Reflecting over the week, I noticed a constant theme.
This week's theme has been connections. Relationships - old and new.
Monday - Reconnected with staff. Caught up on vacation fun and family news. Tuesday - Attended Bible Study Fellowship and shared reflections on scripture with my small group. Met up with Christmas volunteers for lunch. Enjoyed fellowship sharing thoughts on scripture with Rooted Group. Rehearsed beautiful music in Songsters (choir) practice. Wednesday - Helped with the Tea Party. Getting some new people to attend. Successfully connecting 3 persons from the pantry to the party! (Even tried a new recipe!) Spent time with my daughter getting her costumes together for the school musical. Thursday - Gwyn and I toured my brother's workplace, the Bay Area Rescue Mission, and heard testimonies from his staff. Shared lunch with my brother and sister-in-law overlooking the water. Friday - Met with a donor for lunch. Prayed for her as she recently and unexpectedly lost her mom. Encouraged someone who is trying to coach a friend in recovery. Provided aid to those seeking help. Had dinner with friends who were in the area (sort of) for a family funeral.
Honestly, sometimes I am hard on myself or maybe even hard on others thinking that we should "do more" - more programs, more activities, more, more, more. But then when I take the time to pray and seek the Lord, I am reminded that it is not always the best or healthiest way to do "more". Yes, we should use the gifts God has given us and seek ways to help others because of the overflow of love that we experience from Him. Yet, we don't need to have a program or activity for everything to provide that.
On the other hand, Jesus was all about building relationships or connecting with people - to various degrees of depth. But when he did, it was always genuine and intentional.
I know that many of you have your connecting points during the week. And when you have a chance to reflect on your week, you can write a similar list of "connecting" points with people in your life. I encourage you to keep doing that. Celebrate those connections. Thank God for those opportunities.
If you don't have "time" for that, first of all, connect with God. That's the most important thing. Then pray about who God has placed in your life that can use some encouragement. God is a community - three in one - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel." Proverbs 27:9 NIV
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:8-10 NIV
Major AnnMarguerite Jones