Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's the small things...

It's the small things that make a big difference. It's taking the time to look at the details and asking yourself is God in the small stuff of my life. Does he or whatever values you hold too show in the small decisions you make?

In a perfect world our gifts would be gifts of time and charity. There would be no need for fancy presentations because the gift would be relational in nature or it would carry with it the beauty of God's love. However the reality is that we are accustomed to giving and will continue to do so. It's a small way that us imperfect humans show love to one another.

So that being said; what are the small details during the holiday season? One is the way we present our gifts.
  • Could we choose to skip gift wrap so that we show our care for the earth and by doing so also make a difference with the money saved? For instance taking the money we spend on gift wrap and donating it to charity.
  • Could we choose to wrap our gifts with recycled items (ie. paper bags, newspapers, old maps)? Then once again we would be saving money and helping the enviroment?
  • Could we make the wrap a part of the present? Such as wrapping gifts in dishtowels or washclothes.
  • Could we choose to buy recycled gift wrap?
  • Could we choose to buy cheaper gift wrap and donate the difference to charity? 
God is in the small things. Our spending shows the condition of our heart. So with this small detail, gift wrap, you can make an impact in the world. One such impact is buying gift wrap that gives a percentage of it's proceeds to a charitable organization. In fact I just noticed that Dollar General is carrying gift wrap that is decorated with drawings done by the patients of St. Jude Children's Hospital and 40% of the purchase price goes directly to the hospital. It also can usually be found at Wal-Marts and Target. True...  it might not be the largest amount, but its a small light in a dark world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Putting things in perspective...

I started this blog with good intentions. I wanted to share the joy of Christ and encourage others to celebrate Christmas fully. However I'm feeling guilty because I feel the endless organizing could be the one thing that distracts the most from the holiday. Planning is important, but is planning the best Christmas for your family excactly what God had in mine when he sent his son. My heart says, "No."

These small traditions were meant to bring my family closer to Christ and for the most part they do just that. However I dont want to replace one form of consumerism with another. I guess my hope was that if I could take the focus off the gifts than I could make the focus Jesus. Yet I worry that I have just traded one evil for another.

You see the picture of my family snug in their pajamas driving in our SUV to look at Christmas lights is starting to bother me. Although it is a very special time for our family, but lately it seems God is expanding my vision. He has given me a vision of the poor, the needy and the lost. He has made me want to look outside these four walls and celebrate our Christmas in a way that honors the heart of God. Afterall God's heart is with the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, and the lost. I want to be where God is and God is not in our celebrations. He is on the streets with those that are suffering the most.

The babe in the manger is crying out for justice. The question is.... "Will I listen?"