Be sure to check back on the blog each day between now & Christmas day for the Daily Christmas funny.
This week's Timber Ridge Volunteer of the Week is Jennifer Cozart. If you're looking for Jennifer on Sunday mornings, you can always find her in our nursery, loving on our babies. Jennifer faithfully serves our little ones each week, making sure they are loved and taken care of during the worship experiences. Thanks for all you do Jennifer! We appreciate you. You ROCK!
Jennifer and Chris Gilley, our Guest Services Director
If you attend Timber Ridge and would like to get connected to serving on a ministry team, click here for more details.
From time to time when we do something like the My Best Gift offering at Timber Ridge, people will ask me a question that goes like this: "Why is it that we do this?"
When it comes to the My Best Gift Christmas Offering, we have several reasons for doing this at Timber Ridge. Here are a few of them:
#1: It helps us remember the reason for the season. If Christmas really is about Jesus and our focus really is supposed to be on God's gift to us through sending the world His only Son, then giving our best, most generous Christmas gift to God's Kingdom just makes sense. If we believe that Jesus is the real reason for the season then that ought to be reflected in how we spend our time, our talent, and our finances during the holiday season.
#2: It helps us to think beyond ourselves. Christmas has become synonymous with consumerism in our current culture. One of the best ways to battle consumerism and selfishness is to think of others and use our resources to benefit causes outside of ourselves. Our My Best Gift offering allows us to put others first and think beyond selfishness during Christmas.
#3: It makes a global impact for God's Kingdom. 100% of our Christmas Offering at Timber Ridge Church goes to support global engagement and church planting. This year, our offering will go toward construction projects at the impoverished elementary school that we have adopted in the rural area of Sapa, Vietnam and toward planting more churches in rural areas of Texas, in Toronto, Canada, and around the world. Each of these places are difficult places for God's work in our world & our My Best Gift offering allows us to spread the light of Jesus in some very dark places in our world.
At Timber Ridge, we believe in giving generously to God because He has given generously to us, through the life of His son Jesus. There's no better time to put this belief into action than during the Christmas season.
If you'd like to be a part of our My Best Gift offering, you can find out more info and even contribute online, safely and securely, by clicking here.
Dear Timber Ridge Family,
I love this time of year – holiday parties, Christmas trees, hot chocolate and the spirit of generosity that seems to swell up in our society. There’s something about peace on earth and goodwill towards men that makes me think about other people a little more than usual.
This month, I’m inviting everyone connected to Timber Ridge Church to participate in our annual Christmas Offering called My Best Gift. This is the time of year where we put feet to our faith – where we show our community and our world the love of Jesus. The idea here is that as we buy gifts for other people, we want our largest, most extravagant gift to go to Jesus. This year, we’ve set our BIGGEST GOAL EVER and we will only be able to reach it if we all join in together to accomplish this mission.
Our goal for this special Christmas offering is $15,000.
Here’s how 100% of the funds will be used:
School Construction in Vietnam: We are partnering to serve and share God’s love in Vietnam. We’ll be sending a team to our adopted school, Hau Thao, in Sapa, Vietnam in March and these funds will cover the construction project they will work on.
Church Planting: We plan to continue to be aggressive in our church planting efforts, using our My Best Gift funds to continue to fund our plants in Toronto and in Marshall, TX and help more churches start in 2014.
On December 15, 2013, we will receive the My Best Gift Offering during our weekend services. If you’re going to be out of town on December 15, or if you’d like to go ahead and donate now, you can do that now online by clicking here. It’s safe, secure and simple to use. If you give online, please be sure to put “My Best Gift” in the note/memo section.
Please pray about participating and jump in with us. God has given us a great mission, and we’re blessed to be able to join Him in reaching our community for Christ and advancing the Gospel around the world.
But too many times being a parent means added stress as well. We feel like we have to find the perfect gift. We're pressured into spending more money than we have. At Christmas time, sometimes more than any other time of the year, we feel the need to keep up with the Jones's.
As parents, Johanna and I have felt those pressures. But we started doing something a few years ago that has revolutionized our Christmas experience. It helps us to focus on the real reason we celebrate and allows us to slow down the crazy consumerism that has engulfed the holiday.
Here's what we do: Our kids get four gifts. Yes, you read that right: four. And we have a system that we use. Here's how it goes:
Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
Something to read.
This system has allowed us to be less stressed, stay within a budget, and keep the real focus on Jesus at Christmas.
If you're a parent out there feeling the stress and struggle of Christmas consumerism, I hope this strategy might help your family as well.
But what if it doesn't have to be that way? We have a unique opportunity at Christmas to create great family memories and lead our families in growing closer to Jesus. And let's face it: Our kids grow up way to fast.
So here are some tips for dads to make the most of the holiday season for their families:
- Check your Cheer - Dad's, don't let the stress and spending of the holidays rob you of your Christmas cheer. Be joyful. Be hopeful. You're family takes their cues from you.
- Model Generosity - The holidays are a great time to teach your family about giving and generosity. Who are you planning to adopt, bless, and serve this holiday season?
- Dive In To Decorations - We need to help our wives with decorating the house. We need to make it a family affair. We need to take time to drive around and look at Christmas lights with the family. Embrace the sights and sounds of Christmas and be sure your family is having the complete holiday experience.
- Make It About Jesus - It's easy for the message of Christmas to get lost in the hype. Dads need to be leading their families to remember that Christmas is all about Jesus. Dads need to be leading their families spiritually. How are you doing with this dad? (For a great Christmas Bible reading plan click here.)
- Plan A Christmas Calendar - I started planning a Christmas calendar a couple years ago and it made the holiday so much better for our family. Here are 4 things you can do to be successful with this dads:
- Make sure you're planning family time where memories will be made.
- Create time to build family traditions.
- Check out local events that can make the holidays fun for your family.
- Be wise about what you say yes to and what you say no to.
Dads, let's be intentional in making the most of Christmas for our families this year. Let's lead well. Let's model the Christmas spirit for our children & not miss out on a great opportunity to build memories that can last a lifetime!
This week's Volunteer of the Week at Timber Ridge Church is Carmon Rike. Carmon uses her time, talent, and abilities to serve in our Sprouts ministry as a part of our Timber Ridge Kids team. Each week she cares for our kids and helps them know that God loves them. Thanks Carmon for all that you do!
Carmon & Pastor Nic
If you'd like to volunteer on our Timber Ridge Kids team, or any other area in our church, you can get more info by clicking here.
This week's Timber Ridge V.O.W. is John David Sursa. John David serves each Sunday on our Guest Services team. He's served as a greeter, an usher, a member of the parking lot team, and pretty much anything else he's been asked to do. It's not unusual to see him serving in multiple services on a Sunday too. THANK YOU John David for all that you do to serve others and make an impact here at Timber Ridge Church! YOU ROCK!
John David & Pastor Nic
If you're interested in getting connected and volunteering at Timber Ridge, click here for more details.