Posts Tagged ‘giving


Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh…Christmas shopping for 8 kids

People ask us from time to time how we do Christmas with 8 children. Well, we’ve done a variety of things over the years, but we have always kept it simple. We don’t put this huge emphasis on Santa and we only give a couple of gifts to each.

We draw names among the kids. They used to try and buy each sibling something, but as the family grew it just became more practical to draw names. They really enjoy doing this too. Searching for that special gift. We give them a budget (usually $5) and they get to pick a special gift for their siblings. Sometimes they will make gifts too. My oldest daughter knitted scarves for her younger sisters last year.

In recent years we have settled on buying each child “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh” gifts. This is not original to us, but I share it as a possibility for your family too. It really helps keep the perspective of Christmas.

The GOLD gift is something they want…a toy, gadget or something. Not something ridiculously expensive, mind you. The FRANKINCENSE is something they need…usually a clothing item. While the MYRRH is something spiritual…a Bible, devotional book, Christian CD, etc.  The total for all these gifts per child may be $25-35 or less. Even at that, it can get expensive. We usually set a total budget and divide it out based on what we can afford. (We NEVER use credit cards..aren’t you proud Dave Ramsey? 🙂 )   However, we have never put a big emphasis on buying lots of expensive gifts. We shop sales and use discounts and coupons as much as we can. Sometimes a toy or game may be given to more than one child, combining the gift. This is helpful on the budget too. 🙂

This year, the economy has made us have to work harder at saving and stretching and even cutting back. We won’t be able to do as much this year as we have in the past. BUT it is likely that we all should be doing that anyway. We are praying about what we should give as a family to The Gift this Sunday @ The Ridge. Many people at other churches are taking special offerings for missions and ministries. You may be thinking about supporting a worthy ministry in your area. I would challenge you to GIVE GENEROUSLY this Christmas…to OTHERS. Give to meet needs in your family, give out of love for your spouse and kids, but teach them the real reason we give…out of WORSHIP of a God who GAVE everything for us.

For a little perspective on spending, giving and worship, check out this video from Advent Conspiracy:


Sunday Recap 9-21-08

It was good to be back yesterday! I enjoyed my vacation, but am glad to be back in the groove. Here’s the highlights of a good day yesterday @ The Ridge:

  • John had to go out of town suddenly because of a death in the family, so Thursday we were looking for someone to lead music in our worship gathering. God provided and James Griffin, the High School Pastor at Westridge, graciously came out of the bullpen to lead. He did a great job, too!
  • Continued our $urvivorman series with Living/Giving principles 4 and 5

#4 – God wants me to learn to give today out of my abundance to meet the needs of others, believing that tomorrow if I have a need, God will use the abundance of others to meet my need. (2 Corinthians 8:14)

#5 – The deeper the level of giving, the greater the expression of love. (2 Corinthians 8:8)

Three scriptural levels of giving are: 1. obedience (this is simply the tithe, the beginning point of giving); 2. Faith (giving with no guarantee of return, trusting God to meet my needs) and 3. Sacrifice (this is giving out of what I lack – see 1 Kings 7:17-24 for an example of sacrificial and faith giving)

  • Attendance was down quite a bit Sunday. Don’t understand it other than the possibility that we are in a series on giving. People tend to stay away when you talk about $. However, September has always been a little down for us. But as Perry Noble always says, “the only people who get mad when you talk about giving are those who don’t…just like the only people who get mad when you talk about adultery are those who are…” 🙂
  • Even though attendance was down, giving was pretty good, especially for the third Sunday of the month (which is always the worst). Maybe God is changing some people’s perspectives on giving.
  • Last night held a ReThink Money seminar led by Casey Graham. 20 people attended and gained some valuable tools for managing and getting their finances in order. It is exciting to see people beginning a journey of freedom. I pray that they will make it! Thanks to those who stepped up and volunteered to help with childcare last night. You made a difference in some families lives by doing that!
  • I’m excited about our next series starting on October 5th: Fireproof Your Marriage. If you haven’t already made plans to, go and see the movie Fireproof this weekend. It opens Friday. See the trailer HERE. What would you do to save your marriage? I hope you Ridgers will make this series a priority and that you will spread the word to those int he community.


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