Wise giving this year

In Matthew 2 we read that when the Wise Men finally located Jesus, they gave gifts of Gold, Incense, and Myrrh. What made them wise? It was because they gave. They recognized a real treasure when they saw it!

This month at WCCC, we’ve seen many of you demonstrate wisdom by giving. Whether it’s your regular tithes and offerings, the Dollar Difference, or the Giving Trees, you have given money you probably don’t have, for people you probably don’t know, because you love Jesus very much! Thank you for that.

We have one more opportunity on the horizon to finish out the year in a wise (and loving) way.

It is our practice to collect a love offering at our two Christmas Eve services (5pm and 11pm) that goes totally toward the needy for the coming new year. We attempt to fully resource our Benevolence Fund for a whole year! Given the magnitude of human need and misery in our community around us here at WCCC, it needs to be a large amount. Got one more ‘give’ in ya this year?! I do. I promise you that 100% of what is given will be given away.

We are busy preparing for all our Christmas services this month, but especially Christmas Eve. (Have you been busy inviting?) Our goal for Christmas Eve is to talk about those Wise Men in Matthew 2 and discover the simple essence of what Jesus coming into our world means. If you’re in town, bring your family and friends over.

With all that is going on to distract us this time of year, it is so easy to lose focus on the most important thing. I was reminded of this recently when I read an article about a man and his son’s new iPhone 4.

“My son was showing off his iPhone 4 to me the other day. In fact, each of my sons purchased one and they are completely thrilled with all the bells and whistles. (I admit face time is pretty cool.) However, there is one problem with Apple’s newest product: people are having trouble making calls! You may have seen stories and criticism in the news that Apple may actually have to recall some of these phones as customers are having major issues with reception. As my son and I were talking about this, he made an insightful comment, ‘The iPhone is, first and foremost, a phone.’ What a good point! While face time is innovative and the video quality is amazing, Apple may have forgotten that the most important thing the iPhone 4 needs to do is make calls.”

This is a good lesson for all of us in the church at Christmas time. As we plan our programs and services, we must never spend more time on the bells and whistles as we do on the basics. If we don’t have the basics covered, all our efforts to expand our ministry with shiny, new things will fall short. Sometimes our need is not to hear a new idea, but to be reminded of an old truth! Jesus was born to die. For you and for me. That’s what I call a gift!

This holiday season the cats staying at the Brown County Humane Society got a real Christmas treat. The cats were pretty excited when a new cat “tree house” recently arrived at the shelter. Once the cat furniture was set up the cats immediately began climbing all over it.

The cat furniture was purchased with money that was donated by an eight-year old boy named Jack Brownfield. Brownfield, who is a second grader at Jefferson Elementary School, celebrated his eighth birthday on Oct. 29. He is the oldest of three sons of John and Sheila Brownfield of New Ulm. “Their oldest son Jack, had just turned eight, and for his birthday he decided he’d rather have people give him money instead of gifts and wanted to give it to the shelter for us to buy something we need,” said Jill Tostenrud with the Brown County Humane Society. “We think it’s pretty neat that a boy that young would think of others like Jack did.” Jack is wise. May we be too!

David

P.S. Speaking of giving, if you are considering a year-end gift to WCCC for tax purposes (also a wise move!), our office will be open on Friday, December 31st till 5pm for anyone who wants to make a year-end gift or complete their General Fund or Bridges pledge for 2010. If we can assist you in any way with wire transfers or stock gifts, just email Katie Dooley (WCCC Financial Secretary) at kdooley@whitewatercrossing.org for assistance. Whitewater Crossing – thanks for your love and wisdom with your wealth and being faithful all the way to the end!

Here are the presents given through the Giving Trees being prepared to go out!!

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