Today I want to talk about hospitality – you know, inviting someone over to your home. Now, does your stomach start to knot and visions of laundry piles and dust bunnies come to mind? Do you start an inventory of the pantry and rack your brain to remember where you put the fancy recipe you cut out of that magazine?
Mary and Martha opened their home to Jesus and His disciples often. Meals were shared and overnight accommodations must have been given at times .
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hospitality as: generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests: the act of providing food, drinks, etc. for people who are guests.
The Bible has a lot of things to say about hospitality too. 83 verses in fact !!! A few I want to mention today are…..
Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless – cheerfully. I Peter 4:9 (Message Bible)
Help needy Christians: be inventive in hospitality. Romans 12:13 (Message Bible)
If you’re like most people, you probably think practicing Christian hospitality is equivalent to what you’ve seen in entertainment books and magazines – beautifully set tables, vast guest rooms with jet tub bathrooms, and restaurant quality meals. And if you’re like me, you end up feeling inadequate at your small house and basic cooking styles with no jet tub in sight !!!! As people we choose to focus on what we don’t have instead of focusing on sharing the blessings of God. But Jesus didn’t wait for the perfect moment (or a clean house and gourmet meals) to invite people in and hold them close. He was always tuned in to others needs. So somewhere along the way, we must realize that people are not in our homes for the unlimited entertaining budget. Rather, they sense loving kindness and genuine concern. That’s the moment when our homes become a sanctuary for those God sends our way and hospitality becomes, not a matter of our living spaces and pantries, but of our heart.Read More
February 19, 2015 Feeding the Flock
I have to admit that I only like camping for a few days. Roughing it and cooking over the open fire is great for a short time but I really enjoy all those creature comforts of my kitchen. Mary and Martha (or usually just Martha – as the scripture seems to say) probably cooked over an open fire in a courtyard. The fire was made somewhere in the corner to keep the smoke from entering the main house. Very few houses had a chimney so in bad weather when cooking inside was a necessity there was no exit for the smoke. Meat, if served, was cooked directly over coals or on a spit. Sounds daunting to say the least.
Since I’m confessing – I have another confession to make. I’m not at all a gourmet cook!!!! Most of my recipes are the quick and easy variety. Entertaining is special but I like to be among my guest and not stuck in the kitchen. I guess this is the Mary part of me.Read More
February 12, 2015 Sweet Kids
God is big on kids.
Psalm 127:3 (NIV) – Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
The Bible tells us what God says about our worth and our value in His eyes.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.”
Psalm 136:13 (Message Bible)
Therefore, our worth is not really our “self-worth” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross.
A buzzword that burst on the scene about 40 years ago was “Self-Esteem.” I can remember attending lots of self-esteem convos during my 21 years in the school system. Teachers, parenting experts & even churches placed a priority on a child’s view of themselves. Yet studies show that people, even with all the emphasis on affirmation and praise for our kids, are more depressed and anxious than ever before and have lower self-esteem.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines self-esteem as: a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities. But as Christians, we believe self-esteem is found in God, not our own works, which fall short, but in His grace. Only in His grace can we do what He has called us to do. I want my children to learn to see themselves through God’s eyes and not through the lens of the world with its unrealistic and ungodly expectations.Read More
February 5, 2015 Feeding the Flock
I’ve been doing some very interesting study this week. As I was planning some meals for Tom and I, the thought came to my mind – what did folks like Mary and Martha eat back in the Bible days? What kinds of food did the typical diet consist of and what would have been served at a family get together or celebration, such as when Jesus came to visit?
Some intriguing facts can be found on this subject. First of all most of the foods were eaten fresh and in season. Of course there was no refrigeration in those days so meals had to be prepared and eaten from the supply on hand. Instead of planning meals and making a grocery list, as I was doing, most of the food came from the householder’s own field, vineyard and vegetable garden.Read More