Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
In a previous post titled "Lavish Love", I mentioned my guest list for a surprise gathering I was planning for my husband. I had prayerfully planned the guest list many months before the event, and the invitations were mailed about a month before the date of the party. Our families and Jim's dearest friends were invited. These friendships spanned from a few years to 20 years. And Jim and his cousin, John, have been friends their whole lives...almost 45 years.
About a week before the surprise party, the Lord put it on my heart to invite another couple. I had been building a friendship with the wife for several months, but Jim and the husband were just beginning a friendship. However, I saw a mutual respect and "connection" in this growing friendship and I knew in my heart that Jim would be blessed by having this couple at his surprise party. In Chuck Swindoll's book "Koinonia", he talks about how vibrant fellowship can bring forth new friendships. This is what God is doing here.
With the invitations having been mailed weeks prior, I contacted my girlfriend personally. I shared my heart honestly with her and told her that the invitation, albeit late, was meant to bless and honor them. I told her I knew Jim would be delighted if they were there. I did not want them to be insulted that they had not received a written invitation weeks before. Truly, I wanted to bless them and also bless Jim at his party by having them there.
My girlfriend's response blessed my heart beyond measure. Her reply was, as I expected, enthusiastic, gracious and understanding. The truth is the Lord is beginning to build this relationship between our husbands. We knew that. She was so thankful for the invitation regardless of the timing. She said, "You'll never know how much this invitation blessed me today!"
Tears of thankfulness to the Lord rolled down my cheeks. "Thank you, Lord. Thank you for putting this on my heart and that they were blessed just by the invitation."
Isn't that the way? Isn't is just a blessing to receive an invitation? It says, "You are loved. You are valued. You are included."
A fact of life is that we are not all invited to everything, nor can we be, and we can't invite everyone to our gatherings either. It's just not possible. Grown-ups understand that, even though at times it can still hurt. And God's timing is always amazing as I have had opportunity these past few weeks to walk with each of our children through these painful "I was not invited to that party" lessons of life that give us the privilege of building godly character.
There is one invitation that is extended to all of us to which we can all RSVP with an enthusiastic and committed "YES"! Our Host is the King of Kings. This invitation from our Savior to believe in Him and receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life is an open invitation, and everyone is on the guest list! That is so exciting! "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life..." John 3:36 "Whoever". An open invitation. The most significant, meaningful, life-giving and important invitation you'll ever receive. You are loved. You are valued. You are included.
When you accept this invitation, ask for His forgiveness and receive Jesus into your heart, He washes away your sin and you receive eternal life immediately. What is eternal life? This is John 17:3: "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Knowing the only true God. Intimately knowing Him.
This sacred invitation has been delivered to us through God's son, Jesus. And when you accept this invitation, you receive an eternity in heaven!
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 2 Corinthians 5:7
God's Word is a treasure just filled with His truths about knowing Him, eternal life with Him, and an eternity in the kingdom of heaven. If you have happened upon our blog and desire to RSVP to His invitation to know Him, please click here for more information. Please leave a comment for us, too, if you are not the shy type. We'll be praying for you! And if you need a Bible, let us know. As you open His treasure of Truth, you will find that His Word alone satisfies the hungry and thirsty. (Psalm 107:9)
My girlfriend and her husband replied "yes" to my invitation. They were enthusiastic. They were thankful. They were delighted to be there, and we were delighted to have them. And after the surprise party for my husband, he said to me "The guest list was perfect."
God's guest list is perfect, too, and it includes YOU! You are invited. He beckons you to "Come". Without Jesus, we are all lame, blind and poor. Amazingly, He invites us to feast at His table forever! If you haven't already, we pray you will accept His invitation. His love is perfect. His will give you strength to walk, eyes to see and make your heart rich in His love.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
Friday, February 13, 2009
And that is what we are!"
1 John 3:1
On the guest list were our family members and Jim's dearest friends. Some of these friendships have spanned up to 20 years. A few of these friendships have just developed over the last few years. One friend and his wife have just started to become good friends, and I knew the Lord wanted me to invite them. (I will be posting on this at a later date, called "The Invitation".) Jim and his cousin, John, have been friends their whole lives. Only a few people could not attend the party, but they were with us in heart.
Jim was indeed surprised. That's an understatement. After the initial shock, he joyfully got in the groove and began enjoying and taking in the evening set aside for him.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)