I came to BCF when I was attending Celebrate Recovery in 2005. I fell in love with the people and became a member. I dove in and started serving in the cookie ministry, Celebrate Recovery, painting murals and planting plants. I am a single Mom of three boys and one girl. I just finished earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the age of 55 and am in the process of becoming a Licensed Drug Counselor. I celebrate 14 years of victory over drug addiction.
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Bible)
It’s so tempting to use credit cards and over-spend at Christmas time. Philippians 4:8 and my experience are my guides for avoiding this. In 2007 I bought a desktop computer, a laptop, a big screen TV, and an Xbox gaming system on credit. That decision put me in debt that has outlasted all those things except for the TV. I’ve been paying on those items for eight years! The PC stopped working after two years, and the laptop & gaming system were stolen. I am still paying for them. By using credit, I spent over twice the original cost of those items, and it was not lovely and did not bring peace.
I thought the gaming system would be “...honorable and worthy of respect, . . .” (Philippians 4:8, AMP), and promote exercise and time together. We played together as a family a couple of times before it divided us. It provided an avenue to waste time, and provided inappropriate games with graphic violence, adult language and sexual content. The time spent playing the gaming system replaced chores and spending time with people face to face. My children raised their voices in anger when I interrupted them. They honored and respected the games more than me. I had to enforce time limits. It wasn’t lovely, honorable, or worthy of respect.
“Fill your minds with beauty and truth.” (Philippians 4:8,Voice). When I was a child, my mom and I would bake cookies and give them to our neighbors. Dad and I would drive around town on Christmas eve and look at Christmas lights. It was a thing of beauty to see the gratitude expressed as we gave our cookies. I learned that it truly was better to give than receive. The memories I have of seeing the lights with my Dad are priceless.
I’ve continued the tradition of seeing lights on Christmas eve with my kids. I pay with cash, not credit. I make a list and a budget, and my kids often get practical gifts like shoes and toiletries. I rely on God’s provision which brings me peace and allows me to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Take it from me, spending what you don’t have to buy gifts will not bring peace or make your kids love you more.