Meaningful and long-standing Christmas traditions take place this month in homes all around the world. Families gather together to celebrate the birth of Christ, in a myriad of fun, joyful, meaningful, festive and creative ways.
Among the favorite traditions for many families is enjoying the host of Christmas movies that have been produced through the years. In fact, here in Florida – entire families will crank down the A/C, put a fake log in the fireplace, throw on the most comfortable pair of shorts and settle in with a cold beverage to watch our favorite flick.
A Timeless Classic!
At the Wilson home, we make sure to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, the 1946 Christmas classic. If you’ve seen it, you understand why we watch it over and over. If you haven’t seen it, treat yourself this Christmas season! This is a heartwarming tale with many memorable lines. Among my favorites:
- “George Bailey, I’ll love you til the day I die!”
- “Remember, George, no man is a failure who has friends.”
- “Look, Daddy. Teacher says: Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
- “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”
- “A toast to my big brother George, the richest man in town!”
My personal favorite quote isn’t even a spoken line; rather, it’s a saying on a sign hanging beneath a photo of George Bailey’s father –
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.”
George’s father was a true, compassionate giver, and cared deeply for the people of his community, Bedford Falls. For instance, he opened a bank to issue mortgages so the hard-working and poor townspeople could own a home. Mr. Bailey passed this benevolence on to George, who repeatedly sacrifices his own dreams to care for others. Throughout his life, George put the needs of others first.
In fact, as George finally discovers that he has truly lived a wonderful life, he sees that the value of his life is not in his personal success and enrichment, rather, it’s defined by his active love and care for his family, his friends, and his community.
A similar generous spirit has also been prevalent on the campus of Lakeland Christian School. Look around. God has moved people to give so LCS will be an even better place for children and young people. Over the past 10 years, nearly $30 Million has been given to fund the most massive expansion in school history. The Lakeland Christian campus has been transformed -- only through private giving!
And, nearly 200 students are at LCS this year only because people cared enough to give to the Financial Aid fund, making it possible for children and young people to be blessed by the LCS experience.
Other tangible examples of generosity are evident across campus…computers…ipads…the Viking Voyager bus…covered walkways…reading curriculum…the amphitheatre…the cafeteria courtyard…the phone system…and so much more.
All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.
Think about it. I believe this idea directly applies to those who faithfully give to LCS. For those of you who keep us on your giving radar -- because you have given to this place -- you are doing something remarkable and valuable for the benefit of children and young people.
You are creating a legacy for students, sharing from what you have so that they can be blessed in their Christian schooling. It really is a blessing of eternal significance.
A Life’s True Value!
Giving to LCS represents support of a place that’s helping children and young people discover the same thing George Bailey came to realize – their life has deep value. As image bearers of God, students learn to view themselves and their life purpose in light of God’s design and plan for them. Lakeland Christian counts on people who understand the great value of giving a portion of what God has provided so that others may deeply benefit.
I trust that all of our lives will be defined – just as George’s was -- by our generosity toward others. This attitude of the heart, by the way, reflects the ultimate and eternal generosity of the Christ of Christmas.
Now, go and make Merry!
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