Tag Archives: Family

Global


I am often amazed at how connected our world is. It really is amazing. There were a few times this summer that I just sat amazed at this.

One time happened very early this summer. I was planning to be in Wales and England for part of the summer. Some of that time was going to be spent with my friends at their church. They asked me to speak at their church as part of my time there. So there was a day we were on Skype planning the church service. It was crazy. We were thousands of miles apart, but planning a time of worship together. I signed off of Skype and just thought, “Wow. This is amazing.”

Before I left for the UK, my brother introduced me to a wonderful little app called WhatsApp. It’s a fabulous messaging app that allows you to text internationally, without charge, to other WhatsApp users. It’s awesome! The best part of getting WhatsApp was the unexpected text/video from my little goddaughter. Just a video saying hello. Totally awesome!

Then, in another part of the summer, I had a visit from some very good friends from Brazil. I actually call them my family. So as my Brazilian mom and sister sat in my living room, I contemplated how amazing it is that I know them. My Brazilian brother and sister each spent a year living with our family as exchange students. Now we are deeply connected and call one another family. As a matter of fact, my sister and I text back and forth whenever the fancy strikes. Again, she is thousands of miles away, but we are connected. Amazing.

It’s just amazing how we can connect all over the world. One of the awesome things about most of my connections is that we share a deeper connection that goes way beyond what technology can do. It’s our connection because of Jesus. We are part of a bigger family when we have entered into God’s family! That is more amazing to me than just being able to connect with people thousands of miles away… I know that even if I don’t connect with them, we are still family. We still serve, love, and worship the same God. I think that is extremely amazing!

And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:9-10


Who’s There?


Last week I was at the annual meetings for our district. It was a pretty good time- a lot of sitting and listening, but good reports and conversations. We had a rather substantial break for dinner and I decided it would be a good time to go to Target to get a few things for home. I especially wanted to make it to Target because I miss living near Target and I just think it’s fun to shop there. Anyway- I digress.

After getting what I needed, I decided to stop at a particular restaurant for dinner. It was the dinner break after all. So I walked in, ask for a table for 1, and was seated. As I was sitting down at the table, I had a gut feeling. I was going to be forgotten about. This actually happens quite often. I can’t quite discover why, but there are two basic things that I think happen in this scenario.

One, is that people feel sorry for you when you are by yourself. I think sometimes they mean well, but other times, the look I get is
“That’s pathetic.” They don’t know what to do with you because they feel sorry for you and it makes them feel awkward. The other thing at work, is that they actually don’t see you. It’s weird. But I have often been by myself places and it really seems like people just don’t see me. It’s wild.

I’m not entirely sure what was at work that day at the restaurant, but sure enough, I was forgotten about. After about 10 minutes of sitting without any acknowledgement from any of the wait staff, I decided to do something I don’t normally do. I sat up very straight and began to make eye contact with anyone I could. Normally, I would have just played on my phone, look through the menu again, something like that to try and decrease the obviousness that I was not being noticed. People at the tables around me began to notice- giving me funny looks and I think realizing how long I had sat there without any acknowledgement from the staff.

But I could not catch the attention of any of the staff. A couple of them looked towards me but didn’t really see me… Finally one of them did. Well, I had actually made eye contact with him about 3 times at that point, but he finally came over and asked if I had been helped yet. “No, not yet,” I said. “Oh, I’m sorry! Let me get you taken care of. What can I get you to drink today?” So I told him what I would like and then went ahead and ordered (I had only had 18 minutes to decide….). He took care of things at that point.

A few minutes after he took my order, the manager (who had actually been the one to seat me) came over and apologized that I had been forgotten. She then said, “I am buying your dinner tonight. I am very sorry. We don’t normally mess up this bad.” Well, that was not hard to agree with, so I said, “Well, thank you very much. I was a little surprised at waiting so long– so thank you.” From there I enjoyed a very nice, free dinner.

Now here is my real point- I’ve been thinking about this whole experience. I’ve wondered, how many times are there people right around me whom I do not see or whom I forget about? I’ve wondered this especially in regards to church gatherings. I have a pastor friend who told me a story the other day about watching a lady in their congregation (whose husband past away a few months ago) come into Sunday worship and proceed to sit by herself the entire time. No one approached her. She sat during service, weeping- she’s grieving- but no one seemed to care… no one really seemed to “see” her.

I can kind of understand being overlooked in a restaurant or something like. But I am really wondering if we pay attention when it comes to our church family. Believe me, it’s not fun to be overlooked. It’s rather degrading really. All of this is challenging me to really pay attention to those around me.

It’s also reminded me a little bit of James 2. It’s specifically identifying how the rich and pour were being treated, but the principle is what I’m getting. “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:8-9) Do I love the people around me enough to see them and then actually pay attention to them? Do I see and value those who are around me? What about you?


Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 14


It’s the final week of practices and last game! Amazing how quickly it goes. Thank you for praying. Here are the final requests, March 5th to the Celebration evening.

March 5- The witness of players and cheerleaders at home and at school

March 6- Everyone to remain healthy

March 7- The ministerial staff

March 8- Enthusiasm & positive attitudes to remain strong

March 9- Spirit of Christian community to develop

March 10- (Last Game Day) Excitement for Celebration Night & seeking hearts

March 11- Preparation for Celebration Night

March 12- Safe travel for our special guest, Dave the Horn Guy

March 13- Celebration Night


Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 13


Upward request for the week of February 27th.

Feb. 27- Children in second grade

Feb. 28- Children in third grade

Feb. 29- Children in fourth grade

March 1- Children in fifth grade

March 2- Children in sixth grade

March 3- (Sixth Game Day) Halftime message & seeking hearts

March 4- Follow-up efforts to be fruitful


Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 12


Upward request for the week of February 20th.

Feb. 20- Work assistants on Saturday

Feb. 21- Final practice to go well

Feb. 22- Players and cheerleaders with difficult family situations

Feb. 23- Church maintenance crew, Todd & Dean

Feb. 24- Families of our pastors

Feb. 25- (5th Game Day) Halftime message & hungry hearts

Feb. 26- Children in kindergarten and first grade.


Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 11


It’s the middle of our Upward season!Here are request for the week of February 13th.

Feb. 13- Parents who are not involved with their child’s league

Feb. 14- Team host families

Feb. 15- Opportunities to share Christ with nonbelievers

Feb. 16- Church members to reach out to those without a church home

Feb. 17- Upward Gives Back Day– Food & clothing drive

Feb. 18- (Game Break) Physical and spiritual refreshing

Feb. 19- Players’ & Cheerleaders’ parents


Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 10


Daily prayer request for Upward Basketball and Cheerleading. Week of February 6th.

Feb. 6- 2nd-3rd grade parents

Feb. 7- 4th-6th grade parents

Feb. 8- Save travel to and from games

Feb. 9- A spirit of sportsmanship among all participants

Feb. 10- Consistent prayer among prayer partners

Feb. 11- (Fourth Game Day)Those presenting halftime message & hungry hearts

Feb. 12- The witness of coaches at home and at work