Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Have yourself a Very Merry Christmas and please give to those who really, desperately, need a helping hand!!!
Those guys are certainly pleased to wish you a merry christmas!! LOL
How is your christmas holiday going to be? Mine will be..erm..ok, Look, I am not even going to pretend, this christmas period is going to be rough on so many levels. The striking thing about 'rough' periods in my life's journey is that those are the periods I am more likely to give. My parents have virtually giving up on this overtlykind and giving aspect of me, they believe that I do it inspite of my own difficulties,and strongly believe it is a negative trait. I still recall from a fortnight ago, the look from my dad as he said; 'I pray you would end up with an equally kind man for a husband...'.
Thats what he said with words, his expressions was more like this; 'The world is full of selfish and callous people who actively seek out to gain from people they regard as suckers,people who give from the kindness of their heart I hope and pray you never fall into the hands of such selfish people'. Bless him.
Anyway I was sent this letter from one of the charity organisations I joined and I feel it is rather apt for this season. It is deep stuff and definitely puts things in perspective! Do read on.....
Dear Friend of The Vine,
At this time of the year it's especially important to think of others. I'd like to encourage you to read the following article from our ministry partner, CoAid.
Have a blessed Christmas,
Steve Neill, for The Vine
Being a middle-aged punster, I often joke that how you think of your family is all "relative". Something that is relative is how we view poverty. Many of us have been hit by hard times in this economic squeeze and Christmas for many is not the same as previous years.
In Zimbabwe there are doctors performing caesarian sections with the lights from their cell phones. In Kenya there are 4,000 Somalis (mostly women and children) arriving at the Kakuma refugee camp every week. Here in Denver, homeless families living in hotels have been forced to move out due to cockroach infestations.
We may not have cozy answers as to why tragedy and hardship befalls us but we can be assured that God has not abandoned us. In October I visited Albania and was asked to speak to a group of 150 refugees living in a large building with one outhouse. The families inside earned less than $5.00 a day. I shared on the Christmas story. It was very special to see the combination of joy, serious thought and conviction at the end of the time of sharing. People could begin to see that despite unemployment, uncertainty and poor health, we have a creator and a savior that listens, cares and wants to be with us. Even more than that, we have a creator and savior who has been there!
* Jesus was born into poverty... into a hard working family doing their best to make ends meet. He was born in a barn.
* Jesus was born into a situation where people would be suspicious about the circumstances of his birth. Back in the 1970's when I was in school, kids born out of wedlock were given a pretty rough time.
* Jesus was presented to God in the Temple with the offering of the poor. Mary and Joseph presented 2 young pigeons.
* Jesus as a toddler was taken across an international boundary because of a valid threat of persecution. He became a refugee. Many have asked over the years, what happened to the gifts of gold, frankincense and Myrrh, surely they couldn't have been that poor? Having lived as a missionary most of my life, my guess would be that it got them to Egypt and then they found themselves using it to help others in need. Did Joseph find a job? How did they communicate? What kind of help did they get finding somewhere to live? How did they deal with the fear of a different culture?
* Jesus had to face the common question of "why me?" when he returned to see the parents of children that had been slaughtered in a genocide by Herod. I've been surrounded by many people that have suffered greatly in their emotions because they were a survivor. What was it like for Jesus to come home?
As we enter this Christmas season let us not just stand in awe that God came to Earth as man but also stand in awe that God Himself has been there when we think of the homeless families in the hotel, when we think of refugees, when we think of the poverty that is the result of evil regimes in places like Burma and Zimbabwe.
It's my prayer that as we ponder how amazing Jesus is and as we approach 2011 that you will enter this New Year:
* Listening... to people in their pain and be the emotional, spiritual and social support to people in need that Jesus calls us to be.
* Praying... for the end of regimes that are causing suffering to millions.
* Giving... to organizations that are making a real difference in the lives of the hurting.
At CoAid there is a lot we can do in the coming year to ease the plight of children in Burma and help refugees know that Jesus understands because he has been there.
May you be blessed and be a blessing in this Christmas season.
Please consider making a donation to the work of CoAid:
Thank you and God bless,
Vice President - CoAid
I think his message is clear enough even as we know there are people needing our help beyond 'co-aid' some even within our families, schools or offices.
Like I said at the beginning of this note, my Christmas day is going to be rough, as bills aside, I have about 50pounds left in my account,from now till the end of next month and I dont see how that will get any better. The fact that its a holiday makes it bad, the fact that it is not going to get any better makes it really really really bad. It is mental torture to think of the events that led to this stage and even worse to think of how I would cope with it all. However It is even more heartbreaking to think that there are people living in FAR FAR FAR worse situation and not to do something, anything about it.
The bottomline of this message is just to encourage you to think about other people who might be in an even more difficult situation than you may find yourself and to ask that you give from your heart to help them out but ONLY if you feel compelled to. :)
H A V E A H A P P Y A N D B L E S S E D C H R I S T M A S
written with huge dollops of Love&Ukodo ;)