Tag Archives: debt

Rethinking Christmas

Redefining Christmas has been on my mind this year. As I was editing a like-minded blog entry for Church Marketing Sucks, I realized how insane it is that people go into debt for Christmas. How crazy it is that we’re so obsessed with shopping that people get trampled. How sad it is that people feel the need to apologize when they can’t buy as many presents as they bought last year.

How ironic that the celebration of a baby born in shit and straw has become so materialistic. Mary and Joseph had very little in that stable. They didn’t have a fancy crib with a light up mobile. They didn’t have an iPod to soothe the crying baby. They didn’t have a credit card to reserve a better room. But they had more than they needed.

  • Wouldn’t it be cool if Christmas was a time when people got out of debt instead of into it?
  • Wouldn’t it change your city if instead of trampling people to get gifts, we lined up to serve one another?
  • Wouldn’t it be refreshing if instead of packing our own shelves and closets we gave gifts to people who really need them?

I’m rethinking Christmas. I hope you are too.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2/Luke 4:18-19)

Billy Graham, Loans & Mr. Rogers

Just a word of warning: It’s random day today.

Have you ever been to a Billy Graham Crusade? Neither have I. But now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can watch an exclusive Billy Graham Webcast. That’s right, for the rest of the month of July, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is offering footage from the recent Louisville Crusade for the online public. Do I sound like a used car salesman yet? I kind of feel like that’s the only way to hype something my employer is doing.

But seriously, if you’d like to check out a Billy Graham Crusade, you can watch one online. It’s kind of a mesmerizing event. I’ve heard so much about this Billy Graham guy, and now you can actually see what he does. And realize how old he is. As added incentive, I’ll throw in a free air-freshener. Okay, I really won’t. But can see performances from a pretty impressive list of bands, including dc Talk, Kirk Franklin, Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Jennifer Knapp, and more. So take advantage of this opportunity, they’re going fast.

On another note, I’m beginning to realize the magnitude of debt that college has brought upon my head. Thankfully my wife and I are both gainfully employed somewhere along the poverty line. You know you’re rolling in it when one of you is a teacher and the other works for a nonprofit. Please laugh along with me, I find that laughter releases endorphines which trick your mind into thinking you’re not dreadfully poor. And if you’d like to contribute to the Kevin & Abby Are Po’, Pee-oh, Po’ Fund, please make all checks payable to cash and stick them under the door.

(Note to Mothers and assorted people who think they are mothers: Abby and I are not really dreadfully poor. We’re just making light of our loan situation so it isn’t so depressing. If we actually find checks made out to cash stuck under the door, we’ll have to discreetly cash them and pretend we don’t know what you’re talking about. Which could be very embarrassing for everyone involved.)

Ah. That’s better. Don’t we all feel much better about the “L” word?

On another completely different topic, I’m beginning to realize that there are some Christians in this world who really impress me. Mr. Rogers is one of them. He was on Nightline tonight and we caught the tale end of the report. The guy shows the love of Jesus to this world in such an amazingly effective way.

There’s very few Christians like him in the world, and whenever I come across one I just want to stand there and scratch my head. It may be borderline hero-worship, but I try to keep some levity to it. Bono would be another one of those Christians. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be another. They seem to me to be people who really understood Jesus, and acted upon it, in a way I never seem to be able to. They have both my awe and respect. They made and are making an impact on society in a way the church doesn’t seem capable of doing. I think every once in a while you need people like these to remind the world of greater things.