Monday, December 15, 2008

Xtreme Christmas Department

Cliff Morrow inspired this post. He reported that his church had a delightful Christmas Cantata on a night when the thermometer said “Zero!” He also reported that they had plates and plates of Christmas Cookies afterward.

Not to be outdone, I thought I’d report on our church’s Xtreme Christmas held Sunday morning. We have a small church. About three to four hundred attend every Sunday, split up into two services. But for this Sunday, we all met in a Big City Convention Center. The past five years our church has held an Xtreme Christmas service.

During those services, several people are given help with personal needs. Like Christmas presents for the kids; like a couple of months of utilities or rent; like a semester’s tuition; like a half a truck-load of groceries; like Christmas presents for the parents, too. Oh, and we send box upon box of diapers, of frozen meat, of gift cards for gasoline and lattes. And on and on...

This year, we were aware of so many needy families in our community, that instead of wrapping gifts for weeks on end, we gave everyone gift cards to various stores and services. The smallest amount was $350 (lots of those); the highest amount was over $1,000. We were able to help over 140 families. One young lady received an
Xtreme Check to help with hospital expenses for her preemie baby, who was born at 26 weeks! way back in September. This week she gets to go home! Yee-haw!

I don’t tell you this to toot our horn. I tell you this because the good folks in our little church gave big gifts to help less fortunate people have a nicer Christmas Season this year. Isn’t it interesting that when you want to help out, you always seems to have a little extra? Where does it come from? Jesus knows, I guess.

We all sang a bunch of carols—and were they ever vigorous!
The preacher preached a little—got on TV, too.

Everybody was friendly; nobody was a stranger. One lady stepped out of her comfort zone—out of her grief—on the anniversary date of her daughter’s, and son-in-law’s and grandchild’s Xtremely Tragic deaths. Christmas time has not been pleasant for her the past several years, but she stepped up to the plate yesterday with an Xtreme Smile and welcomed everyone to our service. Just watching her was an Xtreme blessing for everyone. Jesus does things like that for you.

My First Wife and I hope your Christmas Season is Xtreme, too.

And by the way, when our church service started Sunday, the temperature was a balmy 60 degrees. When the service ended two hours later, it was a windy 32 degrees! By nightfall, 16 degrees and snowing! This morning it was 3 degrees! That's Xtreme!

Oh, and please visit
My Hats Blog to meet one of the people who wore her hat to our church yesterday.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

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