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Monday, December 21, 2009

Thieves Try to Seal Christmas

Janine is from grand rapids. She works really hard to make ends meet, and has done a good job of providing Christmas for her family. She has a sweet Downs syndrome daughter who is 17, and has a tight knit loving family.

On the night of December 20, 2009, her house was broken into. The thieves stole all her daughter's Christmas presents. They destroyed her Christmas tree. They stole her computer that she saved up for a year to buy, and they smashed her furnace as well. No one knows who broke in, and it seems like there's not going to be much of a Christmas for them.

Can you help this family? The items that were stolen were things like educational toys for her daughter, movies on DVD, and size 8 clothes for her daughter. Matching fleece outfits and sweatsuits are things that her daughter really likes.

We are only a few days away from Christmas, but we need to try to help Janine and her family. You can send these items or other Christmas presents to:

Realtime Church
2951 Coppergrove Dr.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

You can also drop the presents off. Call 616-322-2498 to set up a drop-off time.

E-mail for more information.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Eric, Amy, and Fam

A simple ankle issue turned into multiple blood clots in the lungs and hospitalization for Amy, wife of Eric and mother of five young kids. Eric has missed weeks of work, and in this economy that means disaster. Normal daily activities for Amy have turned into tons of time in a walker and lifelong daily blood thinning shots.

Like so many others this Christmas season, this Hudsonville family isn't going to have much of a Christmas. But we can do something about it.

  • One of their biggest needs in this cold weather is simple... blankets, sheets, and pillows. All five kids sleep in twin beds.
  • The family also needs several Rubbermaid-like laundry baskets, and towels of any kind.
  • Small gift ideas for the girls -- Twilight movie on DVD, arts and crafts supplies, simple earrings, girly blankets and pillows
  • Small gift ideas for the boys -- Spiderman stuff, cars, trucks, guns, new or used video games of any kind
We can't make Christmas better for everybody this December, but we can sure do a lot for this one family.

Even if you feel like the items might not get here by Christmas, send them anyway. We will make sure the family gets everything.

You can mail or deliver any of these items to:

Realtime Church
2931 Copperrove Dr.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Please call 616-322-2498 to set up delivery.
E-mail with questions


Furiniture Needed In Kalamazoo

There are several families that Realtime Church is working with that have been hit with unemployment this Christmas season. This is a common story in West Michigan this year. One of these families doesn't have enough furniture to fill their house. We need your help.

Do you have a spare dresser sitting around? Do you have a small dining room table and or chairs? Do you live in the Kalamazoo area? If you want to donate one or some of these items, e-mail us at and tell us what you want to donate.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Soapbox

Ah winter is in the air... and along with it gluttonous consumerism and excessive political correctness. This year, not only do we have to hide baby Jesus and the camels, we really don't see candy canes or Santa Claus as much. Forget Christmas songs, we're not even teaching our kids holiday songs. I think that this Christmas season correct thing to say is, "happy winter." Lame.

But at the same time, if December 25 is just a day for giving our kids an XBOX 360 in addition to their Playstation 3, Wii, Gamecube, American Girl Doll, and 3 bushels of Legos, maybe Christmas isn't such a good idea after all. Go to any Kohls or Bed Bath and Beyond and you will see mountains of merchandise -- 87 different kinds of single cup coffee makers -- all expertly marketed so that we feel inadequate without them.

Even with all the baggage, Christmas is pure magic for most of us.

But Christmas can be a time of pain for so many. If you have the Internet and are able to read this, chances are you have at least a roof over your head and food to eat. But this Christmas there are millions and millions of people that don't have very basic necessities. Who is taking care of them? Who should be taking care of them?

Big nonprofit organizations, missions boards, sad little pink and blue flyers, and burnt church coffee all play their role in helping the less fortunate. But can we get a little more grassroots than that? Can we get a little more aggressive than that? Can we mount up and imagine for a second that we are going to punch hunger in the face?

You think that's intense, but in Isaiah when people are whining because they don't feel God has noticed them fasting, God describes what he wants like this,

to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Loose, Untie, Set Free, Break, those are all pretty intense words. And they are proactive. We are not supposed to make the poor and the broken come to us. We need to go to them.

This Christmas season, do something. Get a simple gift for someone you don't have to. Make a meal for someone. Find a low-key way to help a hurting person or family you know. Volunteer at a mission. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Get intense.

Bridget Albert

Bridget Albert is a 20 year old junior at DePaul University in Chicago. On Sept. 15 She was walking down the sidewalk on the way to an internship when she and another girl were struck by a car. Bridget suffered severe head trauma and was taken to Northwest hospital in downtown Chicago. After head surgery to remove a bone flap, she was in ICU for more than 3 weeks, and has since been in RIC (rehabilitation institute of Chicago). She continues to progress but has to learn to use her arms and legs all over again. She has a feeding tube and has begun talking again. Her memory is not fully back together, but she seems to have a deepening understanding and her personality is flourishing.

Please keep Bridget in your prayers. She may be headed away from home for further rehabilitation. Stay tuned for ways you might be able to help