Franklin Graham, son of Evangelist Billy Graham, said Friday that his father’s health has worsened in the past few days. Graham told Charlotte station WSOC-TV at a Christmas charity event, “My father’s health has declined quite a bit in the last few days. I’m not even sure he knows Nelson Mandela has passed away. He hasn’t been able to get his strength back. Vitals are good. He’s just weak and at home.”
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Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
Herod the Great reigned from 37–4 b.c. In the temple priests served on a rotating roster. The division of Abijah was the eighth of the twenty-four divisions (1 Chr. 24:10); each ministered for a week twice a year. Zacharias was in this division and his wife was named Elizabeth. They were both godly and upright people and having no children was certain to be a major disappointment because children were seen as God’s reward to faithful people (Ps 127:3-5). Priests did not have any retirement age so Zacharias could have been very old but still continuing in his priestly duties. In the midst of the pain of barrenness Zacharias and Elizabeth did not blame all their problems on God and leave His service. Instead they continued faithfully, and were about to receive the surprise of a lifetime.
On Monday, Texas lawmakers sent notices to schools letting them know that new legislation allows them to dress festive and say “Merry Christmas” without fear.
The new law was passed unanimously by the Texas legislature this year and is backed by social conservatives who see political correctness censoring Christmas. The new legislation also covers the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.
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Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
Both the nation of Israel and Jesus Christ were called out of Egypt in their infancy. And even in Jesus’ infancy, God The Father called Jesus His Son. Jesus completed what began in Exodus. In the Exodus the Israelite were set free from physical slavery and tyranny. Jesus had come to complete that work and set them, as well as the gentiles, free from slavery to sin and the spiritual tyranny of evil spiritual influences.