Monday, November 29, 2010

Prayer is Powerful and Effective

Prayer is Powerful and Effective


I was ten years old when my stepmother, Diana, came into my life. My twin sister and I moved in with her and my father when we were fourteen. Looking back now I am amazed at how she took on two teenagers and handled it so well. Having never had children of her own made this even more difficult for her. A while ago, I found out how she did it. She prayed. That simple…and I have proof.

While they were moving, Diana came across an old letter. She gave it to me thinking I might find it interesting. You see, when I was a teenager and things got bad and we would fight, we sometimes wrote letters to one another.

This letter in particular addressed a number of issues that I must have been struggling with (disrespect, not honoring my parents, laziness, purity and a know-it-all-attitude). Throughout the letter were her hopes, dreams and prayers for me. I found myself looking into a mother’s heart and my own broke. I realized that I pray the same things for my children.

To honor this letter, I made a beautiful scrapbook page that had the letter tucked into a pocket. I titled the page “Now I Understand”. I want to be able to take that letter out when my own children are in the throes of their teenage years. I want them to know that their mom struggled and wasn’t perfect. I want them to know that I pray for them, just as my own mother prayed for me.

I showed a friend this letter. After reading it, she said something astounding. She said, “Stacie, all of these prayers she prayed came true!” I realized that her hopes and dreams for me became a reality as I made the choice to follow God rather then the world. It gave me such hope! My prayers for my children are being heard by my loving God who holds them in the palm of His hand. I learned a valuable lesson that day. God hears the prayers and the anguish of a mother that didn’t know what else to do with her child but to give her back to God.

If you are struggling with a wayward or strong-willed child, I hope this encourages you to pray even more for him or her. I continually pray that my children would follow harder after God than I do.

Remember, He listens and he answers in His time, not yours. It took years for me to change my life around and truly start living for the Lord. So don’t get discouraged if it seems like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. He hears you and He will answer. Keep being persistent and pray in faith.

From One Mom to Another,

Stacie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Guilt-Free Caramel Corn


My friend has a wonderful microwave caramel corn recipe that I have used for years and years. People beg me to make it because it is so yummy. I thought I would try to healthy it up with some natural sugars. Little by little, I have experimented and found a good balance. The kids even love it!

Healthy Microwave Caramel Corn
5 quarts of fresh popcorn

In a microwavable bowl add:

1/2 cup of sucanat
2 TBS of agave syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of butter

Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and then microwave two more minutes.

As soon as you get it out of the microwave, immediately stir in:

1/2 tsp of organic vanilla
1/4 tsp of baking soda

Pour over popcorn (popcorn must be in a microwaveable bowl.)
Stir to coat popcorn. Put it all back in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute (each microwave is a little different). Just watch it so it doesn't burn.
Stir again and place on parchment paper or tin foil to cool.

If you do not want it healthy, but still want an amazing, easy-to-make caramel corn, just replace the sucanat with brown sugar and the agave syrup with dark corn syrup.

Enjoy!
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

In The Blink of an Eye-Thankful

At the end of last week, it looked like this...
A huge arctic front moved into the Northwest and now it looks like this! In the blink of an eye. I didn't even have time to have the kids rake the leaves. Now they will be wet and soggy.

Steve took five of the children to the beach whilst I had just Lily Pie for four days. It was wonderful to not have to be thinking three meals ahead, doing laundry all day and discplining. It was a mini-vacation for me. I am so blessed to have a husband who is willing to do that for me.

I got so much done...

I bought and wrapped all our gifts for the children and hid them in the shed.

I cleaned the house from top to bottom and detrashed all the kid's rooms.

I rearranged the playroom/nursery.

Made several more meals.

Sorted all the book shelves.

Cleaned the bathrooms.

Swept and mopped the floors. The heavenly thing is that everything stayed clean!

I went through clothes and got some of the winter clothing out.

Went on a date with my dad to go shopping. So fun!

Had two very close friends come over for a lovely, long visit.


I have so many things to be thankful for. My family, my friends, my house. I am so thankful to the Lord for providing me with so many blessings. I am so contented right now that it feels like I almost want to purr!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

May you be blessed.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Fun

I found this huge tablecloth at Fred Meyers for around $10. I was thrilled! Jessica and I love to decorate the house for the seasons and holidays. I know it's a little busy, but it will hide the stains really well!
Andrew decided that he was going to learn how to flip pancakes. I was trying so hard to not have a coronary while he was doing this. I need to stress less about having kiddos in my kitchen. It always seems like I am in a hurry and I don't want to take the time to let them help me much. I have to FORCE myself to do this. The type A in my just wants to scream, but I know that this is good for them and for me. They love to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride when the meal is served.
Again, trying to cook with a little one trying her best to trip me can be tricky. I know that one day, I will look back on these days with much fondness.
Here is a shot of Lily and Jacob at the park. The leaves are starting to really fall now and soon we will have piles of leaves to jump into!

Had to get a new computer this week. My motherboard went out. Not good...

I keep making extra meals and freezing them for my upcoming foot surgery. My freezer is getting full. Pretty soon I am going to have to stop because there won't be enough room. So glad to know they are in there. I am finishing up my Christmas shopping and now I need to wrap everything before the 9th of Dec.

I am still working on the bad attitudes around here. This week has been tough. I am praying that heart changes will be taking place in my children.

Please pray that I will be a loving, patient mother who uses KIND words. Kindness has not been on my tongue lately and I am so convicted. I am so thankful for God's forgiveness.

"I am thankful that God doesn't lower His standards to accommodate our disobedience and inabilities. I'm glad that we can depend on Him to be the same yesterday, today and forever."-Nancy Leigh DeMoss
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall in The Gorge

We are so blessed to be able to see the stunning fall foliage as we travel through the Gorge to get Portland. We had two doctor's appointments two days in a row. The first day we zipped right through. The second day I only had Andrew. I decided that I was going to take the old highway and get some pictures of Multnomah Falls. I'm so glad I did! You can click on the collage for a closer view.
Here are the Falls peeking through the beautiful trees.
I tried to get artistic. Probably not the best, but it was the only one I had that had the whole waterfall. I loved telling Andrew the story of the HUGE rock that broke off, fell down into that upper pool and completely drenched a wedding party who were taking photos on the bridge. Can you imagine?!? It was like a 30 ton rock!
The trees just framed it perfectly. Andrew told me it was the best date ever!

Andrew's Foot Update:

Andrew had a foot that was turned in and permanently tip-toed. He had a surgery to lengthen the tendon. The surgery was a complete success (thanks for your prayers) and his foot is very flat. Thank you, Lord! The Doc was still concerned about how turned in it is, but is hoping that it will perhaps fix itself over time. To fix this problem would be a very involved surgery and lots of pain and recovery. We would only do that if it interfered with his running. He doesn't seem to be tripping much and he can run and play, so I'm hoping it will get better and not worse. We will do a follow up in a year.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Harvest Festival/Veteran's Day

We don't do Halloween, but we do have to stop by our old neighbor's house on the way to their church for their Harvest Festival. They had a wonderful time dressing up and playing games to get prizes. How do you like my costume? It says, "I'm the BOSS"! Andrew was thrilled with his cool camo face paint. Lily charmed everyone in her baby pirate costume that she got from her cousin Hailey. Jessica was a colonial girl and Marcus was a soldier. Josh went to his youth group's Harvest party dressed as a soldier, too. Surprise, surprise!
On Veteran's Day, I loaded up all the kids and and took them to the parade. It was so cute to see all the Veteran's salute the boys as they went past. I'm so glad they decided to dress up and bring their fake wooden guns. You can click on the collage for a closer look. They even had Veteran's yelling at them wanting to know where they got their cool helmets. Vision Forum has a bunch of this kind of army surplus stuff. Their shipping is outrageous, but the stuff is good quality.

Thank you to all the vets that have served our country over the past years. We appreciate your sacrifice so we can be free. Love and Prayers!!!!
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tae Kwon Do Babies and Back to School

O.K....Is this seriously not the cutes thing you have ever seen? Lily and Jacob's cheeks are adorably chubby! I can barely tell them apart in these pictures! Steve has been looking for pads for his TKD so he can spar. They are very expensive, but he found some used. He decided to dress up Lily and then Jacob wanted to get involved. Oh, they were so cute!
We couldn't stop laughing!!!!
Steve has been going to classes hoping to get his Fire Officer One. It has been a huge time commitment as he has had to travel to Salem and stay for 5 days at a time. In between the five day classes, he has had to do LOTS of homework. I've never seen my man study so hard. We are talking BORING stuff. I'm sure glad he is motivated! I would be a gibbering idiot learning about how unions started and all of the laws that go around it.
I'm glad he takes time to play with the kids though. They miss him. I'm glad he is done with this and we can sort of get back to normal. That is, until I have my foot surgery. Then everything is going to be crazy!
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Catching Up is Hard to Do

Life has been very busy lately. Soccer season is over (best one ever since I only had one child playing). I have also entered into a new season of life now that Josh has turned 12. I am able to leave some or all of the children with him for a limited amount of time, such as doctor appointments, dentist appointments, running to the store and even going on lunch dates with my firefighter! This has eased a lasting tension that has been in my marriage. Many of you FF wives know what I am talking about. You can't leave the children with hubby because he might miss overtime. I always felt guilty for leaving the kids with him because I knew we sometimes needed that overtime, but also knew I needed a much-needed break to keep my own sanity. He would get mad, I would get mad, and it would end up in a big fight. Well, no more! This stage of life is wonderfully freeing. Having the option of not having to take all six children to the store for a gallon of milk is huge to me!

Lily is getting more and more independent. I am actually having to almost fight the tears when she doesn't want to just sit and snuggle on my lap. She is like a little wiggly puppy that won't sit still! I capture her when I can and give her a hundred kisses at a time! I love her so. I love to sit and watch her play in the bathtub. I have never been one to just sit around, but I am forcing myself to just sit and watch her, instead of cleaning the sink and toilet and getting done what needs to be done.


 Jacob is really growing up. He will be four in February. He is starting to grasp that Christmas is coming and is recalling some of our traditions. He keeps asking when we can put the Nutcrackers up. I keep telling him the day after Thanksgiving, but the poor kid has no concept of time. He still has his adorable cheeks and I kiss them as much as they can because I know they won't always be there. He is very sensitive to discipline. I don't have to do much to get his attention. Unfortunately, we have had a major step backwards in his potty training. He was fully potty trained for over six months, now he has been pooping his pants for the past week. A three year old's poop is so much worse than a one year old! I have to admit I am frustrated. I haven't prayed about it, but now that I am aware of it, I will. Good thing I'm blogging right? LOL!


 Miss Lily loves her new do! She is always bringing me a rubber band and pointing to her head. She now says, "Thank you, Mama", "Milk, Please", "Love you, Mama", "Help me, Please", and all of sibs, names. She also says, "Daddy", really well. She seems as smart as a whip so far and we pretty much know what she wants by her pointing and showing us.

And here is my great-white hunter. Did he get a deer this year? No, but he tried. We were so busy that he didn't get to go out much. It would have been nice to have one in the freezer. It helps me stretch my beef.

The other four children are doing well. Not much new, just working a lot of obeying and attitudes. Oh, Josh and Marcus started basketball, so I need to get the game schedules to the grandparents.

OK, for those that have been praying for our health. Here's an update:

Steve's psoriasis has been coming back with a vengeance. We are now thinking that the Remicaid has stopped working for him. I guess around two years of being on it, it just does this. We are now starting to look at a new medicine called Stallero (SP?). His arthritis hasn't been quite as bad. He actually made it the day of his last infusion before he woke up like an old man. PTL, he started feeling better the day after his infusion. We are working closely with the arthritis doc to make sure he is on a medicine that will allow him to work and function as a FF. Thank the Lord, he didn't have to miss any work this time around. What a blessing!

As for me, those that have been following may remember my horrible root canal story. Basically, four failed root canals on one tooth and then tooth extraction with an implant was done. I have waited since May for my new crown. I got it, but it doesn't fit right. So back to the drawing board we go again. When you spend this kind of money on a permanent tooth, you want it to be comfortable and to not feel like there is a semi caught in between your teeth!

My voice is doing so much better. I am done with my vocal therapy. I am scheduled to sing this Sunday at church. I am excited and nervous. It has been a long time since I have sung because of my nodules. It will be a spiritual victory!

Ever since I started running, I have had a terrible time finding a pair of running shoes that would fit due to my large bunion on my right foot. It kept feeling worse and worse and now even regular flats are hurting it. I decided to get it looked at. The doc says it needs to be fixed. I am at 100 percent on my insurance, so we are going to get it done in September. It is going to be very difficult. It is a painful surgery with an eight week recovery time. First two weeks it needs to be put up and then after that, non-weight bearing. How do I do that with six children to take care of? I'm going to be asking for help from family and friends. I know that God will take care of everything. It is my right foot so I can drive or anything. Do you know how much taxiing I do? LOL! Again, God will take care of everything. I am going to have to learn to be dependent for awhile, which is totally against my nature. So pray for me!

God is working everything out. I am loving my new Bible study by Beth Moore called, "Believing God". It is helping me as my faith is being tested more and more. I want to develop my faith muscles. I know I am weak in some areas. But He is faithful to complete His good work in me. I continue to grow and change according to what is being revealed to me. I keep asking God to "take the scales off of my eyes". I want him to reveal himself to me bit by bit, as much as I can handle so that I can truly KNOW Him, not just my perception of Him. He is doing that and sometimes I feel completely "undone".

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hospitality-How Do I Get Started?-Pt. 4

So if you are a newbie at hospitality, you are probably wondering how to get started.

Nancy Leigh Demoss has some excellent advice in this area. She says  "First of all, let me suggest that you take time, if you've never done this, to dedicate your house to the Lord. Dedicate your house to the Lord and ask Him to make it a home that's used for Him.


The house is just going to be brick, stones, mortar, wood--until you put it into the Lord's hands and say, "Lord, would You transform this into something that will be an instrument of blessing and grace in the lives of other people."

My home is not my home. It doesn't belong to me. Ultimately, everything I have, including my house belongs to the Lord. It's His anyway, so when I dedicate it to Him, I'm just saying, "Lord, I'm consecrating to You what is already Yours."

Second, pray for opportunities to minister to people in your home. And pray for God to give you wisdom and direction about which opportunities He wants you to take. And then, plan on your calendar, a time to extend hospitality, maybe just one time for starters.

And get together, now don't do this without your husband's input and agreement because you don't want to pick a time that's going to be a pressure for him.

But say, as a family, "When would be a time we could open our home?" Maybe it's next Sunday or three Sundays from now if you feel like you need that much time to prepare. But after church, we'll have a family over for lunch or we'll have a single or a widow in our church to join us for lunch.

And, some of you may not feel the freedom to be real spontaneous about this just at first--and that's okay. You'll develop that as you do it.

But plan. Put it on the calendar. And then, as you do it once, put another time on the calendar. And say, it may be that you begin to put a regular time, maybe Saturday evenings become the time that you open your home to different families or one Saturday evening a month or one Sunday evening a month.

It is far better to have a little home, a simple meal, simple preparations but to really connect to the hearts of the people who are in your home.

So, don't compare with how someone else does it. We're at different seasons of life, and there are things that you can do if your children are grown that you can't do the same way if you have lots of little children.

And so the Scripture says, "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another...Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality" (Rom. 12:10-13, NKJV).

What an opportunity hospitality provides for all of us, to express to our lonely, fearful, needy world the love, the heart of God Himself."

Amen?!?

(Please again note, that most of this is not my words. They were taken from a transcript from Nancy's "Revive Our Hearts Program and edited down to a more condensed version)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Version of Stone Soup

I had heard of stone soup before, but never actually read the book. I found it at the library recently and thought it would be fun to try it. After reading the story, they were totally on board! We first went out and found three round stones from the driveway and washed them off. Jessica read the book over again and we kept on adding ingredients. It ended up being delicious!

Here is our version:

Three stones
Fill large pot with water
Add salt and pepper
Add diced potatoes
cut up beef or ground beef
Garlic
onions
carrots
cabbage
beef bouillon
Jess loves bay leaves, so we added those too.
Let it simmer until it is done.
At this point everything was going good, until Jacob my three year old, wanted to stir the pot. I was behind him and was helping him. Jess decided she wanted to "smell" it and grabbed the ladle. What does a three year old do? He pulls away. Guess what happened then? Yep, a ladle of hot, boiling soup went all over his bare tummy. I immediately tried him down with cold water and put silvadine cream on it. He screamed for a long time. Was my paramedic there? Ha, ha! Riiiiight... Jacob ended up being OK. He still has a mark on his tummy.
Here is the bowls of soup. The one on the right has the stone in it. The kids thought ol' Mom was pretty cool this night! They also never once complained about all those veggies in it! They just kept raving about how good it was.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hospitality-What It Is and What It Isn't-Pt. 3

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, because this one is going to be a bit longer than my normal postings. I just couldn't figure out how to divide this up. It is all so connected! I hope that you are exercising your spiritual wings and starting to take flight in this area of our Christian Walk.

Emilie Barnes has a book called "The Spirit of Loveliness". She has written many wonderful things about this subject. Let me just quote what she has to say about hospitality.


She says, "Hospitality is so much more than entertaining, so much more than menus and decorating and putting on a show. To me it means organizing my life in such a way that there is always room for one more, an extra place at the table or an extra pillow and blanket, always a welcome for those who need a listening ear. It means setting aside time for planned fellowship and setting aside lesser priorities for impromptu gatherings”.

Nancy Leigh Demoss goes on to say, "The ministry of hospitality is one of the key factors that explains how Christianity was able to expand and advance so rapidly into the New Testament first century world. It was because of the love that Christians showed for each other. The way they showed that love was through hospitality.

When the pagans looked at the Christians, they were forced to acknowledge, "see how they love one another. They welcome each other. They eat together, even people who were in different socio-economic levels, eat together. And they come into each other's homes. They love each other. They are ready to die for each other."


Hospitality involves work. It involves effort. And it involves sharing what belongs to you and sometimes sacrificing if you don't have a lot. "

 (My words here...I was so convicted while doing this study, that I asked my husband if we could plan to have a different couple over once a month. I realized that it had been months since we had had a couple over for dinner. I have people over for lunch, but realized that I had totally hindered my husband from practicing hospitality as well. He said yes, but he wanted to have it planned, no spontanous stuff! I can deal with that, so now I try to give him the courtesy of planning ahead of time.)

Nancy continues to say, "Do you pursue hospitality? Are you intentional about it? Or do you just do it on holidays and special occasions when it's expected? Is hospitality for you a way of life? Paul says, "Pursue hospitality."

Um, and, yes, sometimes it does create pressure. But ask God to give you a heart that is cheerful in your hospitality.

Say "Lord, I will pursue hospitality. And by the filling of Your Spirit within me, I will do it without murmuring, without complaining, without grumbling but with joy," because I know that God loves a cheerful giver."

(My words here...For me, and I suppose for many women, one of the biggest challenges is just the schedule, time to be hospitable. Now, I don't want to put anybody on a guilt trip. There are seasons for everything in life. But I also believe, if we are too busy to be hospitable in some way, that we're too busy. And we need to stop and evaluate our priorities and say, "Am I doing the right things? Am I filling my time with the right things?")

Nancy continues to say this, "When I hear that people don't have time to be hospitable, I want to ask, "How many evenings have you spent watching T.V. in the last year? And are there some of those evenings that maybe you could have been opening your home to people and ministering with hospitality."

It doesn't have to be a big holiday feast that you prepare for people you don't know but starting simple may help with some of those fears.

You can have very little to offer. But if you offer peace and joy and the presence of Christ with it, if it's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or it's pizza that you order, something very simple, it can still be a real meaningful thing to people if the spirit of that home is one where the presence of Christ is evident.

You don't have to throw on a five-course meal to be hospitable. It can be very simple. I've been in some small homes, simple homes, simple meals, and had some of the richest, most meaningful fellowship in some of those homes--the people who were willing to share what little bit they had."

Hang in there! There is one more...

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Sixth Student

Lily is so funny! She loves to homeschool with the big kids.
She crawls up, grabs their workbooks and papers and pencil and starts writing all over them. Sometimes she is too fast for us to catch her in time. We have tried giving her her own stuff, but she is only interested for about five seconds before she is grabbing at the next thing. It has been a huge frustration to the kids.
Thanks to my friend, Catherine, we have come up with a new plan. Each of the older kids takes a fifteen minute Lily-Break. Their job is to keep Lily away from the table and happy and occupied so the other kids can learn and I can lecture and answer questions. So far, it has been working pretty good. The new problem is everyone is wanting a Lily-Break ALL the time.
She is my precious little girl that is very active and into everything. She has so much personality! We are loving our little Lily and sad that she is growing up so fast. She is 19 months now. Is it truly possible?
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hospitality-How it Benefits You- Pt. 2

I promised you that God truly made hospitality to not just benefit those that are on the recieving end, but also bless those who are giving it. It is really important to our spiritual health and a sign of our maturity in Christ when we realize this and obey God's commands in this area.

Here are 10 Great Tips For Practicing Hospitality From Nancy Leigh Demoss:


#1--Hospitality is one of the most practical ways to express the love of Christ. That's how people know that we love them and that we love each other as believers is through hospitality.

#2--Hospitality reflects the hospitable heart of God. We have a God who is hospitable. And when we practice hospitality, we show the world what He is like.

#3--Hospitality is a great way to build unity and community with other believers. Getting into each other's lives just does not happen within the four walls of the church. That's where we can meet each other. But then when we come into the context of our homes, that's where we break bread, we break down barriers and we create a climate for true fellowship and love to be experienced.

#4--The Bible promises rewards for those who practice hospitality. There are some blessings that you will never experience unless you are opening your home to others.


#5--Hospitality is one of the most effective ways to create a hunger for Christ in the hearts of non-believers. Some people who won't go in the door of a church will come into your home. And that's where we can begin to share with them the love of Christ.

#6--Hospitality will help you deal with loneliness and depression. (This is me inserting my two cents here...I think of us mothers with young children. Sometimes we are dealing with post partum blues, loneliness and discouragement, hospitality is one way of dealing with that. Especially if you feel you can’t get out much. You can invite people to come to you!)

#7--Hospitality will help us deal with selfishness. Hospitality is a way of running into the face of that selfishness and breaking down that natural selfish instinct.

#8--Hospitality will help you deal with materialism and help you get values that are eternal. You are using the blessings that God has given you, to bless others.

#9--Hospitality is a great way to cultivate in your children a heart for ministry and a heart for serving other people.

#10--If there were no other reasons this would be sufficient reason. And that is that God commands us to be hospitable. If you are a child of God, I have news for you. Hospitality is not an option. We are commanded to be hospitable.

He doesn't say, "If you are a Martha Stewart, be hospitable. But if you don't have her gift, then you can leave that to someone else. He says, "This is for every believer." In fact, almost every New Testament author talks about the importance of hospitality.

Stay tuned for more...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hospitality-Why Should I? Pt. 1

After reading all the comments on my last post (Selective Hospitality), I realized that we really need to look into an aspect of the Christian life that is often not talked about much, which is the ministry of hospitality. I had never realized until I got into the Scripture and started digging out what the Word has to say about hospitality, how important this subject is to God and how important a subject it is to our culture.


The rest of this post is mostly in Nancy Leigh Demoss' words. She says, “You know when you read about hospitality in the biblical days, it's easy to think, Well that was just something they needed in their culture because they didn't have hotels and restaurants.

Now days it seems we don't need to have people into our homes and have hospitality in the same way. But as I began to meditate on the principles of hospitality and God's heart behind hospitality, I realized that our culture needs this ministry maybe more than any previous culture.

Think about the kind of day we are living in. This is a world where people tend to put up high walls around themselves. I think of the words lonely, fearful and suspicious when I think of this culture--so many people who are wounded, people who are detached because they have been hurt in relationships.

The ministry of hospitality is a powerful weapon for breaking down walls. It's a weapon for penetrating our culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ--a culture that is so wounded and hurt.”

Question: What stops you from practicing hospitality?

Are you perhaps thinking, “I am so busy” or maybe you are thinking,”No way! You should see my house; it's a wreck or I hate to cook. There's no way I could have the ministry of hospitality.”

Well, hang in there, because my next post is going to be all about the benefits of extending hospitality. This will be a series, so keep tuning in, you won't want to miss it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Selective Hospitality"

 
Dear Mothers,

After studying the book of Luke, I came across some very familiar verses.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most High, because he is kind and ungrateful to the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”- Luke 6:32-36.

So why did this passage become so meaningful all of a sudden? I had been lamenting the fact that our best “couple” friends had moved away. I would start to feel sorry for myself thinking no one else would be brave enough to invite a family of eight over for dinner.

The Lord challenged my thinking in the area of hospitality. I had become good at inviting friends over, sharing a meal and having sweet fellowship with like-minded Believers. But the hospitality was always reciprocated. I knew we would be invited to our friends’ house the next time we got together. Now there is nothing wrong with this, but I realized that I had been practicing “comfortable hospitality” exclusively. This is not God’s Will for our lives. . Yes, it is nice to be invited to into other people’s homes, but it was very freeing to release my expectations of being invited to other people’s homes. I found that I have been very content to have people in my home where I can relax because I am set up for a crowd. It is way easier on me!

Then God hit me with Luke 14:12, which says, “Then Jesus said, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’”

We are literally to invite the poor and downtrodden into our homes. Since being convicted of this we have had an opportunity to invite one such couple into our home, along with some others that could in no way reciprocate.

Think back on the previous year. Have you fallen into the same trap I had. First, are you practicing hospitality as the Lord commanded? Second, are you only inviting people into your home that you have things in common with? Are they in the same financial position you are in? Can they “pay” you back?

I am really looking forward to teaching this concept to my children. It is so important that our children get the idea that it is “better to give than to receive”.
May the Lord bless you as you pray and ask God if you are showing favoritism in your hospitality. Now I challenge you to truly do something about it!

From One Mom to Another,


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