Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Connections are Importrant

Chuckle: “I’ve never flown before,” the nervous elderly lady told the pilot. “You will bring me down safely, won’t you?” “All I can say, ma’am,” said the pilot, “is that I’ve never left anyone up there yet!”
Quote: “The highest privilege there is, is the privilege of being allowed to share another’s pain. You talk about your pleasures to your acquaintances; you talk about your troubles to your friends.” –Fr Andrew SDC
The Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 HCSB
A few years ago my home church renamed its Sunday School classes as “Connection Groups.” As the name implies, the connection groups are all about establishing connections and relationships with God, the church, and one another to help prepare the group for eternity and the challenges of life here on earth. The goal is to help members become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Jesus knew Mary and Martha quite well, along with their brother, Lazarus, and was comfortable in their home. Perhaps Martha wanted to impress Jesus with her cooking, silver service, her table cloth, her skills as a hostess. But Jesus was impressed with Mary who was building a connection and relationship with Him. In our passage, Jesus was saying to Martha that Mary’s relationship with Him was the most important thing in her life, and it would never be taken away from her.
In our society, it seems there are many who have contacts and casual acquaintances but few meaningful relationships. In Josh McDowell’s book, “The Disconnected Generation,” he says, “Many have not learned the secret of connecting with parents, friend, neighbors, etc.” God wired us for relationships in homes, communities, and the church. Without healthy relationships with parents, children can become emotionally scarred. We need one another. God put in our hearts the need to belong. It’s important that someone holds your hand during difficult times. Does someone care about you, and is he/her sensitive to your needs? Are you relevant to anyone? One of Billy Graham’s most popular sermons is “Loneliness - The Need For Relationships."
Hal Cushner was at the beach one day and he saw a little boy and girl working on a magnificent sand castle. Then a huge wave came and destroyed it all. Cushner just knew they would be upset. But, to his amazement, they just jumped up, held hands, and ran further up the beach away from the water, sat down laughing and began building again.
What does this say to us? We can build all kinds of structures so we can leave a legacy about what we have done. But the waves of the world will render them useless. The only thing left is our relationships with God and other people that make life worth living.
Stacy and Bert are like many couples - nice home - nice vehicles - good jobs - latest toys for three great kids - know to the right people - active in their church - they love God - they exercise several hours every week, but their lives are empty. Why? They are rich in stuff and in poverty with relationships. They have no time for their children or each other. They are constantly running to take care of stuff and meet schedules.
This is America today. You can't give your kids everything. You can't leave all your options open. You must start choosing what is important; and the most important is relationships. Relationships with God and others will stand the test of time and will never leave us empty and lonely.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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