gift giving | The Practical Disciple

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Manifesto progress: Gift giving, seeds sewn and old men playing duck, duck, goose.


A couple of nights ago we offered free babysitting for parents who wanted a night out. The parents could go on a date, wrap presents, or finish up shopping. Whatever they wanted to do. We made ginger bread houses with the kids, crafts, and read story books. My favorite was reading, A Tale of Three Trees. The older kids (mid-elementary) took turns reading the pages to the younger kids. In the spirit of my manifesto of approaching Christmas with a child-like spirit, I played duck, duck, goose with some of the kids. I don’t think I will ever forget one of the 8

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Living the Manifesto, Day 1


Today was the first day of Advent and my first day of living The Christmas Manifesto. Here’s a brief update.

I posted the manifesto on my bathroom mirror and read it allowed this morning. I will read it again tonight before I go to bed. I can already tell that the Manifesto is reach going to reach further into my life than I had anticipated.  For example, during our hymns in worship I thought of my intention to carol with “boisterous gusto.” It changed the temperature of my singing. I pumped up the volume and was more engaged in the hymn. That was an unforeseen benefit.  Similarly,

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The Christmas Manifesto


I don’t want to be passive about Advent and Christmas.  These holy days are not just going to  happen to me. I want to live them intentionally.

I read a Facebook status post this morning that said, “I guess I am showing my age. I love the holidays but everything has to be a hassle, decorating, cooking, work, go here go there. I don’t want to grow up. I want to be a kid again.”  I bet many people can relate to that feeling.  Well, I don’t want this season to be a season of getting run over by commitments and obligations.

If it truly is about Jesus, then it’s hard for

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Give a Bible away

Last night I was chatting online with a friend whom I had reconnected with on Facebook after not having any contact for roughly seventeen years. We reconnected last April and it has been fantastic both reminiscing and playing catch up. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but last night she was sharing with me how I had given her a Bible that was the first readable one she ever had. She went on to share how meaningful that Bible had become over the years. I had encouraged her to mark it up and highlight it.   She was reluctant, but did and did not regret it.  Eventually, the Bible was ruined by water damage from a broken pipe and had to be tossed.

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9 Tips for Giving Godly Gifts


In the post prior to last,  I talked about strategically placing objects in your life to remind you of spiritually loaded moments.  These moments of remembering enhance your faith.  One reader, Gene in Indiana, noted crosses that his children had made for him that hang from his rearview mirror.  Then it struck me, duh, objects that teach are great gifts.  I should have thought to mention this; particularly, when my own story was of a cross given to me.

Here are 9 tips for making the most of giving spiritually meaningful gifts.

  1. Commemorate an event. A baptism, confirmation, getting married, completion of a major accomplishment such as graduating, an anniversary of recovery, a retreat, etc.  Give the gift as

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