This week's edition of "The 3" has a definite Christmas flair, as retailers who acknowledge Christmas (and those who don't) gain attention from a number of Christian, pro-family groups, plus the annual effort of Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child, is gearing up for another banner year of collecting shoebox gifts for needy children. Also, a follow-up to last week's story on the Manhattan Declaration demonstrates the power of these challenging words.
3 - Thousands sign "Manhattan Declaration"
Last week, I highlighted the announcement of the "Manhattan Declaration", designed to be a united proclamation by Christians, a belief statement on cultural issues. Since the original release of the Declaration last week, over 180,000 people have "signed" it online through the website, http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/, and the numbers continue to grow rather quickly.
Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama was one of the three lead authors of the document, and visited with me on The Meeting House radio show about what led to the release of it. You can download the audio file at www.meetinghouseonline.info/download.
2 - Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect over 8 million shoeboxes
Operation Christmas Child is the effort sponsored by Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, in which shoeboxes full of toys, school supplies, hygiene items, candy, and more, are sent to needy children around the world. The national collection dates concluded this past Monday, but shoeboxes can still be sent to Samaritan's Purse. The Christian Post had an informative piece about the effort, which aims to send some 8 million shoeboxes in the name of Christ to children around the world. For more information, you can go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org/.
1 - Christian groups identify retailers who acknowledge Christmas
As shoppers flooded the malls and shopping centers on Black Friday, already the cultural discussion about which retailers do and don't acknowledge Christmas in their marketing was well underway. Focus on the Family Action, with regular Meeting House guest Stuart Shepard as the face of the campaign, has announced its new Stand for Christmas website at http://www.standforchristmas.com/, and late last week and continuing this week, customers have begun to "rate" retailers regarding their Christmas-friendliness, or lack thereof. A conversation with Stuart about the overall topic can be found by clicking here and scrolling down to Friday's listings. Also, Christian legal organization Liberty Counsel has announced its annual "Friend or Foe" Christmas campaign, and this week released its "Naughty and Nice" list for this year - find out more at http://www.lc.org/.
A new effort has arisen this year involved the distribution of buttons and even car magnets, proclaiming a belief in using the word, "Christmas". Declaring, "It's OK, wish me a Merry Christmas", this campaign reaffirms the spirit of the season and the importance of using the name of Christ in association with this traditional holiday. For more information, you can go to http://www.wmamc.com/.
"The Blind Side" attracts theatergoers, portrays authentic Christianity
Check out interview with Dr. Marc Newman of Movie Ministry at www.meetinghouseonline.info/download.
Planned Parenthood drops lawsuit against former employee
Biological mom ordered to give up custody of daughter, transfer custody to former lesbian partner