To Judea, Samaria and North Dakota…
Several days ago, I wrote about the reach of Transitions and let you know that we were making progress across the world, and in 49 of our 50 states, but that North Dakota was a holdout. I sent out a plea for somebody from ND to log on and join our ranks. Well, it happened, and as usual, it was a somewhat unbelievable story.
To understand the connection, it has to do with the idea of the 6 degrees of separation. In short, that concept suggests that each of us is connected to one another through no more than 6 relationships or contacts. In this case, our daughter Kristin has a connection with Jaime, a former high school friend and one of our dedicated readers (see Football Brownies on Nov. 20th for a story about her), who happens to be married to a man whose mother lives in North Dakota. So, Jaime sent out the request and her mother-in-law, Barbara Miller, of Jamestown, ND, took time during her lunch break to go online and read my birthday post. So the circle is complete – we can now claim readers in each one of the 50 United States.
What’s even more strange is that we accomplished the goal of reaching our hold-out state within 24 hours, just as we had hoped, and believe it or not, I have met Barbara – she has even been to our home in Carmel, IN. Unbelievable!
And I think of her every Christmas. Here’s the backstory. The year I was born, 1953, my great aunt, Aunt Lucille, knitted me a Christmas stocking that was presented to me before my first Christmas celebration. On one side of the stocking, there is a tree with sequin ornaments and a fuzzy Santa on the other side. Around the top of the stocking my name is on one side and the year, 1953, on the other side. Eventually, as my two younger brothers were born, they received similar stockings personalized for them as well. My stocking came with me when Janet and I got married and 50 something years after it was made, I noticed a small hole in one side several years ago. I lived with it a year or two, but it really bothered me. I just didn’t know what to do about it.
My Mom was great at knitting, but she’s gone now, and the stocking is very precious to me. Anyway, one day Jaime heard about my dilemma and somehow, Barbara actually visited our home when she was in town, offered to fix my stocking, repaired and returned it; and now it is as good as new. I have no idea how she did it or whether Barbara realized how important that simple act of kindness meant to me. That gift from my Great Aunt Lucille still has some strange hold on me; connecting me to the years of my youth with my parents. And the love Barbara demonstrated to me when she made the repair will never be forgotten. In fact, it has become part of the legacy of the stocking; and I think about Barbara and the mended hole each Christmas now.
I have never shared this appreciation with anyone, but somehow tonight it seems appropriate. If not for Kristin, Jaime, her busband Brent, and then Barbara, I would never have had this experience. How fitting that Barbara was the one to complete our map of the country! And, to fix the hole it my stocking. Who would have thought……
You never know how God is going to put things together. And no matter how good we think we are at dreaming up perfect endings, God always creates a better reality. Somehow, that seems like the lesson for tonight. Except for one thing – as far as our advance with TBTB across the world, this is only the beginning…..
Therefore, the verse for tonight should reflect our commitment to doing good works while we are living Christ centered lives – and to spread the Good News as well. Does such a verse exist? Certainly, in Col. 1:10, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
So there you have it. The perfect solution for us. We are to be living Christ centered lives, dedicating ourselves to serving others, bearing fruit and growing in our relationships with God in the process. Sounds like Barbara is the perfect example… don’t you think?
That’s my encouragement for each of us as well. That we can attain the goals that Christ has set forth for us. Certainly, growing this ministry is on the radar screen as well. My prayer is that you will help us spread the Good News, bearing fruit. Then, we can be off to Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth, now that we have North Dakota. Grace and peace,