Are You Coming to the Picnic?

Brandon @  (by the way, what’s bigb94 mean?), by his comment to Wednesday night’s post, stimulated some deeper thinking in me.

Let me put something in your mind based on that simple exchange.

Think big picnic!

Got that picture—hot dogs, hamburgers, deviled eggs, odd looking gelatinous material (which nobody claims but everyone suspects slightly off-kilter-but-let’s-humor-her Aunt Mildred brought)….

On Wednesday night, I said, “Hey, let’s get together,” and I brought the meat and buns. On Thursday morning, Brandon added some condiments.

I looked at those condiments and said, “That gives me an idea…”

You see how the picnic is growing. When people bring stuff to the table, we all get to pig out (which reminds me of the bad boy coming back to papa whom we’ll get to eventually—read “tomorrow”).

I want to clarify something about what this place isn’t.

Not daily devotional.

Nor thought for the day.

Nor sermon.

Nor lecture.

Nor monologue.

If it’s been any of those for you, I apologize. I’m new at this and do not claim an extraordinary amount of expertise in the area of blogging.

So what is this place then?

Using the picnic analogy, this is a park with no mosquitoes.

Let me repeat. No mosquitoes! None! As in, how many? Zero! (Unless you happen to be reading this while sitting in the middle of a swamp.)

It’s a place where I bring the first course. Sometimes it’s more appetizing than others, but I admit right off that I have a tendency to experiment in the kitchen (just ask my wife about a certain flaming marshmallow-chocolate pie—but we didn’t have to call the fire department).

The focus, of course, is our relationship with the ONE and journeying HOME.


Because I said so.

Oops, that sounds like a poor preacher or a stuffy professor.

And this isn’t a sanctuary or a lecture hall.

It’s a park with no mosquitoes.


So why relationship, why the ONE, and why HOME?

I’ll give you two simple reasons.

1)      They captivate me and arouse curiosity. I don’t know enough and I want to explore thoughts about these subjects with a curious band of others.

2)      They are the most significant subjects I know. Look, I know iPad, Kindle, High-Def, 3-D, 4G, “Real Housewives…,” etc., etc., etc. capture our attention today. But a lot of today’s headliners and top Google searches are tomorrow as forgotten as my Intellivision stuffed on a corner shelf of the garage (which was completely forgotten until we cleaned out the garage Saturday).

3)      They speak of forever but impact today. Yeah, I can count and, sure, I could go back up and make a simple change but what’s the fun in that? Here’s the thing, I think our relationship with the ONE and our understanding of HOME influence how we think and act today. And that’s important to me.

Yes, I know I should have posted this ages ago. It provides a window into my soul (cue cliché violin music here) and a map to guide conversation around the picnic table.

So today I invite you to the picnic. By the way, pass those deviled eggs. Not for me, of course. My wife loves them.

Question: Does the picnic analogy work for you?

About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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5 Responses to Are You Coming to the Picnic?

  1. MARY Jeffries says:

    Yes, the picnic idea is great…and I love NO mosquitos….it helps me understand how this all works, since I am new to it too.

    Come to think of it, most parties I attend are pot-luck… bring what you have, you put it with what all the rest bring, and you have a feast, a bursting at the seams feast. Things you would never bring yourself are there, and you get to take the ones you want and leave the rest….yes I stole that from Alanon…..well borrowed anyway.

    We each bring different things to this picnic…life experiences, where we are in relationship to The ONE, and where we long to be, physically, spiritually, emotionally. A group of good friends gather to share and we all come away hopefully with something better, full of new ideas, new views, and maybe a better relationship with The ONE.

    Thanks for hosting the picnic Tom…..thanks for bringing the main course… are a GREAT , let me say that again, because I heard the doubt inthe blog, you are a GREAT host……please keep inviting us to share. Thanks and God Bless MJ

    • tnealtarver says:

      MJ–you are so on target with your comments and I appreciate your honesty. During the day, sometimes into the evening, I’m cooking away in the writing kitchen. I just needed to let folks know that I love it when someone else brings a better dish through his or her comments. But, if you’re like me, the idea of going public at times seems both terrifying and daunting. Thanks for bringing something to pass.–Tom

    • tnealtarver says:

      Oh, and I do appreciate the compliment. That feeds my soul.

  2. Brandon says:

    Great stuff! Thanks for mentioning my blog!

    And to answer your question, the site is Big B but the tagline (or what it is all about) is “Amplifying God’s Kingdom!”. I had to put bigb94 because I was not able to get just “big b”. So that is why… 🙂

    • tnealtarver says:

      You’re welcome. I read your About page and loved where you’re going with your site. Glad to put your name in lights. You’ve got great enthusiasm for the Lord.

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