Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An extra helping of hope

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Romans 15, 16; Proverbs 5

Romans 15:13 (NIV)

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Good morning!

I spent the last night with my mom. She is almost 85 years young, and I have more gray hair than she does. I find that absolutely amazing! We went to the store to purchase turkeys and trimmings for our annual Faith Church Thanksgiving dinner. Helping to prepare and serve food for the needy and shut-ins of St. Charles County I cannot think of any place I’d rather be on Thanksgiving morning than with my Faith family, peeling potatoes in the fellowship hall, and praising God for all He has done. on Thanksgiving Day has become a very special and important tradition in my life.

Last night, we sat in The Bread Company restaurant, enjoying a bowl of soup together, and I couldn’t help but reminisce over my mother’s flair for holiday entertaining. She was always a fine cook, and loved to feed the masses. I think she came by it naturally, due in part to her large and ever-growing family. She was one of seven siblings, and when her aunt and uncles, grandparents and cousins all gathered together for holiday feasts, it was a true celebration indeed. They didn’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy food or lavish decorations, but they were very creative with what they had. Lots of rice dishes and sweet potato casseroles were mainstays at their family gatherings. Fresh fruit was a delicacy and only available on very special occasions. Nobody made shrimp gumbo like my mom. The sauce was thin in consistency but rich in flavor, and it had a hot and spicy bite that would cause even the sturdiest stomach to chase it down with a cup of ice cold water. This was one good reason to be very thankful for outdoor plumbing! My children have absolutely no point of reference for this. What a shame…

In everything she did, Mom displayed a spirit of hope and peace. She emulated love in the work of her hands in the kitchen, while serving others the bread of life. Mom always welcomed the stranger to our table, fed whoever was hungry, and gave up her own chair to make sure everyone had a seat at the table. The power of the Holy Spirit was working in and through her, especially as she slaved over a hot stove to feed our growling stomachs and nourish our ever-growing souls. We always stopped to thank the Lord before we ate. Mom knew the One who gave her eternal peace and hope, even in the midst of physical poverty, and she thanked God for His providence and great riches every day. She set a good example for me. I’ll never be able to cook like she did, but I do have her heart and spirit. I think we make a pretty good team.

As you prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends, remember to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ into your home, by serving those you love an extra measure of hope, joy and peace. It is the best gift you will ever give, and it will be remembered with gratitude in the years to come.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


Pray for: those who emulate Christ in their lives! This Thanksgiving, remember who it is you are serving, and offer your sacrifice of praise with a heart full of joy, hope and peace. If you wrap your life around the Lord Jesus Christ, He will fill you up with His sweet Holy Spirit, and you the hope you have inside will overflow to everyone around you.


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