Kitchen Table Ministry

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Our kitchen table was free.  Yes, that’s right, free.  When I moved back to Texas from Mobile, Alabama, I sold(or gave away) my dinette because it was hideous and I didn’t “love it”.   When Dennis and I married, we had pretty much everything except a kitchen table.  I am pretty resourceful so I began scouring Craigslist and found an antique dinette for sale…the price kept getting lower.  A student from UT was moving to New York and he just wanted the table moved.  He told me if we stopped by that day, he would give us the dinette.  He also told us, he mother bought it in Fredericksburg.  We ended up with an antique table from Fredericksburg for free.  It is round…I always wanted a round table because in my way of thinking, no one is on the “wrong side”.  Everyone is in the cirlce.  It’s cute too.

Yesterday a friend called and told me she needed to talk.  The evening ended around our kitchen table with us praying for her future.  Over the weekend, a friend came over for a party and the evening ended with her speaking into our lives.  It’s not the kitchen table so much as the home.

I saw a sign recently that said, “Our house is a little house…God knows where we live”.   I love the idea that God knows where we live.  Even more, I love the idea that we welcome Him into that place.

We have hosted many dinners at our little kitchen table.  We have had visitors from as far away as Nigeria and close to home as family.  We have discussed politics, religion, vision, dreams, death of dreams….rarely has a subject been avoided. 

We have eaten from the finest cuisine to the most simple…it all fed our souls.  Who doesn’t like biscuits (besides Dennis – unless they have meat in them somehow)?

There have been times in my life when I made plans that I would go out and minister to those in the “most” need; those who had really lost their way.  Plans made to reach the homeless and the destitute; those on drugs or bound to alcohol.  My idea of those “most in need” is not necessarily God’s idea.  (His ways are higher than mine).  I had to, as Mary Englebright says, “Bloom where I’m planted”.  I had to begin seeing and ministering to the needs that God sent my way.  At times there have been some hard cases….it turns out it is much harder for a relgious man or woman to see their own issue than it is for those who have hit bottom.   It turns out, the people we know are the ones with the drug problem, the alcohol problem, the sex addition.  We are looking for the hard cases and they are sitting right at our kitchen table or on the pews at our church.

In many cases, the most desperate people are the ones who have been wounded by a church or church leader.  If only I could wrap my arms around each one and tell them, “God loves you and approves of you.  He still has plans for your life.” 

Why do we think we know who needs God the most?  It is time to start ministering to the people sitting around our kitchen table.  It is time to start ministering to the people God sends into our lives.  This includes family members.

How often do we overlook our own family members?  These are the people we know best and love the most but our prayers for them are minimal and we often minimize the pain in their lives.  What good is it for me to teach the church if I don’t teach my own children?  If my children do not walk in integrity and righteousness, what good have I done? My first ministry obligation is to my family.  

Who is at your kitchen table?

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5 thoughts on “Kitchen Table Ministry

  1. According to your definition, I have lost my way, and the definition of many others as well. Today, you have spoken into my life, and i am at your blog, not your kitchen table. However, today just a few minutes ago actually, things have been so rough for me and my family it seems as though we are headed for divorce, though it is not what i want, but if the marriage could have been held together, today it was compounded by job loss, which in turn will be home loss. I asked God if he had forgotten about me from my heart. He led me to your blog that said “our home is a little home and he knows where we live”. At least i am hoping he is speaking to me through that, I need his help in the worst way, I need a miracle soon. If you have any words for me from God, email me, if not please just pray.

    • My heart is so heavy upon reading your comment. We have prayed. Here is what I know, from Isaiah 30,

      (v 15) “ In returning and rest you shall be saved;
      In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
      (NKJV, but also reads so well in the Message)
      (v 18)…You shall weep no more.
      He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
      When He hears it, He will answer you.
      20 And though the Lord gives you
      The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
      Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
      But your eyes shall see your teachers.
      21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,

      “ This is the way, walk in it,”
      Whenever you turn to the right hand
      Or whenever you turn to the left.

      The principle stands. When we seem to loose our way, God is patiently waiting. When we call on Him, He is so gracious to answer. His answer may be different than what we expect but He does answer.

      The Message (I can’t help it) says it this way…””Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
      and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
      Your strength will come from settling down
      in complete dependence on me—
      The very thing
      you’ve been unwilling to do.”

      But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
      He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
      God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
      Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

      Now that you have called upon Him, what are the deeper spiritual issues going on? An attack on the marriage, the family?

      Dennis and I had a fight recently (he is a wonderful husband and very rarely in a “bad” mood) for some reason, he was cranky. I heard him in the kitchen “praying” (possibly complaining to God under his breathe about me). I prayed simply that God would reveal the truth of the matter (even if I was wrong). During the middle of the night, Dennis woke up and went to the bathroom. He said he heard so clearly God say, “How can the church have unity if we cannot establish unity in our marriages?”

      If the enemy can attack your marriage without opposition, he weakens the family, he weakens the church, he weakens the bride.

      There is an account (2 Chronicles 20) of Johoshaphat going before the Lord basically saying, “Do you see what they are about to do to your kids?”. Your prayers for your family are powerful. If God set it up, if God is in it, He will stand for it…what He is for who can be against?

      This sounds like a classic case of “the enemy coming in like a flood”. The Word says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him”. Look around. What is God raising up?

      I believe you, your family and your marriage can come through this stronger, wiser, with more faith and more trust in God.

      Pray like you have never prayed…get real with God. Real = Raw. God is more interested in showing you something than He is in your comfort. He will see you through it all.

      We are praying for you. Take note, we prayed at 9:40pm on Saturday, December 4th, 2010.

      I will continue to pray and if God gives me a specific word for you or this situation, I will email you.

  2. I just wanted you to know, i feel your prayers and thank you very much. Thank you for you stong desire to encourage and taking the time out of your life to pray for me a total stranger, that says alot about you.

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