Tag Archives: gifts

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD, YOU HAVE MY HEART

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Let me tell you about something that is very dear to my heart. My prayer is that once you have read this post, you will also want to join with me and do something to make a difference in our world, and to introduce children to the love of Jesus Christ!
What am I talking about?? OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, that’s what!
Let me answer a few questions right off the bat.
Operation Christmas Child, (OCC), is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, with a mission of providing gifts in shoe boxes for needy children in impoverished, war-torn, desperate circumstances, all over the world. Gifts are given to children ages 2-14 who may otherwise never receive a Christmas, or any other type of gift. Each child only gets one OCC gift box in a lifetime with the primary purpose of the gifting being to introduce children and their families to Jesus, and to show these youngsters that God really does love and care about them.
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OCC began in 1993 when a single phone call for assistance was made to Franklin Graham, (Billy’s son). When Franklin Graham received the desperate phone call asking for help for some children, he admits not expecting to collect many Christmas shoeboxes since it was already rather late in the year! But, he wanted to help, so Mr. Graham made a phone call to the pastor of a church that regularly steps up to help when there is a need. Franklin asked the pastor to pack a shoebox with small gifts and some necessities for a child and show it to his congregation, and ask those in attendance to pack a similar box. The pastor’s wife packed a shoebox which he then demonstrated to his congregation, followed with a request of the members to do likewise. At this point, no one expected to collect more than maybe 100-200 shoeboxes.
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In just under two weeks, Franklin Graham received another phone call! This phone call came from the pastor, asking Mr. Graham to make arrangements to pick up the shoeboxes. Franklin told the pastor that he would send someone over to retrieve the shoeboxes. He was in a state of shock when the pastor told him that a single pick-up truck would not be sufficient since his church had already collected over 11,000 shoeboxes!! Franklin Graham’s contact in Canada had also been collecting shoeboxes and had also collected an enormous amount of the gifts! There was no doubt in any of their minds that this collection of shoeboxes filled with gifts, was God inspired! At the end of two weeks of collecting, over 28,000 shoeboxes had been filled and were ready to ship to some needy children!! That is amazing!
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Since that first collection of shoeboxes, over 100 MILLION shoeboxes have been filled and distributed to needy children all over the world through Operation Christmas Child. With this ministry going into its 21st year, there are many adults now, who received these shoeboxes as children that are involved in the ministry because of the impact that one simple shoebox filled with gifts had on them! The testimonials from these young people is amazing, to say the least.
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I hope this helps you to understand why I love Operation Christmas Child like I do. Quite simply, it is all about helping children!
As I said at the beginning of this post, it is my prayer that you will be inspired to take part in this ministry to help some children. Each shoebox gift is a foot in the door to introduce a child, and his/her family, to the wonderfully, beautiful love of Jesus Christ. They become very aware of that love as soon as they open their shoeboxes! Won’t you please consider becoming a part of this??
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If you are not yet sure whether you want to fill shoeboxes, please be in prayer for this ministry and all the volunteers and staff of OCC and Samaritan’s Purse, as well as the children who receive these gifts, and their families. Pray that they will see and feel the love of God and desire to know more about Him, and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior!!
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In my next post, I’ll tell you how you can help with one simple gift!
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY, HONOR, AND PRAISE!!
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10: 14-15

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There is nothing like Texas in the summer time! I’ve lived other places that were hot, Phoenix, Arizona for example, but it is a different kind of heat! I know some people think that is just a cliche’, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, but it is true! The heat in Arizona is much different from the heat here in good ole southeast Texas! In Phoenix, a summer day is very likely to hit close to 110+ on the thermometer, but it still feels hotter here with the temp being around 95 or so! The humidity definitely has something to do with the way the heat actually FEELS! You just feel so sticky! I have never been a fan of heat. I will take a cold day anytime over a hot day. I have always said that I could always put more clothes on, or cover up in more blankets, but there is only so much you can take off when you are trying to cool off!! Especially if you are in a public place!

Gerald is just an all around outdoors guy! He may burn up, but he would much rather be outside doing something than inside. I ca/n’t even begin to tell you the number of times he has gone through more than 3 shirts in a single day because he soaks them in sweat!! Me, on the other hand, when the temps get above 75-80, you are going to have a tough time getting me outside! Unless there is water up to my neck involved! And hopefully that water will be in the shade! I burn too easily. I used to think there was no big deal to getting sunburned, except that it hurt! But, since reaching my 40’s, and having a father who had to have several skin cancers removed because of sun exposure, I have decided that the nice, golden brown skin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I thank God for air conditioning!!

Since my back has gotten so bad, I have not been able to spend hardly any time in my scrap room. Well, there are more reasons than just my back. We also have house guests living with us temporarily. How long is temporarily supposed to be anyway? Just kidding!! I am very happy to have my son and his family staying with us until they can get moved into their own place. It’s just really difficult to have to clear out a room that is FULL of things that need to be stored away, or thrown away, and find somewhere else to put them, when the rest of the house is already filled to the brim with belongings! God has most definitely richly blessed us with material things! We have had to resort to storing a lot of the stuff in none other than my scrap room! We also are using our guest bathroom (that is not completed from when we started remodeling it about two years ago, I think!), for additional storage. So this leaves us with only one bathroom as well!! Yes, we are all cramped! I do have a trail in my scrap room so that I can move around my desk and get to my printer and some other things. But, especially with my back problems, it is difficult to weave in and out of things to get to that one particular item that I just know is in that box at the bottom of that pile!!

Oh well, another month or two and they will get to move out and I will get my spare bedroom back, and I will then convert it into a closet/storage room! I know, why am I making it into a closet? Well, several reasons actually!

First of all, I need a bigger closet!! My closet, which Gerald enlarged for me, and now it takes WAY too much space from our bedroom, is over-flowing! So, the plan is that I will get two of those rolling clothing racks for my closet, and they will be in the spare bedroom because we are going to tear out my closet to give us more room in the bedroom. I just hope I can get by with only two of these racks! We shall see, and if need be, I will get a third!! I will also have an extra dresser in the “closet” so I can store my off season clothes away without putting them in plastic bags and not setting an eye on them again for a couple of years because I forgot where I put them! The secondary idea behind the closet in the spare room is that, by taking out my present closet, we will actually have room for the bedroom furniture that I so dearly love, and have room to actually move around in more than a minute 1-1 1/2 feet of space on either side of the bed! We will also be able to get all the “extra stuff” out of that second bathroom and hopefully, FINALLY FINISH IT!! We will see about that!

I’m not giving up on the idea of us getting a new house! We have wanted to either build a house, or buy a new double wide that will give us PLENTY of space, for several years now. We are much in prayer about that! If God wants us to have a bigger, better house, then it will happen. I found a house plan that I am really fond of, and believe it or not, it is a single story! I have always wanted a two story house, but if God wants us in a new house, I will be just as happy with a single like this plan. Several other things have to fall into place before this can happen though. So, again, we are praying that it all works out!

Back to my scrap room for a minute now. I finally got in there yesterday and actually started doing some more scrapping! I completed two pages in about three hours and I think they turned out really cute! The projects that I have to work on as of today include: pages for Lauren, who is paying me to create pages for her daughters’ scrapbook! Well, poor thing, she has been so patient with me! It has probably been pretty close to a year since I gave her the first set of pages that I had done! I am planning, with God’s help, to be able to contact her in about 2-3 weeks, and give her many more pages! If I can just get in there and work like I did yesterday, it won’t be a problem!

The second project I am working on is an album for our church, Peachtree Baptist Church. I am creating an album on the construction and activities of our new Family Life Center! I cannot even begin to tell you how honored I felt when Jared asked me if I would do this! To be asked to create something like this to honor God and his gifts to us, I feel very inadequate! But, I am going to give it my all and pray that people enjoy looking at it, and God will get all the praise and glory! Without Him, I would not be doing this!

Then there is my third project. This project is very special. I am creating an album for a young family, in remembrance of their son and brother, Baby Thomas. Baby Thomas was born with a birth defect which was severe enough that his little body could not sustain life. Sadly, this little angel went to be with Jesus just a couple of days after entering this world, and blessing everyone who had any kind of contact with him or his loving family. This family suffered a loss that I can not even begin to try to imagine! The pain that they deal with on a daily basis is just gut-wrenching. God definitely knew what he was doing though. He sent this little angel to earth to touch the hearts of at least several hundred people, many who never even met him! The story of the journey this family has taken from the day they found out about his abnormality, has been very eloquently shared with many, many people, through a simple blog, “The Little Journey of Baby Thomas”, written by his mother, Holly. You can check it out here -> thelittlejourneyofbabythomas.blogspot.com/ .    Anyway, I am working on an album for this family and I want it to be perfect for them! I pray that God helps me to create pages for this album that will be at least half as special and wonderful as Baby Thomas and his family. They deserve the absolute best!

Finally, I am hoping that I can jump-start my Stampin’ Up! business. I have to sell at least $300 by the end of June in order to remain an active demonstrator, and I really want to be able to remain active. I don’t know if I am going to be lucky enough to sell that much in a two week time span or not, but I plan to try! With God’s help, I will get it done, but only if it is His will. Sometimes, Gods will for us is so hard for us to understand. We know that we really want to work hard for this particular item or job or whatever! But, if it is not Gods will, we will not succeed at whatever we are attempting to do. So, I pray that my succeeding with this business is within Gods will, because it is something that I really enjoy doing, and would love to be able to contribute to our family finances through this. Only time will tell, but I am going to be praying!

Well, I have plenty of scrapbooking to do, so I am going to get busy with that! If you are interested in anything related to scrapbooking, card making, or any type of paper crafting, please email me, visit my Stampin’ Up! site, or comment here, and I will be happy to help you! I look forward to hearing from you!

http://msjsscrappin-stampin.stampinup.net

Check out my other blog!!    http://msjsscrappin-stampin-stampinup.blogspot.com

Have a great day!  Be sure to thank God for all of His wonderful gifts He has given you!!