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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
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The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

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Volume II, Number 22     Christmas Issue     Dec. 9, 2002
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

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You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

Table of Contents

  • Christmas
  •      Christmas Focus
  •      A Time for Giving
  •      Christmas Bible Study
  •      Christmas Evangelism
  •      God's Gift of Love: The Incarnation
  • Recommended Home-School Products & Services
  •      Tea & Hospitality Unit Study
  •      Christmas Carols Sweet and Clear CD
  •      The Teaching Tank Science
  • Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote

    Christmas Greetings!

         We trust that your family will have a wonderful time of celebrating Christ's birth in a way that honors our blessed Savior and draws attention to Him at a time when the world is open to hear the wonderful Gospel message.

         The celebration of Christmas is an opportunity to teach spiritual truths to our children and to share the same Good News to our world today that the angels proclaimed 2,000 years ago.

         May the Lord bless your family at this Christmas time!

    Sue Welch
    for Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a home-school family business produced in our home since 1980.

    P.S. We are taking a break from our 15-part Basic Skills series in this Christmas issue.

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    Success Story
         I have been a Christian home-schooled student since the second grade. I recently took the SAT for the first time and scored 1560. I attribute my success to prayer and hard work.
         Over the years, my mother has received much inspiration and support from The Teaching Home, and we thought you might like to hear our happy news.
         Thank you and God bless.
         Michael R., New York

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    Christmas Focus

         Christian home-school families typically evaluate thoughtfully each activity in which they participate. Christmas should be no exception.
         Regardless of objectionable practices of past and present Christmas celebrations, Christian families can create their own meaningful family celebrations by prayerfully seeking to honor the Lord in all they do.

         The world's focus on commercialism is usually rejected in theory, yet Larry Burkett warns that "Many families literally indenture themselves to creditors for a whole year just to buy some useless junk at Christmas." See practical alternatives in articles at
         Our focus clearly should include responsible use of our finances in giving only within a reasonable budget we can afford without debt.

         Some positive focuses, addressed in this newsletter, are:
    * Celebrating Jesus' birth by reading and studying Scripture,
         singing hymns, and sharing the Gospel of His coming.
    * Celebrating family and friends by spending time together,
         feasting, working, playing, talking, praying, singing.
    * Celebrating giving and hospitality by giving what is most needed
         to those who most need it.

    ("Christmas" is continued below.)

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    Fun Unit Study Teaches about Tea and Hospitality
         What a fun way to learn! Study guide: accoutrements, vocabulary, activities, and resources. Activity book: "A Time for Tea, Then and Now." Teaching tape: history of tea, types of tea, and tea etiquette. Magnolia & Ivy: 1-800-233-2619,

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    A Time of Giving

    1. God's Gift List
         Talk to your family about those God told us to give to: prisoners; widows and orphans; our "neighbors"; the poor, handicapped, hungry, thirsty, or sick; strangers, those in need of clothing, and those that cannot return our gifts. (See James 1:27; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:35, 36.)

    2. Types of Gifts
         Discuss ways to meet the different needs of people.
    * Some need material things. Give food, clothes, or money for
         housing, utilities, or transportation to a needy family or
    * Some need friendship, companionship, time, or service. Make
         a short visit to a nursing home, take a meal or a "tea party" to
         a shut-in from your church, or help serve a meal at a rescue

    3. How To Reach the Needy
         There are several ways that you may become aware of the needs of others and give to them.
    * You may know someone to give to directly. This may be extended
         family, neighbors, friends, or acquaintances. (See the story of
         the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37.)
    * You may give through your local church, an example given to us
         in Scripture. (See Acts 6:1-7.)
    * You may give through an organization that ministers in parts of
         the world with which you would not come into contact.

    4. Developing the Character Quality of Generosity
    * Model a free and happy generosity.
    * Teach your child to be thoughtful of those in need and
         understand how to meet their needs.

    5. Practice Hospitality
         Hospitality is a gift that money cannot buy, and it is something that God tells us to give to others (Romans 12:13). You do not need to do an elaborate dinner or party. * Ask a neighbor in for tea.
    * Do not wait until your house looks "perfect" to practice
    6. Always Include the Best Gift
    * True love will offer the best gift, the Good News of salvation,
         along with any gift that ministers to physical needs (Acts 3:6).
    * Give in the name of the Lord so that He gets the glory and
         others are pointed to Him.

    ("Christmas" is continued below.)

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    Christmas Carols Sweet and Clear CD
         By Joy Marie Dunlap and family. Gentle, harmonious, relaxing music, classical in style. No rock beat! Order soon for Christmas listening. Also Joy Marie’s Family Discipleship Magazine, curriculum, and a magazine each for boys and for girls. To hear our CD, go to

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    Christmas Bible Study

         Teach the account of Jesus Christ's birth to your children from three perspectives. Read and discuss Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:5-2:38:

    1. As Accurate History
    * Use a globe, timeline, and history book to place the events of
         Jesus Christ's coming to earth.
    * The exact location, the city of Bethlehem, is a place where
         people live today.
    * The time of His birth was perfectly planned by God on many
         levels. One that is obvious to us is the Roman peace and the
         Roman systems of roads that aided the spread of the Gospel.

    2. As Theology
    * Read the Christmas story in John 1:1-18.
    * Look up the following verses and discuss the 21 answers to
    "Why Did Jesus Come?" by Dr. Roger Congdon.

    1. To fulfill prophecy. Matthew 5:17; Romans 15:8
    2. To abolish the law. Ephesians 2:13-15; Matthew 5:17-18
    3. To seek the lost. Luke 19:10
    4. To save the lost. Matthew 18:11
    5. To serve. Mark 10:45
    6. To give His life as a ransom. Matthew 20:28
    7. To give more abundant life. John 10:10
    8. To reveal the Father. Matthew 11:27; John 14:9
    9. To do the will of God. Hebrews 10:9
    10. To preach. Luke 4:43
    11. To bring fire. Luke 12:49; Matthew 3:11-12
    12. To bring judgment. John 9:39; Luke 12:14; John 3:17; John 8:15
    13. To be king. John 18:37a
    14. To bear witness to the truth. John 18:37b
    15. To save sinners. I Timothy 1:15
    16. To be a faithful high priest. Hebrews 2:17
    17. To put away sin. Hebrews 9:26; I John 3:5; John 1:29;
              Leviticus 16:20-22; Isaiah 53:6; II Corinthians 5:21
    18. To destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14;
              John 12:31; John 14:30
    19. To send a sword. Matthew 10:34-36
    20. To bear our sins. I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28
    21. To provide a pattern of holy living. I Peter 2:21; Matthew 11:29

    3. As the Story of God's Love
    * The coming of Jesus Christ is more than just history and
         theology. It is the story of a loving God who is seeking a
         personal relationship with you and your family through belief
         in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for you, and His
         subsequent resurrection.
    * Read the Christmas story with lights dimmed to help children
         imagine the happenings and concentrate on the story.
    * Read "God's Gift of Love" (below) with your children and talk
         about their response to it.
    * Thank the Lord for His gift of salvation.

    ("Christmas" is continued below.)

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         Your source for new and used curriculum on the web! Find quality materials at family-friendly prices. Check out online specials like the dramatization of Dickens' "Christmas Carol," for $12.99. Free shipping on all orders over $75.

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    Christmas Evangelism
    Sharing the Greatest Gift of All!

         At Christmas time, it is appropriate to include a witness for Christ in our greetings to extended family, neighbors, and co-workers in keeping with the holiday. We have a ready-made opportunity to explain the Good News of the Gospel.

         Your presentation of the good news of God's gift may be as simple as:
    * A sentence such as "May you know the eternal love, joy, and
         peace that comes from trusting Christ the Savior, Whose coming
         we celebrate at Christmas."
    * A verse such as, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His
         only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
         perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
    * Include in your card or plate of cookies: a Christmas gospel
         tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio tape of a book of the
    * Include your personal testimony in your family's Christmas
         letter or newsletter.

    ("Christmas" is continued below.)

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    The Teaching Tank: Science for Homeschool Families
         Help feed your child's thirst for knowledge; encourage his/her natural curiosity; and make hands-on science a reality. 150 great science lessons. A very visual and more exciting way to learn science.

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    God's Gift of Love
    The Incarnation of Jesus Christ

         Jesus is God's gift of love, celebrated at Christmas.
         "But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’" (Luke 2:10, 11).
         "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
         Because of the incarnation, Jesus is fully God and fully man.
         God the Father calls His Son "God" in Hebrews 1:8 "But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.’"
         At the same time Christ is fully man. "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God" (I John 4:3).

    Receive God's Gift This Christmas
         God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours until you accept it as an undeserved gift by faith. You must personally receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
         "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).
         For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

    Gain Assurance of Heaven and Live the Christian Life
         "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (I Peter 1:3-4).
         To grow in your knowledge of, love for, and obedience to the Lord God, faithfully read your Bible each day and pray for understanding. Seek out a church that believes and preaches God's Word where you can worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians.

    ("Christmas" is continued below.)

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    Please Thank & Support Sponsoring Advertisers!
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    Christmas Links
    Joel's Lamb. An original Christmas Story by Ruth Grant.
    Annie's (many!) Christmas Pages. Also in Spanish.
    Meaning, purpose, and information of Christmas.
    A Christmas Message by Jack Crabtree
         "As the magi and the shepherds and Mary and Joseph looked down on a baby lying in the manger, what brought them joy was not the vision of a world where everyone was as gentle and innocent as a baby. What brought them joy was the vision of the final and ultimate defeat of sin and death. They did not see a gentle baby; they saw a fierce warrior, a mighty king. . ."

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    Sunny Side Up: In the Christmas Spirit
         We had just watched our older son's Christmas program and were cleaning up afterwards with his younger siblings, Mark, 5, and Debra, 1. When I didn't see Debra, I asked Mark to help me find her.
         Mark came running back a few minutes later and said, "I have good news of great joy. Debra is with Dad!"
         Sent by Paula D., North Carolina
         You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

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