Tuesday, November 03, 2009

One Simple Thing You Can Do at Christmas

Things to do this Christmas season:

1. Find a shoebox.
2. Pack with goodies
3. Send to a child somewhere in the world.

This has to be the most wonderful, incredible project every Christmas season! Our family sends two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  This mission, through Samaritan's Purse, allows us to send boxes of goodies and necessities to children somewhere in the world who would not be able to experience any type of Christmas without it. Watch the videos at www.operationchristmaschild.org and you will feel the excitement and joy that those children do when they open their shoeboxes.

It's a simple thing that we can do -- a shoebox with toys and necessities, plus a $7 fee for shipping.

Would you consider joining me this month in sending a shoebox? All the information of how to pack a shoebox in addition to your nearest drop off location is located at the Operation Christmas Child website.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Could it Have Been Divine Intervention?

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing 
some people have entertained angels without knowing it." 
- Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)

It was an interesting dinner that my sons and I had on Friday evening. After the Hubs left home for his evening work shift, the boys and I headed out to complete a couple errands and treat ourselves to dinner. We stopped at Taco Bell (I was out voted) and while the Youngest and I waited at our table for the Oldest to bring our dinner tray, the lady sitting at the table behind us remarked that I had a nice family. (Maybe it was that for once, both my boys appeared well behaved and were not bickering with each other?)

Dinner progressed normally. As we got ready to leave, the Younger and I went to get drink refills. Turning from the soda fountain, I saw the Oldest talking with this same senior citizen who sat behind us. As I approached, the she immediately smiled and said that she could tell that we were "a Christian family; I can see the peace around you." She appeared quite impressed with my Oldest, and after some more conversation, she asked my permission to pray for him.

It was easy to see that this lady was most sincere; during our conversation she explained that she was waiting to go to a bible study (I saw her bible and study book on her table), and that she found it such a privilege to pray for people. When the Oldest gave his permission, she clasped his right hand tightly in both of hers, and with an obvious gift of discernment, related to the Oldest his strengths and gave a blessing on him for his future.

She was quite accurate as she described his spirit. She stated that he would have a love for people, becoming a great leader like King David because of the love that others will have for him. She encouraged him as a warrior, for he will have to stand up for what is right and make decisions that may not be popular with others.

The Oldest's was entranced and deeply touched by this lady's remarks. When she finished, we talked for just a few more moments and then left the restaurant. Once we got into the car, which was parked in front of the restaurant's entrance, the Oldest said that he wanted to finish filling out a comment card he picked up because he wanted to say something nice of the employee who fixed his order. He quickly finished writing the card and re-entered the store to put the card in the box by the door. All of this took merely seconds. When he returned, he looked confused.

"Mom, when I went in to return that card, the lady was gone."
"What do you mean, 'gone'?"
"She was gone. All her stuff was gone from the table and it didn't even look like she had been there. I didn't see her leave, did you?"

Because of where we were parked, I probably would have seen her leave her table, and I definitely would have seen her leave. There was no other door of the store where she could have exited.  The Oldest said that the table was empty, it was wiped clean and the chair was pushed in.

We pulled out and circled the building, but we didn't see her. Now, it's entirely possible that she was in the restroom, but if so, she had moved at lightning speed to pack up her things, clean off the table, put her trash in the trash can by the door and move out of sight.

The Oldest talked about this encounter the rest of the night.  It was a moment that he is likely not to forget.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year Reading Resolutions

There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book. –Josh Jameson

With all the choices on today's TV, it is no longer an abomination when re-run season starts. If we choose, we can flip to one of many networks to find and to enjoy an episode of a show that we never got to see the first time around.

The same thing can be said about reading.  It's always exciting to read a new book when it's released, but we can't forget to search out the older, even classic books that we never got to read the first time around. Even re-reading something from our bookshelf gives us the benefit of catching something new: a word of wisdom or a hidden plot detail, that we may have have missed the first time.  

Re-reading a favorite is something that C.S. Lewis recommends.  

"It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between." - C.S. Lewis

My resolution for the new year is to read more. Read more novels, read more non-fiction, read more of my bible. This year, I'm going to make the effort of putting down the remote and picking up a book from my overly stuffed bookcases. It may be a new adventure, or an old favorite, but my intention is to turn more pages in a book instead of closing them.