"The Intent"
(© 2003 By: Bob Perks - http://www.IWishYouEnough.com)

12-13-2007 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #471
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

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Story of the Week
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"The Intent"
(© 2003 By: Bob Perks - http://www.IWishYouEnough.com)

"I hate buying gifts!  In fact, I hate getting gifts!" he said.

"Okay, I'm guessing this whole Christmas thing really has you frazzled?" I replied.

"Completely!" he replied.

In the hustle of your holiday shopping take a moment to stop, sit down and speak with a perfect stranger.  If you think your day is going badly, you just might discover you're a lot better off than many others.

He was certainly having one of those days.

"I might make a suggestion," I said.

"Quit?" he asked.

"No, no.  Stop thinking of the gift and focus on the intent," I said.

"What?"

"Picture yourself handing the gift to someone.  How do you look?  What expressions do you have on your face?"

"Oh, come on..."

"Really.  How do you feel when you see someone opening a gift you have chosen for them?"

"Good, I guess.  I mean I'm a bit nervous hoping they like it."

"Great.  Go with that thought.  You "hope" they like it.  Hope is a good thing."

Leaning toward him I said, "There is the intent. You gave it to them with hope.  I am sure it was because you wanted to please them and I am sure it was because you loved them, too."

"Well, of course," he said.

"This is where I turn things around.  I stop focusing on the gift I'm
getting and begin to watch the person giving it to me.  I fuss over whatever it is no matter what,  just to see how pleased they are.  I've gotten many gifts in my lifetime that I had no need for, didn't want or even understand.  But seeing the face of the giver proved to be the real gift.  The fact that they thought enough of me to take the time to choose the gift was more valuable than the gift itself."
 
He looked confused.
 
"My son gave me a really ugly tie once.  It wasn't the tie that was valuable to me, but his intent, his reason for giving me something.  He did it because he loved me.  He wanted to make me happy.  Seeing his face when I praised and thanked him for it was the most important part of the gift itself.  I got more joy out of his intentions," I said.
 
"So I can buy a bunch of cheap stuff as long as I give it with love in my heart?" he said smiling.
 
"It's not the cost of the gift but the reason you are giving it," I said.
 
"I know...I know," he said laughing.
 
"It's not the gift, It's the giving, when love is the intent!"

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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        God's gifts--his bestowal of reality--are not divorcements from himself; he does not alienate creation from himself, but he has set up tensions in the creations circling Paradise. God first loves man and confers upon him the potential of immortality--eternal reality. And as man loves God, so does man become eternal in actuality. And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality--actuality--of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality--cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-117 Section-4)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        The greatest gift that I can give to you, is to Love. I Do. Help me to do it Always.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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