Nov 3, 2010

…and He was laid in a shallow, grainy trough chiseled from a block of limestone.

From: "Hank Hanegraaff" <>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2010 00:54:40 -0700
To: Lyle Kemi<>
ReplyTo: <>
Subject: …and He was laid in a shallow, grainy trough chi seled from a block of limestone.

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Dear Lyle,    

Alone in a cave lit only by smoky oil lamps and warmed by the body heat of a few indifferent domestic animals, a teenaged girl struggled with the pangs of her child's birth. Outside, a young man, not yet turned 30, waited anxiously in the chilly breeze (for no matter the season, the nights are cold in the Judean hills).

When at last her baby was born, the girl washed him, wrapped him lovingly in a handful of clean rags, and laid him in a shallow, grainy trough chiseled from a block of limestone ...

FirstchristmasbookDoesn't sound much like the Christmas card pictures, does it?

You and I have seen so many Nativity plays, heard so many variations on the story, that it can be hard to sift out the real truth under all the traditions. And that's why I want to put a wonderful book in your hands this Christmas season, Paul Maier's The First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story.

If you've listened long to the Bible Answer Man, you know my friend Paul. You know that his excellence as a historian is matched only by his love and devotion for Christ. In The First Christmas, he gently removes the layers of speculation and embellishment, to show you the very heart of Christ's Nativity—a story more tenderly human and wondrously divine than any fictionalized retelling.

Now, I know you could go online or to a bookstore and simply buy The First Christmas. But I'm going to ask you boldly today, to send a generous gift of support to the Christian Research Institute and let me send you an elegant hardcover copy as my way to say "thank you." You see, we truly need your gift this Christmas season, of $15, $50, $100—whatever amount God has blessed you to be able to share.

Throughout the season, for every TV show, radio broadcast, or magazine article celebrating the truth of Christmas, there will be a dozen more to lead innocent and doubting hearts astray. Scoffing at the Virgin Birth, earnestly claiming to be finding the "real Jesus" underneath "all those Bible myths," "proving" that the story is simply a retelling of pagan mythology . . . they will be everywhere, and they will be very convincing.

And as our world grows ever more intolerant of Christ, their rhetoric moves more surely away from the fringes of scholarship to become the mainstream view that "everybody knows."

By supporting the Christian Research Institute this Christmas, you'll help make sure the Bible Answer Man is there to answer the questions of those whose faith is shaken. You'll also enable us to keep producing and distributing resources defending the Bible's reliability as a guide for our lives... because Truth matters.

Really, this could be the most important Christmas gift you give this year—the gift of saving faith to someone currently wavering between God's truth and the world's lies.

And as I said, I'll send you a copy of The First Christmas to let you know how much I appreciate you. I think it'll quickly become a favorite in your family. In 94 clearly-written and beautifully illustrated pages, Paul Maier helps you explore the "who, where, what, when, and how" of Christ's birth. Why doesn't secular history mention the babies Herod slaughtered in Bethlehem? When was Christ really born? Who were the Wise Men?

You and your family, young and old, will find plenty to ponder as you deepen your understanding of the Incarnation. Divided into twelve topics, the book can even be used as part of your daily devotions leading up to Christmas. Best of all, The First Christmas will arm you against the lies the media will soon stir up again.

Please send your gift today, so that we can get The First Christmas to you in plenty of time to bless your own holiday, or serve as a thoughtful gift to someone you love. Any amount you give this Christmas season will strengthen this ministry we share, bringing new faith and confidence to many hearts. Thank you for your partnership!

...because Truth matters,
Hank Hanegraaff


P.S. This Christmas season, as the world points a derisive finger at the miracle of Christ's birth, your generous gift will help more people find the truth. And don't forget to request your elegant hardcover copy of The First Christmas when you send your gift today! You can also call 1.888.7000.CRI (1-888-700-0274) or log on to to give by credit card and request your book.

P.P.S. Because so many people have told us how my 25-day devotional, The Heart of Christmas, helped them focus on Christ in the midst of the holiday rush last year, we wanted to be sure all of our new friends had an opportunity to receive it this year. If you'd like The Heart of Christmas instead of The First Christmas, simply follow this link or call 1.888.7000.CRI! 

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Nov 1, 2010


From: "James MacDonald" <>
Sender: "James MacDonald" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 07:08:34 -0400
To: <>
ReplyTo: "James MacDonald" <>
Subject: Truth

The Weekly Walk from James MacDonald (header graphic)


The Weekly Walk

"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. " - John 17:14-17

I would suggest to you that John 17:17 is a great verse to put to memory. It has three little parts to it. Jesus prayed, Sanctify them. The word sanctify means change. Sanctification is God's transforming process in the life of every believer. Jesus prayed, "Change them, Father, all My disciples."

The second phrase is, in the truth. Do you want to change and grow? The fuel for transformation has always been and always will be truth. Sanctify them in the truth.

Where is truth found? Jesus didn't leave any doubt about that. The last phrase in verse 17 was, your word is truth. This is the Son praying to the Father. Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is absolute, authoritative, binding truth.

The world can shout that it has discovered other truth, but what God says is still true! Within the last few years psychology has promoted the concept that if you really want to get healthy, if you want to get healed from the past, you have to dig it up. Joseph in the Old Testament and the Apostle Paul in the New Testament make God's heart abundantly clear: freedom from my past comes not from remembering and reviewing, but from forgetting and putting behind me and forgiving and moving on. This is the living, abiding, Word of God – always true, always reliable:

  • "But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true" (Psalm119:151).
  • "The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever" (Psalms 119:160).
  • Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Luke 21:33).

This is the greatest book that has ever been written because it is the only book that God has written. He has preserved, protected, and promoted it. It has the endorsements of the greatest minds of human history. This book has never been tried and found lacking. Never! Don't ever let someone make you back down from trusting God's Word. The Bible has never been really tried and found lacking, but it has been found very convicting and therefore not tried.

James MacDonald

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