i received some really special gifts this year. special, in that they cost the giver time and money.
 
‘thats kind of materialistic of you, isnt it? i thought being a Christian meant not wanting or having a lot of stuff."
 
well, thats just religeous thinking, my dear. and you know how i feel about that. on the contrary, i like stuff. some stuff is necessary for life and means. some stuff is fun and enjoyable. having beeb both with and without each, i can say "with" is by far better. but let me show you why i like stuff, and the money it takes to buy it.
 
ill start with money, since you need money to buy stuff. money is good. very good. money is not the root of all evil. the love of money is a root of evil. why? because money is power. the Bible says money answers all things. in ecclesiastes somewhere. money is power, because it is the commodity of trade, and purchases items and services that make life tolerable, enjoyable, available in some cases. it cant buy everything, and im not saying it can. im saying that money gives one the means to do for self and others, making one a blessing rather than a burden. i have been both, and prefer to be a blessing. blessing means empowered … and i like to help empower others to be a blessing as well.
 
but money is more than that. money represents something in our lives. time, effort, and self. money represents the time and effort we put into our jobs, which often equates to more time than we spend at home. and when we do this to support a family, it amounts to a lot of self put into it as well. it is a sacrifice of sorts, because even those who love their jobs look forward to time off. so our paychecks represent the time and effort and self we put into getting them.
 
 
and i like stuff. i dont want more than i can maintian. i dont want to be owned by my possesions. but i certainly appreciate having the stuff i need to make my life workable. and i like having some things to enjoy. God made a beautiful world around us, and gave us the brains to do awesome things with it. and i have a lot of fun with that. and i like the means to have surplus, so that i may have to give to those who dont.
 
‘well there’s lots of things you can give, ya know. it doesnt always have to be money and material items.’
 
ya i know. the gift should match the need. no doubt! but when i see someone hungry, like this one homeless man that the beau saw a few weeks ago, who appeared to have some form of mental dysfuntion or disorder, hanging out by a convenience store, not bothering anyone, but searching for scraps … well the beau bought him a sandwich, and just gave it to him quietly. the mans reaction was ‘FOOD!’ he got all happy, and started munching his sandwich. ok, time spent wouldnt have helped him like money to buy a sandich did. or a kid that needs shoes, or a coat. or money to help fund a school in another country.
 
so no, it doesnt always have to be material. but its such a blessing to have the option.
 
back to the gifts i received this Christmas. i was really blessed by them. it wasnt just the thought that went into the gift either. and it wasnt particularly the specific cost of the gift itself. it was the cost to the giver … and that is a relative thing. someone who only has a little, and gives it, gives all they have. someone who has a lot, and gives whats comfortable to give, hasnt given nearly as much. then there is the time spent on deciding what the gift will be. the ones i received all came with a lot of time invested in picking out, wraping, and giving. that makes them worth alot more to me than the dollar amount actually spent. that part is irrelevant. that isnt the price of the gift. the price of the gift is the overall cost to the giver. am i belaboring this?
 
 
being a Christian isnt about having or not having. its about being able to have, and being able to give it away the moment God asks you too. its only stuff. and theres more where it came from. but also being able to meet a need, and being able to appreciate the cost involved in receiving a gift. its not about having it, but recognizing its value and use, and using it wisely. the person who shuns is often as bound as the person who hoards. neither one is very helpful to someone who needs help paying the heating bill.
 
let me sum it up to say that i am a much richer woman today, because of the gifts i received.
 
 
a couple of the gifts here. i will ost more as i take the pics. yes, im bragging …
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