Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2
 

Holiday Tables 2019

Holiday Tables 2019

Many of you know that years ago, over a decade, Idlewild Women’s Ministry started Holiday Tables as a way to provide our members with an opportunity to invite women into the church for a fun, crazy special event with a clear Gospel presentation. My friend Dawn Cox spearheaded the enthusiasm for this event and we have filled the Gatheria and Sanctuary with guests on a Thursday evening in October for years now.

 

This year, Oct. 17, at 6:15 pm will, God-willing, be another night of celebrating the love of God and one another through Holiday Tables.

 

 

I’ve had lots of Holiday Tables stories through the years. Many remember the blog on the Dr. Seuss table and the fish going up in flames. I’ll never forget one event night, walking out to the car with a decorator, hauling boxes of angels,  and hearing how her table in memory of her daughter who had died in a car accident included women from her work that had mourned with her. Everyone at her table had prayed to receive Christ or rededicated their life to Christ. She was exhausted. I met Olivia through Holiday Tables. Olivia is a breath of fresh air, appreciating every little thing, purchasing and decorating her table with paper goods and simplicity, bringing in guests that she wants to know the love of Christ. She blesses me and Dawn with her gratefulness in all. I’ve witnessed our tireless, creative Idlewild event lead Nancy and her team add decorative touches that personally minister to many wounded hearts. I’ve heard women proclaim that the men serving in pink aprons remind them that gentlemen exist today. They soften the word “Father”.

I’ve had the privilege of praying with some incredible speakers; Lysa TerKeurst, Carol Kent, Charles Billingsley, Tim Tebow’s Mom Pam, Chick-fil-A affiliated Trudy Cathy White, Babbie Mason, and many others. I’ve thanked God for an Idlewild tech team that delivers the Gospel time and time again, tirelessly from our pulpit and beyond.

I get teary thinking about all the women that have planned, dreamed, created, and labored over a table of Christian hospitality for many through the years. I’ve answered hundreds of calls about ideas and details. Yes, we have electrical outlets at some tables. There are ladies who simply contact me and say give me three or four tables to do for the individual guests. These big-hearted women want any that will attend to know this Body of Christ values them. Thank you God for decorators who really understand that taking the time to thoughtfully affirm another is a great privilege and joy. Selfless hard work is at the heart of this event as the decorators purpose to  draw in guests with ears lovingly opened wide to a message of greatest love.

I’m floundering this year in the planning stages for this “event”. I’ve been juggling a growing ministry and my longing to be somewhere quiet and to write more. I’m expecting my first grandbaby, due four days before the tables. I’ve been wrestling with wanting – really needing – to get more intentional about sharing the Gospel and wondering if Holiday Tables is the best use of church resources when we need to get more engaged in our communities and purpose to really live in the rescuing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some people think we make money from the event but the reality is that with speaker, food, rentals, printing, and facility expenses, Holiday Tables is a relatively large budget item for the Women’s Ministry. The culture is to register late for everything and that impacts planning and expenses. In many ways, as a director, I’ve failed to instill a vision.

So this isn’t your typical promo piece. I’m asking for prayer. I long for this event to fill His house with women needing a touch of Christian hospitality and volunteers that will do just that, share His love. Pray for us as His Body to encourage many with hope for the upcoming Holiday season and for eternity. Make us known for our love for one another and for our hospitality. Make us His Refuge for any that would come in and hear of the goodness of God.

I’m rejoicing in the thought of many answered prayers and an evening set aside for Kingdom work. God is faithful!

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

I can’t wait to see how God will work as we seek his presence and direction this year!