Monday, November 14, 2011

Bringing Gifts Joy & Hope

This is a special weekend, it was the weekend we focus not focusing on ourselves. In a society that is "me" driven it is even more important that we intentionally and daily help our children learn (and remind ourselves) that it is not all about us. It was Veteran's Day on Friday so all week we thought about how we were going to bless our favorite Veteran. Then on Saturday we were going to focus on one of our favorite ways to start the Thanksgiving/Christmas season - gathering gifts to give to Samaritan's Purse for Operation Christmas Child. We participate every year as a church and we do so as a family. If you are unfamiliar with Samaritan's Purse and all that they do, please I encourage you to stop by their website.

I love the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Before we went shopping this Saturday we read the story to be reminded of our small part in helping those in need. For over 40 years Samaritan's Purse has been providing aid to the world's poor, sick, and suffering...all in the name of Jesus Christ. Operation Christmas child helps our children remember the joy in giving.
So Saturday was the day. Each boy had a shoe box and off we went - they were to gather enough gifts to bless a boy their age.."so shop for something you would enjoy", plus Mom and Dad would gather some items of necessity as well.
They totally enjoyed packing their boxes and cutting out a picture of themselves and writing letters to the recipient of their box. I love to see my superheroes so full of joy with just the thought of making another young boy thrilled to receive a box of love from them. After we finished writing letters and stuffing boxes, the most important part of the boxes is not what goes inside, but the prayers prayed for each one.
Mr. Incredible lead us all in prayer over the boxes. We prayed individually for the boys that would touch these boxes, we thanked the Lord for Samaritan's Purse and all that they do and we even prayed for the people who would be delivering these boxes with the message of Jesus Christ attached to each one. Oh what joy! What a way to start the Christmas season, by NOT thinking about ourselves, but others and being grateful for the opportunity to share Jesus in yet another tangible way. This brings me to my continued list of 1000 Gifts, focusing on what I'm grateful for....

Thank you Father for...

230. The opportunity and the means to provide gifts of love for Operation Christmas Child.

231. Yet another chance for the lesson of Luke 10 to be ingrained in the hearts of my children.

232. The men and women who presently serve or who have served our country to fight for freedom.

233. Trusting me enough with the charge of three precious boys. May I honor you as I raise them.

234. Directing us 8 years ago to a church that loves you and is so generous in their giving.

235. Giving us a Pastor with a passion for the lost and practically loving on those in need (presently in Mali loving on our missionaries).

236. Family, both by blood and the blood of Jesus.

237. Our special friend, that we see outside weekly and make sure we talk with her and love on her. Oh how we love to see the smile on her face when my sweet Shane shouts her name with excitement and love.

238. Our health, especially during a week of fighting colds and having tests run.

239. Your Word that brings me joy and hope every single day.

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