Yesterday was my day off. I normally like to stay on Bittersweet Farm and putter and read and study and do little chores, depending on the season, but I got a call from one of our missionaries who happens to be the husband of my niece Elisabeth and we agreed to meet for lunch at Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Kerry Town—a neighborhood in Ann Arbor.
His name is Ty Perry and he is an old soul. I love to spend time with Ty. He is with Friends of Israel and I was eager to pick his brain and get his take on the situation in the Middle East. We always meet at Zingerman’s. Ty’s ministry is to Jewish people and Zingerman’s is a Jewish Deli, so we feel it’s almost our duty.
Zingerman’s Deli is “…in a historic building near the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market. Serving up thousands of made to order deli sandwiches with ingredients like premium Black Angus corned beef and pastrami, free-range chicken, turkey, housemade chopped liver, and chicken salad. Zingerman’s Deli also stocks an exceptional array of farmhouse cheeses, unique olive oils, varietal bottles of vinegar, smoked fish, high-quality salami, locally roasted coffee, exquisite teas and locally sourced vegetables for salads. Today, Zingerman’s Delicatessen is an Ann Arbor institution, the source of great food and great experiences for thousands of visitors every year.’
They say Zingerman’s Delicatessen has the best Ruben in this part of Michigan. I love Zingerman’s and yes, I had the Ruben, hold the kraut, please and thank you. I had the big pickle. After a great conversation with a fine young man and Michigan’s finest Ruben, I dove home with a smile on my face.
Do you see what I did there? Now you want to go to Zingerman’s. You are craving a deli sandwich, aren’t you?
I could do the same with the Jerome Country Market. Sometimes I take a drive in the country and drop in for a brisket sandwich. I’m never disappointed. It’s a beautiful drive and it is a well-run, well-stocked market and getting there is restful for the soul. It’s situated in some beautiful countryside.
See what I did there? Now some of you are tempted to take a drive in the country and see what that brisket sandwich tastes like, aren’t you?
That is what I like to call the power of invitation. We all have human appetites and when trusted friends tell us where to find the good food we are like moths to the flame…
And our souls have appetites too, appetites that can only be satisfied by our creator. That is what we are about at Bethel Church. We are about showing people how to have their deep spiritual appetites satisfied in God.
One of the most powerful things you can do to bless others, honor God, and strengthen the church of God is as simple as recommending a good brisket sandwich or deli. Just have some personal enthusiasm and invite them. Invitations can have life-changing power.
I just went to lunch and invited a friend there to Bethel. He promised he would come. Only God knows what will come of that but it could be good and we could be talking about many years from now. He is a family man. We are dealing in powerful and eternal things here at Bethel every week. It could bless his whole family for many generations to come. Just that simple invitation through the window.
Not long ago I had a sense that the Lord directing me to invite more. I am always inviting but I felt an impulse from God to invite more and build a team of others to invite more. I asked my prayer partner to hold me accountable to invite more. I’m excited to see what God has in mind.
Will you join me on the inviter team? Who knows who will come and what will happen.
Bittersweet Farm | November 2023