(Orange, Texas)

November 24, 2012

Worship fully, spend less, give more, love all

John Warren
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Let the race begin! I am not talking about the Formula 1 races in Austin. I am talking of the countdown to Christmas. There are only 31 shopping days to fill your shopping bags and carts with presents! Many of you will have finished your shopping.

Part of my families Thanksgiving ritual is to sit down after we’ve stuffed ourselves with turkey and dozed through several football games to go through the newspaper advertisements and plan the next day, our Black Friday war strategy.

I will never forget the year we decided to go to the Outlet Mall in New Braunfels a mecca of bargains. Mom who at the time was eighty-seven was giving my niece, who was the driver of my car, directions. My car was a Toyota Four-runner so we could haul lots of stuff. The parking lot was packed with cars were circling the parking lot like sharks looking for blood. Finally Mom spotted a space and directs my niece to pull in. As she is turning into the space from the correct direction a woman in a large SUV is entering the parking space from the opposite direction. As we all exit the car and walk toward the store the other driver is sitting in her car honking her horn in anger.

If you do not like the conflict of Black Friday shopping or if you are shopping for someone who really already owns all the stuff they need maybe you would be interested in another kind of shopping. Something enjoyable.

On December 2 at five p.m. First United Methodist Orange will hold a dinner and open our mission store. There you can buy gifts that will support a number of great mission projects.  You can have a baked potato meal that will support the Society of St. Andrew an outreach mission that sends volunteers into fields to glean them after they have been harvested. The produce is gathered and shipped to food banks. Other projects: Heifer International provides farm animals for folks in third world countries. Living-water International, you can purchase an Origami Christmas ornament. A generous donor will match your gift. The proceeds go to build water wells in India and Ethiopia.  Stop Hunger Now you can purchase trail mix this is a hunger relief program. Angel Tree – Salvation Army provides Christmas assistance for local families. PET Pet Energy Transportation you can donate to provide a people powered vehicle to give people who cannot walk a way to get around.