“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”
1 Peter 1:22
Please Share! In the comments section below, let us know what you learned and tell your success stories from the last week of practicing sensitivity. Also, we’d love to read your ideas of how we might exercise sincerity between now and next Superpower Sunday!
This sign stopped me dead in my tracks. I stood still and gawked like it was Big Foot himself. I whipped out my camera so I could prove its existence later, when I told the story. It’s true! I experienced a rare sighting of open hospitality.
I was in a quaint little beach town. It was October 2021. I had visited this place before and freely browsed shop after hospitable shop. This time was different. Most of the stores were locked up tight. The doors were closed, even to the ones which displayed their open signs. The knobbed barricades ensured my encounter with the stern warnings posted upon them. I was not welcome without a facemask. Stop, put up a barrier, or do not enter.
That was why this rare sighting was so unexpected. I looked up, and it was just there. A natural and beautiful gesture of open hospitality in its natural habitat. It shone, bidding me to stop and stare. And it was alone. No negatives, no restrictions, just welcome.
This storekeeper! This one got it right. You see, the official mask mandate had been lifted in this town. This store owner took the requirement down. And they didn’t stop there. This little sign meant YOU are welcome here. No stipulations. No changes necessary. You can be you and you may enter as you are. This kind of open hospitality is extremely rare these days. And oh, what a relief!
Lord, You see me. You require nothing of me when You beckon. You bid me come just as I am. You are the epitome of open hospitality. You are relief. And You want me to extend that rare acceptance to others.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had… Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
1 Corinthians 5, 7
When you frame it like that, I realize open hospitality is a rare offering from me, but never from You. Thank You, Jesus, for erasing all requirements and simply inviting me in. Help me make others feel welcome in that same manner, in Your name.
Does that sound like the beginning of a bad joke? Three birthday cakes, a turkey and a veil walk into a bar. Or stand at the pearly gates. Nope, it isn’t bad, and it isn’t even a joke. Although, I must admit that seeing humor in it helps diffuse the stress!
Three birthday cakes, a turkey, and a veil is the description of my upcoming week. My husband’s birthday is on Thanksgiving, my daughter’s is a few days after, followed by my son’s girlfriend’s birthday the next day. And then, two days later, the big event takes place – my daughter is getting married!
Oh, I just caught my breath saying all of that! These five celebrations happen within the span of one week. It is going to be crazy! And so fun!
The title for this post probably could have been “Three cakes, Sushi, and a Veil” because sushi is my husband’s favorite, and he gets to choose on his birthday. I love that his special day falls on Thanksgiving from time to time, because honestly, aside from Jesus, my hubby is my biggest blessing. He just camps out, right there, at the tippety-top of my thankful list!
This post is a bit unusual. I have a slightly ulterior motive beyond the peek into my charming chaos. Friends, can I ask your help with two things?
Please pray for me – I don’t want to get so caught up in the craziness of ALL that is happening that I don’t see EACH thing for the blessing it is and the celebration it deserves. I want to cherish each person and the gift they are from God; and there will be so many people. For an introvert like me, it is overwhelming to think about.
Pen a few words to my daughter – I would be so honored if you would take a minute to write encouragement, inspiration, or practical advice from God’s Word. Just a sentence or two, for my daughter and her husband-to-be to read. If you are willing, type it in the comments section below, ‘to Kevin and Mikayla’. I would like to copy and paste your sentiments into a hand-made card or booklet to add to their wedding gifts. I think it would be such a blessing for them!
I know I have access to an incredible wealth of experience, knowledge, and Godly wisdom on this platform. You who visit the Back Porch are top notch! Thank you for coming alongside my family and me in these ways. I am sincerely, from the depths of my heart, awestruck and grateful for each of you.
I have pre-scheduled some posts about different things, so there shouldn’t be too much interruption to the blog in the coming weeks. I look forward to getting back to a regular routine on the flipside of three birthday cakes, a turkey (sushi?) and a veil. God bless you all!
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
Please Share! In the comments section below, let us know what you learned and tell your success stories from the last week of practicing self-control. Also, we’d love to read your ideas of how we might exercise sensitivity between now and next Superpower Sunday!
This week’s Super-Character skill is Self-Control:
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:24, 25
Please Share! In the comments section below, let us know what you learned and tell your success stories from the last week of practicing reverence. Also, we’d love to read your ideas of how we might exercise self-control between now and next Superpower Sunday!
The rainclouds had all but cleared away. I walked over the bridge and caught the sound of trickling water. Had I ever heard that tranquil patter in this spot before? I wasn’t certain, but it sure was beautiful – to my ears and to my eyes. It begged my attention and compelled me to stop and experience it. I stood taking it in for quite a while before I noticed, with a start, the face in the rocks.
I had to snap a photo so I would remember. Isn’t that such a picture of life? That which sparkles and makes noise catches our attention and it’s the quiet ones which get overlooked. When you frame it like that, it is easy to wonder what interesting people and worthwhile things have been missed in the fray.
Lord, I want to live with eyes wide open to notice all that you give me to see. Your Word says that while people focus on the outside, you look deeper.
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
1 Samuel 16:7b
When you frame it like that, I realize I often overlook the quiet ones, but You never do. Thank you, Jesus, for never overlooking me.