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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short

the Great Creator Makes

by Thom­as Pes­tel

Behold the great Creator makes
Himself a house of clay,

A robe of virgin flesh He takes
Which He will wear for ay.

Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!

In form of servant is the Lord,
And God in cradles lies.

This wonder struck the world amazed,
It shook the starry frame;

Squadrons of spirits stood and gazed,
Then down in troops they came.

Glad shepherds ran to view this sight;
A choir of angels sings,

And eastern sages with delight
Adore this King of kings.

Join then, all hearts that are not stone,
And all our voices prove,

To celebrate this holy One
The God of peace and love.

See word and music online.

Teaching the Character Quality of Generosity

Generosity is part of a group of character qualities included in the broader category of love.

"We love, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

Explain to your children that we give gifts at Christmas to show our love for others, just as "God so loved the world and gave his only begotten Son."

Look at Why
We Should Be Generous

 •  Because God has been generous to us (Eph. 3:19-20).

 •  Because God tells us to (Luke 6:30, 38; Romans 12:8, 13; Eph. 4:28; Isa. 58:10-11; II Cor. 9:7).

 •  Because we are stewards of what He has given to us.

Study the characteristics of love and generosity and what God says about them:


Wanting and doing the best for another, expecting nothing in return.  Also: compassion, affection, concern, caring, empathy, encouraging.

See I Cor. 13; I John 3:17-18; Romans 12:9-10; John 15:12-13; Phil. 2:1-4.


Gladly and unselfishly giving self, time, talents, money, and possessions.  Also: sharing.

See II Cor. 9:7; I Tim. 6:18; II Cor. 8:1-5; Heb. 13:16; I Tim. 6:18.

Find Out What God Says
about Giving

Read and study Bible passages that encourage Christian generosity.  Start with the following.

__ Deut. 16:17
__ 1 Chron. 29:11-17
__ Prov. 11:24-25; 22:9
__ Matt. 25:35-40
__ Luke 6:38
__ Acts 20:35
__ Rom. 12:13
__ 2 Cor. 8:2-21; 9:5-15
__ Gal. 6:6
__ Heb. 6:10; 13:16
__ 1 Tim. 6:17-19
__ I John 3:17

Discuss What
We Should Give

 •  We must thoughtfully consider the needs of others in order to meet those needs in a practical manner.

 •  We can be generous regardless of our financial situation and our ability to purchase gifts – we have much that we can give: time, attention, conversation, work, service, etc.

 •  When you give to those in need, do it in the name of the Lord so that He gets the glory and others are pointed to Him.

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Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date.  They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

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"The Teaching Home has been a part of my continuing education since I started home schooling, and I have kept every issue.

"I often go back to old issues to find creative, helpful hints or inspiration." Meredith C., Florida

Sunnyside Up

Gifts from God

While riding in the car one day, our 3-year-old daughter, Jenny, was trying to teach her younger sister Amanda, 2, to sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children."

She sang, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are presents in His sight."

How true.  Out of the mouths of babes!

Submitted by Renee G., Georgia.

Send your humorous anecdote to

Bible Reading Schedule

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at

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Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to Abiding Radio at

Also: Old Christian Radio.

God's Love for Us

Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16)

"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)


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In This Issue
Preparing for Christmas

1. Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?
2. Proclaiming the Good News
3. Giving To Meet Needs
4. Affecting Our Culture


  •  Teaching the Character Quality of Generosity

Recommended Resources

  •  FACE: One-Day Sale on Webster's 1828 Dictionary
  •  Beyond Phonics: Spelling, Reading, Vocabulary
  •  Pendragon: Sword of His Father Feature Film
  •  Gospel for Asia: Gifts That Can Transform Lives


In this issue we offer suggestions for your family as you prepare for Christmas.

Regardless of objectionable practices of past and present Christmas observances, Christian families can focus on the true reason for the celebration—God's love in sending us a Savior!

This 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 you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

One Day Sale!
Monday, November 30, 2009

Buy One for Your Family ... Plus One as a Gift!

Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary
of the English Language

The Only Complete
Original Fascimile.

• Examples of words as seen in classic literature and the Bible

• Beautiful hardback book, 2,000 pages, green vellum cover, embossed gold-stamped Paul Revere eagle.

One Day Sale: November 30, 2009, Only
Buy One Dictionary – Get the Second at Half Price!

Order Online with Coupon Code TD09.

Foundation for American Christian Education  /  1-800-352-3223

1. Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?

By no means!  Christmas is the primary Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ the Lord.

However, there is no indication that Christ was born on December 25, and there is no instruction or example in Scripture of celebrating His birth.  Further, the celebration of Christmas did originate from a pagan winter festival and various customs centuries ago.

Yet today the content of Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ the Lord.  The old pagan roots of Christmas are no longer remembered or associated with Christians' observance of this day.

Christmas provides a unique opportunity for Christians to proclaim to the world the good news that a Savior has come—Jesus Christ the Lord!

"This is how God showed his love among us:
     He has sent His one and only Son into the world
     that we might live through Him.

In this is love: not that we loved God,
     but that He loved us
and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
     (1 John 4:9-10)

Adapted from "Isn't Easter a pagan holiday?"

Catch up or Accelerate Spelling,
Fluent Reading and Vocabulary Painlessly

Master all the words in each spelling pattern with character-building, stories for the whole family.


• He repaired the stairs and pair of prairie chairs...

• Terry ate cherries and berries on the terrace of the ferry...

• The ceremony at the American cemetery was very...

• Embarrassed, we carried the parrot through the narrow...

• Mary was careful to prepare the rare glassware...

Beyond Phonics  /  1-800-518-3224

2. Proclaiming the Good News

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 take many forms:

1.  Hand Out Gospel Tracts

These tracts use Scripture to show that Jesus came to die for man's sin and invite readers to accept Him.

 •  The True Meaning of Christmas
 •  Christmas Blessings to You
 •  The Gift
 •  Wise Men Still Seek Him

2.  Include the Gospel in Your Cards and Letters

 •  Send cards with a biblical message and/or Bible verse, write out a verse such as John 3:16, or include Christmas tracts with all your Christmas cards.

 •  If you mail or e-mail an annual family letter, include a personal testimony of the Lord's working in your life, your gratefulness for His salvation, and a Bible verse.

3.  e-Cards & Online

If you send e-cards (Crosscards, Dayspring, etc.) or if you have a website or other online presence, you can include a message and/or link to the Gospel, such as:

 •  Scripture:

"The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

"To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12)

 •  Links to online information and video:

Have you accepted the most precious gift anyone could ever give you?  Read more.

Watch a free on-line video which clearly explains how Jesus Christ was born and why – starting at the very beginning, at the dawn of Creation.  Watch The Hope, an 80-minute video.

4.  Give Christmas Goodies Plus a Gospel Message

Prepare a plate of goodies for your neighbors, friends, and/or family and include a Christmas tract (see above), a Scripture portion (see below), or an audio tape or CD of a book of the Bible.

 •  Pocket Testament League offers free copies of the Gospel of John with different cover designs and translations. 1-800-636-8785

5.  Go Christmas Caroling

Everyone loves to hear the familiar Christmas carols.

 •  Go caroling in your neighborhood, in a hospital or nursing home, or to shut-ins.

 •  Go as a family or with another family or group.

 •  Include your testimony in just a couple of sentences between songs, briefly speak of the gospel message in the songs, and/or pass out Christmas tracts.

Now on DVD!

Sword of His Father

An Epic Feature Film Produced
by two Homeschooling Families

    Filmed in five states with a cast of over four hundred actors, Pendragon is the first independent Christian film of its kind.

    With riveting action and stunning visuals, Pendragon's historic story of faith, courage, and vision is sure to inspire your family this Christmas.  View trailers.

Order online in time for Christmas!

Only $14.99!
Free soundtrack with purchase!

3. Giving To Meet Needs

Christmas is a time of giving, modeled on God's great gift to us. Teach your family how giving pleases the Lord.

1.  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.

 •  See "Teaching the Character Quality of Generosity" in the sidebar at left.

2.  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.)

"Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:1)

3.  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 individual.

 •  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 mission.

4.  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, such as:

Gospel for Asia offers you the opportunity to give the Gospel as well as a practical gift to meet urgent needs of Dalit ("Untouchable") families, showing them a tangible expression of God's life-changing love.

Gospel Rescue Missions present the Gospel, as well as provide emergency food and shelter, youth and family services, rehabilitation programs for the addicted, education and job training programs, and assistance to the elderly, poor, and at-risk youth.  See a directory of missions and "Eight Ways to Truly Help the Homeless" (including precautions for your family's safety).

"He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor."  (Proverbs 22:9)

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 hospitality.

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.

Watch video online.

Gifts That Can Transform Lives

     This year, give to the Lord while touching the outcasts and the needy – bringing to them the Good News of the Savior whose birth we celebrate.

     Through the 2009 Gospel for Asia Christmas Gift Catalog you can give a family in South Asia the chance for a better life by selecting and sending them a gift.

     Your gift will make a difference in their lives – not only materially, but spiritually as well!  Every gift is given in the name of Jesus, and the recipients are eager to learn of the love that generated such a caring act of kindness.

Gospel for Asia

Celebrating Christ.  Transforming Lives.

4. Affecting Our Culture

Christians' celebration a Christ-centered Christmas is a testimony to all around us and can have an impact in the culture warfare today.

Many do not recognize the extent of Christian influence on our nation's founding, giving us a rich Christian heritage, or the majority of our population that are at least nominally Christian.

For example, The Barna Group did a nationwide survey that revealed that "most American adults believe that the stories they read in the Bible can be taken as literal truth" and that "Three out of four adults (75%) said that they believe Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, Mary, as described in the gospel narratives."

Some Christian organizations are working to keep the Christian emphasis in our public celebration of Christmas in various ways, such as:

The Nativity Display

Bruce Barilla furnishes information on right to display the Nativity scene on public property at

As Christmas nears, Barna (see above) pointed out that the large majority who believe in the virgin birth coincides with the fact that few Americans are offended by public displays that remind people of the meaning of Christmas and the importance of the celebration.

The Use of "Christmas" in the Marketplace

Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver has launched the seventh annual campaign to determine what stores want to take "Christ" out of Christmas.

Liberty Counsel's website has provided a list for consumers, so people know where to patronize when they go Christmas shopping. "The 'Friend or Foe Campaign' is designed to make sure that Christmas does not get secularized or censored from its essence, namely the birth of Jesus Christ," says Staver.

Liberty Counsel is also offering a "Help Save Christmas" action pack designed to help show that it is legal to celebrate Christmas.

Also see American Family Association's list of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas.


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