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04-14-12 (Peeps)  Stephanie McIver
 Apr 14, 2012 07:30 PDT 

Steph’s Stuff
04-14-12
(Peeps)

Peeps are little marshmallow treats that comes out at Easter. They’re
heavily coated with sugar—and in a pinch, I’ve eaten stale ones if there
wasn’t another, better sweet treat in my house. But I didn’t buy any
this year, so I’m safe. No peeps have been consumed in the fueling of
this message…

Today, I’m talking about ‘peeps’, a slang word for the people in our
lives. “My peeps, my compadres, my friends and fellow sojourners in the
road to? When I googled the term, I was surprised to see there were
more connotations to this than I’d realized: “By 1997, peeps had made
it into the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, which said the
term referred to "one's fellow gang members or friends and family." This
definition neatly combines the early slang for "parents" with the later
"friends" meaning and the gangsta connotations.” Whew! I didn’t know I
was a gangsta! I think I’ll stick to the friends and family.

There are a lot of them. My friend list on Facebook went over 300 the
other day, and while I know others whose friends number in the
thousands, that was a revelation for me. I’m not bragging about my own
personal popularity here either. I invited a lot of those people for
networking purposes. They aren’t my ‘peeps’ in the strictest sense. I
could pass many of them on the street and not recognize them. But there
is a core group, whether from near or far, who are definitely my trusted
and treasured peeps. They’re not coated in sugar—I don’t like that.
They’re not sickeningly sweet, tinted weird colors never found in
nature, or wrapped in cellophane. They are the ones who leap in when
I’m lonely, provide a hand when I need help—and laugh at my jokes. That
goes a long way with me. I like to make people laugh.

He tells me, “That’s good—and you ARE funny sometimes, but that is not
your main purpose. You won’t be doing standup comedy any time soon. I
have different plans for you. You can accomplish these plans every day.
They will be accomplished when you focus on Me and what I’m teaching
you—and you ask Me to give you the words that will make them THINK. The
words that will direct their thoughts on focusing on their own purpose
and how I will use them for glory. Your job is more important than you
think. Don’t take it lightly and never allow the evil one to steal the
truth of this. I HAVE chosen YOU for exactly this path—with these
people—today.”

I looked at my calendar for the weeks ahead. A few social encounters.
Work and coffee meetings, a banquet and the regular monthly presentation
where I lead worship. A wedding or two. Today I will go on a road trip
with a girlfriend—and meet another friend of hers. Is this where You’ll
use me today, Lord? Help me have ears to hear what is needed. Help me
to have courage to speak truth in love. Help my eyes to see these
‘peeps’ as you see them.

I smile as I read the little message on Facebook: “Love the people God
gave you because He’ll need them back someday.” It is a message for me.
I need to love them even when they’re unlovable. I need to love them
in HIS spirit because even if they upset me, the bigger picture is that
I want to spend eternity with them more than any temporary
misunderstandings we have here and now. He tells me not to let that
stand in the way, ever.

“Lord! Help me love my peeps! Even those ones that I can’t for the
LIFE of me figure out why You sent them to me!” He smiles a private
smile. I guess He’s thinking of all the ones who’ve said that about me…

“Be careful for yourselves and for all the people God has given you. The
Holy Spirit gave you the work of caring for this flock. You must be
shepherds to the church of God, the people he bought with his own
blood.” Acts 20:28 (ESR)

Do they make sheep peeps? I’m a reluctant shepherd sometimes, but He
reminds me of one of my life verses. “I can do all things through
Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Do you have peeps? Who are they? What would your life mean if they
were lost? It might be one kind word, one sacrifice of time and energy
that could turn the tide. It might mean swallowing your anger and
asking for the resolve to continue to love, as He loves. There is a
great crowd of witnesses who will surround you as you enter those pearly
gates someday. Don’t you want them to be—

Your peeps?

Fondly,
Stephanie
	
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