Reblog: The Heart of Hospitality

by Christina Fox

A friend recently thanked me for the hospitality I had extended to him and his family over the years. Feeling uncomfortable with the compliment, I responded, “Actually, it’s my husband you need to thank. I learned it from him.” I think my comment surprised him. Perhaps because it seemed as though I’ve always had a heart for hospitality.

The truth is, for a long time hospitality was hard for me. I often thought that hospitality was something you only did when you were prepared and had all your ducks in a row. I thought that my home needed to be a certain size and my cooking skills up to a certain level. And just like Martha in Luke 10, I often stressed over the details of hospitality. I focused on whether there were enough chairs for everyone to sit on, each person’s unique dietary needs were met, and that the living room was spotless and the pillows lined up neatly on couch.

What I’ve learned from watching my husband seek out the lonely and invite them into our home is that biblical hospitality has nothing to do with those things. Rather, the heart of hospitality is about sharing our lives for the sake of others, just as Christ did for us.

Biblical Hospitality

There’s a difference between hospitality we see on the cover of magazines or on interior design shows on television and the hospitality described in Scripture. Biblical hospitality isn’t about details but about the gospel. It isn’t just for those who can bake, but for all of us. It’s not about receiving compliments but about giving to others. It’s about much more than a meal or a comfortable place to lay one’s head. The heart of hospitality is about sharing the greatest treasure we have, Jesus Christ.

Four things to remember about hospitality:

Read the rest here.

Reblog: Why Single Is Not the Same as Lonely

by theGospelCoalition

It was the kind of e-mail that breaks your heart.

A friend of mine, who lives too far away, contacted me to say he was struggling to understand how the cost of singleness as a Christian could possibly be worth it. As far as he could see, an illicit relationship would be “the only possible way for me to enjoy the relational intimacy I’ve dreamt of my entire life.” He concluded, “I cannot imagine the shell of a life I would live without somebody standing by my side.” In the light of this deficit of intimacy, could singleness ever be worth it?

My friend isn’t alone. In my own church family, one of the biggest causes of people drifting away from Christ has been entering into illicit relationships, especially single Christian women with unbelieving men. For many of them, the assumption was that life as a single just wasn’t viable. They needed intimacy.

It has become an unquestioned assumption today: Singleness (at least godly singleness) and intimacy are alternatives. A choice to be celibate is a choice to be alone. No wonder for so many this seems too much to bear. Can we really expect someone to live without romantic hope? It sounds so unfair.

Marriage and Celibacy

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The Bible is clear that we choose between marriage and celibacy. In Matthew 19, Jesus upholds and expounds God’s blueprint for marriage found in Genesis 1 and 2: Marriage is between a man and a woman, and is designed to be for life. The disciples balk a little at this: “If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (v. 10). But Jesus responds by talking to them about the life of the eunuch. The implication is plain: The only godly alternative to marriage is celibacy.

Read the rest here.

 

TED Talk: Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don’t leave

Leslie Morgan Steiner was in “crazy love” — that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.)

Reblog: The Silent Marriage-Killer

desiringGod
Article by Heather Davis Nelson

Most Christian couples would not list shame as one of the top struggles in their marriage. However, in almost a decade of counseling, I’ve seen very few marriages that aren’t hampered by shame on some level. It’s just not often the first thing that’s identified, but it underlies so many other common struggles, especially communication and sex.

How can you know if this silent marriage-killer is present in your relationship? Consider the following self-evaluative questions:

  1. Are there topics that have become off-limits because you or your spouse get too prickly, defensive, or embarrassed?
  2. Can you share embarrassing stories or painful struggles with your spouse and expect empathy, or would you be more likely to receive further ridicule or condemnation?
  3. Do you talk openly about your failures, past and present?
  4. Is your spouse the first person you turn to for support, comfort, or celebration? And does your spouse do the same to you?
  5. When you confront sin in your spouse, do you do so with gentleness and humility as a fellow struggler, or with the posture of one who would never sin in that way?
  6. How comfortable are you in your sexual relationship?
  7. Do you share your emotions with your spouse and vice versa?
  8. When conflicts arise between you, are you able to resolve them, or do you seem to stall out frequently when one of you withdraws indefinitely?
  9. Do you regularly share with each other what God is teaching you through his word, church, and your personal devotional life?
  10. Do you pray together?
  11. Do you confess your sins to one another as needed, as often as sin arises?
  12. Would you prefer not to talk about sin at all, because it’s just too uncomfortable for both of you?

None of us have a perfect marriage, or should expect it, but what holds us back too often is the presence of shame — the fear that I will be rejected if I am vulnerable with you. The way to fight shame, and be part of shame’s healing for one another, is to risk openness in these areas where we want to hide from one another.

Help Your Spouse Heal

We may have been hiding like Adam and Eve since the garden of Eden, but the hope is that God covers our shame and enables us to help cover one another’s shame. If redeemed marital intimacy is to be naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25), the way to move towards this goal is to become part of healing shame for each other.

We have the opportunity to do this in a more powerful way for our spouse than anyone else. We have the unique chance to see them at their most vulnerable, and to bestow grace and compassion instead of judgment and rejection. And the only way we can do this for one another is as we experience this grace from God to us in Jesus Christ.

In Christ, we realize that on our own we stand unclothed before God — that our best attempts at righteousness, with the help of his Spirit, are like filthy rags — but that he has clothed us with the perfect righteousness of his own Son, the God-man, so that there is no condemnation nor any threat of separation from God’s love (Romans 8:1, 38–39).

Read the rest here.

July in Phoenix

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Clouds rolled in on Friday and as I said good bye to Nathan I noticed this beautiful view from our side yard. This is where we will sit to watch fireworks in a couple days. It’s hot here but there is beauty in all things if we can just find it.

Round Robin: Round 7

This was a fun 9 months of working on fellow quilters quilts. I am however ready to be done. I was glad of the opportunity to get to know several of my ladies in a deeper way through out the time. Here is the last of the quilts before I get mine back.

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Here is the quilt as I received it.

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Here is the starting center.

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Here is the box of fabric that was sent along to everyone.

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I added the plain green as a stopping border and to tie the green back into the quilt. I like how it finished.

My Silent Auction Quilt

I won this unfinished 1930’s fabric small quilt top at the PAQA quilt show in April. I was thrilled with the pattern, Grandmother’s Garden, it’s one of my favorites.  There was a hole in it and it is stained in a couple places but I didn’t care. I cut it down slightly to go on my one wall and used the cut off parts to patch the hole. I then sandwiched it and hand quilted it over the last month. Here is the final piece. I also made coaster with the scraps.

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Below are the before pictures:

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I replaces a pink hexagon with a different fabric but it blends in nicely, I think.

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I loved it so much I immediately put it on the wall. You can see the hole here in the pink flower.

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This picture is kind of scary for me. It took a lot for me to cut it up and square it. If I’d had more time it would have been nice to finish it as is.

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Last pictures is of the sandwiching process and being ready to quilt. I didn’t frame it or anything. I just pinned it and quilted it in my lap.

You Tube: Happy Father’s Day w/ Jimmy Fallon

In keeping with trying to post a little more comedy and laugh more myself, I’m sharing this on Father’s Day. I certainly appreciate those who can laugh at themselves. Have a great day all you Dads out there.

***One fun memory I have of my dad, (and probably not fun at the time) was when he was driving the car and the 3 siblings were in the back seat and fighting among-st ourselves. He would reach his right arm into the back seat and try to grab whoever was within his reach to get our attention and to stop what we were doing. I was the smallest and usually could dodge my way out of his grasp. Sorry for trying your patience dad… all in good fun! ~Beth

My Finished Quilts

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This quilt I started at the last summer quilting retreat in 2015. I finally quilted and bound the edge. I believe the pattern is called Summer in the Park.

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I’ve posted this before but it is completely finished now. (and a personal favorite)

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I also posted this one and same thing; it is quilted and bound and ready for sale.

The August retreat will be upon me soon. I have to figure out what I want to start and get fabrics together to enjoy my 3 days with the 50+ ladies. Should be fun.