"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Unwelcomed Guests

I have a Welcome Sign next to my front door....

Since the 1980's when we lived very close to the church we attended I extended a "stop by anytime as you cross over the mountain" invitations since everybody had to drive within a mile of my house to go into town.  I even stopped wearing a watch because I realized how much I looked at it even when people were talking to me and how rude it must look.  I, amazingly, have developed a sense of time usually within 15 minutes, and often within a couple minutes.  My desire to be hospitable extended to opening my home for Bible studies, prayer meetings, and other social events.  But I must say, I do not welcome ALL guests.

We have a birdhouse attached to the house next to the front porch that my oldest son made for me....

Unfortunately, I've yet to see a bird in it.  

It's just as well because recently there was an unwelcomed guest that I'm sure would have terrified any birds living there....

That, my friends, is a 3-foot (at least!) Northern Black Racer Snake.  We'd seen it a couple days before below the wall in the driveway...

I know why it's called a "racer".  Ken tried to "encourage" it to head for the woods, obviously without success because later we heard our dog, Gabriel, barking wildly at the ceiling of the porch, but we could'n see what he was barking at.  A little later he was barking at the other side of the porch.  I realized the snake had come back and crossed in the gutter because now it was in the Clematis....

It was two days later we discovered it in the bird house.  It was not there this morning.   It's probably lurking in one of my flower beds waiting to startle me....so if you hear a loud scream you'll know what it is!

As I think about it, the snake is not harmful to us (other than how it  hides and startles me in the process) so why not welcome it into my garden.  Likewise, I've entertained people that I never would have invited personally because of my particular likes and dislikes, but I've grown because I was "encouraged" to get to know them better just because they were in my home.  

Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  This is what hospitality is all about:  opening our lives and homes to others.  Some people worry that their dishes don't match or that their house isn't clean enough or that the food isn't fancy enough.  I know this can be hard to overcome.  The solution?  Clean only the bathroom and the rooms your guests will be in (enlist help), unmatched dishes are called "eclectic" (a decorating style), and make your invitation a Potluck Dinner.  What people really care about is the fellowship--not whether you're Martha Stewart's clone.

Who knows, you may be entertaining angels unawares!

Father, thank you for always opening your heart and arms to me.  May I always extend the same to others.

Link to scripture: http://mlbible.com/hebrews/13-2.htm

Take action: 5 Ways to Be Hospitable

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