Wednesday, August 14, 2013

across the table

One of the most intimate places we find ourselves is in conversations with the people in our lives.  Each day these bring us blessings, challenges, joy, pause to think, much to deal with and even reason to press on.  Those who sit across the table from you may be close friends or family, co-workers or neighbors, new friends or acquaintances. 

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

I’d like to take you through a few of the across the table conversations that came my way yesterday.  And for the record not all the tables were where a meal was being served, or that would mean I ate a lot.

The first conversation was with a co-worker.  It began as a simple exchange and quickly moved to a heart felt question that left both of us thinking and with much to pray about.  I am blessed to work with and worship with some awesome people.  This person blessed my life once again in this conversation.

One of the next conversations was with one of the people who I believe is one of the most gifted people I know, and this one was over a meal.  We talked about the ministry that we are both involved in at the local speedway and across the country serving race fans.  The conversation swept across the topics of work, family, church, ministry and more.  I realized once again that it is a blessing to listen carefully and to pray for the people you connect with.  I am much better because of this man helping to strengthen my life.

The next across the table conversation was actually in a meeting with a group of people that are planning an upcoming event.  During the time of this meeting many of those around the room asked questions, gave insight and helped to prepare the group for what is ahead of us all in the coming months.  I was once again reminded that when we work together that we are much stronger.  I am grateful for the people that I get to partner with.

I traveled back across town only to have to deal with a couple of difficult situations and ended up at church as the work day ended.  For the next few minutes I talked with a friend who is homeless but is seeing God answer several of his prayers.  It is incredible that our church gets to help people in need, but the best part of the help is to watch people live in the potential and strength that God has placed in their lives.  This friend is representative of many of the awesome people who come across our path that we get to pour into.  Yet in turn they enrich our lives, my life, in awesome ways only God can give.

I have to say that the next group of people I sat across the table from are my favorite and are family.  My sweet wife sat to one side, and our son was at the end of the table.  Our teen daughters were seated across from us.  For this meal I fought fire for my family, which means I used the grill to cook hot dogs and hamburgers.  The food was good, but the conversation was even better.  It covered several different topics, but we are family, together, stronger, and will fight for each other.  If this group of people doesn’t do well, I will have trouble in other parts of life.

From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

May God allow us to use the conversations we have to make our lives and the lives of the people we connect with stronger.  It is important that we spend time with God making sure that relationship is strong so that all other relationships are good, encouraging and God honoring.

My kids tell me that I love to talk.  They will often ask if I have to talk to everyone in the room, and that makes me stop and think.  But I do believe that God tells us to connect with the people that come into our influence.  We are accountable for how we use our influence and how we lead others.

Use the conversations across the table to make a difference in your life and in the lives of those you talk to.

The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.

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