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Archive for February, 2007

I finally finished the book last week and wanted to share just a few more portions of this little gem by Alexander Strauch.    It was a great book and it inspired me to be more consistent about opening our home.    I have probably had weekend supper company at least once or twice a month for a very long time–  but upon completing this book, I  felt an unction to step it up.

This past Sunday, we had  a couple over  who have been members of our church for about a year and a half.  (The menu was tuna fish, chips, guacamole and a brownie cake that my 15 year old made from a mix–  just to let you know that I’m keeping it simple!!!)  We shared a very nice time of fellowship and spiritual conversation and the whole time we were eating, I kept wishing I had had them over sooner!   As they were leaving, they thanked us and told us that we were the only people from our church who had invited them over for a meal.

Alright–  enough from me.  Here’s what Strauch has to say:

If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, we will want to invite them into our homes.  We will want them to fill our homes.  The presence of Christian brothers and sisters in our homes is a foretaste of our glorious, heavenly dwelling place that will be filled with people, angels, and the perfect host–  our Lord Jesus Christ.

Despite the joy of Christian hospitality, it is easy to neglect hospitality during times of spiritual stress and apathy.  Neglect, however, is a sure sign of slacking love.  Hospitality may be costly and intrusive, but that is what Christian brotherly and sisterly love demands.  Thus the Spirit of God warns us not to neglect the practice of hospitality.

When most Christians hear about their responsibility to practice hospitality, they can think up an amazing number of creative excuses to explain why they can’t be hospitable.  Yes Christians are commanded to practice hospitality.

Alright–so to whom should we extend hospitality?  Here’s a list I came up with:
1–  New church members
2–  Long time church members
3–  Hurting church members
4–  Widows  (This would especially fall under a deacon’s ministry responsibility– although we should all take care of our widows!)
5–  Visitors
6–  Lost people whom we are trying to evangelize

Here’s to opening our homes.  As we continue on this journey of hospitality, I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Cooking for Seven

Somehow, I figured out a while back that I save a lot of money and time if I only go grocery shopping once a month.  Well, major grocery shopping that is.  I still have to run to the store at least once a week for milk, produce, juice, and other assorted miscellaneous items.  Sometime around the first of the month, I sit down with the calendar and try to plan a 30 day menu around scheduled activities.  Then I post the menu on the refrigerator and go from there.  Of course, life happens, and sometimes we have to deviate from the plan.  But this is just one of those tricks in life that helps me cope with, as my sister puts it, the acquired chaos.  🙂  (Oh, when you’re over there, check out her “Pull-Apart Chicken.”  It’s great– and I have grafted it into our monthly repitoire, only I’ve renamed it “Chicken Joes.”)

Though I make my menus a month at a time,   it was too long to post the whole month in one post, so here’s an example of a 7 day menu:

MENU FOR FEB 25 – MARCH 4

Sunday February 25

Company for lunch

Lunch-

Tuna Fish

Chips & Guacemole

Peach Salad

 

Supper-

Taquitos & Sour Cream

 

Monday February
26

Discipleship at 7:00

Chili & Cinnamon Rolls

Fritos & Cheese

 

Tuesday February
27

Homeschool Co-op & Piano Lessons

Beans & Rice & Cornbread

 

 

Wednesday
February 28

AWANA

Mexican Cornbread w/ Sausage

Beans

 

Thursday, March 1

Kids have a skating party

Sloppy Joes

Black Eyed Peas

 

Friday, March 2

Couples Bible Study

Italian Porkchops
Salad
Rolls

Saturday, March 3

Lia Sophia jewelry party @ 2:00pm

Hot Dogs

Chips

 

Sunday March 4

Lunch  (Company)

Sausage Spaghetti

Rolls

Salad

Supper:

Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches

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If you’ve known me very long, you know I’m not a huge fan of Rick Warren’s material.  I believe the church should be God-centered rather than seeker-centered, and my heart’s desire is that the lost would be attracted to a “cross-driven” life.  My prayer is that men and women would see a life that is crucified–  a life that is passionate about God.  If people are only attracted to me because I look and sound like the world, well, blech!   And if a church can’t stand on the Bible and specific points therein, such as the atoning blood of Christ, or eternal judgement in hell-fire–that church is nothing more than another club.  Like the Kiwanas. Or the Lion’s Club.

So, today as I was reading from Robbie Castleman’s Parenting in the Pew—  I felt that I stumbled onto a little gem when I read the following words:

The best kind of seeker service is one where the unchurched people feel two things:  “I don’t belong here!” and “I want to belong here!”   The mysterium tremendum, God’s fearful majesty, is off-putting and in-drawing at the same time.  The “throne of Grace” is still a throne, not a rocking chair or floor pillow.  The church is not another club to join.  It is the body of Christ, the presence of the kingdom of God in the world.  What a privilege to invite our friends and their children to worship the King!”

The mysterium tremendum.  Amen.

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Homeschooling with Toddlers

Wfmwheader_14When I was homeschooling the older two, I had two toddlers underfoot–  but my memories of those days seem easier than what I am doing now which is homeschooling one with only one toddler underfoot.  I think the fact that back in the old days, my toddlers had each other to play with has something to do with that. 

Suffice it to say, “Destructo Baby” is into everything.  Some days,  it feels like I’m cleaning messes a lot more than teaching math or reading!  Or at least it did until…. (drum roll please)  I bought THIS.

That’s right–  I bought a dog pen for baby Jane.  Only mine is actually much larger than the one in the photo I linked you to, because I bought the 2 extra extension panels and set it up in my dining room.  (I had to move the formal dining table over the side to accomplish this.)  It won’t win me any Home Beautiful awards, but it does seem to be helping grandly with my home education efforts!

Dog pens for kids–  this is really working for me.  🙂
Thanks to Shannon at Rocks at My Dryer for hosting!

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The Hospitality Commands

I’ve said it before–  but I feel it bears repeating–  hospitality isn’t a spiritual gift.  It’s a command. 

I just started  rereading the book The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch.  The following is an excerpt from the first chapter.  I hope this whets your appetite as it has mine.

While on vacation, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit a couple who had previously attended our church and home Bible studies but had since moved away.  We were concerned about their spiritual welfare.  We were delighted to learn that they were living for the Lord and were actively involed in a small local church.  They had one complaint, however.  During the past year, that they had attended the church, not one person–  not even one of the spiritual leaders–had invited them over for a meal or a time of fellowship.  So, our friends still did not feel a part of the fellowship and were quite disheartened.

An elderly single woman, who now attends our church, related an experience to me that dramatically illustrates why we need fresh teaching on the subject of Christian hospitality.  At one time in her life, she had to travel more than an hour by bus every Sunday to attend a small suburban church.  Each week after the Sunday morning service, she would eat alone in a park or library so that she could attend the evening service.  She did this for four years.  What left her with sour memories of this church was the fact that in four years no one invited her home to eat a Sunday afternoon meal or to rest.  It wasn’t until she announced she was leaving that an elderly woman in the church invited her home for a meal on her final Sunday.

At times I have traveled as long as two or three hours on a Sunday morning in order to preach at a church.  In some instances, when I finished speaking, I was handed a check, invited to return, given many friendly handshakes and bid a warm good-by.  But no one thought to invite me home for a meal, to provide rest before my long drive home, or to seek further fellowship with me after the Sunday morning service.

These experiences distress me, and so they should!  They are examples of lifeless, loveless, inhospitable Christianity.  Worse, they are examples of outright disobedience to the clear commands of Scripture.  In concluding the Letter to the Hebrews, the inspired writer impl0res his Christian readers to cultivate a deep, affectionate love for one another as brothers and sisters (13:1).  He then immediately warns them not to neglect a vitally important aspect of their brotherly and sisterly love–  hospitality.

Consider yourself exhorted!

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On the Side 02.20.07

Modesty:  Survey says…  Our brothers in Christ have answered a modesty survey and the results are in.  You might want to read this BEFORE you take your daughter shopping for summer clothes!  And if you have a daughter getting married anytime soon, you might want to check out this and this.

Large families:  Have trouble getting to church on time?  This mom dresses her babies the night before!  (Does this work with teenagers too???)

Adoption:  Ever thought about adopting?  Read this sermon manuscript by John Piper about adoption and how it mirrors the heart of the gospel.  I especially encourage you to scroll down to the bottom of the sermon and read the letter written to his wife Noel.   Though she longed for a daughter, she modeled submission and quietly won her husband’s heart.

Church Architecture: What should a church building look like?  Check out this interesting discussion on the subject.

Soli Deo Gloria: You may have noticed a new "Sola Moms" button on my left side bar.  My dear friend Jules from Everyday Mommy created this blogging ring for women who hold to the five solas and like to blog about it.  If you haven’t already, check out the other sola mom blogs.  Great stuff, I tell you.  I just hope I can keep up.

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Praying for our Children

Safe am I, safe am I
In the hollow of His hand

Sheltered o’er, sheltered o’er

Forever, evermore

 

No ill shall harm me

No foe alarm me

For He keeps both day and night

Safe am I, safe am I

In the hollow of His hand


For God is watching over you

Watching over you

Watching over you

God is watching over you

Watching over you
Tonigh
t
 

Words and Music by Dillon–The Bill Gaither Trio Especially for Children Album, copyright 1973

My husband and I have sung that song to  all of our babies at bedtime over the years.  We had actually gotten out of the habit and then the tradition started all over again when baby Jane came along.  Today, as Jane and I were rocking along to this song before afternoon nap, I thought of  a dear friend of mine whose son is struggling with His walk with the Lord.  So today, I prayed this song for him too.  Our children never outgrow our need for our prayers and God’s watchcare, do they?

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