CHRISTmas in July, it all began with a family

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to celebrate CHRISTmas without the mention of Santa Claus, without shopping for a single present, and without all of the commercialism? Approximately 100+ folks who attended year 32 of a 5-day Ohio family camping event were able to experience just that! The theme for this year’s event was “CHRISTmas in July, it all began with a family!” Words cannot begin to describe the peace and inspiration that came from that “short season” together! We feel so blessed to have been there! During those 5 days, we learned a lot about “gifts”–not physical “presents”, but gifts! Some gifts we accept with joy as we begin to realize God has given them to us to use for Him and His work. Other gifts that come our way we may view much like we see that “ugly Christmas sweater”–yep, we’ve all gotten one at some point in time! Such gifts may be compared to the hardships we face and we wonder how they can be considered “gifts”? But, in God’s time, and in His way, He seems to turn even those “unwelcome gifts” into something beautiful if we let Him. All that we have and all that we are is a gift from God. We can never out-give God! The more we give to Him and His work, the more He can entrust to us! Enjoy the gifts that you are and the gifts that you have from God and remember to thank Him for them! And, try to capture the peace and inspiration of CHRISTmas this year by putting the CHRIST back in it where it belongs. After all, it really did “begin with that very special family”!

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