Family Christmas Traditions

I've made a blog with 100 Family Christmas Traditions.

You may want to choose a few to make your Christmas season more memorable. If you're really ambitious, choose one a day starting the day after Thanksgiving.

Thank You Card Ministry Idea

Thanksgiving is in a week, so today's ministry idea has to do with being thankful.

Get a pack of inexpensive thank you cards from the dollar store. Or, you can make your own cards. Write thank you's to your children, spouse, family, neighbors, and friends. You can thank them for something special that they did for you. It doesn't even have to be something done recently. Or, you can tell them what you appreciate about their character or personality.

People really like to be appreciated and thanked. It makes them feel good and it encourages them.

Cry of the Orphan Campaign in November

Encourage your Christian friends and family to listen to certain radio shows during the Cry of the Orphan week - November 17-21, 2008.

In November, the Cry of the Orphan campaign informs listeners about the orphan crisis and the need for Christian adoption. Christian radio hosts devote a week of broadcasts to orphan stories and information. The participating shows are:

Being Consistent About OurTime With God

My daughter and I are reading A Young Woman After God's Own Heart. In chapter 2, Elizabeth George writes about Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators ministry.

"He once spent five days interviewing candidates for overseas missionary service. He spent a half hour with each one, asking specifically about their devotional life. Sadly, only one person out of 29 interviewed said his devotional life was a constant in his life, a source of strength, guidance, and refreshment. As Trotman continued to probe into the lives of those men and women planning a lifetime of service for God, he found that never since they had come to know the Lord had they ever had a consistent devotional life."

If this was the case for 28 out of 29 missionary applicants, I wonder how true it is for others in Christian ministry work. Do our pastors, Christian leaders, and other ministry workers struggle with having a consistent time with the Lord? I imagine that the effectiveness of their ministry must be lacking if they don't have a regular time of prayer, Bible reading, and worship with Him.

This got me thinking about a ministry that is common among many women - raising children in a Christian home. If we don't have a consistent time with God, worshiping Him and growing spiritually, how effective is our ministry to our children? If we can't succeed with the ministry God has given to us, of raising our children, He can't trust us with other ministry work that could have an impact on a greater amount of people.

November - National Adoption Month

I've made a blog called How to Help Orphans. It lists many ideas for how you can help orphans and promote adoption.
Are you interested in starting an Orphan Ministry at your church?

Does the Church Need a Great Awakening?

Do churches need a great awakening? Do they need to be awakened to the fact that there are 143 million orphans? Many orphans are being cared for well. However, much more help and money is needed.

Orphanages are in need of support. There are orphanages without heat, hot water, and basic necessities. Some lack the staff needed to properly care for and love the children.
Every year, thousands of children turn 16 and are forced out of the orphanage. Because they are young and unskilled, they are unable to financially support themselves. Therefore many of them commit crimes, turn to prostitution, or commit suicide.

Many orphans aren't fortunate enough to call an orphanage their home. India can't provide for it's 18 million orphaned children, so many of them fend for themselves by living on the streets.
12 million African children have been orphaned, mostly due to AIDs having killed their parents. A lot of them now live on the streets or have been forced into slavery. Yes. Slavery. I heard on the Family Life Today radio show that there is more slavery going on in the world than at any other time in history. Thankfully, Christian organizations like All Kids Can Learn International are helping by building orphan villages to provide homes for some of these children.

In my own country, the United States of America, we still have
118,000 foster children that are currently available for adoption. The U.S. seems to be busy pointing the fingers at everyone else's problems, yet we have our own orphan crisis here.

These are just some of the facts, but they can easily be changed. Over the years, Christian churches have shown compassion to less fortunate and hurting people. There is free help and services available for people who are hungry, homeless, poor, in need of counseling and support groups. Many churches are reaching out to sponsor orphanages and are encouraging their church members to adopt. But why is it taking so long for the rest of the churches to awaken to this crisis? Why are there still 143 million orphans?

Until every orphan has a home, churches need to make the orphan ministry a top priority. We have the money, the resources, and the ability to help. Now we need the initiative, the passion, and the commitment of every church. This is a problem that could disappear. God is waiting on us. He has already told us the need. He's already told us what to do. So why are there so many Christians still looking the other way?

If you're interested in starting an Orphan Ministry at your church you can order a book with DVD for $10 from Hope for Orphans

Individuals, families, and churches can find realistic ways to help orphans on my site How To Help Orphans

The Pursuit of Holiness

Holiness is ... conforming to the character of God and obedience to the will of God. Jesus is our perfect example of holiness.

For most of my life, I have been a Christian - believing that Jesus died on the cross to save me from my sin's. But, I never really thought that He required very much out of me. Basically, I ignored Bible verses like:

Romans 8:13-14
For if you live by it's (your sinful nature's) dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

1 John 1:6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.

1 Peter 2:21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered
for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

My husband and I just recently realized this need for holiness. A few months ago, he talked with one of our pastors about why Christians have such a struggle with sin. The pastor said that the reason we even struggle with this sin is because we are not pursuing holiness. If Christians would grow in holiness, then they would stop being a slave to their sinful nature.

That basic statement from Pastor Wayne motivated my husband to get the book and study guide - The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. We've been learning about holiness together.
There is verse after verse in the Bible telling us that growing in holiness is not an option for the Christian. If we are a Christian and Christ is Lord of our life, then we will need to pursue holiness.

Holiness in not an option for Christians.
We have a responsibility to pursue holiness and to live a holy life. We must obey and do our part to resist temptation and not sin. We are responsible for our sinful thoughts, attitudes, and actions. But we can not pursue holiness without the help and the strength of the God.

What God does for us concerning holiness:
  • He delivers us from the reign of sin.
  • He unites us with Christ.
  • He has the Holy Spirit reveal our sin to us.
  • He has the Holy Spirit give us a desire for holiness.
  • He strengthens us as we fight sin and pursue holiness.
What we are to do concerning holiness:
  • Submit to God.
  • Choose to stop sinning
  • Avoid the temptation to sin.
  • Accept the fact that we are responsible for out thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
  • Pray and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us grow in holiness and point out our sins.
  • Read the Bible to develop convictions about sin.
  • Make a disciplined plan to read the Bible, think about it, and apply what it says.
  • Fill our minds with good, pure, and praiseworthy things.
  • Obey God's will for us.
  • Not get discouraged over failures. Repent and keep going forward.
Some Bible Verses about Holy Living
Hebrews 12:14

Ephesians 4:30
1 Thessalonians 4:7
Titus 2:11-12
Psalm 15:1-5
Psalm 32:3-4

Isaiah 64:6-7
Matthew 1:21
Matthew 7:21-23

1 Corinthians 1:2
2 Corinthians 5:17
Ephesians 1:4
James 2:14-26
1 John 3:2-5
Hebrews 12:14
2 Peter 3:14

Psalm 66:18
2 Timothy 2:21

Holiness by Sonicflood