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Help for the Holidays


The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a stressful time of the year. Our losses are often felt the deepest during the holidays and we can feel overwhelmed.

For those who lost their homes either temporarily or permanently as a result of Hurricane Harvey, this holiday season has the potential to be extremely stressful and sad. There is potential to even “miss” Christmas this year.

So, just how do we avoid missing Christmas and still get everything completed on our insane to-do lists? How do we avoid feeling angry when we hear of our friends decorating their Christmas tree while we are grieving the loss of all our special ornaments? How do we find time or the money to buy Christmas gifts when we are struggling to pay for home repairs?

Perhaps the answer to these questions is simply “Don’t miss Christmas.” John 3:16 tells us “ For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” God invaded the pain and emptiness of our lives when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Our greatest need in the midst of our brokenness, chaos, grief, stress and heartache is Jesus.

There is a list of practical tips at the end of this note to help you during the holidays. However, the following is a prayer that you might consider praying daily to help you receive what our hearts need the most.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for sending Jesus to rescue me and give me a new life. I confess my need for you, your love, your grace and your healing. You know that I feel overwhelmed, sad, afraid and weary. I need you to invade my brokenness with your presence. I need your love, your peace, your truth to reign in my heart and mind. I don’t want to miss seeing you at work in my life and in those around me. I don’t want to miss Christmas this year or this day. I want to receive your love and trust you for all things.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest “ (Matthew 11:28).

TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Look to Jesus
• Spend time daily in prayer, reading the Bible and thanking God for His presence in your life.
• Listen to your favorite worship music.
• Take a walk and talk to Jesus. Tell Him how you feel and allow Him to comfort you.

Expectations
• Expect things to be different this holiday season and avoid comparing to previous holidays.
• Expect grief to come and remember it’s okay to grieve.
• Expect to have moments that are good and moments that are difficult.

Make Plans
• Talk with family and friends about the holidays ahead of time.
• Be flexible – have a plan B.
• Express your needs and listen to the needs of others.
• Discuss what traditions you will observe this year and what will be different this year.
• Shop on-line for gifts and simplify your gift list.

Express your feelings
• Talk to your family, friends and God about how you feel.
• It’s okay to feel angry and sad but invite God into your emotions so that He can comfort you.
• Journaling and exercising are a couple of ways to express feelings.
• Allow God to move you from feeling overwhelmed to peaceful, from feeling sad to comforted, from feeling alone to deeply loved.

Self-Care
• Get proper rest/sleep.
• Moderation is key.
• Avoid over eating, too much caffeine and too many sweets.
• Drink lot of water.
• Simplify.
• Set boundaries.
• Take time to spend with friends/family.

Help Others
• Take your focus off your loss.
• Bless those around you.
• Include your family as you help others.
• Pray for others.
• Encourage others by sharing how God is helping you.

Count your Blessings
• Take time to thank God for His provision.
• Take a walk or sit outside and thank God for His creation.
• Make a gratitude list.
• Invite your family to make a gratitude list.

Katy Community Thanksgiving Feast

Free holiday meal to anyone in the Katy area who is in need, anyone who has been displaced by Hurricane Harvey or anyone who is serving those who have been displaced in Katy!

WHERE
Holy Covenant United Methodist Church
22111 Morton Ranch Road
Katy, TX 77449

WHEN
Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd
11:00 AM till 1:00 PM

PLEASE PRE-ORDER MEALS BY CALLING
Rhonda at 281-384-0288
Margaret (Spanish) at 281-391-9758

Donations of new blankets, gently used coats, nonperishable food items, diapers and children’s books will also be available.
Clothed by Faith will be on site to help address any clothing needs.

Supported by local Katy churches, businesses, and organizations.

Proud To Call Katy Home

To say the past month has been a blur would be an understatement. The days on my calendar started to melt together as soon as Hurricane Harvey passed through and left destruction in its wake. And yet, in spite of the long days of fielding dozens of disaster-related phone calls and hundreds of emails a day, the past month has illustrated what it is that Christ-followers do best.

I love Jesus and I love my neighbors and our community. One of the hallmarks of Jesus’ life is that He always moved in the direction of people in need — and, by so doing, made a difference in their lives. As soon as Harvey hit our area our Katy churches followed the example of Jesus and swiftly moved in the direction of people in need.


From the early days when I had the opportunity to assist with boat rescues to coordinating lots of disaster related work and connecting resources with need, the most obvious take away is this — good and selfless neighboring is What makes America great and what shows a hurting community the beauty of Jesus.

Did we do a lot of good? Absolutely! Did we get everything right? No. As with all major initiatives that serve thousands in times of crisis, there are always things we miss. And there are always things we wish we could fix with just a wave of the hand. But, that’s not how things work in times of crisis. It really is hard work meeting needs.


Rescuing folks stranded in their homes by boat, for example, took hours rather than minutes per household. The same holds true for mucking out homes and distributing clothing and other supplies and feeding people and more. Volunteers worked countless — and I do mean way too many hours to count — hours helping folks in need in so many ways. But because they did, needs were met one by one.

It’s been weeks and the work is still not over yet. Teams are still mucking out homes, trash piles are being slowly addressed, people are waiting on insurance and federal resources to start the rebuilding process, resources are still being distributed, people who lost vehicles are trying to figure out transportation, and so much more. But, the day will come when everyone impacted by Harvey will look back on all this and finally breathe a sigh of relief.


And the day will come when folks look back on all of this and remember those who moved in their direction at their time of need — the guys in the boat, the muck-out crews, the volunteers who distributed clothing and food, to name a few. Hopefully we will all remember what united us and refuse to make room in our hearts for the things that tend to separate us.

I am proud of our churches, the non-profits in our community, and all of the good people who lived out the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, we all witnessed dangerous unselfishness on display. Like the Good Samaritan, folks asked the right question, “What will happen to that person in need if I fail to move in their direction to help.”


Thank you to all who have selflessly served and loved others in our community. You are what makes our community great and what makes America great. I am proud to call Katy my home.

Omar C. Garcia | Missions Pastor | Kingsland Baptist Church

Thank You, John Culberson

We are grateful for U.S. Congressman John Culberson of the 7th District of Texas for his visit to the Katy area this afternoon. Ryan Rush, Kingsland Baptist Church senior pastor, and Omar Garcia, Kingsland’s missions pastor, had the privilege of escorting Congressman Culberson and showing him what the Katy area churches have done to love our community. He was visibly moved by the many ways in which our churches and local ministry partners have rallied to move in the direction of those in need. In the course of our visit we received a request for wheelchairs. Mary Schneider, his District Director, made one phone call and this need was met. Thanks John and Mary, for your concern, assistance, and service.

Clothed By Faith Needs

NOTE: This need was met within an hour of this posting. NO more items needed. Thanks for your kindness.

Clothed By Faith demonstrates God’s love through the provision of gently used clothing to those in need. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Clothed By faith has the following needs:

• 18 x 18 x 16 cardboard boxes (need 200)
• Strong Packing Tape
• Sharpie Pens
• Water for Volunteers
• Snacks for Volunteers
• New, large, reusable shopping bags (e.g., like the ones at TJ Maxx)
• Sports bags for clients to put clothing in

Please deliver these items to the Clothed By Faith office located at:
802 Dominion Drive, Suite 100 (west of Kingsland Baptist Church)
Katy, Texas 77450

NOTE: This need was met within an hour of this posting. NO more items needed. Thanks for your kindness.