God’s Special Blessings

 When we love someone, we enjoy doing special things to show them–surprises, unexpected things.  God, as our heavenly Father, also pours out special blessings to show His love for His children. To all of us He gives beautiful sunrises and sunsets, colorful spring flowers, the smell of apple blossoms and the buzz of bees as they pollinate those blossoms so they will produce fruit, a rainbow after a spring or summer rain, a blanket of diamond-like crystal snow flakes to cover the landscape, the playfulness of a kitten, puppy or a fawn deer, the giggles of a precious little baby. These are all gifts from God. “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (Jas. 1:17).

     But God also loves to surprise us with special blessings, just as reminders of how much he loves us. We experienced that this past weekend. We were asked to run a high school tennis tournament in Eureka, which is 75 miles north of us, just a few miles from the Canadian border. We weren’t given much notice, but Kathy managed to get the information from the schools involved, seeded the players, and got the brackets made up. The tournament began 8:30 a.m. Friday morning so we left early for Eureka to get things set up, meet with the coaches and players and get the “ball” rolling. We had great weather, which in itself is a blessing for a tennis tournament. The host school brought us our lunches, sent us for supper to a yummy Chinese restaurant and put us up in a bed-and-breakfast place Friday night, as the tournament ran for two days.
     As almost always happens (Murphy’s Law at work), the final two matches on Friday went for three long sets. We had just finished and Kathy had picked up the bracket posters off the tables when the sprinkler system came on! We missed by seconds having our posters ruined. For that we were very grateful. We just made it to the restaurant before it closed and had a great Chinese meal, sitting outside on the pleasant spring evening. We then went to the bed-and-breakfast place, the Pruett House, built in 1908. Wow, what a beautiful old home, with huge bedrooms and amazing furnishings. They had stools so you could get up on the gigantic king-size bed. The bedposts were about eight inches in diameter, made probably of cherry wood.  The bathroom, too, was amazing with a huge, glass-enclosed shower, a large Jacuzzi tub, and a beautiful granite-topped vanity.
     The owner, Joan, moved up a few years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, so understands how to offer genuine Southern hospitality, including some scrumptious breakfasts. I read through the guest comments from the past couple years and several mentioned that they travel world-wide and stay at bed-and-breakfast places and that this was the nicest one, with the most gracious hospitality of any they had ever experienced. Coffee was ready for us in the hallway at 7:30, and then the aroma of breakfast cooking came wafting up the stairs!  As we went out in the hall to get coffee, we met the two other parties that had stayed that night. One was the mom and grandmother of one of the tennis players for whom I had strung a racket that afternoon. Interestingly, I had to string her racket last year too when we were tournament directors here in Libby. The other party was a couple from Great Falls where he is an anesthesiologist and she an O.R. nurse. They had met at STOKR (Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River) Biker event here several years ago. STOKR takes place each Mother’s Day weekend.  It is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. During STOKR several years ago, this couple had met up on Pipe Creek Pass, the mid-way point of the 100 mile trip. On another STOKR event he proposed to her there!  They had flown a small plane into Eureka this time and brought a tandem bike to ride down along the Koocanusa Reservoir on the Kootenai River. 
    As we sat down at the huge round table, covered with a crocheted table cloth with fancy Bluestone china, and a great breakfast of fruit, Dutch babies, sausage and scrambled eggs, we found out that the grandmother of the tennis player was from Polson where I grew up. I mentioned that I have a sister and brother-in-law living on Finlay point near Polson. The grandmother said, “That’s where I lived too until recently, about a mile from them, and Audrey (my sister) is my best friend. We attend the same church, First Baptist, in Polson!”  I asked the group if we could have prayer together before our meal and led in prayer. We had a great time of fellowship and were very encouraged. What a special blessing. It was sort of an “oasis” experience–a time of refreshing, and a reminder of how much our God loves us and how He is “able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).  Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7:11).  But He also loves to give us special gifts for which we didn’t even ask. That’s just who He is and how much He cares about us. Thank you, Lord!
     Oh, the girl whose racket I strung, whose mom and grandma we met at the bed-and-breakfast, along with her partner won the doubles championship. And the couple from Great Falls has come up with a spice they are marketing called “Eric’s Wicked Seasoning.” You can check it out on his website. It is selling very well here in Montana. Must be good. Also, if you are ever in Northwest Montana, and want to be spoiled, give the Pruett House in Eureka a try. You can go to the website www.pruetthouse.com for information.
 
                                                                                      Forever His,
                                                                                            Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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