The Brew: The Christmas Spirit Rises From the Ashes of a California Church

By Al Perrotta Published on December 19, 2023

Happy Tuesday!

Six days to go before Christmas. Does today’s Brew need an extra dose of caffeine to fuel the hustle and bustle? How about a miracle to start us off?

Miracle at Christmas: 4-Month-Old Survives Being Sucked Up by Tornado

Have trouble believing in miracles? Good luck explaining this one away. Last Saturday, a tornado slammed the Clarksville, Tennessee, trailer home of Sydney Moore, and sucked her four-month-old baby boy and his bassinet right into the sky.

After escaping from under their collapsed trailer, Sydney and her boyfriend frantically searched for the infant, fearing the worst. Ten minutes later, they found the baby in the limbs of a fallen tree. And, unbelievably, but for some scratches and bruises, the four-month-old was fine. “I thought he was dead,” Moore told WSMV. “I was pretty sure he was dead and we weren’t going to find him. But he’s here, and that’s by the grace of God.”

The child’s name? Lord.

Judge Temporarily Halts Removal of Reconciliation Monument at Arlington National Cemetery

Good news for those of you who believe reconciliation is a good thing. A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order Monday, bringing to a dead halt the removal of the iconic Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. The deconstruction of the memorial, otherwise known as the Reconciliation Monument, had gotten underway earlier Monday.

However, a group called Defend Arlington filed a lawsuit Sunday and by Monday afternoon their petition for a temporary restraining order had been granted. A hearing will be held Wednesday.

The memorial was placed at Arlington in 1914 as a symbol of peace and of reconciliation between the North and the South. Scott Powell at Discovery Institute shares some of the memorial’s fascinating history in an article titled “Who Would Destroy the Reconciliation Monument at This Time of Year?”

…the Reconciliation Monument crafted by the Jewish sculptor Moses Ezekial — is not only one of the most beautiful sculptures of its era. It is also one monument in Arlington that is aligned with the spirit of “e pluribus unum” — the one people out of many — that makes America unique and strong among all the world’s nations.

Some people have called the Reconciliation Monument masterpiece the Christmas monument, because of the reconciliation that God achieved when He sent Christ into the world to reconcile sinners with Him and to reconcile people with each other.

And yet, despite its existence as a symbol of peace, it’s been targeted for removal as part of the effort to wipe out any traces of the Confederacy. Actually, is it the Confederacy they are truly trying to erase, or the proof of this nation righting its wrongs, reconciling and moving forward? Is it the evil of slavery that’s got their goat, or the threat unity and reconciliation poses to their power?

Kamala Harris Now Polling Better Than Biden?

Kamala Harris has been given an early Christmas gift. According to a Monmouth University survey out Monday, Harris now has a higher approval rating than her boss. Joe Biden has dropped to 34% approval, the lowest of his administration, while Harris is at 35% approval.

Christmas Spirit: Church in Pomona Struck by Devastating Fire Wipes the Soot and Tears and Continues With Toy Drive

Talk about showing Christmas spirit. Early Sunday morning, Victory Outreach Pomona church burned to the ground. Leveled. It took hours for Los Angeles County fire fighters to put out the blaze. But the devastation could not put out the flame within the hearts of the Victory Outreach church family. And local Pomona community.

On their Facebook page, above a photo of the smoking rubble they posted Joshua 1:19: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

With the smoke still rising from the ashes, the church then announced that the toy giveaway planned for mere hours later would go on as planned. No. Actually, it was to take place an hour earlier than originally scheduled because the firefighters who helped douse the fire wanted to be on hand to help give toys away. Indeed, after hearing that 500 toys had been destroyed in the inferno, the fire fighters, California Highway Patrol, neighbors and nearby churches raced to collect hundreds of new toys to make up for those lost.

And Sunday night, Victory Outreach Pomona’s Toy Giveaway blessed hundreds upon hundreds of disadvantaged children.

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Congregants and church leaders alike emphasized the church isn’t the building, it’s the Body.

“Listen,” the church posted on Facebook, “we’ve got ‘the church’ out here in the parking lot. You can see, you know, to lose our church. But we know that what’s left standing is The Church.”

On Monday, Victory Outreach Pomona vowed to rebuild their house of worship. “Even though this happened,” administrator Monica Patron told KTLA, “we still have joy because we know that bigger and better is going to come out of this.”

The Los Angeles Times has a moving account of how the church and community rallied to pull off the toy drive just hours after the fire. They end this way:

Behind them stood the ruined church. At the spot where the door used to be, one element had survived: a small Christmas tree in a golden pot that somehow escaped the flames.

If you feel so led, Victory Outreach Pomona’s Facebook page offers ways to help.

Along The Stream

John Zmirak takes on the welcome given to the Satanic display in Iowa, and those upset at the man who toppled it, in “The Iowa Satan Tea Party.” And he’ll be weighing in on the Pope’s alleged departure from Catholic church doctrine to allow the blessing of same-sex couples.

Nancy Flory talks to Dejah Edwards in “A Biblical Counselor on What You Should Know Before Your Guests Arrive for Christmas.”


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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