Tag Archives: Welcome

Podcast 22: Alan Graham – Welcome Homeless

I’m thrilled to be having a conversation with Alan Graham on the podcast today about his ministry and his new book! He is an inspiration for sure- funny, down to earth, wise and inspiring. I’m so grateful for his “YES!” to sharing his heart with us! Listen in, you will love him!

You can buy Alan’s new book, “Welcome Homeless” here: http://mlf.org/welcomehomeless/#_preorder-now

ABOUT THE BOOK
Homeless. No other word better describes our modern-day suffering. It reveals one of our deepest and most painful conditions—not having a sense of belonging. However, Alan Graham, founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Community First! Village, is improving the quality of life for a vast number of people by sharing his personal story of becoming more human through humanizing others. In Welcome Homeless, Graham delves deep into what it means to be connected to God, the earth, and each other. In doing so, he shows us the home we’ve all longed for but never had.

Graham wants to engrain the human story in you so deeply that you start being who you were made to be—that you start being like the image from which you were made. In Welcome Homeless, Graham also shares the stories of the homeless, and the stories of those whose worldviews have been shifted by the homeless in a raw, humorous, and honest voice. Home is fundamentally a place of connection and of relationships that are life-giving and foundational, and Graham invites you to make everyone feel truly at home by finally inviting those living on the fringes of society into your heart.

To learn more about Mobile Loaves & Fishes, click here: www.mlf.org You can also find a link to give for Amplify Austin, March 2nd-3rd, on the website.

 

 

 

Usher or Bouncer?

blog usher bouncer I read somewhere on the internet (I just cringed as I wrote that – I really can’t remember where I read it – sad but true – so much good stuff and I’m always reading!) a great question.  Here it is.  Are you an Usher or a Bouncer?

I love this. Especially as it applies to Christians and church and community.  To me this question is critical.

Which is it?  Are you an usher or a bouncer?

Do you welcome people in, invite them to sit, shake hands, maybe hug, smile, accept, connect?

Or do you shut people out, condemn, judge, deny, disconnect and hurt?

What are we called to do as Christians?  As humans?

I’m thinking of that song, “Rockstar” by Nickelback. “I’m through with standing in lines to clubs I’ll never get in…” Can you hear it? Aren’t we all.  Who wants to “not get in”?

I love to read about Studio 54 and it’s heyday.  I love the music and the fashion and the celebrities and the craziness.  I’m reminded now of the velvet rope and the bouncers and all of the “pretty people” getting in while others waited for hours to be rejected.

Rejection hurts.  Feeling not enough is the worst feeling – not pretty enough or rich enough or smart enough or good enough.  We’ve all felt this way at one time or another and it hurts.

 Karen Armstrong said this: “Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.” 

Rejection gives me pain. I never want to make anyone feel rejected.

I want to be an usher.

An usher lightens the load for others.  They say, “Welcome, come in, sit down, we’ve saved a spot for you, we were waiting for you,  you are important, we are glad you are here.”

This is how we build community.  This is how we honor Jesus and His message.  He said “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” He didn’t mention anything about the proper outfit or the right partner or the fancy background or the perfect past.

He invites everyone and when they show up in our lives…no matter where we are…we can usher them in.  If not physically into a place, we can usher them into a feeling of acceptance and love with a smile, a connection, a helping hand.  We can see them.  We can welcome them.

With regards to the church unfortunately I have known a lot of bouncers.  It makes me sad to think of this because so many people have been turned away from Jesus because of the “bouncers” at church living under a false notion that they are in charge of who gets in and out.  It’s sad and it’s maddening and frightening and infuriating and pathetic really.

We are called to be Ushers.

I am so grateful for all of the ushers in my life.  The ones who really know Jesus and His message of Love.  The ones who told me and showed me that to live in Christ is to live in Joy.  They welcomed me and showed me a path to generosity and kindness and non-judgment and wholeness and love and Freedom.

We are all invited.  Jesus is saving a place for all of us at His table.  I don’t just mean His table in Heaven but also His “table” here on earth. It’s good to know when we get to the table – no matter the path we took to get there and no matter the shape we are in when we finally accept His invitation and we show up… He will be there with open arms to usher us in.

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