Bring Crosby’s “Merrie Old Christmas” aired on November 30, 1977 in the United States and December 24th in the United Kingdom, shortly after Bing Crosby died at the age of 74.

A song written specially for that production was performed as Mr. Crosby sang with David Bowie, “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”

As Crosby sings the classic Christmas tune “The Little Drummer Boy” with its marching cadence, a haunting lyric is sung by David Bowie asking, “Peace on Earth, Can it be?”

Therein lies a paradox, can peace be found as the drums of war sound?

Christmas has become the focus of many a paradox as the years go on. In the birth of a child to a young couple long ago, many find reason to run over their neighbor at the local mall. In the gift of God’s Son to humanity, humanity gives itself the excuse to revel in things that distract from the purpose of the celebration.

The Christmas Season becomes a concentrated picture of the state of mankind. Focused on ourselves, we forget the eternal story of a gracious God, answering the greatest need in the history of humanity. God’s love is often spurned in pursuit of things that, in the end, destroy the very peace we are so desperate for. In pursuit of pleasure we sacrifice the peace of soul we desire at the deepest level.

My sincerest hope is that you may see a peace, established “before the foundation of the world,” flood your soul and cause you to “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!”

Can you imagine a nation filled with people at peace with God? A nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished? That is what drives me to place my life into starting the Family Policy Alliance here in Wyoming.

I was reminded of a statement C.S. Lewis wrote as I listened to Mr. Bowie sing of “seeing a day when men of good will live in peace again.” C.S. Lewis once wrote, “The real peacemaker is he who promotes peace, not he who gasses about it.”

Let us prove ourselves by our actions and stand for the truth that promotes eternal peace.

Merry Christmas,

Nathan Winters
Director of Advocacy – Wyoming

 

One of the great word associations with Christmas is “hope.”

There is something special about the season – with more time with family, the conclusion of a year, and the reflection on God’s greatest gift – that lends itself to a hopeful feeling that builds on the celebration of hope personified.

Yet, as we know from Scripture, the coming of Christ was not the origination of hope. Instead, hope was provided the moment humanity fell. The Lord provided a promise of redemption right there in Genesis 3:15. Upon the very instant hope was needed, hope was provided in the form of a promise from a God who never lies and whose power to deliver is beyond understanding.

But, sometimes doubt is easy, isn’t it? It certainly was easy for those in the time of Christ who had so allowed doubt to take root that they ultimately killed the Savior they’d hoped for. And, it’s easy to allow doubt to creep in to the point where you miss the glimmers of hope the Lord provides in the midst of a wave of easily found negativity when you turn on the news.

Hope is never absent, though, and that’s by design. Hope is to be a defining trait of the believer even when it’s difficult and unnatural. Because the Lord didn’t wait to give hope, He hates for us to wait to cling to it. It’s there. Always present. And, even when it’s hard to see, it remains a great gift available to us.

This year has, thankfully, been one where hope has been easier to see. We have, especially here in Georgia, been blessed with godly leadership. Our state helped light a flame that spread across the nation for life – marking what is the most hopeful year ever in our efforts to save life. We have momentum on every front, and we are seeing the results from our labors.

We have been blessed to see hope more clearly this year, but, no matter what happens in 2020, it will be present in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. May hope be at the root of every decision, discussion, victory, and defeat. May we never lose sight of the great gift of hope.

I want to thank you for the hope you have given me, for the hopefulness you show in your own walk, and for the hope you have helped bring to your state. May that light of hope be with you in bountiful ways this Christmas and may it remain visible for all the world to see.

Wishing you and your family a Blessed and Merry Christmas! So much to celebrate and what a great God we serve!

Merry Christmas!

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Luke 2:8-11

The Christmas story is full of limitless intrigue, as the mystery of the incarnation is hard to fathom. The anointed one promised by the Father and prophesied by ancient Hebrew seers invaded the earth silently under the radar. His grand arrival was highly secretive. This innocent child, born without sin, would soon conquer the worst of evil and decimate the schemes of the evil one. Fallen humanity would experience great joy. Peace between God and man was now made possible by the Savior.

The realities of the shepherds in the field is often overlooked by Hallmark cards and traditional carols. These Jewish men were living in an oppressive and heartless Roman world. Violence was celebrated through the gods and gladiators and unbridled sensuality was public throughout the empire. The regions of Judea and Samaria had a different vibe, the people dwelling there were desperate for hope! They longed for political salvation, of which there would be none. Pax Romana would reign for centuries more.

Yet, amid darkness and bad news, came a bright light proclaiming good news. A messenger announcing that God was working behind the scenes. His sovereignty was never absent and His will was never obstructed.

Today, I firmly believe God is working in unseen ways to give us victory in New Jersey and making known his salvation to those who remain blind to His truth. Hope is the steadfast confidence that the best is yet to come. I believe it!

Let us rejoice this Christmas season in the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord. A Savior has come not to condemn us, but to save us from our sins. I pray your Christmas holiday is full of joy, memorable moments and peaceful family relationships.

Merry Christmas!

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

 


Len Deo
Director of Alliances Northeast Region, Family Policy Alliance
Founder & Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council

Ok be honest, you love to sing don’t you…maybe not in public, but I bet when you are alone in the car you belt out some Three Dog Night, or maybe “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks. It’s ok, we all do it, we humans love to sing – some good, some not so good! But since the beginning of recorded history, we see people that would raise their voice in song.

We sing about love, loss, what makes us happy or sad. We sing about our hopes and dreams and what makes us laugh. I believe there is also a longing in each of us to sing to our creator. Psalms 95:2 reads “let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to him with Psalms.”

Whether you like Christmas songs or not, the Christmas season creates many opportunities for singing. “Joy to the World,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” are perennial favorites.

One of my fondest memories of Christmas growing up was the Christmas Eve service we attended each year at church. We would all gather together as a congregation, hear a few words from our pastor, then we would sing songs about Christ’s birth and our salvation. I remember the final song every year because it was my favorite, Silent Night. We would dim the auditorium lights, then one by one we would light the candles we were all holding. As a kid I loved the flickering lights and the soft glow of the room. Even then I could feel there was something holy about voices lifted up in praise to God, it has always felt like a perfect expression of Love to our creator.

We all live very busy lives and often we can get distracted with all that is happening around us. Regardless of your circumstance this Christmas season, remember we have so much to be Joyful about. A willing Savior was born to rescue us from ourselves because there was simply no other way. He was willing to endure physical torture, even willing to die. But ultimately, he rose again and was willing to ascend to be our constant advocate before God the father.

During this season of celebration, take time to show God your complete love and devotion through time with him. Make a joyful noise to our creator…even if you’re alone in your car.

Merry Christmas,

Jeff Bennett
Executive Director

This Christmas season, more than ever, my husband and I have a sense of expectation. We are expecting our firstborn any day now—in fact, I am writing this to you on my due date—and we are wondering when our daughter will make her appearance. We’ve named her Aurora, which means “light.” Our prayer is that her life will always reflect the True Light coming into our world that we celebrate each Christmas season.

And yet we wait for her to arrive.

Waiting to enter the Promised Land. The world awaiting a Savior. Children waiting to open presents on Christmas morning. Waiting on medical results. Waiting on answered prayer. Waiting to end the devastation of abortion in America.

As Christ followers, all of us are familiar with seasons of waiting.

And, as Christ followers who pray, seek and even take action in the areas of policy and politics to see a nation where life is cherished, sometimes the waiting can feel as though nothing will ever happen. But I bet the world felt that way waiting on Immanuel, too.

Something is happening.

Pro-abortion groups are buzzing about a new report from a network of independent abortion providers—those not associated with abortion mega-giant Planned Parenthood. These independent providers are responsible for over half the nation’s abortions, with Planned Parenthood and doctors’ offices comprising the rest. The report bemoans that in the last seven years, nearly one-third of all independent abortion providers have closed down.

This didn’t happen overnight. This type of result has been decades in the making—following the prayers of believers, churches and pregnancy centers ministering to babies and their mothers, strong prolife laws and advocacy in states across the nation, and vigorous work in elections.

We saw more states than ever advancing Heartbeat bills this year—policies that ban abortions after a preborn baby has a detectable heartbeat, usually around six weeks gestation. With more heartbeat bills and laws emerging, this shows that states are more and more determined to protect preborn lives.

Most states now have laws strengthening the access to information about abortion that a mother must receive prior to an abortion procedure. These laws often include a requirement to offer to show the ultrasound to the mother.

And a new type of “information access” law for mothers is now in effect in eight states. This law requires that mothers be informed that a chemical abortion (abortion by pill) may be reversible—a truly life-saving law since many mothers regret their decision to abort.

Finally, at the federal level, the Trump Administration continues to prove itself as the most action-oriented prolife Administration we’ve seen. Among many other steps the President has taken to protect life, his Administration stopped taxpayer-funded family planning grant money from going to abortion-providers. His Administration is also working to protect medical professionals from being forced to provide abortion services when they have a faith-based or moral disagreement with the procedure.

Again, these amazing advances to protect the lives of preborn babies and their mothers didn’t happen overnight. They are the result of God’s work through decades of prayer and dedicated action and partnership. Thank you for the role you have played—and for your partnership with Family Policy Alliance® to cherish life!

Yes, there’s still so much more work to be done to end abortion in America. And yes, Roe v. Wade is still in effect (and has been for over 40 years, much like when God’s people wandered in the wilderness.)

But, as I wait for Aurora – rejoicing that God has a purpose for her life – I pray you will join Family Policy Alliance and me in rejoicing over all God has done in the decades since Roe to show that He hears the prayers of His people who are desperate to cherish life in America.

“God with us” began as a preborn baby, which is all the more reason we are confident that He is not neutral or silent on the issue of life—and that all life can truly be cherished in America.

With great expectation,

Autumn Leva,
Vice President of Strategy

Nearly every Christmas, my dear Grandmother would give me a red sweater. I don’t recall her doing the same for my siblings or cousins—but I confess that memories fade after 40+ years. Looking back, that red sweater was always one of my favorite gifts. Not because I particularly like sweaters a lot or because my favorite color is red—it isn’t.

I loved the red sweater because of how my Grandmother looked at me when I opened it. She would beam with joy. She would come to me, pat my cheek and tell me “how good I looked in red.”

Grandma is gone now. Yet, red sweaters at Christmas still bring a smile and a tear—because I’ll always remember her joy from having picked out the perfect present for me. Indeed, those moments when a simple red sweater—in her eyes—made me my best, are memories I will cherish for life.

In a similar way…

Our Grand Father gave us the most special gift, chosen specifically for us by name, given at the perfect time, so that when putting Him on—He, too, sees only our best. How can we ever say thank you enough for that?

I hope when you see a red sweater this Christmas (and they’re everywhere 🙂), you will also recall the Father’s joy for you in knowing that He gave you the best gift ever.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us at Family Policy Alliance!

Sincerely,

Paul Weber
President & CEO

 

The holiday season that we’ve now entered is a busy time of year with parties, performances, gift buying, church activities, and the list goes on. However, in our household there is one duty that is regarded as truly painful: writing the Christmas letter.

Back in the late 1980s, Christmas letters were all the rage. They were a nice way to fill friends and distant loved ones in on the past year of your family’s life. Since that time, they’ve become the butt of jokes and have sometimes morphed into tiresome screeds that rival War and Peace.

That first year of our marriage we did a Christmas letter with lots of gusto. We now “flip” to see who has to write the thing. When it all started, everything was new and exciting. At this point in our lives there are lots of phrases such as “is still working for…”, “is still in school at…”, “continues to love doing…”. They’ve become a little tedious sometimes.

All that aside, our family still does Christmas letters. Why? Because they tell a story. Do you remember the major events that took place in your life in 1990 or even more recently in perhaps 2007? I don’t either.

We’ve saved every Christmas letter over the past 32 years of our marriage. They tell the story of newlyweds, first jobs, health issues, the birth of our children, family struggles and triumphs, dearly loved pets gained and lost, living around the country, visiting far-flung places, highs and lows of extended family members, and so on.

Going through the letters with our children has always provided a wonderful snapshot of our lives and insights into how all of us have grown into the people we are today. However, if I’d have to choose one theme across all these letters it would be grace.

God’s grace and provision for our family is evident in every letter. Nothing we’ve done, right or wrong, has negated the grace of our Lord over more than three decades. So you see, there really is no “curse of the Christmas letter” for our family, outside of having to write another one this year, and I think we’ll survive that.

Others are not so lucky. If they were to write a Christmas letter, the sentences might start out like this. “I felt alone and afraid and did the only thing I knew to escape – I had an abortion. I’m so ashamed.” “This year I lost my business because I stood up for what’s right – my faith.” “It was another year of my daughter being taught how feeling she was a boy was perfectly natural for someone in elementary school, how she needed to be affirmed, and how hormonal drugs and counseling could help.“ Those would be the real curses of a Christmas letter.

I don’t ever want those letters written, and I’m sure you don’t either. Your donation will help us prevent these stories from ever happening. Further, right now we have $15,000 in commitments that will match your donation dollar-for-dollar if you donate before the end of this year.

Please take advantage of this opportunity and help us make sure the true “curse of the Christmas letter” never really happens. It may be a chore to pen that Christmas letter each year, but it is a story of love and hope. Let’s make sure everyone will be able to tell that same story.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

“God of wonder, God of light
God is with us here tonight
Holy Savior in this manger
Come to set the world to right”
-Phil Wickham, Star of Wonder

Isn’t that what we all want? We want all things to be made new and for all the hurt and devastation we see in the world to make sense and for things to be made right.

When we live in a world of such chaos and so many hurting people, peace is hard to imagine or understand. I work on issues every day that boggle the imagination. Troubled teens who don’t feel like they fit anywhere. Parents who are struggling to connect with their kids and doing the best they can. Hurting, desperate women who don’t know where else to turn except to an abortionist. Doctors, other medical professionals, and educators who just want to help people but are stuck in the back-and-forth tug of the culture wars.

Yet peace is the promise that the child in the manger brings. He proclaims that one day and even now – He is bringing restoration to our relationship with God and with those around us. By overcoming sin – the thing that breaks our peace with God and others and that we in ourselves sometimes don’t have power over – He is bringing all things to peace.

That’s a beautiful truth that my meager brain cannot fully understand.

And the paradox of all of this is that He gives peace amidst the chaos as I continue to live in the middle of it all. The peace that He brings doesn’t look as the world thinks it should. Instead, it looks like living in accordance with the design of our Creator and living from a place that knows to whom we belong. From that place we can truly love God and our neighbor well.

From the world’s perspective, engaging the culture and doing the work of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas® definitely doesn’t look like peace. But neither did Christ’s birth in a manger or death on a cross, but through those sufferings He brought peace.

May we be agents of peace throughout this whole Christmas season and throughout this year as we work to bring peace on earth and good will to our fellow man.

Merry Christmas,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

I am very excited to tell you that for the first time ever, a nativity scene will shine next to the state Christmas tree in the North Dakota State Capitol Memorial Hall. The scene and its associated Christmas celebration are sponsored by North Dakota Catholic Daughters.

Why am I excited? For a couple reasons. First and foremost, it is an affirmation that our state explicitly recognizes the importance of the birth of Christ in this Christmas season. Thank you, Governor Burgum for supporting this important observance of Christmas.

Second, the Halls of Bismarck are intended to represent our state. With over 75% of our state self-identifying as Christian, it seems only appropriate that a nativity scene be present at the State Capitol.

Won’t you join us next week and celebrate the birth of our Savior at the Capitol? The nativity scene will be lit at an ecumenical celebration 4-4:30 pm, Thursday, December 5, which will include a choir, words from Al Jaeger our Secretary of State and others, as well as singing of Christmas carols.

Tickets and advance notice are not required – just show up. You can contact Laurel Ann Dukart at 701-335-9613 with any questions you might have. See you there!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

We live in a fallen world. With all the attacks coming from those who don’t embrace a Biblical worldview, it can be downright discouraging. As a new member of the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas® team, I have learned much during the past three months. I am more and more aware of the things in our society that can be disturbing. Abortion continues. Groups are pushing our kids to try to change their biological sex through harmful hormones and surgeries. People are ignoring how our Creator created them and are convinced that they can do what they want when they want, to include trying to force others to believe the way they do.

In so many ways our society lives like the Israelites did during the time of the judges, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (Judges 21:25 NIV)

Despite all the discouragement, I have hope.

I believe that most Kansans agree with the vision of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas which is a Kansas in which God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Together, we are standing firm and taking action (see Daniel 11:32). We are seeing pastors and Christian leaders running for, and being elected to, school boards, city councils, and state office. We are responding to the recent liberal Kansas Supreme Court ruling that somehow created a right to abortion in our very own state Constitution. We are coming together with our state legislators to put a Kansas Constitutional amendment on the ballot so that Kansans can reverse this ruling and declare that there is no right to abortion.

However, my hope is not based on what we can do. My hope is based on what God is doing. 1 Peter 1:13 offers words of challenge and encouragement during this season of advent, “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” Based on these words, all of us have a responsibility to have “minds that are alert and fully sober.”

For me, that means staying informed and having confidence in Jesus Christ. We also depend upon the grace of Jesus. We should not have hope in ourselves. We are to trust Jesus while we align ourselves with His plans and purposes.

Jesus Christ came into the world because we cannot save ourselves. Jesus is coming again to usher in a new world. In the meantime, I have hope because Jesus is my King.

Sincerely,

Pastor David Beauchamp
Director of Church Engagement