Tag Archive | giving

Thanksgiving Meal

 

groceries

With Thanksgiving approaching, I have another story that I’d like to share with you.

Seek the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. –  Psalms 37:4

Thanksgiving Day arrived. I looked forward to feasting with my brother and sister-in-law at their new house.

My then three-year-old daughter called me into her room. “Mommy, I don’t feel good.”

“Let’s check your temperature honey. Ah, you have a fever. Get some sleep sweetheart.”

Regrettably, I had to  inform them we wouldn’t be joining them this year.

What am I going to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal? I had my heart set on eating a honey-baked ham, sweet yams and bread rolls. Yet, I had none of these ingredients in my pantry, nor were any stores open due to the holiday. Although, I did have a pumpkin pie I baked the night before.

A few minutes later,  someone knocked at our door. To my surprise, it was our neighbor standing there. She handed me a large paper sack. “Here are some goodies for you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving,” she smiled.

“I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much!”

We walked into the kitchen and I plunked the sack on the counter. As I rummaged through it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I pulled out a honey-baked ham, sweet yams and bread rolls. Wow!

“You are not going to believe it Natalie, but this is exactly what I had my heart set on eating with my brother and his wife this year. However, we weren’t able to join them, because Alicia is sick,”

“God is good, Rebecca. I was at the grocery store earlier, and the Lord placed on my heart to purchase these exact three items for you.”

That evening, my husband, son, daughter and I savored a delicious Thanksgiving meal together, and thanked God for his many blessings.

To this day, it amazes me how God stirred her heart to give us the precise groceries I desired.

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks. Do you have a time in your life when your were thankful? Please share with us by commenting below.

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Guest Blog by Linda Joann Kay

I first met Linda  when my children attended AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed ),at one of our local churches. She is a wonderful lady who is involved in many aspects of our community. This week, I asked her to share her insight on working with children, and she will tell you all about a fantastic organization. Both my kids enjoy participating every year, and it is very rewarding! Please welcome Linda Joann Kay!
Blessings,  Rebecca
 linda
As parents we want the best for our children. We enjoy not only meeting our children’s needs but giving them special things, as well. However, many of us as parents are concerned when we start seeing our children respond with an attitude of entitlement – “I deserve ______________”, “All my friends have __________”, while at the same time they lose their sense of gratitude. The expectations get bigger and bigger and yet their joy and appreciation becomes less and less. What is a parent to do?

I would suggest that one of the best ways to change a child’s perspective is to take them on a missions trip to Mexico or Haiti, to see children who live without all the luxuries and who appreciate the most simple gifts. However, this can be expensive and there are a lot of unpredictable variables – weather, sickness, transportation – to name a few.

But there is an effective and affordable way to change your child’s perspective, not only on consumerism but in realizing they can make a significant difference in another child’s life through Operation Christmas Child (OCC) a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. OCC encourages people to give the simple gift of a shoebox stuffed with school supplies, toiletries, toys and candy for a boy or a girl between the ages of 2 and 14. Operation Christmas Child has distributed more than 200,000,000 shoe boxes to children in over 100 war-torn, impoverished and/or natural disaster hit countries over the last 22 years, bringing the message of love, hope and joy not only with the gifts but in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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The cool thing is that your children can be involved from a very early age. Let me suggest a few ways to make this happen in your home. First, watch a video about OCC with your child. There are many to choose from but you may want to start with this video that gives you a great overview of the ministry of OCC. Once you see this video, you and your child will be hooked! It’s exciting to see how much joy we can bring to another child! You may want to watch some of the other videos right then but you may want to come back and watch a video once a week. Then have your child decide if they want to pack their box for a boy or a girl. Next, pick an age group, 2 – 4 year old, 5 – 9 year old, or 10 – 14 year old. Often children want to pick someone of the same gender and age making it easier to think what that child might enjoy.

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Then go shopping! Often you will find that your child will be very generous and will want to buy quite a bit for the child they have in mind. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a shoebox along so your child realizes the restraints of space, or you could decide to pack more than one box. As you shop you can educate your child on the importance of things that they take for granted – soap, toothpaste, a comb – and point out that not all children have even these basic things.

When you pack your box encourage your child to write a letter to the child receiving the box and include a picture. Children who receive the boxes treasure these personal touches. Then include a check for $7 to cover the shipping – much cheaper than a missions trip! Or you can pay on line and get a tracking label so you know in which country your box is distributed.

Relay Centers are open the third week of November to receive your box. You can check on the OCC website to find a Relay Center near you.

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But if you don’t want to wait until November you can Build A Box on line. Again, your child gets to pick the age and gender of the child. Then they are given a choice of gifts to put in the box. With each choice they get a short story how a similar gift impacted a child’s life, and expanding their understanding of others and an appreciation for the life with which they’ve been blessed. The total cost for a Build A Box is $25 – again, much cheaper than a missions trip. Many of these boxes are delivered to “sensitive countries” where the Good News of Jesus Christ isn’t often heard.

An OCC distribution at a muslim school.

An OCC distribution at a muslim school.

I encourage you and your child to pray. Pray as you choose to pack a box. Pray as you shop. Pray as you pack. Pray as you drop it off. And then pray some more. Imagine what life might be for the child on the receiving end. Picture each item packed and pray that it will bring the child joy. If you find out in which country your box was delivered, learn about that country and pray some more.

One word on unrealistic expectations: you may hear back from your child, but probably not. If they have a piece of paper it will be used for school. They may not know how to write. They may not have access to a post office. Suffice it to know that your box has brought great joy into a child’s life.
An Operation Christmas Child shoebox doesn’t only change the life of the child receiving the box but it changes the heart of the one who sends it as well.

Linda Kay is the Area Director for Operation Christmas Child in Santa Cruz, CA. She is the mother of four children and grandmother to two. She met her husband, Randal, doing children’s ministry at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center and they have been involved in ministry together ever since. You can contact Linda by email, scooterkay@gmail.com.