Some people are just way cooler than I am.  When you ask them who their favorite bands are, they mention some indie group you’ve never heard of.  When you ask them where they buy their clothes, they attribute them to an online reseller who donates all their proceeds to feeding children in subsaharan Africa.  When you ask them what their favorite movie is, it is something that was never released in the “mainstream.”  And when you ask them their favorite restaurant, it is always a one of a kind place (never a national chain) serving ethnic food you cannot pronounce.  Some people are just cooler than me.

I like Bon Jovi, buy my clothes at the mall, loved the new Star Wars movie, and enjoy eating at Cheesecake Factory.  I told you I wasn’t cool.

Now that you know I am not cool, I want to talk a bit more about Cheesecake Factory.  If you have never been to one of these restaurants before, I want to offer my sincere apologies.  It really is a sight to behold.  Beyond the signature desserts at this place, the main menu is both diverse and delicious.  I have never had something here I did not like.

One of the cool features of this restaurant, though, is that their food is social.  No matter what you order on the menu, it will be enough to share . . . the servings sizes are just that large.  The first time Kimberly and I went to Cheesecake Factory with some friends, they told us that we would only need one dinner to share.  I thought they were exaggerating until our waitress told us the same thing!  Their menu was meant to be shared.

I was thinking of this today as I was reflecting on 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 and preparing for Sunday’s worship services at Wildwood (8:15, 9:30, and 11:00).  In this passage Paul prays for the grace of God to be poured out into the lives of Christians in a manner he described as “increasing” and “overflowing.”  As I thought about these words, the portion size at Cheesecake Factory flashed before my mind’s eye (maybe I’m hungry.)  They give you so much food INTENDING you to share it with others.  In a similar way, God has poured out His blessing into our hearts increasing it to overflowing INTENDING us to share it with those around us . . . those sitting beside us on the chairs in the Worship Center at 8:15 on Sunday morning, but also those who office in the cubicle across from us on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM (or who sit in the desk next to ours in the classroom or volunteer on the PTA with us at the kid’s school, etc.) 

God loves us with an everlasting love, and He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places . . . and He has done so (in part) because He wants us to SHARE this love with others.  Over the next four weeks at Wildwood Community Church, as we begin 2016 together, I want to pray a prayer over the church . . . the same prayer Paul prayed for the Thessalonians.  I want to pray that God increases to overflowing the love we have for one another and for all we come in contact with.  Would you join me in that prayer?  Would you join me Sunday as we talk more about that together? 

I think it’s pretty cool.

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