by Grace Wilde
Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions. (Luke 12)
Have you ever been to the store? There is extravagant stuff everywhere, welcome signs, craft ideas, then you spot a beautiful dress. You already have millions of dresses but this one is just unique. So you buy it. This simple act sounds normal, but it is not. Buying extra things is the feeding of the brain with material stuff not the educational, spiritual, and foundation of life kind of stuff. This is not silly, not crazy, this is consumption.
Adam and Eve - Consumption brought sin into the world!
Where did consumption start? Believe it or not consumption brought sin into the world.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3)
You see Eve was tempted by the devil with a sneaky trick. The trick of consumption. She was first asked what the tree was about. She told him. The devil states that God is wrong. He convinced her that the fruit actually was a mystical, delicious, powerful fruit that made you more powerful than God. She ate it and gave it to Adam, but it didn’t make her happy. It made her as miserable beyond miserable. In this simple act, she brought sin into the world. The devil tries to do the same thing today. He tempts us into his lies of consumption.
Earth - Consumption brought sin into the world and may end it!
Let’s say a new computer comes out. Every one in a city hears about it. Many people already have a computer, but this one is even better. So, everyone buys it. So, all of the old computers fill up a dump. This is a example of how something may seem awesome, but it trickles back to a dump. Think, 1.5 tons of trash are wasted a year per person. Now, there is billions of people in the world. So, the whole world wastes 1,110,000 tons a year. How much would change if we didn’t over consume?
Joy - Not the joy of things
Let's say you have a chocolate bar and you eat it. Does this give you joy? That joy will only last for a minute. The same thing happens with a phone. What is real joy? Real joy is the joy that can stick to us for days; the joy that will last forever. The answer of this desire is Jesus. Jesus is the joy that sticks to you for eternity, not the material possessions of this world. Jesus fills me with joy everyday in receiving the sacraments, spending time with my family, singing praise and worship songs, caring for the poor, reflecting on His word during desert day, praying at adoration, attending Mass, and observing his creation (grass, trees, flowers, mountains, dirt, air, stars, the moon, the blue sky, snow, rain, the sun).
Each encounter with Jesus fills us with joy, with that deep joy which only God can give. - Pope Francis
When we open our Christmas presents on Christmas day let us remember that the real present and the real joy is Jesus. So, let us go out this Christmas to love one another and not things.
You weren't created just to consume resources, you were put on this Earth to make a contribution. - Mother Teresa
by Grace, Brecklyn, and Alex Wilde
While we were on our mission trip in the Philippines, we helped in a village called Isla. Isla is a beautiful little farming village where the people spoke Vasayan. The houses are made of braided bamboo. Some of the people ate a simple meal such as rice. The roads are made of dirt, so when it would rain, it would get very muddy and slippery. Two days before the Bible study started, our friend Irene, from Isla, invited us to teach the kids from Isla a song for the children’s ministry. We decided the song should be a VeggieTales song called “I’ve got shoes”. The lyrics to the song are:
“I’ve got shoes, you've got shoes, all of God’s children’s got shoes!
When I get to Heaven gonna put on my shoes,
I’m gonna walk all over God’s Heaven, Heaven, Heaven!
Everybody’s talking ‘bout, Heaven, I’m going there, Heaven, Heaven, Yeah!"
We ran in the rain to a big pavilion by a church for the Isla Bible study. It was very muddy from the rain, and dark so it was hard to get there. This is what the pavilion looked like: There were wooden rooms with a space for doors, benches all around the edges and at the back of the benches were short walls. After a while more people came. Irene said that not as many people would come because it is so hard to get there in the rain.
We started dancing and singing to some fun Christian songs. One of the songs was called: “I wanna be a sheep ba ba ba ba”. Another song was called “This little light of mine”. Everyone was dancing and singing together. Some of the kids, including us, were running around in circles, while everyone else ran around us. The kids were then assigned to go to a separate pavilion with two nursing students, and Irene and her husband, Ricky. That was were the children’s ministry would be.
It started with us teaching the kids the VeggieTales song called “I’ve Got Shoes.” We taught all the kids how to act it out with movements. After that, we told them the story of Jonah and the whale. Irene's husband acted it out. Everyone laughed when Jonah,got eaten by the whale. He covered his head with a towel when he pretended to get eaten by the whale. Everybody was saying “Whaale, whaale.”
Afterwards, we asked them questions about the story. Some of the questions were “How long was Jonah in the whale?” and “What did Jonah say to the people?” Next, we sang another song called “The Banana Boat Song.” After that, we asked them if they wanted the next story to be David and Goliath, or Noah. Everyone said Noah, except two kids. One of them said David, and one of them said Goliath. But even though mostly everyone wanted Noah, Irene decided that the story should be David and Goliath. Alex acted out David and Ricky acted out Goliath. Then we asked some questions about David and Goliath.
Then Irene gave out bread to the kids as a special snack. Some of the bread had spices. Some of them were plain, but the best ones were the ones filled with cream. Everyone loved them.
The best part about it all was when we gave some of our own stuffed animals to the kids as a present. Our friend, King, got Snoopy Small, which was a small snoopy that had a shirt on. His sister, Princess was given a stuffed animal Ballerina, and our friend Drizzle got Moosy, a puppet moose. King did not want his stuffed animal, so he traded his stuffed animal for Spotty, a dog with spots and bows on her ears. Princess got Ballerina bear, and she carried it everywhere she went. Everyone loved their stuffed animals.
When we were finished, everyone ran back to the big pavilion and played the attack of the stuffed animals. Alex asked one of the kids what he named his stuffed animal that was a Texas Tech monkey, and he said that it's name was Walla. King and his cousin taught us a handshake that was really cool.
And then we went back with our friends to Canossa. But, our friend Lolei had not come to the bible study, so we gave her our big Snoopy, (it was already like she was owning it because she loved to play with it!) She loved Snoopy so much, that when we gave Snoopy to her, she asked us “It’s mine? Really?!”
Giving our stuffed animals to people fills us up with unexplainable joy. It is the virtue Joy that just stuck to all of us. Joy is one of the best virtues ever, and it seemed to stick to us for the rest of the week, it seemed to never come off. The Joy helped us through the rest of the week to do the impossible.
by Jason Wilde
I know you've all watched the animated version at least once a year since age four.
Yes, the little story that has been repeatedly scrubbed into your mind year after endless year since when you were in Kindergarten, when they forced you to watch shows like Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” instead of letting you go outside whenever the weather turned sore.
But, I’m going to take this very story, which you thought you knew from end to end like a cinch,
and turn it on it’s head, flip it around, and in so doing, make you rethink your fundamental childhood understanding of the lovable character we all simply know as the Grinch.
You see, the Grinch wasn’t a bad guy after all.
And I don’t mean that he changed…no, contrary to what our Hallmark made for TV culture would like you to believe, the Grinch didn’t really become nice and non-confrontal.
His heart didn’t actually cause him, out of the black,
to become a good Who and forget every bad thing that the Whovians ever said about him, and learn to forgive and play nice and give everyone their precious things back.
No, what I am trying to say is that from the beginning, Grinch wasn’t a bad guy…
In fact, he was the savior of the town of Whoville.
Ok, stay with me here, will you try?
Let’s start instead with the Whovians. Here, we have a Christmas-loving society who could think of nothing other than Christmas - the gifts, the feast, the music, the decorations and the glamour of it all coming together into one giant mass of Christmas. I mean, what more could our inner child want than to live in a town that either celebrated or prepared for Christmas year round?
But then, that evil Grinch steals it all away from them in a night of rage...but that doesn’t get them down! No, instead, they prove that mean ol’ Grinch wrong by coming out into the street, holding hands, and singing ‘Dabu Doray’ till it “changed” and convinced that old Grinch to bring their stuff back...because, you know...it’s theirs, and they need it for Christmas, right?
But what if I said that the Grinch was actually Whoville’s savior? What if, instead of thinking of the Whovians as victims of an evil villain, we take a deeper look into why they acted the way they did when they suddenly realized that their worldly possessions had disappeared?
You see, the Town of Whoville had actually forgotten about Christmas...or we could say they didn’t really need Christmas other than as an excuse to buy things, to show off and be the most merry Whovian in town. They lived in an eternal state of more, MORE, MORE! Every store flashed with the latest sales, and every house had to be absolutely brilliant and decked with the latest lights and tinsel and the biggest tree one could fit into his little Whovian door (or, why not install a tree roof, so it can be dropped in?) Now, the Grinch saw this whole fiasco and asked what it all really meant, and all they could tell him was that it was the right thing to do, because what respectful Whovian could not celebrate Christmas? O, and since you don't look like or agree with us, you aren't really welcome here.
Of course, they politely asked with tight little smiles, like good little Whovians, for him to come and join them for a little ceremony, to allow him to feel 'welcome’, but Grinch saw right through the scheme as it was only a selfish spectacle to make them feel better about themselves...and to have another reason to hold a town festival. And to give an award for the merriest Who? C’mon, can you really get any more vain?
And so, he took it all away.
What happened next was a test of Whoville - did they actually remember what Christmas was without all of the distractions? Well, of course they did, right? They remembered that Christmas wasn’t about the presents at all! They could have Christmas without the ribbons and tags, the packages, boxes, or bags! Instead of these meaningless things, Christmas is a spirit of compassion and love that comes from knowing our God and how he asked us to love and take care of one another.
But here’s the key to my entire argument:
If the town of Whoville woke up that fateful Christmas morning to find their well lit trees, shiny ornaments, stuffed stockings, burning fireplaces, roast beasts, and mountains of presents just as they had imagined in their dreams…
Would there be any spontaneous choral song?
Would they remember each other for long?
Would they think about why they were celebrating during the mess?
Would they have all come together to find the spirit of Christmas?
Would they have welcomed Grinch into their homes for the feast?
Would they have let him cut the roast beast?
You see, devoid of all of the shiny distractions and gifts, the Whovians were left with nothing but the spirit of Christmas in their hearts, and that spirit not only filled the Grinch’s heart, causing him to come down from his hilltop, but more importantly, it allowed the Whovians to truly accept and love him.
My argument is that if they had woken up to find everything as they expected, then they would have once again been too distracted by the spectacle of it all to really find the spirit that God asks us to kindle in our own hearts - the Spirit which fills us with love and kindness and charity for all humanity - the Spirit which asks us to love one another, to do selfless works, and to expect nothing in return for us.
So I ask you all:
Should you play the part of Grinch this Christmas?
by: Brecklyn Wilde
You are sprawled on the floor with little building blocks that are called Legos. You try to see how many figures you can make out of those tiny pieces. You can make so many things out of those Legos, you wonder how you could make it bigger or even life-size. I bet you are too busy making them that you don’t think about the history of legos.
Legos began when a man named Ole Kirk Christiansen began making wooden toys in 1932. Ole lived in Billund, Denmark. His house burnt down several times. His company came to be called "Lego", from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which means "play well". In 1947, Ole created plastic toys and called them “Automatic Binding Bricks”. The Lego shape that we know today was formed by a machine that Ole bought. It was a injection-molding machine. It would mold plastic into Legos.
People have had Legos for years. I think that Legos are SO fun. You can make so many things out of them. You can make airplanes, helicopters, castles, cars, dogs etc. There are just too many to count! All you need is your imagination and the Legos. I don’t even think that you need instructions. I bet that in a matter of time anyone could build awesome masterpieces.
I am going to tell you some competitions that you can have. You can have a competition when you have to build inside of a bag. You can have a competition to see who can build the tallest tower. You can have races when you build a car and you race it. And the hardest is blind build which is when you try to build something with your eyes closed.
I got these ideas from a movie we watched. It was called A Lego Brickumentary. The movie talked about the history of Legos, which was told by a Lego, and people who have made Legos. For example, one woman made a gigantic architecture of a mountain that was covered with trees. She won a contest with it. What really impressed me was when it showed people who made a life-size Lego figure of the X-wing fighter in Star Wars.
I have made a bunch of things. I have made birds in a tree, a rover that went to Mars, and I made was a spaceship that went to Mars. I have made many more things, but I can only name a couple.
I love Legos. I think that they are one of the best toys because you can use your own imagination to build things and play with them.
On a Mission
Two passionate parents and their four children are excited to bring His Word to everyone in need while living a life of Gospel poverty as missionaries. They invite you to join them on a journey to encounter our global neighbors that Jesus commands us to love through works of charity and service.