Dishes and Jesus

Dishes and Jesus

If you have ever been to my home, you will immediately see my love for blue and white dishes. Some were gifts, many I inherited and a few I bought. If you follow me on Facebook you probably have also seen a table or two that I have set up for the purpose of entertaining people at my house for dinner. 

You see, I love entertaining. It is my love language to others. I love sitting out the dishes, days ahead of time, I will begin to prepare the table, ironing the table clothes (because I hate wrinkles on my tables) I plan for days ahead of time on what kind of theme my table centerpiece will be. I think about what dishes I want to use (and yes, I have more than one set). I carefully take out my goblet glasses and rewash them, I look over the silverware and assure there are no spots on it and when needed I will wipe it down to assure it is sparkling. As I do this I pray for my guests that are coming. 

Once the table is set, I will take pictures of it and post it on facebook, as I use facebook for my personal digital scrapbook. I also have several friends who live out of town, who also love to set tables so we enjoy sharing our photos to inspire each other. Capturing the moment also helps me remember what I have done in the past so I either don’t repeat it or can add onto it. 

It was in the middle of setting up one of my tables recently my daughter Amy said “ and this is why no one invites us over to eat mom” insinuating because they are intimidated by my table settings.  She thought she was being cute, by teasing me, but I know she enjoys setting a table up beautifully too. This wouldn’t bother me except for the fact that someone who my husband did not recognize stopped him in the grocery store shortly after my last dinner and told him “You can tell your wife I am never posting any pictures of my tables again” Jeff said she was joking and actually trying to compliment me because it looked so pretty as they both laughed about it. 

Many people don’t realize the reason I use my good dishes so often, when some will only take theirs out of their cabinets once or twice a year, I use mine at least that often a month. One of the reasons I use them so often is because I lived in the home where my mother was a hoarder and although she had everything she needed to entertain, I mean after all, I have all her dishes now. She never used them. I cannot remember once my mother every having guests over and getting out the good dishes. 

They sat uselessly in a cabinet year after year, or worse yet in some of our homes we lived in, she just left them in boxes we moved them into the house in and piled the boxes on the corner of the room. I determined in my heart as a kid growing up, I would never keep anything that I didn’t use so if I am going to have these dishes, I want to use them and what better way to do that, than to serve others. In this day and age where fast food or frozen meals are the norm in most homes,and the family table has almost become extinct. It is important to make our families and friends feel special and loved. No one should be intimidated by another person or by what they have,  because we are all valuable in God’s eyes and things don’t matter to Him because He looks on the heart. The real question is, where is our heart? Is our heart selfish and unwilling to take the time that it takes to do something for someone else?

I find eating off a china plate and drinking out of a goblet glass just makes things taste better, even if you did buy the food pre-made at the store. Taking the time to serve someone with pretty dishes just makes them feel special and that you care. It’s almost like when you were a little girl and had a tea party with your friends (or stuffed animals depending on the day) It was just fun! 

So what has happened to us? The bible tells us unless we become like little children we can never see the kingdom of heaven, now I don’t think God was talking about having tea parties, but I think He is talking about having that same joy and innocence, the same size faith as a child who sat around her little table and had a tea party with her plastic plates and stuffed animals. 

You know, there was someone else who sat around a table with His friends, it was Jesus. Many times He sat around a table just spending time with His friends and disciples, teaching them and sharing His heart. At the last supper He sat there as he was getting ready to leave this earth and with His twelve closest friends. 

No one knows for sure but it is believed that Nicodemus was the owner of the house where the Last Supper was held.  Here, Nicodemus served the creator of the universe and all they had was bread and wine, (okay maybe they had more we don’t really know)  if it was Nicodemus home they must of had some of the nicer things available at the time because Nicodemus was a fairly wealthy man and a leader in the community. But even if he hadn’t been wealthy, Nicodemus gave his best to the Lord. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin which met he and Jesus were really on opposite sides, of the culture at that time.  

So one man had another man, who he would not of normally hung out with into his home and he blessed him by doing his best for him and it turned out that this one guy who Nicodemus blessed, was the Son of God the Savior of the universe.  

I mean in that day and age, that is better than having Superman over to your house or any of the Marvel characters.  

Hebrews 13:2 tells us “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” 

We never know what the person is going through that we sit across from sharing a meal. But everyone deserves to be shown kindness and friendship. Taking the time to sit down and just connect with them is priceless in the day and age where we are going 90 miles an hour.  

Jesus still desires to connect with us today. We can do that by sitting down and reading His words everyday in the bible and praying. We can also do that by sitting across the table from someone and sharing His love with others, because you never know, we just might be the only Jesus that person sees.  

Jesus never cared about what they had done in the past, in fact Jesus was known for hanging out and eating with the sinners. He never turned them away. His reputation got to be to the point those Pharisee called Him a drunkard because of who He hung out with.  

No where in the Bible do we see Jesus show people who are different than Him anything but love and hospitality. So how about we do that today. We make a pledge to ourselves and God that we will take this next step in being more like Him and love people they way He does.  

Lets bless someone today. It has been said that the greatest gift we can give someone it the gift of our time. So who are you going to bless today. Who will you invite to your home, or out for dinner, or maybe you will just sit around the grill this weekend. But whatever you do. Show Christ’s love just has He has shown it to us. Because after all “ While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.

Advertisements
Mommy, Where are Woo, Where are woo?

Mommy, Where are Woo, Where are woo?

In 2000 Jeff and I bought our first ever home, Chad was 3 and was pretty overwhelmed with the move. After all,  we were moving from the only home he had ever known, that was maybe 1200 square feet, with average ceiling heights to a now almost 2000 square foot home that was built in the early 1900’s,  and was the first doctor’s home in          De Soto Kansas with 10 foot high ceilings. I imagine to a little 2 and a half foot kid that seemed huge.

It wasn’t uncommon the first week or so as I was be going from room to room, unpacking and decorating our home that I would here this little cry “Mommy, where are woo?,  Where are woo? I would hear this coming from Chad, and I would go to him and reassure him that “I am here baby!” and he would , either follow me around scared he would get lost again in the massive place he now called home,  or ask his question and return to playing, but often times he just wanted to know where I was and be close to me so he could see me.

In Genesis 16 we pick up the story of Sarai and Hagar, Sarai has taken matters into her own hands and decided to have Abram sleep with her maid servant (not totally a uncommon practice back then) so they could conceive a child. But because it wasn’t God’s perfect plan, Sarai becomes jealous of Hagar and well Hagar isn’t too pleased with Mrs Sarai either, because after all she thinks she deserves a little more respect than she is getting from the bosses wife, so they both begin to have second thoughts, Sarai is then so mean to Hagar that Hagar runs away to the desert. We pick up the story with Hagar at a spring in the desert:

8 And he (the angel) said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant

   and you will give birth to a son.

You shall name him Ishmael,[a]

   for the Lord has heard of your misery.

12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;

   his hand will be against everyone

   and everyone’s hand against him,

and he will live in hostility

   toward all his brothers.”

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

 

Have you ever felt like you were in a desert place in your life? Have you ever felt mistreated or unappreciated? Did you want to run away from everything?  I am pretty sure that is how Hagar was feeling, and not only that but now she was alone in a desert, not knowing where she would go or what to do, she just knows she doesn’t want to be in that situation any longer. She has made a mess of her relationship with her boss,  and well her boss didn’t handle things well either.

I believe this is a story of hope, hope that no matter where you are, no matter what is going on in your life, God sees you!  Just like I saw Chad in that big old house that was totally overwhelming to him, God sees you in this big old world that is sometimes terribly overwhelming to you.

Hagar suddenly had an epiphany, that the God of her masters sees her. Perhaps it was a revelation to her? After all, being from Egypt she was not raised to know the God of Abram.

Let me remind you that God also sees you, We have the advantage of being able to look back on these stories in the bible and learn from them. We have God’s promises that says

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11

And there are countless more we can find in God’s word that says He cares about us. But I think the real question is the second part of what Hagar says to us “ I have now seen the one who sees me” Have you really seen the God who sees you? Or is He just a casual acquaintance that you know from a distance? Like Hagar, who probably had no relationship with God before this point. She had seen Abram and Sarai talk and even pray to this God they believe in,  but back then there was so many Gods, she might not have even thought there was a difference, she obviously had never had a god become so real to her until that day.

The question is, have you seen the God that sees you? Not just a passing by casual wave,  kind of sees, but have you really seen God. So many of us walk around in some sort of fog,  being tossed around like the wind because we have no foundation to stand on.

If the weather is good, then we will have a good day. If everything goes right at work, then it is a good day. If our finances are at a place we don’t have to worry about, then it is a good day. If we get our coffee, it is a good day.  We allow all these little g “gods” of this world to dictate our attitude and worst of all our hope.

When the big G “God and creator of this universe has already promised you that He is watching over you and cares for you! He tells us time and time again that He loves us.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  I will build you up again…..” Jer 31 3&4

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Over and over again, we are reminded in God’s word that He loves us and cares for us. But yet somehow we still walk in fear, we are afraid,  this or that is going to happen. We look at the waves around us in this life, figure the probabilities of the circumstances of the situation and just know nothing is going to turn out right.

Because we do not see the God that sees us, we are like the disciples in the boat when we read the story in Matthew chapter 14. I image there was a fog, the wind was whipping around them it might have been raining so hard they could not see their hand in front of the face because the storm was raging all around them. You know how it is out here in this Kansas wind, even if there is not rain sometimes it is hard to even open your eyes outside when the wind is blowing.  Yet, one of them must of squinted his eyes looked off into the distance and he saw something. Was it a ghost? Was it one more thing that was going to make their day that much worst? I am sure some of them thought that. But there was one in the boat that saw Jesus in the midst of the storm and he called out to Him.

Can you see God in the midst or your storm. Do you see the God that sees you? Because God sees you and He asking you to trust Him. You don’t have to be afraid. You just need to trust Him. 1 John 4: 18 says  

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

If you are walking around in fear today, let me challenge you that you are not seeing the God that sees you! You are not seeing the God who knows every hair on your head and loves you with an everlasting love and if that is the case, let me encourage you to get to know that God.

Attend church with bible believing Christians to get to know His word. Spend time in His word everyday learning more about the love and grace He has for you. Talk to Him all the time. Then begin looking for how He is working all around you. That is the only way you will come to know and see the God who sees you.