Mission, Discipleship and Fellowship: Life Reproducing Life

Last Friday was a holiday here in the United States, and Marianne and I opened our home, yard and pool for a day of family, friends and fellowship.

plantingFortunately, following my heart operation and extended hospital stay two weeks ago, several brothers in a couple of fellowships we relate to stepped forward and organized things – including a great cookout.

Afterwards, Marianne and I both said that this was one of the nicest days we’ve had in years – not because the past few years have been bad (they’ve been challenging due to some of my health issues, but not “bad”!), but because we’re seeing solid maturity arise among those we’ve been pouring our lives into.

Although we’ve always loved them deeply, now it’s actually fun to spend time with them!

In addition, we now have the profound pleasure of watching them reproduce their life in Christ among others.

As they step forward and do the work of mission, discipleship and strengthening our various fellowships, it seems more and more that God’s role for Marianne and me is to step back and serve through simple hospitality, unassuming encouragement and quiet mentoring.

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Hospitality and the Kingdom of God

Playing Chicken Feet

 
Yesterday, like we often do, we had family and friends – some old, some new – over for supper and fellowship. Marianne cooked the main dish, I put on a big pot of coffee, and they brought everything else.

Because it was Easter, we opened our home to folks who didn’t have family in the area and invited them to spend the day with our family. They included guys from several fellowships we’re linked to, and some not in any church.

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A Thanksgiving Suggestion

We need to stop!

Every time we meet someone who has no family in the area or is homeless, Marianne and I invite them to spend Thanksgiving (an American holiday) with us.

thanksgiving-tableEach year, our home is filled with family and new friends, but this year we may have more guests than seats – even with several tables!

Somehow, I’m sure we’ll figure out how to fit everyone in, make them feel at home, and have a great day of food, laughter and fellowship.

How about also reaching out to those who have no home or family this year?

Invite them to your home and your table.

You will be blessed even more than them.

~ Jim and Marianne

Authentic Discipleship

A newly-wed couple in our fellowship invited Marianne and me to a Super Bowl party at their apartment last night.

True Discipleship!

True Discipleship!

Marianne couldn’t make it because she needed to finish her lesson plans for the week (she’s an elementary school teacher), so I went.

When I showed up, I was blessed to see some old friends – including guys I knew from the surrounding woods. That evening, we enjoyed lots of good food and good times as we hung out and watched the game together.

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Marianne and I have a plaque in our home which says:
“One who practices hospitality entertains God Himself.”

This week, look around and make an effort to see those who have no family or are going through hard times – then ask if they’d like to share Thanksgiving with you and your family at your home later this month.

This is love.


If you live outside the United States and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, then use some other time of celebration. You will bless, and be blessed!

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