3 SIMPLE IDEAS FOR THOSE ENDLESS HOLIDAY LEFTOVERS!

So, it’s Monday after Thanksgiving, and God so blessed America (certainly your home) that you are still – OH MY GOD! – trying to finish off those turkey and casserole bits and even some of those desserts that just never end (and neither does you waist). There is just sooooo much there! And you are grateful, but maybe you secretly are suffering gratitude fatigue.  No?

Oh, yeah. I searched the web for new recipes too, and I found a great way to finish off our turkey which turned that holiday meal into a spicy Mexican inspired dish which surely helped another helping of that burdensome blessing go down at our house too.

Somebody drop down and give the post an AMEN!

And God has blessed us.  We almost lost our democracy, some of us are still sure we did a couple years ago.  Inflation bogs us down, and yet somehow, we manage to emerge from pandemic with a huge celebration that just won’t quit. And you don’t want to seem ungrateful, unhopeful, or uncaring, but those leftovers are beginning to wear you down (not to mention this long out you wonder if some if it is still even safe to eat).

Agent X is here to help.

(Oh, I know!  A blog site for homeless ministry, and you find the perfect solution for those Holiday Leftovers Blues?  Who knew?  Right?)

3 Simple Ideas

Here’s how you handle this problem discreetly, tastefully, and completely in line with honoring the God who so blessed you far beyond anything you deserve:

1-Thanksgiving Blessing Bags

Yeah, blessing bags with a twist.  You know those blessing bags you have been reading about on the web for years?  Yeah, those same blessing bags the youth group is now championing at church?  Yes, those baggies with fresh socks, a toothbrush, a few single-use hygiene products, and a granola snack or two in it that you keep in the glovebox of your car or maybe in a box in your trunk?  Yeah.  Those thingies.

Well, here’s the twist.  Pack a bunch of baggies (or better yet recycle those plastic cartons you bought a ton of last week which were full of sour cream, cool whip, heat-n-eat mashed potatoes and whatnot, and fill them with leftovers.  Then load up your clan in your gas guzzling SUV to go driving over to the rich neighborhood to see the Christmas lights, only swing by skid row on your way there and pass out your leftovers to the poor and needy.  If you are resourceful, you can cut your leftovers in half or more AND feel good about yourself in the process!

(Let’s face it: Greenbean casserole is pretty good, but it’s horrible microwaved later.  And honestly, it’s not as good as it was when Grandma made it 25 years ago. So, yeah.  SHARE THE WEALTH!)

2-Thanksgiving Picnic

This idea is a twist on the twist in the blessing bags.  You do mostly the same thing again, only this time you pack all the food into a family picnic celebration.  Yeah, just like going out to watch fireworks in July, only this time your family will wear coats.  You can still go see the Christmas lights after you eat, if you like, but in this case, you plan to actually sit and eat WITH the people you bless.  Yeah, find out what it’s like to observe Thanksgiving on the curb.  Take some containers for the leftovers from the leftovers, because a few of these bums will have a friend they want to take some to later, and that also rids you of your overabundance!  All while blessing God and feeling good about yourself!  You can’t beat this!

3-Hosting for Thanksgiving

Okay, maybe I wasn’t completely honest just then.  You can beat that idea, BUT you really must plan ahead because you’re too late this year to do it now.  But then again, if you pull off the first idea this year, the second next year, then in a couple years you are more likely to feel comfortable pulling off this one which is the best of all.

When you make your Thanksgiving meal plans, set the table for two or three bums, then send your uncle, the Christian one who always wants to argue his conservative politics at the holiday table because he thinks it honors Jesus, yeah, that one, send him out to find some bums to bring in and quote Luke 14 and Matthew 25 at him so he will take you seriously.  The extra guests you host will eat into your bountiful blessing big time!  In fact, if you worry that there’s not enough, you are finally celebrating God’s blessings the way they were meant to be celebrated!  (Read the feeding of the 5000, if you don’t believe me.)

Oh, and when Uncle Jed is backing away from the table to unbutton his pants and argue his politics, load the bums up with extras (there’s those blessings bags with the twist again), and send him to take these bums back to the streets where they can share their blessings with their street friends.

Of course, you gotta plan ahead for this one, but when you are finally ready to live for Jesus – REALLY LIVE FOR JESUS, you will find it an exciting joy to be a part of.  It’s almost as good as being there at the party with Jesus when he turns water to wine, when he breaks a few loaves and fishes for thousands, when he breaks the bread and reveals himself, and when he turns the Passover into Eucharist – the THANK YOU MEAL of the Apocalypse!

Don’t you WANT to follow Jesus on those dusty Galilean trails, to see him face-to-face, to hear his voice, to be with him?  Doesn’t discipleship, when you REALLY think about it, sound adventuresome.  Are you tired of the leftovers?  Are you tired of that twinge of guilt you feel for having SO MUCH when your neighbors have so little?

Thank about it.

IS ALL COFFEE HOUSE THEOLOGY ELITIST?

I used to be one of those “Bible nerds” when I was in school.  I get it.  Loving God with all your mind is really interesting, there’s great joy in it.  It’s fun.  It gets a bit snooty too – at least sometimes.

Elitist.

It’s almost hard to use that word for a Bible scholar anymore.  The Bible is so little respected in the wider culture today that anyone devoted to its study is wasting a lot of time (culturally speaking).  If you spend money getting educated in Bible, that is a waste of money.

Who knew?

Studying God’s word is a waste of time and money.

Well, sorta.  There’s a real sacrifice in it.  But there is a joy too.

And there is that snooty thing.

I find it everywhere among all people, but not all the time.  It’s rare.  It’s not widespread and deep.  It’s around, but not in every gathering of Jesus lovers.  Not every gathering for study hosts a pecking order of elitists, but some do, and sooner or later, nearly all of them do at least sometimes.  When I was in school, no doubt I belonged to the clique.  No doubt plenty of churches are led by such a pastor with the name “Dr. _____” on the marquee. No doubt jobs teaching in Seminary, writing books, and speaking at SBL conferences attract such people.

Also, it’s likely many of us only flirt with this snootiness, pass through a phase, or maybe dabble in it only occasionally.  Likewise, perhaps the snobbery of it is unfairly pinned to one’s reputation when really this person is quite humble in loving God with their mind.  It’s not always an accurate characterization of the individual’s full life and career.

But I think there is a trend – a gathering of such elitists around coffee.  I get the idea they like to gather in coffee shops to develop their snobbery. 

You can learn a lot listening to these fellows talk.  They are well studied, usually.  But there is a love, it seems, for the sound of their own voice.  A desperate ploy, I think, for relevance.  Those particularly charismatic and/or persuasive talk a bit louder and dominate the discussion.  People nearby act impressed.

I remember when I was a kid, this was the guy who could quote and cite the most Scripture.  By the time Gen X was grown, there was a sense of phoniness about that.  I remember when I subtly stopped calling my degree a “Bible degree” and referenced my studies as “Theology” instead.  I was trying to distance myself from the hayseeds and wannabees of my youth, to establish myself as a bit more respectable.  I look back on that now and think I was behaving elitist.

I don’t really enjoy coffee shops so much anymore.  They used to have something of a broader cultural appeal.  They used to even have a pagan feel to them.  The ambiance was a bit bohemian.  Not that it was good to have a pagan vibe, but they were worldly, almost like a bar with no alcohol.

Now, I don’t like them so much.  I find budding, mostly budding, theologians lounging around impressing each other with their big books and big words.  There are well established trends in theology, and that makes the thing “trendy.”  If you are well read enough, you can actually tell which wave of trend this-or-that theologian surfs.

I doubt you pick up chicks doing that, but apparently there is a gaggle of potential preacher’s wives to be found like puritan groupies gathered to listen to this wisdom.

I never see them on the streets, though.

Oh, I find them in the office at the 501c3 working for Pastor Bates, alright. They get “internships” where they “work with the homeless” for a season and build their resume.  But I don’t find them with the homeless people Pastor Bates kicks out of the shelter when 5 o’clock (quitting time) rolls around.

No. They are down at the coffee house spewing elitist drivel.

(Reminds me of that armchair theology I posted about recently.)

TEACHING HOME: HOMEOLOGY 101

If you are an outreach minister for a church, the CEO or Executive Director/Minister of a 501c3 caring for the poor, the needy, and the homeless, AND if you find your work isn’t really achieving the goals, please consider the notion covered here. I expect it is revolutionary, risky, but if you are honest with yourself, the last twenty years have not seen a decrease in “the problem,” and despite your efforts, it has grown worse overall. So, really, you have nothing to lose by reading here and taking this post seriously.

I’m striking out on a new idea (sorta). I’ve been dancing all around the idea here for years, but I am going to funnel my broad thinking into a more succinct approach. Rather than emphasizing all the drug and alcohol treatments, the anger management, the job training, interviewing skills, and budget training that typically gets baptized with a little prayer at the periphery, let’s make a course in HOMEOLOGY the centerpiece of outreach.

Sadly, I’ve already couched the idea in standard rhetoric of rehab training. Already, those of you who find the paragraph above interesting or possibly inspirational are imagining some kind of lecture series, a TED Talk, or some sort of structured training which might involve taking notes and having study questions, discussion questions, and the like. And I don’t mean to outright reject any of these things, these methods, these programs. Not at all.

Is there value in learning to budget your money?

Sure.

Is there value in addressing addiction?

For some, there certainly is.

Can a homeless person benefit from a job training program?

Absolutely.

And any, or all, of these approaches involve some lectures, some discussion questions, possibly even a bit of homework and study questions.

But HOMEOLOGY will be more the lab course, and even saying that overly formalizes it.

Hear me carefully here: I’m not outright rejecting those other programs and methods; I’m suggesting the emphasis move HERE:

HOMEOLOGY.

What am I really talking about here?

It’s a word about HOME, to break down the terminology.  A study of home, in a sense.  Certainly, a matter of teaching it and learning it.

What is HOME?

I have asked this question and proposed deep answers to it on this blog several times in the past.  Not to exhaust the answer all over again, but we can safely say four walls and a roof are a nice start, but they do not fully constitute a HOME.  Not even close.

(By the way, I contend that a large part of the failure (not the whole reason, though) of the outreach as it’s been practiced for the last two decades, is that training people to work, making them proficient in budgeting and sobriety, and even helping them manage their emotions, (all while taking care NOT to give them any money) does not provide a HOME.  It might create independence and pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads, but as a Christian ministry, that is not yet success!  Even when we aim and hit that mark, we have not hit the mark God sets out for humanity.)

HOME is a place to belong.  HOME is where you are FAMILY, where you are a loved and valued member of the group sharing the living space.

Does that ring true to anyone reading here?

It is possible to live in a house, a trailer, or an apartment alone.  It is possible to live in a dorm, a barracks, or a frat house with friends and colleagues, but in reality, those experiences are generally temporary, transitional, and a long way from the ideal of HOME.  In fact, if one is not very careful, those living arrangements express varying degrees of homelessness.

So, how do you teach HOME?

I give a lot of thought to this as a foster/adoptive parent, almost every day.  In our case, most of our kids (and all of those currently living with us) were acquired as newborn infants.  They know no other way of life than what we provide them.  There are huge advantages in that, but also the arrangement provides something of a baseline ideal, to my mind.

When a newborn arrives in our home, they cannot communicate complex messages; they are either laughing/smiling, quiet/content/sleeping, or they cry.  Crying almost always indicates one of three things: hunger, fatigue, or dirty diaper.  When the newborn first arrives, they contribute nothing of cash value to the family, but they tax the hound out of our resources, energy, and patience.  Yet we find deep spiritual value in their presence as they call forth the best (and sometimes the worst) from those of us teaching HOME to them.

Teaching HOME begins with bonding with the infant.  This little person’s first orientation to HOME is the relationship they develop with us parents/caregivers.  That involves a lot of holding, smiling, babytalk, and bottle-feeding.  A lot.  And it goes on for years with little advancement.

Eventually, we begin encouraging the learning of walking and talking, of ABC’s, colors, and numbers.  Eventually, these little people begin to “want to help” with household chores, and eventually, we push them to handle some of these chores independently as team players in the family.

Ahhh… that sense of belonging coming to fruition!

Outreach as it is currently practiced has little patience (by comparison) and aims at independence from the start.  The homeless are not newborn infants, but one of the challenges they bring which infants do not is all the unlearning required before learning takes root.  That can take years!

But, in both cases, the BOND is important to establish as early as possible.  Orienting your new life toward trusted teachers in loving relationship is the bottom line, not money, and not independence.

My main observation, which I expect to be particularly challenging to the status quo, is meal-centered teaching.  The act of sharing a meal is itself a self-fulfilling teachable moment.  It also is DEEPLY biblical at so many levels I cannot analyze them all in a single blog post.

When God creates humans, he makes the mother’s breast, the source of natural nourishment for a newborn, just the right distance from the mother’s smiling face to set these two humans on the path to a deep relational bond as the child takes her meal.  The mother literally shares herself physically, spiritually, and relationally with the child in those bonding moments.  There comes a time to wean the child, of course, but not before the bond is well established.  And even then, the family that eats together stays together!”

(You teach a man to fish to make him go away; you feed a man a fish if you want him to stay!)

The first sin in the Bible was the breaking of dietary rules, and, therein, the breaking of humanity’s bond with God.  As part of the healing of that sin, Jesus gives his church the communion/Eucharist meal.  We eat with God; we eat his flesh and blood.  This is right at the heart of God’s answer to all the world’s problems.

It also is completely overlooked in contemporary outreach programs for the needy and homeless – or where not overlooked, it is marginalized to the spiritual edges of the program.

Teaching HOME means bringing a homeless person (newborn or full grown) into your HOME and extending your family to this person.

I do not suggest we expect this person never to grow in maturity.  Not at all.  I expect these children in my home to grow and mature, but I recognize they come with difficult challenges not normally faced by most kids.  They were born hooked on dope and have life-long impact characterized by learning delays and other deficiencies.  We will have to compensate for the sins of the parents, in some ways for the rest of their lives.  And anyway, I want them to always think of this HOME as HOME, even if they move out at some point.

Grown up homeless people also suffer these things, AND they must unlearn a lot too.

But again, even to the extent you achieve moving a person off the streets, through drug rehab and job training, and transitional housing, establish sobriety and employment, and finally an independent rent payer, you have not aimed at God’s target, much less hit it.  In fact, assuming you achieve all of that, you have not healed the person’s homelessness at all.  AND, BY THE WAY, homelessness is a GROWING problem, not a shrinking one – by anyone’s account.

At the core of teaching HOME to the homeless is sharing the meal (Eucharist at the center of that).  In the sharing of the meal, the lab work of HOMEOLOGY, you open yourself and the stranger to a new SHARED HUMANITY – a bond.  And if you are particularly Christ-like about it, you help establish this bond IN CHRIST and WITH CHRIST.  (This is discipleship in the church!)

I hope reading here will cause you to reorient yourself to Jesus.  We haven’t got ourselves in the right place if we keep missing the mark by design, by aiming elsewhere from the start.  But, of course, my overall concern is the fuller package, involving the homeless.  At root homeless people NEED A HOME.  Let us teach HOME to them as a matter of discipleship.  It means opening your HOME and sharing your MEAL right at the center of everything else we do.

Think about it.

ALL BLACK FRIDAYS MATTER

Black Fridays just aren’t my thang. I’m just glad Christmas creep shopping isn’t spilling into Thanksgiving itself this year, and I hope it continues its retreat next year too.

If you REALLY want to celebrate the “reason for the season,” look for treasures this year, not so much in the mall or on Amazon as, in mangers in barns where there’s no room at the inn.

OR among “the least of these brothers” you find shuffling around alleys, empty lots, under overpasses and so forth.

There’s REAL treasure to be found in there: HUMANITY.  Humanity in a manger, a feed trough for animals! Hope there’s some leftovers for me!  Once you’ve had a taste of the Lord, you know he is good.

Peace, y’all.  Peace on earth.  Peace out.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the church, not a single home took in a homeless person with which to celebrate the day. We got a 501c3 taking care of them, saw it on the news.  No need for the church to worry about serving this demographic.  In fact, they are better served by the professionals.  The church will do better to take care of herself and all her families and grandmas.

Homeless need a lot of help, and you must be wise about it too.  It’s too easy to give a bum a little money and make ourselves feel better when really, we do harm that way.  These people need counseling, They need drug rehab and job training and a host of smaller, more immediate needs which overwhelm a do-gooder fast.  So, yeah, giving a little money is a temptation which will make the do-gooder feel good, but the bum will spend it on booze making the problem worse in the long run.

Thus, it is good, really, when you think about it, that the church is not reaching out to help.  Thank God for the professionals.  It took two millennia for God to prop up his church with professionals and the 501c3.

Let this post then be a call to give your money to the work of the 501c3 and the professionals.  The work of the church is no longer needed down at the gates of hell.  And giving money to the professionals down at the 501c3 will not encourage them to spend it unwisely on an outreach industrial complex that creates jobs, pays salaries, and purchases office space, fleets of vehicles, and ski vacations all so the church doesn’t worry about a homeless person who needs a home to welcome them for the holidays.

(Convenient.)

BEEF STEW CONFESSIONS

I’m not lying, and I must confess… I’m going back for ANOTHER bowl of beef stew from two nights ago. I didn’t make it, but wow! I enjoyed it!  Three bowls in one evening!  Mrs. Agent X is a gifted steward of the stew!  I thank God for her, especially on Stew Night.

And I shared it with my little friends – the urchins God gives me through foster/adoption. My needy friends… My little needy friends who are SO NEEDY that I have to teach them to enjoy beef stew!

It’s not a hard lesson to learn. I’m not a great teacher or parent, and so I know the easy lessons when they take to them so well.  Beef stew is one of those.  Little Agent Rico is learning to love his dinner like What About Bob?. If you don’t know what I mean, google it – the dinner scene from the movie What About Bob?.  Only Agent Rico and I developed the mmmmm… mmmmm’s with physical gestures too.

But I digress…

My confession is this: Two- or three-day old stew is better than stew the day it’s made. (Surely, you know this already.)  But unless you make a really big pot, keeping leftovers that long is hard to do.  I didn’t get any yesterday, and there’s not enough for everyone to have another bowl tonight.  Point being, I’ve had to improvise.  Yeah. I make cheese sandwiches for the urchins and saved the stew leftovers for Mrs. Agent X and me.

Selfish, huh?

I s’pose.

So… I confess.

(See my previous post if you want context for this one.)

Now. please excuse me while I go get it ready for my indulgence.

A STEAMING HOT BOWL OF HOME-COOKED BEEF STEW

I can’t believe it. Nothing says HOME quite like home-cooked beef stew. You just can’t beat it.

Am I making you jealous?

Come on! Admit it.

I’m finishing ANOTHER bowl of it while I type this!

I can see the green envy glowing around the edges of my computer screen while I type it. Admit it! You are jealous!!!

You wanna know what is just absolutely heavenly?

Opening your home to a needy person and sharing some home-cooked beef stew.

Chicken soup for the soul can’t touch dis!

Yeah.

Watch a human being in sore need of a home sit there at your table devouring a bowl of home-cooked beef stew has a way of opening your eyes to a look behind the veil.

Someday, you are gonna die, and you won’t get the chance to see inside heaven again, this side of heaven. So, I urge you with all urgency to put on a pot of stew and invite a needy person in to share it. Do it soon! It is such a rich feeling to share.

Wow!

I’d say more, but I gotta run. I’m entertaining angels right now, and I gotta get back to them.

“…FOR SHE LOVED MUCH”

Just for a brief moment, lift this fraction of Scripture up out of context and let it roll off your tongue a time or two.  Actually, repeat it again once more while you are at it.

No.

Let’s say it one more time.

“…for she loved much…”

Yeah.

Soak it in…

We can go put it back in context now, but since we made it into a brief mantra, it will now standout in a crowded passage of many standouts. In fact, there is so much to observe in this passage, I will overlook several very powerful points just to sit with this one.

SHE LOVED MUCH!

Her much-love (or her abundant love – her freely given love; her reckless love; her expensive, over-the-top, shameless, and self-embarrassing love) is remarkable to Jesus AND is accounted as the reason for her being “forgiven much.”

Oh, yeah. Did I mention she’s a sinner?

Yeah. In fact, she is a SINNER! An ALL CAPS, bold print, party-crashing SINNER! Not a past tense sinner, but a present tense, trashy, tawdry, hussy of a sinner.

And she IS forgiven MUCH because she LOVES MUCH.

“…for she loved much…”

Take a minute and let that roll off the tongue a time or two again.

What does this sinner’s love look like?

Well, in this story, while Jesus is at the fancy banquet with some influential Pharisees and their friends, this sinful woman bursts in and pours her best sinner’s perfume on Jesus’s feet and starts kissing them shamelessly, weeping broken heartedly, and wiping those feet with her tears.

Yeah! She really interrupts that fancy banquet and all the trappings of importance. She makes a scene with her much-love.

That’s what her much-love looks like.

It’s embarrassing, really. It’s so very socially awkward, to say the least!

Have you ever loved Jesus much?

Really?

What did it look like when YOU loved him much?

Sit there and think on that a moment.

No… really.  I can wait.

.

.

.

.

Do you recall a time you loved Jesus much?

I do.

I had such a warm feeling in my heart one time that I am sure people around me could have seen me almost glow. I was just feeling the love. I think I had just listened to a really good Christian song, and my heart was enraptured with love.

Or there was the time I gave a lot of money to the collection. I’m not supposed to talk about that, so I won’t. Except to say I did. It was a lot of money, way more than usual. I was full of love for Jesus and felt convicted to give it to him. Of course, I insisted that it be used wisely by the ministry I funded, which wasn’t too much of a stretch since their wise use of funds was a large part of why I wanted to love Jesus with my large sum of money that one time. (It had nothing to do with me looking good or telling myself I was doing a good thing – not really.)

It’s right about here it dawns on me how different my much-love was from the love shown by this sinner that was so good it accounted for her much-forgiveness AND was even so good it made it into the Bible!

Her love was so spontaneous, so reckless and shameless. It was, presumably, expensive too since I am sure she didn’t use her bargain-bin perfume, but probably her best money-making stuff with a French name that sounds sexy to say.

And she wasted it too. Just dumped it on Jesus’s feet! Perfumed his feet! Who does that?

I mean, Jesus points out that the party people didn’t wash his feet at all, but I doubt very much they used fancy perfume for most of their guests anyway. If they ever used fancy perfume, it would be reserved only for the very finest of VIP’s, not for Galilean peasants like Jesus. They would sooner give a bum from Galilee a nice pair of socks in a “blessing bag” than to kiss his feet and anoint them with perfume. (And frankly, I get it!)

That would be a waste of valuable resources – poor stewardship. Jesus would absolutely frown on that. Right?

Uh… hmmm… Wait … ummm… I’m confused.

Anyway, she loved much and was forgiven much. Her expression of much love impressed Jesus! And that was my point in posting.

Do you love much?

Do you want to love much?

HOMELESS AND THE HOLIDAYS

Well, y’all, here we go again. Another Happy Holidays Season (“Merry Christmas” for the Politically Incorrect (correct)). It’s that season when you get all sentimental and maybe – just maybe – care about the homeless.

I have an idea for ya.

Go watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles again this weekend, and then run out and invite a bum to Thanksgiving with your family AT YOUR HOUSE where God blesses you and America.

Oh… why Planes, Trains, and Automobiles you ask?  Well, that is an excellent question. I am so glad you asked.

Because it’s a holiday flick to get you “in the mood for” (charitable) “love” – for one thing. It’s funny and will make you laugh to beat the band!  (For those sensitive about “the F-word,” a warning here: there is one scene where the F-bomb goes off like an A-bomb, but at least it’s funny and makes a lot of sense with the plot (redeeming value?).)

But mostly because it’s about a rich guy who takes a homeless man home for Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh… you don’t realize he’s homeless until the end.  Oh, he’s not a beggar/bum, but he is plenty irritating to the rich guy who must overcome a LOT of pride and prejudice to find love for the needy man.

And finally, because you just won’t find my suggestion here reasonable/believable until you see it play out in a Hollywood movie.

Yeah.  It’s such a farfetched idea to bring home a homeless guy for the holiday. BUT, if you REALLY think about it, it’s waaaaay better on so many levels than volunteering at the soup kitchen for the holiday.

Yeah. So, let’s think about it for a moment.

On the selfish side: You still eat at home, all the traditional family vibe, the recipes, the hominess, the relatives, all that stuff is still on. I mean, if you go volunteer at the soup kitchen, you will basically sacrifice your whole holiday tradition to serve a bunch of bums, AND you will miss out on the good food and family vibe you so prize along with the bums.

On the selfless side: You will actually open your home to someone in need. Your gift of yourself and your home will be a far better treat to the needy person than the stand-in-line, take-a-number plate of food down at the HOMELESS shelter.  Instead, they will enjoy a HOME and the value of being a guest in that (your) HOME and this FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Oh, sure it’s still a sacrifice. And quite possibly you will entertain a guest who is not well housebroke, not grateful enough, and who might even stink. But honestly, you have an Uncle Al who pretty much fits that description, and you CAN”T uninvite him.

But then there is the hidden blessing to think about too.  When you do it for “the least of these brothers [and sisters]” you do it for Jesus.  That’s right, you entertain angels unaware!

I don’t care what kind of F’n crap you believe after reading When Helping Hurts or Toxic Charity, the thing I describe here is actually biblical, AND the world needs more of it.

So, yeah.

Think about it.

And stream the flick.

And pray on it.

And then wish for peace on earth this year for Christmas.

God bless… America.