Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Softly surrounded

10:12 p.m. Today's project was to meet with my girlfriends from church at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Riverside. Kay's plan was to have them caravan from Moreno Valley and meet me at the restaurant at 5:30. So I planned my afternoon venture with careful timing. (Even at $3.59 a gallon, gas is still way too expensive to make extra trips).

I began at the Canyon Crest Towne Center, at the Cellar Door book store--where they carry my book--to pick up a Christmas gift that I hope will be both amusing and thought-provoking for the recipients. Then a quick walk around the corner to Rite Aid for colored pricing dots for our family garage sale on Saturday. On the way back to my car, I passed the Rotations consignment shop, where I'll be selling Mary Kay gifts on Saturday afternoon. The owner is very excited about being able to have my gifts for sale, "cash 'n carry," at her shop.[ Not nearly as excited as I am]. God is so good, arranging all things for me today! God gives favor to His children with those we come into contact with. He did so for the Israelites as they left Egypt  in Exodus 11:2-3, when He had His people solicit articles of silver and gold from their neighbors as they left, that they might take the wealth of that nation with them. Verse 3 continues:

And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians.

The early Christians of Acts 2:46-47 are described this way:

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising  God and having favor with all the people.

The result?  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The Lord gives us favor with those we affiliate with for one reason: to show a Christian witness, which thereby allows us an opportunity to share Jesus with them that they might be saved.

My miniature Christmas village is a far cry from anywhere in Riverside in recent history. But it does illustrate my experience today, of being surrounded softly and with favor by friends, new acquaintances, shopkeepers, church members, the housekeeper, youth at play, workmen and the mailman.  Literally, I spoke and interacted with people in these very life roles today. And there were several more, like my chiropractor; and the receptionist, director, residents, family members and caregivers at my husband's care facility. The couple ice skating  arm-in-arm reminds me of tender times with Steve, whom I also spent time with today.
I have much to be blessed by in the form of people in my life, and I need them now more than ever before. My need for pure fellowship was met tonight at dinner. Genuine concern for Steve's condition and sacrificing the time to find out how he really is doing, mean the world to me right now. And what's better entertainment than sharing funny anecdotes about our pets? Bless God, I just soaked in the opportunities we took to learn more about one another as we relaxed into deeper conversation. Thank you, Kay, for putting together this outing! Psalm 133:1:
Behold, how good and how
  pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in

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