WELCOME, OPEN YOUR HEART — SMILES ABOUND!

“Open your hearts to one another”  Romans 15:7

Open your hearts to one another . . . what does that mean?  It can mean a lot of things, but I can tell you one thing, it goes against the grain of the world for sure!

I heard a sermon this morning, and I really liked it, and not just because my name is mentioned.  Adam McMurray does a great job talking about being “welcoming” which in the end is, “opening your hearts to one another.”

http://www.riverwest.org/resources/sermons/what-kind-of-church-part-6/

Here is a story from back in the day – way back.  My friend Jeff Sherwin had a great downstairs suite at his house when we all were in high school.  We could play poker in his basement to the wee hours of the morning.  I loved that my mom would throw a ten-spot in my hands and say, “Well, you would have spent that on a movie and popcorn.”  The table would have at least 6 gathered around, and almost without fail the door would fly open, and there would be the largest plate of tacos ever!  We felt “welcome!”

I think the reason it says, “Opening your hearts,” is because to truly welcome costs you something.  It could be money (as in the two taco 12 packs I got yesterday for the boys football crew – thanks Mrs. Sherwin!), it could be your time, and it could be your own story that you share.

Why should Wal-mart get it right?  (They have had people do nothing but “welcome” for the longest time!)

The first Young Life club I ever went to had two people in the driveway yelling, screaming, and welcoming all kids to the house.  I thought it was crazy actually, but it worked, as I felt welcome!

The deeper level of welcoming is truly welcoming another person . . . it is to really be in touch with your own moments of welcome – and then in gratitude welcome others around you.

There is a world out there that is hurting, that is craving, and desiring to feel welcomed.  We have to take the focus off ourselves . . . “have the same attitude as that of Christ.”  (Phil. 2:5)

Some “Welcoming” ideas:

  • As you come into the office, stop, pause, and check in with those you see.  Really make a point to put your “day on hold.”
  • Invite someone to coffee or lunch that is in your normal “life path.”
  • Look for “new people” who might need a hand.  New on staff, new to neighborhood, new to school, new to Scouts, new to a meeting, new to YOU.
  • Open more than just what’s comfortable . . . open your home, open your car for a ride, open your small group, open your workout, open your golf group, open your playgroup, open your cupboards.
  • Serve a plate of “Taco’s” – or do something that has a “wow” impact!  (The smiles from $12 bucks at Taco Bell was so worth it! — See pic)

I was struck this morning and reminded about all the people who “welcomed me.”  I remembered how it felt, and how it impacted me to be welcomed.

Thanks Adam!  Great sermon!

Have a great Monday!

Eric

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