Sarah Trstenjak

I want to get rid of the myth that having seven children makes you saintly.  Often, it just makes you tired. I love the Christmas services at BCF!  

 

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. - John 3:16 (Common English Bible)

 

    Christmas is all about giving, and Pastor Kenny tells us that we are never more like God than when we give.  At Christmas, the best gift we can give others is the hope of new life in Christ.
Every year our family makes an effort to share Christ with those in our neighborhood and community by giving in small ways.  We are not perfect, and neither are our efforts. We have had stress, irritability, dropped baked goods, and melted popsicles. No matter where we fall short, we’ve seen God help us because we are willing to give.
    We have done most of these activities with our children, but look around.  Who are the people in your circle of influence?  Ask them to join you as you give.  People are more receptive at Christmas.
On one occasion, Scott and I hosted a Christmas party at our apartment.  The highlight of the night was leading our guests to act out the Christmas story.  “Actors” wrapped in sheets and blankets to resemble Biblical costumes.  Then while one person read from Luke 2, the rest acted out the parts of the Christmas story.  Neighbors readily participated, and the play kept the focus on Jesus.
    One Christmas Day, we took our children to Sunshine Haven, a hospice home in Olmito.  Our daughter made large, beautiful pictures of Christmas that we put in each room.  We sang carols.  One son baked coffeecakes for family and workers who would be there that day.  This was a great way to reach out to the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40) and was a very meaningful experience for us.
    We make baked goods during the holiday season and give them to some of our healthcare providers and staff.  I try to include a tract, a small booklet that tells how anyone can come to know the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers.    
Then there is our ice cream truck!  We made poster board signs that say, “Happy Birthday Jesus” and “We (heart) Our Neighbors.”  We taped these to our van.  We drove around the neighborhood.  Our kids got out and knocked on our neighbors’ doors informing them of free ice cream.  We handed out the ice cream with a tract and BCF invitation card.  
    This Christmas season, make time in your schedule and your budget to invite those in your circle of influence to join you.  Give this Christmas.  We celebrate Christmas because God gave.