Philip's Focus: Week of August 28

A 15 Second Act of Hospitality that Lasted a Lifetime!
In 1983, as a brand-new Associate Pastor appointed to Shalimar United Methodist Church, I encountered so many positive people who filled the atmosphere with laughter. Many of these people have gone on to be with the Lord. Ed Powell and Tom Goodwin would stop by the office every day. I still hear their laughter as I walk around our campus. Their positive influence really made a difference in my life. These people really sent out “good vibrations” that could be felt throughout the church.

Another of those people was named Sara Tras. Sara was well-known, a leader and resident of the city of Shalimar. She was also one of the long-standingmembers member of Shalimar UMC. She was also faithful in the chancel choir.

Sara made my day one day! After preaching one of my first Sara made my day one day! After preaching one of my first sermons entitled “GOOD VIBRATIONS.” Sara surprised me when she paid me a quick visit. Sara walked into my office, smiled, brought me a six-pack of orange drinks, and set them on my desk. (The orange drinks had a commercial slogan at the time GOOD VIBRATIONS) The visit lasted only 15 seconds and was only two words when she said… “GOOD VIBRATIONS.”

This 15 second two-word visit not only transmitted GOOD VIBRATIONS back to me but became a story of the power of hospitality! Sara in a few seconds made me feel welcomed, wanted, and valued. She affirmed the sermon and me in a flash she was out the door.

Have we ever considered 15 seconds could make someone feel welcome, wanted, and affirmed? Maybe it is a kind word, a smile, or affirmation or a listening ear. More importantly… have we ever considered such positive encounters could lead a person closer to Jesus?

We continue our series of ‘Welcome’ this week! We will be preaching on Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, lest you be judged.” What does that have to do with hospitality? Come and see!

Shalom,

Philip

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Abigail Denney

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