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Celebrating Our Uniqueness Tea – Invite the Neighbors!

by Cathy Baker 

Searching for a way to connect with other women in your neighborhood? What could be more inviting than conversation over a cup of tea?

With the Celebrating Our Uniqueness Tea, each woman brings her favorite teacup or mug to the gathering. It’s a casual way to learn more about those around our tableβ€”how God wired them, our commonalities, as well as our differences.

This particular tea gathering is a new one for me. I created it out of a desire to stretch myself beyond the borders of comfort. As a long-standing introvert I admit that inviting people I know only in passing isn’t a comfortable place to be, but rarely is comfort the catalyst for anything eternal bound.  

Stacks of books and fertile dust bunnies have often dictated when God’s home could be used for His glory. I’m learning, however, that the captivating aroma of Christ can only be released to its fullest potential when I’m willing to open my imperfect home to the perfect Host. 

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2 

Do
not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have
entertained angels without knowing it. – See more at:
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Hospitality#sthash.8noAT4jm.dpuf

Psalm 46:10 – This Gathering of Two

Future gathering ideas will include friends, family, neighbors, etc., but since the quality our time with others is directly impacted by the time spent with our heavenly Father, I can’t imagine a better place to begin this journey than with God as our ever-present guest.

With a plethora of posts on ways to make the most of our quiet time with the Lord at our disposal, I’ve chosen to keep this gathering focused on the simplicity of our time with Him. 

First, let’s consider how we feel when in the company of someone we love. 

  • Are words always necessary?
  • Is there a sense of ease?
  • Do we slip on our happy mask or bask in the freedom to be who we really are? 
  • Do we dominate the conversation or is there pleasure in listening to him/her? 
  • Does it feel more like a ritual/duty or pure delight to be in their company? 

Before the cup is poured, consider: Do the above questions reflect how we feel in the presence of our Maker? If not, perhaps we have a skewed view of God. Yes, He is to be revered, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he describes Himself as our heavenly Father – and is there a more tender relationship than that of a child and parent? 

With this in mind, let’s find a comfy seat for ourselves and pull up an empty chair, representing our ever-present Father.

As we sip our choice o’ beverage, let’s keep Psalm 46:10 before us: Be still and know that I am God.

[Stillness is an intentional act that many of us have to initially “force” ourselves to do. It doesn’t come natural to our flesh but in stillness, our souls soar.]

He desires to be known. The God of the universe who set this world spinning desires for me (and you) to know Him personally. I can’t wrap my head around this truth, but I fully embrace it with every drop of gratitude possible.

[The Hebrew verb know in this verse means something much more intimate than the word used in everyday language. It’s means to experience at the deepest level. It’s knowing more than mere facts. It’s experiential knowledge at its best.]

With cup in hand and the empty chair before us, be reminded just how very near our heavenly Father is in the midst of our ordinary days. Exhale, for it’s usually here I forget to breath. How to take in such awe-inspiring truth? 

Linger a little longer and simply close in prayer, preferably aloud.

Oh, the beauty of this gathering of two. 

Only to sit and think
of God,
Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name
Earth has no higher bliss.
Frederick W. Faber

Sunday Snippets – Putting the Gospel on Display

Welcome to Sunday Snippets!
Campus Pastor Brook Taylor delivered a timely message from Acts 2:42-45 this morning. As with all the Snippets, I try to jot down everything verbatim, but it’s not always possible.To listen to the sermon in its
entirety, I invite you to visit Summit’s site. 
Here goes…
  • Listening to or viewing a sermon online/TV isn’t a bad thing — but using this as our only means of doing church is not how the Church was designed to work with the Word of God. [Watch for an upcoming blog post as I explore this subject in more detail. -CB]
  • Sometimes, in searching for the “right” small group we think that being around others who are like us in life stage, affinities, backgrounds, etc. will naturally make us more apt to draw closer to the Lord — but the truth of the matter is that biblical community thrives through our common identity in Christ. He is the only commonality we need to enjoy true fellowship. Rubbing elbows with those who have different strengths, weaknesses, and struggles helps us to grow as Christ followers. [Watch for an upcoming blog post on this subject as well – a personal testimony, if you will. -CB]
  • True community doesn’t just happen. We must be intentional.
  • The more we pursue Jesus Christ, the more we’ll have a growing love for His people.
  • Intimacy with God is the pursuit of God amidst the people of God.

I’ll close with the final question that was posed to us: Are you engaged in true biblical community? 

If not, what’s holding you back? Stay tuned this week as I share some of my own personal journey with life/small groups. You may be surprised.

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