Saturday, April 11, 2009

Organizing for Hospitality: just a meal, please!

This post is the third in a series of hospitality posts.

If you would like to read the others: part 1 and part 2 (hospitality, the mark of a gracious Christian.

So, you would like to start showing hospitality?  How do we do that in a very practical way?  

So, let's start with the basics.  Your small house is a mess, and even when it is clean, it's not that great.  You have several little ones hanging from your ankles,  and  you have very little money.  So, am I describing your situation?  

Good.  I thought so.  God likes to do miracles, so the greater the challenge, the more he can prove himself faithful.  If you take the biblical commands of hospitality literally and are determined to do them, then it's God's responsibility to do the providing.  

We do the obeying, and he does the providing.

So let's talk about what God is going to do, and what we need to do.

God provides the people to have over.  
God provides the physical blessings we share with them.
God provides the strength to serve.
God provides the blessings of service.

What we do:

We provide our willingness to share what we have.
We provide our time and resources.
We provide ourselves as a living sacrifice, in service to him.
We provide a good attitude, without grumbling or complaining. 

Now that our attitude is right, just look around your home for creative ways to accommodate for a few more people.  

Do you have a card table? Do you have a picnic table? Do you have T.V. trays or other trays?  Do you have a children's play table?  Do you have some lumber or plywood and a tablecloth?

Do you have folding chairs? lawn chairs? benches? can some sit on the floor?  

Once you engage in a hospitality mindset, a few things will happen,
1) you will see hospitality uses in almost anything,

2) and people will give you things, 

3) or you will find bargains all around the place.  

4) If you have a decent income, you may find that spending money on improving the home for hospitality will be more important than going on the next expensive vacation.  In other words, your priorities may change, and you may have more income for things like this.

But do not get caught up in the selfish mindset of : if God improves my home, then I will obey him.  That, my friends, is blackmail.  Just obey, and God will provide.  He is a good God, remember?  

I have served a few meals in places that I nicknamed "the sweatshop" (in Panama) and "the bachelor pad" (in Wisconsin)..  No, it wasn't posh, but it didn't change God's basic commands in my mind.  Who would have imagined the nice home that he's provided for us now?  In our 18 years of marriage and hospitality adventures, I have not regretted showing hospitality in our less than spacious places, but it has made it all the sweeter to have what he has provided for us now.  

So far, all we have accomplished is locating a table and some chairs.  I think I've given you  enough to do for one week.  Can you find enough things to have one family over?  O.K. let's just start there.  We'll talk more about food and such next week.

blessings until then.


Cathy {Mommy Needs Motivation} said...

This was very timely - thank you! I have invited ppl over because I thought I SHOULD. And now I'm a little freaking out!! But it was a great & timely reminder to do my part and let God do the rest. So true. And so very reassuring! :)

Thank you!

Mrs. Parunak said...

Another excellent hospitality post! You are so right. God does provide, even when we're tired and feeling used up.