Thursday, December 28, 2017

"My Furry Friend"

Zechariah 10.8 NLT

When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them. From the few who are left, they will grow as numerous as they were before.”

I am a fan of large, well run companies. Some of my personal favorites are Les Schwab, Garmin, Nordstrom, Nike, Starbucks, Delta Faucets, Cross Pens, RE/MAX, Southwest Airlines, Fender, Nabisco, Toyota, Lego, Fort George Brewery and Disney. Like the sirens of Greek mythology or the Pied Piper of Hamelin, millions of people are mysteriously drawn to the sound of these names. Folks even pay to advertise their brand names on hats and tee-shirts!

Ten years ago I made an addition to my most admired companies list. I’d heard, “Daddy, can we go to Build-a-Bear” more than once, so when my little girl received a certain gift card in her Christmas stocking, we were soon off to a ‘beary’ special place where almost anything is ‘paw-sible.’ There she (literally) made a new best friend. Fuzzy, a beautiful pink teddy bear, was born December 28, 2007 and came home to join Snicker, Doodle, and Nee-nee. Something drew my daughter (and thousands of others daily) to Build-a-Bear Workshops worldwide “where best friends are made” in a most remarkable way…
  • Select a bear carcass and hand it to the stuffing machine operator
  • Step on the stuffing pedal and fill your bear with the ‘fuzz’ of life
  • Rub your “I Love You” heart between your hands
  • Close your eyes and make a wish
  • Kiss the heart and place it inside your newly stuffed animal
  • Watch the operator sew up your newborn bear
  • Give your furry friend an air shower to blow off excess fuzz
  • Choose additional accessories (shoes, clothes, beds, wigs, skate boards, etc.)
  • Type a birth certificate at the kid-friendly computer station [1]
  • Pay for your bear and place it in its own carrying case
  • Receive your gift certificate complete with your bear’s vital statistics inscribed below these memorable words:
“My furry friend is special. I brought it to life. 
I chose it. I stuffed it. I made it my own. 
I promise to love it and give it a home.”

The whole experience is so endearing I may go back and build my own bear. 

One future day all God’s people will come to a place with even more drawing power than Starbucks, Disneyland, or Build-a-Bear Workshop. The Lord will gather His church and we’ll all show up. He will “whistle” and we’ll “come running.” Jesus stuffed us with His Holy Spirit, kissed our little hearts, and wished for our eternal salvation. He paid the price to call us His own and we were each issued an eternal new-birth certificate. Of every believer on that day, Jesus Christ will confidently announce…

“My little friend is special. I brought him to life. 

I chose her. I stuffed him. I made her My own. 
I promise to love him and give her a home.”

[1] This is where the Build-a-Bear Corporation builds its data base by brilliantly inspiring young shoppers and their parents to relinquish generous amounts of personal data!

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