it's almost midnight and i thought of blogging before noel and i start cleaning the basement. yep! we're vampires... hehehe really? we have lots to do in our list and we wanted to get things done right away before we end up putting it off again. weird? yep! i know.
quick update about project hope: thanks to our faithful supporters who promised to send in their donation before the end of the year... we've received $600 last week! all glory to God! please continue to pray for our trip this march. with our finances, we need God's help to make our trip happen.
nway, i thought of attaching today's ODB on today's blog since the message brings the true meaning of Christmas... i think it's important for others to read it just in case some do not bother reading the daily devotional section. i encourage you to read on and hope you'll receive a message that will stir your heart.
I sure hope I made it on time for everyone to read today’s ODB. Since for sure some of you, including me, will be on vacation for the rest of the year. So let’s start!
Two weeks ago, I gathered my kids to talk about the Reason for the Season... you know what Christmas is all about! You can just imagine the logical discussion we had... ah! the amazing questions they all had were unbelievable – as an adult, I think I learned more from them than they did with me. Anyway, after many Q&A and the excitement of gifts they look forward to opening on Christmas Eve and day, I asked them a question that brought silence in the room. The question was, “Since Christmas is about Jesus’ holy birth, what gift would you like to give Him for His birthday this year?” Well, after much thinking... we all came up with the idea of adopting orphaned children for Christmas by providing them with their needs through the help of our home church (www.willowcreek.org ) and as an individual to show God’s love to others by offering help (for my kids, it would be at their school) & prayers for people in need of one. For in Isaiah it says, “If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness.” The Lord wants us to serve others for this delight Him and once we do it others, we have done it to Him.
See, God’s gift of Jesus is most fully realized when we become messengers who feed the hungry, befriend the friendless, or offer hope to the hopeless. We can make sure that the decorations and lights lead us to know Christ’s peace and love and to share it with others.
When Christmas season starts, many of us become preoccupied with decorating & shopping. We invest our energy and money in this yearly ritual. Although, this can all represent our excitement for the season this also has a downfall... we become absorbed in the commercialism of the Christmas season that we place emphasis on material things and putting the gift of God’s message of love and salvation to the bottom of the priority list or sometimes totally disregarding it.
On another note, when we celebrate a child’s birthday, people bring presents for the honoree. Rightly or wrongly, the child expects presents and most guests would not feel right to come to a party without bringing one right? So, why is it that when we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ (Christmas Day), we expect presents for ourselves and not for the honoree?
Friends, if you spent time and money getting Christmas presents for your spouses, children, grandparents, friends and co-workers... why wouldn’t you get a present for Jesus? This year, as we decorate for Christmas, buy gifts for our loved ones... let us not forget to decorate our world with the best Christmas gift of all... the love of Jesus Christ. What I suggest for a present will not cost you a dime, but it is a gift that Jesus will truly welcome and love. Okay, here goes.... drum roll... I challenge you to bring a friend, a classmate, co-worker, neighbor or family member to church for the first time as a Christmas present to Jesus, the ONE whose birth we honor. Now, if you’re one who’s been putting off going to church yourself... I encourage you to go and bring yourself instead.
Remember, a heart-work is God's work... not ours and it’s the best Christmas gift ever!
Once again, thanks for your prayers, support and your faithfulness in reading the Daily Bread I would send. May you all have a Merry Christmas and blessed 2008!!!