The Sweet Secret to Hospitality

If you are visiting me today because you read the Encouragement for Today devotion, welcome! If you haven’t read the devotion and want to here it is

I’ve always had a hard time being perfect like other people—I guess it just wasn’t my calling.  So, when I visited the missionary mentioned in the devotion today I was more than pleased to meet someone who didn’t have a perfect kitchen but had the sweetest gift of hospitality–and  brought many to Christ in it.

I’ll never forget this one time years ago. . . I worked so hard to be perfect for a women’s planning committee that was coming to my house for the first time. The day came; the house was immaculate, the food I prepared gourmet, the atmosphere serene, our five daughters wore matching dresses with aprons and their hair all curled in ringlets.

The ladies arrived and the luncheon went perfect. Not one detail failed me. As I cleaned up the table the ladies finalized plans for their next meeting and it was concluded.

All 5 daughters were perfect angels and my hosting etiquette flawless!

A month passed, and one early morning there was a knock at the kitchen door. I wasn’t dressed to open the door, but they could see me standing there—you can’t just run at this point. It was the ladies planning committee! I had been so busy at the last meeting that I missed the plans for our next meeting—at MY house!

I graciously welcomed them in. I stood there  without make up on or my hair brushed. They walked through the kitchen; the sink was stacked with dishes and the trash full and rolling over into the floor. About that time my three youngest children ran through the kitchen in a parade like fashion. They only had their underwear on and had drawn with ink pens all over their bodies. They were strutting their new art work for our guests.

About that time I gathered my humility off the floor, gracefully led our beloved children to the bathroom to clean up and asked the company to make themselves comfortable.

The committee actually had a wonderful visit  that  day, even though everything wasn’t PERFECT! We laughed, cried, prayed for one another, we ate together and praised God together. It was actually the perfect visit.

Entertaining isn’t about our house, our decorating, our cooking or how perfect our children are. Hospitality is when you open your home to all those who come, invited and uninvited and minister the love of Christ no matter what your circumstances are. The Lord fills our home with His presence and ministry becomes the sweetest fragrance when we surrender our human abilities for His supernatural ones.

Our kids are all grown now. This past weekend they were home and they brought guests with them.  We all sat around the table, prayed and talked. One guest later said to our daughter, “I’ve never been to a home like yours, sharing Christ and fellowshipping with one another, it was the sweetest!”

Um the sweet secret to hospitality is found in the scripture I gave in the Encouragement for Today devotion,I Peter 4:7-11. Have fervent love for one another.. . Be hospitable to one another. . .if anyone ministers, let him (her)do it with the ability which God supplies; that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the doominion forevery and ever, Amen.

I promised you 3 recipes in the devotion today.

The missionary made us wonderful pancakes, here is the recipe:

At her luncheon she made coddled eggs for the guests.  I’ve added coddled eggs to a wonderful brunch salad

And for dinner she made Orange Chicken

Thank you Stella! I love you!


Our Last Chick Flew the Coop

Our last baby chick flew the coop this past weekend.   Dale and I haven’t been without one of our girls at home for more than 2 days in almost 30 years.  We always wanted them with us.  We never took a trip without them.  Even if we went out to eat, we went together.  We were one.  I loved making hot breakfasts, talking in the kitchen, and tucking them in at the end of the day–every day.

You’ll think I’m silly for this…and I am!  Even to this day, I call Rachael and  Ellie my newborn babies when I hug them!  They don’t seem to mind.  As a matter of a fact, one day just a couple of weeks ago Rachael heard me say it to Ellie and said, “Hey, I’m your newborn baby!”  I smiled and said, “Aw, Rachael, you are my newborn baby, too.”  It seems it was just yesterday that they were my  babies.

Taking Ellie to college and leaving her on VCU’s campus was hard, but the good news is she’s living with Rachael (our 4th daughter).  And Hannah (our 3rd daughter) and her husband, Jake, only live 5 minutes away.

Yesterday will be permanently engraved in my mama heart.  Hannah had us all over for lunch after church in their adorable apartment. She  invited a gal who didn’t know Jesus or anything about the Bible to come, too. We ate homemade pot roast, talked about the love of Jesus, and prayed together. It was the greatest  ever. The lunch was over, and Hannah took her guest back to her home while we washed the dishes.

It was time for us to leave for home, but Rachael wanted to show us her new studio. Her church had bought an old beautiful church building and given a few artists studio rooms.  Hannah, Rachael, Ellie, Dale and I all went to see it.  As we were walking down the hall to get to it, we were having so much fun laughing that someone came to see what was going on.  The studio was large and  stunning: old hardwood floors, tall windows, two adjoining rooms for storage, and a possible sound studio attached to the big room.  While we were all talking, all of a suddden as I looked at Hannah, Rachael and Ellie I could feel inexpressible joy pounding my heart–the fruit of many years stood beautiful in front of me. They walk with Him, and it is good.

Dale and I drove home blessed.

I missed making Ellie’s breakfast this morning, talking to her in the kitchen, and even seeing her clothes on the floor.

The nest is empty.  I’m not going to lie…I am lonely for her.  But God confirmed to me yesterday: It is good.

Ellie moved in with Rachael. Their apt is next door to the VCU music dept, you can hear them practicing instruments. It is beautiful.

Ellie and Rachael



Labor, Delivery and The Travel Trailer – Ellie’s Birthday

It was still dark outside, and intense labor pains had started. I didn’t have anywhere to escape to enjoy my pain alone.  Our family was still sleeping in a small travel trailer.

There was only one full size bed, and Rachael (4 years old) was sleeping between Dale and me.  Hannah (age 6) was sleeping in the shower stall.  Jennifer (10) was on the seat bench at the kitchen table, and Heather (12) was on the narrow sofa.

I laid there for as long as I could and then went outside to walk around.  It was still dark.

Just 10 months before this night, we had moved to the farm. Ellie (Elizabeth) was conceived at the end of the first month that we lived here.  She was a surprise gift from God.  I knew that she would be a spiritual blessing to us and many.  The only problem was that we didn’t know we were having more children, so we didn’t have maternity coverage.

As to why we were in a travel trailer…

Our house was built in the early 1900’s, and within the first months of living here, it became apparent that the house needed to be gutted and renovated.  The electrical, plumbing, heating, and interior walls were in pathetic shape.

So, we gutted the farmhouse and started renovating—we and our friends.

When Ellie was due, the house was still not livable, so a friend gave us his camper to live in for a month.

The labor wasn’t consistent, but it hurt badly nonetheless. At sunrise, Dale came outside to check on me. The pains became more consistent.  We got to the hospital by 11 that morning.  Ellie was born a little after 2 that afternoon, on August 3.  Since we didn’t have insurance, the hospital released us in less than 4 hours!  By 6pm that evening, we headed back to the travel trailer.  It was our first official trip home with all the kids in the van with us.  To celebrate, we stopped at Silver Diner and picked up dinner to bring home.

It wasn’t the environment you dream of coming home to 4 hours after having a baby.  But, we were healthy and well…what more could you really want?  The girls had made us a banner over our bed to welcome Ellie home. It was a sweet welcome.

We ate our food, stared at Ellie for a few hours, and then got ready for bed. Rachael claimed her sleeping spot for the night–the shower stall, since we were kicking her out of our bed for the new baby. We made a pallet for Hannah on the floor, and we all fell fast asleep.

Ellie turned 17 years old this past weekend.  It’s fun to reminisce about your children’s birthdays. We moved out of the travel trailer and back into our renovated house when she was 3 weeks old. She is truly a gift from God to us.  The Lord has mighty big plans for this young lady.  She is a leader and determined.  I can’t wait to see how He uses her in the near future for His glory!


Long day–Labor, Delivery and back in the travel trailer, all in less than 13 hours. Heather and Dale are missing in the photo.

Our baby girl graduated! Ellie and Dad

We Know That In All Things God Works for the Good of Those Who Love Him


Heather, Jennifer, Hannah (with flag), Rachael and Ellie on July 4, 1999

On July 4th,  eleven years ago today, our daughter Hannah was diagnosed with rheumatic fever.

It all started when we were on our beach vacation. On the second night, Hannah started to run a fever of 104.5 degrees. We prayed for her then gave her ibuprofen and acetaminophen–back to back. The fever wouldn’t budge.  It was staying high throughout the night. I sat up with her doing everything I could to lower the temperature. The next morning, we stood at the  doctor’s office waiting for them to open. They diagnosed her with strep throat and gave her amoxicillin. Relieved, we filled the prescription, gave it to her, and waited for her to get better.

By the end of the trip Hannah’s fever was gone, but her energy didn’t return. Her swim team was waiting for her when she got back home.  Hannah had been a fast swimmer and had always had more endurance than most kids–but something was wrong. Hannah couldn’t muster the energy to practice or even sit up now.

Ten days of antibiotic was finished and we took her to her doctor for a follow-up. They ran blood tests on her that revealed she had   Rheumatic Fever. They didn’t know what to do for her.  Not many got this anymore.  They prescribed a long-term dose of antibiotics and gave her steroids for some of the extreme symptoms. Over the next months, she actually got worse.  Nothing helped her. We prayed.  All our friends and family prayed.  For an entire year Hannah was bedridden. She rarely walked.  We picked her up and carried her everywhere.  She couldn’t even walk to the bathroom.  When traveling, we made her a bed in the back of our Suburban, and that is where she laid. There were days we didn’t know if she would make it. It was one of the hardest years of our life.

But, she not only made it through, she came out of it stronger than ever spiritually and mentally.

Hannah is 23 years old now and has no heart damage.  She is in perfect health.  She is married to her highschool sweetheart, Jake, and is one of the most Godly women I’ve ever known. Her hardships led her into a very deep walk with Jesus.  She is unshakeable in her faith. Psalm 23: 1-6 describes her walk.

She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University 2 years ago and is a full-time social worker today. She works with low-income young moms educating them in child development and parenting skills. Many of her clients live in hopeless circumstances. Some are homeless living in motels. Some are hungry with little to no food. Some are addicts wanting help but not knowing how to get it. Some live in bug infested places you wouldn’t want to visit.  These are the homes Hannah goes to everyday. She not only gets to pray with her clients; she brings hope to the hopeless, love to the loveless and answers to the lost–all in a day’s work. She loves what she does and says she couldn’t be doing anything that would be more rewarding than being a missionary in her very own city.

When you remember Hannah, would you pray for her? Her assignments are huge.  It can be daunting in her own strength, but she goes in His. Please pray for more spiritual wisdom, protection and power from the Lord. Thank you Jesus for Hannah.  What a powerhouse of Your glory!

Hannah Glasgow’s wedding portrait, July 2010 photo by Beverly Toves

Diet Cured My Daughter’s ADHD

Jennifer painting Daisy Daffodil and enjoying French Press coffee

Jennifer, our second daughter, had so many wiggles when she was a little girl. She couldn’t sit down at the dinner table or in her seat at school.  She had more energy than 5 kids combined. The school diagnosed her as ADHD (Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder). Her emotions all functioned at the highest level.  From the time she was born, she never took a nap and had the hardest time turning her brain off to go to sleep even after the most active days.

The summer after her first grade year in school, we knew we needed to do something about her ability to focus and sit still.  She couldn’t read on grade level, and other issues were popping up.  We begged Jesus to help us find the answer.

A friend introduced us to the diet, which allows you to only eat all natural foods. There are two stages on the diet.  We did the most restricted.  Within four days of her eating all natural, she was able to go to sleep, stay asleep, and sit in her seat for meals.  Her emotions were level, and she wasn’t hyperactive.  Within 2 months, she went from below 1st grade reading level to 5th grade reading level.  Jennifer’s brain couldn’t handle all the chemicals in artificial colorings and flavorings, preservatives, nitrates or pesticides in foods. Once she was off of them, she was like a new person. She still had energy, but now it was focused and she excelled exponentially…

By the time she was a senior in high school, she was the president of her class, number 7 academically out of 400 students, had a 4.4 grade average while taking AP and duel enrollment classes, won many awards, and had a job.

Today, Jennifer is a powerhouse of productivity.  She is a prolific artist and painter, an anointed teacher and speaker of the Word of God, a creative genius, and visionary.  She is focused and driven and lives outrageously in the power of Jesus.  Her life is amazing.

A recent accomplishment, among many, is illustrating for a children’s book entitled, “Dancing Daffodil Daisy.”  When the author of the book sent her the story, at the beginning of the project, she knew immediately she was the right illustrator for the project.  The book tells the story of a little girl with a lot of wiggles and how God uses her for His Glory.

A Mama Lioness

Sharon and Ellie


Our youngest daughter Ellie recently called me a “Mama Lion.”  Instinctively, I wanted to roar loudly claiming the title!  A mama lioness will do anything to protect her cubs!  She is bold, courageous and valiant on behalf of her cubs.

I’m sure the reason she said it was because of what we recently required from a young man who had come to our house to ask permission to date her.  Dale and I gave him a list of requirements that needed to be fulfilled in order to start dating our baby girl.  And we gave him a list that he would have to live out after he started dating her.  She was mortified.  She said she couldn’t imagine someone wanting to date her that had to fulfill the requirements we asked of him. Confidently, I said, “That will make it easier to narrow down your (and our) options for the right man.”

That wasn’t the only reason she called me a mama lion. I’ve been pretty protective over our baby girl. The Holy Spirit gives discernment in protecting our children.  When He gives a check in my spirit, I know I need to do as He leads.  It is up to us to put up protective boundaries from anything that can come and steal, kill, or destroy what God entrusts to us.

I say yes to the title of the Mama Lioness, until that day that Holy Spirit says it’s okay to release my protective grip.  Until then, I’ll fight for our children like a lioness!  I’ll wage war against spiritual darkness in heavenly places against them.  I’ll valiantly fight for their protection on every level and go boldly before the throne of God, pleading on their behalf to help them become mighty warriors for Jesus! And, I’m sure in the process of watching me, they too will become mama lionesses one day.

“The righteous are bold as the lion.”  -Proverbs 28:1-


Glasgow Family at Ellie’s highschool Graduation party in barn on 6/16/2012




Seedlings, Fertile Soil, and the Harvest

Sprouting Seeds Beckon a Cultivated Garden

The temperature, humidity, and sunshine in the house were just right for growth to start.  Now the sprouts stand to attention, just waiting for rich soil to burrow their roots into for the growing season.

Cultivating a garden is hard work, but I love seeing a seed sprout into a full blown plant and then become a produce machine.  There’s nothing like bringing in those baskets and more basketfuls of succulent three pound tomatoes, or bushels of beans, or the one-hundred and fifty pound pumpkin at harvest time.

Raising children has a lot of similarities to planting seeds in a cultivated garden.  When they’re little they’re just waiting to burrow their roots and begin to grow. The environment of our home has everything to do with how they sprout, how deep their roots go, how strong they will be to endure the storms, and the fruit they will yield.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Ephesians 6:4 says, “…Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

The things we teach and train our children are so important.  But just as important are the things we don’t intend to teach but unintentionally cultivate by how we live, the atmosphere of our daily attitude, the sacrifices made without our mentioning, unspoken love that radiates from our spirit that cannot be unnoticed….How we talk, what we watch, what we do, how we love, what we do with our spare time.  Every-day is critical in cultivating their garden.

Our children are mostly grown now and producing more fruit than I ever dreamed.  Right after I took the picture of my spaghetti squash sprouts (above), we got a call from one of our daughters, Rachael. She’s in her senior year of college at Virginia Commonwealth University in the arts program. VCU ranks #1 in art programs in US public universities and #4 in public/private. That means they expect excellence.

Almost every project she works on has brought glory to Jesus and hope to the lost.  She has been the best in the class.  Many times she would call us in between class breaks and ask us to pray for her on the phone.  It was so hard to endure the classes because of the perversion in the projects being shown.  Art in the secular world is typically rendered in what will shock you: death, sex, nudity and immorality. She wanted to make sure Jesus looked the best, so she worked relentlessly at making sure her pieces were exceptional.  And they were.  She has won awards and honors, but today she won Best in Show for her  animation at the  Student Film Festival. She was competing with graduates as well. The animation was based on I John 2:17, “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” My heart is still fluttering over the excitement!

This past semester she decided to start a prayer group for artists on the campus.  She thought only a handful would be interested.   60 people signed up the first week she put the notice up.  Last week she got a job at the International Mission Board, wherein she’ll be speaking to the nations through video.

Cultivating a garden is hard work, but I love seeing a seed sprout into a full blown plant and then become a produce machine.  There’s nothing like watching your children sprout, become mature, and produce fruit that will affect untold numbers.  Now, that’s the epitome of bringing in the harvest.

How Will We Be Remembered?

Memory keeps volumes stored in hidden vaults, just waiting for something to jar its door and all the contents resuscitated.

It’s pretty entertaining hearing your grown children, gathered around the table, telling their favorite childhood memories. I’ve forgotten a lot of things that they remember, and boy, they sure remember it all.  It seems as though they can recall every emotional response, phone call or meal I’ve ever made and when it happened! Our children’s lives are completely molded by our every word and how we live even when we think they’re not looking.  Every day of their life they unintentionally record memories.

I don’t think I remember as much as they do about my childhood; many memories are packed away. The funny thing is, it only takes a smell, sight, sound or a conversation that will jar the door open, and memories come to life. Forty years have passed, and once in a while my memory will be jarred when I see the clock hit 10:00 P.M. I’ll instantly recall that for a couple of years in my childhood my mom went to her bedroom from 10-11:00 P.M. and prayed for us kids.

If how we live at home is recorded in our children’s memory, how will we be remembered?

It is worth our time to reengineer our days to make sure that everything we do is worthy of the memory it is creating. I don’t have the physical or mental ability to make my every action worthy of being memorized, however, when I surrender my every day wholeheartedly to Jesus, He leads me to do what I couldn’t when left to my own abilities.

My first priority on my to-do list every day is to ask Him to guide my thoughts, my conversation and my actions.

Second on the list is to diligently pray for our children. I have to set aside a certain time of the day to pray for them. I remember reading that when James Dobson’s kids were little he fasted and prayed for them one day a week. He prayed every day for them but set aside one day to fast for them. That is a commitment that will not return void.  I have done that at special seasons of our children’s lives and found God faithful.

When these two things are at the top of my list I’m able to do more than I would ever be able to do on my own.

If Billy Graham, John Wesley and George Washington all said they owed their life success to the memory of their mother’s prayers, it raises the bar high and compels us to set our standard to do the same.

Last night I read about a Russian officer in Richard Wormbrand’s book, Tortured for Christ whose memory of what her grandmother did saved her soul.

Richard saw the Russian officer on the street and said, “ ‘I wish to speak to you about Christ.’ She asked me, ‘Do you love Christ?’ I said, ‘Yes! With all of my heart.” She fell into my arms and kissed me again and again. It was a very embarrassing situation for a pastor, so I kissed her back, hoping people would think we were relatives. She exclaimed to me, “I love Christ, too!” I took her to our home and discovered to my amazement that she knew nothing about Christ-absolutely nothing-except the name. And yet she loved Him. She did not know that He is the Savior, nor what salvation means. She did not know where and how He lived and died. She did not know His teachings, His life or ministry. She was for me a psychological curiosity: how can you love someone if you know only his name?

When I inquired, she explained, “When I went to high school, I was taught that it was my holy duty to defend the Communist morals. But I did not know what a ‘holy duty’ or a ‘moral’ looked like. . .My grandmother always bowed before this picture, saying that it was the picture of one called Cristo (Christ). And I loved this name by itself. This name became so real to me! Just to say the name gave me such joy.’. . .She joyously found Christ in my home and now the One whose name she loved lived in her heart.

The memory of her grandmother bowing to a picture of Christ stayed with her all those years and opened the door to eternal life with Him.

The grandmother never explained Christ to her, but her actions were recorded in the hidden vaults of the grand-daughters memory. When Richard said the word “Christ,” it jarred the vault open, and the memory resituated and birthed new life for her.

What will our children and our grandchildren remember about us? That we prayed for them? That our life was postured in adoration toward the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, bowing before Him with our countenance, our words and our actions? Seems kind of hard until you remember you’ve got the priority list up above. If we keep our eyes on Him, He will direct our path, and the memories we make for our kids will be ones we want brought to life.

Sharon Glasgow

Mothers: Changing History Through Prayer

Mothers_Blessing_of George_Washington_Dale_Glasgow_comMother’s Blessing of George Washington
8 x 10 fine art print by Dale Glasgow, © 2012.

Enter drawing to win a free print of the “Mother’s Blessing” : 

Just post a comment below about a godly mom that you admire and why. I’m doing a drawing every Monday at noon in May. I’ll post winners here.

Hours before I was conceived my mom got on her knees in front of a red leather couch and poured her heart out to God with weeping, “Lord, if you will give me this night a baby I will dedicate it to You and for Your service, all the days of its life.  Amen.”God answered her prayer that night, and all my days have been dedicated to Him because of the fervent prayers of my mom.

My mom followed in the footsteps of millions of mothers who have prayed for thier children.

From the time of Moses until this very day, some of our most influential Christian heroes become history makers because of their mothers’  prayers.

Moses’ mother, Jochebed, modeled this type of prayer. She was a matriarch of the Old Testament,  selflessly devoted to her family, with unwavering faith and commitment to God. I envision Jochebed with her face to the floor crying out to the God of Israel, to her God, weeping on behalf of her baby whose life was endangered. Jochebed pleaded for God to spare and hoped for answers she could not see.  God not only saved Moses’ life but through Moses saved over two million Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.

God I want to be a mother who contends for her children like Jochebed.

John Wesley, one of the greatest evangelists of the 1700s, ( speaking to crowds of twenty thousand people or more) was raised by a mother who prayed. Susannah Wesley raised John in a home dedicated to the Word of God and prayer. In the midst of raising 10 children she would spend two hours a day in prayer herself. Many days she couldn’t find a place of solitude so she would lift her apron over her head to be alone with God.  There she would pray among the children playing about her.  Often her husband was gone for long lengths of time leaving her as a single parent. Another of her other children, Charles Wesley wrote over 9000 hymns that we still sing today.

God I want to be a mother who prays for her children like Susanna Wesley.

George Washington, the Father of our Country changed the course of American history for God’s Glory. His overwhelming reputation of humility, perseverance, dignity, honor, strength and sincerity was second to none. He was not just a military and revolutionary hero, he was a shining example of one enlisted in the army of God. The King of Kings was his leader and none other. George’s mother, Mary Washington raised him and his siblings as a single mother after his dad died when he was ten. She found her strength in God alone. It is recorded that she went to a nearby rock outside of her house to pray continually. George wrote letters to his mother while in the battlefield of the Revolutionary War proving what her prayers were doing for him. He wrote that he escaped death when bullets went through his coat and horses were shot out from under him. Miracle after miracle happened to George, and he honored his mother with these words “All that I am I owe to my mother.” George Washington  knew many of his triumphs happened because of his mother’s pleading prayers on his behalf. She prayed diligently and birthed our nation a God- fearing courageous leader.

God I want to be a mother who prays unceasingly for her children like Mary Washington.

Billy Graham, the Moses of our day, has led nearly 3 million people out of spiritual bondage into freedom in Christ, has preached the gospel to more than 80 million people in his lifetime. He said that of all the people he had ever known his mother had the greatest influence on his life. She would gather the family to listen to the Bible and have prayer together in the presence of God. She and his dad would pray for Billy every morning at 10’Oclock.

God, I want to be a mother who influences her children through the power of prayer like Morrow Graham.

Every Christian mother contending, interceding, praying for her children has the potential to change the course of history for God’s Glory. Our world is in need of God filled history makers to rise to the calling right now. I’m setting the challenge for myself today and I would love for you to join me; I am going to pray more diligently than ever for our children and their future. I will stand on these promises of God as I pray for them;

Matthew 21: 22, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

John 14:13-14, “And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the father may be glorified in the Son .If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

I will pray as my mother did for me, for our children and for generations to come with unwavering passion and persistence. When I stand before the judgment seat of Christ I want to be counted among the hall of fame history makers like Moses’ parents were in Hebrews chapter 11.  God rewards those who believe in Him and diligently seek Him. So rise up mothers and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might as you pray to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than you can think or imagine.

Sharon Glasgow


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