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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tis the Season

Ahhh . . . Tis the Season. The season for making wish lists. The season for getting wish lists. The season for shopping.

When Ethan and I got married, we started the tradition of Black Friday - getting up super early the day after Thanksgiving to get the deals. We have continued this as much as possible if we are staying in the right area during Thanksgiving. Sometimes we go in shifts to let our two young children sleep, but we still try to get those deals.

This year, as I was trying to juggle my armload of great deals in Younkers and as I was watching the chaos of everyone around me trying to get to the "door busters" before they ran out, I was thinking about the reason we celebrate this time of year - God sending His Son into the chaos of this earth to bring peace for those who trust in Him. This is something that should be celebrated each and every day of the year!

I also was thinking about the whole point of fighting the crowds to get the good gits and that giving gifts to family and friends helps us to remember the gift of God's Son. I think that we need to be careful not to be swept away by consumerism while doing this though - something that we should really be careful about all year long as well.

Awhile ago my husband showed me a music video of a church who needed a new building due to lack of space. They decided that instead of building a new multi million dollar building, because of their location they could build an amphitheater instead. They could then use the money saved to help meet the needs of many more people in their community and around the world. The video doesn't really talk about their amphitheater or church, but talks more about what all our money is worth. I really encourage you to watch the video. It's a great song and a thought provoking message.

So back to Black Friday . . . As I was doing my shopping and reflecting on the Christmas season, this video kept running through my head. As I walked around, I considered how much we spend at Christmas, God's gift to a world in need, and the needs of this world that continue to remain today.

A few weeks earlier, a friend of ours told us about Gospel for Asia. They give 100% of donations received to the people they are serving - nothing being taken out for administrative cost. Among other things, they have a program where you can give animals to families who are are considered outcasts in their society and live in slums without much hope. Since our family has been thinking about farming and the usefulness of owning animals so much this year, I thought this was pretty cool.

I know this is a pretty random post, but I just wanted to throw a challenge out to everyone who reads this. While you are purchasing and giving all of your gifts this Christmas, remember those who have needs greater than we can imagine. See if you can find an organization that excites you, and give a gift to someone who will never know who it was that helped them out.

If you do this, I would love to hear what you did, but please leave your comment as anonymous. It would be so encouraging to see all of the different ways that needs are met by others not only this Christmas season but throughout the year.

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