Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Practice hospitality

hospitality (ˌhɒspɪˈtælɪtɪ)

1. kindness in welcoming strangers or guests
2. receptiveness

1 Peter 4:9
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Romans 12:13
...Practice hospitality.

Did you know that the meaning of the word "hospital" was originally "places of hospitality".

Recently, as I stated in an earlier blog, I have done a bit of hospitality in my home. Last weekend 12 women spent the night (and a few more came during the day) when we had a retreat weekend for moms who have adopted. It was great!

They left before all the tornadic activity began - around 6:00.

The following evening, we had a young married's small group over. Last year, the Buhler's had an auction to raise funds for their adoption. (They are leaving this week to go pick up their son!!!) I auctioned off a sukiyaki Japanese meal. The Loewen's won the bid for the meal and we finally got around to it! What a fun time!!

These are rice cakes filled with red bean paste. We really love them. My kids have dubbed them "baby bottoms" because that is what they feel like when you touch them.
The young couples wanted a tour of the house. Here we are congregated in our bathroom of all places!

Last evening, our ladies at church held a progressive dinner. Andrea asked if I would be willing to host one of the places to stop. I love having company so of course I said "yes!"

Everyone met at church for the 1st course - the appetizer. Strawberry soup (I'd never had that before. It is chilled and very delicious!) and crackers and cheese.
Whatever table you sat at was the group you went around with for the evening. This was the table that I went around with and that eventually came to my house. After the appetizer, there were 3 groups of people that went to the various homes. The first home we went to was
for the next course - the salad. Our group went to Sarah's house for that. She made a wonderful Greek salad with bread sticks. Wow!!

Each hostess was to come up with an ice-breaker question. The question Sarah came up with was "What do you look forward to this coming summer?" My answer was "another grandbaby!!"

It was prom night. Earlier as I left our neighborhood for the evening, there were scores of cars parked by the lake and parents taking pictures of their kids. As we left Sarahs on to the next house for the main course, we passed limos and then this! What fun these kids are having!
Lee's home was next for our progressive dinner. Look at this absolutely cool bush! At first I thought maybe those were real flowers. But Lee told me they were tissue paper ones. I have seen some real bushes with big pompommy flowers so I wondered if this was similar.

Lee served lasagna. Mmmmm! I have to laugh at this picture. Looking at everyone's faces, you would think we are having a terrible time. We weren't!! Perhaps they were just thinking of the question we were asked.
Lee's ice-breaker question for us was "What person do you appreciate in your life?" I wasn't sure how to answer - God's blessings are so many!!! But as I looked at those girls, 2 of them were in our young married's small group and are in my morning Bible study, so I said "Bob and Nancy who discipled us as young marrieds and then the young marrieds in our church we have been so privileged to know" for truly I just LOVE them and their babies!!!

The 4th and last course for the evening was the dessert course and that was at my house for our group of girls.

My question had 2 parts:

Where in the world have you been to? Some of us have been to several countries, some to several states. Then we also mentioned what country we would wish to go to if we have never traveled out of the US.

The 2nd part of the question I twisted around. I mentioned that we are on a spiritual journey. When we travel overseas, you take several "tools" with you to help - like a small travel iron, or a plug-in adaptor or a passport carrier to wear under your clothes so it won't get lost or stolen. On our spiritual journey, what "tool(s)" do you use to help you? What fun to hear the various answers, whether it was a devotional to read with the Bible, or Christian friends who come alongside, or a prayer journal....

Next weekend we will have the search committee and spouses over for a lunch with a worship pastor candidate and his wife. And the following weekend our youth pastor's relatives will come from Dallas to spend the weekend. When we moved here, Allen and I said we wanted to use our home for hospitality and I am so glad we get to do that!!

I remember reading a book by Karen Maines many years ago about hospitality versus entertaining. I found the following thoughts on another blog that I thought I would share:

"When you entertain, you bring honor and glory to yourself. Showing hospitality brings honor and glory to God.

Think about it. Pride can easily sneak in when you entertain. The dinner you serve shows off your cooking abilities. Everything is clean and neat so guests are impressed with your home and homemaking skills. And, if the evening is enjoyable, everyone assumes it's because of your talents as a host or hostess. Why, all this focus on yourself can quickly lead to an inflated ego if you're not careful!

Hospitality, on the other hand, is not about impressing anyone. It’s about being yourself and making your guests feel comfortable to be themselves. It doesn’t matter if you serve frozen pizza or if dust bunnies are scurrying across your floors. Through your warmth and humility, guests feel better about themselves and closer to God for having visited your home."

I enjoy entertaining critters too.

1 comment:

Marc, Sarah, and Luke said...

You and Allen are two of the most hospitable people we know...I personally love congregating at your home. Marc & I strive to be hospitable now, but sometimes it's difficult being hospitable with a small child in the house (and another on the way). But, we pray we can do more of it as our children get older. We too appreciate you & Allen and all that you have done for us "young family" couples.