The Apostles: Thaddeus of Edessa

The name Thaddeus is of Aramaic origin and means heart or God’s gift. Edessa is located in Upper Mesopotamia in Greece and under Roman rule during the time of the early church. Based on early Christian writings, Thaddeus was a Jew who came to Jerusalem for a festival and heard John the Baptist preaching. He was baptized by John the […]

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Christmas in the Air: Visions of Christmas

Christmas Trees of every size, color and theme Flickering  Lights blinking to music so light Falling Snow to whiten the ground Shiny Packages to entice our curiosity Nativity Sets to remind us of Jesus birth Horse drawn carriages to dream of days gone by Carolers on the walk wrapped against the cold air Santa with his elves and reindeer to […]

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The Apostles: Apollos

The name Apollos is Greek and means destroyer. He described as being a devout Jew born in Alexandria. We first meet Apollos in Acts 18. He is described as being “well-versed in the scriptures…he spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.”  The narrative goes on to explain that […]

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Christmas Song Story: Jesus Illuminates All

A friend was searching for the oldest Christmas hymns and stumbled upon this hymn. So, it lead me to search out the stories behind these old Christmas hymns. The song was composed in Latin by St. Hilary of Poitiers in the fourth century. The Latin translation is “Jesus refulsit omnium”. The song is said to have been composed after the first […]

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Book Review: Love and a Little White Lie

January Sanders is suffering from a broken heart when she moves in with her aunt and takes a temporary job at her church. She keeps her lack of faith a secret, as she helps the overworked staff get organized. Soon she meets the church’s guitarist and can’t stay away. While her aunt’s landscape architect irritates her at every turn. As […]

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Christmas in the Air: Smells of Christmas

Popcorn popping to string the tree Cranberries warming to create a scented memory Gingerbread filling the kitchen Fresh cut Christmas trees to fill the air Hickory logs burning in the hearth Pumpkin pie to bring out stomach to a rumble Cinnamon in a variety of dishes Oranges simmering on the stove Scented Candles filling the air Scented pine cones ensconced […]

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The Apostles: Philemon

The name Philemon is of Greek origin and means loving. In the New Testament, Philemon is a Christian in Asia minor who Paul writes a letter to. This letter makes up the book of Philemon in the Bible. His wife is Apphia, which means increasing. Philemon is considered to have been wealthy and possibly appointed as Bishop of Gaza, the […]

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The Apostles: Titus

Titus was a companion to Paul and mentioned in the Epistle of Titus. Titus is believed to have been Greek, and a Gentile, from Antioch. The name Titus means pleasing. He served as Paul’s secretary and interpreter and may have even been converted by Paul. Early Church tradition states when Paul came to the Island of Crete to preach, he […]

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Christmas in the Air: Sounds of Christmas

This year has been unique all by itself and as I thought about ways to celebrate the Christmas season I decided we will celebrate the most wonderful time of the year using our senses. We will explore Christmas through the sights, sounds, smells, taste, feelings, words, and traditions of the season. How we celebrate each of these may vary depending […]

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Song Story: More than Wonderful

More Than Wonderful is a well known duet by Sandy Patti and Larnelle Harris. They first released the song in 1983 and the following year won Best Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group. The song was written by Lanny Wolfe. He was born in 1942 Ohio and is an Aemrican Christian songwriter, musician, music publisher, and music educator. He […]

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The Apostles: Cleopas

The earlier Christian writer Hegesippus wrote that based on interview he conducted, Cleopas to be the brother of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. The name Cleopas means “glory to the father”. The only mention of him is found at the end of Luke. Cleopas and another unnamed man are walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus when a newly resurrected Jesus […]

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The Apostles: Barnabas

Barnabas accompanied Paul on his earlier missionary journey’s. The name Barnabas means son of encouragement or son of consolation. According to Acts 4:36 his other name was Joseph and he was a Jew from the Levite clan and originated from Cyprus. We are told a little about his character in the scriptures. “He was a good man, full of the […]

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Hymn Story: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Henry Jackson Van Dyke was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 10, 1852. He attended Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Berlin. Van Dyke served as pastor of Brick Presbyterian Church for seventeen years {1883-1900}, in Manhattan, before becoming a professor of English literature at Princeton University. He was greatly respected and sought out both as a […]

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