Welcome to “Every Table Tells a Story!”
It was 10 degrees or so one frosty day in Wisconsin, but hearts quickly warmed around a simple lunch in a pastor’s home. Lana, a darling pastor’s wife near Milwaukee, called to say that she had had the BEST time and wasn’t God good and this is just what she had needed –“something jolly!”
“What are you talking about, Lana?” I asked. She kept going, words falling over words, joy and hope in every sentence.
“Here’s what happened, Sue. You won’t believe it!” She went on to say that her friend, Sonja, another pastor’s wife whom she sees only about two times a year, had invited her for lunch that very day.
When she got there, Sonja said, “Well, Lana, the Lord put you on my mind, and I’ve found that when He does that, that person needs to talk or I need to talk.” Right on both counts. They both talked up a storm, and Lana was elated.
Why all the excitement? Here’s why.
This was the first time anyone had invited Lana over in the two-and-half-years they’ve ministered there in the middle of a cornfield–a mostly frozen cornfield in more ways than one.
“FIRST TIME!” she practically yelled into the phone. (She did yell into the phone.)
“And guess what we had to eat??
I couldn’t wait to hear. Maybe I could blog a recipe or two–surely a grand lunch with all that excitement.
I was wrong.
“And guess what we had to eat?” she repeated. “Canned soup, Subway sandwiches and Pringles!”
“I love Pringles,” she added, “I almost told her to just put the whole can on the table!”
While serving her simple fare, Sonja said, “I’m not here to impress you with my cooking, but I was gone all day yesterday, and God put you on my mind, so that’s that! Now tell me–how are your kids?”
Lana went on to share the hard journey they are on right now — their eldest has chosen the path of the Prodigal, and she had cried just that morning. Sonja was quick to say they’ve experienced the same thing with their oldest, and he had begun to turn around. They talked, they cried, they prayed. Lana took notes on the tablecloth (it was paper) and then brought it home with her! (Who needs a journal when you have a paper tablecloth?)
Here’s the deal: Lana’s friend listened to God’s prompting. She didn’t serve a seven-course meal. She just obeyed God’s prompting, and God used her to bless a fellow servant.
Paul wrote this great verse to bless your socks off and any paper tablecloth lying around–you might need a Pringles can to hold it down:
For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 7 ESV
I love that! Paul said we have a job to do and this is it: refresh the hearts of the saints.
You call that friend. You serve that tea. You buy those Pringles. (Doesn’t everybody love Pringles?) Looks like a party.
My friend Kathy Sallaz doesn’t like to cook but she throws chili in a crockpot and invites the neighbors in to carve pumpkins in October. She will serve you herb tea in her grandma’s china cups because she loved her grandma and she loves you – but she would serve it in a styrofoam cup just as well.
We don’t need to go to a lot of trouble to make a friend, we just need to make a friend.
You don’t do it because I said so – you do it because God has called you to do it. And He will give you the strength.
And we all need a friend. Invite someone over. You can borrow my can opener for your canned soup. Someone needs your table (and maybe your tablecloth) more than they need a culinary feast. Don’t wait two years. It may be your pastor’s wife who needs your Pringles.
Refresh those saints. Invite that neighbor. Open that can and next time you’re at the Dollar Store, pick up a paper tablecloth and some markers. You and your new friend may have a lot to say.
Join our Facebook group at Every Table Tells a Story and tell us what God did because of a simple invitation. New Table Stories throughout the next month and a half. Stay tuned.
I love Monte Cristo Sandwiches for an easy lunch or dinner and a great use for leftover Easter ham! Not every recipe adds the ham but I had leftovers, didn’t you? We served these for a simple Sunday supper with NOT HOMEMADE basil tomato soup. Everyone was happy.
- 3 slices white bread
- Mayonnaise, as needed
- 2 slices Gouda
- 2 slices turkey
- 2 slices ham
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar
- Serving suggestion: Blackberry jam or Strawberry jam
- On a work surface, lay out 2 slices of bread and spread with mayonnaise.
- Top each slice with the 1 slice of Gouda and 1 slice of turkey and ham each.
- Put the third slice of bread on top of one stack, and flip the remaining stack on top, cheese-side down, to make a triple-decker sandwich.
- Using a knife, cut the crusts off the sandwich (this helps to pinch and seal the ends).
- Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. (Wrapping the sandwich in plastic wrap, compacts it, and prevents the egg batter from seeping in.)
- Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl.
- Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Unwrap the sandwich and dip it in the egg batter, to coat evenly.
- Gently place it in the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and hot, about 5 minutes total.
- Cut the Monte Cristo in ½, transfer it to a place, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Spoon some jam over each ½ and serve immediately, or place a dollop of jam on each plate.
I buttered the outside like a grilled cheese and used my pancake grill.
With sugar and jam and ham and cheese dipped in eggs and milk, I guess you could call it Brunch. We called it Fabulous.
Linking often with these lovely bloggers:
MomentsofHope TheArtofHomeMakingMondays SoulSurvival TeaandWord LiveRandomlySimple TestimonyTuesdays CoffeeandConversation,PurposefulFaith JenniferDukes HolleyGerth KristinHillTaylor, SittingAmongFriends, WiseWoman , ChasingCommunity TuneinThursday, livefreethursday FaithFilledFriday Grace&Truth FreshMarketFriday DancewithJesus Faith&Friends FaithonFire