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What Christmas is all about

Mary Ella and I spent much of November driving across Georgia collecting blankets, book bags with school supplies, Christmas shoeboxes, and coats. In fact, most of the year, we’re looking for bargains on those things.

We walked into a Walmart recently and found some very nice canvas book bags on sale for $3; we bought 72 of them… all they had!

One of our best sources is the F.A.I.T.H. (Fighting Abuse in the Home) second-hand store in Clayton, Georgia near our little mountain cabin. Every time we visit Clayton, we always stop by F.A.I.T.H., and always leave with “Christmas” in our arms. There are also churches across Georgia and into South Carolina helping us with their own collections and with money for gas to take it all to Arizona.

We also work with Gene Trulock and Lifeline Ministries; their transportation team recently took three trucks and trailers loaded with “Christmas” to the children and churches on the Reservation. In other words, it takes lots of people in lots of churches doing their parts to make sure the Navajo children in Arizona have a great Christmas… all we do is collect their collections and pack them into boxes for the trip.

Paul writes in Hebrews 12:1-2 GNT, “As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross!

On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.”

Paul’s talking about doing what needs to be done in the midst of hard times. And I wanted to tell you about all those people doing what needs to be done in the midst of hard times. This has been a terrible year… shutdowns, lay-offs, quarantines, lost salaries, sickness, and death; and yet we’ve collected as much, and perhaps more, than we’ve ever collected to help those Navajo children 2,000 miles away from us.

While a small group of folks are burning down and tearing down to “make things better,” a very large group of people in our area are actually making things better. And they are making sacrifices during the worst year in my lifetime to do it. But when I stop to think about it, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

During November, we celebrate “giving thanks” for all we have and for all the ways we’ve been blessed. Then during December, we celebrate “thanks giving!”