The E4E Blessings Mix is a goodie bag for guests to take home with them. It’s a treat with a meaning!
Bugles: Cornucopia, a symbol of our nation’s abundance
Pretzels: Arms folded in prayer
Indian Candy Corn: This represents the sacrifices of the pilgrims first winter.
Nuts & Seeds: Promise of a future harvest.
Dried Fruits: Harvest gifts from our bountiful land.
M&M’s: Memories of those who came before us to lead us into a blessed future.
Hershey’s Kisses: The love of family and friends that sweetens our life.
Wrap these treats up in a clear treat bag and attach a note with your favorite Thanksgiving verse!
Thanksgiving week is upon us!
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18
There was a woman who went to our church. She was elderly, didn’t always smell good, wore lots of red lipstick and sometimes funny clothes. She came to our house for Thanksgiving one year along with another man from our church. Both needing a home to spend Thanksgiving in, my parents opened our home to them. I was probably 13 or 14 at the time. Later, the lady thanked my mother for inviting her and then added that she thought the man was probably too young for her to date! We all laughed so hard since that was not the intention at all. Many people came for meals at our home from all walks of life single, elderly, needing a family to love on them, whatever the need. And it made an impression on me.
Now I have my own home and I may not be able to invite someone in for every holiday but I hope to get more in the habit of thinking that way. Yes, to show hospitality and teach my children but also because it’s how Jesus wants me to love those around me. Jesus is a generous host and generous with His invitation list. After all, He invites ALL of us to join Him around His table if we are willing to surrender our lives to Him.
Let’s encourage each other to be generous with the menu AND the guest list. So if God keeps laying a person on your heart to invite over for Thanksgiving this week, DO IT! And please, tell us about how it goes, we love to hear your stories.
Do you want to reach out to your neighbors but aren’t sure how to start without making it weird? We love Amy Lively’s ministry, Neighborhood Cafe…http://www.theneighborhoodcafe.net/start-a-cafe/
It’s all you’ll need to love your neighbor well! Neighborhood Cafe is a neighborhood gathering with a Christ-centered focus in a box! On their website you’ll find the Cafe Kit which includes Planning Guide, Facebook Private group, invitations, conversation starters, Thinking of You cards and more! The conversation starters in the Machiatto Magazine include scriptures, community service projects and discussion questions. Neighborhood Cafe takes the stress out of planning an event and puts the focus on the purpose, sharing Christ’s love with our neighbors! Visit Neighborhood Cafe today to learn all about and plan your event. Just in time for the holidays! http://www.theneighborhoodcafe.net/start-a-cafe/
Skeletons hanging in trees, gravestones in the yard, grim reaper blow-ups larger than my house. Oh my! What is it with death that has everybody so intrigued? And it seems like it’s not just around Halloween. Books, television shows, movies are thriving on this subject of death. Perhaps feeding off our deepest fears. A fascination has taken hold. But Jesus holds the key to defeating death…He offers us eternal life.
Did you know death is in the top 10 of all human fears. Experts tell us human fear of death is tightly tied to our fear of the unknown…what will happen to me after I die?
Here’s a piece of truth to tuck in your trick or treat bag….The Bible tells us that Jesus came to earth to give us LIFE, eternal life, and John 3:16 says, “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. “ He is the ultimate cure for our fear and fascination with death. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins and DEFEATED DEATH! He offers abundant LIFE here on earth and an eternal life in heaven with him! That’s why they call it the good news!
On a side note, the day before my husband Sam died, our pastor came to visit him and asked Sam if he was afraid of dying. He quickly responded with “No and that he was sure of heaven. The next day when the hospice nurse came out of the room where his body lay he remarked that there was an incredible peace in that room.” Praise the Lord that we can have life everlasting through Jesus. Now go share that truth with your neighbors when you trick or treat Friday night.
What does Heavenly Hospitality look like?
Helping a stranger at a fast food restaurant simply by getting them straws and napkins. This is a real story that just happened THIS WEEK! A woman brought straws and napkins to a stranger while in line at Wendy’s which led to a conversation and an invitation to church! Now that’s heavenly hospitality.
Handing out the Pumpkin Prayer card to the mailman, the nurse at the doctor’s office, even the cashier at the grocery store. Singer Toby Mac calls it “Speak Life” moments. Every encounter we have with other people is an opportunity to speak life or to bring them down.
Heavenly Hospitality doesn’t always have to be in our home. We carry the Light of the World, Jesus, in our hearts everywhere we go. And we are called to be a light in the darkness. This world gets crazier by the day and people are desperate to hear about hope, life, and that’s there’s MORE! So share some hope this week, share love, let it go! See what God does with the seeds you plant. Click here to download the Pumpkin Prayer — PumpkinPrayer2014
Let’s all have a “Pumpkin Painting Party” and invite the neighborhood kids! Cover a table with newspaper or disposable table cloth and use washable paint, stickers, glitter, etc.. for the kids to decorate their pumpkins as much as they want! Make it fun!
We have a great party favor for you to use. Wrap up a bag of candy corn, Chex mix, or whatever your favorite treat. And attach a copy of the Pumpkin Prayer from us at Entertaining for Eternity. Here’s a link to the pdf… PumpkinPrayer2014
Feel free to print as many copies as you’d like and share with friends! This is our gift to you, pass it on!
One of my daughters recently asked me while we were driving in the car, “Mom, where is Jesus?“. I started explaining that God and Jesus are in Heaven. And Jesus is with us wherever we go even though we can’t see him, my adult explanation was interrupted by giggling from the back seat, “So is he down here somewhere in the car? Where are you Jesus?” I LOVED her simple question and how easy it was for her to imagine Jesus riding right there with us in the car!
That same child-like faith is what drove the leper to ask Jesus to heal him, the friends to bring their paralytic friend to Him, and the Centurion to ask Jesus to heal his servant. I think it’s easy to forget to actually believe God for what He says in his Word. That he can transform lives, our own lives and that person or situation we’ve been praying for, a child, spouse, friend. He can do far more than we could ever imagine! Give it up to Him in prayer today. We love that Entertaining for Eternity is all about seeing God do big things in the lives of those nearest to us right in our homes. If you have a story you’d like to share please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Halloween is hardly a Christian holiday but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it to reach others for Christ. Everyone loves to dress up and eat free candy, who can deny that? But we can’t ignore the dark side of this holiday either. So we need to redeem it with positive experiences, especially for children. Turn the focus to the fun not the spooky.
A visit to the pumpkin patch is a wonderful way to include children in a fun and memorable experience and a great way to include others. There are also some wonderful resources available like The Pumpkin Prayer that can help you talk to your children about fall and pumpkins and the wonderful seasons God created.
Available at http://www.lifeway.com/Product/a-pumpkin-prayer-P005468213.
Another simple way to send a message of hope with trick or treaters or guests in your home is to send them home with this special testimonial tag along with a bag of treats. Its a beautiful picture of what Christ does in our hearts when we let His light shine through us.
From Entertaining for Eternity p .170
When we were first married we attended a Superbowl party at one of our friends houses up in Cambridge, MA. My dear friend (who is from Texas I should add!) had outdone herself and made a football shaped cake, delicious appetizers, the works. My bag of tortilla chips with salsa fell flat as I walked in. And what’s worse on the way home my husband couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the food tasted and how good of a job she’d done making it all. She had executed a wonderful event and everyone felt loved through her hard work and thoughtful planning and it was fun! I laugh about it now but at the time, I admit I was a bit jealous of my friends home-making and entertaining skills. Can you relate? Ha ha.
Here’s the thing, God doesn’t want us to compete with each other for the best party or best decorations. He sees our hearts and will show up in surprising ways when we open our home to those who desperately need to feel His love. So this football season, we want to challenge you to be “Jesus with skin on” in the form of a football party to your unreached friends. We’ve got to let our guards down and let people into our lives so they see we are just like them, sinful yet forgiven.
A few take away points…
1. Allow a space in your home where people can come and flop on the couch and put up their feet.
2. Guys bond over football. Have some yummy finger foods on hand for them to enjoy. Go as crazy as you want, pumpkin cookies to football shaped cakes!
3. Engage, do your homework a little bit and find out about the team that’s playing, your friend wants to know you are normal too and not just all about shoving God in their face.
4. Give each guest a mix of “Puppy Chow” to take home with them at the end of the night with a simple scripture attached. Recipe coming!
5. Follow up with friends later to invite to coffee, church, etc…
Written by Yvonne Lingo
Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter, you name it! Fall is in full swing all around us. And a new season calls for some new friends.
We all have busy fall schedules kicking into high gear but did you know that there are people all around us who have never been invited into someone’s home for a meal? Maybe its the single guy or gal at work or the new couple who just moved in on your street, or a new family at school. Extend the invite! See what happens. People LOVE an invitation.
We’re going to make it easy for you…here’s your game plan. Pick out who you want to invite, make sure its 2 or 3 people to make it a good group. Stock your fridge, nothing too fancy. Easy enough for even a mom of little ones!
* (2) Trader Joe’s family lasagna
* Fresh salad
* Warm Apple pie
* Vanilla Ice Cream
* Decaf coffee w/creamer
Remember, this isn’t just E4E speaking, the Bible itself teaches us to exercise hospitality. And God will give you the grace and boldness to reach out to the ones He’s laying on your heart.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:9-10