It is a great blessing to have our family and friends in our lives. The
moments that we share with each other sometimes are the highlight of our
day, our week or even our month. We benefit greatly when we sit together
and share our lives with each other. The Bible declares in Hebrews 10:25
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some
is; but exhorting one another...” I believe this Scripture has a double
purpose. On one hand I believe Paul was telling the believer not to
forsake the assembling of the believers, to lift each other up in the Lord
and to encourage one another to continue on strong in the faith, but I
also believe the other meaning is for one's family; to not forsake the
assembling of ourselves together. (Matthew 5:16) (Ephesians 4:29)
We become encouraged, affirmed, and shown true love when we assemble
together and simply show our love and care for those closest to us. Be
encouraged to take every opportunity to spend time with those whom you
love. You will benefit far more than you can think or imagine and the
reaffirming memories will last you a lifetime. (Galatians 6:9-10)
I hope this message encourages and inspires your heart to be quick to call
a family member and visit with those closest to you. The things that will
be remembered when we leave this earth are the special times that we shared
with our family and our friends.
LITTLE COTTAGE BY THE LAKE
What a crisp, colorful autumn afternoon.
Crimson tipped maples paint the rural landscape as we make our way to my
aunt's shady lakeside cottage. Overhead, a flock of geese fly in “V”
formation, seemingly pointing us to the Western Pennsylvania border, past
miles of roadside pumpkin stands and endless fields of late season sweet corn.
Finally, my husband turns down the familiar gravel road. I spot the lake,
glistening in the warm October sun.
“We're here!” I rustle my girls from the back seat. “Hurry and say hello
The small white cottage reminds me of a doll house -- the good cozy kind,
where friends and family happily gather, spilling out into the yard when
the quarters get a bit tight. I smile as I walk past the well manicured
lawn, bedecked for fall with orange and yellow mums peeking from cast iron
As always, dried cornstalks climb the back porch rails. I spy a row of
perfectly orange pumpkins, gifts from my uncle's garden. I wonder if my
girls will remember to take one home at day's end. For years, my uncle
has sent home a pumpkin with each child, just in time for Halloween.
Hopping out of the car, the girls crunch through the leaves, hoping to
sample appetizers on the back porch table. In an instant, their cheeks
are stuffed with crab dip, Amish Swiss cheese, and trail bologna.
Family seems to be everywhere. Cousins, aunts, and uncles trickle out
from the cottage, sharing hugs and gossip in the wooded yard. Gathered in
groups, my chatty Scotch Irish clan prepares for our autumn tradition --
an outdoor clambake, held annually on the first Sunday in October.
Husks fly off golden ears of sweet corn as we all pitch in, removing silky
threads from more than forty cobs. Great aunts, unaware that they could
be sitting down, scurry about setting tables, slicing juicy red tomatoes,
and taking surreptitious sips of homemade berry wine. The men hover as
they always do, around the fire pit.
I chuckle at this primitive scene -- men tending the fire and women
preparing the vegetables. Why is this always the case?
Salty steam wafts upward from the coals as the tempting smells of clams
and chicken tease my taste buds. What could be better than this? Somehow,
I can't imagine being anywhere else on this idyllic autumn afternoon.
Sitting around card tables in the yard, we manage to quiet down for a
prayer of thanksgiving.
Then, at long last, it is time to dig in. Tearing open the mesh bag of
steamers, I can hardly wait to swirl each clam in drawn butter. What a
gloriously gritty delicacy. Heaven seems near as a lobster tail is placed
upon my plate, followed by sweet potatoes and a cup of steaming clam broth.
My daughters, content with an ear of sweet corn each, amazingly don't seem
to care that much for seafood.
“I can help you out there.” my husband teases, reaching for their leftover
lobster. We laugh with my cousins as we swap family news and gorge on a
final, overindulgent treat -- homemade cheesecake and raspberry pie.
As the sun sets, we pour second cups of coffee, warm mugs that prolong our
time together, if only for a few precious minutes.
“Don't forget to take a pumpkin home with you,” my aunt reminds us. “Did
you get a candle off the mantel?”
Our girls pick their future jack-o-lanterns as I select my party favor --
a homemade cranberry scented votive. In the year ahead, the candle will
take me back to this place, filling my house with the light and warmth of
“Thanks again for the clams, the pumpkin, the candle!”
It is the following morning and I am struggling to email my aunt. How can
I show my appreciation for it all -- the glorious weather, the delectable food?
Finding next year's calendar, I flip ahead to October, making sure to
highlight the first Sunday in bright orange marker. Perhaps the best sort
of thank you involves simply being present for cherished traditions.
Next year, and hopefully for many years to come, I will be there, feasting
with family at the little cottage by the lake.
By Stefanie Wass
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
1 John 4:20-21 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a
liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love
God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he
who loveth God love his brother also.”
Romans 12:9-10 “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is
evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another
with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”
Hebrews 13:1-3 “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain
strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them
that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as
being yourselves also in the body.”
1 Peter 3:8-11 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of
another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil
for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that
ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that
will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil,
and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good;
let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: REACHING OUT
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem153.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: PRODIGAL DAUGHTER
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony14.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry