Tag Archives: Together

Lunch With God

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(People having lunch)

Lunch with God

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry so he offered her a Twinkie. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Once again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave but before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” But before her son responded, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!

by Kathy Pinto: Inspirational Archives. com

 

laying claim

He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home (John 19:27).

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:9-18and consider how this passage can show us how to interact with others when we’re faced with the death of a loved one.

If you’ve ever experienced anger at the way others have handled the death of a loved one, what do you believe was at the root of your frustration? What can believers in Jesus lay claim to as they face death?

My mother has developed a habit of occasionally asking us what items we would want once she leaves this earthly existence. Responding with lighthearted humor to her musings on death, and her tendency to be a bit of a packrat, my sister and I tell her not to hide any money in the house because we plan on selling it fully furnished when she dies. When I realized the other day that she still had a grapevine wreath my dad and I had made more than 20 years ago, however, I half-jokingly told her to write my name on it.

Anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one knows the heightened tensions that arise among family members when it happens. Feeling the grief of losing someone we love, we lay claim to any remembrance in an attempt to prolong the connection. Sadly, our attempts to hold on to the love of someone who has died can cost us our relationships with the living.

Scripture provides little insight into Mary’s inner thoughts as she witnessed the death of her Son Jesus, but we can well imagine what she felt (John 19:25). Memories tumbling one on top of the other, her mind must have raced in trying to reconcile the son she had loved and raised with the Messiah who had come to save humanity (Luke 2:19,34-35,51).

Mary didn’t even receive His garment as a remembrance of time with Him. She watched as the hands that nailed Jesus to the cross now rolled dice to see who would get His belongings (John 19:24Psalm 22:18). But even as she endured her emotional torment, Jesus offered forgiveness to those who were causing Him unspeakable pain (Luke 23:34). She didn’t lay claim to possessions, but only to the future hope that all those in Jesus now share.

From: Our Daily Journey

 

Holding Your Hand

“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.” Psalm 73:23

One of the joys of being with kids is holding their hands. We do it to keep them safe while crossing the street, or to keep them from getting lost in a crowd. And whenever they stumble and lose their footing, we grab their little hands tighter to keep them from falling.

That’s what God does for us. Inevitably there are stones and cracks that trip us up on the sidewalks of life. That’s why it’s easy to identify with the psalmist, who said, “My steps had nearly slipped” (Ps. 73:2).

We all face a variety of issues that threaten to make us stumble. For the psalmist Asaph, seeing the prosperity of the wicked caused him to question the goodness of God. But God squeezed his hand and reassured him that, given the judgment of God, the wicked do not really prosper. True prosperity, the psalmist discovered, was found in the fact that God was always with him: “You hold me by my right hand” (Ps. 73:23). And just for good measure, God reminded him that He would also guide him through life and ultimately welcome him home to heaven (Ps. 73:24). How good is that!

So, next time you stumble, remember that the powerful hand of God is holding your hand and walking you through life—all the way home!

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand. —Stanphill
© Renewal 1978, Singspiration.

Let God do the holding and you do the trusting.

 From: Get More Strength. org.

Intimacy That Satisfies

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Intimacy That Satisfies

 From: getmorestrength.org.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2

In my opinion, intimacy is a really attractive word. Deep down inside, all of us long for meaningful connections that satisfy our souls and chase away the shadows of aloneness. But if we’re not careful, we may be looking for true intimacy in all the wrong places. Thoughts of intimacy often conjure up mental pictures of close encounters of the physical kind or the shallow, shabby offers of alluring lingerie, one-night stands, colognes, video titles, evenings of candlelight and red wine, or voyeuristic exchanges on the Internet. More innocently, your thoughts of intimacy may be about just finding a good friend that can be a soul mate. But even deep friendships can be sometimes fleeting and fickle.

It’s easy to be lured into counterfeit offers of intimacy only to find that they are not what our soul really craves. In fact, every time we dip into these buckets, we eventually come up empty, disappointed, and frequently left with shame and regret. Accept no substitutes! Don’t stop looking until you have found the soul mate that will truly satisfy.

You ask, “Who would that be?” Search no more, the offer of fulfilling intimacy is found in a deepening relationship with God Himself. After all, you were built for intimacy with Him. That’s what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden until sin blocked access to God. But thankfully, God didn’t give up on His desire for intimacy with you. He stepped in and removed the barrier through the death of His Son so that intimacy with Him could be restored! And now He welcomes you to Himself by saying, “Come near to [me] and [I] will draw near to you” (James 4:8) and “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20). He’s wanting and waiting to come in and dine with you!

God is the only One perfectly suited to satisfy and sustain us. The joy of true intimacy is ours as we grow more deeply conscious of, connected to, and confident in God—and Him alone—as our unfailing resource in life.

As in any relationship, intimacy with God has some dynamics that make it grow. We don’t experience His nearness by just telling Him that we love Him, as important as that is. Intimacy is cultivated by drawing near to Him in obedience; by loving what He loves and hating what He hates; by sharing our deepest desires and struggles with Him in prayer; and by expressing our love to Him by acts of loyalty, sacrifice, and service to others. These attitudes and actions all say to God, “I love you!” in clear and compelling ways. Hebrews assures us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Indeed, intimacy with God will reward your spirit with peace, confidence, a sense of direction and purpose, and the blessing of knowing that you are loved, really loved, by the one who promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Intimacy with God can’t be bought at the corner newsstand. Nor can it be purchased at the mall, found on an exotic vacation, or acquired in developing the most impressive of social calendars. When it comes to the joy of intimacy, these things are the small talk of life compared to the deep satisfaction that comes from the privilege of knowing that “in a love that cannot cease, I am His and He is mine!”

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Have you looked to other people and things to satisfy the longings of your heart? If so, in what ways have they fallen short of your expectations? Inevitably they will!
  • How would you rate your relationship with God? If a lack of obedience has hindered your intimacy with Him, pray and ask Him to “work in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
  • How can you show God a deeper love today?

 

Replace Complaints with Thanks

November 23 | Bob Christian | Emphasis: Thankfulness
“Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 thessalonians 5:18
During my junior year at Northwestern University, I learned an important lesson about thankfulness. It was midseason, and we had yet to win a game. Our homecoming game was very close—going back and forth right down to the last seconds. Trailing by 2 with 7 seconds left, we called a timeout on the 17-yard line and sent the field goal unit out for the game-winning field goal. The kick was tipped, however, and it went just wide. Instead of an exhilarating win, we suffered a bitter defeat.

That loss hurt badly. It didn’t seem fair that we never seemed to catch a break. Our chances of winning a single game that year started to look grim. The next week I was sitting in church and started complaining to God about how life was unfair. When I finally stopped, God quietly spoke to me. He asked me how many people would love to be in my shoes? How many would love to have a scholarship to Northwestern? How many would love to start for a Division I team? How many would just love the chance to play football? How many would just love to be able to walk?

Thinking about those questions made me ashamed of complaining. I had a lot to be thankful for. I started approaching each day, each practice, and each game with thankfulness. It didn’t change my circumstances, but it changed me within the circumstances. I ended up working harder and enjoying life more in the midst of a difficult season.

From: sports.org.

Welcoming To All

 

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Welcome To All!

 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Bible in a Year:
Job 34-35; Acts 15:1-21

A beautifying project on the main road of my town prompted the demolition of a church built in the 1930s. Although the windows of the empty church had been removed, the doors remained in place for several days, even as bulldozers began knocking down walls. Each set of doors around the church building held a message written in giant, fluorescent-orange block letters: KEEP OUT!

Unfortunately, some churches whose doors are open convey that same message to visitors whose appearance doesn’t measure up to their standards. No fluorescent, giant-size letters needed. With a single disapproving glance, some people communicate: “You’re Not Welcome Here!”

How people look on the outside, of course, is not an indicator of what is in their hearts. God’s focus is on the inner life of people. He looks far below the surface of someone’s appearance (1 Sam. 16:7) and that’s what He desires for us to do as well. He also knows the hearts of those who appear to be “righteous” but are “full of hypocrisy” on the inside (Matt. 23:28).

God’s message of welcome, which we are to show to others, is clear. He says to all who seek Him: “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters” (Isa. 55:1).

Thank You, Lord, that You welcome all into
Your family, and You have welcomed me. Show me
how to be as accepting of others as You are.
May I reveal Your heart of love.
No one will know what you mean when you say, “God is love”—unless you show it.