Christmas Story from the Bible Print-Out

One of the best gospel tracts is to simply share SCRIPTURE. Here’s the Christmas story for you to print and give people this year. Even with cashiers or mailmen or anyone … you can simply say, “Have you read the Christmas story from the Bible yet this year?” Or, “Here’s the Christmas story from the Bible for you to read with your family this year.”

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Click here to view PDF.
Click here for KJV PDF.

AND…. we also have a bonus Spanish version, thanks to our friend Nester who put it into Spanish for our friends in Mexico to use. If there are Hispanic people in your area, think how touched they would be if you gave them something like this in Spanish. [smile]

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Click here for the Spanish version.

Christmas Caroling!

Before I continue with Mexico reports I have one more thing to post! [smile]

Last night we went Christmas caroling with our Bright Lights group. It seems like every year the same thing happens to me: I don’t really feel like going beforehand and then afterward I am SO GLAD we did! I wish we could carol to every house in our town.

So … I thought I could at least post about it, in hopes that it might encourage some of you to go caroling this year (if you weren’t already planning on it)!

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It was so special to see some people really touched. One lady couldn’t even talk to us because she was crying so much. Other couples seemed like they didn’t want us to leave.

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I was so proud of our girls for their enthusiasm, cheerfulness, and energetic singing!

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We gave each house with a plate of cookies, tract(s), and the Christmas story printed out from the Bible.

Many of the Christmas carols are like a “singing tract” because of the great messages they contain. “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” is one of the best so we tried to sing that one at many houses.

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Warming up back at the church with peppermint hot chocolate

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After Sarah’s lesson on “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” we concluded with a Christmas tea, activities, and showed them this short video by our friend, Sam Wilson.

Christmas Evangelism Suggestions!

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If you’re looking for a tract to use this Christmas, here is one that I recommend. It’s produced by Answers in Genesis. It’s filled with interesting information about the historical details of Christ’s birth – details that even most Christians get incorrect. It explains how the word “inn” does not actually mean “small hotel,” but rather “guest room,” which changes a lot about the story! I haven’t found a place where you can read the booklet online, but you can read some of the same information in this article.

The booklet is basically a brief history lesson combined with a clear presentation of the gospel and a lot of Scripture. Click here for more information. (Note: if you order 50, the price comes down to $.49 a piece and if you order 100, the price comes down to $.29.)

Also, for another option, here is a fun “Christmas Quiz” tract that you can print out and give away. These are fun to give because people smile and often start reading them right away.

Christmas opens a whole array of wonderful opportunities for witnessing, and I think it really helps to be thinking and planning ahead. Otherwise it’s easy for the “good things” to squeeze out the “best things” that we could be doing at this time of year.

We often talk and pray as a family about how to use our time in December. I thought I’d share a few ideas, hoping it will spark thoughts of things your family could do. (And I’m sure many of you already do these things!)

It’s exciting to know that so many of you Bright Lights girls are in different states (and countries) and when we all work together we are a global team sharing the gospel at Christmas!

Here are some ideas:

-Every time you check out at a store, give them one of these nativity booklets or another Christmas tract. Tell them, “Here’s some fascinating facts that most people don’t know about the true Christmas story.”

-Invite international students over to your home for a Christmas party. Have snacks and share about the Biblical account of Christmas. Explain how most of America misses the whole point.

-Every time you pass a Salvation Army bell ringer, put something in their bucket and then give them a tract. (We have a friend who told us how she buys a snack at the cashier line to give them along with the tract. It’s also a good idea to stop and talk with them for a minute. They likely get bored. And although they may claim to be a Christian, they may not truly understand the gospel.)

-Invite neighbors over for a Christmas party.

-Pick a family at your church who could use some encouragement. Invite them over for Christmas snacks, singing, and read a Christmas passage in the Bible together.

-Go out witnessing at malls and take a short Christmas questionnaire. (I suggest using a few simple questions such as “Why did Jesus come to be born as a baby?” “What would be the best gift you could ever receive?” etc. )

-Go Christmas caroling. Remember that you don’t need perfect singing voices. It’s more the thought that counts. Just sing a couple carols and leave them with a small plate of cookies (and the “Uncovering the Real Nativity” booklet. [smile])

-Go to a nursing home to sing for the residents and talk with them. If you have never done this before, you may be surprised at how much it means to people.

“…you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

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In other news, we are grateful for the help of Hannah and Tia (who come help at the Bright Lights office) for their help in decorating our Noah’s Archive storefront for Christmas today!

More Mexico reports coming soon.

Christmas Story Printout

Here’s an idea of how to get into witnessing conversations at Christmas. Ask people, “Have you read the Christmas story from the Bible yet this year?” If they haven’t, you can give them a copy! — a great way to get people into the Word. One friend at church asked us for 35 copies to mail in her Christmas cards. I thought that was a really good idea.

If you’d like to print off copies you can do so HERE. It’s 2 pages, so print it on both sides.

Christmas Tracts

A few people have recently asked about Christmas tracts. We wish we had more. I sometimes use this “Christmas Quiz” that my dad put together. People receive these very well and they teach about the Christmas story and ask a few gospel questions. (We print it on both sides and get two on a page.) My dad also wrote a short “Prince of Peace” tract this year, which we link to in our December newsletter. I hope these ideas are useful for some of you!

Simple Christmas Questionnaire

Merry Christmas Everyone! Christmas is such a great time for sharing about Jesus with unbelievers because people are in a festive mood and willing to talk! Here is a simple questionnaire that can be used to get conversations started:

1) What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
2) Why did God choose to be born as a baby and enter the human race?

Just grab a notepad and pen, find someone on a bench at Wal-mart who looks bored, and see if they are willing to take your Christmas questionnaire! 🙂 After they answer the second question, you can ask them if they’d like to hear what the Bible says about why Jesus came. (Consider sharing these Scripture verses: Matthew 1:21, Luke 19:10, John 18:37, Philippians 2:7-8, Hebrews 2:14)
And be prepared with a Christmas tract to leave with them!

On a different note, this afternoon my dad and I bundled up and picked out our Christmas tree at a local tree farm. We picked it out in record time this year! (The temperature probably had something to do with that!)

Bright Lights Christmas Train

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An imaginary blizzard whirled in the auditorium at Bright Lights last night, forcing each small group to huddle together inside their little Israeli towns (i.e. their circle of chairs) . Because of the blizzard, the only means of communication was to write letters and mail them via “the Christmas train”. Each town’s goal was to collect clues from the other teams (er-towns) and figure out seven key reasons why Jesus was born.
“Hurry–the train is coming, the train is coming!” the girls would shout to their teams as they finished writing more notes to send to the other towns….it was a lot of fun.

Light Shop (Stephen’s discipleship group) did the same activity, and, from what I hear, the young men weren’t quite as successful at collecting clues, but they were definitely more successful at keeping their train operating properly. 🙂

We are grateful to our innovative dad who had the idea (though he claims it was a group effort) and made the trains out of cardboard boxes yesterday afternoon.

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For the lesson time, Sarah taught the girls downstairs while the older girls studied the Scriptural accounts of a few of the Christmas characters (plus John the Baptist) upstairs.

Here’s a short synopsis of our discussion:

Elisabeth: Elisabeth’s barrenness must have been a huge trial in her life–especially in that culture and time. But God was obviously using it as a tool to prepare her for the exciting task he was going to give her. The trials in our life that we don’t understand may actually be God’s hand of preparation for a special work He has called us to do.

John the Baptist: John was an amazing combination of great humility and great boldness. We think there is a connection there. He was able to be so bold because he was so humble and didn’t care about his personal reputation or status among men.

Anna: Looking closely at the life of Anna in the temple, we see how she went through some very tough times in her earlier years! Even though she lost her husband after only 7 years of marriage, she didn’t become bitter but instead used the trial as a springboard to grow nearer to God and minister to His people. She didn’t have the security of a husband and children, but she had the security of the blessing of God on her life!

Mary: Though Mary certainly didn’t have an easy path, she set her eyes on the bigger picture–not on her own personal comfort or reputation. It is encouraging to see the Lord’s faithfulness to her at each step of the way! He gently communicated His plan to her through the angel, provided a godly man to walk along side her and care for her, and blessed and strengthened her through numerous people (Elisabeth, the shepherds, Anna and Simeon, the wise men, etc.), and protected her family from Herod’s sword.

Herald from Harold

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My Dad wrote a Christmas poem this year. He read it to us last night.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Harold’s Herald

“Merry Christmas” is everyone’s word,
As they hurry on to shop.
“Happy New Year” is also heard,
Without even time to stop

“Get in the spirit,” some of them say,
“Bah Humbug,” you hear from others.
Christmas is coming, it’s almost the day
To give presents to sisters and brothers.

But as each December flies swiftly away
With shopping, and cookies, and singing,
The ads and the stories and songs do betray
The truth that the angels were bringing.

Shepherds replaced by stockings and toys.
No thought of Emmanuel.
Santa’s coming for girls and boys.
Of the Savior does no one tell.

Though stockings are hung on the mantel with care
And the halls are decked with holly.
Christmas morn seldom starts with prayer
And the hearts are decked with folly.

New songs of the season reflect Him no more,
Nor the tidings that angels did herald,
Nor of the “faithful who come Him to adore,”
So well proclaimed in old carols.

In the sky it’s a sleigh and no longer a star;
The Savior displaced by Saint Nick.
It is reindeer not wisemen that come from afar.
Politically correct does the trick.

Snowmen are nice on a white yuletide day,
And the merriness people have wished us.
But for most of the world, if the truth we did weigh,
The Grinch really has stolen Christmas.

This concept people don’t even remember—
The event called the incarnation.
They simply delight in the festive December
And join in their false celebration.

Christmas used to be a wonderful time
To retell to the world the glad tidings
Of the great plan of God, in both décor and rhyme,
That his Son was with us abiding.

And still to this day we see houses alight,
With electrical technical glare.
But true joy from new life and escape from sins plight?
Of this they seem unaware.

Our country avoids the true Biblical story,
Just pretending it to proclaim;
All to sell some inventory,
Hoping wise men today won’t complain.

Our stores and people, in sales delight,
But from the one whom “this day is born”
They seem to shy away in fright,
And with alternate decor adorn.

What happened to Bethlehem and “no room in the inn?”
To the “Word made flesh and dwelt among us?”
What happened to Jesus who shall save us from sin?
And “Glory to God in the Highest?”

To many it’s just Happy Holidays,
No need to know the reason;
Just have fun with snowmen and sleighs
And the festivities of the season.

Lest money be lost from people offended,
Lest God be given glory.
Lest “politically correct” be unwillingly suspended
By telling the real Christmas story.

The point is missed by so many these days
It’s not a mere memory of birth;
But rather a time to welcome with praise
The coming of God to the earth

This is a concept the world does despise,
Though, they like the gifts and next sale.
Satisfied they are with their compromise
As long as the truth they can veil.

But why sing of mistletoe, snowmen and toys
Let the Wonder of history be heard!
What an insult to God when the world employs
Fantasy instead of God’s Word.

– Harold Mally

I was just praying that God would…

Last Wednesday evening, Sarah, my mom and I were on our way to church. We stopped by a grocery store to pick up some hot cocoa mix.

It was about 10 degrees, but with the wind it felt like it was below zero. As we were leaving the store, I noticed a lady sitting by the door, huddled over in her coat, looking very cold. I handed her a little coin with the 10 Commandments and told her it was a gift for her to look at while she was sitting there.

As she looked up, I noticed she was wearing a Salvation Army apron and had a bell in her hand. Apparently she had come inside for a few minutes to warm up.
She loved the 10 Commandments coin.
“It’s such a cold night to be ringing the bell outside!” I mentioned. “You must be freezing!”
“Well, I’m a flood victim, you see,” she explained, “and some of the flood victims are very bitter and depressed, but the Lord told me to stand by His side, and He’s taken care of me all the way.” She said, “Salvation Army has given me their 100% to help me through this tragedy, and I want to give them my 100% back, so that’s why I’m out there ringing the bell.”
I asked her when she became a Christian, and found out that she has been a believer for eight years. We talked for several minutes about the Lord; it was refreshing to both of us. Eventually, when I had to pull myself away, she stood up, gave me a big hug, and told me, “I was so cold out there, I was praying to Jesus that He would help me–that He would send someone along to encourage me. And then you came! You are my little miracle!” she exclaimed.

I left, rejoicing, and went to the nearby Starbucks to bring back a hot chocolate to my new friend. The cashier girl at Starbucks had a huge tattoo on her neck and her hair was in matted dreadlocks, but she had a very nice smile and pleasant personality. After ordering, I told her how the hot chocolate was for the Salvation Army bell ringer next door and explained the story.
Her reaction was different than what I expected.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, “That is such a good deed!”
“Well, it’s just something small,” I replied.
“No,” she emphasized, “I don’t know anyone else who would go through the effort!”
Because it was such a small thing to do, I was surprised by her surprise. It showed me how much it stands out to people even when we do something small for others.

I couldn’t think on the spot of how to turn the conversation to the Lord (plus there was another person behind me in line) so I figured I’d go back and talk with her later.

As I walked to the other end of the counter to pick up the hot chocolate I heard her say to the next lady, “You are not nearly as bubbly as the last girl who was here.”

Amused by her comment, I discreetly glanced over and noticed that–it’s true–the lady behind me didn’t look very happy. I wasn’t trying to be especially bubbly, it’s just that as Christians we have a purpose for being friendly with everyone we meet. It could lead to a conversation, a friendship, or even leading someone to the Lord. Those who serve the Lord have a motivation in life that others don’t have, and a purpose that others are looking for, so they have an ability to touch people in a special way. And the Christmas season opens lots of opportunities.

When I went back to Hy Vee I couldn’t find my new friend, the Salvation Army bell ringer. So I remembered that the girl who checked me out was really cold because she was located close to the doors. I gave the hot chocolate to her and told her I hoped she warmed up.

So now I have 3 new friends who I need to go “follow up on”. I had just been praying for the Lord to provide opportunities for me to speak encouraging words and witness. Isn’t it neat how He opens doors?

Bright Lights Caroling

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Last night at Bright Lights we went Christmas Caroling around the neighborhood. The girls in my small group did such a good job. In fact, they wanted to run so we could reach more houses. 🙂

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After caroling and then warming up with hot chocolate, Sarah taught on submission. The point that stood out to me the most was this: Often we as young ladies have a wrong perception of submission. We may think of it as a stuggle and burden, but really submission is the very thing that gives us beauty. We should delight in it!
“For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands” 1 Peter 3:5