First things first, we apologize to IHOP’s manager Fred, formerly known as “Michael” by those in our Party of One Fellowship. We don’t know why we’ve been calling Fred “Michael.” However, if I were the type of person who felt it was necessary to blame someone (and, of course, I am not), I would have to blame Jerri S. because she’s the one who told us Fred was Michael in the first place. But I would never do that.
What’s in a name anyway? For instance, Michael means “gift from God” while Frederick means “peaceful ruler.” Either would fit this big guy with the big smile, this manager who treats us like important guests instead of the pesky separate-check pains in the tookus that we can be.
The Party of One takes every name seriously because every name represents a person that God created and loves. In Matthew 20:37-39 Jesus says: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
The Party of One’s purpose is to love those who attend our get-togethers regularly and those who don’t; those who are married, single, widowed and divorced; Christians and non-Christians; church-goers and those who choose to sleep in on Sundays; New York Giants’ fans and New England Patriots’ fans; those who are shy and those who are not; those who talk a lot and those who don’t; and those who manage the restaurants and serve us our food.
It’s not always easy to love everyone—especially in our own strength. But that’s okay, because we’re called to love in a much better way—in the name of Jesus. What’s in the name of Jesus? Forgiveness, grace, mercy, patience, salvation, and unconditional love.
Above all, Party of One wants to honor His Name.
PS: Once again we’d like to thank MicFred for his hospitality from the bottom of our decaf coffee cups.