Welcome to the FirstChurch Champaign Advent Conspiracy blog.
Each day, we'll add a daily devotion to help you think through the AC Themes: Worship Fully / Spend Less / Give More / Love All. On the right, you can listen to the AC Sermons from the Launch. Also check out the links to all kinds of Advent Resources.

Feel free to click on the "Comment" word at the bottom of each post to leave your own thoughts and ideas.

May Christ be the heart of your Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Daily Devotion

What the World Needs NOW
by Leslie Barr, Interim Director of Children & Family Ministries

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:30-31

If you make out a Christmas list, do you list the things you NEED or the things you WANT? Do you list the socks and underwear? The vacuum cleaner to replace the one that’s giving out? How about the kids? Do they list some extra school supplies? Probably not.

Does God need our love? God IS love. He’s going to be there for us and love us no matter what. He SO loved the world that he gave His one and only son. He’s got loads of love. And yet, I think it must be near the top of his wish list. How can we show God how much we love him? How can we give Him the gift of love this advent season? We can share His love with the world. We can love our neighbors. Think of love as a verb. And if God is love, think of God as a verb. Having affectionate feelings towards your neighbors is not enough. Put it into action. How can you SHOW love to your neighbors TODAY? Do you know of someone who could use a helping hand? Is there a way for you to reach out to someone in need? Challenge yourself to put God’s love into action in some way today.

Let us pray.
Father, your love is so amazing. Help us to receive this love and return it to you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Help us to put that love into action, Lord. Help us to love our neighbors as ourselves, by serving them—in small ways and big ways. In your loving son’s name we pray, Amen.

Show God’s Love (The following happened in the church office this past week.)
I have an example of why I should not be allowed to answer the phones in the office.
Yesterday, I was waiting for the computer tech to de-virus my computer (thanks, Scott) and was reading a book called "Hope Lives: A Journey of Restoration" about global poverty, its root causes and how we in America are unbelievably privileged. The average per capita ANNUAL income in Ethiopia is $90. Wow. Lots of stories of children living in devastating conditions.

So, the phone rings and Patty and Marcia are gone.

The caller tells me that her daughter and six grandchildren (ages 2 months through 11 years) just moved into a house near Stratton School. They have the house, but no funds for Christmas presents for the kids. They missed all the deadlines for the organized programs through Salvation Army, WLRW, Cops for Kids, etc. They need warm gloves and hats, plus some toys.

The staff has decided to adopt the family but could use some help because of the size of the family and the close proximity to Christmas. Would you be willing to join us in showing God’s love? We are hoping to gather some things by Wednesday, Christmas Eve.

Here are some details about our family:
Mother: She doesn’t want anything for herself, but I asked if she needed anything for the house. They have very little kitchen things, like pots/pans, dishes, silverware, etc.
11 year old girl
Wishes for: pillow/curtains in Tinkerbell theme, plus anything to do with HS Musical, size 6 ½ (women’s size) winter boots
5 year old boy twins
Wishes for: pillow/curtains in Wall-E theme, Playstation games, educational games (letters/number recognition)
4 year old girl
Wishes for: Tinkerbell comforter/sheet set & pillows(shares room with Shanella), plus educational games (Dora theme)
3 year old boy
Wishes for: Sponge Bob themed educational toys
3 month old girl
Wishes for: musical/educational toys, winter clothes

**used things in good condition are more than acceptable

We are happy to shop if cash would be easier. Thank you for any consideration you can give in helping us give this family a special Christmas!!!

1 comment:

Leslie Barr said...

I just want to give props to Rebecca Motley who was the one that took the call from the family we are helping and spearheaded this project. And WOW what a great response we're getting! There is a beautiful stack of wonderful presents that FirstChurch members are providing for this family. We have dishes, pots and pans, silverware, bedding, toys.... It's a wonderful accumulation of LOVE! Thanks so much to everyone that's contributed!
Leslie Barr