I am not a basketball fan, unless my kids are playing. But when forced to watch, I love it when the “ONE-on-ONE” defense is played. It is amazing to watch how quick these guys are and the intensity of guarding someone. I love it when someone steals the ball and flies down the court for a lay-up!!! That is excitement to me in basketball. Our oldest, Brewer, absolutely loves this sport and he was “superb” at one-on-one defense. I can remember him playing basketball in the “city league” as a teenager and some of the kids he played against are now in the NBA!! Haha! Some of the funniest times, since Brewer is not 6’6″, was watching his lightening quick feet and hands dance around those giants and steal the ball for a Lay-up!! He loved playing “ONE-ON-ONE” defense and I loved watching.

I love group lunches but I especially love “one-on-one” lunches with different friends. When it is a “one-on-one,” it allows the conversation to be focused on each other. Conversations can go deep and leave surface stuff very quickly, especially if there have been concerns or successes. We can share our feelings, prayer requests, and just run past the casual stuff and get to the “life stuff”. It is where friendships bond and relationships grow.

Just like one-on-one basketball, and one-on-one lunches, “ONE-on-ONE’s” with God is WHERE IT IS AT!!!! No real relationship can form in a group. I am talking about “intimacy,” the kind of sharing that comes from focus and opening your heart with your eyes on the target, the other person. With God, a one-on-one gives us extreme focus on the ONE. The One who is the “I AM!”, Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus refers to Himself in Scripture as the “Gate”, “the Shepherd” and the “Vine”. He refers to us as the “branches” and the “sheep”. His complete desire is for “one-on-one’s” with Him and continually abiding.

Allow me to share Scripture here. John 10:7-9, “So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.'” And in John 15:4 Jesus says, “Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you.”

Group settings, fellowship and worship are all a part of God’s plan for us. But in order to find “PASTURE” OR “PRODUCE” fruit in our lives, we have to know the “Shepherd’s” voice. We have to stay connected to the “vine”. In order to do this, it requires daily, sometimes minute by minute, “one-on-one’s” (intense focus, eyes on who you are guarding, or better said, who is guarding you) with Jesus!

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