Unite the USA

Christmas In America

 
Christmas In America


A tired WWII veteran looked up from his recliner and made eye contact with me. The time had finally come to share vivid memories of the war: "I heard my friend, only 19-years-old like me; he screamed, 'My legs are gone!' Then I stepped on a mine. I felt it tear into me. I prayed...not so much for myself, but for my family...my mom, my dad. I lived...but [my friend] died..." Such sacrifice deserves our appreciation. Let's recognize that freedom isn't free. Today, let's pause and pray for our veterans.

 "I fought for the right to say 'Merry Christmas'." The veteran made eye contact and his eyes displayed the signature acute, astute gaze of a hero. My family and I reflected later on how poignant was that quote and that moment.

Veterans fought for our freedoms -including the freedom to celebrate Christmas. This veteran vividly reminded us of that fact. Powerful.

Take a moment. Picture Christmas. Food covers red and green themed tables, which are surrounded by talkative and laughing loved ones. Faith, hope, and love saturate songs in the background. Aromas of cinnamon and savory meats fill the air. Bliss.

But what about Christmas for veterans, their families, and the troops? Well, it's not always such a pretty picture. And that's putting it mildly.

Today, WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans fill nursing homes and hospitals. Many simply don't have families in their area. Some have families who forsook them because of war-related and military-related heartaches. Regardless of why, many veterans experience loneliness and post-traumatic stress related challenges that few can truly understand.

But the good news? You can make a difference to help make Christmas better for our nation's heroes! Even now you can do something.

No veteran's room should be bare. For incentive, take some time to think about what they gave for you: For many, violence took away their previous innocence. Many saw their friends blown up in front of them. That does something to a human being.

They sacrificed their home lives. They spent (and still spend) many holidays alone so that you can have the freedom to gather with your loved ones.

Ready to do something for them now? Good! We have some suggestions:

  • Call your loved ones who served.

  • Offer to Skype with them or help them Skype with their loved ones.

  • E-mail a nursing home in your area and ask the activity director to read out loud your e-mail to veterans in the nursing home.

  • Have your children draw colorful scenes to express love and appreciation.

  • Order a pizza and have it sent to the veteran, if possible.

The main thing is to do something. And that little something will be so much better than nothing, and it just could mean everything to a veteran.

Jesus, the ultimate freedom-Giver, laid down His life for us to be set free from the tyranny of sin and death. He said, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, ESV). Our nation's heroes were willing to lay down their lives for us. The least we can do is to lay aside some time and resources to make them feel loved and appreciated.

Near Christmas, let us all share with veterans the truth about Jesus and the love of Jesus through actions and words.

Sharing about Jesus and His Love with a Veteran:

Freedom from sin and death wasn't free either: Jesus paid the price for you and me. Yes, Jesus died for us to be set free from sin. But, in order to trade our sin for a Heavenly win, we must come to the Giver of true life: Jesus Christ. "Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free]" (Matthew 20:28, AMP).

Jesus fought our battle for freedom when He took our capital punishment on the cross. He bled so we wouldn't. He paid what we couldn't. He conquered the enemy - including sin and death.

Near holidays, a lot of drinking occurs. But nothing drowns our sorrows forever. We need true spiritual water. Consider this amazing Scripture combo: "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God" (Ps. 42:1). Jesus quenches the thirst: "But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life" (John 4:14, AMP).

At Christmastime, we often ignore whom we should most adore: Jesus. Will you personally invite Jesus into your heart today? Will you receive His gift of eternal life and turn from trying to do things your way?

His battle-scarred hands reach out to you now. His beautiful, loving heart invites you to know true love and life in Him. Will you open your heart to His? Will you ignore or adore Him today? Remember: Jesus alone holds the power to set you free. "So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free." (John 8:36, AMP).

-Stacie Ruth Stoelting, Cofounder of UnitetheUSA.org and PrayingPals.org

P.S. If you want to learn more about receiving Jesus as your ultimate freedom-giving Savior and Lord, click here: http://prayingpals.org/knowgod.html 


Christmas Recipes From Former First Ladies
                             
Mamie Eisenhower's Fudge Recipe

Ingredients

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
3 milk chocolate candy bars (two 7 ounces, one 1.55 ounces), broken into pieces
4 cups (24 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk  
4-1/2 cups sugar   2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil and butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the candy bars, chocolate chips and marshmallow creme; set aside. 

2.  In a large heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk, sugar and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 4-1/2 minutes. Pour over chocolate mixture; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

3.  Using foil, lift fudge out of pan; cut into 1-in. squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: about 6 pounds.  

 

Jacqueline Kennedy's Creme Brulee

Ingredients

3 cups heavy cream
1 -inch piece vanilla bean
6 tablespoons sugar
4 egg yolks
2 eggs

Directions

In upper part of double boiler, heat 3 cups of heavy cream with the vanilla bean. In a bowl, beat 6 tablespoons of sugar with the egg yolks and eggs until light and creamy. Take out the vanilla bean, and stir the warm cream into the yolks very carefully and slowly. Return the mixture to the double boiler, over boiling water. Stir constantly until the custard coats the spoon. Then put into a glass serving dish and place it in the refrigerator to set. When ready to serve, cover the top of the custard completely with brown sugar, using 1/2 cup or more. Place the dish on a bowl of crushed ice and place custard under broiler flame until sugar melts and caramelizes. Keep watching it, for the sugar will burn. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Martha Washington's Great Cake

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups currants
1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel
1/3 cup chopped candied lemon peel
1/3 cup chopped candied citron
3/4 cup Madeira, divided
1/4 cup French brandy
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons ground mace
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, separated
Sugar Icing (recipe follows) (optional)

Sugar Icing Ingredients:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons rose water or orange-flower water
In the bowl of an electric mixer, start beating the egg whites on low speed, gradually adding 2 tablespoons of the sugar. After about 3 minutes, or when they just begin to form soft peaks, increase the speed to high and continue adding the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until all the sugar is incorporated and the egg whites form soft peaks.
Add the rose water, and continue beating to form stiff peaks. Use immediately to ice the cake.

Cake Directions:

1. Combine the currants, orange and lemon peels, and citron in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the Madeira, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight. Stir the remainder of the Madeira together with the brandy, cover, and set aside.

2. When ready to bake the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

3. Drain the fruits in a large strainer set over a bowl, stirring occasionally to extract as much of the Madeira as possible. Add the strained Madeira to the set-aside Madeira and brandy.

4. Combine 1/4 cup of the flour with the fruit, and mix well. Add the almonds, and set aside. Sift the remaining flour with the nutmeg and mace.

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating for several minutes after adding each ingredient. Whisk the egg yolks until they are light and smooth, and add them to the butter and sugar. Continue to beat for several minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.

6. Alternately add the spiced flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and the Madeira and brandy, beating until smooth.

7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks. By hand, gently fold them into the batter, combining lightly until well blended. By hand, fold in the fruit in thirds, mixing until well combined.

8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. If serving the cake plain, turn it out of the pan to cool completely. If finishing it with icing, turn the warm cake out of the pan onto a baking sheet, and proceed with the icing.

9. To ice the cake, spread Sugar Icing generously onto the surface, piling it high and swirling it around the top and sides. Set in the turned-off warm oven and let sit for at least 3 hours, or until the cake is cool and the icing has hardened. The icing will crumble when the cake is sliced.

Sugar Icing Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, start beating the egg whites on low speed, gradually adding 2 tablespoons of the sugar. After about 3 minutes, or when they just begin to form soft peaks, increase the speed to high and continue adding the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until all the sugar is incorporated and the egg whites form soft peaks.
  2. Add the rose water, and continue beating to form stiff peaks. Use immediately to ice the cake.
     

 

 
 
Media Features
Operation Military Christmas
Stacie and Carrie shared about Operation Military Christmas on a TV/radio tour across the USA. Here are two highlights:

1. Click here to view Stacie and Carrie's interview on FOX News that aired on Sunday.

2. Click here to listen to Stacie and Carrie's interview on Wallbuilders Live! with David Barton and Rick Green.
This Month's Bible Verse
 

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)


A Christmas Message from
Ruth Graham
      
Ruth Bell Graham Reads the Christmas Story (1953)
Ruth Bell Graham Reads the Christmas Story (1953)
       
Featured Quote
 

 "Through Jesus Christ the world will yet be a better and a fairer place. This faith sustains us today as it has sustained mankind for centuries past. This is why the Christmas story, with the bright stars shining and the angels singing, moves us to wonder and stirs our hearts to praise. Now, my fellow countrymen, I wish for all of you a Christmas filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and many years of future happiness with the peace of God reigning upon this earth." President Harry S. Truman, Christmas Eve Address, 1952
 

 

Featured Founding Father

Jonathan Dayton (October 16, 1760 - October 9, 1824) was a politician from New Jersey and the youngest person to sign the United States Constitution. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as the fourth Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dayton also served in the U.S. Senate.
 

 

Christmas Resources

Here's a List of Wonderful American Christmas Books, Music, and Movies:


1.
A Christmas Gift by Kathi Macias: Enjoy a wonderful new Christmas book by our friend Kathi Macias. "Chiapas, Mexico, had proven to be the distraction and escape Julie needed. As a teacher, she had longed to travel and instruct abroad. Now, she was teaching and falling in love with her students. But what she didn't expect happened in the short days leading up to Christmas. She didn't know that her freedom would depend on Ramon, the local pastor. She didn't anticipate the emotions this man of God would stir deep in her spirit. This Christmas Eve service would be unlike any other she had ever experienced. Would this simple man and his faith be enough to cause her to stay when she had every reason to leave?"

2. Christmas With A Capital C:   This is an excellent movie starring Nancy Stafford that is a must for your Christmas movie collection.

3. First Ladies Cookbook: Favorite Recipes of all the Presidents of the United States: Enjoy recipes from former First Ladies, from their kitchens to yours.

4. A Merry Christmas with Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters: It just wouldn't seem like Christmas without music from one of American's favorite singers, Bing Crosby complete with the Andrews Sisters.

5. White Christmas: This year is the 60th anniversary of the movie White Christmas, a holiday favorite for generations. Starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen, this movie will make your Christmas a little happier and brighter.


 

In God We Still Trust 
A CD by Stacie and Carrie Stoelting
                             
Per request from veterans who love patriotic and inspiring music sung by Stacie and Carrie, In God We Still Trust was recorded. From the National Anthem to "God Bless America" you will be inspired and uplifted about our God-given freedoms. All proceeds go to Unite the USA. Help promote faith and freedom in America. Your support is important and appreciated. Buy or download a copy today.God bless you as you celebrate the red, white, and blue!

 

American's Guidebook
                             
Unite the USA: Discover the ABCs of Patriotism is a book by Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth Stoelting. It's a book that empowers patriots to make a big difference in the land we love. With 100+ ways to make a positive difference in America, Unite the USA is a must-have tool for patriots. Unite the USA will inspire and educate Americans to defend faith and freedom. (Important Note: All proceeds go to fund the mission of UnitetheUSA.org.) Order it here today!

 

Booking Info
                             
Celebrate the true spirit of America with Carrie Beth and Stacie Ruth. Book Stacie and Carrie for concert or conference! E-mail info@unitetheusa.org for more information.

 

In God We Still Trust Video
In God We Still Trust
In God We Still Trust
 Our country needs to turn to Jesus. Listen to "In God We Still Trust" for inspiration to keep "fighting the good fight". For hope and encouragement, listen to Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth sing "In God We Still Trust".
                             
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups butter (at room temperature)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl. In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.  

  

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