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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Thought I Had This

Have you every had the thought that you didn't need to work on certain aspects of yourself. That you had it. Well I have to say that I was thinking that I had IT when it came to hospitality. I mean my house is an acceptable level of clean for visitors (which means everyone in the house better not even think about using a bathroom or move anything out of place). I am a passable cook, I learned from my mom, who by the way, is a fantastic cook. I will meet you at the door and offer you a chair and something to drink.

 When I accepted this job at Journey North as Guest Services Director, I thought I've got it, no problem. Here's the problem.God has been showing me for some time that I am a perfectionist. I come from a long line of perfectionists. Well one would think this would help in this type of job, wouldn't one? God showed me a clear picture this morning of true hospitality. Everything I read pointed to the same thing. I am more concerned with how things appear than my guests.

One devotional described the difference between social entertaining and Christian hospitality. Seems I have been entertaining. Entertaining focuses on the host; spotless house (or church) good food, jovial attitude. Christian hospitality focuses on the guest and their needs. A place to stay, nourishing food, someone to talk to, acceptance (these last two are really important). This can happen in a messy home with a can of soup or in a church that doesn't have Martha Stewart decorating and baking goodies.

Phyllis Stanley -"Hospitality is the message you give a person about their value."

I thought I had IT. I guess not. It's not about being a perfect host. It's about giving our guests what they truly need. Sometimes it's as simple as a glass of water and a listening ear.

I think I'm starting to get IT.

1 Peter 4:8-10  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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Digging the Wrong Kind of Hole

Have you ever felt like digging a hole, crawling in and never coming out? That is where I'm at right now. Stressful situations, too many things to do, too little time, things that never seem to go smoothly, too little sleep, all contribute to the need to grab a shovel. Right now all I want to do is crawl in that hole, cover my head and never have to deal with another thing.

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who is nothing like me. He never gives up. He loves us no matter what we do or how we act. He gives us assurance over and over again in His Word.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged.    Deuteronomy 31:8

The hole is deep. I think I  need to stop digging and keep looking up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Someone sent me this email. I thought: It has some great points, so I am sharing it with you. We all need reminders that life is a gift from God. Time is short; there is much to do. Don't waste a moment of it.

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

(Its estimated 93% won't forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will,
forward this with the title '7%'.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Keep Up the Good Work


I just want you to know that I have my eyes open even when I appear to be busy (it's the mother's thing, you know, eyes in the back of the head and all that) and I see what you have been doing. I also hear things (moms have great hearing). Now don't be afraid that I am about to start a lecture (I have been known to do so - ask my children). I just want to applaud the great things that you have been doing: stepping out to talk to visitors (when not scheduled), standing at the door to encourage people as they leave, keeping your eyes open to the needs of others, inviting people to come check us out. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are an invaluable asset to Journey North Church and we couldn't do it without you!

Can I ask one small thing? I would love it if I could get some feedback from you. It will help to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Remember the 4 questions from our training? They are located on the table by the Welcome Desk. Fill it out and drop it in the "Joy Box".

Again ---- Thanks For Serving! ---- I LOVE OUR CHURCH

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Parable

This video makes me think about how guests perceive us. Do we look like this? I hope not!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Greeting and Grooming

As I read my lesson for a women's Bible study (Lioness Arising) this morning, there were a few things that stood out to me. The study shows us how we can learn Biblical principles by studying the lioness.

Lisa Bevere talks about how lionesses greet others. They have scent glands above their eyes that release the scent of the pride when they make face to face contact. Once they know that they belong, there is acceptance and belonging that puts them at ease so that they may grow together. There is provision and safety.

What does that have to do with us? Lisa tells us that if you enter a place of worship and are not greeted or there is no connection, you should probably find another church. Churches that don't connect or interact will not groom you for what God has for you.

Guest services is not just about greeting. It must go deeper than that. We must first welcome others in and then invest time and energy into them. Once we have relationships, we are then able to speak into each others lives. This is the grooming. It is not enough to just say hello.

Learning Experience

As I expected creating this blog has taken me sometime. I am not finished with it yet. In fact, I think it will be an ongoing thing. I really just wanted to get it up so that I could check one thing off my list. Now I hope to make some major improvements, but again, that make take some time - I am really not a techie person. 

I do have one comment to share from our 4 question survey. ( I hope more of you start filling them out!) 
A guest was asked if they prefer to be seated. The answer was YES, especially when the service has already started and the church is full. They like to be led to a seat so that they are not walking up front alone. Which brings me to another point. We need to ask our regulars to sit near the front and save the back seats for guests.