sister Liz lived in an adult home. She had cerebral palsy and autism, the mental capacity of a six-year-old, constant pain from two broken hips and her spine, and limited speech due to her medication. She didn’t have much joy in her life, but she loved Christmas and still had an unwavering belief in Santa Claus.
Liz had a great caregiver named Crissie who told Margaret that Liz and her deaf housemate Alice saved up $20 from their meager support checks, the price of a photo with Santa at the mall. So Crissie agreed to take them.
After waiting an hour in line, they finally got to the front to discover the photo price was $23. The “elves” wouldn’t budge on the price. Crissie called the home but was told she wasn’t allowed to spend her own money on residents. So Crissie reluctantly signed the news to Alice and began pushing Liz’s wheelchair away. Margaret said her sister began throwing a fit as only she could, and Crissie started pushing as fast as possible, with Alice trotting behind and Liz’s screams echoing through the mall.
As they reached their car, they heard someone shout, “Liz, wait!” They turned around, and there was Santa, out of breath. He’d been running after them. Liz stopped screaming immediately. Santa gave them all candy canes and said he’d love to pose for a photo with them, no charge. Santa hugged Liz and Alice, and said, “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!” as Crissie took a cell phone photo.
Now, here’s where the story takes a magical turn. The photo turned out great. You could even tell that Santa’s long white beard was real. Margaret was so touched by his kindness that she went to the mall with a thank-you card and the photo, so they could identify the mall Santa who performed that special act of kindness.
She showed the photo to the mall manager’s secretary, who took it back into the office. Margaret wrote:
“The manager came out and told me she thought it was a great photo…but that was NOT their Santa.”
They had no idea who that kind, jolly man in the beard and red suit who magically appeared out of nowhere in their hour of need could have been.
I think I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Evening Edition - December 21
By Mike Huckabee
A wrap-up of all the news you might have missed yesterday!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." – John 3:16
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