Sunday, December 12, 2010

Give More

We've reached week 3 in our Advent Conspiracy--Give More.  I have to say the evidence of giving was all over the church today as the presents  were due for the Crisis Pregnancy center.  Each year the need has been greater and each year our church has sponsored more families.  There were 400 tags on the giving wreath this year.  Our church also takes responsibility to ring the Salvation Army bells several days during the season.  I'm not saying this to brag,  I just want you to know that as a congregation we've embraced the whole concept of spending less on ourselves or giving unappreciated gifts out of obligation and are instead sharing with those who truly need to feel God's love in a tangible way right now.   As part of Advent Conspiracy we are also giving financial gifts to Living Water, an orphanage in Mexico, and a Safe House for abused women in children in our county.

Giving to those in need is only half of the giving more equation.  The other half is giving more of ourselves--making time to spend with those who matter most.  Some of the best gifts don't necessarily have to cost much, but they do require imagination and effort on our part.  The pastor shared one example of a young man who gave his dad a bag of coffee beans.  The beans could only be ground and brewed when the donor and donee were together and the time had to be spent with the dad sharing memories with his son.  I bet the dad never smelled coffee again without thinking of the precious time he and his son spent together.

Last year I gave my father a copy of a cookbook from one of his favorite restaurants and told him to place his order--entree, side dish and dessert and invited him over for a family meal.   Quality time can also come from making the gifts, not just giving them.  I also got to spend time with my son making persimmon loaves to give to my husband's co-workers.  (I find watching Ratatouille before we start builds his enthusiasm to cook).

You can learn more about Advent Conspiracy at their website.

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