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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In Other Words Tuesdays - The COW Sisterhood

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“Hospitality is becoming an almost forgotten Christian virtue in our style of life today… In the New Testament, however, hospitality was a distinctive mark of Christians and Christian communities.”

~Alexander Strauch
from The Hospitality Commands~

I'm not sure what it stood for - I figure it meant "Crafts Or Whatever" - but I proudly wore the stamped "C-O-W" letters to church on my right arm. Whatever the letters stood for, to me, they signified a bonding time together with the young teen girls in our church.

These girls love crafting.

We don't have a lot of programs for our church kids right now and God laid the girls on my heart. Since I have a whole room full of supplies that I use to create cards and other items for sale, I invited the group of giggly girls over to the house for a "play date".

No rules - just be careful with the tools and put one thing back before getting another out so I didn't have a huge mess to deal with later. Every scrap of paper, every tool and every crafting supply was available to use.

What a fun time! The girls quickly busied themsleves with projects and just talked all afternoon. When suppertime rolled around, we carried the fun into the kitchen and decorated pizzas.

All too soon it was over, but before heading off to church, we each received the "C-O-W" stamp on our right arms and a promise to do it again. Of course, the ink smudged and got on everything else, but to me, it became a symbol of bonding with the girls.

I became a Christian at age 8, following an episode of abuse. Throughout my teenage years, Jesus was there, along with other significant adults, to help me through the tumultuous teenage years of the 1960's with the expanding drug scene, free-love flower children and the threat of potential global annihilation hanging over our heads.

It's even worse for our teens today. These girls are precious in God's sight. They are the future of our church, yet what is there to keep them pure, safe and strong in Jesus? It will take open hearts and homes where they are welcome to come when they are struggling with today's issues - for counsel, for acceptance and approval, for guidance and love.

Lord teach me to be hospitable - to have an open heart and home where "my girls" and others can come in times of need and know they are loved -just as You have opened Your arms to me and folded me in the safe haven of Your breast.

***
Today's IOW hostess is Chelsey over at her site Joyfully Living For His Glory. If you'd like to participate, simply blog about the quote on your blog page, then visit Chelsey and leave your URL in the Mr. Linky box.

Feel free to visit the other sites and read all the great takes on today's quote and when you visit, be sure to leave a comment for the writers to encourage them.

9 comments:

MiPa said...

Sounds like a fun place to be...for you and the girls. Thanks for sharing!

Laurie Ann said...

What a great post! I love your blog because I know I will always find great encouragement and wisdom here. I love how you opened your home to these girls and let them just go (controlled) crazy with the crafts. What a great time they must have had!

Patty Wysong said...

You have the bestest ideas, Bonnie!! And I'd wear the C.O.W. stamp, too!

jamie in rose cottage said...

What a fun time of fellowship and hospitality with those girls! Thanks for sharing!

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

I like the way this IOW is going. It's good to see that "hospitality" is being re-directed away from IN-My-House entertaining and focused more and more on friendship evangelism.

Your post did it well!

Kindest Thoughts,
-esthermay

Kat said...

It is wonderful you have found a way to show your hospitality. It sounds like God has given you a gift in ministering to youth, God bless you for that! Our youth don't have enough positive entertainment. Also, many don't have places to go where there are good influences to be around. Thank you for having this for the youth of your community. I know God will produce great fruit from it! Great post!

Patricia Warren said...

Bonnie, once again our thoughts are right along the same lines. I like the way you took today's quote and presented a practical application that has such far reaching implications.

I've worked with the youth for several years, not because I felt God calling me to youth work, but because someone needed to do the work.

I found out how much it means to the kids that adults share themselves when a couple girls stopped me in the hallway at church and begged me to go to camp with them again this year. I convinced my husband to go and wow! God blessed the whole weekend.

Our church has recently been blessed with a new youth minister and I'm involved with other things, although, I figure I'll say yes when they ask again next spring.

One of the best things about my youth group days as a teen were "Afterglows." One Sunday a month, a family would host a youth get-together, feeding us and letting us use their home for games and devotions.

I hope to help get that started with our youth group at our home church. My husband and I are almost finished remodeling the carport into a coffee bar and entertainment room, perfect to share with young people.

Thanks for your post!

Joyfull said...

Great thoughts on being hospitable. I had a family in my teenage years to show me hospitality and is surely made a difference in my life. Amen, may we have an open heart and home.

Karen said...

My house is full of COWS, black and white holsteins mostly. Mine are giggling grade school girls on the weekends. Taking them to church with me my car got knick named "Grandma's Bible bus." It is so important that we don't let this generation of kids down spiritually. They need to be dressed for Heaven and that is our duty as older women to see its done. Hospitality? Yep, its a great place to start.