Pray for Your Pastor and His Family

If I were the devil, I would devise a scheme to destroy churches. My number one target would be to attack the pastor. How would I do that? Knowing that his family has the area of greatest vulnerability, I would seek to destroy the church by attacking his family.

Some church members might be thinking, “I would never allow Satan to use me to destroy our church.”

Think about what the Scripture says. It clearly uses the imagery of a battle to describe the challenges and issues we face due to the presence of Satan and his evil demons.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

All church families are under attack, but particularly pastors’ families.

Below are some ways you might be involved in battles that are taking place in your churches, and you don’t even realize it.

Many churches have unreasonable expectations of the family members of pastors. Because pastors’ children and spouses often feel the unrelenting pressure to live up to the expectations of some church members, it often creates resentment toward the church and toward their husband and father.

Many pastors put church members before their family members. The pastor’s family should have a high priority in his ministry. Some pastors get so busy ministering to others that they neglect their own families.

Many church members are critical of the pastor’s spouse. I just heard this last week, of a pastor who had to leave his church because of his wife. This pastor’s wife had been criticized and hurt so much by the women in the church that she could no longer endure to stay in the church.

Many pastors’ children rebel. The reason many pastors’ children rebel could be related to the criticisms or expectations of church members. Whatever the reason for their rebellion…this is a great distraction for pastors.

Many pastors get too involved with church members of the opposite gender. This often begins in counseling sessions and sometimes can lead to emotional and physical affairs.

Many pastors’ low pay can put stress on the pastor’s family. A church member once said, “Our church keeps our pastor’s pay low so that we can keep him humble.”

Church members do everything you can to protect your pastor’s family. Above all, pray for him and his family every day.

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Importance of Developing Godly Friends

Friendships are a gift from God. Good friends can help us grow in many different areas. Developing lasting friendships takes time and sacrifice.

Develop a friendship with a missionary, a pastor, or an evangelist: One good way to develop a lasting friendship is to open your home to God’s servants. Some of our greatest friends are missionaries. At different times in our home, my husband and I have enjoyed Korean and Filipino meals, and we have learned many different customs by hosting missionary friends. At other times, we have gained valuable advice from pastors and evangelists we’ve had in our home.

Develop a friendship with a child: Sometimes we forget how valuable our influence can be in a child’s life. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:33…evil communications (companionships) corrupt good manners. Today many children are growing up in families without any moral direction. When you develop a friendship with a child, you might be the very person God will use to sow seeds of faith and encouragement into the heart of a future pastor, pastor’s wife, or missionary wife.

Friendships are very important to our lives: My daughter and son-in-law moved to Texas a few years ago. After living in New England all their lives, it took some time for them to make friends in a new area. Recently, they found a church where they made some wonderful new friends. These new friends relieved their loneliness and gave them a new sense of belonging and purpose. One great thing about friends is that they can spur us onto good works. In fact, it was a good friend who inspired me to write my first book.

Someone once did a survey asking several different people of various ages to write a brief description of a good friend. Here are a few of those descriptions:

“Someone you can bare your soul to and not be afraid it will get around.”
“Someone who has ‘tactful truth’ and is not afraid to tell you.”
“One who knows you well, but still loves you.”
“A person, who understands you, appreciates your view and is loyal to you.
“Someone who enjoys being around you, accepts you for who you are, and is faithful to you when the chips are down.”

…But the definition I like the best is: A friend is a trusted confident to whom I am mutually drawn as a companion and an ally, whose love for me is not dependent on my performance, and whose influence draws me closer to God.

Consider the friendships you have developed through the years:

Casual friends: We all have casual friends. These are people that we have met at different times in our lives, but we didn’t develop lasting friendships with them.

Close Friends: Someone once said, “You only make a few close friends in your lifetime. Our close friends are the friends we have developed through ministry or work and desire to stay close to them because of a special bond we experienced. It is these friends that we feel safe enough to share our deepest feelings. Although we don’t see them often, we look forward to spending time with them.

Counseling Friends: Maybe there was a time in your life that you went through a deep trial or suffering, and you had a friend who counseled you and guided you through your crisis. This friend will always be special to you.

What Does It Take to Develop Lasting Friendships?

First, it takes time and patience: Developing lasting friendships can take months or years. Some people want to make temporary friends with people who have money, position, or power. Friendships built on those criterions will eventually dissolve through time.

Proverbs 19:4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor.

Second, it takes love and sacrifice: Sacrificial love means giving up important things for things that are less important. A person who sacrifices his time and resources to develop a friendship is a person who truly loves. Sacrifices may be as small as sending an email, texting a message, or mailing card.

I read an illustration about a man who lost a good paying job. He was able to get a new job, but it paid much less than his previous one. At the end of the month, this man found it difficult to pay his bills. He reconnected with an old friend who had once been a missionary. This man’s friend, now a pastor of a growing church, realized his friend’s predicament and gave him money to pay his rent. This pastor’s generosity so moved this man, that he remembered thinking at the time, “I have just seen Jesus.”

Matthew 25:40 …Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Third, it takes listening and acceptance: Being a good listener is the largest part of acceptance. Proverbs 18:13 tells us that we must not answer a matter before we truly listen to what others have to say. If a friend is struggling in a certain area, he should feel safe enough with a friend to voice his thoughts without negative criticism or a judgmental opinion.

A good friend can be cheaper than therapy: A judgmental attitude slams the door shut to a friend sharing a problem. It is important not to give a friend advice before hearing all the facts of his situation. I just heard a saying this week, “Unasked for advice is seldom taken.” We all have a tendency to give our “opinions” without fully listening to a person’s problem or circumstance. There are times when our friends just need someone to listen to them without judging them or giving them advice.

One of the first verses I first learned in my counseling training was: Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

John 8 gives us a wonderful example of this in the story of the woman taken in adultery. Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.” Jesus does not expect us to accept or approve of sin; but like Him, we must show His love to our friends without condemning them.

Fourth, it takes encouragement and spiritual edification: Friends either drive us away from the Lord or draw us into a deeper walk with Him.

God’s goal for our lives after we first get saved is our spiritual growth and sanctification. As God begins to mold and transform us, He may begin to take away our old friends because He doesn’t want us to have friends who will be a negative influence in our lives. Many times, it is our old friends who will try to hinder us in our spiritual walk with the Lord.

We need to make friends with other Christians who are godly and Spirit-filled. These are the friends who will help us grow in the Lord.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

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1. Admit to the offended person that there is a problem.
2. Always focus on the problem…not the person.
3. Admit to being part of the problem. You could say, “I realize that you have a problem with me. Can we talk about it?”
4. Don’t assume that you are innocent in the problem.
5. Point out the goodness and value in the offended person.
6. Try to resolve problem by seeing the offended person’s point of view.
7. Ask the offended person’s forgiveness for your part in the problem.
8. Divide the problem into areas where you both agree.
9. Satan’s tactic is to escalate a problem. If the offended person says something to aggravate the problem, keep a calm and relaxed voice and good eye contact. Don’t retaliate with your words. You could say, “Would you give me time to think about this and process it in my mind?”
10. Don’t be so full of pride that you that you can’t learn anything from the offended person.

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Do You Desire to Feel God’s Presence?

Exodus 33:1-3 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

Wow! What scary words… I will not go with you. I will give you an angel to go before you—but I will not go with you.

What is it to feel God’s presence?

Many times we are like those Israelites…we have His protection and provision, but we don’t experience His presence.

Exodus 34:6-8 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

I want to feel God’s presence in my life more than anything. As I was reading a devotion the other day, it caused me to ponder my relationship with the Lord. Am I allowing any of the same things in my life that caused God to remove His manifested presence from the Israelites’ lives. Are there areas in my life where I have disobeyed the Lord?

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

As I read the devotion, I had to honestly ask myself, “Judy, are there any known sins in your life today?”

Have I been forgiving, kind not only my words, but kind in my thoughts?
Have I been faithful with the money the Lord puts in my hand?
Have I been faithful to pray for my brothers, sisters, and missionaries who are struggling and going through trials?
Have I been faithful with my Bible reading?

I had to search my heart and pray…Lord, I don’t want to grieve Your Spirit. Show me the areas where I’m failing You. I know that if I disobey you in any area of my life, I won’t feel Your presence. Please keep me in Your presence this day.

Augustine said, “We are all men most miserable until we find our all in Thee.”

I had to ask myself, “Has my devotion to the Lord been divided? Is there anything in my life that I love, fear, serve, or trust more than the Lord? Is there anything or anyone that takes precedence over God’s will for my life? Have I been defiant in any area of my life?”

God called the Israelites a stiff-necked people. If I want to feel God’s presence and be real in my life, I can’t be stiff-necked in any area.

Many times, we don’t even realize ways we could be grieving the Holy Spirit. Ask yourself this morning…have I been stiff-necked when the Lord asked me to…

Put His Word and prayer before checking Facebook
Minister in the nursery
Be faithful to tithe and give a weekly Faith Promise offering
Forgive a sister or brother who has offended me

Psalm 51:10 Create in us clean hearts, O God; and renew right spirits within us. We want to feel Your presence today.

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God’s Timing Is Always Perfect

Have you ever felt as if God was not answering your prayers the way you told Him to and at the exact time that you told Him to answer them?

God promises to give us the desires of our hearts but not always according to our time table. We must not rush God and leave the timing with Him. We must remember that God’s timing is perfect.

Psalms 18:30 tells us As for God, his way is perfect. From the time we are born until the moment we die, God is accomplishing His divine purposes on this earth.

Waiting on God’s perfect timing is not always easy. Human nature makes waiting for God’s timing a difficult thing to do. Because we live in a microwave society, even Christians find it difficult to wait for anything or anyone…they want what they want…and they want it right now. Psalm 37:7a Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.

When we wait on the Lord, it reveals our trust in the Lord and His timing. As mature Christians, we understand that God operates according to His perfect and foreordained schedule, not ours. Our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are in our lives at every moment. Remember, everything that happens in our lives is for our good and for His glory. God often uses our trials to strengthen our patience. It is our patience which allows our Christian faith to mature and become complete.

God has a plan for each one of us as His children, and He wants what’s best for us. He always answers our prayers in three ways…No…Yes…and…Not at this time. Sometimes we must wait before He gives us the desires of our hearts. Even though it is in our nature to want to rush things up for God and do things in our own strength, the following story is a great illustration about waiting:

One day a little boy was playing outdoors and found a caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. His mother agreed he could keep it if he promised to take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar, placed plants in it for the caterpillar to eat, and put a stick in it for the caterpillar to attach itself. Every day the boy watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed on the stick and started acting strangely. The boy anxiously called his mother. She watched the caterpillar for a minute and then explained to her son that the caterpillar was making a cocoon, and it was going through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly.

The boy watched the changes of the caterpillar with amazement. Thinking it was taking too long and too much of a struggle for the butterfly to emerge, the boy took a pair of scissors and snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger. The butterfly quickly came out of its cocoon, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings and had to spend the rest of its life crawling around like this, and it was never able to fly.

Sadly, the boy learned that it was necessary for the butterfly to struggle to get out of its cocoon. It was during this struggling process that the butterfly pushed fluid out of its body and into its wings. If the butterfly didn’t go through that struggle, it would never be able to fly. This boy’s intentions were good, but his helping hurt the butterfly.

Consider Joseph and how God worked in his life. Every step of the way in Joseph’s life God was with him. He was with him in the pit…He was with him in the prison, and He was with him in Potipher’s palace. God was working out His perfect will. God needed a man in place to accomplish His perfect will at His perfect time. Think about Esther…God put her in a position of influence at the exact time to save her people.

Many times we want things in our lives that might hurt us. Because God knows us and knows what’s best for us at the exact time, we must be patient and wait for His perfect timing. We must give God a chance to work and to work by His exact timing. When we wait on the Lord, we will see miraculous things happen. Why? Because it’s God’s timing and not ours.

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God’s Love Letter to You

My Child, You may not know me very well, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in My image. Genesis 1:27
In Me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
It is my desire to pour out my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
Delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My Son, Jesus. John 17:23
My Son’s death was the ultimate expression of My love for you. 1 John 4:10
I will love you forever. Romans 8:38-39
Your Father, Almighty God

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Counseling: Crisis of Life

SURVIVING THE CRISIS OF LIFE

Everyone experiences crises in their lives. When we choose to love someone, we must accept the possibility that we may lose that person to death or separation. Since crises are an inevitable fact of life, it’s important we know how to survive them. We must prepare for them and be prepared to help others when they go through them.

The Crisis Opportunity: During a crisis, we are thrown off balance, and the crisis represents a turning point for better or worse. If we cope effectively, we can strengthen our potential for a rewarding life. It can be an opportunity that enriches our personality by helping us shake off old habits and establish new ones.

Crisis and Illness: 93 percent of all major illnesses were associated with life changes whose value totaled at least 150 points annually. Not every major life change or crisis produced illness, but several of them together could add up to do so. Of persons with life changes totaling 150-199 points, 37 percent had an illness. When changes totaled 200-299, it was 51 percent; over 300 points, 79 percent became ill. Life events that appear to affect our health, with the point values assigned to these events, are listed here:

Life Event Values

Death of spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Fired at work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gain of new family member 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of close friend 37
Arguments with spouse 35
Mortgage over $10,000 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Son or daughter leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Wife begins or stops work 26
Begin or end school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in work hours or conditions 20
Change in school 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Mortgage or loan less than $10,000 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in family get-togethers 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Minor violations of the law 11

First Stage: Denial. The doctor tells a wife that her husband is dying. “No, not me — it cannot be true” is her first reaction. Our first response is usually denial: “It can’t be true.” We say to ourselves, “It won’t happen! It just can’t happen! God wouldn’t let this happen to us after we’ve faithfully served Him.”

Second Stage: Anger. “Why me?” usually follows the denial stage. Someone asked a widow, “Why are you so angry over your husband’s death?” The widow quickly and angrily replied, “I am not angry. Why do you say that?” After arriving home, she pondered her friend’s statement and recognized that she really was angry. Admitting her anger helped her move on to the next stage.

Third Stage: Bargaining. After dealing with anger, an individual may think that if he talks nicely or bargains with God, God may change His mind. Bargaining is often used when divorce is involved. An individual may say, “I promise I won’t step out on you again if you will give me another chance.”

Fourth Stage: Depression. This is the most difficult stage. The depressed individual needs careful attention because he believes he cannot do anything to relieve his suffering. Depression may involve retreating, shrinking or withdrawing, or even committing suicide. An individual going from one lifestyle to another descends into a valley that may be compared to the “valley of the shadow of death” mentioned in the Twenty-Third Psalm. The Psalm says that we do not walk through this valley alone because God is with us. Though a husband or a wife is gone, we are never alone. God is with us during each stage of life’s journey.

Fifth Stage: Acceptance. If a patient has had enough time (i.e., not a sudden, unexpected death) and has been given some help in working through the previously described stages, he will reach a stage in which he is neither depressed nor angry about his ‘fate. Acceptance should not be mistaken for a happy stage. It is almost void of feelings. It is as if the pain and struggle is over, and there is a time of rest before the long journey. There are a few patients who fight to the end, who struggle and keep a hope that makes it almost impossible to reach this stage of acceptance. They are the ones who will say one day, ‘I just cannot make it anymore.’ The day they stop fighting, the fight is over. In other words, the harder they struggle to avoid inevitable death — the more they try to deny it — the more difficult it will be for them to reach this final stage of acceptance with peace and dignity.

Counseling Those in a Crisis: A crisis is a disruption in a person’s state of stability by a disturbing situation. Just as we need to talk about death, there is a need to discuss divorce because divorce is the death of a relationship. Understanding where we are in a crisis helps us evaluate our emotions. It helps to vent our emotions into nondestructive channels. Life changes such as death and divorce have a stressful effect upon people. Negative responses to these stresses lead to physical illness, emotional illness, or possibly suicide. Positive responses can strengthen our potential for a rewarding life and enrich our personality. Reaching the stage of acceptance in a crisis helps our faith to grow and develop. As Christians, we have a certain or “sure” hope. In Hebrews 6:19, we read: “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast …”

There is nothing — no circumstance, no trouble, no testing — that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. That is the rest of victory.

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Family Tradition SHMILY

SHMILY
My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word “shmily” in a surprise place for the other to find. They took turns leaving “shmily” around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more.

They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding w/ blue food coloring. “Shmily” was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet.

There was no end to the places “shmily” would pop up. Little notes with “shmily” scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards, and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. “Shmily” was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents’ house as the furniture.

It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents’ game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents’ relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone is lucky experience.

Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome an old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew “how to pick ‘em.” Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.

But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents’ life: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.

Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather’s steady hand, they went to church every morning. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.

“Shmily.” It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother’s funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time. Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother’s casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby.

Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn’t begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.

S-H-M-I-L-Y: See How Much I Love You.

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Thank You God for Dirty Dishes

Thank God for Dirty Dishes

Thank God for dirty dishes, for they have a tale to tell,
While others may go hungry, we have eaten very well;
With, home, health, and happiness, why should I ever fuss,
For by the stack of dirty dishes, God’s been good to us.

You have given us our families, health, and nice cozy beds,
Our friends, our freedom, and a good roof over our heads;
You have given us eyes to see, ears to hear and a mouth to talk,
Wonderful places to go, things to see, and even our legs to walk;

You have given us the food we eat and the clothes that we wear,
You have blessed us with water to drink, and given us fresh air.
You give us liberty at home and protect our soldiers abroad,
We know these freedoms only come from an omnipotent God;

We may not own an expensive car or a new house in the suburbs,
But we have forgiveness of sins and the promises of Your words;
We have the hope of eternal life and of a mansion above,
And we have Your abiding presence and of Your unending love;

And as we all gather today in this home and special place,
We thank You for every blessing, and for Your unending grace.
God, please bless this food that You have so graciously provided,
And please bless each and every person that has been invited;

Dear Heavenly Father, You have blessed us beyond all measure,
And most of all through giving Your Son, life’s greatest treasure;
For this and more, we give You our highest praise and thanksgiving.

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Hospitality Tips When Preparing for Guests

Since many of you will be having guests during the holidays, I thought these hints might be helpful. These were taken from my book Given to Hospitality Church or Home.

Being a good hostess does not require a formal education, but it is helpful to know a few basic tips. Some of the following tips I have learned by trial and error.

Several years ago, my husband and I became stewards of a large home. After we moved in, I was so excited about having the room to entertain, I invited twelve pastors and their wives over for dinner. Since I had moved from a house that had one bathroom to a house that had five bathrooms, I did not bother to check the supplies in each bathroom. During the evening, a distinguished pastor sheepishly had to come to me to ask for toilet paper…number 1 rule…make sure all your bathrooms have plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener.

• Supply feminine products to guests by putting them in a pretty box or bag and place on the back of toilet.
• Clean house before guests arrive. Don’t rush around cleaning the house while guests are there.
• Chill drinks and make extra ice.
• Arrange furniture to maximize seating for everyone.
• Make sure table is set before guests arrive.

Overnight Guests

Overnight guests can sometimes feel uncomfortable being in an unfamiliar room. Try to make your guest room as comfortable as possible.

Items Needed for a Guest Room

1. A clean bed with extra bedding
2. An iron and ironing board
3. A comfortable reading chair
4. A good lamp and good selection of books
5. A good mirror
6. A clock
7. A box of tissue
8. A small sewing kit
9. A small trash can
10. A good supply of plastic hangers in the closet
11. A writing desk with pens, pencils, paper, scissors, and envelopes
12. A power strip for guests to plug in cell phones and other electronic devices
13. An index card with the code for wireless internet placed in desk drawer.
14. A welcome packet with information about the area
15. A folding luggage rack (this makes a convenient place for a guest to put his suitcase)

Tips to Make Overnight Guests Feel Special

• Leave a welcome gift and note.
• Leave two Hershey kisses or Mint Patties on pillows.
• Have a basket of fresh fruit, two stemmed glasses, and two bottles of water.
• Keep a snack tray available in the kitchen. This tray could include microwave popcorn, oatmeal bars, and individual bags of peanuts, hot chocolate mixes, and herbal teas.
• If your guest room is large enough, keep a compact fridge and stock it with waters, sodas, juices, and other snack items.
• If your guests have to share a bathroom, you might keep large terrycloth bathrobes in the closet.
• Place a TV with a DVD player and inspirational DVDs in guest room.
• Place a stuffed animal on a child’s bed to make him feel more secure.

Tips for Supplying a Guest Bath

When preparing for a guest bath, think about things that you might find in a nice hotel or an upscale Bed and Breakfast. You find nice plump towels, great toiletries, and fresh, clean smells.

Items Needed for a Guest Bath

1. Towels and washcloths
2. Extra toilet paper and tissues
3. Disposable cups
4. Fresh soap
5. Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
6. Body lotion and moisturizer
7. Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray
8. Deodorant
9. New toothbrushes ,toothpaste, mouthwash
10. Waste basket
11. Air freshener
12. Razors
13. Bubble bath or bath oil (always a special treat)
14. Plunger under the sink
15. Night light

Consider keeping common medicines such as aspirin, anti-diarrhea pills, acid reducers, and a first-aid kit in your guest bath.

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