Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Practicing Hospitality: Hospitality and Your Home

Welcome to our chapter five discussion of Practicing Hospitality.  For eight weeks, we'll take a chapter and open it up for discussion.  I'll start us off with a summary of the chapter and then open the linky for questions and thoughts.  Even if you're not reading the book, feel free to add to the conversation.  May you be blessed!

Previous chapters:

Chapter Five: Hospitality and Your Home

Our homes should fulfill two purposes:
*As a place of Refuge:
  --opening our homes as a place for escape
  --hosting leadership or church meetings
  --treating each guest as someone to be cared for
  --opening our homes for those in need

*As a center for Evangelism:
  --"Hospitality is more than entertaining... It is focusing on our relationships" (pg 136).
  --quoted from a former student of the author concerning opening their home, "I can't say that we often sit down and share the gospel, but our lives are centered on Christ and we don't hide that" (pg 137).
  --creating a sense of calm and ease

Consecrating Our China for Our Master's Use
Consecrating our china has less to do with HOW we serve and more to do with realizing WHO makes it possible for us to serve.  Until we realize that it's God working in us and dedicate our efforts to Him, we will be missing the point.  And while we may wish it to be a simple "to-do list," the act of being consecrating will take our lifetimes to finish.

Hosting a Consecrated China Tea
  *(While I don't firmly believe this as the most appropriate way to show hospitality, it does illustrate the type of hospitality we are striving for.  Think back to the last time you shared tea with someone.  What made it special?  It was all the extra thought put into the event.  You knew that the hostess was thinking of just you and taking precious time from their day to create a unique and thoughtful gift... just for you.  

  Now think of the last time you hosted someone in your home.  Did they feel the same way?  Were you able to relax enough to allow them to know you were thinking of just them?)

1. Begin with praying for your time together.  Ask for the Lord's strength, patience, graciousness, and any other areas in which you are lacking.  Ask Him to be glorified in your home and for you to graciously open this home when He has so lovingly given you.

2. Handwritten invitations add to the special touch.

3. Prepare:
  *pray for your guests daily
  *prepare your menu with a variety of sweet/savory
  *practice making a pot of tea
  *make a timeline of your preparations and event

Personally I felt this section of the book was lacking.  It was too heavy on the preparation for a tea and not heavy enough on actually spending the time in relationships.  Let's ask ourselves: why would be throw such an event?  Perhaps it's your personality.  Perhaps not.  How can we take this same spirit of thoughtfulness and apply it to other hospitality events?

This Week's Discussion:
1. Acquaint yourself with the examples of biblical men and women who provided refreshment for those who communicated the gospel.  Create and complete a chart including the example, the reference, and practical way you can follow their example.

2.  Consider a way you can extend the special atmosphere of a tea to a group of ladies in your circle.  How can you host your own "tea" whether that's tea or dinner?

3.  Craft your own prayer thanking the Lord for the home you've been given.  Ask him to teach you how to open it and welcome those in need of refuge with receiving arms.

Next Week:
Join us next Thursday Jun 28th for chapter six: Hospitality and Others

Linky Party:
Feel free to link up below if you're discussing Practicing Hospitality on your blog.  We love hearing your thoughts and being encouraged in this journey together.  Can't wait to hear what you're thinking.
*Linked to these parties

1 comment:

Raising Mighty Arrows said...

I love this. I would love to have more company in our home, but we live SO far out that we really don't have much company at all. MAYBE ONE DAY!!! Thanks for sharing. :)

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