I have had the privilege of being in dozens of conversations over the past couple of weeks. Conversations that centered around acts of service that were being done in Jesus’ name.
*One person drove by a man in front of a local department store every Friday around lunch time. The man was holding a sign up that said, “Will work for food.” We’ve all seen them . . . This young guy, prompted by God, has begun stopping at McDonalds every Friday now and taking the man lunch. He’s gotten to know him . . . in Jesus’ name.
*Another person was telling me about a group of people who are now going to the Coleman Center in downtown Canton once a month. The Refuge of Hope homeless shelter and soup kitchen has begun a ministry for the children of these homeless families. This group of people orders pizza and hangs out with the kids–they play games, read stories, love on them . . . in Jesus’ name.
*Another family, as it has grown larger, would select a name each Christmas and become that person’s Secret Santa for the year. The guys in the family recently opted out of the family name exchange. Now these guys take a day of vacation and get together to go serve someone (this year they did home repairs for a single mom) . . . in Jesus’ name.
*Another group of families took their children to an elderly care facility. They baked cookies together in advance for those they would meet. They sang carols, listened and loved on . . . in Jesus’ name.
*One guy is a leader in the Canton Player’s Guild of Canton. The Player’s Guild has been doing their performance of A Christmas Carol for the past several weeks. Last week this friend of mine put on a FREE performance for homeless people. There was extra room so he invited children in who may never have the opportunity to see another performance like this. Opening the theater . . . in Jesus’ name.
*A young guy was talking to a cashier who seemed a bit down. The cashier explained that she had been working since 4 AM and didn’t get off ’till one. He went next door and bought her a cup of Starbucks . . . in Jesus’ name.
*Another person had accumulated free gas on his Giant Eagle grocery card. He gave his card to a family going through a tough time. 30 gallons of free gas . . . in Jesus’ name.
*A group of moms got together and made fleece pillows for children in foster care. They prayed that when the children would hold the pillows close at night they would know how much God loves them. A simple gift . . . in Jesus’ name.
I think Jesus is smiling . . .
I would love to hear your stories.
Greg, Merry Christmas to you and your family, I know it must have been totally different than in years past.
My story from this season is all about two gifts I received this week. My two favorite gifts were really not for me, yet given to me. Andrew & Rebekah and Leanne each gave me a beautiful note saying they had each made a donation to Compassion Internationals unsponsored child short term support fund, along with a picture of Temesgen Lema from Ethiopia to pray for. Leanne also added a couple of books she thought I would enjoy that she really liked "A Generous Or+hodoxy" by McLaren and "Soul Cravings" by McManus (you can tell me your thoughts on those later).
I have been talking recently about different opportunites we as a family might be able to do instead of gifts in the future. I didn't see it coming this soon and without me organizing it. See they do listen sometimes !
My real gift didn't come wrapped in a package under the tree. It is to see the heart of my kids loving & giving to others in the name of Jesus. Best gift a father can experience.
Blessings to you,Julie and the kids
A FRIEND THIS CHRISTMAS GAVE US A CARD THAT SAID WE ARE GIVING YOU THE GIFT OF “JESUS.”
AT FIRST I THOUGHT IT WAS A MISPRINT AND THEN I READ A LETTER THAT WAS IN THE CARD.
THEY WENT TO THE NEUVOS AMIGOS SITE AT CHILDREACH.ORG AND SPONSORED A YOUNG BOY NAMED “JESUS.” THEY KNOW THAT I TRAVEL TO ECUADOR AND WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO VISIT HIM AND SPEND TIME WITH HIM. THAT WAS THE BEST PRESENT I RECEIVED THIS YEAR.
ANOTHER BUSINESS ASSOCIATE CALLED ME AND SAID, “I KNOW YOU DON’T WANT ANYTHING FOR CHRISTMAS, BUT I WANTED TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING THAT I KNOW WOULD BE USEFUL TO YOU. SO I MADE A DONATION TO CHILDREACH IN YOUR NAME.”
BY THE WAY, HE THEN ASKED ABOUT COMPASSION’S CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM FOR HE AND HIS FAMILY TO SPONSOR A CHILD.