Back in 1983, we'd sold the company I was working for .. the one which bade us move from Indiana to Alabama .. and we had some money in a CD. At the time, the going interest rate was 20%, and we got 2 years of that before interest started down.
I thought about the money in that CD and that it'd be better off in a rental house, so I asked a friend to find one in Pelham for us. She found the house in the picture, which was a huge bargain, had a favorable interest rate, the down payment was just what we had in the CD, and it was about twice the size of the house we lived in.
Now, Brian had married by that time, and the house was too big (and, frankly, too fancy) for the 3 of us, but it occurred to me we should buy this one and rent out the house we already owned. Peg and I had long discussions about it, and we finally agreed that the only way we should buy this house would be for us, somehow, to use it for God's glory. So, we went ahead and made the offer, signed the papers, and then, on closing day, came to the house and had a little prayer time.
We actually laid hands on the kitchen countertops (more easily done than, say, the ceiling or floor) and prayed that God would use this house for His glory. That the house truly would be His. Then, over the years, we've simply looked for opportunities to have folks here. And, when folks come in, they're going to see lots of stuff around like the needlepoint a good friend made, that quotes "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".
That's really about all we do. But it's taken some interesting turns. Shortly after we moved in here, Mom and Dad sold their condo in Florida so they could move to this area .. to be close to us. They stayed with us for several months while their apartment was being completed (about 5 minutes from here). That couldn't have happened in the house we'd occupied, formerly.
We've had visiting missionaries stay here for a night or two. Even from South America
We've had DiscipleNow kids spend a weekend with us.
Peg leads a Bible Study here, for some of "her girls", once a week.
We've had lots of Sunday School parties here. Because of the way our dining room and living room are arranged, we can put up a table about 30' long to seat everybody. Or, more likely, we can fit 40 or so kids in the living room sitting around the coffee tables, having a buffet dinner and watching the Super Bowl (or some such).
I recall once we had some sort of party here .. I think it was the 25th anniversary party our kids threw for us .. and the soon-to-be Fire Chief (I was just finishing a term as Fire Commissioner) remarked that he couldn't understand why we were letting little children ride tricycles around in the hallways.
We had a chance, then, to tell him our tale.
A couple of times, we've had ice storms that closed the roads. At those times, our son Brian has stayed here, with a Paramedic Vehicle, with a fellow medic from the Fire Dept. Our subdivision is somewhat hilly, and it's over a big hill from the fire station serving this area, so it was beneficial to the city's ability to provide service here, so they stayed.
Both our sons and their families come here for lunch on Sunday. Peg's momma was a cook in a school, always cooked for the crowd, and there were apt to be 8 or 10 or 12 extra people show up Sunday dinnertime, and Peg seems to have inherited whatever gene her momma had. So there've been a lot of folks over the years who have popped in at noon on Sunday, to our and (hopefully) their delight.
One of the young men who is here most every Sunday is Marcus, who works not far from here but lives about 35-40 miles away. He's a pal of Matthew and Meredith, so he eats here and then they all crash in the living room until Sunday evening church activities. Last night, however, he stayed over, since he had to go to work today and didn't have any way to get home .. what with the winter storm and all.
Since Brian was on duty last night, the rest of his family stayed over, too.
All in all, I'm thinking about getting some banners and signs and starting selling used cars. There are a bunch of'em sitting around.
NOW: Let me say this: I'm not pointing to us as any great example here. What I am, however, saying, is this: if God can use our house for His glory, He can use yours, too. He's no respecter of persons, and He doesn't need 3000 Sq. Ft. to bring on some magic (I mean, how much space do 2 DiscipleNow kids take up, anyway?).
Yes, indeed. God does mean business. Especially with those who mean business with Him. So look around, see what it is in your hand .. or under your feet .. talk to God about it, and get busy.
I think you might be amazed.