Back to Basics – Hospitality – Day 3

serve one another

Matthew 25:34-40 NIV “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’’

I have moved house a lot and as a result I have visited many churches. It is no wonder there are so many people who have given up on the church. I have been to churches and not a single soul has said hello. The Church is where you should feel God’s love, a warm welcome, genuine concern for your well-being, feed and clothe those that need it. Church should be a place where there is no judgement, a safe haven for those that need it.

Feeding someone is a gift, showing Gods love by providing the comfort of a warm meal, cooked with love is a blessing to both the person who receives and the person that gives.

Does your church have a bank of frozen meals for those that are in need?

Do you have regular potluck/ covered plate dinners?

I believe that teaching Hospitality is perfect for young woman in the church, an opportunity to learn the kills from the older ladies also giving them the skills to cook for a family when they marry. The churches are full of lonely older ladies who are just crying out to feel useful and younger  ladies who are just crying out to learn these skills. I feel this area of Hospitality is undervalued.

At one church there was a young family with 3 small children and they were late to church every Sunday. This young mum sat there and you could tell she was barely holding it all together. The minister’s wife had an idea, what if she arranged for an older lady from the congregation to help the young mum. This was a perfect arrangement, the young mum was so happy to get some help. The lady came early and fed and bathed the children and kept them occupied the parents were able to shower and get ready for church with no pressure. They arrived at church on time and the older lady sat with the family with a smile so big, she felt useful she felt wanted. I am not sure who got the most from this arrangement. I know that a lovely friendship came from helping each other.  This experiment was repeated time and time again. The older ladies were like extra grandparents.

Maybe try inviting someone to church back to your home after church. Show Gods love, spend time getting to know people, you don’t need to have a fancy house and gourmet food. The blessings will flow.

Make a visitor to your church welcome, show them God’s love.  If you show hospitality to someone you will find a more receptive heart to hear Gods word.

Have a beautiful day.

Created for the Gift of the Home by Nicole Clarke

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Back to Basics – Hospitality – Day 2


1 peter

How simple is it to be really resentful when you are doing something you don’t want to do. You said yes to a request when you really should have said no, and now you are stuck, doing something with resentment in your heart, and you think no one notices. Sorry, but they do!!!   If you look at the areas of Hospitality you need to get your heart right with God first, pray beforehand, that you will make a difference in someone’s  life that through your actions they can be left with no doubt that it was God’s love being shown to them. I have been too many churches where the intent was to minister to those in need, but they forgot God in the process too busy with the practicalities of the event.

1 Peter 4 speaks to us about this, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone serves, they should so so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”

If you are finding it difficult to show God’s love to those that have fallen on hard times, I ask you to pray and seek God.

Many years ago I worked as a bank teller and I loved the old ladies, I always smiled and had a little chat with them. One day a lady asked to speak with me, I had no idea who she was. She introduced herself as the daughter of a lady I served every week. She wanted to let me know that her mother had passed away. She also wanted me to know that her mother was so touched by my kindness and the fact I always smiled at her and made time for a chat. I made her feel important and it was her visit to the bank that was a highlight in her week.

Tears came to my eyes, because I didn’t think that I had done anything out of the ordinary, I only spoke to this precious woman for maybe 3-4 minutes each week, but that was enough to show God’s love by my actions. I thanked the daughter for taking the time to meet me and gave her my condolences. From that day forward, I prayed that Gods love would shine from me to help all those who needed it. You may never know how your actions may help someone. God does though.

It is easy to be nice to the sweet old ladies and the mothers of young bubs, but is sometimes a little confrontational to show God’s love to the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics.

I really like this song by Collin Raye. What if Jesus comes back like that. It really makes you look at your heart. You don’t know the difference a kindness can make in a person’s life.

Are you judgmental?

Do you look away and pretend you haven’t seen someone who is hurting?

Ask yourself,” What would Jesus do?”

God loves us all, each and every one of us. He loved us so much that gave us Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. It is God’s love that will make all the difference in this world.

Have a beautiful day.


collin raye

What if Jesus comes back like that by Collin Raye

Created for the Gift of the Home by Nicole Clarke

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Back to Basics – Hospitality – Day 1

Hospitality day 1

You know that excitement when you visit with someone who makes you feel truly welcome. The dictionary describes hospitality as:

The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Hospitality is not just a lovely meal in pleasant surroundings. Hospitality is generosity and kindness and the perfect way of showing Gods love.

You will always remember the way an interaction made you feel, good or bad. I remember to this day visiting a great aunt, the house was always so cold, bitterly cold, she swore like a trooper and in a tone that scared me half to death, her dogs would bark and nip but she never put them outside, I sat on my father’s lap with my legs up, too scared to move & counting the minutes until we could leave. I did not feel welcome at all. I would hate for anyone to feel that way in my home.

I grew up in a very multicultural area of Sydney, Australia. Our family was the only Australians in the street. This is where I learnt about European hospitality. These lovely woman were only too happy to teach me their recipes and there ways of doing things. I remember to this day that whenever you visited, you were made feel welcome and you were given something to eat, they wanted to chat with you. It was a joyful time to visit with them. I always learnt something new from these wonderful  woman.

I was watching Toni Morrison on Oprah and she said something that changed my heart from that day. “Do your eyes light up when a child walks into the room?” How do you answer that?  When people visit your home do your eyes light up? Or are you so busy with all that is going on and presume they know you are happy to see them.

I would like us to really take the time to really take notice of how you relate to people. How do you greet your husband when he comes in from work. The 50’s notion of a perfect house and an immaculately dressed wife and clean and bathed quiet children ready with his slippers and a martini in hand as he walks in the door, is a fantasy.

But how do you greet your husband?  I try to open the door to my husband so that he knows that I am happy to see him. If I am busy at the stove I usually sing out, “I am just so happy to see you, but I just can’t leave the cooking” so when he greets me in the kitchen I am happy to see him and I always look him in the eye. He knows I am happy to have him home.

Take note when you next visit with someone, Do their eyes light up when you walk into the room? How did they make you feel?

I read a wonderful post on hospitality this week from What Christians want to know by Derek Hill –

If you would like to see Toni Morrison on Oprah discussing “do your eyes light up when your child walks into the room” this is the link.


Created for the Gift of the Home by Nicole Clarke

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Back to Basics – Homemaking Day 5


Today let’s do a prayer walk through our homes.

Turn on some quiet, background praise music.

Seek God’s guidance on how to best clean and organize your home.

Ask for God’s strength to accomplish what HE (not YOU) wants in your home.

Thank Him for the Gift of the Home.

Look around your home with gratefulness.  Seek to replace thoughts of discontentment, frustration or envy about the homes of others.

Surrender your possessions and your relationships to God.

Be willing to give up items that don’t serve a purpose in your home.

Request that He touch others who live in the home to help in its upkeep.

Repent of any known sin of your own, especially regard to your home and family relationships.

Spend some time in Scripture, perhaps claiming some verses for your home and family.

Notice God’s handiwork in your yard, your pets, artwork, etc.

Thank Him for all the blessings He has bestowed on you.

For each room: Starting at the entrance, slowly stroll through the room and pray as follows:

1. That God would be honored by the activities in the room.

2. Ask God to help you make the room reflect a sense of peace and order.

3. Demonstrate God’s grace and forgiveness in rooms that have tension in them.

4. Spend a few moments in thankfulness for the room and what it represents, and the people who often use it.

5. Spend a few minutes of quiet listening in the room.

6. Do one simple, task in the room: dust one table, straighten a pile, put something away. Remember you are in prayer walk so just do something simple.

Now sit down and prayerfully make some goals for getting organized. Set your goals within the mindset of worship and dedication to the Lord.

Set your goals within the mindset of worship and dedication to the Lord.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Matthew 9:19-21

When we let go of all the excess in our lives and choose to live life more simply and led by God, our gain is far greater than our loss.  When we clear the clutter from our hearts, minds, and homes, we are free to live more fully and experience joy more abundantly.

By removing what clouds our vision, we are able to see God’s purpose for us.  It is within the walls of our home that we nurture a marriage that can be a testament to the beauty of God’s marvelous design and a model for our children to follow.  It is here where we nature our children’s hearts giving them a thirst for knowledge and a hunger for God and his word.

As homemakers, our primary ministry is within our homes.  We have the awesome privilege of making  a home that is a sanctuary.  How well we do that will reflect our perspective and priorities and how firmly we are grounded in the foundation of Christ.

I believe God wants you to know that …your home is sacred.  Where you live makes a big difference. Every little thing in your home influences you through its colors, shapes, textures, smells. Take a look around your home, – what can you change to transform your home into a place of communion?

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Back to Basics – Homemaking Day 4


“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

We tend to put our hearts into what we value the most.  What do you consider to be your treasure?  Is that truly where your heart is?  I’m sure most of us would say our relationship with God, our husband, our children, etc.  Our intentions are pure and I’m sure we truly desire in our hearts to keep these as our greatest treasures… but does the way we manage our time reflect that those are our top priorities?

There is not a one-size fits all for this.  God has called each of us to do a wide variety of tasks for Him.  It’s important that we explore the possibilities of what it might look like to use our time effectively to further God’s purposes today.  Truly, isn’t that the true heart of time management?

If we really want to understand how we should be wisely managing our time, we need to let go of the idea that we need to “have it all together”.  That’s never going to happen.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of a group?  Some will be smiling, some looking in different directions ~ never will everyone be looking at the camera at the same time.  Our life and the way we manage our time is like that.

Healthy, wise, and effective time management has little to do with our organized we are, how clean we are able to keep our homes or how many tasks you can accomplish in a day.

We need to ask ourselves these questions each day: What has God-given me to do?  In what ways does God want me to serve?  Who are the people in my life God has called me to care for?  What, then, must I do to accomplish this?

Having a clear picture of God’s calling in our lives will help us with our time management more than anything else.  God has given us 24 hours in a day – not too many, not too few – just enough.  How we chose to spend that time is up to us.  Are we using our time for His purpose and glory?  If not, it’s time to consider what changes need to be made.  Ask Him, “What do you want from me God?  How do you want me to spend my time for you?”

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

It’s important for us to recognize that each season in our lives bring changes in the ways we serve and the ways we manage our time overall.  We need to embrace God’s calling for us at this time.  Embrace the season that you are in now.  Don’t waste time longing for a different season.  Don’t feel guilt over what you aren’t accomplishing because of this season.  God has given us a purpose for His kingdom right now.  What are you doing with it?

Reflections for Today:

1. Share a little about the season of life you are currently “celebrating”.

2. What would you consider to be the biggest treasures in life?  Do you feel you are doing a good job keeping those treasures your highest priority?  What do you need to change or adjust in your schedule so that your treasures remain at the top of your list?

3. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  When do you find yourself weary?  What have you found to be an effective strategy to fight against weariness?

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Back to Basics – Homemaking Day 3


 “…lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”~ Matthew 6:19-21

 An orderly, well-organized home allows us to be more efficient as wives and mothers.  An orderly, well-organized home allows us to be more effective.  An orderly, well-organized home provides comfort and a safe haven.

Organizing is key for a homemaker.  It’s a blessing!

DE-CLUTTER.  This is a “must do” not a “should do”.  Once we’ve cut back on non-essentials you’ll be able to clearly see what we need to organize.

RETURN MISPLACED ITEMS.  Simply go through each room and put back items that have been misplaced.  Focus on one room at a time and don’t let yourself get side-tracked.

CLEAN UP.  Not a deep clean … just a sweep and vacuuming of the floors, clean the counters and tables, and put the clean clothes away.

 Try this motto “I don’t want to spend my life moving things around.”

 TAKE INVENTORY.  Write a written list of what areas are in need of organization.

We are learning to make a home a tool that can be used for our purpose, for His purpose – not the other way around.

Reflections for Today:

1. Do you see yourself as the manager of your home?  Why or why not?

2. In what ways can being more organized simplify your homemaking?

3. What has been keeping you from consistently organizing, purging and keeping an orderly home?

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Back to Basics – Homemaking Day 2


 “She looketh well to the ways of her husband, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27

As women seeking to follow Jesus, we must start to think our homes as our gardens.  With our hands we either build up or tear down our homes.  We have been given to our husbands as helpmates.  We serve a God of order.  When we organize and care for our homes, we are bearing His image.

In cheerfully seeking to keep our homes for God’s glory, we are doing great work.   We are keeping HIS house.  Let’s do it excellently and with cheerfulness.

In cleaning our homes there are three things we should strive for in all our tasks… excellence, efficiency and enjoyment.

EXCELLENCE. is when we do our daily tasks unto the Lord.  Seek to go the extra mile when doing our tasks.

EFFICIENCY. We need to seek more efficient ways of doing things.  We can’t let ourselves waste away valuable time.

ENJOYMENT.  If doing our tasks do we have a grumbling spirit, then it’s not really unto Him.  Sing, praise him, and pray while you work.  It will make it much more pleasant.

As our sweet, friend at New Things Springing Forth has posted, “What a sweet reminder to do our work joyfully, as unto the Lord. “”Bees hum while they work. They don’t whine.” You were designed with a gift to do something… Like the bees.”

Reflections for Today:

1. What areas in particular with your housekeeping can you begin to shift your focus from “chores” to “kingdom building”?

2. How can your family tend your garden to the glory of God?

3. Memorize a verse that could encourage you in your daily tasks.

4. What area in your home can you specifically focus on doing things with more excellency, efficiency and enjoyment?

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