Skip to main content

The spice of life ~
not a problem, a privilege

This is my spice cabinet, and also where I keep the coffee and tea, which merits it's own shelf since we consume so much of it on a daily basis.

I'm posting photos here because at his own initiative Larry re-organized this cabinet for me yesterday, after getting me a spice rack/organizer for Christmas.  Now I can see all of the spices better without sorting through them all just to find one thing.  (Thanks, babe!) 

I love cooking and entertaining, as most anyone who has known me for longer than 2 seconds knows!  In fact right now early this morning I'm preparing to have a crew of people over this afternoon after church.  There will be fourteen people here for Sunday lunch/dinner.  We've decided to take the ham bone and some leftover ham and do a roaster full of cabbage, potatoes and carrots, and some bread and  desserts.

I am passionate about hospitality, and I believe there is no excuse for Christians to not practice it.  I will come back to the subject of excuses in a moment, but just wanted to give a few Biblical references about hospitality:

In Genesis 18:1-8, Abraham is shown caring for his guests.

In Genesis 14:31-33, Laban is seen welcoming Abraham's servant.

2 Kings 4:8-10 gives us the example of the Shunamite woman who opened her home to Elisha.

In Matthew 10:9-15, Jesus commanded His disciples to shun any home which did not show them hospitality and equated hospitable treatment of others with treatment of Himself.

Now, let's talk about excuses I frequently  hear:

"My home isn't nice enough or big enough to have anyone over."

No problem.  It's not about how big your home is or what it's furnished with.  It means so much to people that you've invited them over, and hospitality is simply giving the best of what you already have.  God never expects us to give what we don't have -- only what we DO have.  Larry and I have been entertaining since we first got married and lived in an efficiency apartment.  Seriously!  We always invited people in our congregations who had much nicer homes or furnishings that we did, but they always appreciated us inviting them in and I have never felt that anyone looked down on us for not having an equal amount of stuff in life.  Keep in mind some people with very large homes and a lot of money still don't entertain and would be really grateful to have an invitation, most times.  A lot of those people who have a lot of material things in life still have lonely hearts and will be so grateful for your invitation.  Hospitality is about giving from your heart and welcoming people in.

"I'm not into setting out the china like you are, and I don't even know if I have even four dishes of any kind that match, or silverware." 

No problem -- use paper plates and plastic ware.  In fact, that's what I'm doing today, believe it or not!  I am tired from setting out all the fancy stuff on Christmas day and want something simpler today.  So that's what we're doing.  Our conversation will be the centerpiece anyway, not the plates we eat off of. 

"I don't have the money to have anyone over.  Providing food for my family is all I can manage right now let alone buying more for someone else."   

No problem -- invite friends to bring a dish and share.  We do it all the time, whether we have the money or not.  It's fun to collaborate on a dinner, together anyway.

"I hate to cook.  And, I usually don't.  Most nights after work I eat Easy Mac from the microwave."

No problem.  Your local supermarket has made it easier than ever to entertain.  Most of them have a whole frozen food section dedicated to people just like yourself.  Let me give you a tip for dessert...Marie Callander's Razzleberry pie from the frozen food section is absolutely out of this world.  Bake that in the oven, put on a pot of coffee and invite a few friends over.   It's the best right after it's come out of the oven. 

I can give you an answer for any excuse you might give about hospitality but one thing I want you to notice is that every solution I gave started with the words "no problem."  Hospitality is not a problem, it's a privilege.  They say variety is the spice of life, and a great way to spice up your life is to invite a variety of friends over and share good food and conversation.   Hospitality is a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship with friends and family ~ spend time growing in your walk with other believers ~ and love unbelievers right on into the Kingdom of God.   Many people that I have personally brought to Jesus started by an invitation to come over and share dinner or coffee.  "It's just another way we can be a light to everyone around us.  It's a privilege to be a light, not a problem.  

It's such a privilege to...
love people
spend time with them
grow with them
sit at the table with them
laugh with them
and do life together.


Cassandra said…
what about my excuse: that my house is less than spotless...I mean WAY and laundry piles and LIFE everywhere...i find it difficult to feel hospitable (unless i plan for it--spontaneous drop in's almost cause me to hyperventilate!!) when my schedule with school and kids keep me with little free time to do the kind of cleaning I feel company warrants...just being honest...
Melissa said… area I use to LOVE to do until the kids came. I am so exhausted from keeping up with them it's difficult to have that hospitable attitude. I still very much want people to come over and just sit and enjoy coffee or if I can get them to come over!
I do have to say I love the spice shelves! I need one of those organizers!
Leanne said…
I SO need a spice rack!

I've had to get less anal about my house being perfectly spotless before I can invite someone over...I can usually do a quick "5-minute clean" if necessary, and if all else fails, shove everything in my bedroom [there's only ONE person I am interested in entertaining in there ;o)], close the door, and deal with it later.

That razzleberry pie sounds perfect - my pies taste good, but they're ugly, so that may be a fantastic dessert solution for me...

Popular posts from this blog

This Could Have Ruined Everything... (But It Didn't!)

No one would ever guess what happened to me this weekend in Jacksonville, I'm going to tell you. :)

As I was preaching at the Fearless Tour at New Hope Assembly of God this weekend,  I got choked up, literally. For probably 2-3 minutes I coughed profusely and greatly struggled. Then I drank some water and kept preaching. Everyone was gracious to give me a few moments to get my bearings. If you were there, you'll remember it!

What no one realized at the time was that I swallowed a bug that flew right in while I was preaching! So disgusting! I said nothing because I was at a point in the sermon where I was really connecting and I knew if I said, "I swallowed a bug," everyone would either laugh profusely or be really concerned, or start feeling sorry for me.  And at that point whey wouldn't be thinking about the message anymore, but the fact that I had just swallowed a bug. They would then imagine what it would be like, and feel grossed out which is u…

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real."

After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just keeping …

What To Do First to Make a Profit

Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said:

It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way.
Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory!

I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started investing and training and all of that, seeking God for his blessing and…