December Manna Highlights

Happy Birthday!

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

We all have birthdays. When we get up on that morning, what do our loved ones say? Many times, they also have something to give. The whole day can seem different than any other day. A special meal might be prepared. We may eat richer foods than usual. We may get to spend more time with special friends.

Christmas is our Lord's birthday. Oh, I realize that no one knows the actual date of Christ's birth and that the Bible does not instruct us to celebrate this event. That is one of the things that makes Christmas special. The people of Christ, realizing the significance of his birth, choosing on their own to make it a special celebration.

On our birthdays, we are greeted by those who know and love with "Happy Birthday!" Let's not forget the one whose birthday we will celebrate on December 25. Spend a little more time that day with Him. Express to Him through prayer how much you appreciate His birth.

Besides a special birthday greeting, we often receive gifts on our special day. What can we give to Jesus on His birthday? What can we give to someone who has everything? What can we give to Jesus who made everything and rules over everything? We can give Him ALL!

One time a little boy wanted to give his father a birthday present. His father had to drive him to the store and wait while he picked out a present. Then the father had to pay for his own gift. All the same, he valued the gift as a token of his son's love.

What can we give that Jesus would want?

Of course, we love to give each other gifts on Christmas day. Ellen White, in The Adventist Home states "The holiday season is fast approaching with its interchange of gifts, and old and young are intently studying what they can bestow upon their friends as a token of affectionate remembrance. It is pleasant to receive a gift, however small, from those we love. It is an assurance that we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer. . . .

It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver."

On this birthday, it is Jesus who provides the special meal with rich food. It was Jesus who said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." When we give ALL to Jesus, we receive a feast of rich blessings in return!

Unfortunately, Christmas has the reputation of being a very depressing time of year for many in this world. The Psychiatrist's waiting room is full. Drug stores distribute an excessive amount of antidepressants. Suicides are at an all time high. I propose that the care for all of this is not only "putting Christ back into Christmas," but putting Christ back into our hearts. Then the things of this earth will grow strongly dim in the light of His glory and grace.

by Kent Crutcher

                           The Coming King

                       He did not come in royal Guise,
                       A sovereign Lord pro tem,
                       But as a Babe in swaddling Clothes
                       In ancient Bethlehem.

                       Nor was He hailed by cheering Throngs,
                       Or feted by the Priests.
                       For Him no gala Ball was held,
                       Or rich appointed Feasts.

                       But on the low Judean Hills,
                       While tending Sheep one Night,
                       Some Shepherds were amazed to see
                       A most unusual Sight.

                       An Angel of the Lord appeared,
                       And babe them not to fear,
                       For Tidings of great Joy he bore,
                       For People far and near.

                       That Day was born in Bethlehem
                       A Saviour - Christ the Lord:
                       A lowly Manger for His Crib,
                       By angel Hosts adored.

                       And so it came to pass the King
                       Of all the Universe
                       Was come to save a fallen World
                       From Sin's destructive Curse.

                       Today we wait the coming King,
                       Our Lord Immanuel,
                       To take us to our heavenly Home
                       Forever there to dwell.
                              by Adrian V. Boyer

Christian Family Learning Centers

Christian Family Learning Centers, Inc. is expanding its services to include four centers: Hilltop Learning Center, The Sandbox, Hilltop Christian Center for girls, and the Family counseling Center.

Hilltop Learning Center is a new school for boys and girls ages 10-15, an all day, year-round school. This will be a model school of principles of education given to Seventh-day Adventists a hundred years ago. It is being developed and implemented under the guidance of Dr. James Tucker at Andrews University and Dr. Carl Swafford at Southern Adventist University. Interdisciplinary curriculum will include:

                           Organic Gardening
                           Animal Husbandry
                              Bee Keeping
                         Early Pioneer Living
                        Native American Culture
                      Community Service Projects
                             Nature Study
                            Public Speaking
The school is scheduled to open in August of 1998.

The Sandbox Infant and Child care center is already operating. It admits children ages six weeks old and up. JoAnne Skaggs is the Director of this fine center.

Hilltop boarding program for girls will continue and the fourth center will be the Family Counseling center.

Long-range plans are for a teacher training and resource center and for a living museum, a museum of pioneer living where young people will first learn pioneer skills and then teach them to others who come to the museum.

Jean Lomino and Ellen Crosby are working to develop these plans as part of their doctoral requirements at Andrews University. The entire Lead 97 cohort (15 doctoral candidates) at Andrews are interested in making this their project. On October 30, 97 the CFLC Board of Directors gave approval to "go ahead" with these plans. Please remember these efforts in your prayers.

Religious Liberty Issue

The Russian Government has confirmed that the new law restricting new religious organizations does not apply to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In a letter to the Adventist Church headquarters in Moscow, the Deputy Director of the Public and Religious Organizations Affairs Department of the government confirms that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a legally-recognized body. The Director noted that the Church has operate in the territory of the Russian Federation for 110 years, far longer than the minimum 15 years required by the new law.

In addition he explained that "according to article 9, the necessity to prove a 15-year existence of a religious entity in a certain territory only applies to those religious organizations that are not able to prove they belong to a centralized religious organization." Since the Adventist Church has a highly structured organization then the new law does not affect its operation.

"Consequently, no discriminatory measures will be applied to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in relation to the adoption of the new Federal Law," said the director.

"We are pleased to know officially that we can continue to function freely, invite foreign evangelists, organize new congregations, begin operating in new areas, and register as conscientious objectors from military service," said Victor Krushenitsky, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Director for the Adventist Church in Russia.

However, other organizations have not fared so well under the new law. Lutheran and Pentecostal organizations have had their registration suspended, and the Salvation Army in St. Petersburg is to be expelled from its meeting hall, according to press reports.

"Even if we are not the target of this new law, we deplore the denial of religious liberty to others," said John Graz, Religious Liberty Director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters. "The implementation of the law could be very restrictive and we may see misinterpretations in many places."

By Jonathan Gallagher

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

Henry Ford

I brake for Christmas

The bumper sticker caught my eye. Made me think. Even aroused some guilt. I was on the freeway as his car was pulling off. My day had been full and it was far from over. Stuffed in my pocket was a list; most of the items not yet purchased. A little panic rushed over the back roads of my mind as I divided up all the things yet to be bought in those few days left before Christmas. The guy didn't seem in much of a hurry, which irritated me a bit, yet it told me his sign was for real. I began to study the words in my head. They started making sense. I BRAKE FOR CHRISTMAS.

Easing up on the accelerator and releasing my frown, I began to calm down my inner motor with questions like: Why the hurry? Could this explain the reason you've been unable to enjoy the spirit of the season? Psalm 46:10 drifted into my mind like the sound of a distant bell on a clear morning. "Be still and know that I am God. . ."

Charles R. Swindoll in `Come Before Winter'


Is de-caff the answer? Bad news! It has caffeals (coffee oils) and 700 volatile substances like acetaldehyde, acetic acid, nitrosamine, ammonia, and carbon disulfide.

One cup daily increases the risk of bladder cancer three times. Two cups double the risk of fatal bladder cancer. This includes the high amounts of caffeine taken in by soft drinks that contain caffeine.

Tea is no better. It has caffeine, theophylline and tannin, and is associated with stomach kidney, lung, rectal, and esophageal cancer.

Caffeine (10 mg.) Causes a 1 mg. Calcium loss in the bones. There are 300 mg. Of caffeine in three cups of coffee, six cups of tea, or five to six cans of soft drinks. A child drinking a 12 oz. soda with caffeine, on a body weight basis, will equal to that of an adult drinking four cups of instant coffee.

The average American in 1989 drank around 663 cans of soda. Almost two cans a day. There are other hidden ingredients like Aspartame which can cause migraine headaches and even brain seizures, memory loss, confusion, dizziness, and blindness. Xylitol has been linked to tumor growth, liver, kidney, and brain disturbances. Phosphoric Acid in soda can damage developing bones by taking calcium from them and dehydrate the body tissues.

Tannin helps us to have Vitamin B and Iron deficiencies. It is linked to stomach cancer, goiter development, and damages the thyroid.

Caffeine elevates cholesterol and triglycerides, increases risk of diabetes in newborns, increases infertility by 50%, doubles spontaneous abortion risk, and retards growth rate. It triples risk of pancreatic cancer and accelerates blood clotting.

Two cups of coffee will raise blood pressure to levels equal to one cigarette and it stays there for one to two hours. The lethal dose of caffeine is 10 grams or about 70 cups. Many people are taking 1/10 the lethal dose daily.

Then there's chocolate! The bitter taste comes from harmful alkaloids and pyrolysates. The manufacturers add large amounts of sugar and fat to counteract it. You get too many calories - 5 oz. bar equals 3 lbs. of apples in calories. Chocolate sweets are empty - calorie food bombs which add weight, promote food cravings and can bring on disease.

Theobromine, the major methyl xanthine, in chocolate causes abnormal gland growth and twice as tonic as caffeine in causing testicular atrophy, lower sperm counts, enlarged prostate and cancer.

Cocoa contains 6-42 mg. of caffeine per cup and is very harmful with the added fat, cholesterol and high protein to make a chocolate drink.

Try this Recipe. . .

by Charlene Anderson

Carob Cream Pie It's great! It's definitely Fifth Avenue!

Blend until very smooth:

Add and continue to blend: Pour into sauce pan and thicken, stirring constantly. When thick, pour into baked granola crunch pie crust. Chill and serve.

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last updated 2/3/98 by Dean Saunders.