AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE …

Well, the signs of the impending season are upon us.  The TV, radio and newspaper are full of them.  Colorful ads compelling you to look, then buy. Massive gas grills to powerful hand tools.  Sweaters to camping gear. Pet toys to appliances.  Handsome pickups to ice fishing houses.  Toys to trinkets.  Anything you could even imagine you think you might want … it’s there and it’s available NOW.  The perpetual advertising tells you that you don’t just want this, you NEED it.  And, you NEED it in the next couple of days before the supply runs short.

The advertising/marketing industry is a brisk paced, ultra creative think-tank industry.  Research shows that, as an industry, you have 3 seconds or less to capture people’s attention and make them interested enough in the product you’re hyping to want to take the time to learn more.  Typically, the consumer needs to hear, see or read about a product at least 21 times before they will actually acknowledge it or purchase it.   And, there are definite ‘rules of the game’ the advertising agency follows to guide you through.

Before I proceed, let me say that I’m addressing the women right now because, for the most part, we are the shoppers/buyers for the household … although you men are invited to read on too ):  There is a TV ad that plays quite often right now;  the product advertised is Hanes underwear for men.  The ad shows men, wearing only very colorfully patterned underwear.  It shows them sitting on the couch, smiling … playing pool, smiling … working construction, smiling … all supposedly having not a worry, all supposedly totally carefree. At the end of this 15 second ad, you see at least 21 men parading down the street, enmass, wearing this awesome product, waving their hands in the air and again, smiling.  Wow!  It appears this underwear makes men feel like a million bucks … like they’re on the top of the world!  

Ladies, at the moment of viewing, you might be disgusted by this ad, or you might think it’s humorous, or maybe you don’t have an opinion either way about it.  But I guarantee you, the next time you go to the store to purchase underwear, T-shirts, or socks for the male in your life, at least 85% of you will watch your hand skip over Fruit of the Loom, George, Mainstays or various other offerings and reach for Hanes and then further watch it drop the product in your shopping cart as though it is robotic.  Why? Because, my friend, the seed was planted during that TV ad.  Hanes has made you think if your man wears this colorful underwear, he’ll be just like the men you saw in the ad … attractive, youthful, fun loving, looking good, maybe even having a great bod … men sittin’ on top of the world!   And, you want that for them too.  By purchasing a Hanes product, you will make that all happen.   Aaah … and there’s the magic of marketing!!

As Christians, we are already excellent advertising/marketing executives.  We know we have an awesome product.  Everyone can afford it because it’s free. There is a never ending supply so no worries about shortages ever occurring.  And, there is no expiration date on it so it will last for an eternity.  Our product? GOD’S LOVE!!

We’ve done our research. We know what He’s capable of doing. Some of us have felt the miracles He’s performed for us already.  We’ve felt His love at times when nothing else could console us.   We’ve heard His response to our prayers.  We know what the long-lasting effect of His presence in our lives will be.  We know enough about Him to be proficient in our advertising.  And, the beauty is that, in most cases, all we need to do is mention His name and people already recognize our ‘product’.  

Sadly, this is the season that people should be putting Him foremost in their minds.  It is, after all, the time of year we should be celebrating the birth of His Son, Jesus.  But the advertising glitz and glamour of the merchant offerings clearly overshadow what we know is the perfect gift for everyone.  

We don’t need to see God to know that He exists; our faith gives us that.  We need to live as God’s example and help people grow more spiritually strong.  We need to listen to our heart and do what it tells us so that our marketing strategy will touch someone to move their hand over all the competing reasons to NOT believe in Him, or arguments to NOT want to hear more of His word, or ways to NOT spend time with Him through worship.  Our strategic goal is for them to REACH FOR HIM, to be received in His love!  

Advertising is indeed fast paced; demand products come and go faster than the blink of an eye.  Marketing is forever … just like God’s love for us and our life with Him.  We may never see the results of our marketing but I guarantee you, if we do it right, we will have given someone the greatest gift they could ever receive … eternal life.

 

 


 

We share these words of love from our CTW family: 

Thank you so much for these beautiful crosses.  I just marvel at the different patterns in the wood.  They are exquisite in design and bear such an important message for us all.  Please know how much they mean to those who receive them.     Karen ~ VA

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Such a great thing y’all are doing.  I received mine after my husband’s passing and it was such an added blessing.  Thank you.    Cheryl

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Thank you for giving to us all this unique way of witnessing for Jesus.  Joy ~ MN

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

and are thankful for these family members for sharing their love of God through the cross with others:

Joyce ~ MN

Open Door Community Church ~ Breezy Point, MN

Marian ~ MN

Amy ~ WI

Cedar Bluff Baptist Church ~ Princeton, KY

Rose ~ NC

Omaha Baptist Church ~ Unionville, MO for Operation Christmas Child

Sue ~ MN

Mary ~ OK

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care ~ Tulsa, OK

Marianne ~ FL

Geralyn ~ PA

Joy ~ MN

Concordia Food Ministry ~ Stafford, VA

Trinity United Methodist Church ~ Lomira, WI

Greg ~ CA

 


 
‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son
and they shall call his name Emmanuel.’
Matthew 1:23

 

 

This Christmas, may His hands touch your heart with healing and your life with blessings, as they cradle you in love all the days of the new year.  This Christmas, may we offer Jesus the only gifts that truly matter to Him … our worship, our praise, and our love.  

Wishing all of you a very blessed Christmas season.

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