Christmas Giving & Giveaways

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. – Mother Teresa

Giving is one of the most beautiful parts of the Christmas season. As Karen Ehman explains in her book, there’s more than one way to give. Yes, people primarily think of gifts, but giving of one’s time is often even more valuable.

A friend shared a story how someone had decorated her tree and house for Christmas a few years ago after she had her baby, and that gift of time meant more than any present.

Are you looking for opportunities to give? Am I? Let’s not be so wrapped up in our own schedules that we miss opportunities to bless others.

To paraphrase Mother Teresa, how much love do we put into our Christmas giving? Let’s load others up with love this year.

Drum Roll, Please!

Congratulations to Jann, the winner of the Listen, Love, Repeat book pack giveaway!!

Thank you to all who commented, shared, and participated. Even if you didn’t win, Karen’s book would still make a great gift this season.

Another Giveaway – Free for All!

Today and just today, my book Captive Beneath the Bahamian Sky is available FREE in kindle version (regardless of whether you have Kindle Unlimited or not). This is the first book in my series Wings of the Dawn, a young adult Christian suspense trilogy.

Click here to download your free copy. Merry Christmas on me!

Next Week

I’m super excited to share a beautiful, biblical Christmas craft idea with you all next week. If you enjoy making items to share at Christmas, you won’t want to miss next week’s post.

Have a blessed week!

~ Kristen

 

Tweetables

Load others up with love this Christmas. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Free YA Christian Suspense on Kindle today – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

 

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Willing Hands Building Fences

Recently, my Bible study group helped build a fence for one of the ladies at church, and a motley group of us arrived early on a Saturday morning to set to work.

As I looked around, I guessed that most of us hadn’t built a fence before. Other than limited experience with a nail gun on few construction projects, I didn’t have much to offer either. But that’s what was so neat about the day. Some ended up working on the fence. Others re-screened the porch. Some helped clean or paint a mailbox.

We didn’t all need the same skills. We just needed to be willing.

The Body of Christ

In I Corinthians 12, Paul compares the body of Christ to the parts of the body. There are many members but one body. All serve differently but for one central purpose.

This truth seems obvious enough, but when we consider human nature and our tendency to exalt or desire certain skills over others, contentment can break down really fast.

That’s why the Apostle Paul resorted to hyperbole or exaggeration to make a point.

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? (I Corinthians 12:17 NKJV)

In other words, if we were all certified fence contractors, the fence might be up in record time, but the floors wouldn’t be vacuumed, and the screens might still be sagging.

What are you building?

I think the point is less what we build and more what we do with the skills and gifts God’s given us. Let’s face it: God hasn’t called all of us to be pastors, missionaries, and certified contractors. He’s called some of us to be students, teachers, businessmen, stay-at-home moms, and a myriad of other roles.

The awesome part is that He’s given us exactly what we need to serve Him right here, right now. Maybe we don’t feel especially qualified. We could make excuses about our lack of experience. We could argue that others would do a better job and that we belong on the sidelines.

Nonsense.

The question we have to ask is: Are we willing to serve God wherever He calls, with whatever skills He gives us?

If you say yes, look at your surroundings this week, and find the fence God wants you to build. It might not require a nail gun, but it will require obedience and a willing spirit.

~ Kristen

 

Tweetables

Willing Hands Building Fences – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Find the fence God wants you to build – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)