Monthly Archives: June 2014

Go, go, go!

Proverbs PictureDo not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Proverbs 20:13

I need a nap. Do you? It’s the second week into summer vacation and the kids are just go, go, go! This Proverb isn’t talking about that kind of sleep though. Of course you need to rest. But, you don’t want to do it so much that you are missing life by wasting your time.

The opposite phrases should jump out at you. “Do not love sleep…stay awake…”. Your goal probably isn’t to be bumming around the house. Perhaps you have a dream. Are you an entrepreneur just waiting for opening day? Are you getting ready to perform in your first play? What are you excited about getting ready for? Don’t waste time sleeping. In other words, don’t waste time putting off till tomorrow what you can do today. Don’t waste time on other projects that aren’t important. Get off the phone, get off Facebook, stop reading this now and go DO something! Don’t waste time thinking someone else can do it, when you know God is calling you!

How about these opposites? “…or you will grow poor…and you will have food to spare”. If you are awake, you are going to know when the opportunity is ripe for you to start a new project. You must be diligent and active. Sitting on your butt isn’t going to bring any opportunities to you. Looking for a job means you need to be active. The food in this proverb doesn’t have to be literally food.

What is calling you? What are you afraid that you are sleeping through in your life? Is something sucking out all your juice and making you poor? Once you figure that out, set a goal and work towards it. Be active. Get on your running shoes and go, go, go!

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Proverbs 20:13

Church Planting: 5 Tips for Hosting Church Events in Your House

WelcomeWhen we first started our church, our first floor was the meeting area. It is one big dining/living room and then a kitchen and half bath. We put all the kids in one room on the second floor so one room could be a playroom. It’s hard having your house being the meeting place all the time. I constantly felt like everything needed to be tidy. Or wondered if people would think my cleaning around sinks wasn’t up to par. Or how about this pile of piano/Bible/magazine/books here by my computer. Does all this really matter?

Well, I try to keep things neat when people come over, but pristine? No way. I’ve got four kids under 10. Having people over has always been an excuse to do a deep cleaning. But, I sure can’t maintain that every week. So if your church plant is meeting in your house somewhere, take heart. People probably aren’t going to notice your piles, they have them too. Your sink is clean enough if it is clean, but not sparkly, theirs probably doesn’t sparkle either. It’s kind of like when you talk to another mom and you’re like, “Wow, your kid does that too?” and it’s a relief to know you are not alone.

What can you do to make your house look inviting? Here are some tips:

1. Make the front area look inviting. Check out my front porch that I redid with found treasures. And,  I always try to keep a nice wreath on the door. My current one has been hanging since spring. It’s not like you have to change it every week!

2. Walk through your own front door. What do you see first? We have a magazine turned book holder. It’s overflowing. Messy, yes. Shows we love to read, yes. Big deal, no. But that pile of laundry, well, try to stick that someplace else.

3. Do you have enough places for people to sit comfortably? Don’t be ashamed to use a fold up lawn chair or step stool as a place to sit. A chair is a chair.

4. Are you serving snacks? Whatever it might be, serve it on a glass plate or bowl. You know the ones. The ones you save for “special” occasions. Having people come to your house to learn about Jesus IS a special occasion. Dishes look better than just out of the bag. Use a glass pitcher to serve some cold water. It is dressier than a milk jug! (I had two pitchers in the fridge one Sunday and one of my kids pulled one out and it broke into a million pieces on the floor. Nothing like trying to keep your cool while trying to clean that up with people in the house!)

5. Be yourself. Chill out. Run around barefoot if that is what you normally do. Let people help themselves if they need milk from the fridge or are looking for a spoon. People will find that you are pretty much just like them and think you’re okay and maybe this whole church thing isn’t weird!

Finally, bear in mind that your house as a worship area is temporary. Your church will grow and you will find a place to rent. Other people will start to offer their homes as a place to meet for small groups. A couple weeks ago 40 people met for a baptism at someone’s house. Her house is cute and cozy and people were spilling over outside and in. But, it was so much FUN!

And I think church should be fun. If you’re all about stuffy and tradition, then the above list won’t help you. If you’re all about showing Jesus’ love and that you are a real person, forgiven, and living a faithful life there is no reason to be embarrassed or apologize for your home. Because, what really matter is what is in your heart.

Church Planting: A Baby Came!

Sometimes, I feel like a broken record. “Dear Heavenly Father, please send some new families to our church”. But, it seems the well is dry. Last week I wrote about being disappointed. It’s human nature to sense disappointment, even pastor’s and pastor’s wives! So, as I try to embrace the joy of goodness that is happening at our church, God surprises me with His love, in His time.

For weeks, no months, I’ve been praying for a family with children to come. Specifically for a child under three years old. Why? Well, we had about three kids who were in the nursery, but two of them turned four and now go with the older group. That leaves one little two year old boy. So, I’ve been praying for new playmates for him.

So, this past Sunday, about 15 minutes before the service started, I was talking to a lady who was going to be in the nursery this month. Normally, she just helps teach the older kids, but with it being a five Sunday month, I needed someone to pull double duty and she offered. Yeah! I was telling her it’s usually just this one little boy. I said to her, “I’ve been praying in a new baby, but so far none have come.”

I move on with getting things set, find my kids and get them some hot cocoa, and go to the lobby. I’m talking to someone, when I glance out the door. What? Here comes a Mom with two young kids. And, I’m not making this up. One of them was a baby! A cute little six month old girl and her five year old brother.

Talk about answered prayers! I’m standing in worship, just thanking Him for answered prayers. I don’t know if they will come back or not. But, that family has renewed my energy and reminded me that He knows what we need most of all. We shouldn’t be disappointed with what we have, but rejoicing in what we have. His goodness provides. I’m not going to stop praying for new families to join us. I’m going to keep on praying that our church will grow and reach those who need to know Jesus in our community.

How do You Use Your Ears and Eyes?

Proverbs Picture

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the LORD has made them both. Proverbs 20:12

Do you ever wake up and hear the silence of the house? I bet it sometimes feels like the calm before the storm of all that will go on during the day. Does the silence feel peaceful? God gave you ears to hear that peace. Do you ever look at the brilliant blue sky that goes on for miles and miles in every direction? I bet you’re like me and think, “Wow”. Does it feel amazing? God gave you eyes to see that sight. As you get to enjoy the different sounds and sights of the world, remember that God gave you those two senses to notice His grand creation. He wants you to notice. He wants you to marvel in the wonders around you.

But, He also gave you hearing and seeing to caution you. They can alert you to danger and tell you to get out of the way too! And you will be thankful for them as they get you out of trouble or help you avoid a situation. Gentle eyes can help someone relax and ears that hear kind words are more apt to be receptive to what you have to say. Like a lot of things, how you use what you are given will determine their impact on others.

Let’s face it; God knew what he was doing when He gave us eyes and ears. He knew we needed two of each. If you aren’t using yours to spread love, but to spread gossip of things you hear or see, you need to rethink their use. Listen for unspoken words and look for body language. You might never hear someone say, “I need a hug”, but their body language might be screaming it at you.

Sometimes you might want to consider using your eyes and ears more than your mouth. Learn to listen and pay attention to the people right in front of you. Focus on them, listen to them, and don’t make it all about you. Remember what people say. They will notice you listening. They will notice the attention you give them. They will remember that feeling and one day, they will do the same for someone else. You can be the catalyst of an awesome cycle of attention giving using two great things God gave you. Eyes and ears, use them wisely.

Ears that hear and eyes that see—the LORD has made them both. Proverbs 20:12