Thursday, November 18, 2010

Despite popular opinion, I do like Christmas, just not what the holidays have become. This Christmas I am excited, our church has decided to be the church rather than focusing on our self. All to often Christmas is about a club that meets in it's church building, celebrating the holidays in a way that makes us feel good and with language we understand. NOT THIS YEAR.

We are embarking on the Contagious Christmas Challenge. We are encouraging each other to give to help families in need rather than just spend and celebrate on our self. The month of November we are receiving money in order to put together a package that will include gifts for the kids and grocery cards for the family. We are truly trying to do this with no agenda other than the love of Christ. Join us wherever you are...take the don't have to send money to us, you can if you like. Be assured that 100% of what comes in will go to truly needy families. You can also do the same thing wherever you are.

The key is, find ways to make people understand that Christmas is about giving to those in need. Christ gave to those in need, He gave something we couldn't get for ourselves and that is what Contagious Christmas Challenge is about. Giving something that they couldn't get for themselves. WHY...because God loves them and so do we.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eye Opening Lunch

Today, Tammie and I had the privilege of going to Paxton Street Ministries and have lunch with Jodie Smiley (Executive Director), Jen Smith (Volunteer Coordinator) and the residents of this ministry.

As we walked in and were waiting for our appointment, a lady began talking with Tammie, they talked about family and kids. The joy on her face was apparent as she told Tammie about her grandkids and the adventures of her life.

Jodie and Jen took us on a tour of the facility and then we sat down in the dining room for lunch. We ate lunch with a woman whose husband was no longer living and diagnosed bi-polar, she shared with us how much she loves when people come and talk with her. She shared how thankful she is for a place to stay, her goal is to become a licensed mental health professional. She reads and loves to draw. She was a dear lady who has been homeless and for the first time at nearly 50 learning to take care of herself in a way that is acceptable to society.

As we had lunch laughed and talked, and then left, I was reminded of a verse in proverbs...

Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

I had to ask myself some tough questions...

Do I "despise my neighbor" by talking about what I can't do rather than doing what I can?

Do I "despise my neighbor" by being to busy to find my God given talent and using it to make a difference in the world?

Do I "despise my neighbor" by ignoring rather than doing things to help those less fortunate than I.

How are you being generous to the poor. Remember, being generous is not just financially.