Tag Archives: giving

Do you need to regroup this Christmas?

chick regroup

Christmas. What a wonderful, magical, depressing, jolly, agitating, sentimental, disastrous, lovely, argumentative, splendiferous season. I’m blessed to be part of a church family that together focuses on the Christ of Christmas throughout this season with special nights and programs that slow me down. I’m afforded and blessed as well to have time of my own to regroup my thoughts and wrap myself up with the Holy Spirit of God rather than scotch tape and frilly paper. But even so life gets messy.  My mind races and my to-do lists pile high and this morning even with all the blessings in my life I need to regroup and remember three things about the season I’m in. I’m glad you’re here with me and I’m praying that you and I can regroup for Christmas.

2 Corinthians 8

The Grace of Christmas

1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

Paul speaks to the church of Corinth about the testimony of grace belonging to the church of Macedonia. I wonder this morning if I’m hogging all the grace for myself this Christmas. The  grace of God that I’ve experienced through awesome times in the Lord with my Church family, that I wouldn’t trade for the world, were needful experiences but were confined to the walls of Victory Baptist Church. The church of Macedonia’s grace was outside the walls of the sanctuary and evident in the community. My Grace needs relocated.

The Gravity of Christmas

How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

Although America is in a mess spiritually, I’m still free to worship Jesus and tell the story of His love, I have food on my table, a home, car, I have stuff… abundant stuff. I don’t get the gravity of actual needs that so many experience 365 days a year. Christmas for them will be another day without even so much as the fundamentals in life. This was where the church of Macedonia was at, in trials and deep poverty yet rich in liberality. The church of Macedonia gave as if they were rich believing that every need they had would be provided for. My gravity (importance) needs redistributed.

The Gift of Christmas

For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

The power of the church of Macedonia came from their willingness to give beyond what was possible. The gift of Christmas has always been sacrifice. The world is in love with the Babe in the manger, but the Babe was just the beginning of the story of God in the flesh, who became the final sacrifice and atonement for sin. The gift of life that I’m given is more than the ability to breathe, it’s my ability to serve. What a gift! For certain Macedonia was sharing the gift of the gospel, but they didn’t stop there. They knew their world needed Jesus, but perhaps before they could receive Him, they needed nourishment for the strength to go on. Yes, my community needs Jesus… but they may need their gas bill paid, or their lights turned on, or a turkey on the table for Christmas.

My Gifts need re-gifted.

Thank You Heavenly Father for the countless gifts I’ve received. Keep my eyes open, my heart willing and my hands ready to serve this Christmas.

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Christmas is not a Calendar date

january Christmas

I spent the greater portion of Christmas day at the Charleston Area Medical Center in ICU with my husband’s family as they spent the day with their mother who’s battling the fight of her life after a heart attack.  It was there we celebrated Christmas in the waiting room and shared a meal better than most people of the world could imagine. My sister-in-love Judy prepared and hauled to the hospital Thirtyone ® bags and coolers filled with the Ham and all the trimmings, topped off with the best peanut butter candy I’ve ever eaten in my life! It was almost as sweet as the fellowship with family. It’s cliché to say we take life for granted, and for the most part empty; it’s hard to understand what we have until we’re on the brink of losing it. From the looks of the shoppers and Facebook posts America looked to fare pretty well this Christmas.

You don’t have to spend Christmas day in an Intensive Care Unit to realize how blessed we are, but it doesn’t hurt. Most of the other patients in the area had visitors loving on them, stroking their brow and speaking words of kindness, but many laid alone as the medical staff tended to their physical needs but there was no time to take care of the emotional. I returned home late last night to be greeted by Izidora the Chihuahua, who didn’t know it was Christmas, she just knew she missed her people. Just a simple act of love as she spun around in circles and jumped up and down at my feet. I have a lot to learn about love…

I scrolled past posts on Facebook this morning trying to catch up with friends and family to see how they spent their Christmas and looking back at me were two of the most beautiful brown eyes ever from a child in the Philippines. She held in her little hands a box of food given to her by a missionary and I thought… I just about missed Christmas again. It’s not December 25, it’s January 1 through December 31.

It was in the box of goodies delivered by my sister in love, it was in the stroked brows and whispered “I love you’s”, it was in bowls of rice in the Philippines and in Izidora’s funny dance. It was in compassion for the convict, mercy for the addict and a coffee cup from the Bogg’s family who love me and allow me to be a part of their family antics! It was in a hug from church kid Connor, who tells me I’m his favorite, and then tells 30 others the same thing… but he means it! Christmas didn’t end yesterday, only the commercialized part.

I hope today you find a hidden Christmas gift, or you deliver one yourself. I’m heading back to Charleston… with that though in mind.

Matthew 10:42

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.