Monday, November 19, 2007

'Tis the Season for Giving

I am privileged to be a part of a church that really lives out its mission. Our mission is to "show God's love in such a way that people would exchange ordinary living for an extraordinary life through the transforming power of Jesus Christ." Showing God's love.

Perhaps the greatest way NorthStar Church shows God's love is through community service and acts of kindness. And, with the holiday season upon us, NorthStar is once again kicking into high gear to give, serve, and love on the Acworth and Kennesaw communities. Last Sunday, we witnessed great evidence of our belief in being others-focused.

For the second consecutive year, we partnered with Redemption Baptist Church to help provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need - families who live just a few short miles away from NorthStar's campus. In 2006 - our first year being involved with this outreach - the church delivered 600 grocery bags full of food items.

With the drought and housing market in a rut, we weren't too sure how things would go this year. But, God's people responded in an amazing way! Last Sunday, we collected more than 800 grocery bags full of food! And, not only that, but some NorthStar folks also wrote checks totaling $3,500, enough money to purchase turkeys for all of these families!

Immediately after Thanksgiving, we will continue to give to our community in many ways. On, Saturday, December 8, we will once again partner with the JOY Foundation and several area churches and organizations to support Shop with a Hero, where more than 1,000 children will go shopping with firemen, policemen, and members of our Armed Forces.

The following Saturday, we will also be a part of Shop with a Warrior and Shop with a Mustang, where students from North Cobb and Kennesaw Mountain High Schools will take disadvantaged children shopping for Christmas.

We also are working with counselors from all the area schools to identify children and families in need for our Adopt-a-Family program. Each year, hundreds of NorthStar families come together and purchase items for families in our area who wouldn't have Christmas gifts otherwise. In fact, last year we had a waiting list of NorthStar families who wanted to adopt a family because all the families in need were immediately adopted the first week we promoted the program!

It's such a blessing to be part of a thriving church body that understands that receiving joy is directly proportionate to how often we are putting others ahead of ourselves. I thank God for the opportunity to be a blessing to someone else - someone who may never know God loves them until they are served the way Christ served - humbly and selflessly.

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