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December 24, 2014 Edition 
Merry Christmas from TOS!  
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

Does this feel like a different Christmas season this year? Are you missing a loved one? Are you in dire circumstances? Are you misunderstood? Are you uncertain of the future? Are you praying for help? In seasons of joy or seasons of pain, in seasons of uncertainty or seasons of anxiousness--I want to have the strength to say, "Yes, Lord." And I know you do, too.


Two women in the Bible, separated by many generations, each in a desperate situation, cry out from the depths of their soul ... and begin their cry with praise. What was it that each of these women knew to be true in the midst of such desperate times that their separate prayers are similar in their strength and depth of wisdom? They must have known their God to be trustworthy and faithful. I mean, really knew Him in order to be able to rejoice in the midst of their unsettling life stories.  


Who am I talking about? Hannah, the mother of Samuel, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Two completely different anxious circumstances ... same faith-filled response.


As you read through the Christmas story in Matthew Chapter 1 and in Luke Chapter 1, you will find Mary in a place of uncertainty; people may have misunderstood and even rejected her. And although Mary herself didn't understand the full reality of what was happening, she must have had a close relationship with her God to be able to quickly respond, "Be it unto me according to your Word." When Mary was with her cousin Elizabeth, what emerged from Mary was not anxiety or complaint, but this beautiful prayer recorded in Luke 1:46-55:  


"My soul doth magnify the Lord,

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:

for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

He hath shewed strength with his arm" (... Read more)


This prayer is very similar to Hannah's prayer when she is leaving her son, Samuel, in the temple to live. Can you imagine leaving your little boy in the hands of a family known to have two very wicked sons? To be able to do this, Hannah, too, must have known her God to be One in whom she could put her full trust when everything around her looked impossible. In her pained situation, Hannah had a living faith. Hear her heart cry in 1 Samuel 2 as she leaves her son:


"My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD:

my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth:

for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven" (... Read more)


May Hannah and Mary's response be ours. May we know our God enough to be able to proclaim who our God is, what He has done, what He will do--even in the midst of uncertain times. Jesus, the Word that became flesh, longs to come to you and reveal Himself to you. He is Holy and Righteous and Faithful. May our soul magnify and rejoice in the God of Christmas.


A blessed CHRISTmas to you and your precious family from all of us at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.




PS. I would love to pray for you this season. If you would like that, just email your prayer request to:


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Raising Real Men    
The Worst Christmas Ever

The season of Christmas is such a tremendous time of celebration and joy, when trials come late in the year it seems especially poignant. Of course, we all experience some level of stress--even the good times and happy occasions have their share of rush and expectation and just plain work to make the holiday perfect. But when unemployment, sickness, or other stress strikes, the added disappointments of a disrupted Christmastide makes our trouble hard to bear.

We've been following the trials of a homeschooling mother of 13 who recently underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor. After a lengthy hospitalization, she came home just a few days before Christmas. Neither she nor husband, who stayed by her bedside all these weeks, has had a spare moment or attention for holiday preparation.

We know the feeling! A few years ago, after a stressful year caring for a newborn with a critical heart defect, Hal was diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer--just a few weeks before Christmas, and right on the heels of a son's surgery with post-operative complications. Christmas just seemed like too much that year, but we had no idea what amazing stuff God had in mind ... Read about the Worst Christmas Ever.

One thing we learned, and what you may be discovering yourself, is that the Savior whose birth we celebrate is not limited or surprised by our troubles. He's been there: Born to a poor family living in an occupied country and oppressed by foreign rulers, He shared His first breath with pack animals and cattle and was a hunted refugee before he could walk. He worked with His hands until He became an itinerant preacher; His family thought He was crazy; religious leaders accused Him of blasphemy; government leaders accused Him of rebellion; a partner in ministry volunteered to betray Him, and His closest friends abandoned Him in His time of need. And ultimately, it was all for our good! Because in His suffering, Jesus was fulfilling the plan of a loving Father to provide forgiveness, peace, and joy to His struggling and weary people.

Do you feel stress, disappointment, dismay or despair, this Christmas? Jesus understands. "We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are." (Hebrews 4:15) The prophet tells us that "He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows," (Isaiah 53:4) and He invites us, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28). May we not only "come and adore Him" but experience His blessed rest this Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 
Hal & Melanie


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The Familyman 
'Twas the day before Christmas and ... that's all I'm writing (because you shouldn't even be reading this).

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Enjoy the day, take deep breaths, throw away all your expectations, don't be in a hurry, cherish those people around your tree, and thank God for sending His Son.

Merry Christmas!
A division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

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Christmas Super Sale


As our special gift to you, would like to offer you a chance to save more than 50% on a full-year membership and lock that price in for as long as you maintain your membership. For $64.26, you can receive a full year of science, social studies, and literature for your high schooler plus dozens of other classes for everyone from preschool to high school.


This one fee covers every child in your family. Not only can elementary and middle school students benefit from the wide variety of courses we offer, but your high schooler can earn one full credit in the following classes:



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Spotlight on 5

Take a look at Spotlight on Five!


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Contest Corner 
For the month of December, 2014


Book 1 and 2 from Wizzy Gizmo



Recently, the Schoolhouse Review Crew had an opportunity to review a group of products that are all about providing resources to parents and teachers to help them "Equip children for life by exploring God's Word."


So "what" is a Wizzy Gizmo? You should be asking "who" is Wizzy Gizmo. He is a brilliant inventor who creates all manner of extraordinary gadgets. These inventions are used to help kids explore the Bible. Wizzy Gizmo is also a series of Bible books for kids, Bible audio dramas, Bible flashcards, and more. These Bible resources for kids are intended to appeal to kids and open up the truths of the Bible in an exciting way.

Here are the products you can expect to read about as you browse through the Crew Reviews:


Book One: Who Created Everything?

This paperback book is simply the written telling of Wizzy Gizmo adventure in Genesis 1. The book contains highlighted vocabulary words. There is also a glossary and a set of review questions in the back. Ideal for ages 4-12.


Book Two: In His Image

This is the story of Adam & Eve. Readers will learn how God made man different from the rest of His creation. We are reminded how we were created in the image of a creative and almighty God. This paperback book also contains vocabulary words, in addition to the glossary and review questions located in the back. Ideal for ages 4-12.


Click on the banner below to read the Crew Reviews!


Wizzy Gizmo Review  

YOU can WIN Wizzy Gizmo books!


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Wizzy Gizmo" for a chance to win* the these two books for your family!  



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