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Posts tagged ‘Hour of Power’

7 Ways to Make Christmas Come Alive for Your Preschooler .

Arlene Pellicane

Drama. Big eyes. Belly laughter. Discovery. These are just some of the joys of having a preschooler in the house. At Christmas, all the wonder of the season is magnified through miniature eyes if you will pause to look down at your little preschooler.

I have a 4-year-old daughter named Lucy who loves singing “Jingle Bells” even though she invents new words to the song each time around. She runs to the Christmas tree to be the first one to switch on the lights. She points to several toys in the store and exclaims with delight, “Put THAT on my Christmas list!”

Lucy is the youngest of our three children, so we are soaking in the magic of her silliness this season. Naturally, we want Christmas to be more to her than a new princess present or decorating a tree. Like you, we want Christmas to come alive to our preschooler – making an indelible impression that Christmas is the most festive of holidays because it represents the greatest gift of all. The birth of Christ

Here are seven ideas to help you make Christmas memorable to your preschooler:

1. Go to a little train or carousel in the shopping mall or park. Then add this musical twist. Give your child a bell to ring while she rides. Tell your child that Christ’s coming is worth announcing (like with a bell!). The other holiday riders should find it very festive and smile with approval. If not, just take the bells away after the ride is over and walk away quickly.

2. Take a walk around your neighborhood in search of Christmas lights. It’s fun to bundle up and have an adventure right past your doorstep. Vote on which house is the best overall, most creative, and personal favorite. Give your preschooler a flashlight for this North Pole adventure (plus the light is great for safety). Talk as you walk about how Jesus is the light of the world and how the light shines through the darkness.

3. Make or buy photo ornaments. Put your child’s picture in it and date the back. Any child, especially a preschooler, gets a kick out of seeing his photograph on the tree. Cup your child’s face in your hands and say, “Jesus sees you on our Christmas tree, and He can see you every day, wherever you are!” Add a new photo ornament each year and watch how your children grow, right on your Christmas tree.

4. Have a birthday party for Jesus. Invite your family and maybe even a handful of friends. Read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke and have the kids act out the different parts. Use scarves and coats to dress as shepherds, Mary and Joseph. A doll or stuffed animal makes a fine baby Jesus. Enjoy a birthday cake for baby Jesus and celebrate His birth, the best birthday of all.

5. Make Christmas cards for teachers. Draw Christmas trees, or cut out shapes to make trees, candles or candy canes. Ask your child what she would like to say to her preschool teacher, Sunday School teacher, or special friend. Write down a few sentences and have your child sign the card or color in her name. Have your child deliver the card in person. Make a big deal of your child sharing the love of Jesus through her card and thoughtfulness.

6. Create a hot chocolate bar with toppings. Stuck at home one night? Make the most of it with a hot chocolate extravaganza. Use whatever you have on hand for toppings: whipped cream, ice cream, sprinkles, cinnamon, or chocolate chips. This point won’t be lost on your preschooler: Jesus makes life sweet!

7. Bake cookies and take them to a nursing home. Your preschooler will love all the attention he receives when walking through the halls. Call ahead and ask the activity director if there’s a certain resident that needs cheering up, or if there’s a special event they need goodies for. Tell your preschooler that Jesus came at Christmas to be the Savior for everyone, young and old alike.

As you make special memories with your preschooler, she will understand that Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Fill your preschooler’s days with meaningful activities that will reach out to others. When you and your preschooler have something to look forward to that honors Christ, the season will come alive to you and your whole family.

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She has been a guest on Family Life Today, The 700 Club, Turning Point with David Jeremiah, and The Hour of Power. Arlene and her husband James live in San Diego with their three children. Visit Arlene’s website at

Publication date: December 6, 2013

Christmas every day…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 
1 John 2:6

As I hear songs of the season playing on my radio and see Christmas lights going up on my neighbor’s homes, I remember a special Christmas Eve that I shared with Hour of Power viewers in the Holy Land in 1999. I was 18 years old. There were 500 people, Hour of Power viewers from all over the world all sitting on a hill above Bethlehem. It was nighttime in Shepherd’s Field, and the city of Bethlehem below was sparkling. As we sang beloved Christmas songs, we held these little lamps, and it was amazing. I stood up front with my grandpa. It was lightly raining, but when the service started, the rain ended. It was as if God stopped the rain and it was just beautiful.

Bethlehem was so beautiful and nice back then, but it doesn’t exist like that anymore. I went back to Bethlehem a number of years later and it had a wall around it now that Hamas was in control. All sorts of awful things have happened there since.

I remember when I went back to Bethlehem for a fourth time, I spoke to a man who said, “Bethlehem used to be mostly Christian, about 90%. Now, most of the Christians have left, fleeing for their lives.” This is still fresh in my mind because of everything that’s happening in Israel, even today. We’re praying for the peace of Israel and Palestine. And this is what I want you to walk away with:

The man said, “In Bethlehem, it’s Christmas every day. Not because Bethlehem is Christmas town, but because we believe that Jesus is born in the hearts of Christians in every moment. The ones of us that are left, the Christians that are still here support each other and love each other. I know that I see Jesus in my kids, I see Jesus in my neighbor, I see Jesus in my parents. Because of that, it gives me the strength to endure anything. I will never leave Bethlehem because I believe that Jesus is here with me in the physical bodies of other believers. That means that Christmas happens every day right here.” Christmas is every day.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to live every day as if it were Christmas. Each day I will worship you and your sacrifice through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Reflection: How could you celebrate Christmas, not just through this Christmas season, but every day?

Belonging before believing…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
1 Corinthians 12:27

The three elements of our vision for the Hour of Power ministry – what we’re all about – is formation, community, and mission. Today, it’s all about community.

Community means that the second you come through the door of this ministry with all your sin, all your mistakes, all your bad life choices and broken relationships, all the funny ways that you dress, and all the ways you don’t feel like you fit in, you are family. Community means you belong before you believe. Community means that, in the same way that we receive grace from God, we give grace to you and others.

Community also means that we – all of us – ought to be involved with one another. If you are feeling down, somebody’s willing to pray. It’s good for every one of us to be in a place of community.

Prayer: Lord, when I’m down or feeling alone, I am so blessed to know that there’s a community of believers out there who understand. Guide me into relationship with those who will be able to bless me as I bless them with your love. Amen.

Reflection: Do you have a community of believing friends who can be there in your times of need and celebration?

Each passing day…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Follow God‘s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2

Here at the Hour of Power ministry, through our TV outreach and our local church, we have a vision. Some day my hope is that someone will look at you and ask, “What is that ministry all about?” Without even blinking, you’ll be able to say formation, community, and mission. Those three words I want you to remember. In yesterday’s devotion, I talked about mission. Today, it’s all about formation.

Formation means we’re intentional about character and about being Jesus kinds of people. Paul says, “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” As a believer, as a Christian, we must always stay focused on being a loving, joy-filled, peaceful, warm, and kind person.

We all have our bad days, right? Maybe I’ve had one. No, I’ve had several. Maybe you can relate. But, formation simply means that character matters. And that looking to Jesus as our model, flourishing in his love, we’re growing to be like him more and more with each passing day.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to be more like you. Each day I will look to you for my example of how to love others and have grace for them in all I say and do. Amen.

Reflection: How do you relate to the process of formation?

Our mission in life…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
1 Chronicles 16:23-24

Every church, and every person, ought to have some kind of mission to people that are hungry, sick, broken, lonely, hurting.

This ministry does all sorts of things like that in our local community, but of course, our most wide-reaching mission is the Hour of Power, which reaches millions of people all over the world. We recently received a letter from a woman writing from an Iranian prison. It says:

“Hello, I am a 34-year old, and you may be surprised to know that I watch the Hour of Power in Iran in the small town in the southern part of the country. Today, I decided to write you and thank you. It is certainly a blessing to know that the gospel is being heard in the Middle East. I have believed in Jesus for eight years, and from that amazing moment, my life is changing every day. I was deep in depression because I was not able to fly as a woman. I am a pilot and I was not accepted, but thanks to God that I could finally find my way through these problems. I still can’t fly or even go to church and pray with other believers, and trust God that he will finally take me somewhere to serve him. Please pray for us, the believers in prisons here in Iran, to become united one day. I have decided to pray for your church. Your message is such a blessing and is so powerful. Thanks for your heart in Jesus.” It is signed: “A viewer from Iran.”

How cool is that? So, that is what mission is all about – reaching out to others, helping and encouraging them in the love of Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am a part of your family. You are our loving Father. Help me to share your love with others in my community or elsewhere. Show me who needs your love today. Amen.

Reflection: What is your mission in life?

Crystal Cathedral’s Robert Schuller Diagnosed With Cancer.


Rev. Robert Schuller

Rev. Robert Schuller

The Rev. Robert Schuller, founder of Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, Calif., has been diagnosed with cancer.

The 86-year-old is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, which has spread to his lymph nodes.

His daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, made the announcement during a recent sermon.

In a statement posted online Wednesday at the Hope Center of Christ, doctors said Schuller could live for two years with radiation and chemotherapy.

Schuller launched Hour of Power in 1970. Approximately 10 years later, Schuller’s church completed construction on the Crystal Cathedral.

He resigned from the ministry’s board in 2012, two years after the church filed for bankruptcy.



What really matters…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:7

My daughter Haven is so cute. She’s three years old and she makes these drawings for me. She scribbles a bunch of stuff on paper, she hands it to me, and she’s so proud. Then I take that paper and I say, “Wow this is great. I love it,” because she made it.

I love Haven’s drawings because I love her. But if I had to choose between either losing the drawings or losing my daughter, which would I choose? Haven, of course.

God sees the Crystal Cathedral as I see her drawings. Is he impressed? The one who made all of the clouds of the sky and all of the nebulae in the universe and formed the very earth that we live on, and made you, is he impressed? Probably, possibly a little bit, because he loves us more. But what really matters to him is you.

What matters to me the most are not Haven’s drawings, but the little girl who is my daughter because I love her. And that’s what our former sanctuary is. It is a drawing. And like every other temple, it will be washed away with the sands of time. But the Church as a whole, that’s you and me and believers to come, will be here forever.

God believes in us. He believes in you. He does not believe in brick and mortar. He believes in people because he made us. If you believe it, say amen! And I believe in the future. Do you? I believe in it for you.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am so blessed to look forward to a future with you and with other believers who know who you are. Thank you for not only creating me, but also believing in me. Amen.

Reflection: When you think about what really matters in life, what do you see? How does God show you how much you matter to him?

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