Saturday, December 25, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas

Luke 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
       “ Glory to God in the highest,
      And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Some encouraging moments

One of the things that has helped me get through this long period of support raising has been the unexpected gifts from those you would never guess would or could give. I would like to use this update to share with you these encouraging moments that have kept me going in the last few weeks.

The most meaningful surprise gift was from an old childhood friend of mine. I had been meaning to ask her but I've found it difficult to ask semi-close friends and family. (That's an issue for another day. Anyone with advice on how to get out of my own way would be appreciated.) A few weeks ago when I was looking at my account, I noticed that this friend had given $1000. It was such a surprise, a wonderful, beautiful, encouraging surprise!

My last update was about my trip to College Station. While I was there, I stayed with a young couple from the church having the missions conference. Once I got my missions brochures in the mail, I sent them a thank you and a brochure, asking them to keep me in their prayers. A few days later I received an email from Crusade saying they had signed up to give $100 a month. I hadn't even met the wife or talked to the guy longer than 5 minutes!

One of the most humbling experiences is asking for money. Something even more humbling is receiving a gift from someone you know is giving all they can afford. Like the poor widow in Mark 12, these people give all they have. I assumed Christmas would be a good time for support raising, a lot of people in a giving mood or at least looking for a tax deduction. Instead I have been given the smallest gifts from the biggest hearts. From receiving a $75 check from a loving family to passing a college friend on the street and having her offer me $5. These people are glad that I am doing this and want so much to help. They give all they can freely, even if it's just $5.

I pray y'all understand the true meaning of Christmas today. Whether you are giving to your family or to a missionary, give with a heart of love remembering what has been given to you.

But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
- Mark 12:42-44

Merry Christmas!
To give, please call me (817-586-8092) or visit: