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Much to be grateful for
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Today, millions of people around the world are celebrating Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son.
More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus came into this sinful world, born of the virgin Mary, to redeem mankind. There were no CNN or FOX newsbreaks to herald this miraculous birth, nor any continuous 24-hour coverage.
Because of His miraculous birth, we celebrate. Whether in this country or overseas, people today pause to say happy birthday to Jesus.
While churches hold services, people exchange gifts and families gather for fellowship, we have so much to be grateful for in this country.
Pastor Glenda Cooke of Full Gospel Holiness Church in Allenhurst said she is grateful for Jesus today. 
“He is the greatest gift who was ever born. Isaiah 9:6 says, ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’  This is the verse I would give to everyone this Christmas and for the upcoming year,” Cooke said.
“Jesus is the answer to every problem,” she said. “The Bible has the answers for everything, whether it is sickness, healing, finances or whatever. James 1:17 also tells us: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.’ 
“Sometimes we put forth so much effort at this time of year that we actually miss the very reason for the season. In the middle of all this hustle and bustle, what is the reason for the season? Not stress, but peace and joy.”
Pastor Kirtley Walthour of Zion Temple Holiness Church in Midway said he is grateful because Christ was born on Christmas and later died for our sins.
“I am grateful to be alive this Christmas and to be able to enjoy Christmas,” he said.
“I am grateful the military is not in an all-out war. If I could give a gift to everyone, it would be to tell them about the gift of eternal life.
“The scripture I would give them for the upcoming year is ‘Let brotherly love continue’ (Hebrews 13:1).”
“There is much to be thankful for on this Christmas Day,” said Pastor Rich Wright of First United Methodist Church of Hinesville. “I am thankful that God called me to be a pastor and sending people to bless me, being able to be a blessing to people and seeing God’s handiwork in creation and in humanity.
“The verse I would give to people for the upcoming year is Isaiah 40:29-31: ‘He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’
“If we have hope in the Lord, we have strength,” Wright continued. “The gift I would give to people is to tell them not to take their faith for granted. People don’t go to church, don’t give, don’t pray and don’t serve. They need to work for God.”

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