Today was the big day…Louis and I, along with our photog – Terence Talley, and Bella and Wesley (our 2 dogs) set out for the bus stop to greet our old friends and meet some new ones! In case you missed the original post, check out Missional Sucker. Enjoy the pics. You will note that there are no Reeses Hearts in the pictures. Confession: Louis and I broke into them over the weekend, which meant a quick stop at the store for some Laffy Taffy (always a hit!!!). Don’t judge! :)
I have heard time and time again about how people were cutting back on spending for Christmas gifts. Sometimes this was due to loss of a job, a downturn in the economy, or just a conscious choice of spending less money or just spending it differently. So, my aunt, Pat, in Gresham, Oregon – just outside of Portland, decided to do something simple for her community and friends. She hosted a party with not Santa….but his WIFE! Her thoughts were…Santa is associated with gift-giving, but Mrs. Claus (my other Aunt Jo) is known for nothing but LOVE…and cookies! So, Mrs. Claus came to my aunt’s home not only read the Night Before Christmas, but also the biblical Christmas Story….the story of Jesus’s birth.
From the pictures, you can tell that the kids LOVED sitting at the feet of Mrs. Claus as she read. But, the surprise is…the impact that it had on the adults who attended. One woman, who had never heard the Christmas story, was touched to the point of tears. She had never felt such love at Christmas time. This has opened up an opportunity to share the Hope of Jesus with a friend and neighbor.
Aunt Pat said…
In just talking with other friends about the upcoming event (in answer to “what are you doing this weekend?”), sufficient cookies were donated that I really didn’t HAVE to buy any. Also, 2 turkeys, from different sources, were donated for two families that would not have had a turkey dinner on Christmas. One friend had won a turkey, and didn’t eat “fowl”; the other had two turkeys (I don’t know why) and shared. Some friends/family were praying to find someone to help, and God answered their prayers too.
- Cookies = Donated
- Punch/Drinks = $5
- Mrs Claus dress from Craig’s List = $20
- A changed life = priceless
You don’t have to be a seminary trained pastor or missionary to be to love your neighbor. You just need a willing and open heart, a little time, and someone willing to wear a Mrs. Claus dress! Doesn’t she look perfect?!?!?!? She just beams.
With other holidays coming up, how can this type of incarnational living be replicated for Valentine’s Day, Easter or Memorial Day?
What will a Reese’s Cup (heart shaped, of course) and a sucker have to do with being missional? Not a whole lot if you eat them all yourself! But, this Valentine’s Day, I will be heading to the bus stop to greet the neighborhood kids with an afternoon snack and a hug! I’m sure their parents will thank me profusely when they get home after school even more hyped than usual.
Our budget is tighter than it has been in past years. Hope we don’t run out! In past years, I have put little Valentine goodie bags together and had them at the house when some of the kids came by. This year, I’ve decided to go out and meet them at the school bus. Due to a number of reasons…mainly because a number of them moved last summer and we had a year full of family-related health issues (including our own!)…Louis and I have lost contact with a lot of the neighborhood kiddos. Now, we are attempting to get to know the new kids who live around us and this is just one way we are attempting to do that.
Looking forward to Easter…we are also planning our annual Southern Barton Heights Easter Egg Hunt for the neighborhood kids. Can’t wait!!!!
What are you doing for upcoming holidays to meet your neighbors?
Ever look for ways to be missional or incarnational in your own home? Here’s a way that we like to do it…and just may well become a tradition.
How did you spend New Year’s Day? With friends and family in front of the Rose Parade and a ton of football? New Year’s Day for us was spent with over 40 of our old and new friends and family….from our lineage, our missional community, and our neighbors. We opened our home for a pancake brunch from 10a-2p. Some showed up early and stayed the entire time. Others trickled in. But, we did have a constant stream. And boy was it fun! Miss Marti’s House is now also called Lou-Dawg’s Cafe. Louis is the MAN!
This was just one way Louis and I serve our friends, community and family. It’s fun to watch our worlds collide…friends from different parts of our life blending together in one place. I love it. Although we didn’t go to the church building that particular morning, we DID have church….Acts 2 style…check out Acts 2:42-47. We had a chance to pray with some of our ‘extended family’. We talked about how God was working in our lives. And…we broke bread…I mean pancakes…together. It was awesome.
It was so simple that virtually anyone could do it. Paper plates. Plastic forks. Juice. Coffee (of course!). Syrup and butter. Louis set up 2 griddles and a HUGE mix of his best-ever pancakes….and made them to order as people arrived. I made 2 huge delish egg, turkey sausage and cheese casseroles, which stayed warm in the oven. We also cut up fruit in wedges. Friends brought fruit salad, more apples, bacon and other goodies to add to the meal.
And we played….wii….and a lot of it! Enjoy the pics taken early in the day by our friend, our ‘son’ and up-and-coming photog – Terence Talley.
Please note that I am not advocating that you skip church a lot because being in community with believers is so important. But, sometimes…it’s ok. Let’s free ourselves from the legalistic views that we have sometimes. I go to church because I LOVE to worship the Lord with others. But, sometimes I just gotta spend time BEING the church…not just DOING it. :)