Get Connected (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers 15.2)

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God created people to be relational beings: to have interaction with Him, obviously, but also to interact with those around us. “…The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.'” (Genesis 2:18 HCSB) Although this verse relates to marriage, the first institution God created, its wisdom applies to ALL relationships.

The Bible is full of relationships. Actually, it’s all about relationships. And it’s the Book of God’s relationship to us! God knows us better than anyone, and what He knows is that WE NEED RELATIONSHIPS. Every human being has a basic need and desire to love and be loved, to share, to communicate, to socialize. Even the grumpiest, seemingly most unapproachable person needs to talk to someone! Perhaps that’s why social media is so popular today. (But social media is no substitute for face-to face friendships.)

Two people working together are better able to achieve their goals and realize their dreams, because there is power in two people who are mutually supportive and accountable; two people who can encourage and assist each other. That’s what the “buddy system” is all about. That’s why there are support groups such as AA, and mentoring groups such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. That’s why a prayer partner can help keep us tuned in to God. And why corporations hope you have a “best friend” at work. Such connections make work more bearable, and life more enjoyable.

“You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 CEV)

God knows. In Genesis 2:18, He declares, in regards to Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (NLT) In this case, the helper is Eve, his wife; and we believe she helped her husband with his creative pursuits. With this cooperative union between husband and wife, God set the standard for all marriages to come: “A man will leave his father and mother [ in the sense of a new primary loyalty] and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.” (Genesis 2:24 EXB)

“Ungowah! Cheetah make good company. But Tarzan like Jane way better.”

According to the One who created men and women, as well as the institution of marriage, a husband and wife should act as one body: two people mutually supporting one another, sharing their hopes and dreams, and working together to reach their full potential. God knows that a man can accomplish far more if his wife is on his side — and vice-versa. Remember Sylvester Stallone’s movie character Rocky Balboa? Rocky felt as though he could take on any opponent in the boxing ring, as long as his beloved Adrian was in his corner.

With her approval and moral support, Rocky eventually realizes (against overwhelming odds) his great dream of becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. Could he have done it alone? Maybe. But that’s not how Stallone saw it when he wrote the script. His message (and ours) is that it’s important for a married person pursuing a big dream to have the love, support, and cooperation of the spouse. Period. So all you couples out there, get together and get it together. Make God the center of your marriage, because “A rope made from three strands of cord is hard to break.” (Ecclesiastes CEV) Then dream together, work together, and succeed together.

And if you’re not married, don’t worry. Find a friend, whether online, on the job, at church, or next door. Recruit your parents, grandparents, an uncle, an aunt, or a cousin twice removed, but  find someone who can share in and support your dreams. If there’s no one around who fits the bill, then tune in to an encouraging television ministry such as TBN’s Praise the Lord program or Joel Osteen’s weekly message. Or find a website such as ours, to help keep you inspired and motivated.

Above all, don’t forget that the Lord also wants to partner with you in every endeavor. He’s “… a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

“Ruh-roh!”

Please don’t face the challenges of life alone. Every successful creator and dreamer had the support and encouragement of a least one person who believed in both them and their dreams, whether it was a spouse, a parent, a friend, a coworker, a teacher, a coach, a spiritual leader….

As the English poet and clergyman John Donne wrote, “No man [or woman] is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.” We must live and work together. And together we must “share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command.” (Galatians 6:2 TLB)

“Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor. …Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself.” (Romans 12:10,16 AMP)

Bill Withers: People power!

Or, to quote some of the lyrics of Bill Withers’ 1972 song “Lean On Me”:

Please swallow your pride,

If I have things you need to borrow.

For no one can fill those of your needs

That you don't let show....

Lean on me, when you're not strong,

And I'll be your friend -- I'll help you carry on.

For it won't be long ...'till I'm gonna need

Somebody to lean on.

If there is a load you have to bear,

That you can't carry....

I'm right up the road -- I'll share your load,

If you just call me.

So just call on me, brother, when you need a hand

-- We all need somebody to lean on.

I just might have a problem that you'd understand

-- We all need somebody to lean on.
Click on above image to view previous lessons.

 

 

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The Everyday Dishes (Angel in the Kitchen)

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We love pretty China, and over the years we’ve collected several sets of dinnerware with beautiful patterns, ranging from song birds and roses to winter fowl and fishes. And we actually use them throughout the year. We put out different patterns for different seasons, holidays, and occasions. We’re not being snooty, we just enjoy setting a pretty table. Plus, we know that setting out nice plates makes our guests feel very special.

However, we’re not averse to using paper plates. In fact, for certain situations paper plates (or plates molded from plastic or styrofoam) are best. And face it, most people who own fine China usually also have a set of everyday dishes — nothing to really brag about, but perfectly serviceable for setting a meal on the table.

A slice of heaven on a paper plate.

Now, allow us to ask you two important questions. Your answers will be key to the kitchen wisdom we’re about to share.  1) What’s more important: the food or what it’s served on?

2) Does serving food on a paper or foam plate make it taste any less delicious?

If you’re like us, you’d rather have something really scrumptious served on everyday dishes than something that tastes ho-hum served on expensive China. We believe anybody would. Furthermore, we have friends who are good cooks but who don’t own nice dishes. They serve delectable meals on old plates that are scuffed, chipped, and cracked — or they simply use disposable plates. Now obviously, the delicious food they lovingly prepared for us, tastes every bit as good on a chipped plate as if it were served to us on bone China.

So, again, while having fine China or pretty dinnerware is nice, it’s not as important as the food itself — or the one who lovingly served it. If you receive something that’s gourmet, it remains gourmet whether it’s served in a plate made of paper, foam, plastic, or porcelain; whether it’s served in an aluminum pie pan, a chipped dish, or a bowl made of unglazed clay. The FOOD served in the vessel remains unchanged.

Our Heavenly Father understands this — even when we sometimes don’t! 2,000 years ago, God served the human race something that was GOURMET ALL THE WAY: the redeeming work of His only son Jesus Christ, who died for our sins that we might have eternal life. We receive God’s gourmet salvation, as a free gift, when we confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. (Romans 10:9) Our promise of eternal life is sealed by the power and the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells within each of us!

Just think, if you’re a believer, there’s a spark of the divine Creator of the Universe dwelling in you. God filled you with His divine presence the moment you received Christ as Lord and Savior. And it’s gourmet all the way. We essentially become God’s dinnerware. We doubt any of us can brag about being expensive bone China, though. Most of us are just plain, everyday dishes. Many of us are scratched and scuffed up from years of use. Some of us are cracked and a little tarnished from the often rough-handling we receive in life, or chipped and broken from our own past failings. But that’s not a problem for God. He still uses each of us to serve in His kingdom.

We are God’s imperfect vessels, and like plates made of paper, foam, plastic, or bone China, all of us are different. “A large house contains not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay.” (2 Timothy 2:20 Berean Study Bible) But does that make what we hold — the essence of the Living God, lovingly served to us by our Heavenly Father — any less wonderful? No way! “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)

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