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Most people think of the Friday after Thanksgiving as a day of excessive shopping as retailers offer special bargains to attract consumers to their stores. This year a Texas man is starting a new tradition he hopes will gain traction. Chuck Fox came up with the idea of changing Black Friday into Bless Friday by encouraging believers and churches to use the extra day off to serve others. Fox says, “Everyone knows what to do on Thanksgiving. You get together with your family, you eat a big meal and give thanks. And we hope in the future they will know what to do on the next day.”

Fox encouraged people from his Sunday School class and enlisted a few other local churches to put an emphasis on service instead of shopping. Those who signed up agreed to serve meals at homeless shelters, make home repairs for people who can’t do it themselves, as well as pack food boxes for the hungry. Fox said the idea came from a sermon preached by his eighty- nine year old father about Americans forgetting the meaning of Christmas. The younger Fox told reporters he was not against shopping. He added,” What we believe is that consumerism is consuming Christmas, and we need to remember it’s about preparing ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus. God cannot have sent his son to Earth to save us so we can go on a shopping spree.”

--A blessed alternative to shopping, http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7311821.html; November 28, 2010, Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Matthew 23:11-12 (CEV) (11) Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. (12) If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.

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