November 21, 2010

Christmas Wish List?

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How do you feel about Christmas Wish Lists?  I have different thoughts about them:

  • For grandparents who don’t see their grandchildren often, it’s more satisfying to send a gift you know they want … but for those you do see often, it sometimes feels like a cop-out.
  • Something about the reason for the season can get lost in giving according to the list – sort of like going through the motions.
  • But who wants to give a gift the recipient doesn’t want or need … and who wants to receive one!

Guess that prompts the question of why give a gift at all?  Is it for the giver or the recipient? 

We give the gift as a reminder of God’s gift to us –  His son Jesus.  We can never match that gift; God knows that, but if the gift causes the giver and recipient to think about His gift to us, that’s enough for Him.  So, who’s it for, the giver or the recipient?  Both!  The giver and recipient should both feel warm about the giving and the receiving, and when it’s accompanied by fellowship and food and singing, more the better!

Back to where we started, what about the Christmas Wish List?  I say, to each their own.  If providing a list warms your heart, provide one.  If giving something on the list warms your heart, give it.  Whether you make a list or give something on the list, let’s just remember the reason for the season.  Without Jesus, there would be no Christmas.  What do we sing during the Christmas season – Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Away In A Manger, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy To The World, Go Tell It On The Mountain, The First Noel, Do You Hear What I Hear, Little Drummer Boy, What Child Is This, We Three Kings, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and the list goes on and on and on.  A list filled with stories about the birth of Jesus.

And with that background, here’s my Christmas Wish List!  If I’m on your list for a Christmas gift, here’s my wishes:

1.  Text ONEHOPE to 85944 and for a $5 charge to your cell phone bill, a Bible will be sent to a persecuted Christian who has asked for one.  See http://www.onehopeproject.com/ for background on the One Hope project and you can donate more than $5 if you would like.

The rest of my Christmas Wish list is available through Open Doors USA. Go to www.odusa.org, Click “Ways To Give”, Click “Gift Catalog”:

2.  Children’s Bible, $4 each
3.  Youth Bible, $4 each
4.  Study Bible, $8 each
5.  Hospital Visit, $14 per visit
6.  Woman Abuse Recovery Program, $28 per person
7.  MP3 Bible, $30 each
8.  Pastor Training, $39 per person
9.  Job Training for Widow of a Martyred Christian, $44 per person

And the big one:

10. Say a special prayer for those family members who aren’t free to believe.  For more information, check out the World Watch List at http://bit.ly/worldwatch.

Special thanks to fellow Open Doors Bridgebuilder trainee, Angela Franklin, for planting this idea during our training this fall.

     Loving the journey,

     Kevin

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