I heard the bells on Christmas day is a civil war hymn. Forgotten stanzas 4 and 5 refer to the despair of brother fighting brother and hate between Christians and those who should be friends. Read the lyrics, and make the application to our time today, when the enemy and his human minions are working overtime to divide us.
Early Methodists were persecuted and lived lives of hardship. Charles Wesley, who with his brother John started the Methodist movement, wanted to encourage his followers. He wanted them to be a singing, joyful people and not get discouraged and lose hope.
Rick Warren is the evangelical celebrity pastor-leader of the Saddleback mega-church in California. His Purpose-Driven series of books and seminars have done much to continue the ongoing merging of corporate business values and methods with the American protestant church.
As they were studying chapter three in the book of Malachi, a group of women came across the verse that says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” They wondered what that statement meant about the character and nature of God.