Grace and Peace,
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red, brown, yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world…
“Do we not all have one father?
Has not one God created us?
Why do we deal treacherously
each against his brother so as
to profane the covenant of our fathers?” (Malachi 2: 10)
There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free,
there is no male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3: 28)
We are all one in Christ Jesus…
I ran into a friend of mine yesterday I hadn’t seen in a long time.
We have a very unusual relationship.
He’s been my best friend.
He’s also been my worst enemy…
We stood face to face and acknowledged one another.
Yesterday our relationship was somewhere between friend and tolerable acquaintance.
He looks much younger than I remember even though the gray around his temples would suggest otherwise.
His compassionate eyes still have that sparkle but they also looked tired and lost, longing for something of which I wasn’t quite sure…
I inquired, “How ya doing?”
His response of, “You know…” left me wanting to scream, “No! I don’t know!”
The first Thursday of February and of all things it’s Groundhog Day!!
I went outside this morning at 5:15 am and did not see my shadow.
That can mean only one thing!!
Sunrise is still one hour and twenty-six minutes away…
I have a friend…
Okay, let me be a little more specific.
I have a friend who is a Pastor of a large church in Houston, Texas.
He’s an incredible preacher who lives out his faith in extraordinary ways.
As with all Pastors, he does a have one flaw.
He loves to drive fast, becoming increasingly impatient with anyone driving slower than him.
Ok, you’re right… That’s two flaws. But who’s counting?
His commute to and from church can be grueling, especially with all of those “slow” drivers clogging up the streets and freeways!
Our family had the complete privilege and joy of spending ten days together on a much anticipated Hawaiian vacation on the island of Maui. Our family was celebrating two 2016 mileposts – Julie turning a half a century and our fifteenth wedding anniversary!
Two days after our arrival the Dendy family arrived at slip #55 at the harbor to embark on a snorkeling adventure on the “Maui Magic.” We bounded on to the boat around 7:30 in the morning full of anticipation. Fresh fruit and muffins found their way on to my plate before the boat launched. My typical gregarious self was in full motion in meeting the awesome crew and other passengers. After getting our instructions and making sure the other forty passengers were safely on board, off we went to the island of Molokini!
About halfway to Molokini, my wife Julie asked for me to look for something underneath my seat. I bent my head over to look and quickly realized I would not be able to fulfill her request.
THURSDAY’S THOUGHTS FROM PASTOR DAVID
The Average of Five
Here is a few wonderful questions to ponder as you mosey into the weekend…
Who are you?
Who are your friends?
Who are your traveling companions on this road of life?
Have you ever heard of this “rule” called “The Average of Five?”
It goes like this…
“We are the average of our five closest friends.”
Basically the rule of The Average of Five is stating we become like the people we associate with the most.
Once again, my question for you and me is:
Who are you hanging out with the most these days?
Are you truly the average of the five closest people to you?
Is that a good look for you?
Is it a bad look for you?
Is it somewhere in between?
How does your presence in “The Average of Five” influence those around you?
How does the presence of your “Five” closest friends influence you?
We are all on this road of life.
Who are your traveling companions?
I almost laughed out loud with this Good News Translation of Proverbs 13: 20… The Bible many times simply says what needs to be said straight out…
Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined.
The English Standard Version of the same verse states it a little more gently…
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Either way, you get the point.
Let’s choose our “Five” carefully, prayerfully and thoughtfully…
I have a feeling if we all had God as one of our “Five”, our average would go way up!!
The Apostle Paul offers these words in making our “average” increase on our marvelous journey of life.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
(Romans 12: 1-2 The Message)
See you out on the Road!
Laugh often and Fear not!
Are you made of Teflon or Taffy?
Teflon – a non-stick substance…
Taffy – Made by stretching or pulling a sticky mass of boiled sugar…
Using these two substances (work with me here!) which product, Teflon or Taffy would describe your interactions and your relationship building experience.
We meet people…
We get to know people…
We invest in people…
We laugh with people…
We struggle with people…
We make a decision to walk with people…
People have problems…
People have issues…
People come from dysfunctional families…
I will stop being obtuse…
When you encounter people are you Taffy (do you stick?) or are you Teflon (do you not stick) to the people with whom you have become involved.
Taffy or Teflon?
Which would you say?
Or are you Taffy with some and Teflon with others? And vice versa…?
Jesus tells a great story which is two-thirds Teflon and one-third Taffy.
It’s the story of the Good Samaritan.
Perhaps you have heard about it.
Jewish guy gets robbed and the daylights beat out of him and cast to the side of the road.
A religious leader walks up, crosses the road and walks right by him. Total Teflon!!!
Another religious leader walks up, crosses the road and walks right by him. Total Teflon!!!
A Samaritan guy, acknowledged social enemy of the Jewish guy, walks up bends over, picks the Jewish guy up, helps him to safety, pays for his night in a hotel and offers the innkeeper more money to take care of the Jewish guy until he is fit to return home. Total TAFFY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Think about this for a moment…
What people are you mostly Taffy with?
What people are you mostly Teflon with?
Have you ever given much thought as to why which is which?
What would happen if we all became Taffy with everyone we met?
What would happen if we all became Taffy with those who met us?
I just wonder…
All I know is God became incarnate in the person of Jesus to be totally TAFFY with humanity.
I am stuck on Jesus!
Jesus is stuck on me!
Looks like we are stuck with each other!
Sticky Taffy is pretty cool!
So is Jesus!
Laugh often and Fear not!
One of my favorite experiments in life is riding an elevator.
I love pushing the up or down button.
The anticipation of waiting to see which elevator door is going to open from the bank of elevators is almost too much to handle sometimes.
The “ding” that my elevator has arrived only builds my anticipation.
The doors slowly start to open as I have quickly positioned myself front and center…
The doors part, my mind starts to race, my palms sweat, my pupils dilate to saucer like size,
Who is going to be on the elevator?
How many people will be crammed into the elevator?
What faces are about to greet me when the doors fully retreat into the side pockets?
Will there be room for me? Or will I have to wait for another elevator?
Just as a quick aside, I am always a little disappointed when the elevator car is empty.
Now comes the fun part!
Whether I am riding up or riding down, I always wonder how many stops will the elevator make before I get to my desired floor.
Once again the anticipation begins to build as the momentum of the moving elevator starts to slow to a stop.
The whole anticipation cycle repeats itself!!
The doors once again begin their slow retreat to the side pockets.
And yes, there they are!
The people who are waiting for the elevator are standing there front and center experiencing exactly the same thing I experienced just a minute or so before.
This is my favorite phrase while on the inside of the elevator with the doors open wide and people standing across the threshold…
“Come on in! There’s always room for one more!”
It never occurs to me to evaluate the race of the people, the morality of the people, how good or bad looking the people might be, the gender, the sexuality, the economic disposition, the accomplishments or the achievements of those who wait to enter…
I simply say, “Come on in! There’s always room for one more!”
I always say that! No matter how many people are in the elevator!
And guess what?
There always is…
My hope is the same can be said of our church and for our world and for you…
Laugh often and Fear not!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13: 34)
It has happened to me.
It has happened to you…
We have been sent to the corner of the room…
We have run off to the bedroom…
We have jumped in the car and pealed out of the driveway…
We have put on the “earbuds”…
We have shut the door to our office…
We have taken the long walk…
All of that and more to do and be just one thing…
YOU NEVER KNOW how you are changing the course of history with your open arms…