Tuesday, December 25, 2007

When is Christmas, Christmas

When is Christmas, Christmas? It isn’t always easy to find the joy in the season. Many things can overshadow our hearts. Enjoyment of the Christmas season can be replaced with stress, hurried schedules and fatigue.

But Christmas has a way of becoming Christmas for us if we give it a chance. It is a holiday we share but it is also uniquely celebrated in the heart; different traditions, memories, special friends embrace… and missed.

We all bring something different to the holiday. Christmas first became Christmas for me this year when I watched the movie The Nativity. It was a story behind the familiar story. Fleshing out the struggle behind the Chritsmas story made the movie unique and different from the often sanitized version we carry from childhood. It brought a pathos to a fairy tale, a Christmas that almost didn’t happen. It gave weight to the words, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Christmas became Christmas for me when I attended the Plano Civic Chorus production of Handel’s Messiah. The beauty of the sanctuary, the music and decoration of the season brought grandeur to this time of year.

I am thankful that Christmas is not just a one day affair but a season as complex and wonderful as the people who embrace it; the lights on the houses, homemade fudge, visits from friends and relatives give the holiday meaning.
Good News Now is about the heart’s response to life. We celebrate the good in life all year long.
Here are some of the highlights that made Christmas, Christmas.

The Dogs

The mandatory family group photo that everyone hates.

Almost Perfect

Trixie Claus

The News That Made Christmas, Christmas.

Renewed peace brings pilgrims to Bethlehem

Iraqi, Coalition Soldiers Celebrate Christmas with Assyrian Christians in Kirkuk

Christmas tree survives war, Hiroshima bomb

Pastor's Challenge Shocks Congregation

New Secret Santa takes over mission of helping strangers

A casserole for Christmas

Some of the Photos from around the world.

Weihnachtsbeleuchtung / Christmas lighting

laterne .. und sterne

Merry Christmas from Good News Now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rice is Nice

I like words. I look them up all the time to see what they mean. It is fascinating. There is a game online that plays on those of us who love the meaning of language and also helps feed the poor by donating rice to the WFP; The World Food Programme. The WFP is the frontline United Nations organization whose aim is to eradicate world hunger. And for a short time they were winning the war on hunger and reducing the number of people who daily go without enough food to function normally. Today one in seven people do not get enough to eat.

The WFP goes into counties in crisis and meets the demands for emergency food distribution. After the crisis it helps the people improve their quality of life with the aim of self sufficiency. They concentrate on the needs of children and those who are most vulnerable. They believe helping women is the best way to fight hunger.

Rice is a basic component of the food that the WFP distributes. They purchase the food from developing nation thus promoting these nations.

The website Free Rice has two goals to help improve people’s vocabulary and to help raise money to buy rice for the WFP to distribute. The rice is paid for by the advertisers on the site. For each correct answer 20 grains of rice are donated. So far since the site went on line in October of 2007 they have raised money for 7,536,669,470 grains of rice.

Warning: the game is addictive. The site is awesome and the response to it has been phenomenal.

World Food Programme in the News...

WFP food provides daily meals to Moghadishu's hungry -- first time in 15 years

Free Rice in the News...

Web game provides rice for hungry