Friday, December 09, 2016

Christmas Shopping

My middle school girls squad did not practice today. Instead, we honored a team tradition which began more than twenty-five years ago. I got the following e-mail this afternoon from a fellow teacher which made me very happy.
I wanted to share something that happened to today.  --------- came into my class very excited and wanted to show me the One Year Bible that you gave her.  She was honestly very deeply moved and excited that you gave the team a present and that it was a Bible and she told me she is going to finish the Bible in a year.  I told her that I would help her be accountable to that goal.  You brought such joy to her and I wanted you to know what she shared.
To understand that e-mail, please read the following entry from December 14, 2005.

I hate Christmas shopping. I mean, I detest it. It isn't because I don't like giving gifts (I do) or I'm stingy (I don't think I am.) I'm just really bad at it. I don't like making lists and I have no imagination. I can't decide between one possible present and another and my starting date is usually December 23. There is one bright spot for me, the redeeming virtue of the mall skirmishes. Actually, there are two, Meagan and Karis. Meagan and Karis are the daughters of my brothers, Dave and Scott. When they were little, they started helping me Christmas shop and it has become an uncle/nieces tradition. Now twenty-four and twenty years old, they LOVE to shop and they are good at it. They help me ascertain what people would like to have under the tree. They compare everything and are not satisfied until they are sure they have the best purchase. (That drives me a little nuts- I would be content with the first thing they pick up. Five minutes in Bath and Body Works is my limit!) Meagan and Karis also love to wrap presents, which is a HUGE bonus. We sit and talk as they select paper and bows, curl the ribbon with scissors, and show me where to write my name on the little gift label. Their compensation from me? I treat for lunch at the Chinese place in the food court topped off by Starbucks. Of course, there is the added bonus of quality time with Uncle Steve and thousands of other last minute procrastinators!

At the risk of contradicting myself, I do have some Christmas presents purchased already. About fifteen years ago, I began giving all the girls on my high school basketball team the same Christmas gift. My gift of choice is the One Year Bible which is put out by Tyndale House Publishers. This particular version takes the Bible and divides it into 365 days. Each day has a reading from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms, and the Proverbs. For example, here are the readings for June 30:
2 Kings 17:1-18:12
Acts 20:1-38
Psalms 148:1-14
Proverbs 18:6,7

By following this course, you will read the Bible cover-to-cover from January 1 to December 31, including twice through the Psalms. Most of us get intimidated when we start in Genesis but most of us can handle the only 10-12 minutes per day required by this format. One of the greatest habits we can acquire is that of handling the word of God on a daily basis- that is my hope for these young ladies. I am not naive enough to think all of them will read the Bible through in the coming year. It is more likely that none of them will. My hope is that a seed is planted that will germinate when they are older. So, this Friday, my middle school girls' basketball team and my four senior teacher aides will receive their One Year Bible, along with a letter on the inside cover from their coach/teacher. There is only one hitch- no Meagan and Karis to wrap them for me!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Some businessmen are saying this could be the greatest Christmas ever. I always thought that was the first one." 

Art Fetigg

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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Devin Turner said...

~Hey~ okay no you are not stingy lol!
omg bath and body works rules you don't know what yur missing!!
I'll try my best to forgive the "mystery guy" b/c i know God says to but it's going to be hard so wish me luck!!

Jon said...

christmas shopping can get kinda fun sometimes....