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Share The Joy Of Christmas With A Child

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Local Salvation Army Corps and several businesses have joined forces to make this holiday season one the needy children of the Inland Empire will never forget.

In San Bernardino County, these programs, known as the Angel Giving Tree programs, revolve around actual Christmas trees.

These trees will be set up in local malls the day after Thanksgiving to match shoppers with the hundreds of children in each location who are relying on the Salvation Army this year to bring a Merry Christmas.

Attached to branches of the tree are cards with names of children whose families simply cannot afford to buy gifts, as much as they would love to. Shoppers who want to take part by helping disadvantaged children simply pluck a tag off the Giving Tree, read the child’s name and wish list, then head for the appropriate store for a little sharing of their own.

“Why not start a tradition with your family and select a gift for a needy child together,” Capt. Nancy Ball said.

San Bernardino Corps puts its Giving Tree in the Inland Center Mall (500 Inland Center Drive, San Bernardino) near the food court.

“I always find it very heartwarming and satisfying to be able to purchase a gift for one of these children, based on his or her wishes,” said Tom Brickley, who is the president of the Salvation Army’s advisory board, and has participated in the Giving Tree for a number of years. “For some, it may be the only gift they get all year.”

“It is a neat way to give the child the gift he or she wants,” Brickley said. “Some want bicycles, some pants, others a specific toy.”

The Ontario Corps puts trees in Ontario Mills Mall (1 Mills Circle, Ontario) in front of JC Penney’s and Montclair Plaza (5060 E. Montclair Plaza Lane, Montclair) inside the Macy’s store. The Redlands Corps puts a tree at Wal-Mart (2050 W. Redlands Blvd. , Redlands).

However, not all corps have actual trees. The Riverside Corps asks shoppers to call (951) 784- 4490, ext. 114 to obtain the name of and requests of more than 2,000 children on its “Angel” list.

Since online shopping is also a popular way to buy Christmas gifts, JC Penney’s has a partnership with the Salvation Army allowing shoppers to go to jcp.com/angel and search for children (and in some places senior citizens) in any ZIP Code. The website allows online shoppers to order a gift for them from JC Penney’s onl ine catalog, and gives them the choice of dropping the gift off at their local Salvation Army’s collection center, or of having UPS ship it, at no charge, to that collection center.

The Salvation Army also is looking for other businesses in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties, who would like to have a tree at their place of business for employees and/or customers.

To host an Angel Tree in San Bernardino, Colton, Grand Terrace, Rialto, Bloomington or Highland, call (909) 888-1336. Elsewhere, call 1-(800)-SALARMY.

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:
“At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water”.
(Matthew 14:25 MSG)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
The disciples saw Jesus walking on water, but walking on water was not an isolated event.

In Matthew 14:26-32 Jesus is shown walking on the water.

Peter came to him walking on the water and for a few moments did the impossible, until he stopped to think about it.

When Jesus walked on the water it was, by all interpretations, an impossible feat. It was equally impossible when Peter walked on the water for a few moments. Despite its impossibility the bible record tells us that it happened. They did the impossible!

Life often presents us with impossible situations. These are the times when the odds appear stacked against us and there is no way to succeed. Sometimes the situations are economically based.

Money problems worry many people. On any given day for some, debts are increasing and income is decreasing. Some have lost jobs or experienced investment losses. Many people think their finances are such a shambles that it is impossible to repair. It’s the kind of problem that requires them literally to walk on water to resolve.

Troubling Interpersonal Relationships create impossible situations. Many have reached crucial points in their marriages and relationships. Some marriages seem beyond repair.

Trying to mend such relationships requires the ability to walk on water.

While we worry about the impossibility of our situations, we often forget that with Christ we can walk on water. We can do the impossible! Even though Peter is known for sinking when he tried to walk on water alone, we often fail to remember that when Christ pulled him from the water, he walked on water, holding to Christ’s hand until he returned to the ship.

Are you in an impossible situation? Does it require you to walk on water? With God’s help, we have walked on water before. If we despair, it’s because we have forgotten the miracle that God helped us perform in the past.

Pastor Campbell can reached at larrycampbell14@ca.rr.com

St. Paul A.M.E Church to Provide 'Share and Care' Thanksgiving Dinner

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St. Paul A.M.E Church will provide its second annual "Share and Care" Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, November 20 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Inghram Community Center located at 2050 North Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, Ca (92411).

According to Senior Pastor, Rev. Larry E. Campbell, over 600 disadvantaged and less fortunate San Bernardino residents were served in 2009 and the goal in 2010 is to serve over 1000 people.

Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority will provide 30 turkeys to aid the event and Santa Claus, Inc. will supply 80 personal hygeine bags for participants.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is also a major sponsor.

In addition, 4-D Academy will provide free blood pressure and body mass index screenings. Free HIV tests will be provided as well.

KCAA-AM radio will conduct live coverage of the event.

For more information on how to volunteer or make contributions contact "Share and Care" event coordinator Jonia Osborne at (909) 864- 1225. For media inquiries please call Samuel Williams, Jr. at (909) 380-4231.

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:
“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
What happens when you get up on the wrong side of the bed?

Getting up on the wrong side of the bed is a colloquialism that refers to a person who begins his or her day with a bad attitude. Generally, when we begin a day grumpy, complaining or disinterested, someone will comment, “He got up on the wrong side of the bed today.” It has nothing to do with the side of the bed, but it has a whole lot to do with the attitude with which we begin each day.

There is a correlation between the way we begin a day and the way the day progresses. If we begin the day with a frown, it seems that the day frowns on us. If we begin the day with a growl, it seems that the day growls and barks at us. If we begin the day with a smile and a spirit of rejoicing then the whole day, regardless to what happens seems to smile back at us.

When we begin the day without God’s presence, either side of the bed is the wrong side. Nothing is right, everyone is wrong, the world is dark and pessimism is the order of the day.

The psalmist tells us how to rise each day. Psalm 118:24 puts it this way, “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” That’s how to rise, no matter what side you arise from. If God gives us another day, it’s going to be a good day, so go forth and rejoice and enjoy it to its fullest.

No matter what side of the bed you rise from, people will notice. If you are grumpy, they will notice. If you are cheerful and exuberant, they will notice that too! When they ask why, it gives us the opportunity to answer and tell of the goodness of the Lord.

The spirit that begins the day, rules the day. Many teachers are frustrated when they see students angry at school. Many soon learn that they left home that morning amidst arguments and confusion. Sometimes a boss who has had an especially difficulty time at home comes to work bring his bad day with him. In the same sense, the person who leaves home with a positive spirit, powered by the Holy Ghost is beaming with enthusiasm as he walks in the door.

The same is true about failures, troubles and setbacks. Since we all face these difficult moments, how we handle them depends upon our attitude. If we face them alone, we see every day as a bad, dark, miserable day filled with more trouble, more bad news, bill collectors, difficulties and failures that seem to come one after the other. When we feel this way, every side of the bed is the wrong side.

But when we put our trust in the Lord, we are able to rise each day and know that though difficulties may come, the Glory of the Lord will shine on each day that we put our trust in him. Psalm 31:1 says, “In thee oh Lord, do I put my trust” That trust gives us the confidence to rise each day confident that God will work it out. As Christians, we trust God everyday to do the Clint Eastwood thing for us, “Make my day.” He does it every time! Today, God has something great in store for you. He's going to make your day!

Pastor Campbell can reached at larrycampbell14@ca.rr.com

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:
"The people stood afar off, but Moses drew near... where God was."
(Exodus 20:21 NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
“Moses alone knew what God's presence felt like, what His voice sounded like, and what His radiant glory looked like. And apparently the people of Israel were happy to leave it that way. They said to Moses, 'You tell us what God says... but don't let God speak directly to us... ' (Exodus 20:19). What were they afraid of, that God might tell them something they didn't want to hear? Hello? When you haven't carried out God's last set of instructions it's hard to get excited about His next set.

John writes: '... We can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, '"... I know God... "' but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word truly... love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did' (1 John 2:3-6 NLT).” (Bob Gass)

ACTION POINT:
So, are you content to be an onlooker, watching God move in the lives of others instead of accepting the discipline required to have a personal relationship with Him yourself? Do you want His gifts and His favor, but not the commitment that goes with them? God doesn't want you to be infatuated with the Bible, or the church, or His blessings. No, He wants you to fall in love with Him. He's not looking for a date; He's looking for a bride! He wants someone who'll stick with Him when the going gets tough. Are you ready to put on the ring of commitment today?

Pastor Campbell can reached at larrycampbell14@ca.rr.com

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