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God Changes Lives When We Open Doors

GoodMorningGirls

We may not all be called to serve in foreign lands, volunteer in prison ministries or even start our own ministry for that matter, but we can all be hospitable with the homes God has blessed us with.

Don’t let the term “Hospitality” cause you to break out into hives and run the other direction. Get the “Martha Stewart” type of hospitality out of your mind and just breath for a second. We aren’t aiming for perfection here but rather a heart of serving and loving those who enter our homes. I’m sure it’s not an accident that hospitality and hospital come from the same Latin word meaning healing. When we open our homes and hearts to those who are hurting, God uses our act of service to begin healing hurting souls.

Who can you open your home to today? What about the single mom down the street who is needing adult conversations and for someone to look her in the eyes and ask, “How are you really doing?”, or what about the widow whose husband recently passed away from your church? Maybe it’s the co-worker who needs to hear that they matter to God, or the kid from your son’s soccer team who needs a little attention and a warm meal.

You see I think as Christians we have bought into this big lie that satan is selling us.  (and yes, I have purposely typed a lowercase “s”) We think God only wants us to do BIG things for Him. That only the BIG things count. Big things like becoming missionaries and moving overseas, adopting 100 children, selling all our belongings or going into full time Christian ministry. You know, the BIG things.

But what if He’s not telling many of us to do those things? What if that isn’t His plan for many of our lives? What if His plan is even better than that?

What if His plan is actually to multiply our reach by each of us individually becoming intentional and purposefully, using the homes He has already blessed us with to reach those people He has sent us… by opening our doors and hearts to them?

What if we are just called to help those who are lonely feel welcomed by offering a simple meal and an open seat at a well-worn kitchen table?

There is power in extending invitations. Don’t believe me? Allow me to share a personal story. Lives can be changed by the invitations we extend.

Freshman year of college my family was suddenly transferred to Texas for my dad’s job. The girl who decided to stay home and not go away to college suddenly found herself very far from her family. The distance from Ohio to Texas took more than one tank of gas and this college girl was broke, even though she was working her way through. That’s when Joanie stepped in. She honestly didn’t know me that well. Her family and my family had attended the same church before my parents had to move, but for her to offer her home to me on the weekends was incredible. Joanie is one of those rare jewels of a woman who not only loves her Lord deeply, but she puts her faith into action in her life. She saw a girl in need; heartbroken over her family’s sudden move and she stepped into the hurt and offered her home. She was crazy to offer it and I was crazy to accept it. Over the course of 4 years I feel in love with each member of Joanie’s endearing family to the point that Joanie is now considered a grandma to my 3 girls who call her JoJo.

Just like God, He took the brokenness and pain that I felt for my personal family having to move across the country and blessed me with yet another family to love and be loved by. Those 4 years were met with many hard ups and downs, twists and turns so it was always a blessing to walk through the open doors of Joanie’s home, sit at her table and just be loved on like I was one of her own.

Because of how God used Joanie and her hospitality in my life, I am passionate in passing that gift on and extending invitations of hospitality in my own life. I know the value of opening our homes to those outside our families. For the past 4 years I have opened my home almost every Tuesday night to 4 special girls who are my Discipleship Girls. I have been honored to watch them grow and mature from 7th graders to now sophomores in high school and just so you know, having them in my home has blessed me a thousand times over. Not to mention been really handy when I’ve needed a babysitter!

I remember Joanie always saying how it was such a blessing to her to have me live with them. I always thought that was sweet of her to say, but just figured she was saying that to be nice. Now that I’m in the role of opening my home, and my heart to these girls I can honestly say…..I truly am the one blessed. Joanie was right.

dg girls

 (Photo taken last night after our session! Truly LOVE these girls and am so honored to serve them this way!)

God is amazing like that, you know. When we reach out to bless others, to open our doors and place an extra plate at the table, many times we end up being the one who is blessed.

So what if? What if we dream together and think about the possibilities of change God can do in our homes as we embrace our call to be hospitable? What if we push aside the temptations of perfection, the unrealistic expectations and instead offer real homes, simple meals and loving hearts? How can God move through these simple acts of obedience?

God has used men and women in their homes to change countries before, and I believe He will again. He used Nehemiah and fellow Jews to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah encouraged everyone to rebuild the section of the wall near his or her home. With each family focused on rebuilding right where God had already planted them, in the homes, on the streets, in the neighborhoods, He was able to get the wall rebuilt in record time, fifty-two days to be exact. What people tried to do in a number of years, God was able to do in a number of days.

What could this mean for our countries if we really took this call to be hospitable seriously?

I can only imagine…and pray that we will!

Let’s talk: How are you doing Jen’s weekly challenge this week? I’d LOVE to hear your ideas so please share them with our amazing community!

{Week 7} Challenge

This week let’s pray that God would lay on our hearts some people whom we can minister to. Then think of some practical ways that we can bless them.  This will take many of us out of our comfort zone and that is good. We grow when we are stretched.

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

 

If you happened to miss our very special Monday video, click here to watch it! I promise you’ll be glad you did!

Would you like to hear more from Jen’s husband, Joe? You can here!

You can also follow Jen’s personal blog here!

 

And Our Winter Bible Study Will Be…

Good Morning Girls- Intentionally Focused Online Bible Study

I’m so excited to announce our upcoming winter study……Intentionally FOCUSED!

I absolutely LOVE new starts, new beginnings so that’s probably why I love the month of January so much! Not because it’s cold but because it’s that special time of year when we make new goals, dream new dreams and make our New Year resolutions! Ohhh yes, I know that making New Year resolutions can be a love-hate relationship for many of us! We love the new start to the year and look forward to what we plan on accomplishing. We start out with high hopes only to get discouraged a few weeks or months into the year when the new year doesn’t seem any different than the year before. But this year lets start it out a little differently. Let’s focus our lives on God this 2014. Let’s take the different areas of our lives and live this year as passionately, as intentionally as if it’s our last. (not to be morbid…..but to be purposeful…..to be focused)

How about you, friend? Do you want to start this year out focusing your life on what really matters? Me too! During our 8 week winter Bible study we will be focusing on:

  • Our spiritual lives
  • Our minds
  • Our marriages
  • Our friendships
  • Our children
  • Our ministries
  • Our health

So what do you think….are you in? I’d so love for you to join us this winter as we focus on God and His Word in these core areas of our lives! I know it’s going to be life changing!

For those of you wondering, we will have enrollment this session which means if you’d like to join a group we will have groups forming starting January 6th and ending January 17th!!! Stay tuned for more details!

Let’s Talk: What are some of your New Year resolutions? Which week of our upcoming study are you most looking forward to and why?

Want to start your own personal group? GREAT! Share this image with your friends and invite them to join you this winter!

Good Morning Girls- Intentionally Focused Bible Study

 

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

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