« October 2014 | Main | January 2015 »

2 posts from December 2014

12/17/2014

Party with an Impact

For the second year in a row, we decided to have a Calvary staff Christmas party with the purpose. We divided the staff into seven teams, gave them 40 dollars and released them into the community to bless people with random and intentional acts of kindness.  Armed wtih cell phones, they took pictures and video of the results.

Following dinner, we shared stories and pictures of what each team did. There is always lots of laughter and lots of tears and the staff get blessed way more.

Three of the teams headed to Ferguson. They pumped gas, bought treats and prayed with people. Some teams bought gift cards and prayed for just the right people to receive them. One woman wasn't able to get her Chrtdistmas pay check and wouldn't have much to share with her kids for Christmas. A small gift card would go a big way. Others went from business to business thanking them for their continuing support of the Community. Still others partnered with the Billy Graham organization and helped pay for turkeys and meal vouchers for Christmas. 

Other teams went and got some movie tickets, theatre popcorn, candy and cookies. They put together some movie treat bags and brought them to DFS where they blessed families with them.  Others bought donuts and pizza and treats taking them to the construction workers laboring in the cold at the apartments and gas station next door. Then they took treats to the new medical center across the street. The doctor said she had heard great things about Calvary and its youth ministry. She was quick to add that it has been medically proven that teens who are part of a church youth group have a better chance of staying out of trouble. She encourages her patients to become part of a youth group.

Another team bought some treats and had some left over gifts and went to Our Lady's Inn to help single moms over the holidays. They just had a request yesterday for more gifts and our team was the answer to their prayer!

Another team said we want to get the community to enjoy the blessing of giving so they went to several nearby businesses. Within 90 minutes, they had received over 700 dollars worth of donations including milk shakes, hair cuts, restaurant coupons and smoothies. They blessed many people standing in line, waiting in the cold and at the nearby schools and offices reminding them that Jesus sees them, loves them and was born to save them.

It is such a simple idea that has incredible results. To be honest, it is a bit addictive. People are already thinking about what they can do next year.

There is benefits in reducing, rejoicing and reflecting. A little reduction of our needs and more about others brought a great time of reflection and people left rejoicing. I trust your Christmas celebrations are as equally joy filled.

 

 

 

12/04/2014

Simple Christmas: REDUCE

Paul, the apostle, encouraged us to make it our ambition to lead a quiet life.  We started the year looking at that verse and we have returned to the theme of simplicity at the end of the year.  If leading a quiet life were easy, we would all be doing it. But the expectations others put on us on top of the already unrealistic expectations we have for ourselves keeps us very busy.

 

If we don't reduce at Christmas for the sake of knowing Jesus more, then knowing Jesus will be reduced out of Christmas.

 

I hope you got your Gingerbread scented ornament to hang in your car or your house as a reminder to focus on the important things this Christmas. To help you do that as Christmas approaches, here are a few ideas I think are creative and helpful in bringing the simple message of the Messiah to Christmas. And please....don't try all of them at once! Do a few and save the rest for other years!  Have fun.

 

 

35 Gifts your Children will never forget

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/35-gifts-your-children-will-never-forget/

 

Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/random-acts-christmas-kindness-printable-advent-calendar/

 

Simple and Doable Ideas for Families

http://www.wholefamilystrong.com/2013/12/06/simple-christmas-real-simple-doable-ideas/