Friday, July 21, 2017

Meet and Greet

While standing in the check-out line at JC Penney’s, I heard a voice repeatedly calling out my name.  Looking all around I tried to locate the echo through the crowd.   

Target identified … it was a pastor’s wife that we haven’t seen in about three or four years.  Finishing my business at the counter I stepped aside as Nina approached me with delight radiating from her face.  

As we talked Nina explained that she didn’t know why she came into Penney’s that day, but felt drawn there by God.  I could think of a few reasons to go shopping that certainly wouldn’t include “being drawn there by God, however, my conscience would feel a whole lot better if I could say “God sent me to bargain hunt!” 

The conversation began to deepen when Nina explained that she didn’t need anything, but before coming inside the store asked the Lord why he had brought her there.  Right then a flag went up in my thinking … a lady, at a department store and she didn’t need anything?  Is she for real? 

Upon seeing me Nina conveyed she immediately knew the reason for God sending her to the store, and that was to get in touch with my wife again.  That’s right, this is me … hubby.   Ending a sentence with the word “again” should have given it away; Fay would never have done that! 
 
Right here should be the part she welcomes all of you ...

A Greater Force 

My next stop was Walmart.  I was in a bit of a hurry to get home since it was our wedding anniversary, plus I had some frozen items in my cart.   Okay, let me be honest since Fay’s blog is always about transparency (something that goes against the very fiber of a man). 
 
I was on a mission to pick up a cheesecake my wife ordered especially for our anniversary. (How ironic, because this will be posted on National Cheesecake Day, which isn’t our anniversary but we like to celebrate it anyway. Sorry, I’ve taken a rabbit trail as my wife likes to say.) 

“Check the balance” resounded through my brain reminding me to visit the bank inside the store before starting to shop.  Of course being a man I forgot to do it until I had already finished shopping, but in my defense although my timing was off I did do it.  Walking over to the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) Don and Essie greeted me as they were departing the store. 

We spoke for a few minutes and talked about getting together soon but would leave the details up to Fay.  Standing behind my friends I noticed a lady waving to me from the customer service line as if she was trying to flag down a taxi.  Now what?  

What was this … “national get me in trouble with my wife day" because I’m running so late? Don’t they realize I have a greater force to deal with if I don’t get home a.s.a.p.?  Plus, there’s the cheesecake to consider, come on now what else could be more important? 

Good News in Waiting

It was the groomer from the vet clinic calling out from the slow moving customer service line she was waiting in to return something.  “Don’t leave. I need to talk to you!”   

Recognizing that I was being summoned Don and Essie left and I walked over to see what the woman in the customer service area wanted.  When Alise (the groomer) was finished she shared the good news about two rescue kitties that she had adopted from us in December 2016.  It was a favored report and well worth the wait to hear. 

Value of Relationships 

Now I really had to get going, so  I hurried to the self-check-out line.  Thank you Lord … no waiting, this should be quick. 
 
Scanning the items I hear a familiar voice calling out from behind me.  With his long drawn out country boy accent I heard: 

“Heyyyyyy, you ain’t got nearly enough in that there cart”. 

It was Ray-Ray ... molasses on two feet!  He is one of the nicest people you ever want to meet, but takes forever and a day to pour out the details of a story.  He always goes out of his way to say hello, and I never want to devalue our relationship by not spending a few moments with him.   

Initiation of Friendships 

Thinking back on the encounters of that day I thought about how these relationships had developed over the years.  What caused them to turn from acquaintances into actual friendships?  It was the prayers and interaction of my wife who initiated the majority of them. 

I can’t tell you how most of our adult friendships began, but do know that Fay had something to do with it.  Whether it started with telling someone she liked their hair or shirt, to saying “excuse me” in the aisle of a store, “Favored1” isn’t shy about meeting and greeting. 
 
To her, she’s never met a stranger and everyone that comes into her life becomes a friend of sorts.  I'm living proof of that, she initiated our first conversation back in 9th grade of high school.  In my grief she offered words of comfort.

Growing up in a large household as my wife did, left each child fending for their own relationships outside of the immediate family.  Being an only child it’s something that I never encountered until I met her.  She was never the center of attention, and I always was (and still am … with her). 

Wanting to make friends or even talk to people is work, and frankly I didn’t want to invest that kind of time with anyone else but her.  For a Christian, this is about the most ungodly act we can do.  Jesus is all about bringing people into the fold, not keeping them at arms-length.  

Favored Comments 

Relationships are important to Fay, making good ones, leaving bad ones behind and knowing when to let them grow in their own course of time.  Then there are those special ones she cherishes or cultivates like the ones here on Daily Favor. 

Over the past five years I’ve watched some of her relationships take a nose dive, while others have blossomed into the most loving friendships.  No matter what is going on in our lives, you beloved friends have been there and we thank God mentioning you in prayer. 

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.  
Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 
for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
(Philippians 1:3-5 NLT) 

 
We have gained strength from your prayers, comments and good wishes during my hospital stays and recovery.  When discouraged, you were there through prayer and leaving words of encouragement.   
Whether it was through comments on blogs, social media or emails, your words often lift us up in hope, reminding us that God is in all of this and that you have favored us with your precious time. 

Many of your comments reflected something you received in your heart from the post, while others reach us on a more intimate level.  The thing here is that we appreciate all of them, as do so many others that visit over the course of the year. 

You Are Highly Favored 

When my wife began Daily Favor I couldn’t imagine what would compel her to write on a topic week after week, let alone year after year.  I mean, how much is there to say about one thing right? 

However as it unfolded I began to understand that being favored by God is more than just a few words or a concept. It’s something we can take hold of that touches every aspect of a believer’s life through salvation. 

“Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation.” (Psalm 106:4 NKJV) 

In scripture the Apostle Paul learned the value of relationships throughout the course of his ministry.  He didn’t have a problem pointing out the ones that failed exposing the flaw in others, which I somehow doubt God looked favorably on when he did that. 

Then again, Paul was quick to tell us to extend favor to those who have helped him through the years whether it was in housing, food, material gifts and letters of encouragement or in prayer.  He highly favored his friendship and relationship with the church, and presented the Saints before the Lord in gratitude through prayer. (Philippians 4)  

It’s true, the Lord inspires my wife in her writing, but it’s a heart for souls that keeps her going and enthused about sharing the gift of God’s favor with anyone who is willing to receive it.  Your unfailing love, support and extreme patience are food for her soul to walk out the call of God on her life with joy. 

I can attest that when mamma’s happy, pappa’s happy, and as Ray-Ray would say, “Ain’t no getting around that! 

Receiving Daily Favor 

What I’ve learned and take away each week from reading Daily Favor is that even though I don’t always receive the fullness of the favor of God, there is hope that I can.  God isn’t holding anything back from me, but is waiting with arms wide open for me to get my act together so I can enjoy the abundant life that Jesus died to give me. 

Favor is something that I come to expect from the promises of God, not because I deserve any of it but because of His unconditional love.  More than ever I can see God’s favor in my life on the little things, not just the obvious. 

Fay expects God to be faithful in answering prayer and blessing her because of who she is in Christ – favored!  Being her husband I share in her receiving favor daily and extend it to others more than ever, because I think differently about why we receive it in the first place. 

The weekly challenges are exhausting. They tug on my heart, cause me change when I don’t want to, and even more … they force me to think when my mind wants to stay in null mode.  I still can’t get past the “Making Favored Decisions” one! 

Over and over I see my wife receive favor when no one else does in certain situations.   When I ask her about it she reminds me that she “asked” and received.  God grants her requests because she continually seeks His face, not His hand(outs) so that she can bless someone else.  The purpose of receiving Daily Favor isn’t for keeping, but for giving. 

Meet and Greet 

This week I have had the pleasure of sharing a few things from my heart concerning the time and love Fay puts into Daily Favor as she uplifts you in prayer.  You mean more to us than just a few snippets on a post here and there. 

Although we haven’t had the pleasure of a meet and greet yet, Fay and I look forward to when that will change whether it is here on Earth or in our Holy reunion in Heaven with Jesus.  If you aren't sure about salvation you can change that by reading "Tell Me."
 
So for now, it is my sincere desire that you join us as we venture into God’s favor in relationships for our next series.  By the way, don’t think we’ll get out of doing the challenges.  Have you even known an instructor not to give homework?  Try living with one!
 
Little side note here ... saying a few extra prayers wouldn’t hurt since she’s asked me to co-pilot this part of the journey, which she’ll no doubt edit and change anyway to make it interesting.

Thank you for journeying with us through the years, and I pray that God will continue to extend His gracious favor to each of you for your faithfulness.
 
Happy 5th Anniversary Daily Favor, and congratulations Sweetheart.  May God continue to anoint your work as we learn to walk in the blessings of His Daily Favor!
 
If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, the grace (favor) of the Lord our God be with you all. 

P.S. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I miss the challenge globe, don't you?
 
Reference: Philippians 4:23 NKJV 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 
Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior. 

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Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
Scripture references provided by Gateway Bible in the New King James Bible Version or as noted. 

Image credit: Google Images Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  JC Penney  National Cheesecake Day  Value  Comments Psalm 106:4 Highly Favored  Jesus and Heaven  5th Anniversary

Meet and Greet, Daily Favor Relationships, Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, Christian Living, Weekly Challenge, Inspiration, Anniversary, National Cheesecake Day, Friendship, Hubby Update, God's Love, Salvation