It’s Wednesday! To most people it’s just another day, but our kids have come to know Wednesday as PepperJax night.
You know. The night when kids eat almost free and can run around crazy in a restaurant because there are a billion other kids there making just as much noise as your own??
It’s amazing. Seriously. I love PepperJax night–partially because I don’t have to cook, partially because it gets us out of the house when we are about to go nuts with cabin fever, and partially because we try to meet a fellow Christian family there to have some adult conversations.
One Wednesday after the meal we were joking and said, “Let’s do this a couple times a month! It’s like PepperJax Church!”
There was some truth in that statement. These are people who I can be me with. I can talk freely about struggles or victories, about parenting wins and fails, about death and life, and about Jesus. Nothing forced. Nothing fake. Just a steak rice bowl with all the veggies and some good encouragement and love from faithful friends.
I love the picture Acts 2:42-47 paints of how the the early church thrived.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (v. 42)
It sounds so simple and ordinary to sit together as families, eat, talk, and pray…why would that be so important to the church? But as soon as we put God in that place he can do lots of things with our time around a table– whether at our house or at a PepperJax.
For me, time with my faithful friends and their families has resulted in conversations that strengthen my faith as I hear what God is doing in their lives, allows for growth as we learn from each other and encourage each other, and just plain makes us feel stronger as God’s workers knowing that we are not in the struggle of life alone.
My PepperJax Church people inspire me to keep running closer to God and after His will. So although normal Sunday church is such an awesome time of worship and time to learn about God through our pastors…our weekly mini times of faith with our closest people are where I find God, too.
I think the people of the early church had that same feeling.
“Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)
They were people who loved God, were passionate about living relationally daily with God’s people, and just plain enjoyed their time together. It was just a good thing.
That last line is so awesome to me. The idea that God can use us just by getting our families together to enjoy each other’s company, inviting others to do the same, and sprinkling Jesus in the middle of our meal through love and encouragement.
Ladies, our tables are powerful places. Do you feel that??
Let me just say that in a lot of ways I feel very humbled by being a part-time stay-at-home-mom. There have been a lot of times I have felt resentment towards my kitchen because I have felt chained to it in the past making, serving, and cleaning up food messes ALL DAY LONG.
But when I look at my table as God’s instrument for making disciples?? I see it a little differently. The people in those chairs, whether my children or guests, start looking a little more important as does the time and effort I put into serving and being with them.
So who is your PepperJax church?? Who are your weekly make-me-feel-better-about-life people? If you don’t have any, maybe it’s time to open up your table…or let your crazy kids run around PepperJax.