Tag

Christmas

Chanje Lakay Bellanton Response

By | Involve

chanje_lakay_bellanton_trans

We are re-printing the update we posted on Facebook last night on behalf of the Chanje Movement, our humanitarian outreach in Haiti.  You may know the backstory on Chanje, but may not have heard the recent and troubling news:

Some of our key partners were robbed this week (December 12, 2014) by a group of men who invaded Chanje Lakay Bellanton with force.  No one was physically harmed, though our partners were threatened.  This pastor and his wife (who rescued and now care for more than 20 children) lost everything of value, including the funds to buy daily food for the staff and kids.  They had also been planning to buy a parcel of land for church planting, and now that money is gone as well.

Our partners need our support. They need encouragement, they need prayer, and they need funds for simple things like food, replacing their mobile phones, and to put some security in place for themselves, their staff and the children who call our shelter home.

If you would like to be part of that support, here are some simple ways you can do that:

  • Encouragement: email 1response@chanje.org with a note and we will send your message to our partners via email and include your name. If you know them personally, please include their names. If you don’t, that’s okay too. They’ll be encouraged by the love and compassion of the brothers and sisters who they’ve never met. Send your Christmas and New Years greetings as well.
  • Prayer: however you wish, but here are three specific requests:
    • Ask God to keep the staff and children safe (for example, pray according to Psalm 59, particularly verses 1-4, 16-17.)
    • Pray for our partners’ spiritual and emotional comfort and for them to know God’s peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:4-9.)
    • Pray for their provision and God’s favor upon them (see Luke 2:52; Proverbs 3:34; 9:10; Genesis 6:8; Exodus 33:17)
  • Finances: we developed a list of needs that people can contribute toward. The goals cover immediate needs and coming needs for the 1st quarter of next year, and the budget for 2015. We welcome your involvement however you are led. Visit bit.ly/1response to donate.
  • Share this with others (for instance, on Facebook, don’t just “like” it, choose share on your timeline)

Thank you for all the ways your love is helping bring change!

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The Chanje Movement is the humanitarian outreach of The Global Mission, a registered 501c3 nonprofit.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Contact us if you wish to donate stock, mutual funds, bonds or other securities.  Contributions can be mailed to PO Box 80222 Rancho Santa Margarita CA 92688.

Give it up

By | Envision, Personal

The malls are full of shoppers looking for the perfect gift.  Or as we get this close to Christmas, any gift.  (I’m thinking that the advent of online shopping has got to bring immense relief to a claustrophobic.  Never had thought of Amazon.com as a purveyor of emotional peace before.)  I wasn’t even shopping for gifts today, yet I managed to visit both the post office and Costco today.  Did I experience the Christmas spirit?

Don’t even check your mail box or email if you can’t handle the flood of advertisements or a barrage of appeals directed at your year-end giving.  (Full disclosure: yes, our ministry was among them.  Just once though – not every five minutes.)  Hold on to your wallet and your checkbook before good intentions drag you into debt.

So Dave, is this the part where you insist something is wrong with my perspective and offer a different one?

Don’t get me wrong – I like gifts.  I’ve even been known to buy myself gifts [insert appropriate gasp of shock here.]  But here’s the deal:

  1. You can only give from what you have.  Affection, wisdom, experience, cash, whatever – if you don’t possess it, you can’t give it away.
  2. If they don’t want it, they’re not going to receive it.  (Favorite phrase on Christmas morning: “Oh, this is lovely…”)
  3. The truth is, you’re the ultimate re-gifter: nothing you have is really yours anyway.  What you were born with was a gift from God.  Everything you’ve earned is a blessing from Him too.  (See James 1:16-17)  So why are you holding on to everything so tightly?

Philip James "Jim" Elliott (Oct 8, 1927 – Jan 8, 1956)

God has already shown us that it’s better to give than to receive.  It just takes humanity longer to accept it.  (Though researchers have indeed found this to be true – see the Science Central Archive or the original study.)  He modeled true gift giving in Christmas and Easter – by giving Himself through His incarnation and redeeming us through His crucifixion and resurrection.  (How long we take to accept that is also up to us.)  As written in Romans 5:8, God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The best gift you can receive is Jesus.  He gave up His life for you.  The best gift you can give is the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ.  And the best way to give it is through your life.  Even if you have to give it up.  It isn’t yours anyway.

(In the words that Jim Elliott paraphrased from Scripture: He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.)

The Best 5 Christmas Gifts

By | Involve

In a quandary over how to expend your meager budget?  Here are my 2009 all-time Top 5 ways to give, in descending order:

5) Give something lasting in honor of someone, such as a donation to a charity like World Vision in your recipient’s name, and they will know that a child has clean water and food this Christmas.  When I was a kid, I knew it was always appropriate to plant a tree in Israel in someone’s honor.  Just don’t copy George Costanza from Seinfeld and make up a fake charity like The Human Fund.

4) It’s always nice to get what you want rather than something useless.  Choose something from their Christmas list, or ask them what they’re saving up for.  When I was younger, I thought my Gentile neighbors were audacious in the lengthy lists posted on their bedroom doors for their parents.  But you know, how many years of waxy Russell Stover chocolates and Walgreens colognes does it take to realize that it’s nice to gift something someone actually wants?!

3) One of my favorites – something not on a list – someone just knows you well enough to know your likes & longings.  Every year my wife buys me a new Get Fuzzy cartoon “day at a glance” calendar.  It’s not because I often lose track of the date – my iPhone tells me that every time I look at it.  It’s not even a surprise, I’m pretty sure I’m getting one this year.  It’s that she knows me.  I love being known.  Don’t you?  (I admit that some of us are more work than others.  My dog is really easy to shop for.)

2) Time.  Sorry if you think it’s cliché, but it’s true.  I’m a dad.  My kids can talk all day about the awesome new video game they want, but they’d rather me sit down with them and play Legos, or Monopoly, or throw a ball, or just have me watch them draw than have the latest and greatest.  And it’s not just kids who value your time.  Or your spouse.  Your closest friends love spending time with you.  And then there are people no one is spending time with – they would be blessed if you’d sit down and ask them a few questions and listen to their stories.  Is there someone lonely in your church or office who you could give a great gift by inviting them over or buying them coffee?

1) If you think giving is better than receiving, you should reconsider.  The ultimate giver, Jesus Christ, gave His life so that you could know Him, experience forgiveness and taste eternity.  Who do you know who hasn’t entered into a relationship with the living God?  The best gift you could ever give them is the Gospel so that they can receive Christ – our Immanuel, God with us.  Put aside your fears and excuses, and share the love of the Messiah with someone yet to meet the Lord.  Make it the best Christmas ever, and help someone celebrate the arrival of the incarnate God with eternal life!  It fits everyone’s budget, because the price has already been paid.

If no one has ever explained the Gospel to you, or you have a question about how to share the Gospel, please get in touch through the comment form under “Contact us with questions.”