Saturday, March 18, 2017

Second Conference Post

Shunammite

While I’m not going to repeat all of conference notes, I do want to cover some of the “Be Our Guest” notes about hospitality. Take time to read II Kings 4 to learn about her. If you find it interesting, move ahead to II Kings 8, where we learn more about this hospitable lady, whom the Bible describes as “great”:

And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:8-10 KJV)

Not all of us have the means to build “a little chamber” and furnish it for a traveling preacher – but wouldn’t it be nice? That is hospitality above our cultural level. But, we do invite people into our homes – unless we live in CHAOS!!!

That’s an acronym. One I’ve used as the full statement when I believed my house was a mess (and it often is – to me) and I simply Couldn’t Have Anyone Over. It’s a Syndrome.  Yep, that CHAOS. Mrs. Terrie Chappell gave us that acronym, but I recognized the syndrome.

For Christian women, if we don’t believe we live up to Proverbs 31, we simply can’t have anyone over until everything is picked up, put in the right place, cleaned, polished, decorated correctly – but that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? We respond to invitations and assure the lady of the house that having the dog food bowls in the kitchen aren’t a problem. We kiss the child with the chocolate-covered face and love them before and after the chocolate is wiped away.

I am reminded of a missionary I heard speak in North Carolina in 1960. She and her husband ministered to migrants who made the trip from south to north picking the ripened fields along the way. She and her husband had served their ministry a short while before a migrant family asked them to join them in their evening meal. It was a huge step, and she was not expecting the same lifestyle she lived.

The differences between their lifestyles were much more than the mismatched, cracked dinnerware. That was made evident when the lady opened a can of dog food instead of a can of hash, heated it on a wood fire and shared with her family and the visitors.  Yes, our missionary ate the same meal as those in her ministry.

Tell me, is our personal CHAOS similar to this situation? Are you concerned about being an example in a mission conference? If so – and even your home truly is chaos – would you deprive someone of being a blessing to you. Would you deprive them of receiving a blessing, too?

Hospitality isn’t even showing our very best. It is accepting people into our home in the same manner Jesus accepts us into His kingdom. The thief on the cross simply asked to be remembered – and Jesus accompanied him to Paradise. When Jesus is our daily companion as Savior, let us open our homes as we have opened our hearts. What better place to share Him with people who wish to spend time with us?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Conference March 11, 2017

JoshuaBaptistJoshuaTexas

The beautiful graphic is a bit misleading – we were there in the early morning light, having left our First Baptist Church of Cottondale at 6:00 am for the slightly over an hour’s drive on Saturday, March 11. Please feel free to visit both churches if you are in the Fort Worth area.

Conference theme was:         DaughtersOfTheKing

Which was appropriate, based on:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:14-17 KJV)

It was a day filled with fellowship, food, service and learning opportunities. While we left at six, it was after five before we returned home, and I know I could have stayed a bit longer.

Breakfast was ready for us at 8:00, Welcome and instructions at 8:45; Main Session at 10:00 with three split Sessions (plus an awesome lunch) from 11:00-2:30 with another Main Session lasting until 3:30. Each of the Sessions offered life lessons with royalty themes – and I’ll be posting some of my thoughts in coming blogs. May not be the same received from other attendees, but these I found applicable for me.

Among the papers in binders prepared for each attendee was a map. It is so helpful for the first timers to have a map of what to expect and where rooms are to be found.

Another page were the Session Leaders:


  • Mrs. Terrie Chappell – Clicking on her name will lead you to the “About” page of her blog. Click on the menu and you’ll find information on her books, too.
  • Mrs. Danielle Mordh – Also a pastor’s wife, she is involved in a number of educational ministries.
  • Mrs. Kristine Sisson – A graduate of Lancaster Baptist School and West Coasts Baptist College, she and her husband serve in the youth department.
  • Ms. Martha Johnson – Martha has severed as a lay Biblical counselor for twenty-eight years. She maintains a counseling practice at Victory Baptist Church in Weatherford, Texas (and I’ve attended several conferences over the years to her wisdom-filled application of biblical teachings.)


The opening session, “Be Our Guest” – Creating an inviting home – covered the principle of hospitality. I must tell you, those principles were well displayed by the Joshua Baptist Church members.

First, the conference was for ladies, so no gentlemen in the auditorium or sessions, but they were there – serving. They served our breakfast, our breaks and our lunch. And, they did it with smiles of welcome and answers for any questions we might have. With so many women (last count I heard there were over 350), the men gave up three of their restrooms in the church. Making certain of the cleanliness (the whole church was spotless!), the signs “Men” were replaced with “Today these facilities are for women’s convenience” and it was appreciated. Lunch was plated and waiting for us as we filed into their Fellowship Hall.

That, my dear readers, is hospitable!!! And, hospitality is biblical:

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (Romans 12:13 KJV)

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (1 Peter 4:9 KJV)

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; (Titus 1:8 KJV)

Dale Evans Rogers made this verse among the most popular and filled with love:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2 KJV)

Now – I need to set aside time to share more with you about this conference that was such a blessing to me and others. Tomorrow’s blog will begin the sharing.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Submit. Or Else?

 

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Graphic screen capture from FB, linked to forevermom.com

Over decades I have seen this subject arise when speaking of spousal abuse in a “Christian” home. The fears are validated by the reality we see in our own communities and requires Christ’s followers to turn to His word for answers.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

One verse, repeated in:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)

And families have actually died over misunderstand this single message: Submit – or else.

In functioning Christian churches and families, there is not this single message, standing alone, but it is included in a passage that affects the entire family and beliefs of Christ’s church. In it’s message is inclusion of all Christians, the local church, the husband and the wife. All are called to do specific actions  in life:

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:8-33)

Verbal and/or physical abuse of a spouse fails to achieve what defined here. When any spouse – husband or wife – uses these verses to demand less than Christian actions for their spouse, it is sinfulness. We are not required to remain in a sinfully damaging relationship that will affect future generations. No husband – and especially no congregation – is biblical in any way, shape or form by requiring a spouse to remain in such a broken relationship.

When we are faced with such situations, when we learn of them, it is not be turned into gossip nor an item for church vote. Neither are we to shame or censure without knowing the particulars. When we do – when actions are evident, our response should be biblical – exhort, support and aid in God’s plan of salvation for individuals. Not in character assassination or retribution. At worst, the family does break apart. At best, there is repentance and restoration. Does the Bible require less? Then cite your source.