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December, 2021 - Issue #206
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Is Christmas at Risk this Year?by Dave White
I recently heard that Christmas is "at risk" due to supply-chain issues. Nonsense! My Christmas is not "at risk" - not this year, not ever. Your holiday is not hostage, either. The only gift we really need is the free gift of eternal life found in Jesus Christ himself. Christ is Christ-mas and Christ-mas is Christ. His love, grace, forgiveness, hope, joy and peace is more than enough to make this December the most wonderful time of the year.
Like you, I still love warm fireplaces, decorated trees, frosted cookies, seasonal music and getting together with family and friends. But, bottom line, Jesus remains the one true reason for the season.
Whether they ever empty those cargo ships off the coast of California or fill the shelves of our local stores, this year be sure to accept the free gift of eternal life available to us all in Christ. There is no supply chain issue when it comes to God's love. So don't "risk" missing it!
Receive Jesus. Believe Him. Trust Him. Call upon Him. Open your heart to Him. And enjoy Him this Christmas!
Dave White, PhD is pastor at The Bridge. thebridgescv.com
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Friday | December 24
Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship
at Christ Lutheran Church 5pm, 8pm and 11pm
clcscv.org


A Different Christmas by Jack Winkle
I am always grateful for this time of year that so often serves as a "reset" for most of the world. But, this year, we're facing a dark menace: anger and animosity.
The inability to get along with others - let alone love them - is at a level I don't think any of us have ever seen before. Simply put, we need to examine our relationships with others - with each other as believers and with those around us who do not worship God. We need to reflect on the importance and the necessity of loving one another as God commands us.
This week, as I sat down at my desk to work on the Sunday message, I took my hat off and saw again this reference on the side: "Hebrews 10:24," which is, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works." The focus is on others, not ourselves. To stir up love, to encourage us and to know the height and depth and breadth of God's love, which He has given us, and then to lavish that love on one another. Paul describes that love in 1 Corinthians 13. It's patient. Kind. Not envious or proud. Gentle. Humble. Directed for the benefit of others, not for our own selfishness. Best of all, that kind of love never fails.
We need to love one another. It can be hard, but it's not impossible. For God, nothing is hard. For us - with God - all things are possible. God bless you, and have a joyous Christmas!
Jack Winkle is the lead pastor for Calvary Chapel Golden Valley.
calvarychapelgoldenvalley.org

Legacy Christian Academy Celebrates 25 Years
of Accelerated Academics & Christ-loving Culture

When longtime educators Tim "Coach" Borruel and his wife, Donna, welcomed the first Legacy Christian Academy Kindergarten class 25 years ago, the couple had dreams of changing the educational landscape of Santa Clarita - and faith that God would guide them. Now, a quarter century later, Legacy Christian is a sought-after K-through-high-school academic powerhouse deeply rooted by the organization's Christ-like culture.
One of only 50 private schools in the country to earn the National Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence, the high-tech Valencia campus is fully WASC accredited and boasts some of the highest standardized test scores in the United States. A 13-to-1 teacher ratio, differentiated instruction, premium educational resources, highly-engaged alumni community and more set the campus apart. Legacy students benefit from a variety of enrichment programs ranging from 3D printing design to robotics to premier art, foreign language and music education.
Schedule your tour of Legacy's newest learning spaces, including Discovery Hall, by calling.
Legacy Christian Academy 257-7377

Hope Asks Us to Do More than Wait by Michelle Andrews
Are you a hopeful person? Hope implies a belief that something we have not yet seen or experienced can be true - and that can be tricky. Anyone who has lived very long knows that there are times and situations that make it really hard to find hope. We sometimes face things that make anything good seem nearly impossible.
As Christians, hope is one of the foundations of our faith. It asks us to do more than simply wait for something good to happen. It asks us to have expectant hope which promises that God has more for us than we can imagine. The season of Advent prepares us to celebrate the gifts of Christmas. The gifts that God has given have the power to change our perspective, our way of thinking and our lives. What are you hoping to receive this Christmas? Let the expectation of this season help you prepare to receive the gifts that God has for you. We invite you to join us at Valencia United Methodist Church for in-person and online worship as we explore the gifts that God has for us: hope, plenty, purpose, peace, learning to trust and love.
Michelle Andrews is the associate pastor of
Valencia United Methodist Church. umcv.org

Holiday Services at Valencia United Methodist Church
Monday | December 20
Blue Christmas

Held at 7pm, this is a different kind of service - one with
comfort, peace and hope for all who are grieving.

Friday | December 24
Christmas Eve

Family Friendly Worship at 4pm
Joyous Worship with Band & Choir at 7:30pm and 9pm
Reflective Worship with Communion at 11pm

The Choice we can Make about this Holiday Season by Jay Siegel
Although a minor holiday in the calendar, Hanukkah has taken on new meaning for many. Hanukkah, meaning "dedicate," honors through joy, song, food, ritual, lighting candles and other observances, when the Maccabee regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple to its service. This holiday falls during the darkest time of the calendar year. We are all aware of the shortened days and longer nights. It is not coincidence that we light candles as a major observance at this time of year. It is not by chance that we are instructed to dance, sing and be filled with joy at this holiday season. We are asked to increase happiness, joy and light during the darkest times. That is the essence of Hanukkah.
For us today, the worth of dedication and devotion ought to be nonnegotiable. We have a choice on how we enter this holiday season. We all agree that we need more light in the world, we all understand how joy and pleasantness is essential. We all hold that the values of increasing joy, health, love and happiness are imperative to the world. The challenge remains, are we devoted and dedicated to these values even when it seems darkest? The choice is yours to increase light in the world a little bit at a time.
Rabbi Jay Siegel of Congregation Beth Shalom. cbs-scv.org
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