Monday, May 6, 2013

The Invitation ~ For Whoever

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; 
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! 
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 
Why spend money on what is not bread, 
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."
Isaiah 55:1-2

A few years ago, I was planning a a surprise gathering for my husband for a birthday and as a send-off on his dream-come-true trip to tour the Holy Land in Israel. I had prayerfully planned the guest list many months before the event, and the invitations were mailed about a month before the date of the party. Our families and Jim's dearest friends were invited. These friendships spanned from a few years to 20 years. And Jim and his cousin, John, have been friends their whole lives...almost 45 years at the time.

About a week before the surprise party, the Lord put it on my heart to invite another couple. I had been building a friendship with the wife for several months, but Jim and the husband were just beginning a friendship. However, I saw a mutual respect and "connection" in this growing friendship and I knew in my heart that Jim would be blessed by having this couple at his surprise party. In Chuck Swindoll's book "Koinonia", he talks about how vibrant fellowship can bring forth new friendships. That was what God is doing at that time.

With the invitations having been mailed weeks prior, I called my girlfriend personally. I shared my heart honestly with her and told her that the invitation, albeit late, was meant to bless and honor them. I told her I knew Jim would be delighted if they were there. I did not want them to be insulted that they had not received a written invitation weeks before. Truly, I wanted to bless them and also bless Jim at his party by having them there.
My girlfriend's response blessed my heart. Her reply was, as I expected, enthusiastic, gracious and understanding. She was so thankful for the invitation regardless of the timing. She said, "You'll never know how much this invitation blessed me today!"

Tears of thankfulness to the Lord rolled down my cheeks. "Thank you, Lord. Thank you for putting this on my heart and that they were blessed just by the invitation."

Isn't that the way? Isn't is just a blessing to receive an invitation? It says, "You are loved. You are valued. You are included." 

A fact of life is that we are not all invited to everything, nor can we be, and we can't invite everyone to our gatherings either. It's just not possible. Grown-ups understand that, even though at times it can still hurt. And God's timing is always amazing as I have had opportunity to walk with each of our children through these painful "I was not invited to that party" lessons of life that give us the privilege of building godly character. 
There is one invitation that is extended to all of us to which we can all RSVP with an enthusiastic and committed "YES"! Our Host is the King of Kings. This invitation from our Savior to believe in Him and receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life is an open invitation, and everyone is on the guest list! That is so exciting! "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life..." John 3:36 
"Whoever". An open invitation. The most significant, meaningful, life-giving and important invitation you'll ever receive. You are loved. You are valued. You are included.

When you accept this invitation, ask for His forgiveness and receive Jesus into your heart, He washes away your sin and you receive eternal life immediately. What is eternal life? This is John 17:3"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Knowing the only true God. Intimately knowing Him.

This sacred invitation has been delivered to us through God's son, Jesus. And when you accept this invitation, you receive an eternity in heaven!

"Now we know that if the earthly tent 
we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, 
an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 
2 Corinthians 5:7

God's Word is a treasure just filled with His truths about knowing Him, eternal life with Him, and an eternity in the kingdom of heaven. If you have happened upon this blog and desire to RSVP to His invitation to know Him, please click here for more information. And if you need a Bible, let me know ( As you open His treasure of Truth, you will find that His Word alone satisfies the hungry and thirsty. (Psalm 107:9)

My girlfriend and her husband replied "yes" to my invitation. They were enthusiastic. They were thankful. They were delighted to be there, and we were delighted to have them. And after the surprise party, my husband said to me "The guest list was perfect." 
God's guest list is perfect, too, and it includes YOU! You are invited. He beckons you to "Come". Without Jesus, we are all lame, blind and poor. Amazingly, He invites us to feast at His table forever! If you haven't already, we pray you will accept His invitation. His love is perfect. His will give you strength to walk, eyes to see and make your heart rich in His love.
"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed." Luke 14:13

"And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet."
2 Samuel 9:13

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." Revelation 19:9

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Table For Two - Table Testimony

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Psalm 23:5-6 (NIV)

Our family loves Ocean City, NJ, and we are excited when we are able to vacation there.  In 2008 and 2009, we rented our friends' shore house on Asbury Avenue.  As I was packing for our beach vacation in the Summer or 2009, I silently prayed to the Lord and shared a wish with Him. “Lord, I’d really like to have a special place to have my morning quiet time with You at the shore house this year. You know how I like to spread out a little for my quiet time and study time. Last summer at the shore, I used the kitchen table every day, which was dandy. Yet it would be wonderful to have a special little spot where I can spread my Bible, books and journals out, and not have to put everything away when I am done every morning. Just a little wish, Lord. Thanks.”

After whispering my prayer to the Lord, I continued packing and kept the wish as a treasure between me and the Lord.

When we arrived at the shore house, my husband, Jim, took the first of many heavy loads up to the house while I was organizing our children and gathering as many things in my arms as I could carry. When Jim came back down he enthusiastically said, “Honey, there is a new table in the family room that is perfect for morning quiet times.” What?  I had not even shared my prayer with Jim at that point, but he was excited about the table and knew it would be a perfect spot for my morning devotions. 

Wow, Lord, thank you! I was so thankful to the Lord for remembering my prayer. The surprise addition of this furniture at the shore house was a treasured spot for me to meet with and seek the Lord each day.

I then shared with Jim about my prayer for a table.  He was amazed at God's goodness and His specific answer to my prayer for a table.  Jim reminded me that God would move a mountain for us to dwell with Him.  Preparing a table was a pleasure for the Carpenter.  (Jim also asked me if I could pray for a jet ski for the following summer's vacation!)  

A few days into our vacation, I called my sweet girlfriend, Tricia, who owned the house with her husband to see how she was feeling as she had been ill. Toward the end of our phone conversation, I mentioned the table to her saying, “By the way, we love the table you put in the family room of the house. It’s perfect for morning quiet time with the Lord!”

“What table?” Tricia asked.

“You know, the table between the fire place and the front door. It’s just perfect for devotions and studying the Bible.”

“We didn’t put a table there.”

“Yes, you did.”

“No, we didn’t.” 

She paused momentarily and then asked me to hold on. Then she called to her tween daughter to inquire. Her daughter confirmed ~ no, they hadn’t put a table in their shore home.
The "Table For Two" at the shore house - Summer 2009

I took a picture of the table with my cell phone and texted it to my friend. Her reply: She had never seen the table before. She double-checked with her husband, the realtor and cleaning woman (the small handful of people who had key access to their shore home). Nothing. Nobody knew about the table or how it got there.

But we did know.

God remembered my prayer.

The Master Carpenter prepared a table for me. He met me there. He encouraged and blessed my heart remarkably. He spoke His love and acceptance to my heart in a way I will always remember. He made my cup overflow. His goodness and love follow us. 

Before we left the shore house at the end of our week’s vacation, I stood at the table with my hands on it. I prayed for all the people who had sat there before me and for those who will sit there in the future. I prayed they would meet with God there, that it would be a special place for them as well. I prayed also they would inquire of Him, be watchful for His answers and give Him joyous thanksgiving.

In March 2011, as I drove up to our home on my birthday after picking our children up from school, a breathtaking gift was on our porch.  A beautiful re-gift.  A precious gift first given to me by the Lord and then given again to me by my girlfriend and her husband.  They surprised me on my birthday by giving me the table from their shore house.  His table.  Hushed and humbled by His love, His table for two now sits in our living room...inviting us to dine with Him in His Word each day.  ("A Sweet Drink From The Saucer")

The table is set. He has prepared a table for you.  He longs to dine with you at His table.  Join the Master Carpenter.  Listen to Him, eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in His abundance.
"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance."
Isaiah 55:2