Giving Back

It is officially the week after Thanksgiving—which means that we are right in the thick of the holiday season. A season for lights, and festivities. A season for family and friends. A season for finishing off those leftovers from Thanksgiving before they go bad.

It is also a season for giving, and making a difference in the world around us.

Though giving is something that we can (and should) do all year long, there is a certain spirit of generosity that fills the air during the Christmas season. There are more chances to give than practically any other time of year—through donations, through time, and through small acts of kindness. And as Christians, we have the chance to be a light for Christ as we make a difference in the world around us! 

In John 13:34-35, Jesus is speaking to His followers, and gives them a simple command to follow. He says, A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (NIV). As Christ followers, we are called to love the world around us. And one of the greatest ways that we can share God’s love is through giving.

This does not simply mean giving financially or materially. Giving can take a lot of different forms, and if you cannot afford to give in this way, there are so many other ways that you can give! You can give of your time, and of your love! You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, or take time out of your day to mentor someone younger than you!

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And Christmas is the perfect time to be intentional and give back to your community! It is the perfect time to reach out your hand to another and make a difference right where you are. And, it is the perfect chance to be a blessing to those around you.

This Christmas, I want to challenge you to give. This could be as simple as baking cookies for the widow down the street, or participating in Operation Christmas Child. You could participate in a church Christmas drive or babysit for a single mom who is struggling.

I don’t know how God is calling you to be a blessing, but there is one thing I do know – if you are alive and breathing today God can use you to make a difference in someone else’s life. And no matter how small it might seem to you, God can use your faithfulness in extraordinary ways! Through our giving, we have the chance to start a chain reaction, and spread an attitude of generosity in our homes, schools, and spheres of influences.

This Christmas, let us be a light for Christ, and reach out to those around us. Let us make a difference, and reach out to those who are struggling. Let us be the change that we want to see.

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“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV). 

How about you guys? Do you have any suggestions for ways to give back during the holiday season? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below! I always love hearing from you all!❤️

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A Prayer For Christmas

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This Christmas let us remember the reason for the season.

Let us, in the midst of the cooking, the wrapping, and the shopping, take some time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Let us reach out to others, remembering to put them before ourselves and helping those who are less fortunate.

Let us pray for the homeless, the veterans, those away from family, and all those who have situations much more difficult than our own.

Let us remember those closest to us, and spend some time with friends and loved ones as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Let us never take anything for granted but be thankful for what we do have, as we anticipate a new year filled with hope, resolutions, and promises.

Let us take some time to enjoy the little moments, those small nameless moments that get pushed aside for the glamor of Christmas, because someday those small moments won’t be so small anymore.

Let us remember those we miss, be thankful for those that we do have, and move forward with the hope and knowledge that someday we’ll be see our deceased loved ones once again.

Let us put aside our busyness, our stress, our fear, and our worries, remembering that in the midst of all of the stress of life, we have a Savior who understands, and a peace in the midst of chaos.

Let us deck the halls, enjoy our Christmas dinner, exchange gifts, and surround ourselves with love, because this season only comes once a year.

And, despite the fleetingness and busyness of this season, let us keep its spirit in our hearts, so that in some ways, this holiday may last all year long.

* * * * *

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, see, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.” Luke 2:8-14

 

Holiday Update

Hey everyone! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving yesterday! Since yesterday was a pretty big holiday, and since it’s ushered in another holiday that we all know and love (You know what it is!), I decided to do an update on my Thanksgiving and the aftermath of Christmas decorations that is happening even as I type.

Both for your enjoyment and for the further advancement of my writing career.

Yesterday, I woke up, immediately grabbing a a leftover biscuit, in all of it’s soft and buttery goodness, and sat down to watch the annual Macey’s Day Parade. I enjoyed the performances of Carole King, Mariah Carey, and MercyMe. Immediately after the parade, my family got into my dad’s truck and headed to my grandparents house. There, we ate a pretty big feast. And, I had a slightly nontraditional meal of spaghetti, being that I’m a vegetarian. But, I did have stuffing, which was awesome.

Once we got home, I retreated to my room to digest and work on a novel. I sent out a mass text, and heard back from a friend that I haven’t talked to in a long time. We texted for a little while, catching up on old times, and lastly, I watched a couple of TV shows before bed.

Today, I composed a song that I wrote on my acoustic guitar, ate lunch, walked on the treadmill, and worked on some homework. Following that, the decorating begun! We put up the manger, Santa and Mrs. Claus, a Christmas Winnie The Pooh, and a Precious Moments Christmas village. Currently, my dad is stringing the Christmas tree with lights as Christmas music plays cheerfully from the radio.

To set the mood for the holiday season, I decided to conclude this post with a Christmas song.

I’ve always loved this song, and it’s a great reminder of the true reason for the season. 🙂

A Thanksgiving Post

Hi everyone! Since Thanksgiving is on the horizon, I decided to do a post about some of the things that I’m thankful for.

  1. Grace-Where would any of us be without God’s amazing grace? Because of His death and resurrection, we have the opportunity to be forgiven and spend eternity with Him in a place of everlasting joy and peace. Furthermore, we never have to walk this world alone because God is always with us. Who could ask for more?
  2. Family-Family is an awesome blessing from God. I’m thankful both for my immediate family and my extended family (And, of course, my cat Precious). I’m also thankful that most of my family lives in the state, so I get to them fairly often.
  3. Friends-As always, I’m super thankful for the crazy, quirky, awesome friends that God has brought into my life. Many have become close enough to be like brothers and sisters. I’ve learned so much from the friends that God has blessed me with.
  4. Church-I started attending a new church this year and I really love it there. The messages are great and I’ve grown a lot. In coming months, I’d love to get more involved there.
  5. Classes-Another thing that I’m thankful for the classes that I’m in, where I’ve met a lot of my closest friends. As I’m getting older, I realize how little time that I have left before college. I know that I’m really going to miss all of the crazy, off-topic discussions in english lit and the hilarious moments in theater when I graduate.
  6. Great opportunities-This year, I’ve had a lot of really great opportunities, such as singing a song that I wrote live, acting in Our Town last spring, becoming more vocal about a social issue that I’m passionate about, and starting a blog. I’m very thankful for these things and I’m sure I’ll have more great opportunities in 2016.
  7. Books and written word-I am seriously grateful that we can speak, write, think, and feel. Think about it, without communication, we would all be walking around like a bunch of cavemen/cavewomen. We wouldn’t get to appreciate conversation, stories, or song lyrics. The world would be far different without communication.
  8. Food, water, and shelter-I know, I know, this is one that I think most of us take for granted, but many people around the world go without these basic needs. To simply have food, water, and shelter is a great blessing.
  9. Freedom-I’m thankful to live in a country where I’m free to voice my thoughts, ideas, and opinions. I’m also thankful for the brave soldiers who fight for that freedom that we enjoy.
  10. The small things we take for granted-I know there are a lot more things besides the ones that I listed, such as trees, animals, music, seasons, etc., etc., etc. I’m also thankful for all of these things.

I’m sure that you have some great blessings that you’re thankful for too. Feel free to post them in the comments section, I’d love to see how God is working in your life!