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Christmas Service Projects for Families

It’s no surprise that Christmas is going to look different this year. Many of us won’t be having our usual big family celebrations or attending our typically packed Christmas services. Our ways of serving at Christmas, like doing food drives or giving trees, are likely impacted as well.

This year, we’ll all have to get a little creative, because people need assistance now more than ever! The pandemic has impacted many families’ incomes, so clothing, food, and gifts will likely be in short supply.

December 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Over the course of this year, I have had countless conversations that ended with lamenting the difficulties this year has held. When something difficult happens, it has been easy to respond to the situation by adding it to the list of wrongs 2020 has dealt out:

“2020 just won’t quit.”

 “Man, this year!”

 “Ugh, 2020!”

“Of course that happened—it’s 2020!”

“2020 is the worst!”

Gratitude When Gratefulness Won't Come

This time of year, you don’t have to walk too far into a store to find a plaque or pillow for sale with one of these words on it:

grateful

thankful

thanksgiving

gratitude.

Simple Ways to Give Thanks with Your Family

’Tis the season to give thanks! As Thanksgiving approaches, many people are considering how they can inspire and teach their families to give thanks! Of course, it’s important to give thanks year-round, not just in November, but hopefully this season can inspire a life of thanksgiving!

Here are some simple ways to show your family how to give thanks all year round!

Praying with a Thankful Spirit

In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom relates an incident that taught her always to be thankful. She and her sister, Betsy, had just been transferred to the worst Nazi prison camp they had seen yet, Ravensbruck. On entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and flea infested.

The Lord Is at Hand

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4–7

There are some days when I hear this Scripture passage and I’m ready to jump right in with the classic Sunday School children’s song: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” (Clap! Clap!)

November 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

“How are you?”

I rarely ask that question in a conversation without receiving a response along the lines of “fine” or “doing good” or “so busy these days.” Rarely does someone respond by saying, “I am so well rested” or “My schedule is so balanced these days.” 

If we were tired before 2020 brought with it a pandemic and many other difficult national crises, we are certainly tired now. If we were feeling a strain on our schedules before 2020 brought with it endless meetings over video conferencing and virtual environments for school, worship, and everything in between, we are certainly feeling that strain now.

Embracing a “No Fear” Attitude

Maybe you’ve seen some version of this saying: Courage is not the absence of fear, but being afraid and doing it anyway. My quick internet search shows that Google doesn’t quite know who to attribute the quote to. As of this writing, top contenders are Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain, FDR, or John Wayne. It’s a great little nugget of wisdom nevertheless, and I’m sure there are plenty of accompanying inspirational images suitable for posting on the social network of your choice.

Three Ways to Serve Christ by Loving Your Family

Remember when we all hoped that we’d be able to go back to “normal” by Memorial Day? Now Labor Day has come and gone, Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and we’re all still at home. Some of us might be back in person, but a lot of us are learning new things every day as we work and attend school from home.

Celebrating Differences: Down Syndrome Awareness Month

How do we rank the quality of life for a person with a disability? October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month—a good time to consider this question. And to be honest, I’m already familiar with some of the darker opinions on this front. As the parent of a child with Down syndrome, I am sensitive to representations of people with disabilities in entertainment and in real life. I note that many people are uncomfortable with or even afraid of disabilities. I see a direct correlation of that fear when people consider abortion. I hear the suggestions of a sort of secular immorality in bringing people like my daughter into the world.