Children in Action Blog

Lead with Confidence

As a small child, I was afraid to go to the counter at a fast food restaurant to ask for a drink refill. I hated it so much. I couldn't tell you why—the people behind the counter didn't have a reason to refuse me a free refill. And I highly doubt the scenarios of humiliation I pictured in my head would have ever happened in real life. Nevertheless, I was too shy. My parents would usually make me go anyway; otherwise, I wouldn't get a refill. I’m thankful to them now for trying to get me to be less shy, although I'm certain I didn't appreciate it at the time!

When I was in school, I had so many opportunities to speak up and answer questions posed by my teachers. I probably only spoke up about 15 percent of the time. I felt a desire to raise my hand when I thought I knew the answer, but I didn't want to risk being incorrect and humiliating myself. As it happens, I usually had the correct answer and would be disappointed that I didn't speak up. But I couldn't risk it, right?

Beat the Wintertime Blues: Plan a Cool Missions Event

Here in the Deep South, we have been experiencing some unusually frigid days this past week. For this Goldilocks-type girl—you know, not too hot, not too cold—the sub-freezing temperatures make me want to stay indoors, all bundled up in my sweats and furry socks in front of a warm, crackling fire. It's even been too cold for my "It's-not-cold-I-wear-shorts-all-year-long" 12-year-old son. Needless to say, he has a bad case of cabin fever and can't wait to get outside to ride that new bike he got for Christmas.

More than Resolutions

I've never been very good at making—much less keeping—New Year's resolutions. Oh, I'll give it a passing thought as I hear others talk about their resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with their kids, etc. However, I've learned over the years that many, if not most, of those people who made those resolutions never kept them for more than a few weeks. Don't believe me? Visit a local gym on January 2 and then again on February 16. See if you notice the difference!

What it comes down to for me is not so much about making yearly resolutions I won't keep as it is about digging in and doing the hard work to accomplish what needs to be accomplished—in other words, setting goals and accomplishing them.

Last Minute Lottie (Moon Christmas Offering) Ideas

Christmas is over, but the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) season is not! And, guess what? It's not too late for your GAs, RAs or CAs to help take up the offering through a fun project. Consider any of these projects as ways to continue a focus on this special offering and help your kids learn that it's always the right time to support missionaries.

Mangerside Reflections

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas season, let's take time to consider some of the people who saw this story unfold firsthand.

Mary was intimately connected with this event. Jesus was born to her in a humble stable. Her willingness to let God work wonders through her life was truly inspiring.

Joseph may have been a little confused by the whole thing! Engaged to be married, he was shocked to find Mary was pregnant before their wedding day. Faced with a difficult decision, Joseph stepped up to the plate to help raise this child after a little heavenly intervention.

The shepherds were nothing special. These dirty, flea-bitten dregs of society found themselves in the presence of a mighty host of angels. Imagine their surprise when they discovered they would be the first among men to bear witness to the coming of the Messiah.

Wise men from the east saw a star in the sky that signified a spectacular event had taken place. Traveling from far away, they set out seeking the one true King. They brought their best gifts to give to a Savior they had not yet encountered.

In Honor of Lottie

She sailed across the sea
To a land so far away.
She left behind her expected life,
When she heard what God had to say.

God placed a call on the heart
Of a woman named Lottie Moon.
She gave her answer faithfully,
And would arrive in China soon.

She made her new home
Among the people there.
They didn't trust her at first,
But she always showed them care.

She learned the language of the people,
And dressed like those around her.
She baked her cookies happily,
And drew people in closer.

At last, they trusted Lottie—
She was finally able to share
About the love of Jesus Christ
And His sacrifice laid bare.

Lottie dearly loved these people
With all her heart and hand.
But she knew she couldn't do alone
Everything God had planned.

So she sought out help for God's work
From her Christian brothers and sisters.
She wrote letter after letter after letter after letter
To all the misses and misters.

Prepare Your Heart

This past Sunday marked the beginning of the Advent season, a time of preparation for the birth of Christ. I spent the weekend decorating my house, both inside and outside. At church, we adorned the sanctuary with wreaths, garlands, holly and ivy, poinsettias and Chrismons during the traditional Hanging of the Green service. It's even beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at the national WMU building!

Yet, just as we decorate our homes, churches and offices for this special season of the year, we should also prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child into the world. A meaningful way to do this is by participating in the Week of Prayer for International Missions from December 3–10.

Throughout the week, pray for missionaries around the world as they share the good news of Jesus with all the nations. Visit this page on the International Mission Board's website for more details about the missionaries, as well as specific prayer requests for each day:

Connecting the Dots: Help Start a New Missions Organization

Do you remember doing connect the dot puzzles when you were a kid? As you traced your pen from dot to dot, a picture was slowly revealed. It was fun and exciting without being labor intensive.

Did you know that helping other churches set up missions groups is much the same? Each new program is a dot that helps reveal the picture of God’s work in your area. By working together in our own special ministry locations, we add more dimension to the picture—opportunities to reach more people with the gospel.

Just like the childhood puzzle, it is fun and exciting without being labor intensive. You don’t have to worry about where to place the dots, because churches already exist in the communities of your association. You don’t have to fret over who will participate—churches know their members and their communities. Your joy is in sharing missions organizations for children. Share your loves, passions, and thrills. Excitement is contagious, and the gospel is the most exciting news ever!

Family Traditions

Country music fans are probably familiar with the song titled “Family Traditions.” It plays quite frequently on the radio.

This weekend, that song went through my mind as I remembered my family's tradition of putting up Christmas decorations during Thanksgiving weekend. Back in my childhood days, my father, brother, and I would head out to the woods to look (for what seemed like hours) for the perfect Christmas tree. Finally, once we had found the perfect tree, my dad would take the axe and cut it down. Then, we’d head home and get the tree ready to be decorated. For the next few hours, we’d pull out old decorations, lights, and even that long, stringy, silver tinsel that wound up everywhere but on the tree.

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