Hospitality: Day 9

Embrace The Family of Strangers

by

Today's Text: 3 John 1:1-15, Romans 12:3-8, Romans 16:1-16

Text: 3 John 1:1-15, Romans 12:3-8, Romans 16:1-16

Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.
- 3 John 1:5, NIV

The first day I met Gus he screamed at me. I had lived a quiet life up to that point, and I had never heard screaming like this. I have screamed on roller coasters, at being tickled, and at swim meets. But never like this.

Gus’s screams terrified me. His eyes were far away and unreasoning. It was like all the darkness in him rushed out of his giant mouth straight into me. I wanted to run away from him and back to my quiet life.

But I couldn’t because Gus was going to be my son, and the paperwork was already at the Embassy in Ethiopia. What was I going to do, chicken out because he’s loud?

Sister, if we were together and you cared to hear, I would tell you about our adoption of two baby boys from Africa, and how they scared the curse words out of me. They still scare the horse apples out of me sometimes. And I would tell you that God has been so gracious and redemptive in our lives. But that’s a long story. Let’s just talk about loving people we are afraid to love, people who maybe scare us because they come from such a different place.

Hospitality is uncomfortable. There are people who make me want to run. I think, to a certain degree, we all like a quiet life. Do you feel totally content with your two or three great friends, and just don’t need to reach out to every crazy lady you meet?

The trouble is, I am that crazy lady. And so are you. We are all on the margins sometimes.

This is the heart of hospitality: finding people on the margins and bringing them in.

Remember in Psalm 68:6, David praises the Lord because He “sets the solitary in families.” This extends well beyond adoption. God has given us so many ways to reach out to the solitary.

The first step to hospitality is obedience: bring people in. This obedience helps us form soup kitchens, care for widows, help orphans, and invite women that are TOO LOUD (or too quiet) into our homes.

But this is only the first step. My wise pastor, George Grant, shared this beautiful verse that tells me there must be a second step. Because once we have invited people in, we are called to love them. In Zephaniah 3 we see this exquisite mystery:

“He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
- Zephaniah 3:17

Our heavenly Father rejoices over us with singing! Pause here before we move on, and read it again: He will rejoice over us with singing.

We are called to imitate Christ, so we can’t just stop at going through the motions and serving folks soup once a year. We are called to rejoice over others with singing; to love them.

Sisters, to me this is the hardest part of hospitality. It’s possible to go through all the motions, but stop short of loving people and rejoicing over them.

Making this jump on our own is impossible. The only way to change our hearts is to submit them to Christ. Pray with me today that God would not only teach us hospitality, but teach us to truly love.

SRT-Hospitality_day9

  • cooc gavenwood

    I begin this study with a younger girl from my church, and as we’ve been encouraging each other, we have both been going through situations where it is so difficult to love people, and the easiest thing is to ignore and back away. its so humbling to be reminded through the word, we are not called to easily like people but to genuinely love, even when it is hard

  • I have a friend I work with who I thought of the whole time I read this nobody at work likes her. She is pretty solitary and she has mental and physical problems. Nobody knows the real her because she covers up her pain with a lot of loud laughter, yelling, and just plain clinginess… This makes people like her less. And I have had my moments with her, because my personality is in strong opposition to hers. There have been times when I just wanted to tell her to leave me alone… But I CANT DO IT. However, this has been the encouragement that I have needed to keep on ministering to her! Lord give the me the power to overcome the things about her that annoy me and love her the way you want me to!!

  • DeLexis Barnabie

    I love this…..and this is definitely my prayer…..

  • Svalentine811

    So I had fallen behind in this study – life, you know. My best friend and I have been reading and discussing our "devos," and last night we talked about how it always seems that God has something very specific to say to us each time we read. I had sat down to read this day's truth three days ago, but life, you know. I got as far as the Scriptures. This morning, I reviewed the passages and began to read Rebecca's beautiful challenges. Lately I've been struggling with some…let's go with unpleasant feelings toward a "loud" (read: difficult) coworker. We're both entering a training class today that will stretch us, and likely draw out the "loudness" in her, and possibly others – myself included. I know I have been called to love, but this extra step of rejoicing – that level of hospitality is one I had not really considered. I know she is in a difficult place, and she needs to experience the love of God. This is the exact Word and challenge I needed today. Father, mold my heart that I may love the "loud" people, rejoicing, and showing them who you are.

  • abbigail

    This was a good and much needed one for me. Often in my notes I write a few of the sentences that stand out. I realized I was writing almost every sentence in my notebook today. This touched home. I serve weekly, helping pass out much needed items to homeless or very low income families. We have several people that drive us crazy. Sometimes we just want to avoid them. While I do just stay there and listen because I know that God loves them just as much as he loves me, I need more of a heart of hospitality. It is hard to love them and embrace them fully. But I can and I will. I am truly thankful for this study. Its deepening my heart.

  • Mariah M.

    Wow… every morning I wake up and read one of these devotionals, I am stunned by how relevant they are to my life. My family has been struggling a lot with family members who are down right mean, stubborn, and very, very difficult to reason with. I have watched these family members yelling at my mom and dad for no apparent reason. They have yelled at me for no reason, either. The easiest thing to do is to yell back, to hate back, to act the same way they have been acting to us. But as Christian, we are called to something higher than that. It's called love. "They will know you are Christians by your LOVE." Love is incredibly stronger than hatred, because it is of the Lord. It is so, so difficult sometimes to want to love someone who doesn't treat you very well, or treat your family very well, but helping them and loving them is so so important. A lot of times those people have things going on in their lives that only love brings out.
    Thank you so much SRT. You all are a blessing to me and I am so so so thankful for you all.

  • unsilencedme

    After reading today’s entry I have to speak up again. I don’t speak from the perspective of some lovely, noble, woman who has always has all her stuff together but is feeling convicted for not paying attention to particular people. I speak from the perspective of a woman who has been in the ugliest of places countless times, the woman people in a church whispered about, ridiculed, and spread rumors about until we finally left. I am that ugly, scarred, crazy lady far out in on the margins who was taken in, I thought, only to be chewed up and spit back out when I ceased performing like a show pony.
    The part of this reading that stabbed me in the eye that I cannot be silent about is this line, “This is the heart of hospitality: finding people on the margins and bringing them in.”
    I had people “bringing me in” but unfortunately it was abundantly clear from day one that’s what they were doing. It was abundantly clear that some sick hierarchy exists where those on the higher rungs are doing those of us down among the pond scum a favor by “bringing us in.” They “let us” do things for them to coax us along in our brand new baby steps and seemingly rejoiced and remarked about how much “progress” we had made. If we stepped out of line according to those higher in the hierarchy of righteousness there would be discipline, usually in the form of ignoring and avoiding.
    My point is this, TRULY bringing someone in does not mean to go and find some person you feel is the lowly scumbag in need of guidance and proceed to “teach them the ‘right’ (your) way.” Nor is it using manipulation hidden behind claims of love and acceptance to change someone into what you want them to be because you don’t want your shiny friends to see you with some unpolished icky person with a past. I learned firsthand there is a fine line between people encouraging you to be your best and do your best and those trying to mold you into the type of person they would be more comfortable associating with.
    My past is what makes me who I am today, of course not all good but certainly not all bad either. All the ugliness, all those dark horrible places I was often advised to keep secret, and all the things that caused Christians to judge me as “too complicated” to be associated with them, are all part of me – if pretending to be someone else is the only way to no longer be on the margins, myself and countless others just like me, will happily stay right where we are.

    • Esther

      Your post is very thought provoking and I’m ashamed to admit that I see myself in some of your experiences. You challenge all of us to love without any expectations…. Without the need to see ‘progress’ or ‘change’. Because that is exactly what Christ does for each one of us – He continues to love and brings us in – regardless of our behaviour. He doesn’t make us feel like we have to perform for Him. But instead – His love transforms our hearts. I really pray that there will be people in your life who will love and accept you with all your past. Truth is – we all have ‘stuff'; we all have a past that has shaped us into who we are today. Even the woman that you think appears to ‘have it all together’ – she may have a past that makes it difficult for her to ‘be real’. I am learning that I need to give grace more freely – grace to allow God to change what needs changing and grace to accept the rest! – praying that you will feel God’s great love and great grace today!

    • Shelia

      Having a brother with a drug and alcohol past, I understand your feelings. It was truly hard for him to accept the "reaching out" by some people because it felt that they were just going through the Christian motions as he used to call it. He would often tell me, Sis, there are those who really love God, therefore love me, but there are those who just want people to think they love God, much less a person like me. Go back and read my post for today. Don't allow your past and your "feelings" to prevent those who really do love you to demonstrate that. My past is not pretty either. I take those moments, choices, and consequences of my past and use them to reach out to others who may have experience the same as me. Use what you have learned through your mistakes to reach those who are hurting just like you. God has cleansed you, no one else has any more cleaning to do. Come to him as you are.

  • Cari Spaulding

    While reading these passages in my Bible, I read some of the commentary. At the beginning of 3 John, there was a section giving a summary of what the book was going to be about. This question was part of it, and it really hit me hard: “do we see people as objects or inconveniences, or as unique creations of a loving God?” I really love being hospitable to those around me that I am used to. My friends mainly, and then the other people that I am used to helping with in the community and from church. But every once in a while, someone else comes along. Someone I am not used to helping. And these someones can honestly sometimes really seem like inconveniences, when this isn’t the case. They are a unique creation of a loving God, just like you and me. Lord, help me see these people as unique creations, not as burdens. Show me how to display your love for them through my hospitality.

  • Katie B.

    ladies, please pray for me. I very recently joined SRT and this is my first time posting. last week, I found out that my husband was having an affair. I understand his lapse in judgement and although it is painful, am making bold strides towards forgiveness and restoration. there is one hang up though. the woman he got involved with. I thought she was my friend, she’s held my baby. she denied any involvement with my husband weeks ago, when I confronted her gently, woman to woman. she continues to lie in public about her involvement and has slandered me in our community, it’s all very painful. but since reading this study for the past few days, I feel God telling me to love her and show her true hospitality. I don’t know why God would have me do that considering all that I have suffered, and am really struggling to accept it. please pray with me that God help me break down the barriers of hurt and anger that surround my heartso that I may truly act out His will. thank you.

    • Shannon Blaeske

      Praying for you Katie today

    • Lala

      Good morning Katie,

      I am sorry that you are going through such a hard time. But I want you to know that I am amazed and truly inspired by the fact that you are able to soften your heart and pray for all of those around you. Even though it is what God would want from you I know that it is not always easy. Stay in his word Katie and he will see you and your family through this difficult time. My prayers are with you and all of those around you…. Your doing great :)

      • Katie B.

        Lala, thank you so much for your encouragement, it is something that I needed very much. Your kind words brought years to my eyes and continue to soften my heart. Thank you.

    • michele

      I just got finished reading an excerpt from Craig Groeschel, talking about hiw God calls us to be unreasonable. Luke 14:26-27 says, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever cannot carry their cross cannot be my disciple." In Mark 10:21 Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell everything he has to follow him. Jesus also commanded a lame man to walk. He told Peter to walk on water. God is a God that asks us to do the unreasonable. Praise God that you are listening to His voice and obeying this seemingly unreasonable command. Continue to listen, and be encouraged.

  • Shannon Blaeske

    I know this has nothing to do with this study, but have you thought of getting some godly men together and creating a he reads truth app? Trying to find something to encourage my husband to study scripture daily and there isn’t anything out there for men.

  • I read the scripture in 2 versions today and from the Message in the Romans passage this jumped out at me: "Hello to my cousins Andronicus and Junias. We once shared a jail cell. They were believers in Christ before I was. Both of them are outstanding leaders." Did you notice the "JAIL CELL" they shared? Maybe it only jumped out at me because my brother once spent time in jail because of DUIs. When he left treatment a woman in my SS class said "I can understand why someone like him is not comfortable in our class." This cut me to the bone. He was my brother and she didn't think he belonged in HER Sunday School Class. How many times have I made someone feel that they didn't belong in my home, in my life, in my Sunday School Class? How many times have I been silent and shied away from those who just needed a warm hello and to be noticed? I pray today that God opens my heart and my eyes to see past others "messiness, lifestyle, etc." to see what he sees, and to treat them the way he did. Let me be the one who takes in that stranger who is hurt lying on the road and care for him.

  • Elizabeth

    Something I'm praying for this morning is for God to help me see people through His eyes, not mine. Over the past couple of days of this study, He has been showing me how important everyone is to Him. When I think about it, it's kind of puzzling how many people I pass without taking a second look or have a second thought. Something that I have learned recently is that when we ignore those around us, we are ignoring Christ himself! It's so easy to want to stay in our own "little world" and not reach out to others but God calls us to do the opposite! He has been opening my eyes to a whole new view on life, I love it. :)

    • SheReadsTruth

      Love that, Elizabeth! So excited to hear the fresh perspective God has given you! Grateful to be in this together!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • I’m needing help understanding the Psalm over the image! Not quite sure I understand it.

    • Elizabeth

      This might not be right, but i think it means he finds a home for people who are lonely. A place for everyone to belong somewhere. And the way he does that is through others loving on those people we may not have otherwise sought out to love.

  • Catherine_K_L

    Hello, my name is Convicted. It used to be easier for me to love the unlovable, to be hospitable in the Biblical sense. Something happened. Life got hard, people mistreated me and hurt me, I felt taken advantage of. My own life and my own needs got in the way of what others needed. The world's selfish views of "eat or be eaten" have influenced me, I'm afraid. My personal world experienced life changes that made me the one that was unlovable at times. Even though God has pulled me out from the pit, my heart has become much less soft. My patience has become thin. My concern for others dimmed.

    I have some relearning to do. (Romans 12:1-2) (1 Timothy 6:17-18)

    Father God, forgive me for the hardness of my heart. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Help me be willing to give your love to others, to reach out, to touch, to speak, to share, to listen and to just be present to those who need you. Father, please renew my mind to align with your Spirit and respond to others he way you want me to respond. I invite you into every area of my life and I ask you to show me your truth and see things from your perspective (Psalm 40:8) . Thank you for your Word, to convict me, convert my ways and comfort me in my failures. Help me keep my eyes on you and off of myself. It is there that you steady me, it is there that I find wholeness and peace. Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:40) Help me remember that the prickly people I encounter are hurting somewhere and they need you, just like me when I am prickly. Help me have compassion and remember that I was once there and without your love would still be. Thank you for your goodness and for loving even me. I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

    • Michelle Huband

      What a beautiful heart felt prayer. I really sense and believe then Lord is delighted in you :) be blessed

  • LaurieEW

    It's this a love, hate study? Love the message, Hate the conviction.
    Any how I serve a group of 4th grade girls on Sunday mornings. They are special, I love the time with them. Whew… got my serving time in, busy, busy, busy, no more time to be hospitable this week.
    The other Sunday a Mother was sharing about her frustration with her daughter, that is in my group. Being led by the sponetanious Holy Spirit, I say, would you like me to spend some time with her? She said that would be wonderful. Uh Oh, when in the world will I lhave time for that?
    Well on Sunday my 4th grade girl and I made Brownies, walked the dog and just chatted. What a blessing.
    Go ahead Girls, open up your (dog haired) house, (busy) heart and let Jesus hospitality shine through. And be Blessed!

    • Shannon

      Thank you for sharing!! Blessed and inspired by this story!!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Love this, Laurie! It's amazing when God, apart from all common sense or reasoning, opens up space and time for us to love others. Blessings to you, sister!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Sarah Martin

    I loved everything about today's post. The Scripture in Romans 16 reminds me of something in myself that I've yet to uncover until today. Something about the list of people in the church spoke to me about the need to be known. Yes, we have the ultimate gift that we are known by God Almighty. But, today I'm thinking about how I can be an ambassador for that gift to strangers or those that are hard to love around me. Everyone wants to be known in some form or fashion. How can I take time to open my arms wide and welcome in to let them know they are in fact known by Jesus? Whew! Taking this forward today. Thank you!

  • Amy Kay Nickerson

    The part that stuck out to me today was that I am that crazy lady(!), and as I love because He first loved me, I can show hospitality to the crazy ladies because I’ve received and been included. I hear Jesus saying: Go and do likewise!

  • I’ve recently been convicted to “greet by name” – not just friends; but everyone. Seems so simple, but my little brain doesn’t do this well or easily! The young girls that work in the shop beside me, the mailman, the lady at the bank, you get it, everyone! Even if it’s just to say good morning; I hope it’s a small way for them to feel known – which is what we all desire; to be known & cared for! What better way than to start with their name!

    • Sarah Martin

      Rebecca! I just commented below you with out reading your post first. Should have done that. It seems like the Lord has us thinking the same things. I love how God speaks through this community. Wow!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Love this, Rebecca! What a difference it makes to be greeted by name and do the same for others! Thanks for the idea and encouragement!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Kim

      I too make an effort to do this, Rebecca. I write names down in my diary & phone to help me. It makes people feel important, feel special and that is a huge part of true hospitality.

  • Hospitality is the outward expressions of true love. Therefore we must have true love within before hospitality can flow out. We need to want to serve people. Not just force ourselves to get up and serve. We must have a deep love for people so that we can desire to serve them.

  • I read the day’s post. I read the comments. And I find myself wondering. Am I really the only one still truly struggling with this study? Can I be? Everyone seems to so “get it”. To be so ready to dive right in. To have hearts so wide open. As I feel mine still struggling. Resisting even. I pray. I have discussions… debates even… with God. With myself. Baby steps are made. But still… this is a difficult one to wrap my head, and my heart, around.

    Beckey

    http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com

    http:// http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

    • LaurieEW

      It is hard. I get it, but dive right in… when can I fit it in. I'm so tired, when I do have a break I want it for me. I get it, but uggh the diving in, that's the hard part. Baby steps girl, baby steps. : )

    • Katie B.

      I’m struggling with it too:(

    • stinav96

      I guess I get it, but I'm not so sure I'm diving right in. I'm not even sure what that looks like? I know my heart is convicted, and very slowly, God is showing me little things here and there that need to change. However, I've yet to have anyone in my home or to make a conscious effort to hang out with someone who is different than me. I think for me, it's more a repentance, a returning to my first love, in that I repent of becoming like the world in my attitude toward others, and I go back to things I used to be obedient in that I gradually decided might not be as important to do as I used to think they were. My loss of hospitality was gradual and subtle. My return to it must necessarily be somewhat the same, because in so many ways, I never even knew it was fading away….and then gone.

  • Alicia Knitt

    This has been so convicting today. I can hardly think of a group of people who make me more uncomfortable, in terms of hospitality, than the countless homeless people in our city. It is time to step around the fear and learn how to truly love them. How to love them beyond slapping a couple dollars or a sandwich in their hand and walking away as quickly as possible.

    • SheReadsTruth

      This is such a challenging and inspiring thought, Alicia! Grateful for all the Lord is calling you to and teaching you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • This study on hospitality has definitely been an eye opener! Like many of you, I can feel God “pruning” me with each morning’s readings. I am so thankful for this study and all those writing it, because it has definitely been a needed one. As we move into the holiday season, I pray that each one of us will remember what we are learning here and move out of our comfort zones to lavish God’s hospitality on all those around us, regardless of how we feel about them.

    Have a lovely Tuesday sisters!

  • smithwendy62

    When I read this today the words that I just said to my husband echoed in my ears…."I am not sure about that person, he makes me feel uncomfortable." …He makes me….it has nothing to do with the person….he is different, he is different from me, he has a heart of gold, he loves others….It is me….this message reminds me to love, love people where they are not where I want them to be.

  • Sarah Keller

    I've gotten "good" at hospitality with people I'm comfortable with. But this study and all that the Word says on on it is such an encouraging, convicting, motivating reminder that hospitality is NOT about who fits into my personal comfort zone. I hope and pray that we will be able to reach out to even those who truly do make us uncomfortable, remembering that it could have even been Jesus, is His day, who was "different" than us. Thank you so much for blessing us through this series!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Thanks for the encouragement and reminder, Sarah! Excited to hear all of the challenging and exciting things God is teaching you.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • "hospitality is uncomfortable.. hospitality is obedience." oh man.. JESUS please help me to love & serve EVERYONE for Your glory. even, and especially, when it feels uncomfortable.

  • "Who have you reached out to lately Tammy? Hospitality is not an event, it's a lifestyle. It's not reserved for holidays and special days, it's meant for every day. It's the good china, the fine silver and the crystal glasses -used in the park where the homeless gather. Save your paper plates for the party in your home where only your select friends gather. ". Oh Lord how much time have I wasted cleaning the house to prepare for guests when what needs cleaning is me!!! Forgive me Lord for not seeing beyond the "acts" of hospitality.

    • Ioneem

      Tammy, I loved what you wrote and it is exactly what I need to absorb all that is being taught here. Thanks and blessings for you.

    • Erin

      YES.

    • Meg

      Tammy- that just went straight to my heart…. I need cleaning, not my floors & it is a LIFESTYLE. Xo

    • Shelia

      Amen again. God is sure using all of you this morning to speak to my heart.

    • ann

      "Oh Lord, how much time have I wasted cleaning the house to prepare for guest when what really needs cleaning is me"

      WOW !! THAT is sooooo good!

      Thanks for sharing, Tammy.

    • stinav96

      That hits where it hurts, Tammy! Thank you!

  • Natalija

    I dont' think I am really extending hospitality like this. Must think about this. It's so easy to be busy and overwhelmed taking care of a large family and being busy in church and other ministries and yet forgetting to actually love people and minister to them in our home on a personal level.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Natalija, right there with you! It's hard to see past the routine and busyness of each day to consider opportunities to make others feel seen. Praying that God would open our eyes to these chances right where we are. Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Such a challenge – one I desperately need! So glad that, with God, I can do it!

    • SheReadsTruth

      So happy to see you here today, friend! Grateful to be in this together!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Stephanie

    This study is making me think. And to be honest, it hurts. God is moving in my heart to help me view others in a way that would reflect His view of them. It’s scary. So here’s my prayer for today…
    “Lord, forgive me for my self-righteous and self-absorbed actions and attitudes. Forgive me for thinking I’ve got it right when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Teach me to love as You love and to extend my hands and heart as You extended Yours. Open my eyes and help me as I seek to open my home and my heart in Your name. Move me out of the way and work through me as You wish.”

  • “We are called to rejoice over others with singing; to love them.”

    What an amazing picture. I’m a college student so group activities are part of everyday classes. Just today we broke into groups and collaborated, getting to know our classmates better. Could you imagine being in a circle of people where each person gets a turn to be the “subject of rejoicing”? Each member having a chance to just sit and receive the love and rejoicing being sung over them by the rest of the group, wouldn’t that be lovely? Sure it may seem a bit awkward at first but the blessing of being a blessing outweighs anything else. We know how much we ourselves love to be prayed over and for, loved on and encouraged, and to have the ability to gift someone else with that is exciting! Rejoice over others and you’ll get a better picture of what our Abba does constantly for us. Love this. Lord help us to rejoice over others the way You do over us, that we may be a conduit for Your perfect love to travel through. Amen.

    • stinav96

      What a great picture, Laney! I can see this! And it seems like the very ones I, at least, am being called to make over (not pretentiously or insincerely, but in the recognition that they are important because they are God's) are the ones I least want to make over. I'd rather keep that praise for someone *I* decide deserves it. Boy! How convicting! Thanks again!

    • Sarah Martin

      What a great experience, Laney! Thank you for sharing!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Laney, I love this! Especially the part about imagining each person having a turn of being the "subject of rejoicing!" A true piece of heaven. Thanks for sharing, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • First and foremost, this morning…. I would like to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU…to you all for your prayers and encouragement yesterday….I was so overwhelmed by the love extended to me….God truly opened my eyes….That I was not solitary, but that I was in a family….Thank you Lord God, and thank you Sisters…..xxx

    As I set up, ready to feed the disadvantaged in our community yesterday, I looked out of the hatch and saw a great many new faces, I guess as the nights draw in and it gets colder, we will see more and more new faces….each with his or her own reason for being there….each with their own story and journey…..But today I want to tell you about a young girl who started coming about 6months ago….she was angry, she had temper, she expected,…it was her right that a place like that should exist just for her, and her needs….she has been the one I would run from….I would say to my colleague…you deal with this…and walk away…she pushed the wrong buttons from day one…then one day, she started shouting abuse at me, she had been bitten by a dog, and her dressing needed changing and our first aid box did not have the relevant bandage for her leg….from that day I have avoided her …..But God …and this eye opening study….This past week, when I have seen her, I have said hello, …good morning, …enjoy your meal,.. what would you like…She would ignore me…or walk away…Yesterday, as she approached the counter, I looked her in the eye, I made eye contact…said hello and good morning…she mumbled…I gave her her plate and she walked on…a while later she approached the counter, and asked for another meal, as she was still hungry, and didn't particularly want pudding…I wasn't able to give her a second meal, but I did have spare cake, so offered her a couple of pieces…she said thank you! Later I met her in the loos, she smiled, and said what a lovely meal….!!!!
    I do not know where this journey will go, but at this moment in time I am so very thankful and grateful that this study, is challenging, changing and causing me to look at my character, my acts, my inner being…I needed to change..I believe, in my thinking of this young girl, with her own issues and thoughts…for yesterday's shift to have happened….and I praise God for that….

    Open the eyes of my heart Lord, that I may see what you see, that I may love what and who you love….Lord make me an instrument of your Love, your Goodness, your Grace…. Lord, I thank you for this change in me, your Word, truly is changing me…and Lord if I should be the only person, that the' solitary' might meet today, Lord, .May I be your representative to the best of my abilities…Lord, May I embrace them into the family,… May I love them well and as you call us to, Lord God…..in Jesus name…. Amen..

    God bless you my Sisters. May He turn His face to shine on you today, May He look on you with favour, love and Grace…with love and thanks for you all… xxx

    • Heather

      tina!!!!! that is truly amazing! praise the Lord! you are inspiring. you have no idea how loving on this girl is changing her life.

    • Lacey Barnwell

      That is so amazing!!! I cannot wait to read how this unfolds!

    • Shelia

      Tina, you inspire me. I work in a school where many of our students are like this little girl in your food line. And it is so hard to love them sometime. But like you this study is changing my heart toward those students, and their parents. Thank you for sharing your life with us. And I pray all goes well with your Mum.

    • Kimmie

      Hi Tina,

      Thank you for sharing how God is moving in your life. It touches my heart, as this study does, as God brings it to light and speaks to me in hospitality. Awesome what God is doing in your soul!

      I too, am helping feed the homeless. It is a new thing God has opened to me and my family. I went in willing to serve in any way (both to God and any he brought whether a fellow servant or the poor). I ministered in many ways on day one, but more than anything I was ministered to. In loving and being poured out, I felt loved. Not that any came and said the words 'Kimmie I love you.' But it was like a light grew within me and God affirmed that this is what I was made for. Peace and joy have flooded me as I joined in serving and loving strangers.

      I think hospitality, both in home or out can be hard for me. I come from a family of 'Martha Stewart' want to be's. Everything has to be perfect in order to serve or to successfully offer hospitality. It is something I fight against, as I want to love like Jesus did. I want to bless and open myself (and my home) to others. I am saying 'yes' to God and inviting Him to teach me how to do just that.

      God just wants us to humble ourselves and give Him our 'yes.' Excited to see His transformation in my mind, heart and hands. I so want to be a doer of His beautiful Word.

      So thankful my daughter Bella told me about this study!! Glad to hear what God is doing in your lives. Isn't He amazing!!

      I love reading the comments, your hearts really bless me in this study!!

      Thank you so much for reaching to me in this truth!!

      Kimmie
      Mama to 8
      One homemade and 7 adoped

  • bykaraanne

    This Hospitality study is transforming my heart. I can FEEL it transforming my heart as I read through it.

    I know God is calling me out… He is making me leap and do things for His glory. Through my actions shed light on His grace and His love.

    Thank you for writing this. It is touching me SO MUCH today.

    • Cari Spaulding

      I am praying for you today bykaraanne! He sometimes sure does make is leap to do things for His glory, so keep up the obedience! I’m sure as you do this you will able His love to others around you.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, friend! So excited to hear the wonderful things God is teaching you through this study! Grateful to be in this together!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

Further Reading...