Christmas Thoughts

Did you know the Christmas Season started a little early this year (way before Halloween)? All you need to do is walk through a few stores around town, and you will see that Christmas is already in full swing. So, before you run out and purchase gifts for our family, I wanted to send a few thoughts for your consideration.

Let me start by saying we don’t need anything. Like always, the Lord has graciously provided for all our needs. Thank you, Jesus!!! Also, we know that you love us and you do a fantastic job showing your love throughout the year. With that said, unless you feel an overwhelming desire to make something that’s consumable or handmade, the adults in our family can go without presents this year. As far as Naomi is concerned, she doesn’t think Christmas is about presents. It would be nice if we could keep gifts as a smaller part of the true meaning of Christmas.

However, we feel like we are fighting a losing battle when it comes to presents at Christmas time. If you find yourself losing sleep over this whole topic, we have landed on a “magnet toy” theme for this year. If you find ONE amazing toy that uses magnets, we would love to add that type of toy to our toy collection.

The point is…please don’t feel obligated to buy anything for our family!!! If you’re already ahead of the game this year (and you’ve purchased gifts for our family already), we will graciously receive your gifts with love and gratitude!!! However, if you’re waiting for “Black Friday”, we would rather have your PRESENCE instead of presents this year.

In this email, I’ve included a few thoughts from a website that we’ve come to love over the years… www.adventconspiracy.org …the ideas here really explain where our hearts are at during this Season. We hope the message will hit home for you as well.

Much love to you and yours. We hope to see you at least once (if not more) before the end of the year!!!

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[Worship Fully]
It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.

[Spend Less]
Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.

[Give Presence]
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?

[Love All]
When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. One less gift. One unbelievable present in the name of Christ.

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Also, I wanted to let you know that our church (The Porch) is doing a great terracing project in Haiti next year. We are trying to raise $24,000. For a relatively small amount of money, we could support a crew of 10 people, working full time for an entire year, to restore their land through terracing. To read more about this project, visit our website at www.theporchspokane.org …and consider donating here instead of purchasing presents for our family. It would mean the world to us!!! XOXO

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