January 2019 — His Good News

January 2019 — His Good News

Introduction

If life gives you lemons, make friends. Invite the women to bring a friend to the lemonade tea.

Decorations

Check the website Orientaltrading.com for lemon decorations, plates and cups. Use yellow balloons, streamers and tablecloths with bowls of lemons as the centerpiece, or mason jars with real or artificial flowers.

Refreshments

Serve lemonade or iced tea in small mason jars with straws. Lemon bars, lemon pie, lemon poppy muffins, or lemon cupcakes will carry out the theme. The bakers in the group might like to share their favorite lemon recipe. Have a blind taste test to see if the women can guess who brought the various items.

Who Am I?

Divide the women into smaller groups. The size will depend on the overall size of the group. Ask the women to write their answers to some questions and place them in a basket. The first woman draws a slip of paper from the basket and tries to guess who answered the question in that way. If she is wrong, the next woman tries to guess. If she is correct, she gets a point. This continues until all the answers have been matched to the right woman. Some suggested questions might be: My favorite meal is___? I am scared of___ ? My favorite movie is___? No one would guess that I once___?

Lemon Facts

Check the Internet for interesting and fun facts about lemons that can be shared with the women.

Friendship with God

The story is told of a boy who wanted to meet God. Knowing that it must be a long trip to where God lived, he did the sensible thing and packed a suitcase with Twinkies® and a six–pack of root beer. When he had gone about three blocks, he decided to sit down on a park bench. On the other side of the bench was an old woman who was staring at the pigeons.

The thirsty boy opened his suitcase and reached for a root beer. As he was about to take a sip he noticed that the lady looked hungry. So he offered her a Twinkie®. He was rewarded with a lovely smile, so he opened a root beer and gave it to her. Again she smiled at him. The boy was delighted. The two of them sat together all afternoon eating, drinking and smiling, but they never said a word. As the sun began to set, the boy realized he was tired and decided to head back home. Before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a big hug. She gave him her biggest smile yet.

When the boy opened the kitchen door at home, his mom was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” Before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I have ever seen!”

In the meantime, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was surprised by the look of peace on her face. “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She answered, “I ate Twinkies® in the park with God.  You know, He’s much younger than I expected.”

This story brings a smile to us, but it also highlights an important truth. Friendship with God is something we all desire, whether we realize it or not. God created us this way—it’s in our DNA. In the Garden of Eden God walked and talked with Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:8 tells us that “When the cool evening breezes were blowing the man and the woman heard God walking about in the garden” (Gen. 3:8). He sought their company to chat about their day, perhaps to share the beauty of the sunset. How His heart must have broken when Adam and Eve confessed to doing the one thing He asked them not to do. For this rebelliousness, they had to leave the Garden and were barred from returning. God had to practice tough love. The toughest of all loves.

Men and women since that time have tried to fill that missing piece of their lives with all sorts of religions and philosophies. Empty passions that drive us to drink, spend, eat, seeking fulfillment in wealth, power, or sex. All of these hollow things fail to fill the vacuum inside. There is only one answer. St. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

We need to know that all along God had a plan to restore our friendship with Him. It cost Him dearly—it cost Him everything. Romans 5:8–11 tells the whole story: “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”

Friendship with God! It doesn’t get much better than that. When we put our trust in Him, and in the freedom that is ours through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, we can call ourselves friends of God. Just as we have spent time today getting to know each other better, God invites us to get to know Him through the reading of His Word. He wants us to share our daily days with Him, our joys and our pains, our sleepless nights, and the moments that take our breath away. Prayer is conversation with God, our best Friend.

Today, can you say with assurance “I am a friend of God?” The Bible tells us that when we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8). If you will take the first step towards Him, He will meet you where you are. Today is a good day to make a new friend.

Close in prayer and invite anyone who would like to know more to meet you after the meeting. Sing song #795, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” from The Salvation Army Song Book.

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