Friday, December 18, 2015

True Christmas Story

The Christmas Gift

Good morning my fellow Rotarians.  Each year at Christmastime I enjoy sharing a special story to highlight the true meaning behind this very special holiday.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a noted minister and author, tells the story of a young girl, an exchange student from Sweden, who was spending the holiday season in New York City while living with an American family.  Her chores were helping around the house, but she didn't have much money. So she knew she couldn't buy nice Christmas presents for her host family—besides, they already had so much, with new gifts arriving every day from family and friends.

With just what little money she had, she went out and bought an outfit for a small baby, and then set out on a journey to find the poorest part of New York and the poorest baby she could find. At first, she received only strange looks from people when she asked them for help. But then a kind stranger, a Salvation Army bell-ringer, guided her to a poor part of town and helped her deliver her gift.

On Christmas morning, instead of giving her host family gifts, she told them about her act of kindness done in their name. Everyone was speechless, and everyone was blessed—the girl for giving, the wealthy family for seeing others with new eyes, and the poor family for receiving an unexpected gift.

I believe unexpected gifts are some of the most special.  At this time of the year there seems to be many opportunities to give to those who have great needs, or your giving could be simple things like a smile, a listening ear or words of encouragement.

As Rotarians we are gift givers; of our time, our talent and our resources - and not just at Christmas.  It’s who we are.  It’s what we do.  Christmas began with the giving of one gift.  Over 2,000 years ago, God gave His son, Jesus Christ to the earth as His special gift.  And to many, it was unexpected.  Christmas began with Christ and if you are not familiar with this story, I encourage you to check it out this holiday season.   

For me my fellow Daybreakers, this will be my last bottom of the news.  On July 7th, 2007, Steve Carpenter offered me the privilege to stand before you each week.  I have greatly appreciated the gift of being able to share things with you, especially stories like today.  Now, after 317 reports and 8 ½ years, it’s time to pass on this duty as I look ahead to my new role as club president.  Jen Neuman officially takes up the mic on January 8th.   Thank you for allowing me to do something I truly enjoy.  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

And this is our Bottom of the News for this Friday, December 18, 2015

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