Each Christmas season I tape all my Christmas cards on the wall around an open doorway. I took them down recently, and analyzed who sent these cards:
local church friends - 4
coworkers - 6
financial supporters - 8
relatives - 11
faraway friends - 21
We also received 3 anniversary cards (30 years on Christmas Day), 3 cards from commercial interests, numerous Christmas letters, photos, and email letters. The loveliest were the handmade ones, but the ones with religious art were nice too. Two people loved us so much they sent two cards.
What makes a person count and analyze their Christmas cards?
It was a bunch of work, but I mailed off 5 more Christmas packages this morning. These were the gifts that finally showed up inside the suitcase shown below. The smell of coffee in my office was getting to me, so I was in a rush to mail the bags off to their respective places--grandparents, friends, and parents of friends. Besides coffee, also included were baskets, shawls, and lovely silver Orthodox crosses. The suitcase may have a permanent coffee smell, but that didn't seem to bother white kitty.
In other news, Rachel has applied for another job and has called a few more private schools and daycares to see if anyone is hiring. She is anxious to find some work, so pray that God will provide. We hope to soon help her figure out how much she owes Uncle Sam in income taxes, because after that she wants to see if she can afford to buy a used car.
We are still having very warm and very, very dry weather here. The grass has all died, I just hope the trees don't. Many places nearby have suffered wildfires.
When the pastor starts his sermon with those words, you know it has been a bad week. His heart is broken for the sorrow and sin that he witnessed this past week, including a girl in the congregation (of course he named no names) chosing to have an abortion. This, in spite of him and his wife offering to adopt her child. This is especially hard because it was this church, many years ago, which started the local crisis pregnancy center (which is now supported by numerous churches in the community). He went on to say that he felt the blood of that unborn child was not just on the girl's hands, but on the hands of all of us who fail to reach out in compassion to those who are hurting.