Friday, December 28, 2012

Joy to the World!

Luke 3:11
John answered, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."

Three weeks before Christmas Eve, Pastor Wallace throws down the gauntlet.

"When you attend any of the four Christmas Eve services we offer, wear an extra coat and leave it here.  We have so many in our community without a warm coat to wear during the winter months.  So many in need can benefit from what you can afford to give.  Will you do this?  Will you wear that extra coat and leave it in the pews?  Will you show mercy to those in need?"

Did we have that extra outerwear to spare?  Hanging in our closets?  Stored in a cedar chest?  Not worn for years?  Used, but not abused?

Did we?

But, in these trying economic times, can we even afford to give?

Dare we?

Oh, yes!!!

Take a look at this!




Certainly, people whom we will never greet in person or physically touch will wrap one of these coats around them.  Feel a comforting warmth.  Know the love an anonymous soul has for them.

Know of God's great, steadfast, unfailing love through the witness of generosity.

Out of our abundance, out of our paucity, we give.  Give so that others who are suffering can get a hands-up.

And, we do so with joy . . .

Joy!  Knowing the love the Savior has for us.

Joy!  Celebrating Jesus' birth, God coming into the world to save us.

Joy!  Sharing the grand, good news with the weary world so it may rejoice.

A new and glorious morn will dawn for those who don these coats for the first time.  May they wear them gratefully and be warmed through and through.

May they wear them with joy!
~
How will you bring joy to the world in every season of the year?

Will you pray with me?
Thank You, Father, for bringing joy into this world through Your Son, our Savior, Christ Jesus.  May we celebrate in joy and give in joy, knowing that Your love is more than enough for us, and so much more than we deserve.  Amen.

18 comments:

  1. AMEN to such a lovely prayer Martha!

    It is so touching to see this wonderful gesture, makes me feel humanity and compassion still exist around me despite all the vices as well:)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Me!
      Yes, I believe there are so many "God-hearted" people out there - unfortunately, it's the ones who do the terrible things who make news headlines.
      So glad you liked the prayer, too!
      Blessings always!

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  2. This is so beautiful Martha. There is JOY in giving. And in giving what we actually have and what we are...

    I love that this explosion of joy greeted me and I'd be counting on it for the new year to come...

    I pray with you, may we all come to know JOY ~ through Christ who is born to us today... Lots of love!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Melissa!
      Yes, I agree - giving to others DOES bring such joy and peace to our hearts. The Lord certainly knew what He was talking about when He said, "It is better to give than to receive."
      Thank you, too, for praying with me today - may we all know joy in the ultimate gift of our precious Savior.
      Blessings and love!

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  3. Lovely! For myself? Every day I make a checklist and keep track until I have personally done something to nudge at least 15 people toward greater personal empowerment. Sometimes it's as simple as giving a genuine compliment for a job well-done and sometimes it might be a photo shoot for someone I believe I can help see themselves in a whole, new way -- and many other possibilities in between! Thank you for sharing this inspiring post, Martha! XOXOX

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Linda, and for sharing the things you do to spread joy! Love it!
      Blessings and love!

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  4. What a wonderful outpouring you show in these photos! I am in the process of a monumental cleaning & organizing stint in my home. I do it once every couple of years and I donate a large amount of clothing and kitchen items to our local chapter of Agape House. Agape House is a home for women & children who are fleeing from domestic violence and working towards getting their lives back on track. When I was told several years ago that the house itself didn't need kitchen items, I asked if I could bring pots & pans & utensils to get these ladies started in their new homes. The manager of the home loved the idea, so now I get a group of friends to put this on their calendars when they're doing their own cleaning sprees. It's a very simple way of giving back and it never fails to lift my heart.

    I love how each of us find ways to make a difference in the world. <3

    Much love to you, my dear one!

    - Dawnie

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Dawn, and for sharing this wonderful story of what you've done to help others in need. And, yes, even the smallest gestures can make all the difference in the lives of others.
      Blessings and love!

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  5. What a tangible embracing of the teachings of Jesus. Love the photos, and I hope all those coats bring warmth and safety and peace to those who wear them. Best wishes to you for 2013.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Galen! I share that same hope you've expressed here. May your new year bring much joy and peace!
      Blessings and love!

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  6. Yes Martha!! A great outpouring of support by the church and truly celebrating the season. Thanks so much for sharing the photos and for encouraging giving this season - which we should do both during Christmas and year-round. I read a post from Vidya Sury about giving and going to make that my theme for 2013 :)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Vishnu!
      What a great theme to have - giving! I love it, and just may have to "steal" that one from you. :)
      Blessings always!

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  7. An amazing feat of giving, Martha. If only we all were so enlightened to become lighter by shedding one piece of clothing.
    --
    Chris

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    1. I know, Chris, isn't it wonderful! I still can't get over the generosity of this act of kindness. Just goes to show what happens when everyone gives a little together.
      Blessings for the new year, my friend!

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  8. How great that you took pictures. Here's what I think is so terrific about this---so many people were willing to give, someone just had to set the stage, make the suggestion, spark the idea. There are many ways to give all year round but so often we become lost in our own world and don't see the possibilities unless someone steps up and starts the ball rolling! I am always looking for ways to coach others in developing their potential and currently I have four women that I am meeting with regularly to get them on track with developing their strengths and make their dream a reality. It is terrifically rewarding!

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    1. I can't take credit for the photos . . . "stole" them off Facebook from Loretta. LOL!
      What you are doing with these women sounds fantastic, Lynne, and I'll bet it's very rewarding. Isn't it amazing how much we get back when we give?
      Love and blessings for a wonderful new year!

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  9. oh my gosh!! this gave me the chills! what a wonderful example!!!! thank you for sharing.
    and happy New Year!!!

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    1. Thanks a million for coming by, Annmarie! So glad you enjoyed the post. And, yes, this is truly an amazing example of Christ's love living in and through us.
      Blessings for a wonderful new year!

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