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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Community

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

As I started to write this, there were five birds at our bird feeder at the same time. There are times when the birds come one at a time to eat, but often they have others with them. Some birds are almost always in pairs, like the cardinals and blue jays. Usually when I see the tufted titmouse and juncos, there is a few of them visiting. Even the morning doves tend to be in pairs. The other day when it was blowing and snowing hard, we had at least eight doves clinging to our apple tree, trying to stay warm. Their heads were tucked under their wings. Also one evening, when we returned home, we were surprised to see at least ten doves roosting in our maple tree. They watched as our van approached, but didn't stir until we opened the car doors. They were reluctant to leave.

Generally the birds don't seem to mind being together. The juncos, blue jays, chickadees, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers, doves and cardinals all seem to congregate at the same time. The only time I have seen the birds be scarce, is when we have seen a hawk flying around the area. Several times we have had one on the resting on the railing to our deck. But most times, the birds tend to enjoy eating and fellowshipping together. They appreciate community.

I remember reading a book many years ago entitled No More Lone Ranger Moms by Donna Partow. In it she talked about the importance of having other women surround us - to be the encouragers, sounding boards, mentors, etc. Scripture also talks about the significance of gathering together. We need others to encourage and inspire us in our faith and Christian walk. God doesn't desire for us to be lone ranger Christians.

One of my biggest encouragers is my husband. He is always there to cheer on and inspire me to go to deeper depths in my faith and Christian walk. He also helps to show me the error of my ways, from time to time. :) Each of us needs someone that can do this for us - not just inspire and encourage, but also point out areas that we need to change or grow in and improve. I'm thankful to have this type of community in my life. I am especially thankful for my dear husband!

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