To view this notification widget you need to have JavaScript enabled. This notification widget was easily created with NotifySnack.
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join Login
My Account
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  




The HOME for Christian writers!
The Home for Christian Writers!

Forums

This area is only a small portion of FaithWriters. The main site can be joined HERE.
Shop & Save to SUPPORT FaithWriters.
Upgrade to SUPPORT FaithWriters.

A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 WINNERS HERE

This forum is reserved for member articles being submitted for specific blogging contests.

Moderator: mikeedwards

User avatar
mikeedwards
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 612
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:49 pm

A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 WINNERS HERE

Postby mikeedwards » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:58 pm

WINNERS ARE HERE

A huge Thank You to all of the members who participated in this contest, everyone wins in the long run. Someday when you get to heaven you will see what a small pebble thrown in a big pond can do. :thankssign

I just received the results from the DeMoss group and here they are the top three they selected.

WINNERS - A GIFT AND THE GOSPEL

FIRST PLACE - $100 AND POSTING ON 100 CHRISTIAN BLOGS GOES TO -
Bound on Earth, Bound to Heaven
by: Haydee Emilou Ilagan
:thumbs


I was awakened by the tumultuous voice of my brother one Monday morning when he said that our dad was arrested by the police. He did not kill anybody nor committed any criminal offense. It was the ongoing business cases filed against his company.

For the next days and weeks, I caught myself crying and wallowing in a sea of misery and depression. No amount of prayer and counsel took away the pain in my heart. I felt confused, afraid, crushed, abandoned, and unprotected. I could not imagine how Papa can survive standing in the city jail for many weeks and crushed by the bodies of fellow prisoners. He could not even go to the restroom when he needs to and change his sweat-soaked shirt.

Prior to that, my dad used to take me to the National Penitentiary for many years. We signed a waiver before entering the Maximum Security Compound just in case something happens. One full day for every week, our prison ministry team visited and ministered to them.

My friends said I am crazy going there with no assurance of protection whatsoever once someone throws a fit or our lives become endangered because of the environment. Perhaps.

I will never forget the day my dad asked me to preach about God's goodness to them. I saw the tears in their eyes and the pain in their faces. I had no power to do something concrete like getting them out of jail but by just being there to listen to them, pray for them, feed them, clothe them, throw them Christmas parties, give them hope and share Jesus to them makes all the difference.

James 1:27 echoes this: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

I saw many wives, children, and relatives visiting their incarcerated husbands, fathers and loved ones. They had the same facial expressions and the same story of loss, lack, and fatherlessness.

The same story unfolds for every country, race or generation where a father or mother was sentenced to jail. Indefinite separation from parents sets the stage for them to lack guidance and parenting thereby making them prone to a host of emotional trauma, abuse, rejection, and neglect. Couple these with the propensity to engage in illegal activities and addictions to drugs, pornography, sex, gambling, among others.

But, there's good news. After serving time in prison, President Richard Nixon's “hatchet man” Charles Colson was empowered and anointed by God to impact the lives of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families through the establishment of Prison Fellowship in 1976. This non-profit ministry aims for the redemption, reconciliation, and restoration of prisoners and their families through the love, power and gospel of Jesus Christ.

Eventually in 1982, ex-bank robber and prisoner Mary Kay Beard founded Angel Tree in Birmingham, Alabama to help Prison Fellowship prisoners connect with their families especially children during Christmas. The idea is to allow a sponsor to give a Christmas gift to a child under the name of his own incarcerated parent. In its first year, 556 children were given and to date about 9 million children and 5.2 million inmate parents were ministered to.

There are now 1.7 million children who have one or both parents in prison.

You can change lives and make a difference right NOW.

Click Angel Tree to know more details and how you and your church can partner with them.

Imagine what your Christmas gift and prayer can do to one of these kids.


Author: Haydee I.
FW ID# 60645
Gold Member


http://www.fa,ithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=154458

http://haydeeilagan.wordpress.com/artic ... ae8b77f4e5

Quote from Haydee - "I give back to God all the glory for inspiring me to write my entry piece for A Gift and the Gospel contest. The theme is close to my heart as I've experienced it myself and been into that ministry for a long time. I may have been writing for the past three years for a living but time and again God reminds me of the vision He gave me in 2004 to publish His testimonies to the nations. Today is exactly my first month in this Christian writers' community and I thank God that FaithWriters helps me fulfill God's vision and destiny for my life. It's a great thing to discover God's original intent for your life and walk right into it...with Him."
- Haydee I.




SECOND PLACE AND $50 GOES TO –
Everyone Leaves A Legacy— What Will Yours Be? :thumbs
by eddiedickerson


Many years ago I was sitting at a picnic table, in a park near downtown Nashville, when a young boy named Charles walked by with his head drooped down, and a sad look on his face. When I asked him if he was OK, he turned toward me, and with tears rolling down his cheeks said—"I'm hungry."

I soon learned that his father was in prison, his mother was an abusive alcoholic, and he was living on the streets of Nashville all alone, at age sixteen.

That Christmas at our home, he was surrounded by fifteen of my family members who showed him love, and gave him a gift.

But the most important gift that Charles received was Christ. God gave that gift, but we were incredibly blessed to have a part in delivering it.

That's what the Angel Tree ministry offers you: an opportunity to give a gift to a heart-broken child of an inmate, and a chance to share the gospel with that child (and their parents), all feeling the immense pain of missing loved ones at Christmas.

I know something about that. On December 16th, 2006, I buried my wife of twenty-nine years. At 59, I spent my first Christmas alone. The way it hit me, you would have thought I was a child. The loneliness is hard to explain, and I had the Lord.

Though the children of inmates typically have one parent around, most do not have the Lord. And having that one parent only helps to mildly and occasionally relieve their heartfelt pain, especially at holidays.

Just think what a lift to a child's spirit you will bring when you arrive greeting them with a gift, and what could be a life-changing message about the love of God. Of course you can't replace their mom or dad, but your gift and love will bring them at least some relief from the devastation that having an incarcerated parent has made them feel.

And it not only brings relief for the moment, it gives them hope for the future, as they see and feel the reality of someone truly caring about them. No adult should have to face such a burden, much less a child.

What adds to the sadness of all this, is when you realize the number of people who could make a difference—but do nothing. They don't even donate a gift.

The Bible makes it very clear that faith without works is dead, and that we are to be doers of the word, not hearers only.

With over 1.7 million children suffering from the effects of a parent locked away, it's time for you to be a doer.

Some day you'll pass on from this old world, and like everyone, you'll leave a legacy.

Maybe it will be material things, such as money or property.

Possibly, it will be one of nothingness, or worse yet—a trail of shattered lives.

Or perhaps your legacy will consist of lives changed for the better—forever.

If you're like most of us, you may not have anything of material value to leave behind. Don't feel bad; neither did Paul the tentmaker, Peter the fisherman, Ruth the Moabitess, or Rahab the harlot. But their legacies live on, even today, as their lives continue to impact millions.

Everyone leaves a legacy.

What will yours be?


Eddie Dickerson
member #60433


http://www.christiansallin.com/Blog.html
http://christian-articles-by-eddie.blog ... yours.html

Quote From Eddie Winning something is always humbling to me, but most especially in an instance like this.When you pray and seek the Lord’s help in a matter, and then it turns out good. You may be assured that the Lord is in it, and therefore due all the credit.

But, of course, I’m thankful as well.

Eddie


THIRD PLACE AND $25 GOES TO -
Elmo :thumbs
by HeartSpeaks



It was Christmas. My husband was in prison. I cried a lot. Haranguing thoughts constantly whirled around my head.
"How can I possibly forgive him? How can I ever live this down? How can I go on?"

That was twenty-three years ago. Last Sunday, tears filled my eyes as I fingered an Angel Tree ornament. I recalled how angry I'd felt 23 years earlier. Then I remembered all the people who had been the hands and feet of Jesus to me back then. They'd given me the courage to endure and to truly forgive my husband.

As I stared at the Christmas tree filled with Angel Tree angels, I thought of the children of prisoners who would accept the gifts. Would they feel angry and filled with shame like I had 23 years earlier? Would they take on the guilt of their parent in prison? Would they think their friends hated them for what their mom or dad had done? Would they think, "I'll just end up like my parent?"

As my eyes misted over, I thanked God for the bright future that my friends and family had instilled in me in the last 23 years. I scanned the gift wishes of the angels hanging on the tree and prayed, "Lord, help me choose one that will transform a child with Your love."

My eyes danced when I found the gift wish, "Elmo or musical toy."

"Elmo?!? How perfect! His laughter is so contagious!”

So I bought Elmo and prayed, "Lord, let every peal of laughter bring a bucket-load of God's joy! Let his red fur remind the family of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and bring salvation.” Then I prayed daily for God to bless the family.

Laughter had healed Norman Cousins 23 years ago, but Angel Tree has a much better gift than just laughter—the love of God. Countless families have been restored to God’s love through a simple gift given in the name of a prisoner. Mary Kay Beard started this ministry in 1982. She was a former bank robber whose life was dramatically altered in prison by the gospel.

More than nine million children have been touched by Angel Tree in the last 30 years. Angel Tree is just one part of prison fellowship. Other ways they reach children of inmates include mentoring programs and summer camp outreaches. Some churches, like Shiloh Christian Ministries in Sierra Vista, Arizona, also sponsor clothing giveaways, school backpack outreaches, Christmas parties, and monthly newsletter mailings.

Would you like to help a child find a brighter future? Project Angel Tree can help you do that. You could buy an Angel Tree gift, pray for the families, or ask your church to join Angel Tree. You could also donate.

Would you like to join us in impacting shattered lives with the hope of the gospel?

39080
By Nancy Dobbins

http://donna-goodrich.blogspot.com/
http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=154352
viewtopic.php?f=92&t=36070&p=511288#p511288

OUR SILVER WINNER OF A ONE YEAR GOLD MEMBERSHIP

An Angel In The Tree
by grace greatman

Excited boys and girls trotted in a circle, a huge Christmas tree in the middle.
“This party is a blast.” Joe, fifteen, breathless from the dance, nudged his twelve-year-old sister.
“Lots of food,” Tracy muffled through a mouthful of chocolate cake.
“Wait until you see the gifts,” screamed George, a lanky seventeen year old.
It was an annual program. The Angel Tree Christmas Party, Joe and Tracy’s first time. The last two Christmases were far from this. Alone, cold, dirty and hungry, they scavenged for food. Apart from the few dollars they got from sympathizers, the garbage cans were filled with delicious scraps. Tracy even dug out a big, round, untouched Christmas cake, still wrapped in foil. They named it their Christmas present from God.
Joe often wondered why they were different from others. Even when their parents were around, food was hard to get.
Why were they poor?
Why did their dad come home drunk most times?
Why did he often beat their mum?
Why did he beat her so hard that day that she died?
That was three years ago…
Shrieks of laughter broke into his thoughts. One of the clowns had hopped into the pool. He couldn’t swim, desperate, he yanked off his outlandish costume, revealing a very frightened teenager. His crumpled face produced more laughter.
“Who would have guessed Fred played the clown.” George enthused.
“You know him?” Joe asked.
“Yes, my dad was in the same prison with his mum. We met at the Angel Tree Camp last summer.”
When George’s dad was in prison, he encountered the Prison Fellowship Ministries, became a Christian and registered George to receive Christmas Presents. The neighborhood church supported him and his mum and helped them maintain contact with his dad. When his seven-year term ended, the family rededicated their lives to Christ and coordinated their church’s Angel Tree Outreaches. George met Joe and Tracy at one of the programs. The three of them formed a fast friendship.
“Common, this is my favorite part.” George urged Joe and Tracy towards the tree. “Every present has a name tag. Look for your name and see what your dad sent to you.”
Joe’s eyes filled with tears when he saw a digital photo camera. He had wanted one for so long. He looked closely at the tree to see if there was an angel on it. Only an angel would know what he really wanted. Only an angel would be so good to them. Tracy screamed for joy when she sighted a big white teddy bear she had always admired in the shop down the street. They also got pictorial copies of the bible. Now they can read about their bible heroes.
Like Joe, Tracy and Fred, there are 1.7 million children of inmates, stranded and lonely, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
In Matthew 25:43-46, Jesus said, “…I was …naked, and you clothed me not…in prison, and you visited me not… Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me… And these shall go away into everlasting punishment…”
Please, do not turn away from helping. Join Angel Tree to share gifts and the gospel with children of inmates. Help provide Christmas Presents and other gifts of love. This is “pure religion and undefiled before God…” James 1:27
Donate and enjoy earthly and eternal rewards. Remember, Christianity is all about giving and service. The religion God accepts as pure and faultless involves looking after those in need.
Donate today.
Be the Angel in the tree.

Grace Olumayowa Aideloje
Silver Member -#249240
http://www.penparables.blogspot.com
http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det
http://facebook.com/gracegreatman

ORIGINAL CONTEST RULES AND ALL ENTRIES BELOW HERE.



Blog Contest -A Gift and the Gospel :welcome

SUPER EASY LINK BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS BELOW
This Contest includes three five minute videos on link building for our regular articles, this forum and blogger.com.

Hello FaithWriters,

Contest Verse - Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27

All members are invited to enter these contests.

You must be a member to enter. You can join now for free if you are not a member http://www.faithwriters.com/finish-signup.php

You also need to be registered in these forums after you join as a member. Click the register button in the top right of this page.


You need to read our Blog Contest overview first if you are unfamiliar with these contests.
http://faithwriters.com/christianwritingcontest.html

In this contest you are writing about the Angel Tree program: a program of Prison Fellowship Ministries (PFM). The Angel Tree program is your specific target of promotion. This Christ-centered program provides Christmas gifts and Jesus to children with incarcerated parents.

You already may be familiar with Angel Tree, since it has been in existence for many years. It is a very successful program. Did you know, however, that only about one third of the children with parents in prison are currently included in the program? There is a lot of room for growth and you can help make this possible by entering this contest. The articles submitted for this contest will remain on the Internet and attract readers to Angel Tree for years to come.

As you research Angel Tree and PFM, you will learn that this is not just a Christmas present program. Angel Tree is only a small part of PFM. They have year-round programs and bring a strong gospel presentation to inmates and their families. They place the family in direct contact with a local church. Over nine million of these connections have been made through Angel Tree alone. This is a ministry of healing and reconciliation.

Since this contest involves children and Christmas we expect to see some amazing articles. Write it from the view of the child or the incarcerated parent. Maybe you have had a lonely and sad Christmas and can relate. How did you feel? What were your thoughts? Write it from the heart.

I know God is really involved with what we are doing here. When I contacted Angel Tree about running this contest in November for zero cost to them (we offered to cover the prizes). They placed me in contact with the DeMoss Group, their PR firm. My contact at the the DeMoss group informed me that they were just starting to encourage blogging for the first time at Angel Tree. They had just named November as Angel Tree blogging month in the hopes of getting Christians to blog on the Internet for them. When I proposed we run a blog contest for them, I was totally unaware that they had just initiated this blog program themselves. The fact that I had contacted them at this very time caught their attention.

This presents you as writers and FaithWriters with a very interesting opportunity. Not only do you have a chance to represent Jesus and make many children smile, God has opened a door so that you can show off your writing talent to the DeMoss Group

http://www.demossgroup.com/about.

They are the largest public relations firm for Christian organizations. They have clients who need Christian writers. Let's show them your talent so they know where they can come when they need content and writers. They very well may end up being the judge for this contest.

To do your best, I suggest that you remember our site verse Matthew 6:33 and keep God first. Write your entry for God, let Him take care of the rest.

I am praying that many of you will enter this contest and showcase your writing talent for this exceptional ministry.

The Ministry we are promoting -

http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome

All information necessary to write your blog article can be found at the end of this post and on their websites.

http://www.angeltree.org

http://www.prisonfellowship.org/prison-fellowship-home

Objective - Catch and keep the interest of readers with edgy, creative articles. We are looking for very creative and compelling. Titles that catch the eye and articles that move the reader.
Your job is to get the reader to click through to Angel Tree’s website and donate or get involved.

The word count will be 600 words maximum.

There must be a title. We are looking for something that gets attention.

Post your article in 2 locations plus this forum.

Links must work in the posts.

You must include your name and member number at the bottom of your submission in this forum only. Find member number video http://screencast.com/t/KK08uzYZxP

You must also include the URLs at the bottom of your post in this forum for the other two or more places you posted your article.

Deadline 12-3-12 at 10 am.

The keyword, keyword phrases - 1) Angel Tree, 2) children of inmates, 3) Prison fellowship, 4) Angel Tree stories, 5)1.7 million children, 6) Christmas presents, 7) donate

The Keywords in their contextual link format that you must use are next First simply write your article around 3 keywords above. When it is finished then come back and copy the link for that keyword and insert it in place of the keyword alone. There are 3 specific examples of linking next in the 3 videos. These 3 locations will work for the contest. Also use your own blog or website if you have one.

ONLY ADD 3 LINKS PER ARTICLE IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH LINKS, REVIEW THE OTHER AREAS IN THE BLOGGING FORUM THAT EXPLAIN EXACTLY HOW TO LINK.

Here are the links formatted for our regular articles submission area.

It really is very simple. Using the keywords in number one below for example, here is a sample sentence for an article. “The organization that provides Christmas gifts for Children of inmates is called Angel Tree.” To make the words Angel Tree into a link in our regular articles you simply replace Angel Tree with
<a href=" http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome"TARGET="_blank">Angel Tree</a> .

You could choose to use other words that you find on the page you are linking to instead of Angel Tree like we did in number three below. Both of these links go to the same page but the keywords we used in the links are different.

HERE IS A 5 MINUTE VIDEO EXPLAINING EXACTLY HOW TO INSERT LINKS INTO OUR REGULAR ARTICLES http://screencast.com/t/S8nUptFYZw

1) <a href="http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome"TARGET="_blank">Angel Tree</a>
2) <a href="http://www.angeltree.org/why-angel-tree"TARGET="_blank">children of inmates</a>
3) <a href="http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome"TARGET="_blank">prison fellowship</a>
4) <a href="http://www.angeltree.org/at-stories/stories-of-prisoners-families"TARGET="_blank">Angel Tree stories</a>
5) <a href="http://www.prisonfellowship.org/new-this-week/stories/16412-17-million-reasons"TARGET="_blank">1.7 million children</a>
6) <a href="http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome"TARGET="_blank">Christmas presents</a>
7) <a href="https://prisonfellowship.webconnex.com/atdonate?sc=ATWB12000&dr=1"TARGET="_blank">donate</a>

More advanced and know how to make your own links? You can also take other keywords from pages on Angel Tree's website and link the page they are on to them.

Here are the same links formatted for this forum. We do not require that links function in this forum but it is a plus. Links must function in our regular articles and the other location you post in. If I actually built the full link here, you would only be able to see the finished link right now. From 1 through 6 below I have removed these four characters

[url

from directly in front of the = sign on each line.



1) =http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome]Angel tree[/url]
2) =http://www.angeltree.org/why-angel-tree]children of inmates[/url]
3) =http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome]prison fellowship[/url]
4) =http://www.angeltree.org/at-stories/stories-of-prisoners-families]Angel Tree stories[/url]
5) =http://www.angeltree.org/at-stories/stories-of-prisoners-families]1.7 million children[/url]
6) =http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome]Christmas presents[/url]
7) =https://prisonfellowship.webconnex.com/atdonate?sc=ATWB12000&dr=1[/url]

In other words 1 - 7 above should all start this way - [url=http://

HERE IS A 5 MINUTE VIDEO ON EXACTLY HOW TO DO THE LINKS IN OUR FORUM. http://screencast.com/t/Nj39HD0MD6

HERE IS A 5 MINUTE VIDEO ON EXACTLY HOW TO DO THE LINKS AT http://www.blogger.com
VIDEO FOR BLOGGER IS HERE http://screencast.com/t/Iv51IMSMLT0

Prizes for Gold and Platinum members –

There isn't a commitment from Prison Fellowship Ministries (PFM) to utilize the winning writers. Prizes will be a cash prize. We are, however, working with the Demoss Group (http://demossgroup.com/), the public relations firm for PFM. They represent many faith-based organizations and they do utilize writers as do the ministries they represent.
Winners in this contest would have a foot in the door and the potential for future work. This is in no way a guarantee of writing work for the winners but FaithWriters will strongly encourage PFM and the DeMoss Group to look your way when writing assignments come up. If you are serious about your writing we encourage you to enter. Let's show the DeMoss group what you can do. We hope to be able to work with them on several of the ministries they represent.

1st place gets a $100 cash prize

2nd place get a $50 cash prize

Winners get writing exposure

3rd place gets $25

The winning entry will also be posted on 100 Christian blogs. This will give the winner more exposure and the ministry we are promoting hundreds of more links to their site.

Prize for Silver members -

Best Silver entry gets a one year free gold membership, as well as writing exposure. If you win a free Gold membership on this one you would be eligible to win a writing assignment on future ones over the next 12 months.

All members are building treasure in heaven as Jesus said we should.

If you are new to these contests we encourage you to go here to learn more –
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=35283

More about creating links here -
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=35422

Ask questions here -
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=35289

To get a better idea of what we are looking for in articles go here and read the past winners -
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=35372
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=35527

God Bless, Mike
More information on Angel Tree
http://www.angeltree.org

http://www.prisonfellowship.org/prison-fellowship-home


WHAT IS ANGEL TREE?
Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship®, is the largest national outreach that specifically
targets the children of prisoners. Every year Angel Tree works through thousands of local
churches and organizations to give Christmas gifts to children on behalf of their incarcerated
parents – helping to reconcile inmates and their families to God and to one another, and to
stop the generational cycle of crime.
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Angel Tree also goes beyond Christmas by involving
prisoners’ children in summer camps, mentoring, and year-round, church-led programs that
holistically support inmates’ families.

The Crisis
1.7 million children – have one or both parents
in prison.
The children of prisoners are five times more likely to
live in poverty, and they’re also at greater risk for a
range of emotional and behavioral problems, like
depression and drug use.
Approximately half of state and federal prisoners
have not seen their children since they
were incarcerated.
52 percent of all inmates (and 75 percent of all
female prisoners) have children.
The vast majority of prisoners are held more than
100 miles from where their children live.

The Angel Tree Response
Founded in 1982 by an ex-prisoner, Angel Tree has
served inmates and their children for 30 years,
touching the lives of 9 million children and 5.2 million
inmate parents.
In 2011 Angel Tree worked with more than 7,700
churches and organizations to reach nearly
400,000 children.
More than 5,000 children have been mentored
by caring adults through the Angel Tree
Mentoring program.
More than 75,000 children have gained new
experiences and friendships while learning about
God’s love through Angel Tree Camping®.


Three Ways to Help Prisoners’ Kids
1. Pray for Angel Tree.
2. Register your church or organization for
Angel Tree Christmas 2012. You will receive
the names and gift wishes of children in
your local area. After contacting their
caregivers, you will buy, wrap, and present
the gifts on behalf of their incarcerated
parents at a group Christmas party or a
scheduled home delivery.
3. Visit http://www.angeltree.org to make a monthly
or one-time gift.

The History of Angel Tree
Under the leadership of former bank robber Mary
Kay Beard, Angel Tree began in Birmingham,
Alabama, in 1982 as a way of helping the
inmates Prison Fellowship served stay
connected with their children at Christmas. In
that first year, 556 children were served. Today,
Angel Tree is in every U.S. state and, through
Prison Fellowship International, it has a
presence in more than 120 countries around
the world.

The need is much greater than the current supply.
http://www.angeltree.org/atblog/entry/6/15806

Watch the videos on this page.
http://www.angeltree.org/at-stories/video-library

Replies below this post are reserved for contest entries. Other posts will be removed.
Please ask questions under the appropriate topic.

eyve777
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:46 pm

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby eyve777 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:36 pm

THE GIFT THAT PROMOTES THE GOSPEL

What is a Gift? Some popular definitions state that it is something given – a present, something acquired without effort, payment or obligation, something that is free, a donation or a contribution. The list is endless.


Like love, a gift has many faces; my husband calls me ‘a wonderful gift’ and I smile hearing this, for that expression to me is showing his gift of love. You can rest assure that in all cases a gift puts a smile on the face of whoever is receiving it. The excitement and fulfilment of receiving a gift that you have always wanted can bring lasting memories.


Children are the most appreciating individuals when receiving unexpected gifts, especially those in need. The AngelTree Ministries is the largest Ministry reaching out to childrenofinmates and their families and innocent victims of crime; bringing unexpected gifts to show that they are not forgotten by their loved ones who have been separated from them.


Christmas is a time when every child wait in anticipation for a gift. Angel Tree charitable service creates a strong feeling of love and acceptance to millions of children and needy families. It is a time where a gift can promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as universally we celebrate his birth. The Bible clearly shows that he was showered with love and acceptance through the gifts each person brought in acknowledgment of his birth. This same Jesus Christ grew up to become a life giver, our Saviour by shedding his blood on the Cross so that we may have the Gift of Everlasting Life (Romans 6v23) NIV.

The Ministry of Jesus Christ brought spiritual as well as physical gifts to those who wanted to hear the word of God. The miracles he performed, those he saved from deadly persecution, and the thousands he fed from one single meal were lessons he taught us by giving (Acts 20v35) NIV. He also taught us the importance of not neglecting our children and the need to show unconditional love to the children of the world (Matt 19v14) NIV. The whole movement of the Gospel is a giving ministry and teaches us to live in love, appreciating the art of giving.

Angel Tree has joined forces with the Salvation Army, who has for many centuries been able to provide Christmaspresents ” to many disadvantaged children. Together they have been able to reach the wider communities.

As Christians we view the Bible as our constitution and instruction manual. When we put into practice the art of giving, we live and grow worthy of our ‘Gift of Everlasting Life’. Angel Tree prisonfellowship considers all donations as honorable. Nothing is too small and the donation doesn't have to be monetary; it can be clothing, toys or anything you feel will put a smile on the face of a child in need. ‘No child ever chose to live in poverty, they are innocent disadvantage children and seniors in our community’ (a part of Angel Tree’s Mission Statement). To win your support will allow them to reach out to many more children of inmates and families affected by loss and separation. Your gift will not only be a gracious offering, but you will also be part of a service promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessing and joy you will experience from that one simple act of giving is huge.

Written by: Eyvonne Black
Membership No: 60628
http://therightwordattherighttime.blogspot.co.uk -The Children are our future
http://www.faitwriters.com/article-details.php # 60628
Last edited by eyve777 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tomoral
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1406
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:08 pm

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby tomoral » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:39 am

Image

A Criminal's Daughter

On April 25, 1951 at 8:01pm my father was no where to be found. That is the exact date and time of my birth, and he had been missing in action for several weeks. Not one soul claimed to know where he was. Apparently he was not far away, because upon hearing he had a baby daughter he came to the hospital to see me and was promptly arrested for check fraud.

Welcome to the world, Lynn! After the first four year of my life my mother left my father, and I don’t remember any Christmases up until that time. I certainly don’t remember ever receiving a Christmas present from my father, either before or after that time.

That was in the 1950’s, and there was not a lot of help for children of inmates or the families of those serving time in prison. Today there is a wonderful organization that provides parents who are incarcerated at Christmas time with the ability to give Christmas presents to the children they left behind. It also offers the gospel of Jesus Christ to the inmates and their families, often healing the hearts and minds of the offenders and bringing hope and peace to the children.

Angel Tree was founded by a woman who was a career criminal in the decade of the seventies. She was led to Christ while behind bars and found real purpose in her life by coming up with a program to bring families of those in prison back together.

This wonderful organization works through local churches to provide the good new of Jesus Christ to inmates and find the names of their children and what they want for Christmas. The children then receive Christmas presents from their incarcerated parents via the good people of the local churches.

Children who lose a parent to prison love their mother or dad very much. When their lives are disrupted by an incarceration of their loved one, they only understand that person is not with them anymore. To receive a Christmas present from that parent lets them know they are still loved regardless of the circumstances.

Many inmates are led to Christ by this wonderful outreach of love through the truth of Him that is brought to them through this organization. Their families are brought back together, and the minds and souls of the criminals are transformed.

For just a small donation you can give a child who is hurting a wonderful Christmas this year. A child who might otherwise receive nothing can actually receive a present from the one who means the most to them, giving them hope and the faith to believe in a man called Jesus.

Find out how you can help by going to Angel Tree and reading about all the wonderful things this Christ filled organization is doing in poverty stricken communities everywhere. In the world today there are many troubled souls, but Jesus can and will lead any child who goes astray back into His fold. I should know. As a criminal’s daughter many pitfalls came my way, and it took many, many years but Jesus always knew I would find my way to His path for me!

God Bless!

Lynn Gipson id # 57394
Platinum Member

http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=153670

http://www.thekingstranz4mdscribe.com/t ... 3-2030833/

http://lynngipson.blogspot.com/2012/12/ ... ghter.html
Last edited by tomoral on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:24 am, edited 14 times in total.
God Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storms.
Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my ... p?id=57394

eddiedickerson
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby eddiedickerson » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Everyone Leaves A Legacy— What Will Yours Be?


Many years ago I was sitting at a picnic table, in a park near downtown Nashville, when a young boy named Charles walked by with his head drooped down, and a sad look on his face. When I asked him if he was OK, he turned toward me, and with tears rolling down his cheeks said—"I'm hungry."

I soon learned that his father was in prison, his mother was an abusive alcoholic, and he was living on the streets of Nashville all alone, at age sixteen.

That Christmas at our home, he was surrounded by fifteen of my family members who showed him love, and gave him a gift.

But the most important gift that Charles received was Christ. God gave that gift, but we were incredibly blessed to have a part in delivering it.

That's what the Angel Tree ministry offers you: an opportunity to give a gift to a heart-broken child of an inmate, and a chance to share the gospel with that child (and their parents), all feeling the immense pain of missing loved ones at Christmas.

I know something about that. On December 16th, 2006, I buried my wife of twenty-nine years. At 59, I spent my first Christmas alone. The way it hit me, you would have thought I was a child. The loneliness is hard to explain, and I had the Lord.

Though the children of inmates typically have one parent around, most do not have the Lord. And having that one parent only helps to mildly and occasionally relieve their heartfelt pain, especially at holidays.

Just think what a lift to a child's spirit you will bring when you arrive greeting them with a gift, and what could be a life-changing message about the love of God. Of course you can't replace their mom or dad, but your gift and love will bring them at least some relief from the devastation that having an incarcerated parent has made them feel.

And it not only brings relief for the moment, it gives them hope for the future, as they see and feel the reality of someone truly caring about them. No adult should have to face such a burden, much less a child.

What adds to the sadness of all this, is when you realize the number of people who could make a difference—but do nothing. They don't even donate a gift.

The Bible makes it very clear that faith without works is dead, and that we are to be doers of the word, not hearers only.

With over 1.7 million children suffering from the effects of a parent locked away, it's time for you to be a doer.

Some day you'll pass on from this old world, and like everyone, you'll leave a legacy.

Maybe it will be material things, such as money or property.

Possibly, it will be one of nothingness, or worse yet—a trail of shattered lives.

Or perhaps your legacy will consist of lives changed for the better—forever.

If you're like most of us, you may not have anything of material value to leave behind. Don't feel bad; neither did Paul the tentmaker, Peter the fisherman, Ruth the Moabitess, or Rahab the harlot. But their legacies live on, even today, as their lives continue to impact millions.

Everyone leaves a legacy.

What will yours be?


Eddie Dickerson
member #60433


http://www.christiansallin.com/Blog.html
http://christian-articles-by-eddie.blog ... yours.html
Last edited by eddiedickerson on Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
godsgracenotes
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:40 pm
Location: Mansfield, Ohio

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby godsgracenotes » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:39 pm

Have you ever thought about the good that is accomplished when you give a Christmas gift to families in need?

Have you ever considered the long term benefit of sharing Christmas presents with children whose holidays are filled with challenges that lie beyond your imagination?
Do you ever wonder about families who are deprived of the joy that should be the hallmark of the Christmas season?

Celebrating Christmas should be one of the most joyous times of the year, but is actually one of the most painful seasons for families whose lives are touched by poverty, abuse, abandon, illness, divorce or incarceration.

Christmas is the time of year when Angel Tree collects gifts for children of inmates, and provides volunteer opportunities to help meet the overwhelming needs of these children.
An incarcerated parent’s absence from the holiday celebration is a certainty, but the sad fact is, most children of inmates can also expect an absence of gifts from those parents. A gift from the Angel Tree can help ease the pain of what is often one of most dismal times of the year for families with an incarcerated loved one.

The issues faced by families of prisoners are difficult and complex, and it’s often impossible to know where to begin to lend your assistance.If you are willing to lend a hand, you can help make a real and lasting difference by volunteering with Prison Fellowship and <a href=” http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/” target=”_blank” title=”No child deserves to be forgotten, especially at Christmas time”>Angel Tree.</a>

Jesus told us that He came that we might have not only life, but an abundant life; and Christmas is the season we celebrate the promise of that hope. The hope for a gift under their tree lights the imagination of children of all ages, and creates an atmosphere of joyous expectancy.

Holidays bring the expectation of gifts, time spent with loved ones and a festive dinner table filled with an abundance of good food and favorite desserts. Christmas is a once a year celebration that should be filled with joyous memories, but memories for children of inmates are often as dark as the life circumstances that have been thrust upon their young lives.

What better way to exemplify the love of Christ than by reaching out to those whose lives are plagued by the bitter realities of imprisonment. <a href=” http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/” target=”_blank” title=”You can become a part of the hope that is the hallmark of Angel Tree”>the hope offered by Angel Tree</a> continues throughout the year, and you can become a part of their efforts by serving as a <a href=” http://www.angeltree.org/mentoring” target=”_blank” title=”A caring mentor can help children build character and curb destructive behavior”>mentor</a>, volunteering to be the <a href=” http://www.angeltree.org/angeltree-reso ... oordinator” target=”_blank” title=”Thousands of children are still waiting for our help”>Angel Tree Coordinator</a> for your local church or by taking part in numerous other activities that can be found on the Angel Tree website.

Changing the life of a child can begin with a Christmas gift, but what these children really need is the gift of our presence in the challenges of their everyday lives. Visit Angel Tree to learn about the many ways you can become involved in their efforts to meet the practical needs of families whose lives are clouded by a prison sentence.

Offering hope can be accomplished by taking the time to seek out and help care for a child in need. The attention of a caring adult can help create a lifelong sense of belonging and well being for children of prisoners.

Commitment is key when helping a child learn to build trust, and the need for mentors is critical. Like never before, the opportunity is before us to rise, Church, arise; and set the captive child free.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”<a href=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james%201:27&version=KJV target=”_blank” title=”Rise, church, arise, the whole earth is groaning for the manifestation of the sons of God!">James 1:27 KJV</a>


Connie Walcott
Platinum Member
# 50376
Connie’s Bible Crafts 4 Kids
http://connieshouse.typepad.com/bible-c ... KUIN4e7OSo
Connie’s House
http://connieshouse.typepad.com/connies ... KUIgIe7OSo
God’s Grace Notes
http://connieshouse.typepad.com/gods_gr ... KUH3Ie7OSo
Kingdom 9-1-1
http://kingdom911.wordpress.com/2012/11 ... hild-free/
Story Lane
http://www.storylane.com/stories/show/1 ... child-free
Last edited by godsgracenotes on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:08 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Connie Walcott
http://www.conniewalcott.com

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

It's All About God's Good Plan... For ALL Of Us!
:typing2

billiejoyoumans
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 8:56 am
Location: South Carolina

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby billiejoyoumans » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:02 pm

Title: Heart Links

Karen woke with tears streaming down her face. Nearly every night, the body-wrenching sobs of her son pierced her soul. It had been three years since that night, yet she still felt Trevor’s tiny arms grasping with all his might as the officer pulled him away from her. The guilt and shame were nothing compared to feeling the devastation of her precious child. Karen knew the blame was rightly placed on her. She had made foolish choices. She had known what was right and wrong, but it did not seem that important until Trevor’s pain made it all real. Wiping the tears away, Karen picked up the Angel Tree material the chaplain shared the day before. People willing to help her reach out in love to the child she adored? A glimmer of hope that she might be part of bringing good to her beloved baby propelled her up before the prison bell.

Karen is a composite picture of the millions of parents in prison today. In homes around the US, 1.7 million children know the pain of a mother or father living in prison. Over half of the parents live in excess of one hundred miles from their children and visits are rare if at all. In reality, children do the same hard time justice demands of parents. The purposes of God are not imprisoned, though. His desires for the parents and children are to give them a hope and a future. God, indeed, owns the harvest of the pain and suffering every sin causes. As His servants, we are instructed in James 1:27 to visit orphans and widows in their distress. Prison Fellowship and Angel Tree Ministries coordinate ministries that allow individuals and churches to work in this incredible harvest field.

Each year Angel Tree partners with thousands of churches to reach out to hundreds of thousands of children of inmates. To a child at Christmas, a gift is much more than just a gift. It is the tangible essence of that gift we celebrate: love. Christ left the glories of heaven to bring His love to a sinful, lost world. Prison Fellowship uses the Angel Tree ministry to bring that love into the lives of incarcerated parents and children. The Christmas gift is a tool that leads to restored relationships. It is part of a ministry that involves mentoring and discipleship throughout the year. Won’t you consider how you can donate the gifts God has lavished on you with those who need to know His amazing plans and purposes?


Billie Jo Youmans
Member Number: 8850
Additional URLs: http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=153918
and http://billiejoyoumans.blogspot.com/201 ... earts.html

knenn11
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:55 am

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby knenn11 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:40 pm

One Tag. One Gift. A Lifetime of Impact.

You’re a seven-year-old boy who will not be getting the soccer ball he wants this Christmas. You are a six-year-old girl who won’t be receiving the coat you need this winter. You will not be opening presents with your parents on Christmas morning. Why? You are one of the 1.7 million children whose parent is currently incarcerated. Unable to hit the Christmas sales at the mall, unable to present their children with gifts, these parents need your hands and feet to minister to their children when they cannot. Living in surroundings most of us cannot comprehend, these children need you to reach through the bars and bring them hope this season.

How? Angel Tree.

It could happen like this.
Susan casually chooses a tag off the tree in her church foyer. On it is a gift request. This will be a good project to let the kids help with, she thinks. Susan takes the tag home. She shows it to her kids, who agree to go shopping with her to purchase a gift for Jordan, a nine-year-old whose mother has been in prison since he entered preschool. Through Angel Tree, Susan, and her kids, Jordan receives not only the baseball cap he will treasure through high school and into adulthood, but he also hears the message of Christ and begins to know the love of God.
As you are making your Christmas lists this year, add just one more. You can choose to make a difference in a child’s life. By supporting Angel Tree through the purchase of a gift, or a financial donation, anyone can reach out to these children with hope.

What is Angel Tree?

For 30 years, Angel tree has provided this opportunity to impact the lives of kids across the nation. Created by a convict who felt and saw a need, this ministry has grown to bless millions of families with both material and spiritual gifts.

During the Christmas season, Angel Tree partners with organizations to purchase gifts for the children of inmates. In the summer, the Angel Tree Camping program offers these kids the opportunity to attend youth camps. Year-round, mentoring programs match children with caring adults who share Christ’s love and offer guidance and support. From school supplies, to sports programs, to hot meals, additional donation opportunities provide support for these children the whole year through.

Ultimately, families are reached with the love and message of Christ. It is with this goal in mind that Angel Tree continues to seek support and extend this outreach.

What can I do?

Every person can make an impact. Share the love of Christ this Christmas through Angel Tree:

Register your organization or church to be part of the program. You will receive all you need to create an incredible ministry opportunity for your group.
Purchase a gift – simply select a tag from an Angel Tree. You can provide the gift a child might otherwise not receive.
Find out more about involvement in the Year-Round Angel Tree ministries. Maybe you would like to be a personal mentor, send a child to camp, or pay for a new backpack in the fall.
Donate. Angel Tree offers the opportunity to transform lives. By making a donation, your support will help families receive the hope they so desperately need.
Pray for this outreach. The needs are many. The children are many. The prayers must be many.


Kerry Nenn
Member #35709
Silver Member

http://nennpen.wordpress.com/2012/11/18 ... of-impact/
http://drsweatervest.wordpress.com/2012 ... of-impact/
Last edited by knenn11 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LizzyA
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:38 am

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby LizzyA » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:33 am

Chance for a Change
Lizzy Ainsworth

It is a funny feeling walking into a prison where a guard is marching backwards and forwards, M16 at the ready, surveying his human targets. Somehow you just hope he does not have to use it while you are there.

My Dad often said later that if he knew where we were going on that mission trip to Papua New Guinea, I would not have been on that plane. In fact it was one of his first thoughts as we touched down in that Land of the Unexpected, back when I was only 14, and his first views were of coils of barbed wire dancing precariously over walls that glimmered with broken glass, threatening to shred the feet and hands of those intent on making their way in to cause destruction.

I had my own teenage moments of pricking fear as I lowered myself into the front row of wooden pews inside the prison chapel and the dark-skinned prisoners filed in silently, perhaps even sullenly. My imagination ran wild as I wondered how my family would manage to get my body home if I got stabbed in the back with a pocket knife?

Thankfully that scenario never played out and I quickly lost my nervousness as the prisoners began to worship God and praise Him and when I walked into that place again four years later I knew that regardless of the fact that we were going into one of the nations’ largest prisons, that I would be safer inside than if I was walking down an Australian street in the dark.

God’s Word had transformed that institution from a place where the worst criminals were sent to be punished to a place of complete healing for body, soul and spirit. The swept clean women’s dormitory that our tiny team from Victorious Ministry Through Christ stepped into that day was alive with testimonies of God’s grace and transforming power thanks to the hands and feet of Christ made human by the Prison Fellowship ladies that regularly visited.

As our team shared about bondages and barriers to healing, wounds and scars of the past, occult bondages and confession of sin and forgiveness I was surprised to see the little bundles carried by some of the women moving, and even crying, and with a few questions I discovered that some of them had tiny babies or roaming toddlers incarcerated with them. I was saddened to hear that at the age of 2 these precious bundles were removed from their mothers and sent to relatives until their mothers were released.

I was later delighted to find out that the international Prison Fellowship Ministry is also committed to caring for the children of inmates through a program known as Angel tree. This ministry invites church families to purchase gifts on behalf of the child’s parents to show that they are still loved and cared for even though they are physically separated from one or both of their parents. These gifts open doors to share the Gospel not only with the child, but the whole family and can help provide reconciliation between the family later down the track.

Would you like to [url=https://prisonfellowship.webconnex.com/atdonate?sc=ATWB12000&dr=1[/url]or become involved? This ministry, as you can see, goes far beyond a simple Christmas gift. As is happening in Papua New Guinea, the [url=http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome]Prison Fellowship[/url] Ministry is opening doors to transform the culture of prisons from violent cycles of crime, to a place where complete healing takes place, and giving a gift is just one part of the process.

http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=154030
http://lizzyainsworthbooks.blogspot.com ... hange.html

Gold Member Number 43769

grace greatman
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:29 am

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby grace greatman » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:23 am

An Angel In The Tree

Excited boys and girls trotted in a circle, a huge Christmas tree in the middle.
“This party is a blast.” Joe, fifteen, breathless from the dance, nudged his twelve-year-old sister.
“Lots of food,” Tracy muffled through a mouthful of chocolate cake.
“Wait until you see the gifts,” screamed George, a lanky seventeen year old.
It was an annual program. The Angel Tree Christmas Party, Joe and Tracy’s first time. The last two Christmases were far from this. Alone, cold, dirty and hungry, they scavenged for food. Apart from the few dollars they got from sympathizers, the garbage cans were filled with delicious scraps. Tracy even dug out a big, round, untouched Christmas cake, still wrapped in foil. They named it their Christmas present from God.
Joe often wondered why they were different from others. Even when their parents were around, food was hard to get.
Why were they poor?
Why did their dad come home drunk most times?
Why did he often beat their mum?
Why did he beat her so hard that day that she died?
That was three years ago…
Shrieks of laughter broke into his thoughts. One of the clowns had hopped into the pool. He couldn’t swim, desperate, he yanked off his outlandish costume, revealing a very frightened teenager. His crumpled face produced more laughter.
“Who would have guessed Fred played the clown.” George enthused.
“You know him?” Joe asked.
“Yes, my dad was in the same prison with his mum. We met at the Angel Tree Camp last summer.”
When George’s dad was in prison, he encountered the Prison Fellowship Ministries, became a Christian and registered George to receive Christmas Presents. The neighborhood church supported him and his mum and helped them maintain contact with his dad. When his seven-year term ended, the family rededicated their lives to Christ and coordinated their church’s Angel Tree Outreaches. George met Joe and Tracy at one of the programs. The three of them formed a fast friendship.
“Common, this is my favorite part.” George urged Joe and Tracy towards the tree. “Every present has a name tag. Look for your name and see what your dad sent to you.”
Joe’s eyes filled with tears when he saw a digital photo camera. He had wanted one for so long. He looked closely at the tree to see if there was an angel on it. Only an angel would know what he really wanted. Only an angel would be so good to them. Tracy screamed for joy when she sighted a big white teddy bear she had always admired in the shop down the street. They also got pictorial copies of the bible. Now they can read about their bible heroes.
Like Joe, Tracy and Fred, there are 1.7 million children of inmates, stranded and lonely, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
In Matthew 25:43-46, Jesus said, “…I was …naked, and you clothed me not…in prison, and you visited me not… Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me… And these shall go away into everlasting punishment…”
Please, do not turn away from helping. Join Angel Tree to share gifts and the gospel with children of inmates. Help provide Christmas Presents and other gifts of love. This is “pure religion and undefiled before God…” James 1:27
Donate and enjoy earthly and eternal rewards. Remember, Christianity is all about giving and service. The religion God accepts as pure and faultless involves looking after those in need.
Donate today.
Be the Angel in the tree.

Grace Olumayowa Aideloje
Silver Member -#249240
http://www.penparables.blogspot.com
http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det
http://facebook.com/gracegreatman

reborn
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:25 pm

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby reborn » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:00 pm

God’s Living Hope

There comes in each one of us, a time when God will ask us, as He did with Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” [John 21:15 RSV]
The scene was on the beach after Jesus had finished preparing breakfast for the apostles after a night of fishing without a catch as Jesus appeared to them beside the sea.

When discouraged or despondent as was Peter and the other Apostles, decisions were made not by Divine appointment, some have wandered astray discouraged ending up behind prison bars, not able to provide for loved ones.

Our Lord helps us see through His lens of hope, when for a season those who have wandered, Angel Tree Ministry outreach is such a ‘lens of hope’ to children who will receive a father or mother’s blessing of thankfulness and gratitude. Through the power of God’s presence to show amazing grace with living hope.

When Jesus confronted Peter on the beach, “Peter, do you love me more than these?” not once but three times, he was determined to show Peter the role he would one day play as spiritual giant and leader in the Church.

Our role may not be like that of Peter, but when Jesus speaks to your heart and my heart asking us, “Do you love these children as I do?” how might we reply? Consider The Ministry we are promoting - http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome

God hears children who call out to Him, to hear their heart in need of hope made alive. Loneliness can become calm assurance through Angel Tree Ministry outreach for children through our heart bringing hope for children of prisoners separated from family at Christmas.

What love we can bring in reaching out to fill the emptiness they feel without the presence of warmth because of a separated mother or father. Their loneliness can be lessened with a gift of love through Angel Tree.

Where these children and their separated parent’s are today can become a spiritual promise with living purpose and hope not yet recognized or understood.
Your time and love offering will build that hope and understanding through a lasting relationship with these children in need. God’s desire for us is to express not so much in word and speech, but rather in deed and truth. [1 John 3:18] Please consider bringing a love offering @ http://www.angeltree.org


For certain God’s hope is what brings faith to increase. The Apostle Paul said it so well in Romans 8:24-25, ‘For this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.’ [RSV]

Your giving in need of hope with vision for tomorrow, can be that hope seen for them today in giving a gift of love through Angel Tree ministry.

Consider any one of these three links below to give to Angel tree Ministries in support of these special children. What a wonderful way to bring joy in your heart as you reach out in love and bring living hope of promise to these families and their children.
http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome

http://www.angeltree.org

http://www.prisonfellowship.org/prison-fellowship-home

Growing and Serving Together in God’s Love,

Robert Schaetzle Sr. member #9190

Amber Lea
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 5:52 am

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby Amber Lea » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:58 pm

The Secret Christmas Wish
By Amber Leggette-Aldrich
It was early Christmas morning in 1968. I rushed out to the living room to see if my father was there. I had made a secret Christmas wish that Santa would bring him home that year. It had been so long since I had seen him and I was afraid that he had forgotten me. To know that he still loved me was the only thing I truly wanted for Christmas.

I tried my best not to show my disappointment. My mother did her absolute best to get a few nice gifts for me. But I didn’t tell her about my secret wish. It always made her cry to see how much I missed my father.

Thirty four years went by before my broken heart was healed after a caring soul taught me about Jesus. I was finally able to forgive my father for not being there for me. It was truly one of the most precious gifts I could have received. Without Jesus and the Gospel, that would never have happened.

One of the first things I learned after my own heart was healed was about reaching out to others that are hurting. The book of James has become one of my favorite books of the Bible. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.“

Angel tree is an organization that applies this biblical truth through reaching out to children of inmates and their parents. They help these inmates to reach out to their children, helping them to stay connected through providing a Christmas gift. Without their help, many of these children will experience a lonely and painful time, instead of sharing in the wonderful love that Christmas is all about.

Angel Tree is a part of the Prison Fellowship Organization. It was started 30 years ago by an ex-inmate, Mary Kay Beard. She started with 1 tree and 100 paper angels. Each angel represented a child of an inmate with a desired gift for that child. People took the angels from the tree and bought the gifts listed on them for the children and gave them on behalf of the incarcerated parent. Today over 9 million children have received an Angel Tree gift.

When I first heard about Angel Tree and what they do, I knew in my heart that God was giving me an opportunity to reach out with His love to help someone else that was hurting. To be able to give a child a simple gift and let them know they are loved is its own reward. To be able to share God’s Truth with them and their family is a priceless treasure. It could very well be the key to changing lives and healing broken hearts.

I now have a new Christmas wish. My wish is that no child will wake up wondering if their father or mother has forgotten them or if they are still loved. Won’t you join me by partnering with Angel Tree to help make this wish come true? Together we can make a difference. Donate now and give a gift of true love.

For more information on Angel Tree and how you can help visit http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/

Amber Leggette-Aldrich member #59068
http://amberleaofalaska.wordpress.com/2 ... tmas-wish/
http://faithhopeandmiracles.com/2012/11 ... tmas-wish/
http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=154174

sallyswords
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:44 am

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby sallyswords » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:22 pm

A Christmas without Presents?

From inside the prison cell, a parent looks out at rows of bars. Hopelessness runs rampant throughout the compound. How can a mom or dad provide Christmas from such surroundings? Maybe he has learned from Ezekiel 18 that his kids will not be punished for his sins, but that dad knows his children suffer nonetheless. The consequences of his actions affect his family; there will be no presents under the tree from an absent parent.

Mary Kay Beard watched moms wrap up gifts of soap and toothpaste to give to their own children on visiting day. She knew the heartache of those moms, because she was one of them. She was incarcerated for her own crimes of robbery. That was 30 years ago, and today, the program Mary Kay began for the children is a thriving ministry of hope through Prison Fellowship. By placing names on angel shaped ornaments on Christmas trees across the country, Prison Fellowship has extended an invitation to people of all walks of life to join in making a difference for the children. The first Angel Tree brought gifts and the power of the Gospel to 100 children. Today, more than nine million children have benefitted from the connection of someone who cared that they would have a Christmas.

This year, 1.7 million children represent families with a parent who is incarcerated. Would you [url=https://prisonfellowship.webconnex.com/atdonate?sc=ATWB12000&dr=1[/url]to Angel Tree? With the recent passing of [url=http://www.angeltree.org/angeltreehome]Prison Fellowship[/url] founder Chuck Colson, wouldn’t it be a perfect memorial to carry on his vision to transform lives? What if this could be the year every child of an inmate would receive a Christmas present? What if you could make Christmas sparkle for just one?
Sally Ferguson
Member number 60277
http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/107777
http://www.facebook.com/sallyswords?ref=tn_tnmn

pathlightfinder
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:51 pm

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby pathlightfinder » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:12 pm

Do You Know What Makes a Reindeer Cry?

It is seeing the lonely, heartbroken spouses and children of inmates at Christmastime. Can you imagine the frustrating sense of abandonment a child must feel – not understanding why a parent stays gone so long? Angel Tree is a nationwide program that helps alleviate that feeling by sharing gifts and the Gospel with these broken families.
You can help bring a smile and a sense of hope to one of the 1.7 million children who have a parent they won’t be able to see this Christmas. A parent who, like all of us, is human and made a mistake. A mistake an innocent child is suffering for.
We all know Christmas shouldn’t be just about Christmas presents. That’s why the Angel Tree program is so important. It helps spread the Gospel too. It helps children to know they aren’t forgotten – that they are loved and worthy of being loved.
As the Bible tells us, (James 1:27 KJV) “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world”. When a parent is incarcerated it often means a family living as though they were fatherless and widowed. You can make a difference. You can change the world one child, one family, at a time.
How important is this? Consider what Jesus Himself told us (Mark 9:37 KJV), “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me”. Your help will not only bless and enrich the lives of these children; it will bless and enrich your own.
And there is more, Angel Tree is a program administered by Prison Fellowship. Prison Fellowship takes the Gospel into 288 prisons, jails and detention centers throughout the United States. This is vital since, each year, about 700,000 prisoners are released. Although almost 95% of all inmates will eventually be released there is a great chance they will return. There is a 66% recidivism rate. Prison Fellowship is working to break the cycle – for the inmates and their children. You can make a difference in the life of a child and your community.
You can aid a child or an inmate – or both. Jesus also told us (Matthew 25:39/40 KJV), “Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”. You have a very special opportunity to do just that.
What’s more you know you can count on Angel Tree, and its parent organization, Prison Fellowship – which is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and a GuideStar participant.
What could be more important than serving the Gospel to a lonely, heartbroken, soul hungry child? What a wonderful way for you to obey and serve Jesus. See for yourself how successful these guys are - read some of the Angel Tree stories.
Please, search your heart, share the Gospel, and put a smile and more in the heart of a child. Who wants to see a child or a reindeer cry? Won’t you donate today? Thank You, God will bless you for your charity.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (1 Corinthians 13:13 KJV).



Wayne Childress, Silver, ID # 60789.

Christian Search and Rescue

The Path to Light

joyunspeakable
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby joyunspeakable » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:50 pm

I Am on the Most Wanted List

My name is Mary .

I have held people at gun-point, staged bank robberies in midday and organized a prison break. I am highly skilled with a .357 Magnum and an expert safecracker.

I have been the target of a mafia contract, faced thirty-five charges in four states plus eleven federal indictments, and am on the Most Wanted List.

Or I was.

Now I am in solitary confinement, facing twenty-one years in prison.

When my children visit me at Christmastime, they smile when I give them my little gift, wrapped in scraps of paper. Imagine a child getting excited over a little bar of soap, a comb, shampoo or toothpaste! How desperate does a child have to be to appreciate that kind of Christmas gift?

Very desperate. I haven’t done anything to make them proud of me, but they are desperate to love their mama, because that is what children do. It’s in their DNA. They love the one that brought them into the world, and they cherish anything that comes from her hand.

They want a mother, and this is as close as they get to having one. It’s what they want most in the whole world, and now they can go back to their little friends and tell them they got a Christmas present from their mama. Finally, this year they don’t have to lie.

So now I’m on a different kind of Most Wanted List, no doubt the subject of their innocent little bedtime prayers. Dear God, please get my mama out of prison and bring her home.

* * * * *

For many inmates, being disconnected from their children is the most painful part of their lives. But through an organization called Angel Tree, children of inmates can receive Christmas presentsfrom their parent. For the prisoners who haven’t seen their children since they were incarcerated (which is nearly half of them), this provides a desperately needed link, a gesture of love and care.

The majority of prisoners are held more than 100 miles from where their children live, yet through local churches these sons and daughters can find a wrapped present under a tree with a card signed by Mom or Dad.

It isn’t the stuffed bear or the building blocks that works the magic. Knowing that a beloved parent thinks about them, cares about them, misses and loves them is what causes their hearts to swell and their eyes to sparkle.

Through its work, Angel Tree offers inmates and their families reconciliation to God and to one another. It is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, commemorating Mary Kay Beard’s leadership in helping the inmates of Birmingham, Alabama connect with their children. The letter above narrates Mary Kay’s story, and in 1982 after she was released, she joined with Prison Fellowship to direct attention to the most innocent of all victims of crime by organizing Angel Tree.

You can help Angel tree by praying for the success of their work, which goes on all year to bring healing and reconciliation. Or you can talk to your church about being involved, make a gift of your time or donate money.

What a fitting way to celebrate the birth of Christ, the very one who came to set captives spiritually free.

Ramona Heikel
Faithwriters Member #57641

http://happilywriting.com/2012/11/28/i- ... nted-list/

http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=154286

User avatar
Paula22466
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 1942
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:12 pm
Location: Southern Ohio

Re: A Gift and the Gospel - Blog Contest #5 is Open

Postby Paula22466 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:54 pm

Of Talking Mice and Employed Angels

“‘Twas the night before Christmas,” but not all was quiet in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Malkaney Mouse. It’s true, mice are known for being night-owls, but this night held more excitement than even our family of rambunctious rodents was accustomed.

We were making merriment in our den, located in a crevice of flooring inside of Katie Klakton’s bedroom; a precious little human girl. Our granddaughter, Melba, was trimming the tree. Our son, Martin, was out gathering gingerbread crumbs when I heard my daughter, Milly, calling.

“Oh Mother, Katie’s crying again. She’s in the next room peeking at the Christmas tree. There aren’t any presents there,” Milly sighed.

“I know, dear. Katie cries often since her mother went away. But there is one Christmas present,” I pointed to the high bookshelf where a box wrapped in red paper lay, just out of sight for small Katie.

Milly smiled, “Is that from the visitor? She talked about Jesus, love, and - gifts!”

“The visitor brought it,” I smiled, “it’s from Katie’s mother.”

“Katie’s Mother, how…?” Milly asked.

“Angel Tree…”

“Shhh, she’s coming,” we ducked away and watched while Katie climbed into bed. She wiped her tears on the tattered blanket and drifted back to sleep.

Abruptly, Martin came scrambling inside, “C-c-c-cat!”

“Cat! What cat?”

Martin explained, “I went to the window to see what was the clatter. I threw up the sash. The neighbor’s cat spotted me and came in the house!” We dashed to peek through our crevice and survey the scene.

“Clop, clop. Swish, swish. THUD!”

That’s all I heard before I saw the box wrapped in red paper skid across the floor, followed by pouncing feline feet, which batted it around before losing interest and leapt out the window from which it came. Thankfully Katie slept through the ruckus; otherwise she may have been forever troubled by the following occurrence.

Milly cried, “The paper is ripped and it’s probably broken!” When I saw tears bubbling in my sweet daughter’s eyes, I decided we should do what we always do in situations like this – pray. Our family bowed heads while Mr. Malkaney said a fine prayer. I wouldn’t say Mr. Malkaney is long-winded; nevertheless, by the time I heard “Amen,” I thought I’d fallen asleep and slipped into a dream. In front of me stood the most beautiful, frightening, astonishing creature, I‘d ever seen.

“Greetings.” He smiled and fluttered his wings.

I couldn’t speak, or move – or blink. So Martin, the inquisitive one, asked, “Are you an angel?”

“Of course.”

Wide-eyed, Martin enquired, “You know God?”

“Certainly.”

“Are you here about that?” Martin pointed to the red box.

“I am.”

“Did God tell you?” Martin asked.

The angel smiled, “There’s a ministry called Angel Tree, much favored by the KING, with whom I work.”

“They hire real angels?” Martin asked.

The angel pointed to Katie’s gift, “Look,” he said. In a flash, the red paper became as new, shiny like glass with a gold ribbon. “Restored,” he winked.

“Wow!” Martin bellowed. “Will you help all children like Katie for Christmas?”

“That would be good, Martin. But the KING requires my work be done only through those who are willing, those who cheerfully donate out of their abundance.”

I thought I would die when Martin began pulling gingerbread crumbs from his cheeks. “Look here, I have plenty of this gingerbread to share!”

The angel scooped up the crumbs and threw back his head in joyous laughter. He began fading out of sight, but I heard him exclaim, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Paula M. Titus
Gold Member #30900

http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=154292
http://mywritefulplace.blogspot.com/201 ... ngels.html
Last edited by Paula22466 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. - Author Unknown

Next

Return to Writing/Blogging Contests for Paid Writing Opportunities

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


© MeasurelessMedia. All rights reservedTerms of Service



Jesus - True for You But not for Me      Website Builder     Build Website     Is Jesus God?    
Does God exist?     Build a writers website     Does truth exist?     Website online in minutes