The (home-made) Christmas Tree

By Alexandra Khan | 4 December 2012 | Comments (2)

About a week ago I reviewed my finances and realised that this Christmas is going to be very tight. It’s been a mixed year; wonderfully blessed in some areas and terrifically hard in others. C’est la vie. But Christmas is one of those events that I always long to do extravagantly, so the realisation that this year’s budget is practically non-existent was a bit of a shock.

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Operation: generosity

By Operation Christmas Child | 31 October 2012 | Comments (2)

I will never forget the first little boy I opened a shoebox with in Serbia.  The expression on his face when he looked inside was amazing, I cannot fully describe it - it made my eyes prick with tears because his whole face lit up so much and he had the biggest smile on his face. I can honestly say that I had never seen a child look so happy before.

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no brown M&M's

By Debbie Wright | 28 September 2012 | Comments (2)

We are used to hearing the outlandish demands and exacting requests of pop divas in their contracts with concert promoters, but by far the most notorious came from the American hard rock band, Van Halen.  Legend had it that Van Halen insisted that ‘a bowl of M&M’s were to be provided back stage, but with every single brown M&M removed’.  If the band arrived and saw any brown M&M’s they were free to cancel the concert and receive full payment.  Who would have thought that a bunch of hard rockers could be such divas?

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bog-standard generosity

By Alexandra Khan | 31 August 2012 | Comments (1)

Part of the joy of my job is to spend hours (often the wee ones, just before I fall asleep) scouring the web for the latest news on giving and generosity. And when my own eyes fail, I ask my trusted colleagues to keep theirs peeled for the good stuff.

 

So when I received an email about a lady who was intending to sit on the toilet for charity, I mouthed ‘whaaa?’ and clicked on the link immediately.

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step out of the boat

By Alice Hayward | 5 July 2012 | Comments (2)

This summer will see thousands of tourists descend upon the city of London for the 2012 Games. But tourists will not be the only visitors to London during the Games. Some 5,000 volunteers from the charity More Than Gold will also arrive, working alongside churches to ensure they make the most of this summer.

 

And every single one of these volunteers - whether they are handing out cups of cold water, offering their homes to the families of athletes or welcoming tourists at Heathrow - have taken a step of faith and followed where God has called them.

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welcome to the generosity party

By Alexandra Khan | 23 May 2012 | Comments (2)

This weekend will see the nation come together to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Street parties and Big Lunches will be a great opportunity to talk to strangers, share food and spend time together. It got me thinking about the link between celebrations and generosity and reminded me that, in the Bible, the two were nearly always connected.

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generosity and Jubilee

By Joanne Cox | 27 April 2012

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

 

I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in a world where the American festival of Thanksgiving has grown in popularity (in no small part due to the TV sitcom ‘Friends’ and their almost routine annual Thanksgiving catastrophes!).  Thus, for me, thankfulness, Thanksgiving and generosity all become associated with the smell of cinnamon spice, pumpkin pie and the clamour of dozens of people crowding into my house on cold wintery nights.

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chasing the negative split

By Craig Borlase | 1 February 2012 | Comments (1)

If you happen to be one of those serious marathon runners who think little of fitting in a quick 10 miler before breakfast, then you’ll probably already know about the negative split. For the rest of us trapped beneath the duvet, an explanation: the negative split means deliberately running the first half of the race slower than the second, giving yourself time to find a pace and then improve on it, planning to have enough in the tank and cross the finish line knowing that you gave everything you had in those final miles. The negative split is the discipline to master if you’re serious about going the distance.

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the generosity of our resolutions

By Darrell Tunningley | 1 January 2012 | Comments (2)

New year, new you! Lose weight, feel great! Ditch the smokes! It’s everywhere at the moment, isn’t it? As soon as the indulgence of Christmas ends, people start wagging the finger of resolution, promising it’ll make you happier. And we all know that a hastily-made resolution to give up chocolate only lasts until M&S slash the prices of their Yule logs. Surely real resolution – real transformation - ought to last longer, and have more of a domino effect, than that? Is it really just about how we as individuals transform?

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she speaks/he speaks: preparing for Christmas

By Sam Gibb | 23 November 2011 | Comments (1)

As a mother of four girls I used to look forward to Christmas the same way my mother - also of four children - did: with doom and gloom. Rather than a glorious celebration of family, feasting and fun, all I looked forward to was the endless lists to tick off, novel presents to buy for my ever-growing family and innumerable God-children. Cards, presents, food preparation, decorating the house, let alone fitting in nativity plays, Christmas concerts and church prayer evenings. When did I ever turn into such a scrooge and such a kill joy? It all had something to do with setting my sights on perfection. The perfect day, present, outfit, family gathering, the perfect meal, - oh and let’s not forget the perfect homemade Christmas card. My pursuit of perfection of course never quite happened, and each year I vowed I would start earlier, plan better, buy a bigger freezer perhaps. I had become a slave to the ‘perfect Christmas’.

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