Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankfulness should equal action

As we approach the upcoming holiday, I eagerly look forward to spending time with (most) family members and look forward to all the good food that will be laid out in front of us.  You can scan the Internet and see all the stuff that others are thankful for then scan the black Friday ads to see where all the best sales and utter chaos will be.  You can save lots of money if you spend lots of money on more stuff.  All this stuff is good and all, but it makes my wife and I feel so empty, shallow, and full of questions when we look around our house.  Sure we want to raise our daughters to be thankful for what we have and appreciate what God has blessed us with, but it's just stuff.  We don't want to seem ungrateful for Christmas presents, big meals, and family gatherings, but that is not why we are here. 

Just last night our church had our annual Thanksgiving meal as a church body.  As I stood in the door and looked around, sadly I knew most everyone there.  There were a few guests, but not many.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good meal and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but that meal last night could have been so much more.  Instead of eating last night, 6 of us packed up about 24 boxes of food to take and deliver to needy families in the community.  I am not patting us on the back for doing that, but it felt great to go out to these houses and bless them with food and a offer prayer for the family.  Each house we went to, and it only took 4 before we were out of boxes, was so welcoming and appreciative.  Three words kept popping into my head all weekend, "The least, the last and the lost."  It is what my preacher says and then I heard it in a podcast from Kay Warren.  I have written before about the least, the last and the lost with regards to orphans and adoption, but these folks are all around us.  One family we visited lived in a rough house in a rough area of town.  There were 4 adults and 9 children living there and a lady is having a baby in 2 weeks.  This family, who does not have much, took in another family who needed help.  They don't have much by our standards, but they were willing to give what they had to help others in need. 

What are we doing?  My wife and I both work in the school system and make good money for what we do.  We live in a house full of stuff we don't really need.  We tithe, give an offering, support a few good causes here and there, but what are we doing to help our neighbor?  Not enough.  Again, I am not blowing my horn, but take this as a challenge to the way we Christians do things.  This year for Christmas, we are not spending a bunch of money to go out and buy more stuff for each other.  We have decided to sit in front of the computer as a family on the Compassion website ( and let Ryleigh, our oldest daughter, go through the pictures and select a child to sponsor.  We want this to become real to her, not just a monthly check we send.  We want her to see the child's face and feel their hurts and know their struggles.  We want her to know just how blessed by God she is and see that there is something that we can do about the least, the last and the lost.  We will buy some presents for people, but it won't be the focus of Christmas.

Mother Teresa said, "When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed."  She also said, "It's the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."


Imagine what Cynthiana, and Kentucky, and the world would be like if we had the eyes of Jesus and saw the world the way He does. 

I challenge you to do something different this holiday season.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I wish we could have joined you all last night. There are definitely so many in need-everywhere-and it's amazing seeing God work on so many hearts. :)