Cooling off in the Heat

Long time, no post, right?! Don’t think for a moment that I forgot about you; I’m ever thankful for the opportunity to encourage and strengthen you.

It’s just summer, with its extra activities and odd schedules.

But now I’m sitting in part shade (very important in these hot summer days) on my old wooden bench outside. Sit down a moment with me. Let’s see if we can cool off and be encouraged together.

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The Blessing of Friends

IMG_1902Later this morning I’m meeting up with a dear, dear friend. We’ve known each other for many years, both being military families, but have only lived near each other again for the last 3 years.

Doesn’t God have a wonderful way of working things out? When I try to arrange plans (like an earlier meeting), snow falls and delays school openings. God, thereby, has allowed me a little time this morning to write, and I pray it is a blessing to you, my ChristBesideMe friend.

When I was teaching our daughter to drive, we lived near an area that was a Neighborhood-to-Be. There were streets. There were curbs. There were roundabouts. There were weeping willows and oaks and pecans. There was even a fountain. Along the streets, at even intervals, were wooden markers denoting where a future house could be built, but there weren’t any so far.

My daughter drove through and around and down all of those streets (and I lessened my grip on the armrest!) as she became a very good driver. More than just driving though, we had a wonderful time. As we passed each marker, we would assign that location to a family of friends that we loved. Let’s drive by the Millers. Let’s pick up Sarah and go see Nancy. And so we filled up the neighborhood, one imaginary house at a time. It was a glimpse of heaven.

Until then, let’s give a hug to our earthly friends and offer a thankful prayer to our heavenly Father for each one of them. Let’s close our eyes and imagine. Can you see us there? Can you see us all together, all worshipping Jesus?

Because God is holy, we–who are sinful people–are in enmity or opposition to God. Yet God loves each of us so very much, that He acted to reconcile us to Himself through His son and the cross. Accepting this reconciliation, we now know God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our friend–and that is the blessing of our Very Best Friend!

What a vision all that is! But the clock chimes and reality barges in. It’s almost time to see that friend of mine, and I’m looking forward to it.

The blessing of friends. A glimpse of heaven. A gift from God. Our reconciliation. A reason for joy!