Justin Bieber’s Early Christmas Gift: A Holiday Album

‘We are going to try and raise alot of money this year for charity!’ teen pop star tweets about next project.

By Terri Schwartz

Beliebers have more to look forward to this holiday season than just chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Justin Bieber announced Thursday (August 25) on Twitter that he’ll be releasing his first Christmas album later this year.

“So it’s true…been in the studio doing something special for christmas. we are going to try and raise alot of money this year for charity!” the 17-year-old Canadian pop star tweeted.

This will be Bieber’s second studio album, since his first release, My World, was technically an EP. Barring the release of Never Say Never — The Remixes, which featured the new single “Never Say Never,” this will be the first new music Bieber has released in more than a year. He didn’t share whether he will be collaborating with any other artists on his holiday record or when fans can expect it to hit stores.

Bieber is no stranger to using his musical talents for charitable causes. In 2010, he took part in “We Are the World 25″ alongside Miley Cryus, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Bieber has supported charities like Give Back Hollywood, Jumpstart and Children’s Miracle Network in the past, though he did not specify which charity he would be donating the proceeds of his Christmas album to in his tweet.

The “Baby” crooner isn’t the only artist to announce a Christmas album recently. Zooey Deschanel shared the news over Twitter earlier this month that her band She & Him will be releasing their first holiday album — and third album overall — later this year. In addition, Bieber’s fellow Canadian Michael Bublé has been releasing a series of promos for his holiday album, Christmas, on his official website over the past few weeks.

Memo from God

Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes you need to make in your life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill my promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you.

I know I already gave you the 10 Commandments. Keep them. But here are 10 guidelines that you need to always remember:

1. QUIT WORRYING

If life deals you a blow all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST

Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can’t help you until you turn it over to me. And although my to-do-list is long, I am after all, God. I can take care of anything you put into my hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

3. TRUST ME

Once you’ve given your burdens to me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on my list. Problem with finances? Put it on my list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For my sake, put it on my list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE

Don’t wake up one morning and say, “Well, I’m feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here.” Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It’s simple. You gave me your burdens and I’m taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don’t you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with me and forget about them. Just let me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME

I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I’m in control. But there’s one thing I pray you never forget. Please don’t forget to talk to me – OFTEN! I love you. I want to hear your voice. I want you to include me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply your having a conversation with me. I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH

I see a lot of things from up here that you can’t see from where you are. Have faith in me that I know what I’m doing. Trust me, you wouldn’t want the view from my eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE

You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven’t heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT

I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, maybe have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient when it takes me a little longer than you expect to handle something on my to-do-list? Trust in my timing, for my timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should fix everything that quickly.

9. BE KIND

Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for my sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF

As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only – to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes my heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don’t ever forget that!

With all my heart I love you,

GOD

The King James Bible’s Christmas season

World’s Best-Selling Book by Donald L. Brake, Sr.

For many centuries Christians have celebrated Christmas on December 25th (Western Church) or January 6th/7th (Eastern Church). While there are many attempts to discover the origin of the date for Christmas, perhaps the most common explanation is that the Roman church first established the day in the 4thcentury in conjunction with the winter solstice and the celebration by Roman pagans. Christians trying to minimize the pagan holiday began to celebrate it as the birth of Christ.

While the date of Jesus’ birth cannot be ascertained for sure, some facts suggest that the idea of a white Christmas may not be the most consistent with Gospel accounts. The scriptures that state there was no room at the inn, but only in the stable, may suggest that the animals either had not come in for the winter, or had been sent out to the spring pasture.

The Gospel according to St. Luke 2:7 states that Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger because there was no room in the inn. Traditional Christmas pageants depict Mary and Joseph arriving at Bethlehem only to find the local motels (inns) full; but the kind innkeeper offered them a place in the stable to accommodate the birth of Jesus.

Luke 9:8-14 records that the “shepherds were abiding in the fields watching over their flocks.” Why were the shepherds attending their flocks in the fields in the cold and rainy winter season?

Justin Martyr first mentioned Jesus’ birth in a cave in the second century. It was not uncommon for houses in the Judean hillsides to be built as extensions of a cave. The ground around the cave was simply leveled and a stone-like structure built adjacent to the cave. The cave area would be shared with the animals during the cold winter rains and the heat of summer.

The common house was composed of four rooms consisting of a main hall, guestroom, a private family room, and then a storage room to house the animals, which was often a cave with a shared entrance. Perhaps the guest room was full so Joseph and Mary were offered the cave room where the animals lived in the winter and hot summers.

A shepherd guards his flock in Autumn, near Bethlehem. (Photo: Todd Bolen)
A shepherd guards his flock in Autumn, near Bethlehem.
(Photo: Todd Bolen)
(Continued next page)