It’s summer! And August means, it’s hot! Nobody needs an excuse to enjoy some ice cream. Invite over a neighbor or two and enjoy a cool summer treat together. Get the scoop on their lives, find out their favorite summer vacation spot. Make it fun, invite the kids over too! Here’s the scoop on the modern ice cream social:
+ Dress up your cones with fun paper wraps. *Free at BHG.com/Cones
+ Tuck a few mini marshmallows in the bottom of cones to help stop drips.
+ Put a few fun toppings (gummy bears, chocolate chips, fresh fruit) in colorful small bowls or even better, disposable bowls from Target!
Remember, your gathering doesn’t need to impress. Keep it simple and full of fun!
Tomorrow we celebrate our great country. Please write on this blog how you celebrated and share ideas others can use next year or perhaps on Labor Day weekend. Include picnic recipes and patriotic decoration ideas. Then spread the word about Entertaining for Eternity. Let’s motivate others and show them how easy it is to have folks in their homes.
Nothing could be easier than having some friends over for Dessert on the Dec/Users/Nan/Desktop/strawberries on tray.jpgk and serve fresh strawberries on a store bought angel food cake. Whip up some whipping cream or squirt on some store bought whip. Put out some chocolate syrup too if you like but keep it simple sweetie. Focus on building relationships and invite the Lord to come and see what He does in the conversations.
Daily Bread’s devotional today speaks to us today of heavenly hospitality’s attitude. “In the face of intimidation ad fear when seeking to engage others with the gospel”, remind yourself that your guests who do not know the Lord are His lost treasures and count it a privilege to follow Him into their lives.
Last I was having lunch at a restaurant with a girlfriend. We told the waitress that we would be praying over our meal and wondered if she had anything we could pray for? She asked us to pray for her best friend who also used to work at that restaurant. She had just lost her baby at 9 months and was grieving greatly. We empathized with her and told her we’d pray for her and her husband. The next time the waitress stopped by our table I told her to take her friend to see “Heaven is for Real” when it comes out next week. The third time she checked on our table I told her about how the little boy in the movie told his parents he met his sister. His parents were shocked because they never had told him that they had a miscarriage. At that, the waitress was visibly moved and said the story gave her goose bumps. I looked and sure enough she had them. (smile). She was very excited and assured us that now indeed she was going to run out and buy the book and read it before going to the movie.
Pray that all three of them go and come to know our Savior. Also be thinking of ways you can encourage someone to go or take them with you. I’ve already made plans to take another widow friend next week.
Using Jesus Film for Children have a “Celebrate Jesus: Home Party for Children” showing a wonderful film about several children living near Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. These kids experience relationships very much like children today and they observe Jesus along the way. The children in the film discuss all the usual questions that anyone, even adults, would ponder about him. In the process they discover who he really is. It’s the easiest evangelism anyone could do because the children in the film do it all for you. All you have to do is invite the neighborhood kids in and turn on your TV. Go to the web site and download your invitations to print. There are also lots of other easy ideas on the web site. Throw in an Easter egg hunt to add some extra laughter. Then watch the Holy Spirit move the hearts of the kids as they watch your TV. Their parents can even stay and watch too if they like. Who knows? Perhaps a whole family will come to Christ because of your party. Be sure to share your results on the blog comments later.
This simple learning tool can be used at your family dinners during Holy Week or at your Easter Brunch or dinner when you’ve invited seekers. It gets everyone involved and tells the story of what Jesus did for us. Collect your basket items and print out the companion verse cards ahead of time. Pass the basket around the table and have everyone take an item along with its matching verse card. Then have the cards read in order as the item is held up. Children love this and the gospel is presented.
Here’s what you’ll need to collect for your basket:
Cross or large nail or spike
Fake palm greenery
Matzoh cracker & Communion cup or wine glass
Crown of thorns made from rose bush clipping
Strip of white fabric (grave cloth)
1. Palm Branch – Mark 11:7-10
2. Perfume sample or bottle – Mark 14:3-8
3. Communion cup or wine goblet and or Matzoh cracker – Mark 14:12-15, 22-24
4. Crown of thorns – Mark 15:17-20
5. Large Nail or spike or Cross – Mark 15:24-28 (Passing around a railroad spike is often very moving)
6. Strip of cloth to represent the linen grave cloth – Mark15:44-46
Everyone is sick of this long cold winter. Why not have a Celebrate Spring Party, Coffee or Dessert? Decorate with butterflies and other spring images and read the Butterfly Illustration listed below. Then stimulate the discussion by sharing how your coming to Christ was also a metamorphous much like a butterfly. Share how Christ has changed your life and helped you fly like a butterfly above your obstacles in life.
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors, and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
With Easter less than a month away, it’s time to start planning! Easter is very similar to Christmas, as many times it seems like it has been hijacked and made into something secular. It’s time to subtly reclaim it. There are lots of ways to do this so stay tuned for some tips and stories over the next few days.
One of the easiest things to do is to take advantage of the different religious movies that are in your local theaters. Pick one and invite friends for a movie & dessert afterwards at your home. Watch the trailer ahead of time and think up some easy discussion questions to ask over coffee. Keep them simple and use the evening to discover where your friends are spiritually. Don’t be “preachy” or force your ideas on them. Allow them to tell you any and every outrageous conclusion that they may come up with, without immediately reacting to their thoughts. More than likely after they leave you, they will be thinking about how crazy what they shared really was. For most, it may be the first time they’ve tried to articulate spiritual ideas. Let the Holy Spirit do His wooing. After the evening is over, pray for them asking The Lord to speak to them. Plan a follow up coffee time where you tell them, “I’ve continued to think about what you said after the movie…..” This speaks volumes to them. It says, you really cared about them and what they think. They will be way more open to you as you share your faith in a gentle caring manner. You’ve given them time to think and wonder about what they and you believe.
Just this week I was talking to a man from my local Apple store. When I ran into him on the street in front of the store, he asked me for my name and mentioned that he cannot remember names because of a childhood accident. He explained that he had fallen on his head, died, and came back to life, and has had trouble remembering things ever since. I asked him about his death experience but he said he couldn’t remember it, that it’s part of his amnesia. The Lord then prompted me to tell him about the new movie “Heaven is for Real”, about a little boy like him who died and came back. I challenged him to go see it and discuss it with me afterwards. He enthusiastically assured me that he would go to the movie and do just that. If you haven’t read the book Heaven is for Real, pick up a copy and go see the movie! Better yet, take an unbelieving friend with you and go out for coffee after the movie. Who knows what God will do when you take a chance and be part of someone’s journey to knowing Christ personally. Here is a link for Heaven is for Real