Spirit of Christ, All Year Long

HAVE A FABULOUSLY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ve been baffled for a long time at the notion within our society of ‘The Christmas Spirit’ during the month of December because our general culture doesn’t celebrate or acknowledge the importance of the life of Christ as being THE GIFT of Christmas. Yet they have taken on the same holiday as a means to giving gifts, showing extra kindness, reaching out to the down and out, or good tidings of joy to all people.

All of these things are good and at least show that we haven’t lost all our humanity and they clearly illustrate how the birth of Christ has impacted the world, whether they accept it or not. But, if there is no cultural basis anymore of Christmas being about Christs’ birth, then why do we hear about giving to the poor or helping in local shelters, or giving of your time and energy to help others so much more during Christmas?

Let’s not forget that these needs and sufferings of others are present all year through. This is what makes Be a Blessing so amazing! All of you give every month to people you don’t know, to impact lives you’ll never meet, and THAT’S what the Spirit of Christ is all about.

We couldn’t do this without all of us together and for you I’m so grateful.

We are ending this year at Be a Blessing with the intention to share the Spirit of CHRISTmas through gift cards to a shelter. Giving their guests the opportunity to spend time outside of the elements in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. I spend hours of time inside my safe home, on my couch or sleeping in my own bed, while others that are also employed but can’t afford housing, are living out of their cars. It’s heartbreaking to ponder but praise God He has blessed us so we can do something tangible to help!

Be grateful for everything, BUT ALSO intentional with how we use it…

With these thoughts in mind, I would also like to propose a 2020 Budget Referendum! I’m a big fan of allocating personal finances into separate accounts for different needs, as it helps me stay focused on being intentional with what God gives. So, I was thinking…. what if we all budgeted a certain amount each month, maybe $5, $10 or $20, to give to someone JUST BECAUSE!

Send a card to someone going through a hard time with a gift card inside and an encouraging note. Or use it to fill up someone’s gas tank, or save it for a few months and pay someone’s electricity bill. Maybe you’re at Walmart and the person next to you is having a rough day and is showing high levels of frustration. How cool would it be to pull out a card just to brighten their day?! There are so many amazing things we can do with very little all year through, if we choose to be intentional.

BLESS SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE … GIVE WITH US TODAY!

Touching lives that you will never meet, is one of the most self-less gifts you could give. It’s truly the unbelievable opportunity we have, that other generations did not.

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. Join us today!

Gifts of Hope

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“Always Prefer Others… and be okay with it.” That’s what God has been speaking to me about these days. I am too quick to be impatient with the driver in front of me or the light that takes forever to change, the person who cuts in line, the annoyance of interruptions in my schedule, my food that is taking too long, why someone is reacting so harshly, ‘do I have to stop and pray for them?’, and the list continues.

God is highlighting that if I always prefer others before myself, then patience would guide my life and self-sacrifice would be the forerunner of my actions. Wouldn’t that be something! 😊

While praying for this month’s blessing, I began to realize that what we do each month together is an act of ‘Preferring Others’ with our finances and compassion. It’s walking in obedience to put someone else in priority. Focusing on someone else by sacrificing out of our own hand. What a beautiful Word! He’s encouraging us to continue. He’s showing us that what we are doing matters. He’s bringing revelation outside from Be a Blessing, to encompass our everyday thoughts and actions.

Gifts of Hope, through Samaritans Purse, is an act of obedience to the call of God to give, give and then give again. Not to sound redundant, but we are a ridiculously blessed people. I don’t think we can fully fathom that what feels normal to us, would be the life of a king to someone else.

Most of us are aware of Operation Christmas Child or otherwise known as Shoebox Gifts, but Samaritans Purse also has a gifting program that we will be partnering with this month, where we can purchase specific gifts ranging from $5 to $35,000. This organization literally affects every area of the globe in numerous capacities all year long. It’s truly amazing how God has increased and blessed them through the obedience of Franklin Graham over the decades.

OUR GIFTS THIS MONTH WILL GO TO:

Touching people you will never meet, is one of the most self-less gifts you could give. It’s truly an unbelievable opportunity we have that other generations did not!

BLESS SOMEONE FROM YOUR BLESSINGS… GIVE WITH US TODAY!

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. Join us today!

Golan Ministries – a Migrant Aid Effort

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It’s human nature to survive and refugee crisis’ are happening all over the globe. Migrants that come from southern countries toward the U.S. border are nothing new. The sheer numbers as of late are looking for a new life. That has brought emergency humanitarian need and a lot of opinions. As the government and organizations try to handle the influx, it’s imperative that we do not forget that these individuals and families are loved by God. If I was in their shoes, I would probably be doing the same for a chance at life.

Jesus walked in the midst of turmoil to bring love and peace and then called us to do the same.

In the meantime, I believe we should be the hands and feet of Christ to bring the hurting to God’s love and salvation. Pastor Navarro from the West Brownsville Baptist Church in Brownsville, TX and his congregation are doing just that.

Golan Ministries, a branch of West Brownsville Baptist Church, was formed last April. The Mexican Consulate in Brownsville, TX contacted Pastor Navarro for assistance with the summer 2018 border crisis. They converted half their church into a respite center for asylum-seeking immigrants. They serve Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Venezuelans. Golan Ministries provides monthly financial assistance to their church plant in Chiapas, Mexico, where migrants have been flocking for help. In addition, they distribute goods at a local immigration center and travel across the border with backpacks of supplies to Matamoros. Golan Ministries just received the opportunity to manage a 40-bed Brownsville shelter, no longer subsidized by the city. The shelter will temporarily house migrants as they enter the U.S. from Matamoros to apply for political asylum.

Setting aside political complications, Golan Ministries’ mission is to extend love, dignity, respect and compassion to all asylum seekers and refugees.

 

Pastor Navarro and Golan Ministries certainly have their hands full! THIS MONTH we have the privilege to extend our support to partner with Brownsville and I can’t be more excited! It’s been on my heart for months to find a ministry on the front lines helping migrants physically and spiritually. The biggest needs are for practical items such as: clothing, toothbrushes, sanitary supplies, towels, Tracfone’s, activities for kids, serving utensils/plates, hair brushes, diapers, Spanish Bibles, etc. We get to purchase items from their wish list on Amazon to help fill these continual needs as people keep coming.

Check out this News clip: RESPITE CARE CENTER in BROWNSVILLE

Join us for just $5 a MONTH … you’ll be blessed all year-round!

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe. Supporting and encouraging faith-based non-profits and participating in their visions to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people.

Feeding the Forgotten, leper communities

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You might think Leprosy, an age-old disease, has been cured. However, over 100 countries, including the USA, still report cases each year. Although a treatment exists, many people do not have access to such life saving measures and the disease continues. Often exiled to separate communities, they live in a poverty state without hope.

ENTER… APRILS’ BLESSING! Our blessing this month has opened their heart and compassion to leper villages in India, along with other programs in over 16 nations. They won over my heart just by reading their website and Facebook page. The door opened after the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia. As a result, God began to pave the way to touch far more lives than they could have ever imagined!

WATCH THIS! …. SUPER SWEET VIDEO of their full ministry! https://vimeo.com/287399689

 

“Although we are doing a lot of humanitarian targeting right now – our greater vision is long term. By long term, of course, we mean eternity. We want to connect with the Christians of Asia and bring them a sense of freedom and a greater understanding of who God is.”

HUMANITARIAN RELIEF  –  TRAINING INDIGENOUS LEADERS  –  SHARING THE HOPE OF CHRIST

Their ministries across multiple Asian Nations include: Disaster Relief, Children’s Homes, Evangelism, Building Homes / Emergency Shelter, Sanitation Projects, Feeding Programs, Rice Distribution for Lepers, Bible School Ministry, Drilling Water Wells, Leadership Training and Development, Pre-schools and Education Initiatives, Church Planting.

We will purchase bags of rice this month to be distributed between 5 leprosy villages! This food is more than just food, it represents hope to the lives of those that society wants to forget. We thank them for their obedience to what God has called them to do, for their obvious love of people, and for their passion to change the world around them!

Please note: Due to security concerns, they have asked us to be careful in presenting their organization. I’ve included an awesome video but I did not want to make too much mention of their information on social media. So… check out the quick video!

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! Striving to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits. Participating in Gods’ vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Join us for just $5 a MONTH … and you’ll be blessed all year-round!

The Blessing Tree

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“EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE.” This sign was sitting on my friends’ shelf and I thought it very fitting during the month of December. It’s a great reminder that it’s not only Christmas that should give us the desire to show kindness and generosity. The birth of Christ was the greatest gift to humanity. It’s out of gratefulness to our Savior that we extend love to others all year long.

I tend to write messages on my mirror as reminders to how I want to think and things I want to learn. One message awhile back said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” We all have battles, we all struggle, we all get frustrated, especially when God doesn’t move our mountains in our time frames and we can find ourselves in unexpected situations.

Christmas is a great time to remind us that everyone is going through something. It’s a time where we can extend additional thoughtfulness and patience to people around us or to those we don’t even know.

We have had an amazing year blessing people in so many ways and you are all to thank for that! This month we want to spread the birth and love of Christ tangibly and with our hearts to single moms and their kids. So we teamed up with ‘The Blessing Tree’ to adopt 10 people by purchasing gifts to brighten their day. We plan to also enclose cards with encouraging message that share about our great and very personal God.

There’s still a few weeks left in 2018… lets’ find ways every day to bring a smile to someone’s life! You may be the only Christ they will ever see.

God’s favor and blessings to you… See you in the New Year!!

Sandy

 

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

JOIN US TODAY!

Go Beyond the Norm, Community Outreach

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Nothing we have and nothing we pursue will ever be as valuable as what we do. How we treat others, the love we give and the generosity we sow into someone’s life will always fill our hearts with joy and bring honor to the Lord. We never want to forget that human interaction is far more impactful to a human heart than electronic processes, however wonderful they may be. We need to make ourselves available to have conversations with people, to show through our actions and our interest… the love of God.

August is a month where we want to be out there… involved in our communities and being the salt and light to everyone we can. To be extra kind, to do good things for others and to make someone’s day! This Saturday, August 4th, Be a Blessing will be partnering with Love In Mankato by donating diapers to be given away during this community event, as well as donating our time to volunteer! Open to anyone, this event focuses on giving to others from what God has given to us. Each year this event draws my heart in because of how important it is to reach out beyond our normal schedules, our comfortable friendships, and our natural tendencies. Putting ourselves into a position for God to use us, however He sees fit and then watch what He does in someone else’s life.

I would like to encourage you all to look around in your community this month to find ways in which you can serve someone else. Someplace you can volunteer or help another person or organization. Give someone a ride, surprise a stranger with a compliment, help the lady with 3 kids and a cart of groceries, sow into the life of a child… there are so many ways in which we can give of ourselves without spending a dime!

So this Saturday we’re going to try coming to you live from the event here in Mankato at Sibley Park as we’ll also have a table out there giving out information about who we are. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello… I would love to meet you!

Hope you have a super productive month… get out there and go bless someone!

Community Outreach – – Love In Mankato

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. Join us today!

Nigerian Christians being Persecuted

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All across America our land is filled with ranchers and farmers working hard every day to raise animals, grow food, produce textiles, provide employment, and care for their families. They celebrate holidays, they educate their kids, they attend gatherings, they help their neighbors, they support their country, they cry, they laugh, they do their best to live life peacefully and wholly. Now imagine hosts of attackers coming night after night to raid their land, steal their animals, burn their buildings and take their lives. Americans would be OUTRAGED!! Nothing would stop the people and the government from rising up and coming down hard on them and persecuting to the full extent of the law.

That’s normal… That’s right… That’s justice… we say. We defend our own, our land, our people because we have been given the blessing and the opportunity to do so.

This month’s blessing is facing this scenario and they can do nothing to fight back, nothing to stop it. It’s a horrific story of slaughter, mayhem, brutality and carnage against civilians just like us. People with jobs, families, homes, neighbors, churches… they are no different than us in humanity but completely different in justice and opportunity.

Nigeria is a huge country and the most populous in Africa – a nation of over 140 million people, predominantly Muslim in the north and Christian in the south. This persecution has been going on for years. Christians, especially, are being targeted and annihilated by the Islamist Fulani Herdsman in conjunction with Boko Haram in some areas. They are coming to steal their land and destroy their livelihoods. One report I recently read said that up to 6000 Christians have been killed just in 2018 alone, another one said 8000. Concentrated attacks are taking place in the Plateau State around the city of Jos.

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi

The brother of a good friend of mine lives in Jos. He is the Anglican Bishop of Jos who I have met on a number of occasions and who was just recently here in Mankato, Mn. His wife runs an orphanage and has taken in countless numbers of children over the years. They have worked tirelessly to protect and give opportunity to the people and children around them. They’ve experienced over many years a level of trust in God that we can’t even possibly imagine in America. Their stories would break your heart. On June 29, his ranch too was raided and cows stolen in the night as one of the members of his congregation interrupted the rustlers and was killed.

This tragedy is happening all over the country and their Federal government is doing nothing to stop it… in fact, a number of news articles state that they are in agreement with the raids and of the Islamists. This is happening now in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and numerous other countries… but DO NOT be deceived… this is going to come to America! Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in 5 years but Islamists have been very clear for many years that their goal is to convert the world to their ideology or die. Look it up if you’re not aware because there are videos of these confessions all over the internet.

So… what do we do? That’s a tough question and the best answer I have is that we need to pray for our brothers and sisters but we also need to do something to help. If we don’t defend those being persecuted now, who will be left to defend us? We think we are safe, here in our ‘land of the free and home of the brave’… but will it always be like that? I don’t think so. There will come a time when the tide will change and we will face what millions of others have been facing for generations.

This month we are supporting Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi’s ministry. The conflict being faced is at his doorstep and in his community every day. Him and his wife are remarkable and have a mandate from God to serve and love people and help in every possible way. We want to do our part, however small it might be in the grand scheme, to show our support beyond just our prayers. Prayer is good, it’s needed, and I believe God hears and acts accordingly… but… God needs us to step up. Just like the song says… we ask God why he doesn’t do something and I think He responds to us by saying “I did… I created YOU!”

I encourage you to read the articles below and learn what’s happening… ask God ‘what can I do’?

Clergy Killed, Archbishop Kwashi’s Home Invaded

Jos killings are an attack on Christendom

6000 Christians killed by Islamic Herdsman

Help Protect Christians in NigeriaJoin us today!

 

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Espwa Berlancia – Malnutrition in Haiti

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“I will fight… what you were fighting.”

“Emano came to me in the late afternoon, the setting sun reflecting off the deep shadows of protruding bones. I gathered his 20lbs in my arms and something inside of me cracked.

I hold a lot of malnourished babies. Most of them live but many do not. I hold them and I meet their needs and I disassociate when I have to because if I didn’t I couldn’t do this. This “job” that doesn’t end at 5pm, this job that both fills and destroys my heart. Emano broke me wide open. I couldn’t stop the wave of love I had for him with all the strength of my flesh. Disassociation wasn’t an option. I knew that this was going to hurt like hell. I knew the pain that was likely, but I was powerless to hold it at bay.

I heard the news as I was sitting down to breakfast early on Sunday morning. The food we had prepared turned to sawdust in my mouth and it was all I could do to choke down the bite I had taken. I wanted to scream, to take out all my anger at the injustice of this world on a plate of eggs. I wanted to hate food. I wanted to throw it against the wall and curse it and blame it for the death of every baby I have held and loved and watched slip away.

Instead, I got up from the table where my own children filled their bellies and I collapsed into the corner of their tiny playroom off the kitchen, trying to stifle my sobs.

Emano was dead. Not a malnourished foreign child. Emano.

Once you have seen the shuddering and groaning and pain of starvation you will never forget it. Once you’ve watched it tear through the frail body of a 5-year-old child the image will be burned in your mind forever. Once you realize that thing you do every day without even thinking about is the thing that would have saved his life, you will never, ever be able to erase that from your mind and you will never, ever be the same. You will never be able to turn off that burning desire to kill what killed him.”

Learn more about Espwa Berlancia in Haiti!

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Be a Blessing is a fun and fulfilling way to touch lives all across the globe! This movement provides the opportunity to impact various people and causes every month. Each gift increases effectiveness and is used to bring hope and love to hurting people, and to encourage organizations as they serve others. It takes 2 minutes to Be the Difference. Join the movement today!!

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