Christian Parenting Encourages You to Ask What You Can Do For Your Faith
Granted, the kids just recently went back to school and you are probably not yet thinking of the holidays that are fast approaching, but it does not hurt to plan ahead. As a matter of fact, did you know that there are a good many people in this world who would love for you to take some time this approaching holiday season to exercise your thoughtfulness and Christian love and help them?
I am taking some time out this month to direct your attention to a wonderful cause that is not only worthy of all the help it can get, but which furthermore will allow you to do something for your country! I am, of course, speaking of Operation Gratitude.
This wonderful organization gives willing Americans the opportunity to do something nice and thoughtful for one of the many women and men who are serving in the armed forces far away from home. It does not matter if you support the war, reject the very notion of its being fought, or simply deplore war altogether - the fact of the matter remains that our service women and men deserve our respect, gratitude, and all the encouragement we can give them in their times of need.
Sure, you may think that "the government" will take care of them. And I am sure that they are fed, and kept reasonably well clothed. But what can "the government" do to ease the pains of a mother who is missing her little toddler this Christmas season when she is separated by half the world from her child? What can "the government" do to help a boy away from home for the first time in his life during Hanukkah to receive a bit of encouragement and love from the country and family he left behind? What can "the government" do to prevent armed personnel from succumbing to cynicism and depression this Thanksgiving when they are far away from the heavily laden tables of home, with nothing but a hastily prepared meal, and an empty mailbag? The answer is probably a big, fat NOTHING!
So, do not leave the emotional and spiritual well-being of our troops to "the government" - which is probably doing its level best just to keep them alive - and do not bet that families and friends will rally around them and do something special for their far-away loved ones this holiday season - they are probably working hard at coping with the daily uncertainties of life, insecurities of fiscal futures, and daily worry for their loved ones, so that many of them are barely able to survive the separation intact themselves.
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Instead, this is your hour to shine, your ability to give, and your very personal call to do something for someone else who is neither expecting it, will (probably) never meet you face to face to thank you, and where your giving will be between you, your Creator, and your children. Do not be fooled, they are watching and they are taking note of what an attitude of gratitude really looks like.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." (1)
Here is what you can do:
- If you have some spare money, donate it.
- If you do not want to give money, but are more hands-on oriented, go for it! Did you know that soldiers love to receive packages with new CDs, DVDs, Computer Flash Drives, Legos Sets, Disposable Cameras, Prepaid Phone Cards, Travel-Size Board Games, Handheld electronic games, Mini-Battery-operated Fans, personal cooling products, Commercially wrapped individual packets of Trail Mix, Beef Jerky, Nuts, Energy Bars, Sunflower Seeds, Candy, Ready To Eat Tuna or Chicken Salad kits, Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies; Small tins of Danish Cookies, Packets of Powdered Cold Beverages, Commercially sealed Lip Balm, roll-on deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, Individual packets of moist towelettes, Travel Size containers of Foot Powder, Beanie Babies, Novelty Items, Screen Printed T-Shirts, Socks, Baseball Style Caps, Knit Hats and Gloves; and Tobacco Products? The next time you are out and about, or are shopping at your local warehouse or big-box store, why not pick up a little something extra? Once you have assembled a care package, mail it between today and December 15th, 2006 to
Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, California 91406
ATTN: SFC Holifield: 818.654.0015 or
ATTN: Charlie Othold: 818.437.6201
- If you have no money to spare to either donate or purchase little items, do not despair! Your words of encouragement to a soldier will be much appreciated. Go ahead and write a letter or card to a man or woman who is currently serving and express your gratitude, well-wishes, and hopes for a save return home soon. Encourage your child to include a colorful picture s/he has made, or a simple craft. Send these letters, unsealed please, in an envelope to
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, California 91436
(1) John F. Kennedy; quote from the Inaugural Address
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