Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Very Brady (and Billy) Christmas!

Yesterday I introduced you to two people that are really blessing me this Christmas season, Dudley and Inge Donaldson. They leave in just a couple of weeks to begin a new life in Swaziland. I shared one story with you and now I've got another one from Dudley, a REAL "Christmas Shoes" one.

Are you at all like me? Do you find that
Christmas can sometimes bring
so much work
and stress that there ends up being very little
joy? I feel
guilty about even writing that, because—
after all—Christmas is the
of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But,
come on, how
many of us really focus—I
mean really focus—on the reality of God
to earth as a helpless baby and all that
means? More often, aren’t
we caught up, along
with the rest of our culture, in doing the
thing—Christmas gifts, Christmas cards/
Christmas decorations, Christmas
baking, Christmas gatherings far and
Christmas programs at church, Holiday programs
at school...the
Christmas list goes on
and on. All those things can help enhance
celebration of Jesus’ birth, but they can also
divert our attention
from Christ himself.

Aren’t we really trying to capture or create
an image of Christmas
that can only be found
in Hollywood movies or Ideals magazines?
Why do you
think they call it Ideals? We try
so hard to capture the Magic of Christmas
of course, Madison Avenue keeps urging us
along. Perhaps we should
just stop trying so

Back in September, Inge and I were invited
to the fall kick-off of
the children’s ministry at
a local church. We were the missionary
for the event and we enjoyed spending time
with the children as
they tasted Swaziland’s
staple food—pap—which is cornmeal mixed
water, followed by a much more palatable
treat—ice cream. Later, with the
clock racing
and children getting antsy, we sped through
some slides of
Swaziland that included pictures
of some of the 65,000 orphans there.
mentioned that many of the orphans didn’t
have shoes to wear.

We learned later that two brothers—Billy
and Brady—went home and
told their parents
that they wanted to give their shoes to the orphans
Swaziland. So, just before Thanksgiving,
we met up with these two very
boys and their rightfully proud mom and we
received a large bag of
shoes the boys had collected.

We’ll be carrying the shoes with us to
Swaziland this month and will
attempt to personally
deliver them to the orphans. Now,
what do you think
Billy and Brady will remember
most about this Christmas? That’s
They gave a gift that meant something—
they gave from their hearts. Christmas
is all
about giving gifts, we just seem to go a bit

Yes, Christmas is all about gift-giving. God
gave the gift of His
Son—Jesus Christ—to a
hopelessly lost people—us. Our sinful,
prideful way of living had doomed us to eternal
punishment. But
Jesus came to take our
punishment Himself. So when we receive
God’s Gift
for ourselves, we are guaranteed
freedom, forgiveness, and life forever!
there’s a gift that keeps on giving!

I pray that you have received that gift for
yourself. If not, this
season of Christmas
would be the perfect time. Talk about an
Christmas! And what a great New Year to look
forward to! Have a very
Merry Christmas!

Dudley Donaldson

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