Dose of Truth

For you

Tim Richards

I subscribe to the 1440 Daily Digest, a politically balanced synopsis of each day’s top news stories. This news organization feels the citizens of our country have become too alienated from each other and is committed to reporting the news in an unbiased way. In addition to reporting the stories most other media outlets share, 1440 occasionally reports on general interest stories. Recently, they shared an article sent in by Bob P. from Georgetown, Texas. I knew as soon as I read it that I wanted to share it with you, my readers.

Bob shared about shopping at his local Dollar Tree recently when he overheard a fellow customer’s conversation with a checker. He could not help but notice the customer ahead of him was purchasing an amazing number of stuffed animals.

Purchasing a large number of any particular item may be unusual, but it is why the stuffed animals were purchased that makes the story so compelling. The customer explained he is a server at the Cotton Patch Cafe and saves his loose tip change throughout the year. As Christmas approaches, he takes the saved tips to the Dollar Tree store and buys as many small stuffed toys as possible. This year he bought about 240 animals, worth about $300.

He went on to explain how his restaurant’s owner allows him to keep the plush toys in an extra refrigerator. During the Christmas season, as families eat at his assigned tables, he amazes the little ones with a ‘cold’ stuffed plush toy and tells them it came directly from the North Pole, from Santa himself. He says, “the joyful faces and excited reactions of the kids and even the parents are priceless.” Simple acts of kindness like this one do not seem to be as common as they were in the past.

What is the original source of Christmas’ gifts? It likely comes from the story of the Wise Men in Matthew 2 who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Baby Jesus.

However, I would suggest an even better reason to give gifts at Christmas is because Jesus is God’s greatest gift. Consider the words of the angel to the shepherds that first Christmas night, “…Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12, NASB, my emphasis) The ultimate Christmas gift is the Savior who came to the world for us. What an incredible thought, Jesus came to earth for you and me.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at