2020 desiring community, create it vs waiting at the shore

“Set Sail in 2020.” (My goal) Set your finest dining table and invite others in. A friend told me she was desiring community last week and she set sail. She invited three friends for dinner and asked them to each bring a guest not a pie or sugar cookie. (Acknowledging not an easy feat for them) She saw community in this because she knew it would be various cultures, ages and interest. She showcased a beautiful yet simple table. I saw pint jars with a few garden flowers. They were grocery store bundles as cold and snow in her area was not quiet ready to yield to blooms. Her husband gave freely to prepare the food and then slipped away to prepare his sails. This new community start-up left them all feeling invigorating and hopeful.

Psalm 107

23 Some of you set sail in big ships; you put to sea to do business in faraway ports. 

24 Out at sea you saw God in action, saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean: 

25 With a word he called up the wind – an ocean storm, towering waves! 

26 You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out; your hearts were stuck in your throats. 

27 You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk, you didn’t know which end was up. 

28 Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. 

29 He quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves. 

30 And you were so glad when the storm died down, and he led you safely back to harbor. 

31 So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves. 

32 Lift high your praises when the people assemble, shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!

Yes, I want to set sail in 2020 as “community” …dictionary meaning of community… Ecclesiastical. a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.

Verses 42-43 of Psalm 107 ends with results of using The Rule for community…

“Good people see this and are glad;
    bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.
If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—
    it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.”

28 thoughts on “2020 desiring community, create it vs waiting at the shore

  1. Community in 2020 and not waiting by the shore. Beginning this week my church here in Daphne, Alabama has decided to open up the church on Tuesday for prayer from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. We will be given sheet to guide us, and as the church has been studying on using scripture to pray, we will be using Psalm 119. I’m so excited to see the church coming together in unity as a House of Prayer. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
    Matthew 18:20 “for where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.

    1. Rena, love hearing how your church has purposely designed time, space and rule for sail in 2020 by establishing community within the walls of the church for prayer and Psalm 119 to assist. .

      My husband, Gary, and I find Psalm 119 is a perfect fit for our life styles. Each and every word seems like high impact. I must say I am a bit partial to vs 105 ) “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

      I am guessing from the time frame it is open door to come and go. I’m wondering if assigned guides will be there to assist as people enter and exit.

      In 2019 I got to visit a few churches in NM that had their doors opened daily for prayer. I was always so blessed to be greeted by an attendee to assist if needed or desired to share moments with another. It was this beauty with exactness that set a flame in my inner being to set sail for new community for my 2020.

      I’v always appreciated this quote, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold”― Girl Scouts of the USA. I’v heard this quote from various places and used myself. Yet, the word “friend” is chilling vs warmth at times.

      I think friend has given me deep thought at various times. Some call you friend but they are neither silver or gold. “Jesus Calls Us Friends” – John 15:9-18 (5-17-09) with many rules intact. Here are a few rules among many others….
      John 15:14 – Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

      Proverbs 18:24 – A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

      Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

      1 John 3:1 – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.“

      1. Tammy, we have been encouraged over the last year with The Reverend Reggie Webb, from your local church, and his Biblical teachings from the OT. He opened the doors of his heart to invite all that would listen by way of posting on internet his teachings.

        Would love to see his teachings aired daily on radio. One never knows the limit God’s Word will go when love of world (John 3:16) enters the gates for the race.

        New beginnings! New ways to let our Light shine so others can see and glorify Our Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-17)

      2. I agree with you Sara …“would love to see his teachings aired daily on radio“. I am thankful for pastor Reggie, websites such as the dailylily, and all who continue to study and teach the Word of God. Yes, may our lights continue to shine in 2020, “so others can see and glorify Our Father which is in heaven.” 🙏

  2. Reading the scriptures above, I thought about the discussion we had in my Sunday School class of nine year old girls (you would say a community) as how to show and speak of Jesus’s love. They decided they should come up with a list of things and check it off when complete. Another said, No, no the list should not be a check off list. The list needed to be written down so they would know what Jesus said to do. Another said we will need Jesus to help us know what to say after we have studied. Several then told stories of how they along with their parents had met neighbor and how they had become Christian friends. One little girl said she taught a little Indian girl how to pray and now the young girl prays every night and they are friends. Another said her family has become close with another family in neighborhood and is ministering to them. We also spoke about how we should pray and show the love of Jesus’s using are own personality when He ask us to do so.

    Next week I will add Psalm 119: 105
    “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path..”

    We will begin to find and study scripture to find what Jesus says when meeting someone He puts in our path.

  3. It is great to read the story above how the friend ‘desired community’ and then creatively designed a way to add others to their table.

    Also encouraging to read how Rena’s church is opening its doors as did the churches that Sara visited in NM.

    It looks from reading all the scriptures above on friends and the examples given that to be a ‘silver or gold friend’ as well as a friend of Jesus we have to do our part in helping to ‘create community’.

  4. I was thinking about a workshop we did a few years ago in NC about friendships, plus where I believed I first heard the quote or similar there of keeping the old while adding the new.

    Also, I had a few throwback memories of a friend named Jean that loved this community life many are yearning for these days. She was in a military officer family and knew and practiced with great skill building community.
    When I met her she was living in countryside overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains from one view and Sugarloaf mountains from another view.

    Each summer she had a mountain party on her property. Every single neighbor was invited. Often I was invited to fun times, mealtimes, study times, among other gatherings. I met so many of her friends enjoying many friendships for many years. I was always encouraged to bring my family and friends. All holidays her table extended from DR into FR and made a turn into LR allowed any and all that would gather. The story never ended until the Lord called her home. Even then I was a part of her home going gathering.

    In many ways she trained me to live in community. The beauty of diversity was a display of lush joy to never be forgotten. She always believed she had a gift of peacemaking. I am truly able to say she valued each and ever life that God placed on her path. And, the star in her life was the gift of hospitality. She and her husband had extremely busy lives. I don’t really know anyone today with the range of living they enjoyed.

    I think I would blush listing their life activities. Maybe it would be easier to try and name an activity they were not involved in.

    I loved the value they put on spending time communicating in yards, porches, their country store that was their hobby after retirement and by the wood stove. Always sit a while and let’s talk. Years into their lives I was privileged to be one of the very few that ever heard the story from the Colonel’s very lips of what it was like to land on Iwo Jima WWII as we sat late into the night by a hospital bed waiting for Jean to have surgery.

    I begin to understand love comes from very deep wells where a fresh spring finds a way to give life to others that sits awhile in community. She often sang praise songs as we enjoyed time in fellowship. This was one of her favorites.

    “Spring Up, O Well
    🎼I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me
    Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see,
    Opens prison doors, sets the captive free.
    I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me.

    Chorus:
    Spring up, O well, within my soul.
    Spring up, O well, and make me whole
    Spring up, O well, and give to me
    That life abundantly

    Gathering in community is not a new gift from God it’s just one that became dormant as wealth of devices became the norm. Also, the feeling of I don’t need others I have money and my family among other benefits afforded to our nation. The yearning for community is on the rise. Sad to say but the art is scarce yet attainable with the Holy Spirit by our side as guide and counsellor.

    1. Sara, you mentioned the “workshop we did a few years ago in NC about friendships, ”

      I had some time on a snowy day here in Northern Va to go back and read through some things in the workbook you wrote and taught on for that workshop, “Throwing Your Light Forward – Relationship, Friendship, Fellowship”. While reviewing the Chapter, “Friendship”, since this has been such an important part of this blog, I found several scriptures (along with my notes on them) you referred to that would show us “some characteristics that mirror your profile of “friend”. They add to the list of friend scriptures you posted above and I thought they were helpful to review as a mirror.

      Exodus 33:11 – Transparency; knowing thyself; confronting and facing things
      Proverbs 27:6 – Honesty and truthfulness
      Proverbs 27:9 – Forthright counsel
      Proverbs 27:10 – Faithfulness
      Proverbs 16:28 – Sure confidente; trustworthy
      James 2:23 – “Faith creates works and works perfect faith” (Sara); obedience
      Proverbs 27:17 – Confrontational
      Proverbs 22:24-25 – Not angry but peaceable

    1. I agree, Rena. Jean always greeted everyone with a big smile, big heart and open arms. I remember her warmth and the hospitality she showed my mother (who was not a neighbor and whom she hardly knew) at an outdoor gathering on her beautiful hillside property. It didn’t end there. When my mother abruptly passed away, Jean was there to support me at the funeral arrangements and then soon after to the graveside service. She always seemed to make space and time to reach out to others.

  5. Oh I love the sweet remembrance of Jean.

    My son and his wife’s church have been working on community in their church. Once a month they help elderly and those who can’t afford to do with fix it jobs.

    They were told by the pastor to put a picnic table in the front yard to draw the neighbors in. They did. They now have opened up their home to all in their neighborhood for every occasion.
    When I was there during Christmas they got a projector and chairs from church and showed a movie on a large screen affixed to the garage. They made gallons of hot chocolate and rented a popcorn machine. The event is loved by all. They tried it the year before and many neighbors asked if they were doing it again. So you could say back by popular demand.

    1. Rena, a big hand clap👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 To Jon and Fran and their children and you as you served in helps.

      You spoke of, “ back by popular demand,”…this gives me reason to repeat the last verse of our Psalm in post.

      “Good people see this and are glad;
      bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.
      If you are really wise, you’ll think this over.
      it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.”

      I want to add 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 to both of your sons and wives for reaching out and blessing my efforts in ministry to honor you, their Mother.

  6. Rena and Debi, so happy you have good memories of Jean. As I tie a bow on the reason for my giving a part of her story I’m reminded that is was I that brought her into your lives through community gatherings. And, my connection to her came through a mutual friend that she and I shared. Our friend was from Oklahoma. She came to my area to stay in Jean’s home and through Jean’s kindness invited me as guest.

    Our goal is connections that tell a Kingdom story. That’s community. I want to share and encourage others that are just starting community gathering.

    1. “As I tie a bow on the reason for my giving a part of her story I’m reminded that is was I that brought her into your lives through community gatherings.”

      Thank you, Sara, for ‘tying the bow’ and connecting the dots to clarify the reason these connections and relationships came about in the first place.

      1. Debi, often root siting, digging and identifying is resourceful to the tree and soil. There are many illustrations in God’s Word for sharing tree planting resources. Just one I will share here for it’s importance of sharing root. If we think on the root of Jesse (Bible) and genealogy we will again know the importance of root study.
        Psalm 1 ID’s some “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
        ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

        As we share with those that are searching for community we often need to share the root of connections to build and have foundation for building safely on.

        I see often on internet connection a quiz like joy. The question how did you first meet me then the program makes a map ongoing for connecting to one another.

        We all most likely have had success in sharing in connecting others to friends and friends to us. Part of the reason For community is to help us ID ourself we don’t thrive or survive alone very well.

        Debi listed these scriptures in post above. I think great for 2020 set my sails.

        Exodus 33:11 – Transparency; knowing thyself; confronting and facing things
        Proverbs 27:6 – Honesty and truthfulness
        Proverbs 27:9 – Forthright counsel
        Proverbs 27:10 – Faithfulness
        Proverbs 16:28 – Sure confidente; trustworthy
        James 2:23 – “Faith creates works and works perfect faith” (Sara); obedience
        Proverbs 27:17 – Confrontational
        Proverbs 22:24-25 – Not angry but peaceable

  7. I find at times it seems like Jesus is yelling from the roof time! Maybe a clarion word. I have been so excited recently to enjoy table fellowship with many new voices. And, I feel it so right and so sure Jesus is with us enjoying our fellowship.

    And, I keep getting affirmed by others in various ways. Take a look at my morn devotion today, “LIKE THE SUN and the rain whose reach extends without discrimination, the kin-dom of God welcomes everyone. Jesus embodies this inclusiveness through the central cultural custom of his day: the practice of table fellowship. In the ancient Jewish world, only the cultically clean are allowed to dine at a ritually pure household. At Jesus’ table, however, the invitation is sent to all—the sick, the lame, lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, traitors, outcasts, and centurions.“—Frank Rogers Jr. , Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus

    I give my clarion word, WOW!

    1. Thanks for sharing your creative insights and teaching about the root, Sara, and the “root of connections to build and have foundation for building safely on.” That paints a clear picture for me.
      I can understand after working around and digging up many trees and plants (both alive and
      dead) that their roots are the anchor that stabilizes, nourishes, and helps the environment and other plants nearby.

      And it’s encouraging to read about your affirmation above by various others. It reminded me of this scripture from Isaiah 30:1 “…Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,”

      1. Sara quoted above, “Jesus prayed not just for fruit, but “fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

        As I have been thinking on this scripture and plants that produce fruit, I wondered how you can have fruit that lasts? Plants usually don’t bear fruit continuously, it’s seasonal. So, how can we have fruit in season and out of season?

        I found some wisdom/help to my question when I went searching into a workbook that Sara wrote for a retreat called, “Designs of One’s Heart” subtitled “The Four Seasons – Hearts Are Seasonal Much Like the Four Seasons.”
        Here’s what I found in the lesson, “Summer Season – Summer Maintains Us- A Season of Fruitfulness”:
        “Maintain, according to Webster, “to hold in one’s hand; or to keep or hold against attacks; feed; preserve; to protect from harm and danger.” In other words, to prepare food for canning for future use is one of the ways that we preserve the beautiful Summer fruit. Yes, Winter is past but remember it has a way of coming around again and again, as do all God’s seasons. The wisest man that ever lived, Solomon, gave us a book of wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to live life skillfully. Preserving our Summer ripe fruit for Winter use would be one way of living life skillfully. Would you agree?”
        “…And imagine that you’ve got all kinds of Summer fruit in your basket on your porch and some of it is getting ripe. So if you don’t eat it today or preserve it, it will spoil. It will be of no use except for today’s aesthetic value. This is my wisdom.”

      2. Debi, so refreshing to wake up to unseasonal warm weather for my locale and find your quoted lesson on fruit bearing from one’s heart.

        As I sip my Coffee Brew and start my breakfast I am reminded of various ways that fruit remains. The coffee farmers from places unknown to me provided a bean. My mind travelled around the various ways, how’s, stops and grinders, methods, pots and mugs before delighted my whole being, ☕️ Why, because I did a song along on Amazing Grace and meditating on a pray that Jesus prayed for me. His desire was that I would have fruit that would remain.

        I placed His prayer in my mind with the coffee farmer prayer and I saw a glimpse of my job as fruit farmer.
        “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John‬ ‭15:14-19‬ ‭KJV‬‬

        My meditation gave me a refreshing cup of fresh drink. “ “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
        ‭‭John‬ ‭15:5-6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

      3. The footnotes from the NLT for John 15: 16 says: “Jesus made the first choice-to love and to die for us, to invite us to live with Him forever. We make the next choice-to accept or reject His offer. Without His choice, we would have no choice to make.”

  8. And look at the footnotes for John 15:12,13….I think it follows right along with what is being said here?……” We are to love each other as Jesus loved us, and He loved us enough to give his life for us. We may not have to die for someone, but there are other ways to practice sacrificial love: listening, helping, encouraging, giving. Think of someone in particular who needs this kind of love today. Give all the love you can and then try to give a little more.”

    1. As always, great footnotes. The greatest contemplation to have is the choice Tammy’s footnotes have set before us. The table has been set. The invitations have been sent. We wait for the response to come to the table. As always no decision is a decision.

      And, then we move into next phase of love, “… Think of someone in particular who needs this kind of love today. Give all the love you can and then try to give a little more.”

      Does anyone have connection to my default thoughts? At times, I think of names and “mull around in mind-mud “of, I will plan to, I will when this and that lines up with the stars. Before, I’m even aware days gone and that name hardly has a mind thought while I skip off to look for a donut and coffee to mind bathe my emotions of my neglect. Although, I call it a different name than my neglect. Probably more like they are just to difficult to deal with?

  9. Sara’s quote above, “Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.—Ephesians 4:32 (CEB)”.

    As I read through Ephesians 4 to see the context of vs 32, verse 28 seemed to have a correlation. “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

    I also thought this related to what Tammy shared from her footnotes and to Sara’s response. …“there are other ways to practice sacrificial love: listening, helping, encouraging, giving.“

    Some thoughts I had…we can steal from others in many ways: by taking up their unnecessary time; wasting resources that someone else could use; leaving messes rather than beauty, robbing others of joy and health; etc. Contrast that with being kind and compassionate by “doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” In order to know a need, we have to listen to understand the need. Then we can help and encourage by giving ‘something useful…to share with those in need.”

    1. I find myself reading and rereading the footnotes given and responses. I thought my this is a tall order and almost impossible with narcissism as a light among many for life these days.

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