Good afternoon all! I hope you've enjoyed your day today. It's a great Sabbath rest day... and for those of us who consider ourselves to be Christians, we remember that the Sabbath was established by God and came to us through our spiritual heritage - the house of David, the lineage of Jesus. Soooo, if we're really going to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, we should obey Him and recognize it on the right day, huh? ;)
I'm enjoying this amazing day given to us by our even more amazing Father. I know it's freezing outside...actually, it's below freezing right now. Inside, though, it's warm and my ongoing thanks to God include appreciation and thanks for His provision to help us - whatever our needs may be. We are blessed to have food and shelter, warmth and companionship. And while we are in no way living in the lap of luxury by many folks standards, we do have all we need, including the luxury of beds to sleep in at night.
So many people are not living in the same conditions that we enjoy and we should all be doing whatever we can to help them. If we aren't sure how to help, all we need to do is ask God. He is more than capable of letting us know - either directly or through others - where the needs are and how we can help to meet them. I pray for all of us to be looking and listening for ways to share the graciousness of God that He has extended to us. There is nothing that can compare with the joy that comes from giving!
We had so much fun at the cd release party last night! God brought people together from different backgrounds and blended all of us nicely throughout the evening. It was a wonderful gift to see some people from my high school years (now THAT'S a long time ago!) as well as friends from different Christian denominations and organizations meeting, mingling, laughing and enjoying themselves. Several people blessed all of us with their musical talents, too. Thanks go out to Jerry, Dave, Randy, Alicia, Judith and Ron. You all made the evening extra special with your music and I was so glad to share the stage with each one of you. And thanks go out to Suzanne. Have I told you lately how much I value you? If not, then shame on me. You are my dear friend, sister and gift from God in so many ways. Thanks for taking care of the guests last night...serving refreshments, taking pictures for the website (can't wait to see the ones of Jerry and Tawnee dancing!) and setting up the product table. And also, thanks to Tabitha for your help serving refreshments, too! I'm so glad you all came. And you already know that I love you all dearly. :)
I titled this blog 'Reconnect', didn't I? Well, so let me address that for a moment. When I looked around the room at all the folks who had come to the party, it struck me how very different things would have been if everyone would have started comparing notes about their faith, denomination and opinions about Jesus Christ. I saw people sitting together at tables who were totally unaware of each other's denominations. With some folks (not necessarily those who came last night!), there could have been fireworks going off or cold shoulders being turned, but instead there was peace, joy and laughter in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.
Oh, I sang Christmasy stuff as well as stuff from the '40's. It wasn't about the music, though. I told a couple of jokes and even shared a bit about my past, but it wasn't even about that. No, it was because we all came together expecting to have an enjoyable evening. We wanted to like those two hours we had set aside to spend time with one another. For some of us, it was making new connections - for others, it was reconnecting with those we haven't seen in days, weeks, months or years.
What happened at that Coffee House last night was a gift for all of us. Why? Because God was present with us - pouring out His love...onto, in and through each one there. And we allowed ourselves to be an expression of His love without judgment, expectation, requirement or any other criteria. We just loved each other - and it was wonderful! Oh, I saw walls here and there. But I also saw folks trying to climb over those walls to reach people on the other side. I saw and experienced support from friends I didn't even know I had. I wish you all could have been there. (Actually, some of you were! Thanks again for coming! I love you dearly.)
Maybe we just need a reminder from time to time...reconnect, reconnect, reconnect. Some of us may have inadvertantly disconnected from others because of trials or life issues that caused us to shut down our feelings, emotions or even our love expressions. Well, this seems to be a really good time for anyone who's disconnected to pick up the cords of love and reconnect!
If you or someone you know has lost the passion for living because of circumstances that brought pain or suffering, then I encourage you to make the effort to reach out to that person (or come outside of yourself, if it's you.) Don't shut down. Open up - and if you don't know how to do that, then ask God to help you. Allow others who love Him and are filled with His life to embrace you. Let them plug into your run-down battery and charge you up with a fresh infusion of the love of God expressed in a tangible way. Hey, walk around the house talking to yourself, for heaven's sake! Tell yourself to 'hope', to 'love', to 'freely allow the poured-out expression of God's love' to saturate you without reservation. Find friends. Make friends. Be a friend. Reconnect, reconnect, reconnect!
I can't wait to see what God is doing with the connections and reconnections He made just last evening at my little cd release party. I'll tell you this though...I fully intend to enjoy every moment of it along the way!
Be blessed today, dear friends. You are all very deeply and dearly loved and held in God's great big gentle - and powerful - hands. Be excited about it!