I am not simplistic. That is just not a word that describes me. Ask any of my friends and roommates over the past 4 years - I like to have "junk" on every inch of my walls 0 I don't like empty wall space. Last year I even attempted to be simplistic. I only brought a few things with me... Then, I went to walmart.
Oh goodness. That's what today's sermon was on.
On Friday I read this blog about Compassion International. If you don't know what that is - figure it out! It is an organization that helps children in third world countries survive - with just $35 a month you can sponsor a child and love on them with letters and they are being fed and clothed with your money!
I have never felt comfortable talking about missions. In fact, I am not usually the volunteer to raise my hand and say I will go to some foreign place on the globe. But recently I have felt like this:
My heart has grown for the world outside my own. I have this growing urge to help those less fortunate than me.
As we enter this Holiday Season I am thinking about the gifts I will buy for my immediate family, my close friends, and the things I will do for my coworkers - Yes. They are great gestures of how much I care for them... but what happened to the importance of time - or spending quality time with them?
What happened to LOVE around the Holiday season? We need to unclutter our lives to see what is essential.
This year I encourage you to make christmas cards, make bread, jam, butter, or sweets for those around you instead of buying material goods.
And lastly - get involved in a mission opportunity. The one below is what I am going to urge my family and friends to get involved in and it is called Advent Conspiracy. This video made me cry in church this morning. Why? Because there is such a need for a necessity like water in this world - and I am too caught up in the tan knee boots that I want or the cute outfit on Pinterest that I need - or what about that awesome craft idea that I just found on Pinterest - these things do not matter. What matters is these children getting water. Spend time with the ones you love this Holiday Season and use the money that you would have spent on gifts - to give the ultimate gift - water for a thirsty parched child in a third world country.
Advent Conspiracy does not call you to go above and beyond what you would spend this Holiday Season it calls you give the money you would have used - and spend it not on toys or presents, but spend it on a water well for a multitude of people in a third world country.
Are you going to a Christmas party in the coming month and a half? Instead of Secret Santa, could you get everyone at the party to give that $10-$15 they would have spent on that gift to Advent Conspiracy? Can you buy a box of cookies instead and all sit around and bake and talk to each other - better yet - could you sing christmas carols around the neighborhood or in a near by nursing home or children's shelter?
Don't "budget' for this - DIVERT the money you would spend. Get your family together. Instead of stocking stuffers this year spend that $30 on Advent Conspiracy! Instead of that tie you were going to buy for your dad - print a .13 cent picture off at Walgreens and write him a note on the back of it - and spend the rest of that $24.87 on Advent Conspiracy.
Together we can start a movement. Together we can build a well!
TOGETHER WE CAN SHOW WHAT THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IS.
"I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.