Evening Edition - December 26

December 26, 2019

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.

 

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When you’re making out the guest list for your holiday family get-togethers, please don’t forget that “family” doesn’t just mean blood relations, as Mario from Indiana reminded us:

"I grew up in Mexico in an orphanage with 40 brothers and sisters. My mom and dad, as we called them, were missionaries for 28 years.  When we celebrated Christmas we had toys and clothing, but the best gift was that mom cooked breakfast for each child according to what we wanted to eat on Christmas day.

When I asked mom why she did that, she said, "This is my gift for you guys.... Something I can do with my own hands for you."  I love my mom and dad for giving us love when our real parents didn't."

Thanks, Mario, for that great reminder that it's important at the holidays also to remember and include the people who are like family to us. 

 

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One of the hardest jobs a parent faces is answering all those questions kids ask that sometimes force us to think about things that hadn’t occurred to us as adults.  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 and a lot to be thankful for. And here’s a story that highlights another aspect of adoption, from the other point of view:

Tia from Kansas wrote that Christmas was always the hardest time of year to face, until she discovered a very personal connection to the true meaning of Christmas:

"When I was 16, I was alone and scared on Christmas -- having a baby that I decided to give up for adoption.  For years afterward, I didn't like Christmas and never did much during the season.  But the Lord changed my heart, showing me that I gave a beautiful gift to some family, my only son, just like He did. I've enjoyed and celebrated Christmas ever since." 

Thank you, Tia.  I know your son's adoptive parents would thank you a million times over, if they could, for the greatest Christmas gift they ever received. I’m sure Mary from Ohio would agree. 

 

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These days, too many 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 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

 

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Comments 1-15 of 15

  • Kay DeWitt

    12/28/2019 01:39 PM

    What beautiful stories of Christ's love in action!...And, in answer TO Jerry Corban's question, in his comment below, "WHY SO CRUEL?" , the answer is because there IS no Christ's love in action where there IS cruelty! THEREFORE, it's time for EVERY Christian to PUT Christ's love in action!

    Jerry stated that there are people in the streets of California with zero outreach for people to help them and that may also be said of the kids on the streets here in Charlotte, NC,....because our KIDS are "fading away" in death because there is no real outreach TO them to take them off the streets of their gang infested hoods and bring them into a loving home environment so they can be shown that there is another answer to experience belongingness other THAN joining a gang!

    This is WHY Christians have got to start setting UP homes for these kids!

  • Stephen Russell

    12/27/2019 05:47 PM

    CA homeless camp names:
    NewsomVilles.
    Statewide.
    EZ to use for media

  • Michael Hutch

    12/27/2019 09:33 AM

    Your Christmas stories. Thank you.
    I'll be using these as part of my Christmas Note to friends next year. Of course, you are recognized as the originator. How can you not be restored? Thank You

  • Shelley Jordan

    12/27/2019 02:39 AM

    Excellent description and details about Christmas! Thank you for sharing! God Bless All!

  • Leo Draegert

    12/26/2019 10:59 PM

    Happy unstressful New Year.

  • John Vasilakos

    12/26/2019 10:52 PM

    Merry Xmas to all.
    Goodwill towards
    Those many brave
    MEN and Women
    Working making
    Sacrifices so we
    Can celebrate
    Xmas
    Was in the
    Humbug mood
    Yelling and feeling anxiety take over me
    Was this satan trying
    Taking control of my life?
    Had a wonderful
    Xmas
    Went with my parents
    And Nephew Nicholas
    To my Second Cousin
    Georgia and her husband
    At their beautiful home
    For the first time
    It was special

  • Jerry Korba

    12/26/2019 08:18 PM

    Nothing is as sad as loss of life a close second is to have to watch mental illness go on unattended when the streets of California have people fading away with zero outreach to help them Does the Governor of California just sit in the hair salon get his hair and nails worked on. The halfwitted commie surround's himself with wealth and just can't figure out how to help these people. Gavin says he has the most resources in the country still can't find space or build a building on some federal land in the woods that he neglected and treat the mentally ill you can ask Donald for a 20 year lease he can find people to build a hospital plenty of wood to construct a large facility and fill the place up and treat the people so they can get better no you let them rot, drug up, foul the streets with toxic body waste and flush it into the ocean you regulate small business to the point no one can succeed Gavin your voters and you are miserable characters you do not live by the Golden Rule You do not live by the 10 Commandments or obey the Constitution and you sit in the hair solon and wonder what went wrong or in your case what is going right while you look out the window and smile with delight. In biblical times you would be called the plague in other times you would be a slave owner and a cruel one you have so many resources you refuse to use them. Your motto Let them Rot. When one dies Gavin; Obama or Jerry Brown or Pelosi are not going to meet you; you will be asked questions that the Judge already knows the answers to, he just wants to know why so cruel? Germany went thru a horrible time why are you trying to reenact that horrible behavior? Sound Cruel its because what your doing is CRUEL!

  • Victoria Moniz

    12/26/2019 07:24 PM

    I loved those stories. It brought trears to my eyes.

  • Frances Robertson

    12/26/2019 07:13 PM

    Rev. Huckabee, just a little note of thanks for the wonderful stories that you share. And also for the news that you share, so we can pray specifically and with intention. God Bless you and your family, and especially your daughter Sarah, who has endured so much from the people who are steeped in ignorance and denial.
    In God's love,
    ~Fran Robertson

  • Joe Broadway

    12/26/2019 07:00 PM

    I live by the word but I am being disappointed in people. They talk but dont walk. And I am so tired of being asked for money. I'm waiting for farm animals to start asking and religious shows on tv asking every 10 minutes. Really? I know the giving scripture word for word. I'm not milk I'm meat. Turn your blinker on in heavy traffic and you will see how many Christians there are. We should be ashamed

  • Debbie Regan

    12/26/2019 06:54 PM

    Your emails are wonderful to read, thank you for writing them.

  • Gale Baker

    12/26/2019 06:50 PM

    Governor Huckabee, I really do appreciate these "True Christmas" stories. Thank you for sharing them.

    But I am VERY concerned with California's governor calling for President Trump to support his state's "Housing First" program to address the critical issue of homelessness across the state.

    As a former case manager for the homeless, I can tell you FIRST-HAND that "Housing First" DOES NOT WORK - and as a taxpayer, I don't want my money spent on the kind of "do your own thing" program that (in my humble opinion) CAUSED the onslaught of homeless people to the formerly "Golden State."

    For those who don't know what "Housing First" means, here's a simple example. If you take "Johnny," a crack addict and chronic homeless person, and house him AND HIS CRACK PIPE without requiring him to first address his addiction, he will soon be evicted due to his drug use. Housing First says we must house him AGAIN AND AGAIN, wasting money that could have been better spent on housing someone who would stay housed! THIS IS HOUSING FIRST, AND IT DOES NOT WORK!!!! Stop wasting taxpayer dollars on this huge government fiasco!!!

  • John T Stewart

    12/26/2019 06:40 PM

    Beautiful

  • Nan Hall

    12/26/2019 06:23 PM

    Thanks for sharing these heart warming experiences! Thankful for our missionaries around the world!!

  • Randall Swier

    12/26/2019 12:04 PM

    Merry Christmas
    Keep up the good work.