“just walk across the room” stories

for almost a month we have been entering into an exciting new realm for many christ followers at new venture. we are learning how to extricate ourselves from our circles of comfort and enter into the realm of the unknown. we are discovering how to take some walks across rooms and reach out hands and arms of friendship and acceptance to all kinds of people, people who might be living life far from god. we are reacquainting ourselves with how to discover the stories of others and extend ourselves to serve them in some way.

hopefully our openness will open doors to some spiritual conversations. god’s heart beats for those who are living away from him. he wants them to find him and the forgiveness and eternal hope he offers all people. and the way they find out about his love and care is often through christ followers who are willing to take walks across rooms, across streets, across office buildings, across ball fields or whatever.

do you have a just walk across the room story to share? have you stepped outside your comfort zone and entered into the zone of the unknown lately and would like to share it to encourage others to take similar walks? i would really like to hear your story and i think a lot of other readers would also.

let me share one of mine. we have neighbors who just had their first child. he is just a couple months old. they are a great new family. they have been living across from us for about a year and a half. we have talked and gotten to know each other in a casual sort of way. two days ago i took a step that extended sharon (my wife) and me into their life in a deeper manner. i offered our services to care for their son if they ever need child care and were not able to find any. i need a little practice holding an infant anyhow, since we have a new grandchild and another on the way. i hope we get taken up on the offer.

now, what’s your story? how have you taken a walk to show acceptance, friendship or service to someone lately. and what kind of response did you receive?

by the way, all the messages in this “just walk across the room” series are available from our website.

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golden compass

i am anything but an alarmist. i do not engage in forwarding emails. in fact, to be completely honest with you, i hardly ever read a forwarded email. but there is one that has come to my attention recently from more than one source. i will not go into extensive details about it, but it is about the soon to be released movie, golden compass. it hits the theaters on December 7. Nicole Kidman stars in it so it will get lots of attention. it is produced in the same type of setting as the chronicles of narnia, by cs lewis, even though the writer despises cs lewis. the movie is based on a trilogy of books by Phillip Pullman, who is an atheist, and is using the movie to influence kids in a subtle way. in the last of the three books the kids in the story kill god and are left to do whatever they want to do. here is a link to more extensive info on the movie, it’s premise and it’s writer. if you have any thought of taking it in during the holiday season i would encourage you to do some research first.

http://snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

the forgotten holiday

where in the world has thanksgiving gone? for weeks and months we have seen displays for halloween, from costumes to candy, from cards to countless decorations. everywhere we looked for several weeks our eyes have been exposed to the trappings of halloween.

then, before the halloween displays could be removed or sold on the 50% off tables christmas took over. in some stores i have seen christmas displays for several weeks now. “we don’t want to miss out on those christmas dollars.” i noticed this week that walmart is getting a jump on black friday, that day right after, what is that other holiday, oh thanksgiving, by offering black friday prices on their website three weeks before black friday even arrives.

but what in the world has happened to that other holiday? the one called thanksgiving. i don’t recall seeing even one display devoted to thanksgiving. i’m sure they’re out there but i don’t remember seeing any. maybe it’s because they are so few and far between.

so why in the world have we lost thanksgiving? i suppose part of the blame lies at the feet of merchandisers. stores just can’t get enough sales generated form thanksgiving so they push it to the side in favor of the big dollar holidays, like halloween and christmas. isn’t it a shame how much we allow marketing to dictate values in our life. for some reason we fall right in line with the next merchandising promotion that is shoved in front of us as we frequent stores and businesses.

another reason why we might be less excited about celebrating thanksgiving is because it is the unselfish holiday. halloween is so much about all the fun stuff we get to do in celebrating it and all the “sweets” we get during it. it is pretty much a “get” holiday.

and christmas has become the very same type of celebration. sure it is suppose to be all about what god gave to us in the person of jesus, born on christmas day. but how many really make that the center of their season. it is more about decorations, spending, gifts and parties. and to merchants this is the bread and butter of their entire year. so they promote it with every ounce of energy and ever conceivable means they can find. and we fall right in line with their plans and schemes.

so what ever happened to thanksgiving. i would like to invite you to join me in giving special attention this year to the forgotten holiday. it is forgotten because it is not so much about what we get but what we give. it is all about giving thanks and appreciation and gratitude to the god who is good, gracious and bountiful toward us, even when we don’t deserve it. even when we loose him in the midst of all the other holiday celebrations and abuses.

take special time this month to offer thanks to god for his goodness, graciousness and thankfulness.

be a leader in your family to bring them to the same thanks and appreciation.

take some time to show your thanks to god in a special way that’s out of the box for you.

be unselfish with what the lord has provided for you by sharing it with someone else.

let’s refuse to march in line with the climate of our culture. let’s determine to do everything we can during the month of november, and all year long, for that matter, to be thankful, appreciative, self-giving servants of others. that is the key to true happiness.