Self Worth: Feeling Inferior

Do you find your worth in what you do? Are you concerned that others will think less of you, if they knew what you do for work? Are you self-critical, because you are trying to win the approval of other people.

Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

It is vital to see ourselves through God's eyes. We are worthwhile to Him. He created us with a purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

He doesn't want us to get caught up in the world's values, but to value what Jesus says is priority. We are to be like Jesus. He came to serve, not to be served.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant.

Dear Jesus,

I'm tempted to compare myself with others, even other Christians. Sometimes I think - I'm not as "spiritual". I'm not as likeable and outgoing. I'm not as thin and good looking. I haven't finished my college education yet. It's not that other people are being critical of me; it's that I am critical of myself. I give into the feelings of low self worth.

I need to remind myself that you value me. You know what's best for me; you have a purpose for me. How do you want me to serve and minister to others? I want to know Your will for my life and to follow Your way for me.

Love, Shari

True Self Worth

This is what I learned about Self Worth, today. Self worth is the belief that you have value and significance. My true self-worth is not based on what I do, or how I look. I have value, because God gave me value.

I was made in His image.
Christ willingly gave His life for me, even though I didn't deserve it.

Romans 5:7-8 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

He designed me to need Him. Jesus needs to be my highest priority. In Him, I will find my true worth.

Colossians 1:15-17 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

Our Family Christmas Traditions

This year, I've really tried to make the Christmas season fun for the family, and get the focus off of the commercialism. We've kept our family traditions and added some new ones.
  • Made Happy Birthday Jesus Cakes (our favorite tradition)
  • Shared Our Christian Faith (passed out stocking ornaments with a Santa Gospel tract inside.)
  • Participated in the church's canned food collection
  • Watched most of the Christmas TV specials
  • Made Christmas Crafts
  • Had a family snack food party and played cards
  • Made gingerbread men and hung one on the tree
  • Hung Christmas lights in the bedrooms
  • Had a slumber party next to the lighted Christmas tree
  • Added links, nightly, to the Thankful Paper Chain
  • Participated in our church's Nursing Home Gift Ministry
On Christmas Eve, we plan to:

Hope: Thinking Back

Sometimes, I find myself going through a difficulty and doubting that things will get better. I forget to hope in God. So, I do a “thinking back” exercise. I remind myself of a time in my past that I didn’t have much hope. It felt like the problem would never be resolved, and that I would never recover. Then, I think about how God helped me through the problem and it’s emotional pain. God helped me to overcome it and therefore it became a part of my past. This gets me believing that the same thing will happen with what I am currently facing. This, too, will eventually be a part of my past. And I want it to serve a purpose, to be something that God can use in a positive way. I want to grow and learn during hard times, so that I will be able to help someone; have empathy for another person facing a difficult situation.

True Hope

Christians can have true hope. This hope isn’t wishful thinking, or hoping in someone to rescue them, or hoping in money or a material item. True hope is in Jesus and Him alone. The Bible is filled with verses instructing us to hope in Him. He promises us so much and His values are unchangeable. That doesn’t mean everything will work out as we want it to, but it does mean that we can trust God to work it out for us – His way, His will, to glorify Himself.

Hope in Jesus is not disappointing.

Romans 5:5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. NLT

We can trust that His hope is best for us.

Hebrews 6:19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. NLT

True hope is only in the Lord. We can get help from a caring person, but our dependence is on Him.

Psalm 39:7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. NLT

Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. NLT

Prayer: Making Hope a Habit

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The following is from the Book: One Minute Prayers for Healing

Give me a deep desire for Your Word, Lord. Draw me to the source of strength and instruction that buoys and builds my faith. When I think, “I know what Scripture says,” humble my spirit and direct me to the passages written to bring me hope this very day.

During difficult times, endurance can be as basic as showing up. I’m here, Lord, with open Bible and hungry heart. I know You will do the rest. - Amen

Remembering Christmas Traditions

This is the time of year for Christmas Traditions. My family had them when I was growing up. These are the traditions that I can remember:
  • We each had a date night with Dad - to eat dinner and get a Christmas gift for Mom.
  • The kids got our own Christmas tree in the family room to decorate with our handmade ornaments.
  • We got to stick gumdrops on a plastic Christmas tree.
  • We stayed up later to watch the Christmas specials on TV.
  • As we decorated the tree, we talked about the ornaments and the memories.
  • We sang and danced to the Elvis Christmas Album.
  • Each family member was a secret Kris Kringle and did nice things for one person during December.
  • The relatives would come over for a Christmas party.
  • Aunt Betty always brought a cake and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
  • We went to see Santa at the mall and have a yearly photo taken.
  • On Christmas Eve, the kids got to open one present each.
  • We frosted cookies and decorated them with sprinkles and red hots.
  • We had advent calendars.
  • The kids received a letter from Santa thanking us for the milk and cookies.
My kids are keeping busy this season with out family traditions. I've kept some of the ones that I grew up with and added some new ones.

If you would like to add some new traditions to your Christmas season, you may want to see my other site with 100 Christmas Tradition Ideas.

Help Me Change

Joyce Meyer writes in Starting Your Day Right Devotions

Pray: Lord, please help me to change. Show me the root of my problem and how to get over it. I want positive changes in my life.

We keep ourselves from the future plans God has for us, because we are caught up in our bad attitudes and excuses. What are we missing out on? Let’s give up our “right” to anger, bitterness, or whatever. God has a purpose for each of us. What if Billy Graham got stuck on a bad attitude and never became available for what God had planned for him?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)

Christmas Evangelism Idea

Christmas is a great time to tell others about Jesus. It’s become a tradition for my family to do an evangelism project at Christmas.

This year, my girls helped me make small stocking ornaments out of craft foam. Then, we folded Santa Money Tracts and slid them into the stockings. When it gets closer to Christmas, we are going to hang them on doorknobs in our neighborhood.

There are many Christmas Ideas you may be interested in at

Easy to Evangelize

There's Only One Way!

"Steppin right up to the microphone
I say - Hey Girl*
There's only one way!

One God, one body, one Faith alone
If you don't know
Then ya need to be told."

Lyrics by Newsboys
Step Up to the Microphone from the Shine: The Hits CD

*I switched the word Man with the word Girl.

Are You Good Enough to Go to Heaven?

How to Help Orphans

There are 143 million orphans, and so much can be done to help them. What a great way to witness and show the love of Jesus – Help the Orphans.

God's Kids

Get lots of Ideas at

Here are some of the ways to help:
  • Donate gifts
  • Have a baby shower
  • Sponsor an orphan
  • Form an orphan prayer group
  • Shop online gift catalogs for orphans
  • Go on a trip to an orphanage
  • Raise money
  • Make Care Packs
  • Help a foster family
  • Hold a shoe drive
  • Mentor foster youth
  • Volunteer at a Christian organization
  • Promote orphan care websites
  • Participate in adoption Sunday
  • Start an orphan ministry at church

Recipe: Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Disclaimer: Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting is not healthy. It may even clog your arteries.

Monkey Bread
  • 16 frozen dough balls (uncooked, for baking rolls, the equivalent of 1 loaf of bread)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
Cut dough into 32 pieces about the size of golf balls. Roll each and place in a 9x12 greased cake pan. Stir the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Pour evenly over the tops of the dough balls. (Most of it will run over the dough balls and sit on the bottom of the pan.) Set the pan in a slightly warm oven for about an hour, until dough balls have risen nicely. Then, bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Serve them warm with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Beat the softened cream cheese, milk, and vanilla on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until it's smooth and will spread nicely.

Evangelism Ideas for Christmas

You can share the real meaning of Christmas with others. Find your way to promote Christian evangelism and community outreach this holiday season.

Take Neighbor Kid to a Church Concert
Churches put on free Nativity plays, Music Concerts, and Christmas parties during this time of the year. It’s a good opportunity to invite a neighbor friend along, especially if there will be free cookies and hot cocoa.

Merry Christmas Military
Send Christian Christmas Cards to soldiers. You’ll need to send the cards early. It takes awhile for the soldiers to receive their mail.
For just $3.25 you can have a Rapid Deployment Kit delivered to a soldier. This is an evangelistic ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Ministry #2286536 The kit includes: a camouflaged New Testament, a 90-day “Our Daily Bread” devotional guide, a “Would You Like to Know God Personally” booklet, a subject-appropriate list of crucial Bible verses called “Guidance from God’s Word” and more-all in a waterproof bag designed to slip into a soldier’s pocket.

Santa Claus Money
Pass out $50,000 Santa Claus Bills with a salvation message. Set yourself a goal, like giving away 500 Santa Bills between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (500 for $25 ). Here are some places to give them away - Christmas parades and events, Christmas parties, hand them to everyone you meet in stores and restaurants, leave them in bathrooms and parking lots, and give some to kids to pass out to their friends.

Christmas Tree Giveaway
A few days before Christmas, lot owners are usually willing to give their leftover trees away. You can pick up free trees and deliver them to financially stretched families.

De-icing and Snow Removal
After an ice storm or snowstorm, you can help low-income Seniors clear their sidewalks and driveways. Rock salt on a slippery sidewalk can prevent falls. Clearing a driveway can prevent a heart attack if someone’s health isn’t well enough to shovel snow.

Earn Money for the Kettle
Prior to Christmas, give your kids opportunities to earn money. They can decorate their own jar that will hold the change that they earn. Find a store that has a Salvation Army bell ringer standing at the front door. Your kids will be so proud as they pour their individual jars of money into the kettle. The bell ringers stop collecting money around a week before Christmas.

A Birthday Party for Jesus
Have a real birthday party for Jesus. You can take the family to the store and buy presents to give away to a church’s Angel Tree. Wrap them up and they will be Jesus’ birthday gifts. Decorate with balloons and streamers. Plan party games, too. Some families make a chocolate cake with white frosting and cherries. The chocolate stands for our sin. The cherries stand for His blood that was shed for us. The white frosting stands for His forgiveness and our cleansing. You can invite a non-Christian neighbor kid to come to your Birthday Party for Jesus. Angel Tree shares the Gospel when they give the gifts to the children of prisoners.

Decorate a Christmas Tree
Your family can decorate a Christmas tree and give it to someone who would otherwise not have one. You can decorate it with a theme. For example, a single mom with a new baby could receive a tree decorated with baby toys.

Elves of Kindness
During the Christmas season, your family can pretend to be elves and perform acts of kindness. Here are some ideas that you might be interested in: anonymously leave a gift on someone’s doorstep, send parents a Christian Christmas card with a Toys R Us gift card or Gas gift card inside and do no write your return address on the envelope, dress up as Santa and his elves and deliver toys and food to a family in need, shovel or plow someone’s snowy driveway before they get home from work, deliver and stack firewood before the family returns home, fill a stocking and hang it from someone’s front door knob.

Neighborhood Collection
Pass out flyers in your neighborhood announcing that you will be coming around next Sat. to collect donations. Canned Food for the Church Food Pantry. Clean, gently used coats for Coats for Kids. New toys, new kitchen items, and new towels for the Battered Women’s Shelter, Clean Blankets for the Homeless Shelter, etc. This way people can give what they can. A family may not have enough food, but may have a few used children’s coats to donate.

Retrieving Cars Stuck in Snow
If you have a four-wheel drive truck, you can go out on a heavy, snow day and help pull cars out of ditches. There tends to be places and hills where cars get stuck. Our family sure has appreciated those people that have done this for us. They just happened to be there to pull us out when we need it. They sure saved us a lot of money, by not having to pay for a tow truck.

Filled Stocking
Fill up Christmas stockings for your neighbors and hang them on their doorknobs. You can give items like: a Christmas Evangelism Booklet, homemade ornaments, tangerines, and candy.

Toy Party
Throw a festive Christmas party with decorations, Christmas music, and snacks. Invite your guests to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Angel Tree or Battered Women’s Shelter.

12 Days of Christmas
Every year, the Christian organization Operation Blessing, celebrates the 12 Days of Christmas. They make Christmas special for 12 different groups of people - the elderly, shut-ins, the mentally ill, prisoners’ families, the homeless, battered women, teens in crisis, the visually impaired, foster kids, people with developmental disabilities, migrant workers, and homeless families. With financial help from others, Operation Blessing can give Christian love, a special meal, and gifts to these people.

Mitten Tree
You can set up a Mitten Tree at home or church. Your family or church members can buy or knit mittens, gloves, scarves and socks and then hang them on a Christmas tree. Donate the items to an organization or shelter that will pass them out.

Christmas Website
You can either make your own Christmas website or promote one that already exists. Explain how Jesus is the Reason for the Season, give people and invitation to Salvation, or promote Christmas Evangelism.

Write about being a Christian in your letter
Include personal stories in your family’s Christmas letter that credit God for helping you in your life over the past year.

Send out Christmas cards that include a Salvation Message
Buy or make Christmas cards that include a verse like John 3:16. Include a basic statement about Jesus being the way to Salvation.

Outdoor Decorating
Decorate the outside your home, promoting a Christian Christmas. You can set up a full nativity scene or just a baby Jesus display with a lighted star above it and a Happy Birthday Jesus banner. Maybe you want to take it even further and display a lighted cross with a salvation message.

Christmas Conversations
Ask people what they will be doing for Christmas. It’s a way to get a conversation going that may lead to talking about Christ. If they return the question, you will be able to explain what Christmas means to you.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Invite friends over to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas DVD. The highlight of the show is when Linus reads the Christmas story.

Short Term Mission Trip At Christmas
Go to Japan to distribute the Jesus Film. How about beach ministry in the Bahamas or Katrina Relief during your Christmas vacation? Your church group can even customize a trip to Mexico, Appalachia, or Washington D.C.

Online Gift Catalog
Your family can buy a gift online and have it delivered to a family in need. Some of the Christian organizations that have online catalogs are Operation Christmas Child, Mercy Ships, Operation Blessing, and World Vision. There are many types of gifts with a variety of prices to choose from: baby chicks, Bibles for the Middle East, Bible lessons and storybooks for children, materials to build schools, churches, and hospitals, hot meals, bicycles and vehicles for missionaries, clean water, surgeries, dental care, help orphans, wheelchairs, and fishing kits.

Candy Cane Cards and Ornaments
Pass out hand made candy cane ornaments and hand made candy cane cards to your neighbors. Print the “Legend of the Candy Cane” on the inside of the cards. You could also print: John 3:16 and Jesus is the Reason.

Christian Christmas E-mail Signature
Add a signature to your e-mail that expresses the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas T-shirt Evangelism
When you go out shopping, wear a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or cap that tells about Jesus being the real meaning of Christmas.

Sell Handmade Ornaments
Help the kids make ornaments out of craft supplies. Sell them for $1 or so and donate the money to your favorite Christian Evangelistic Organization. You can even write the name of the organization of the ornament. Oriental Trading has lots of ornament ideas and craft kits for sale.

Interactive Nativity for Children
This Interactive Nativity Set includes a pop-up nativity, illustrated poem, and seven gift boxes. It’s an easy to use, hands-on lesson that tells the story of Christ’s birth and opens a child’s heart to Jesus. You can use it at Christmas parties, when you invite the neighbor children over to play, in Sunday schools, and for family devotions.

Support a Child
This Christmas, your family can commit to support a needy child in another country. For $32 a month Compassion International will provide the following for your sponsored child: opportunities to learn about Jesus, education, health care and supplemental nutrition, safe recreation, and ways to learn life skills. Or, you could give $18 to Compassion’s Christmas Gift Fund. All sponsored children, and those still waiting for a sponsor, will get a gift to open on Christmas Day.

Christmas Cards with a Message
Choose to send out Christmas Cards that have a Christian message. You can also find Christmas E-cards that explain the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Card Packets
Instead of just sending out a card, assemble packets to send. You can include a Christmas Card with a Christian message, a family photo, a Christmas Booklet with a Salvation message, bookmark, tract, ornament, personal letter, or whatever you can think of.

Financial Support to Evangelistic Ministries
There are a lot of Christian organizations trying to raise money for their outreach project. Your financial contribution can help them reach more people this Christmas or through out the whole year. Your church may be putting on a Christmas Outreach Program that needs more funding. Operation Blessing puts on Christmas parties complete with presents for poor children in the U.S. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association takes the Gospel to the U.S. troops, prisoners, and to the entire world through TV.

Care Packages for Soldiers
If you know anyone in the military, you can send that soldier a care package. A woman named Angela has made a Website that gives helpful ideas and tips for making a Military Care Package. Along with much needed practical items you can include a Christian book like The Key to Personal Peace, Christian Devotional, Christian CDs, or Christmas Booklet.

Candy Giveaway
Give out Christmas candy in front of stores or on busy walkways. Make it good candy, like a chocolate Santa. You can also give a lighthearted Christmas tract and Say “Merry Christmas!”

Be a Bell Ringer
Volunteer to be a Bell Ringer. Since there has been such a decline in volunteer bell ringers, the Salvation Army has less kettles being filled at Christmas.

Special Advent Calendar
Make a special Advent calendar that lists different generous acts and fun activities for the kids. For example: baking cookies for the local retirement home, going out to see a Christmas movie, shoveling a walkway for someone who can’t, making a Christmas craft, taking unwanted clothes or toys to a homeless shelter, and buying a gift and placing it under an “Angel Tree”.

Toy Party
Throw a festive Christmas party with decorations, Christmas music, and snacks. Invite your guests to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit your church’s toy collection program or a battered women’s shelter.

Happy Birthday Jesus Cakes
My kids enjoy decorating their own Birthday cakes for Jesus. I bake each one of them a round, single layer cake. When the cakes have cooled, the kids frost and then decorate them with candies, flaked coconut, marshmallows, and sprinkles. I don’t make any rules about how much candy to use. They get to decorate cakes for Jesus, all by themselves. We light a candle in each cake and sing Happy Birthday. Invite the neighbor kid over when it is time to eat the cakes. Make sure that your children explain to him why they made cakes for Jesus.

A Gift for Jesus
Give Jesus a gift of service. Volunteer for a program that just needs helpers, like a Soup kitchen or your church’s Christmas program.

Christmas Prayer Cards
When you receive Christmas cards from non-Christian friends and family, set their card in a special spot on the dining room table. At dinner, pray for the family that sent you the card. Pray that God will show your family a way to evangelize to them

Reason for the Season
Every year at Christmas, think of a new way to promote the “Reason for the Season”. Wear a Christian Christmas T-shirt or cap, deliver flyers door-to-door promoting a Christian Christmas website, dress as Santa delivering Christmas tracts with candy, make your own Christian Christmas website, make and pass out nativity ornaments, or buy discounted Christian Christmas CDs and deliver them to your neighbors with a Christian Christmas card.

Email Jesus
Write a Happy Birthday letter to Jesus and have it posted on the Internet.
When non-Christian friends come over to play, read some of the Happy Birthday Jesus messages aloud. You can also email your adult friends and tell them about the website.

Top Ten
Make a list of ten non-Christian people that you know. Pray for them and think of individual ways to evangelize to them this Christmas. These ideas are not to replace presents, if you normally give presents to some of these individuals. For example: You could send a Brio magazine subscription to a teen girl or a Breakaway magazine subscription to a teen boy. You could invite a neighbor to a Christmas Activity at your church. You could loan Christian Romance Books or Christian Romance DVDs
to a friend. You could loan a Newsboys DVD or a Livin It DVD to a family with teens.

Act Out the Story of Christ’s Birth
Your family can create some simple costumes, gather together some props and act out the Christmas story. Invite a few non-Christian neighbor kids over to watch. Perform at your own Christmas party or a relative get-together.

Doggie Treats
If you go door-to-door delivering things to people you can deliver doggie treats, too. Either make your own Doggie Treats or buy fancy ones from a pet shop.

Face Painting
Buy some special paints for face painting. Set up a couple chairs and a TV tray in a public place. Offer to paint Christmas pictures on faces for free. While you are painting someone’s face, you can have a conversation about the real meaning of Christmas. You may want to have a basket filled with tracts and cheap toys so you can offer the kids a treat to take with them.

Christmas Posters
Download and print Christmas Posters that have a Salvation message. Put them up at a University Campus, pass them out door-to-door, or mail them.

Postcards or Door Hangers for Your Neighborhood
Mail your neighbors a Christmas postcard or deliver a Christmas door hanger to their doorknob. The postcards cost about .20 each and the door hangers about .17. On the back of each one - write or print your Christmas message or invite them to your church for a special Christmas service.

Merry Christmas Missionaries
Send Christmas Cards to the missionaries that your church supports. You can also send a Christian Book or Christian Devotional. You can send used Bibles, tracts, devotionals, Christian books and magazines to missionaries through an organization called Love Packages.

Shopping Assistance for Shut-ins
Help shut-ins with their shopping needs this Christmas. You can either take them to the stores, shop and deliver to them, or teach them how to shop online. Check with your local Senior Center, Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels, and your church members to find people interested in your help.

Activities in the Community
Put out a flyer and make a website promoting all of the Christian Christmas Activities. Call every church in your area to find out the details. Print up flyers and pass them out door-to-door. On the flyer, advertise your website that gives even more details, directions, and links to the church websites.

Promote Christmas Evangelism
Make a flyer listing Christmas Evangelism ideas. Pass it out to your Christian friends and family. Get permission to include it in the church bulletin.

Holiday Plant for Nursing Home Resident
Deliver some holiday plants to a few nursing home residents. The front desk workers will probably know of a few residents that need some extra Christmas cheer. It will give you a reason to go visit and provide you with a way to start a conversation with some of the residents.

Christmas Care Packages to College Students
Make care packages for an entire dorm. Include such things as: packages of hot chocolate, microwave popcorn, cookies, Christmas candy, silly toy, Christmas card with Christian message, and an invitation to a Christmas Event at your church.

Gifts for Nursing Homes
Your church group can donate Christian books on CD and Christian Christmas music to nursing homes. These items help pass the time, allow residents to use their imagination, and tell about Jesus and how to live as a Christian.

Weatherize Windows
Many seniors, on fixed incomes, cannot afford the plastic to weatherize their windows. However, if they had the plastic on their windows, their heating bills would be lowered. Your group can help them by purchasing the plastic, taping it around the windows, and tightening it with the heat of a hair dryer. Your local Agencies on Aging or senior center may know of people who need this service. They might already have a program like this and they are just looking for volunteers to help.

Winter Survival Kit
When people don’t have enough money for their basic needs, they are not able to buy personal items that would be helpful to have during winter. Your group can put together Winter Survival Kits and pass them out in low-income neighborhoods. In a zip lock bag, include things like: tissues, cough drops, lip balm, lotion, tea bags, and instant chicken soup packets. Stick a label to the front of the bag saying - Compliments of “your” church.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Doughnut Giveaway
Many people have to work during Christmas Eve. Get a church group together to pass out doughnuts to mall workers or whomever else you can find having to work on Christmas Eve.

Caroling and Candy Canes
Get a group together to go door-to-door caroling. You can wear matching hats that represent your church. Pass out candy canes and an invitation to your church event.

Door-to-Door Poinsettias
Your church can deliver poinsettias and Christmas cards to the neighbors that live near your church.

Wrapping Paper Giveaway
Get a group of volunteers from your church to deliver rolls of Christmas wrapping paper door-to-door. You can also include scotch tape. Tell which church you’re from or invite them to your Christmas event.

Ham Giveaway
Deliver hams in a lower income neighborhood, compliments of your church.

Mini Christmas Trees for Nursing Homes
Your church volunteers can decorate artificial mini Christmas trees or wreaths with ornaments. Then, deliver them to nursing home residents. Your volunteers can also go caroling at the nursing home, conduct a Christmas sing-a-long, or transport residents by van to your Christmas event.

Meals for Firefighters
Your church can show kindness and appreciation to firefighters by providing some steaks to grill. Include other foods like deli salads, and rolls to give a complete meal. Let them know in advance that you are coming, so they won’t have dinner already made.

Christmas Day Baskets
Find volunteers to deliver baskets of cookies or other treats to those who have to work on Christmas day - police departments, fire stations, and hospitals.

Community Christmas Party
Get someone to dress as Santa. He can go door-to-door passing out flyers inviting families to a Neighborhood Christmas Party at the church. The kids can play games, make Christmas crafts, watch a Christmas DVD, and have hot cocoa and cookies. The adults can enjoy a Christmas Music Concert, Coffee, Hot Cocoa, and cookies.

Indoor Details
If visitors will be coming to your church during the Christmas season, make sure you take care of all the details. You can have a bulletin board that displays photos of fun events at your church. You can have a bulletin board announcing upcoming events and classes. Have brochures available in obvious locations that advertise what your church has to offer. Encourage church members to be friendly and accommodating to visitors.

One Invitation - One Guest
Hand out printed invitations to your Christmas Event to all of your regular attendees. Ask them to pray for one person that God is leading them to invite. They can either mail or hand-deliver the invitations to the person they’ve been praying for. Make a goal like - one visitor for every church member.

Winter Carnival
Invite the public to an outdoor winter carnival. Some entertaining ideas are: ice carving demonstrations, broom hockey, costumed characters walking around, outdoor Christian rock concert, snow mobile races, tug-of-war, log sawing contest, snowshoe races, bonfire, hayrides or sleigh rides, and food. People will stay longer if you open up the church basement and invite everyone if to warm up with hot cocoa and cookies.

Another Location
Instead of holding a Christmas service at your church, you can have it at a neutral location. People may feel less inhibited if they don’t have to worry about going into a church or what they should wear. Some ideas for a Christmas service are - a park, a Christmas tree farm, a school gym, a mall.

Free Babysitting
Your teenagers can offer free babysitting at the church the 3 weekends before Christmas. Church members can get their non-Christian friends to sign up for an evening of free babysitting at the church while they get to go Christmas shop. Maybe the kids will want to come back on Sunday for children’s church.

Celebrity Connection
Invite a local Christian “celebrity” to participate in your Christmas program. You could ask the mayor to provide narration, have the local pageant queen sing, or have a local DJ or news anchor participate.

Business Outreach
Visit the various businesses around your church. Surprise the employees with a basket of cookies and Christmas candy to share. You can say - “Merry Christmas from your neighbors at ____ church.”

Free Coffee and Doughnuts
Announce on your reader board that the church will be providing free coffee and doughnuts in the mornings the week before Christmas. Provide a nice Christmas atmosphere in your foyer with decorations, Christmas music, and friendly hostesses.
Make sure to invite everyone to your Christmas church service.

Holiday Travelers
Get church volunteers to help out at rest areas. It may be against the rules to set up a table. But your volunteers could pass out doughnuts and coffee or free coffee coupons. Wear T-shirts or caps that identify you as part of a Christian church group.
Your volunteers could also make special arrangements with a gas station. Give each driver a $2 card towards the purchase of their gas, compliments of your church. Or, pay for 1 gallon of gas. You can also clean their windshield, give out free coffee, and wish them a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Tree Collection
Everyone needs to get rid of his or her tree. A few days after Christmas, offer to haul them away for the neighborhood.

Coffee at Bus or Subway Stops
Church volunteers can take coffee and donuts to bus stops and offer it to those waiting for the bus. You can print your church name on the coffee cup sleeve if you want.

Free Cappuccino
Set up a portable espresso machine on a college campus. While the free coffee drink is being made, you can have a conversation with the student. You can also set out flyers advertising the Christian clubs on campus. You may need to do this outreach through a campus club.

Craft Night
Host a Christmas Craft Night. Kids can make crafts for their parents and grandparents for Christmas presents. Oriental Trading has over a hundred low cost Christmas Crafts Kits to choose from or just to get ideas.

Umbrella Escort
On a rainy day, volunteers can go to a store and help people to their car with huge golf umbrellas. This would be really helpful if people are hauling a bunch of presents to their car.

Church Float
Create a float for your local Christmas light parade to advertise your church. Fill the float with happy, waving volunteers. Some people can be handing out Little Christmas Toys . Have some people hand out flyers announcing the Christmas Concert, free cookies and hot cocoa after the parade.

Snack Booth
Set up a booth at a community Christmas event and give away free drinks and Christmas snacks - like red and green sprinkled doughnuts.

Hot Dog Giveaway
Decorate the outside of a hotdog card and fill it with hotdogs. During a busy Christmas shopping day, give away free hot dogs and an invitation to your church Christmas event. You might even want to have a trio playing Christmas music.

Free Christmas Balloons
At an outdoor mall, give out free Christmas balloons. Maybe you will want to have them printed with your church name, too.

Christmas Dress Up
A group can dress up as Santa, Mrs. Claus, and elves and spread good cheer. They may want to pass out invitations to the Church Christmas Party, concert, or service.

Christmas Sing-a-long
Invite the Community to a simple sing-a-long at your church. You may want to advertise it as a casual event, so people will feel comfortable coming in their regular clothes. You can sing both religious carols and secular Christmas songs. Afterwards, invite everyone to have cookies and hot cocoa.

Ornaments for Socks
Have the children at church make Christmas ornaments. Oriental Trading has a lot of easy Christmas ornament kits for kids to make. Church members can exchange packs of white tube socks for an ornament. Then, you can donate the socks to a local charity.

Live Nativity Story Exhibit
Set up a live nativity outside of your church. Have a starting point and start the Christmas story with the first exhibit. Use real people and animals, if you can. Continue with the Exhibits ending at a door to your church. Invite guests in for hot cocoa and doughnuts. Have your church members provide conversation and information about your church.

Christmas Movie Night for the Children
Invite the children in the community to come watch Christmas movies like A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Adventures in Odyssey Electric Christmas, and Veggie Tales Christmas

Christmas Supper or Potluck
Put on a supper with donated food or have everyone bring potluck food. Ask for donations from your church members who attend. Send the money to the Missionary Families that your church supports for their Christmas gifts. Or, send the money for something special that is needed like a bicycle or vehicle. Your church members can invite non-Christian friends to come to the supper. But, don’t ask them for donations. Your choir or youth may want to provide Christmas music.

Christmas for Prisoners
Get a church group together to put on a Christmas program and deliver Christmas gifts to prisoners. You’ll need to work with the prison to find out all the rules about what you can and can’t do.

Alternative Gift Fair
Set up a table to display items that can be given out through evangelism. Example: baskets of food, toys for “angel tree”, laptops showing the websites of Online Gift Catalogs, etc. Send a Christmas card to the person who the gift was given in honor of. Or, everyone who makes a gift purchase is entered in a drawing for donated door prizes.

Christmas Bazaar Fundraiser
Ask volunteers to make and donate crafts and baked items for a Christmas bazaar. Send the profits to an evangelistic organization or use for an outreach project.

Public Concert
The church choir or children’s choir can sing at a local mall. You’ll be able to promote your church and your Christmas events. The retailers will appreciate the free entertainment.

Free Picture with Santa
Offer free pictures with Santa at a public place. You can use a digital camera and digital printer, so that the picture is ready quickly. Santa can give out good candy - like a chocolate Santa, and a Kid’s Tract.

Winter Car Washes / Desalting
In the snowy parts of the US, roads are de-iced with salt and sand. Salt corrodes the underside of cars and needs to be sprayed off. On a day when it isn’t too cold, your group could offer free desalting and car washes.

Windshield Ice Scraping at Apartment Complexes
After a snowstorm, get a group of volunteers to head out early to an apartment complex. Clean the snow off all the windows. You can leave a business card on the windshield that says - Merry Christmas. We hope you’re having a joyful holiday season. Your neighbors at ___ Church.

Windshield Ice Scrapers
Buy scrapers with your church name imprinted on them. Add a slogan that would make people interested in visiting your church. Distribute them on car windshields freshly scraped by a group from your church.

Free Hot Cocoa Coupons
Purchase hot cocoa coupons from a place in the mall. Give them out to shoppers on a Christmas shopping day.

Free Christmas Gift Wrapping
Your group can wrap Christmas presents at a mall. Advertise your church and invite people to your Christmas Event through your free present wrapping table. Consider offering other free items like the book More Than a Carpenter or a Bible or Christmas tracts.

Grocery Bag Loading Assistance
Get permission from the store first. Then, gather together a group of people to load bags from the carts into the cars. This will be especially helpful for moms with little kids and Seniors. It also provides an opportunity for a short conversation and to spread some Christmas cheer. Wear nametags, T-shirts, or caps to identify your group. It will make your loading assistants look more official and it will advertise your Christian group.

Bag Packing at Self-Serve Grocers
Work out an arrangement with the store manager of a “bag your own groceries” store. Get cheerful volunteers to help bag up groceries at the end of each checkout counter. Your volunteers can wear matching aprons with your logo on them.

Grocery Cart Returns
In a store parking lot, offer to return shopping carts for shoppers. Your group can wear certain hats that represent your church. You can tell shoppers that your church is doing a service project for the community.

Red Roses
Hand out red roses or carnations in a busy shopping area. Offer them to men also. They can give them away if they want to. Your volunteers may want wear something to represent your church.

Christmas Candles
Volunteers can go door-to-door in the neighborhood and pass out a scented Christmas candle and a matchbook with your church name printed on it.

Firewood Giveaway
Ask around the church, at the Agency on Aging, and the Senior Center if anyone knows of Seniors who need some firewood. Recruit some church members to deliver the wood and stack it.

(Fish Nativity Image by

Easy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together all of the ingredients.
Roll the cookie dough into balls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Flatten the cookies a little, with a spoon.
Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes.

Easy Salmon Fillets

1 - 2 pounds frozen salmon fillets (already cleaned and bone free)
olive oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Thaw the frozen salmon fillets.Preheat oven to 375*F. Place the fillets in a greased baking pan. Brush on some olive oil. Season with a little garlic powder, basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle on some lemon juice. Bake for 20-25 minutes - until the fish flakes when pierced with a fork.

Easy Sloppy Joe Casserole

Cook the following ingredients according to the instructions on the Sloppy Joe seasoning packets:
2 pounds hamburger
2 packets Sloppy Joe seasoning
2 cans (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cups water

Spoon the cooked meat mixture into a 9x12 baking pan.

Mix together the following ingredients:
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 cups milk
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs

Spread the dough mixture evenly over the hot meat mixture.
Bake (uncovered) at 450*F for 18-22 minutes, until the top is a lightly golden brown.

(Check the part of the cooked dough that touches the meat mixture. If it still seems doughy, in the middle, then cover it all with foil and bake it a little longer. The foil will keep the top from burning.)

Easy Potato Soup

8-10 medium sized potatoes
3 cans cream of celery soup
3 cans water

Mix the soup and the water together. Heat in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Peel and cut up the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Put the potatoes in a pot of boiling water. (Make sure the water covers the potatoes.) Boil the potatoes until soft enough to easily cut with a fork. Drain them.

Add the potatoes to the soup mixture and stir together. Then, serve.

Easy Italian Rotelle

16 oz. rotelle or rotini pasta (dried)
1 or 2 cans (or jars) spaghetti sauce
pepperoni slices (cut up)
sliced olives
chopped onions (optional)
chopped green peppers (optional)
cooked sausage (optional)
cut up tomatoes (optional)

Cook the pasta following the instructions on the package. Then, drain the pasta and pour into a baking dish. Stir in 1 - 2 cans spaghetti sauce. Stir in the cut up pepperoni, sliced olives, and any other pizza toppings that you like. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.

Easy Chicken and Rice

1/2 - 1 bag frozen Chicken Breast Chunk Fritters (they come fully cooked)
2 boxes Chicken flavored rice (like the Rice a Roni kind)
margarine (for rice)
water (for rice)

Make the rice according to the instructions on the boxes.
Heat the chicken chunks according to the instructions on the bag. Then, cut up the chicken chunks into
smaller pieces.
Mix the rice and the chicken together and serve.

Easy Homemade Pizza

Mix together:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cooking oil

Stir 3 tsp. of yeast into 1 cup of very warm water (but not hot).

When all of the yeast is dissolved, pour it into the flour mixture. Stir all together, with a wooden spoon. Gradually add a little flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Flour your hands and knead the dough while it is in the bowl, for a few minutes. Then let the dough stand for 5 minutes. Spray a 13x14 (or about) baking sheet with cooking spray. Stretch and press the dough onto the baking sheet.

Spread spaghetti sauce over the pizza. Then, cover with grated Mozzarella. Add your favorite pizza toppings.

Bake at 400*F on the lowest baking rack for 18 minutes.

Time saver tip: Make 2 pizzas and save the rest for leftovers.

Easy Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 bag (28 oz) frozen Chicken Breast Chunk Fritters (they come fully cooked)
16 oz. wide egg noodles
3 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans water

Cook the noodles according the instructions on the package, then drain the noodles.
Thaw the chicken chunks and cut them into smaller pieces.
Mix together the 3 cans of soup and the 2 cans of water.
Stir in the cooked egg noodles. Then, mix in the chicken.
Bake at 350*F, covered, for 30 minutes.

Easy Chili Mac

2 boxes macaroni and cheese
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup milk
2 cans chili
2 cans chili beans

Using the first 3 ingredients, prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the instructions on the boxes.
Mix the cans of chili and chili beans together and heat in the microwave until hot (stirring occasionally).
Mix the completed macaroni and cheese and chili mixture together. Then, it's ready to serve.

Easy Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken (cooked and cut into bite sized pieces)
White Rice (cooked, about 2 cups or less)
3 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
3 cans Water

Stir the soups and the water. Add the amount of cooked chicken and cooked rice that you want to. Warm up in the microwave for about 10 minutes (stirring occasionally). I use the microwave for this recipe. When I heat soup on the stove, I usually end up letting it burn in the bottom of the pot.

Time saver tip: Cook a lot of chicken at once. Then, cut it up and freeze the cooked meat in smaller portions. All you will have to do is defrost the amount that you want to before adding it to a recipe. I usually get a large amount of the cheapest chicken (like leg quarters or thighs). Then, I arrange them on a large baking pan and cook them at 350*F for about 1 1/2 hours, turning once 1/2 way through.

Easy Chicken and Fries with Gravy

1 bag (28 0z) frozen (fully cooked) Chicken Breast Chunk Fritters
1 bag of (32 oz) French Fries
2 packets of chicken gravy mix
water (for the gravy)
grated Mozzarella cheese (optional)

Heat the chicken fritters according to the instructions on the bag. Then, cut into bite sized pieces.
Cook the French fries according to the instructions on the bag.
Add the appropriate amount of water to the gravy mixes and cook according to the instructions on the packets.
Assemble the cooked ingredients onto each plate:
Lay the fries down first, then spoon on pieces of chicken, top with grated Mozzarella, and pour hot gravy over all.

Easy Tater Tot Casserole

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk
1 pound hamburger (cooked and drained)
1 bag (32 oz) tater tots (potato puffs)
1 (9x12) baking pan

Mix the 2 soups and the milk in the baking pan. Then, mix in the hamburger (cooked and drained). Arrange the tater tots, in rows on top of the hamburger and soup mixture. (You won't use the whole bag.)
Bake (uncovered) at 350*F for 50 minutes.

Time saver tip: Cook up a lot of hamburger and freeze it in individual 1 lb sections. Then, when a recipe calls for cooked hamburger, it will just need to be defrosted.

Easy Chili Enchiladas

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3/4 can water
2 (15 oz) cans chili (any kind)
2 (15 oz) cans chili beans
3+ cups of grated cheese (Cheddar or Mexican blend)
18 corn tortillas
2 (9x12) baking pans

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cheese and corn tortillas. Divide the mixture in 1/2. Ladle a scoop of mixture into a tortilla. Roll over the edges of the tortilla and place (with edges down) into a baking dish. (It's OK if the tortilla breaks and the mixture oozes out.) Continue doing this until there are 9 filled tortillas in each baking pan. With the remaining 1/2 of the mixture, spread it on top of all the filled tortillas. Then, top with grated cheese.
Bake (uncovered) at 350*F for 35 minutes.


If you want to make the most of your family driving time, you would probably enjoy Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith. She has written about 350 fun and enticing activities, resources, and games designed to improve your kids’ skills in math, science, history, reading, grammar, and more. Put it to use as you make your way across town or while on a road trip.

The following are ideas that my family has created for learning in the car:

Current Events
Find a radio station that reports on current events. Listen while you are driving in the car and you can discuss the stories you find interesting.

Print and Read

Print an educational article off the Internet and take it in the car. The kids can practice taking turns reading it out loud. You can find good articles at:

Stop by the Library
You can stop by the library at the beginning of your errands. That way the kids will have something new and exciting to read in the car.

What I Learned Today
Everyone in the car takes turns sharing something new that they learned.

Oral Report
I've found that riding in the car is a good time to ask one of the kids - "How did you like that show on PBS last night?" The child gets to think through and explain what he has learned from the show. The other kids, in the car, get to listen and learn.

While traveling, collect and read local brochures. You can find them at the chamber of commerce and hotels.

Eat New Foods
While traveling, go to restaurants and eat foods that are unique to the area.

I Heard...
I like to take time in the car to tell the kids about something I heard on a radio show or TV show. It is usually an inspirational story or interesting fact. This can also lead to a discussion.

Counting Change
I taught my son how to count change in a grocery store parking lot. I had decided to stay in the car, with him, while my husband ran in to the store for some groceries. We discovered that the ash tray was filled with change. So, I taught him the value of each coin and then gave him a handful of coins. He got to count the coins and then chose some for me to count.

Act Out a Scene
The kids can practice drama in the car. My girls have memorized lines from Little House on the Prairie episodes. They enjoy impressing me with how well they can do the scene. If you have enough people in the car, you can also read a play aloud.

PE While You're Out

If you're out doing errands, going to lessons, shopping, or going to an appointment - you can plan for some PE time. Here are some easy to do ideas:

  • Stop at a park to exercise on the play equipment.
  • Use the walking path at a hospital, park, or college.
  • Bring along the bikes to ride in the park or on a bike path.
  • Bring items to run and play with like - balls, hacky sack, beach ball, softball and bat.
Nature Collection
When my girls jump out of the car, they love to collect things like - leaves, flowers, rocks, and acorns. You can give each child a plastic zipper bag and encourage them to collect natural things. There are usually plants, trees, and flowers around buildings and stores.Your child may also enjoy a magnifying glass and nature notebook for sketching.

Paper Crafts
  • origami
  • complete the picture
  • cooperative drawing (take turns drawing a line or shape on one piece of paper)
  • draw a map (from home to the destination)
  • shape collage (with pre-cut colored paper shapes and glue stick)
  • learn how to draw (with a book from the library)
Read-a-loud Book
I try to remember to carry our read-a-loud book with me. Whether we are going for long road trips or waiting in a parking lot for 10 minutes a book has helped to pass the time, educate, and keep fights from breaking out.

Frugal Homeschooling

The following ideas will help lower your cost of homeschooling. These ideas and more are all located at Frugal

Homeschool Your Child for Free

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Use What You Already Have
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Art at the Library
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Low-Cost Math
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6 Years of Grammar Book
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12 Years of Spelling Book
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13 Years of Writing/Composition
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12 Years of Vocabulary Book
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A Survey of History for Grade School Students

The Story of the World Series - by Susan Wise Bauer contains 4 books that cover World History from Ancient Times to The Modern Age. They can be read aloud as a family, or read independently by older children...more

Play Your Way Through Language Arts
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Design-a-Study Series
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