Chocolate on Mondays Journal

Chocolate on Mondays: Your Own Style, The Main Ingredient

May 24, 2015


chocolate on mondays

Joanie hosted chocolate on Mondays every Monday. That was her style. She and her family lived in downtown Fresno on purpose: to be among the poor and live with the foreign. Wait, you might say, what foreigners? Any downtown has its own poor and foreign. The poor alone may be foreign to most. As a child, I remember feeling a little uncomfortable just going downtown Torrance. Pawn shops lined the streets in downtown Torrance. Foreign, to my way of thinking.

Other Christian families followed Joanie and Marty’s example and found homes nearby, in the midst of poverty and disenfranchisement. Joanie wanted to encourage her fellow sojourners, so Chocolate on Monday’s was born. Women knew they could find solace and counsel, stories and laughter, every Monday at Joanie’s–with chocolate thrown in. She didn’t even have to be there – just an open door and chocolate and women who needed reminding that they, too, were loved and could find strength in each other and in God.

Wouldn’t Jesus do what they did? Go downtown, not uptown? I don’t think He’d pick the big house on the hill. A house with a view, looking down on those who needed Him most. (That would be all of us.)


More like He’d go out of His way to stake His claim in the midst of them all–us all. He loved those prostitutes and tax-collectors. He loves those homeless and hopeless. He wants every twenty-something to see He’s on their side, helping them to be all they want to be, and so much more. That was His style. To plop down in the middle and heal and serve and get to the heart of the matter.

I loved that about Him. He hasn’t changed. When we open our door and offer up a bite of brownie and a slice of crock-pot lasagna, we show others they are worthy and loved and sought after–by One Who knows and loves them best.


Hosting for Jesus’ sake isn’t a certain style. You find your own style as you take the risk and open your door. It may include chocolate. (I’ve found that chocolate helps make a friend.) But it doesn’t have to. Love is the main ingredient.

It could include a tent – Jamie and Hunter took advantage of that.


It was easy loving on these twenty-somethings this weekend.


IMG_2758Quite the slumber-party.



IMG_2793The oven worked. PTL. And they were easily entertained.

IMG_2792Hope they come back soon. For another “Camp SLO.”



Your style may not include 18 at once. (I don’t blame you. I did take a doozy of a nap in the middle.) But don’t forget the main ingredient. Love. Jesus didn’t. And I’m sure He loved chocolate as much as Joanie.

PS Tonight I’m serving three different crock-pot lasagnas (see search bar for recipes.) Offered with love and garlic bread – oh, and chocolate marshmallow pie. It’s my style.


Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone

You Might Also Like


  • Reply donni May 25, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Happy Birthday Sue! Hope they also celebrate you as the hostess with the mostest! Tomorrow my dad would be 82. Glad you aren’t pushing that!

  • Reply Becky Jones May 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Sue, You made it thru and they look so happy. And well fed. Happy birthday and we do get some years on us don’t we?
    I like chocolate but not right now. We are trying to lose.
    So glad your Bonnie’s SLO Camp turned out so well.
    You are a leader.

  • Reply Ken & Mary Royer May 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks Sue for this tremendous encourahgement from Joanie! And YOU TOO! And Happy Birthday!

  • Reply Sarah @ Sarah on Purpose May 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I absolutely love this! I always say a bowl of soup and some chocolate chip cookies are gourmet when served with love… I shall have to add crock pot lasagna to my love menu as well… Found you through Holley Gerth’s blog today.

    • Reply Sue May 28, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      HI, sarah on purpose – so cute, btw. just like joanie moving on purpose. i will check out your site. thanks for stopping by. totally agree. homemade soup and cookies are the best! tonight it’s crock pot mac and cheese – littles coming for dinner. (:

  • Reply Chocolate on Mondays: Who to Invite? | Welcome Heart June 14, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    […] “Chocolate on Mondays” is up and running. Send me your hospitality stories. We need the encouragement and the courage to offer our tables for Jesus’ sake. Check out the intro story here. […]

  • Reply Lord, make me a happy foot washer February 2, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    […] who died for my sins as well as theirs. A privilege – not unlike hosting 18 twentysomethings for a weekend. (That was a lot of elevator doors and a whole lot more than […]

  • Reply Chocolate on Mondays: Hospitality-Why Bother? - Welcome Heart May 22, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    […] side bar — who has time for side bars? I get it. I don’t either. (It’s in the side bar, in case you […]

  • I do talk to myself (a lot) — but I’d love to hear what you might have to say HERE: