Have you watched the movie, We Bought a Zoo? It is a favorite of mine. Well, I found out last week that I bought a cot.
Let me start from the beginning.
I struggle with gifts at Christmas for various reasons. First, the reality of budget is real! I want to wake up in January with no debt and no regrets. Second, it’s Jesus’ birthday, not mine or “theirs.” What am I going to give my Savior for His birthday? I think about it every year, and I give Him a gift. Third, and the main reason for this post, I want to help people who actually need things. In other words, if outside help doesn’t come, the need will not get met.
Ba Hum-Bug. Scrooge.
I just heard your thoughts. I know. I think the exact same thoughts when I reread what I just wrote, too! These struggles have persisted for years within me. I want to celebrate Christmas well for my Savior and every year I come back to this kind of mental struggle.
My family knows. They buy me cows, hens and goats through organizations that gift the poor with money-making and food-providing animals. They also make donations to charities instead of gifting me. I love it.
I love my family.
I also love Tithy in Bangladesh, whom I support through Compassion International. And now I love Kevin too. Last year, on the day my husband signed into the Compassion website, Kevin in Nicaragua had been waiting the longest of all children on that day. He is now ours too.
As the Christmas season begins and my gift lists are forming and getting checked off, I had a day of stress last week over the shopping part of Christmas. Then I received a letter from Tithy that brought instant balm to my heart. She wrote to let me know what she bought with my Christmas gift donation, which was conservative. (Extra gifts beyond the monthly support amount are restricted to prevent jealousy and dependence.) What was her list?
A cot. A dress. A watch. Food.
Yup, Tithy bought herself a cot. And a dress. A watch. And FOOD. I stared at the list. I reread it. And I had a calm wash over me. This is money well spent, Laurie. This is need. This gift mattered. And for days I have been walking around my house thinking, I bought a cot.
Let’s meet a need.
Let’s each ask God to keep us alert and do something very specific that meets a need for someone. The sky is the limit and the Holy Spirit nudging our hearts is the Driver. Buy someone a cot, or something!
Birthday gift for Jesus.
I am keeping my gift to Jesus private, but it’s also time for my annual offer to buy a 2024 bible reading plan for interested readers. I did some browsing on Amazon this week and noticed quite the uptick on bible reading plans that come with commentary. Not my interest.
I want plans that are all Bible.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) As usual, I am offering the chronological bible daily readings (in 3 translations) and the “assorted” readings style (a daily portion of New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs).
Let me gift you!
The first five who say they want one, get one! Just let me know in the comments and I will email you privately and get a mailing address from you.
Yay, for God’s Word in 2024!
Chronological Bible (Choose New King James, New Living Translations, or New International Version) The One Year Chronological Bible NIV (Softcover); The One Year Chronological Bible NLT, Premium Slimline Large Print (Softcover); The One Year Chronological Bible NKJV (Softcover).
Reading Plan (English Standard Version or New Living Translation) ESV Every Day Bible 365 Readings Through the Whole Bible (Paperback); The One Year Bible NLT (Softcover).
Picture Explanation: Two children rolled out of bed on Thanksgiving morning and ran half marathons. Whether we are athletes or not, we all get to live life like a champion runner: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24)
Speaking of living with God’s Word in mind: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!
Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.
© 2023 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.