Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What Other Birthday, Indeed!
 
A few days ago we had our annual Embracing Life Christmas party, traditionally held at my seasonally festooned home in Pasadena. Our Board members, volunteers and their spouses gathered for a cozy meal, to sing carols, and enjoy a riotous time of ornament exchanging; all the while squeezed into my spatially-challenged living room. (In truth, the crowdedness really adds to the merriment that erupts amongst us friends!)

This year, Debbie suggested we also take some time to reflect on special family traditions that we experienced growing up. Lots of familiar and a few distinctive memories were shared. Seemingly, most everyone could recollect fond moments, embedded in the season, when familial relationships -normally  not so harmonious for a few - managed to come together and produce sensory joys and childhood wonderment.

Growing up in my home , the Christmas season was the one time in the year when my fractured family came together and sincerely focused on recreating those comforting rituals that bound up Christmas for the Hunters: opening the daily Advent calendar; finding the "perfect" tree and decorating it on Christmas Eve; hanging the stockings, wrapping presents, cocooning by the fire. And, living back East near Philadelphia, there was a good chance we might even wake up to snow! It was an emotionally satisfying time to relish brief glimmers of what family togetherness might possibly be like.

This got me to thinking about my slow creep of preparing for Christmas, ever-earlier each year. (Uh-Oh, I think I'm going retail -Yikes!) No doubt, I want to sustain the anticipatory feelings for "the Day" as long as I can. And why not?! There appears to be quite a few people who feel the same. Whether one is a Christian, or  not , there is unquestionably a spiritual shift  in the air at this time of the year...virtually all around the world. No other holiday produces such an effect on the soul. And so it should be for its origin still reverberates in proclamation: "To us  a Child is born, to us a Son is given."

What other birthday has  ever existed that has commanded such extravagant attention, year after year, throughout the ages, except that of our blessed Savior Jesus Christ. The "Good News" of our Savior's birth in Bethlehem still manages to captivate the world every December, wooing our thoughts and affections, once again, with the music of true Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.

So, I've arrived at a settled place in my heart. I'll take it all: the crass and the sacred, the "Jingle Bells" and "Joy to the World". 'Cause no matter how it's being celebrated, Jesus really is the  only reason for the season. It is  His Birthday. It's Christmastime!

Love and Blessings to You and Loved Ones,
Jonathan            
We hope you will consider sharing this email with friends and loved ones whom you think would benefit from the ministry of Embracing Life. This is a good way to introduce the material and we would appreciate your passing it along. Thanks!

His Grace & Peace to you,
Jonathan's Signature
Jonathan Hunter
Director, Embracing Life Ministries



OUR BOOKLETS

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What a difference 8 years can make!! Check out this video from 2010.

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Highlights from 2018

French Cover
Earlier this year  More Life! was translated into yet another language. FRENCH!

More Glory! HRock 
March 10th
More Life! HRock
Oct. 13th
Our 1-day Intensives were both well attended. As we worked through these booklets with teaching, sharing and prayer each one received the Lord's healing in their hearts and left more prepared to face life's challenges in the strength of the Lord!

Volunteer Appreciation Day
June 30th
Each year we gather together our lovely volunteers and celebrate them with food fellowship and especially prayer for one another. What an encouragement to join in the next year with faith and friendship! Thank you, volunteers!

Two times a year we come together with our board members, intercessors and others to pray for the ministry and seek the Lord for the future and goals of ELM. 

Throughout the year, know that we keep you all in our prayers and are so grateful for you!

More Power!
New Booklet 
in Process
  The cross is a symbolic reminder that "Jesus Christ crucified" is at the core of the Christian faith. If the meaning of the cross is unclear or troublesome to us it loses much of its true significance and power. The intent of
More Power! is to clarify and illuminate the power of the cross in the life of the believer and to others. Believers then discover their true identity in relationship with the Living God, which only comes by way of the cross of Jesus Christ.
In More Power!, through confession, forgiveness, communion, taking up our cross, and more we are actively participating in the Cross. The Cross is more to us as believers than simply knowing about it. We are meant to have God's understanding and see its purpose activated in our lives.
 We are looking forward to publishing this "POWER"-filled book and are actively working to that end.