Merry Christmas!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Birth of Jesus

Let us not forget the truth and reality of this important story. You will either fight against the story or submit your life to it.

On behalf of all of us at Sonoran Alliance, we wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Senator Sylvia Allen & Family

Christmas Time

It was an unknown author who wrote these profound words about Jesus Christ: “I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life.”

Jesus Christ’s birthday is celebrated by the world in this month of December.  He lived in a dusty corner of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago.  From the beginning of his  birth among the animals was the beginning of his humble life. For there was no room for him in the Inn.  He had no money.  He was not a sport hero or starred in a blockbuster movie, or was elected to a position of power.  And, yet, more than one billion people today proclaim to be his followers.

From my earliest memories, I knew who this man was, for I was taught as a child, “Jesus Loves Me.”  My mother read Bible storybooks to me about his compassion for the sick and the suffering and how he healed the blind, lame, and lepers.  He even raised the dead.  I had a picture of him holding the little children.  My heart knew he loved me.   

He was a master storyteller who wove moral lessons through the stories he told so that you had to ponder and think upon them.  To illustrate the forgiveness of God, Jesus related the tale of the prodigal son, who threw away his inheritance in loose living and worldly things until, broken, shamed, and repentant, he returned home to find his father rejoicing that, “once you were lost, but now are found.”

Jesus urged his followers personally to help those in need – the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the imprisoned, saying that whatever they did“for one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

He asked them to forgive the faults of others and He laid down the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

He forbade murder and adultery, anger and hatred, and encouraged prayer, fasting, and sacrifice. “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

What was at the center of all he taught?  Love. “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Not only love God but also love your neighbor as yourself.  Then he asked us to even love our enemies as he loved his, for on the cross he said, ”Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

My early memories of Christmas were wrapped up in sound, smell, and taste.  There just is something about the air that is even different.  A child feels an unexplained excitement and anticipation that stays with them into adulthood. 

My mother wanted us to remember Christmas not as a gift-giving day but one of celebration of the Life we were honoring. “What gifts can you give Jesus?” was her question to us one Christmas in 1960.  I wasn’t much in the mood to answer her question.  I was feeling sorry for myself because, truth be told, we were a family living on meager means, and I knew that I wouldn’t get much in the way of presents that year. 

My mother told us of a family whose father was very ill.  There were three little girls in the family.  We took some of our old dolls and made them over with new hair and beautiful doll clothes that my mother and I sewed.   I felt the excitement building.  We made pies and cookies and put together a food basket.  After dark, my sisters and I crept up to the door.  We placed our offering on the porch, knocked, and ran.  We had pre-picked a bush where we sat shivering with anticipation as we watched to see what would happen.  The door opened, and a little girl cried out. “Mommy, there’re presents!  Words can’t describe how much better my young 12-year-old heartfelt.  My mom said I felt the spirit of Christmas. 

When it was my turn to bring the spirit of Christmas to my own children, we had many wonderful experiences, but my favorite was with a homeless man who lived in his truck parked in a vacant field.  For months we would drive by and the kids would comment on how sad it was that he had no home.  When we gathered together to pick our Christmas service, my young son said, “Mom, the man in the truck!” 

We made goodies and  wrapped a flannel shirt and packed them in a basket and at the last minute I put in a Bible with the Christmas story marked.  I told my oldest son to be ready to jump out and place the box on the ground at the back of the camper.  I was worried that we might frighten him, so I wanted to be quick.

On Christmas Eve, when we drove up, all was dark and quiet.  I wasn’t sure if he was there, but my son quickly got out and placed the box.  As he jumped back in the car, the back of the camper door flew opened and, as I sped away, my daughter yelled out the window,  “Merry Christmas, we love you!”  The kids sang all the way home.  We had the Christmas Spirit – the Spirit of Christ.

Now I am making memories with my grandchildren this year we help at the Salvation Army warehouse.

Whatever attitudes people hold towards Jesus Christ, whether they believe him to be the Son of God or just a great teacher, there is no question that, if his teachings were faithfully followed and lived by everyone, the world would be a better and more peaceful place to live.  Christmas gives us a chance to change ourselves and to remember a babe born of Mary.

What gift will you give?

Merry Christmas to all of you from the Allen Family!!!

Christmas Message from Chairman Tom Morrissey

Arizona Republican Party

Friends,

On behalf of the million-strong voters in the Arizona Republican Party, I heartily wish you a Merry Christmas.

As we reflect on the meaning of the holiday season, I can’t help but think about our good fortune as Americans, and especially as Arizonans.

Our party’s strength in Arizona is tremendous and growing, and in so many ways Arizona is leading the nation with our conservative principles and our proven success in winning elections.

We have you, the supporters of our Republican candidates, to thank.

I ask that you especially thank our Almighty God for the great many blessings we all share.

Sincerely,

Tom Morrissey

Chairman, Arizona Republican Party

Merry Christmas!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

~ Luke 2:1-20 (KJV)

On behalf of all our writers, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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Sticking it to the ACLU, scrooges and anti-CHRISTmas establishment!