More Than Cookies

I was cleaning the kitchen and discovered
this picture of the band from an article in our local paper several years ago.
Our son Joe is the third one from the left.
A Closing Skyline "disbanded" several years ago but the memories linger on.
Memories of head banging music and pictures dancing off the walls.
Memories of teens running up and down the steps to grab one more handful of cookies.
Memories of our kitchen becoming a safe place for teens to share their hearts, their hurts and their dreams.
When we agreed to host the band I had no idea our home would become the gathering place for physically and spiritually hungry teens.

All the boys are now young men now and busy pursuing college degrees and or careers.
There aren't any teens in our home anymore,
our basement is quiet and all of the band equipment has been removed.
That was an exciting and noisy time in the life of our family but I remember it with a grateful heart.
Thank you my sweet Jesus
for providing me the opportunity to feed the band
more than cookies.
Read the Proverbs 31 devotional Monday March 24 for
the "rest of the story"
I would treasure your stories of opportunity as you minister to your children and their friends.

More than cookies
Zoë Elmore

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
Matthew 10:42 (NIV)
While our youngest son was in high school he started a band and they practiced in our basement twice a week for three years. I spent those late afternoons baking cookie dough from five pound tubs and pouring gallons of milk for hungry teenagers (are there any other kind?) to the rhythm of the music. The music was loud, make that very loud and teenagers came out of the woodwork. Our home was quickly transformed into the gathering place and I knew I needed to take this opportunity to offer these teens more than just a sugar high. It didn’t take long before I became known as “the band mom” and I soon learned an important truth in accepting the name; if you feed them they will arrive at your doorstep; and if you love them they will return.

At the end of every practice a few band member and regular fans would slip upstairs for just one more hot cookie and as I poured the milk they soon began to pour out their problems and concerns with family and friends. Many days I felt like our home was an emergency room for broken hearts, broken dreams and broken teens and I was the nurse handing out sweet treats in order to make the boo-boo feel better. As the Lord provided opportunities to pray for and with these hungry teenagers I was amazed at His faithfulness of grace in these young lives.

One afternoon my son mentioned that the newest band member would be arriving for rehearsal and asked me to send him to the basement. When the door bell rang and I saw all the tattoos and body piercings they did give me pause before opening the door but I heard the Lord whisper to my heart, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” The young man entered and politely introduced himself; he shook my hand, thanked me for hosting the rehearsal then made his way to the basement. When band practice ended and the teens began to scatter; our son and this “colorful” young man ran into the kitchen to polish off the remaining cookies. When the last crumb had been consumed the young man had an interesting request. “Mrs. Elmore, could I have a hug before I leave today?” “Of course” I answered and granted his request. “That was wonderful.” he said “He took a breath and then quietly whispered “My mom abandoned us several years ago and I haven’t been hugged by a mom in such a long time.” My heart sank and it was all I could not to let this young man see my tears.

From that day forward I made sure I was available for hugs and it wasn’t long before Tom and I became a sounding board for this young man and a safe place to share his heart, his hurts and his dreams. There were times when the young man would pop in unannounced for some cookies and conversation. Throughout the next two years there were opportunities to pray with him and to share the gospel. Although Tom and I never heard this young man profess a personal relationship with Christ we know that we had fed more than his physical hunger as we offered him spiritual food from God’s word.

In thinking back on my tenure as “the band mom” I’m reminded to pray for all those hungry teens that came and went from our home. I pray they would become or remain hungry for the spiritual truths held in God’s word. I pray for the Lord to put godly men and women in their pathways that would feed their spirits and I pray that my heart would remain sensitive to the fact that I should offer everyone in our home spiritual as well as physical hospitality.

Now you may not be a band mom but I’m guessing that at times you have a house full of noisy and colorful pre-schoolers or teenagers. I want to encourage you to be available for some cookies and conversation and to offer them both physical and spiritual hospitality.

Dear Lord, help me to be a woman of physical and spiritual hospitality. Show me ways to be available to my children’s friends and to everyone you bring to into our home. Instruct me on making You known through grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps:
If the Lord is asking you to rethink your idea of hospitality; will you trust and obey or make the excuse that hospitality is not your gift.

How can you prepare your heart and your home to be a spiritual hostess?

Do you spend more time cleaning and decorating your home or being available to those who enter your home?

Power Verses:
2 Thessalonians 3:4, “… May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God's love and Christ's endurance.” (MSG)

Acts 10:4, “Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” (NIV)

Philippians 3:8-9, “...I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”

Birthday Chariot Ride

Hey Friends,
I wanted you to see the royal treatment I received from
two of the amazing women from Spring Branch Community Church.
Before we left for the airport Cheri asked if I'd like to take a ride in a Chariot.
Of course I said yes and jumped in this beautiful
Birthday Chariot.
Thanks to Lynn and Cheri for giving my a ride fit for any princess. I only wish I had been wearing my tiara.
Don't tell anyone, but my chariot is really the dirty linen basket from Housekeeping.
I say one woman's dirty laundry basket is another woman's chariot!
It's all about attitude girls
As soon as I receive the other pictures from the retreat I'll post some for you.

The Lord really did bless our time together and I'm grateful to have been with each of you Spring Branch sisters.

In Chicago
Greetings Friends from the cold north,
I'm in Chicago with my beloved Tom.
He is attending the annual meeting of the American College of Health Care Executives and each year I get to tag along.
He has just completed three years as the NC Regent and this is the last time we will be invited to attend the formal festivities unless his is voted in as Govenor later this year.

I'm standing in a very busy ballroom at a counter with 500 busy executives all checking e-mail.
They must think I'm loony to take up "their space' just to tough base with my friends while they conduct their day to day business deals. HA!

Today is the last full day here as we return to Charlotte tomorrow evening and Tom is treating me to an afternoon at the brand new Spa in our hotel as a belated birthday gift.
An afternoon of pampering, rubbing and scrubbing. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh I can feel the knots in my back loosening up as I type.

I can't wait to get the pictures from the black tie event on Saturday evening. Tom was so handsome in his tuxedo; as soon as they arrive in May I'll post them for you.

I'll also post the pictures from my last two speaking events as soon as those arrive.

It's been a busy two weeks and the Lord has provided speaking events for every weekend in April. Only HE could know that our son would be training for his commercial pilot's license in March at $300.00 per session and three session s a week when I was booked for these events many months ago.

HE never ceases to amaze me in providing what we need before we need it.

I'd love to hear your stories of HIS provision in your life.

Get Fit while you Sit
I'll begin with a disclaimer.
I'm not a fan of the Ellen Show.

Someone sent this to me and I thought this was so funny I just had to pass it along to you.

If you're like me and always looking for a new way to get my exercise in each day I think this might just be the thing we've been looking for.

Spring Branch
Hey friends, I'm happy to report that the Lord was faithful once again as HE sent his angels to keep my feet firmly planted on the stage this weekend in Virginia.

The Lord show up in a powerful way this weekend as we met in beautiful Willimasburg, VA.
As soon as I receive the pictures I'll post some; especially the beautiful birthday cake.
I send hugs and a million thank yous for making my birthday one befitting a pretty, pretty princess.

I can't wait to hear what the Lord will do in your lives as you walk in the truths that were revealed.

Carry on my dangerous sistas!!

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