With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s a good time to give thanks for your friends and neighbors as well as family. There is a scripture that the Lord put on my heart this morning and it’s found in Hebrews 13: “Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers. Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13: 1-6 Look outward around you today instead of inward. Instead of seeing the family and friends you usually have around you, and are therefore looking inward toward them, look outward! Look around you. Is there one who needs to be sitting at your table tomorrow that you don’t have much to talk about, but you know is alone, without anyone else around them this Thanksgiving? That may be an angel, waiting to see if you see them as neighbors, or if we are too busy looking inward at the familiar, we can never see the one who may bless our day. There is so much hatred in our nation today, that people have stopped looking outward at the unfamiliar. They have stopped being friendly, because you never know who is going to get angry with you. So it’s better to keep your eyes to the ground when you are out and about, and keep your eyes inward when you are in church or other gatherings. I will never forget a man, who those in my hospital wanted to get rid of because he was a bum and he was disrupting all the patients in the waiting room and snack bar. They asked me to get rid of him. So I went to talk to him, and right away saw that he was different. There was something about him that made me want to engage him, instead of turning him away. We talked for about a half hour, and I asked if he had a place to stay, and he said he didn’t. There was a house in town that let strangers stay there for a night that didn’t have a place to sleep, so we took him over there and introduced him to the caretakers, and said good-bye and wished him well. An hour later, I called them to see if the man had settled in alright. They told me he disappeared. He was just gone. One minute he was there, and the next gone. Unbelievers would say he was just a homeless man, wanting to be on the move. I knew it was different. He was an angel, sent to see, perhaps just to me, to see if I would throw this man out because of how he looked. I can only hope I passed the test. I have never forgotten about that man, and still believe it was a time that God introduced me to an angel, not dressed in fine linen, but in old clothes, with a beard and long hair. Unkempt! But totally articulate and interesting to talk to. I remember the first thing he said to me. “You are a man of God, aren’t you!” I remember telling him, “I hope so!” And proceeded to have a wonderful conversation about life and acceptance. He taught me a lot that day in a very small time, and I thank God, that I entertained a stranger that day. Pastor Andy


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