CALLING CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

 

The time is now! We need action, not words. As the War against Christmas continues, we are calling on all Christian Soldiers to join forces to Reclaim Christmas for Christ. We are holding all elected officials, including every governor, accountable and on alert that our constitutional rights regarding a nativity display will be upheld in those states without them. This battle has begun and will continue until all states across America and every community respects the true meaning of Christmas through a constitutionally protected nativity display in the public square or on state or local property.

This is a clarion call for action for all Christians to join forces united in this cause. This is also a battle for all faiths and people to protect their constitutional rights.

As a Christian activist, I fought and won my own Battle of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida in a highly contested struggle regarding a nativity display through the Federal Courts that lasted over three years. I sued our mayor, town manager and the town in this matter, which resulted in the town being found in violation of seven of my constitutional rights, costing the taxpayers over $262,000 in legal fees. In addition, my Consent Judgment with the town forced my mayor out of office. This lawsuit opened a public forum in the town. Today, my nativity stands next to the town's Menorah. 

Bill O'Reilly of Fox News called it "A Big Legal Win for Baby Jesus" when I appeared on his show. 

If I can make a difference, you can too! On September 17th, Constitution Day this year, I went to pray on the capitol steps in Washington, D.C.. Furthermore, I also flew an American flag high above the capitol as a symbol of our constitutional freedoms to launch this campaign.

 

We are off to a great start!!!

 

         

 

Breaking News Breaking News...

  Three Kings Day Celebration To Be Held At Florida State Capitol For The First Time Ever


On January 6th, Three Kings Day, Christian activist Sandra Lee Snowden, founder of Reclaim Christmas For Christ.com, will unveil her "Cross of The Nativity: Prince of Peace" in the Capitol Rotunda in Tallahassee, Florida.The ceremony celebrating the Epiphany will be held at 12:00 noon. The ceremony will be led by Father Hugon Assembly of The Knights of Columbus in Tallahassee. Grand Knight, Randall Smith will be leading the celebration. This marks the first time in the capitol's 190-year history that Christians have had the opportunity to celebrate Three Kings Day and the Baptism of Christ.

For millions of Christians around the world, the Christmas season is not over until January 18th.
 As a native of South Florida, Ms. Snowden affirms, "I grew up during the first Cuban exodus into Miami in 1960's. My Cuban friends and classmates shared with me the importance of this celebration annually".

Throughout our state of Florida several faiths, including Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches, have there own traditions. In Miami, the world famous Three Kings Day Parade will be celebrated by thousands on Sunday, January 12th.

On our west coast of Florida, in Tarpon Springs, The Greek Orthodox Church has a cermony officiated by The Archbishop entitled the Epiphany Cross Day celebration.  Hundreds of fishing boats head out into the ocean where the Archbishop, standing on a barge, tosses a cross into the water. Young men dive from the fishing boats into the water to seize the cross symbolizing the Baptisim of Jesus in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. The one who recovers the cross in the water than returns it to the Archbishop.   

As a Christian activist, Sandra Snowden has been involved in a nativity display issues before in Florida. Several years before, Sandra took on her former home town of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida in the federal courts to allow a nativity scene be shown in the public square alongside the town's menorah display.

After three years of legal battles, she won a consent judgment against the town that was in violation of seven of her constitutional rights. Bill O'Reilly of Fox News called it "A Big Win for Baby Jesus" and hosted Ms. Snowden on his program.  To date, her lawsuit against the town's exclusion of a nativity display was the largest in history, costing the taxpayers $262, 000 with her mayor being forced out of office as a result. Ms. Snowden was named one of the 50 most powerful women in South Florida. Her nativity scene still remains up on Broad Causeway through January 8th in celebration of Three Kings Day in Miami.

The cross being unveiled was commissioned by Ms. Snowden, especially for the Three Kings celebration with Daniel Johnson from Chicago as the artist. It is entitled "The Cross of The Nativity: Prince of Peace. The painting depicts the journey of the Three Kings and their epiphany and divine manifestation upon seeing the Christ Child. The cross will be on display at the capitol rotunda until January 18th.

On January 6th, from 12 noon to 1 p.m., the unveiling will take place with a ceremony featuring readings that reflect the importance of the cross and the epiphany. The ceremony will be open to public. Ms. Snowden is calling for all Christians at the ceremony's close for a moment of silence to recognize those who sacrificed their lives in an attempt to gain freedom upon Florida shores.

In addition to Sandra's organization, she is working in cooperation with The Thomas More Society and American Nativity Scene. Together, their goal is to fight for our constitutional freedoms and have a nativity display allowed in all 50 states for Christians to celebrate during the Christmas season.

 

Ceremony Speech

Blessings everyone for joining us this January 6th 2014, Three Kings Day, in our Florida State Captol's Rotunda  to celebrate together both the Birth and Feast of the Baptisim of our Lord Jesus Christ. To millions, this celebration is known as "The Epiphany" and is a continuation of the Christmas season through January 18th.

Throughout our state of Florida several faiths, including Catholics and Eastern Orthadox churches, have there own traditions. In Miami, the world famous Three Kings Day Parade will be celebrated by thousands on Jan. 12th, my native hometown. I first learned to celebrate Three Kings Day as a young teen back in the early 60's from my Cuban classmates that had come to Miami during the first Cuban exodus and brought with them religious traditions from their country they had to flee for freedom.

On our west coast of Florida, in Tarpon Springs, The Greek Orthodox Church has a cermony officiated by The Arcbishop entitled the Epiphany Cross Day celebration.  Hundreds of fishing boats head out into the ocean where the Archbishop, standing on a barge, tosses a cross into the water. Young men dive from the fishing boats into the water to seize the cross symbolizing the Baptisim of Jesus in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. The one who recovers the cross in the water than returns it to the Archbishop.   

On behalf of Sandra Lee Snowden, Founder of Reclaim Christmas For Christ. com, The Thomas More Society and American Nativity Scence, we all wish to thank you for being here today to celebrate together at this most important historical moment. We are extremely sorry not to be with you. Here in Chicago, we are experiencing Artic-type  conditions with over 1 foot of snow and record breaking temperatures dropping between zero and minus twenty degrees. With most all flights cancelled for the last several days and the city mainly closed down, we were unable to join with you in the Great "Sunshine" State. However, we do want to sincerely send out out heart-filled thanks, warm wishes and prayers to everyone.

We would first like to give thanks to Jesus Christ for being our Lord and Savior and who is here with us today. To God be the Glory. We would also like to thank Governor Rick Scott, our elected officals and state administrators for opening the doors of our great state capitol and allowing us our constitutional freedoms here in the Rotonda, which is now open to all citizens as our Public Forum.

In addition, our profound gratitute  for this ceremony and display of the "Cross of the Nativity: Prince of Peace" would not be possible without the stewardship and support of Father Hugon Assembly of the Knights of Columbus in Tallahasse under the guidance of Grand Knight, Randall Smith, whose  leadership has helped so much to bring us together.

We are celebrating:

Our Christ

Our Constitution

Our Country  and...

Our Capital

Those here today are making history, leaving your footsteps of faith at our State Capitol for generations to follow and walk in. 

In addition, we are also celebrating our capital's 190th anniversary, whose modest beginning began in a log cabin back in 1824. 

As a state, Florida became the 27th member of the United States of America on March 3, 1845. As we stand together, we need look no further for inspiration than from the Great Seal of the State of Florida in this rotunda and its motto from 1868, "In God We Trust".

The ceremony today will reveal the importance of these celebrations as well as the story behind The Cross Of The Nativity: Prince of Peace. Each aspect of this display has its own meaning and story behind it.

Symbolism of the Cross

This " Cross of The Nativity:Prince of Peace" is an inspiring, commissioned work of art I had created especially for this celebration. Noted African-American artist, Daniel Johnson, from Chicago, painted his vision of the epiphany. The painting depicts the journey of the Three Kings to Bethleham and their "divine manifestation" upon first seeing the Christ Child.

Together as we stand before the cross, one of the first things we might notice is the simplicity of its representation in art of God's humility. The cross was built out of pine wood from the evergreen tree which is also a symbol of our Christmas season. Pine wood is very durable, which is synonymous with the word "lasting".  Combined together, they form EVER-LASTING, which is God's love for all of us.

As earlier noted, the cross is also the symbol of the Epiphany for Eastern Orthodox churches, as mentioned in the Cross of the Epiphany Day celebration.

The Trinity

As we gaze at the center of the cross, we see three bolts as part of the painting holding the cross together. The positioning of the the bolts symbolize the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the artwork. 

Color

At first glance, one can also notice the striking blue color that represents the color the sky where the Three Kings saw the Star of Bethlehem. In addition, the blue color represents the waters of the Jordan River where Christ was baptised.

Prince of Peace wording on cross from Isaiah 9-6:

"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."

Isaiah 9-6 maybe the most familiar, Old Testament prophecy about the birth of Christ. Handel included these words and one of the great choruses of his Messiah oratorio. Chances are you either sing it or hear it several times every Christmas season.

Unfortunately, we seem to pull this passage out of the box during the holidays. It's like one of the ornaments we use to decorate our houses, but have you ever thought about the rich truth this single verse teaches us concerning the King of Kings?

Isaiah wrote this prophecy at least a hundred years before Israel was taken into Babylonian capitivity-nearly 600 years before the birth of the Savior! Looking at a litany of failed monarchs, and sitting in the rubble of Israel's monarchy, Isaiah looked across the centuries to a time when God would rule on Earth through His Son.

This scripture has been chosen for the Cross of The Nativity because the The Prince of Peace prophecy was realized when Christ was born.

Star of Bethlehem

The star on top of The Cross of The Nativity in Christian tradition is know as the Star of Bethlehem, or also The Christmas Star. The star revealed to the Three Kings, and led them on a vision quest to Bethlehem and to the house where they found Mary and Baby Jesus. Many Christians see the star as a miraculous sign to mark the birth of Christ or Messiah.

Some theologians claim the star fulfilled a prophecy known as the Star Prophecy from Isaiah.

The star is also the symbol to all Christians that Christ is indeed "The light of the world. "

The Three Kings

Now we come to the Three Kings, who are regular figures in the nativity celebration and an important part of the Christian tradition. Traditionally, nativity scenes depict "Three Kings" visiting the infant Jesus on the night of his birth, in a manager accompanied by a shepard and angels, they assume symbolic stature. The Biblical account simply presents them visiting later following the star of Bethlehem and confirming the Son of God.

As in the NRSV, Matthew 2:1-12 states:

"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem asking , "Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage". When King Herod heard this, he was frightened and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was born. They told him, "In Bethelehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepard my people Israel'.

Then, Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I also go and pay him homage". When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.

When they saw the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they had an epiphany-a divine manifestation- when they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chest, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Footsteps in the Sand

The painted footsteps on The Cross of The Nativity is symbolic of the poem "Footsteps in the Sand" by Mary Stevenson, which lets us know, even today, that God is always with us.

 

Poem:

One night I had a dream..

I dreamed I was walking alone the beach with the Lord, and Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened and saddest times of my life. This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way". But I have noticed that during the troublesome times in my life, There is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why in times that I need you the most you should leave me.

The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child. I love you and would never, never leave you during your time of trials and suffering.

When you saw only one set of footprints, it was that I carried you".

My Story

In closing, I would like to share with you my story.

As a Christian activist, several years ago I sued my former home town of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida in the federal courts for not allowing me to display my nativity scene next to the town's menorah on Broad Causeway. After three years of legal battles in the courts, I won. My town was found to have been in violation of seven of my  constitutional rights. Bill O'Reilly of Fox News called it "A Big Win for Baby Jesus" when he hosted me on his program.  To date, my lawsuit against the town's exclusion of my nativity display is noted as one of the largest in history, costing the taxpayers $262, 000 to fight against me in the courts. As part of my Consent Judgement with the town, I even demanded that my mayor step out of office for his remarks that, "hoilday decorations were trivial "and denying me my constitutional rights of freedom of speech and religion.  This January 6th,  my nativity still stands celebrating the Christmas season and through Three Kings Day in Bay Harbor Islands, Fl.

Standing-Up for Jesus takes a lot of faith that HE is calling you for whatever mission is put in your path. During my darkest hour of my battle, God spoke to me and gave me courage to continue. Now, I pass this Prayer for the Christian Soldier unto you. 

Prayer of the Christian Soldier

Your strength will come from above

Whose arms are holding you with Love

Be Strong, Be Brave and do not despair

God's presence and light will always be there

 

The road ahead will not be calm

So take with you the Book of Psalms

Rejoice in knowing the difference you'll make

And all in the name of Jesus' sake

 

Pray for those around you don't understand

How the Power of God is guiding your hand

You're never alone, He will show you the way

Stand up for Jesus! Stand up today!

 

And when the weary battle is over and won

God will smile on you, and he'll say, "Well done"

So hurry Christian Soldiers and do not delay

Stand up for Jesus. Stand up today.

 

God inspired in my darkest hours

-Sandra Lee Snowden

 

 


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Sandra invites all world citizens to email her pictures of nativities from your global community. Also, please email Sandra if you need prayer overcoming your challenges. Please carry with you my God inspired Prayer for the Christian Solider.  This will give you the courage you need to stand up for Jesus today.  God Be With You. Merry Christmas!

  • Call Sandra at: (312) 953-3108

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