Still Developing: Christmas and year-end gifts

Who doesn’t like to receive a Christmas gift? Even the “Scroogest” among us secretly hopes someone will offer them a present. Christmas provides the opportunity to give into people’s lives in a way other times of the year don’t afford. Our family will celebrate Christmas with a newborn grandbaby who will have no clue about Christmas and the present-giving tradition. We have discussed, as a family, that in the years to come, we will enjoy seeing Hannah open presents and be included in our tradition of having the younger children hand out the gifts. It’s an opportunity to apply reading skills as we decipher the gift tags together and reinforces the character of sharing as she will discover that not only do you receive joy in getting a gift, but a greater joy also comes in giving a gift. Paul shares Jesus’ thoughts on giving, “In every way I’ve shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Christmas is only a few weeks away, and fast on its heels is the end of the year. Year-end solicitations are as plentiful as desserts at grandma’s house on Christmas Day. We all receive many types of appeals this time of year. An appropriate request will be welcomed, as long as it is genuine and not manipulative. How do you choose between the multitudes of requests at year-end? /// Recognize that the Lord has assigned you with the responsibility to act as a steward of His resources and choose wisely. /// Reorganize your priorities to include giving so as to establish a family legacy that displays the truth of Acts 20:35 and Jesus’ words on giving. /// Routinize your giving to the local church first, and capitalize on the Cooperative Program’s wisdom in working together to accomplish great things for the Lord’s Kingdom. /// Reemphasize your witness to others as to why you give gifts at Christmas; it is another way to share the message of the Gospel in the coming of the Savior of the World. /// Revisualize the impact that your Christmas year-end gift will mean if given to the Centennial Campaign for Falls Creek. More than 250,000 total decisions have been made at Falls Creek, with more than 61,000 of those decisions being professions of faith and more than 34,000 decisions calls to ministry. Since the opening of the R.A. Young Tabernacle in 2007, 51,000 young people have heard God’s call in that hallowed place; 17,000 youth have answered the call to salvation and 8,000 answered the call to ministry. All of those bruised, broken and lost souls have had an experience with the Savior that radically changed the direction of their lives for eternity. You can see the impact your gift will have in the Centennial Campaign for Falls Creek. /// Don’t delay. The timing of your gift is important. Contributions must be hand delivered or postmarked before Jan. 1, 2015, to potentially receive a tax deduction. Gifts of Securities and Real Estate require special planning to guarantee a deduction this year. Your gift to the Centennial Campaign will also be doubled by the Downing matching fund. So give today, and Recognize, Reorganize, Routinize, Reemphasize and Revisualize what a blessing a year-end gift will mean for you and others when given as Jesus leads. Contact me for more information about your gift for the Centennial Campaign at 405/516-4868, mharkey@bgco.org, or toll free at...

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