Lavish Hospitality: One

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“She recalls wanting to be a part of those experiences,

even is she didn’t yet have a palate for the bitter bean.  

She understood at that moment that in cultures around the world,

life takes place over mugs and french presses.”

Kinfolk Table: Elizabeth Haddad

Hospitality is easy when we are around people we love and who love us and with those with whom we have much in common.  It is harder when we are around strangers, people who are not in harmony with our lives, or those we just don’t know.  Maybe the people we need to pour out grace to are the ones who are least like us.

I’m not a coffee drinker.  Slowly, I’m becoming one, but its like iced coffee with cream and caramel or a sugary frapp from the corner coffee shop.  Maybe if we learn to like things out of our normal sphere (like coffee, or foods we normally wouldn’t eat), we would sharpen our ability to show hospitality.

With my husband: I learn to appreciate classical music.  He learns to appreciate Zac Brown Band and Alabama.  With my boys: I learn all about fire trucks and dinosaurs.

How can you learn to show lavish hospitality by learning to love things you don’t already love?


Write31: Lavish Hospitality (Day 1)

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Day 1

Day 2 

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Day 26

Day 27

Day 28

Day 29

Day 30

Every October comes around and there is group of women who set out to write a blog a day for the entire month.  Every year I try to do it, and every year I fail.

This year, I’m trying something new.  I’m working on a book (Lavish Hospitality) and want to use this space, this month, to work out the 31 short chapters of the book.

This is not going to be a book about food and blankets and setting up guest rooms.  Yes, partly, there will be some recipes and stuff like this.  But, hospitality is more than just setting a pretty table.

I want to “prepare a space for lavish grace”.  Here the the sub-headings:

To my heart.

To my husband.

To my children.

To my neighbors.

In my home.

In my church.

Grace was poured out lavishly on us.  We need to be ready to pour it out lavishly on others.

Hospitality has a southern ring to is.  You may think of cozy reading corners, mums in the Fall, tea and coffee, flowers and guest rooms.  It can be those things.  But, just because you have coffee set out doesn’t mean you have a welcoming home for others.

So, in the next 30 days I’m going to be sharing 30 quotes and thoughts on them.  These quotes will help me formulate thoughts on this topic, and I hope they will encourage you to practice lavish hospitality in your world.

31 Days : The God Who is Speaks

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The God Who Speaks

In a digital world, we are capable of hearing anyone speak from anywhere in the world anytime we care to.

But, I feel there is more to the “talk” when its live.  I remember the first time I heard Louie Giglio, John Piper, and David Platt live.  I remember hearing pastors week in and week out  – those who were not only brilliant but also passionate and engaging and pastoral.

I can tell you that sitting with a friend, talking while sipping on chai, is much better than communicating via text (though if that’s all you have its awesome).

Also, when my husband travels for his work and we have to rely on calls, texts, or emails – it is a joy to hear him say hello in person when he returns.

Some people in the Bible got to have audible conversations with God.  They also had people called prophets who were mouthpieces for God – communicating truth to the hearers.

David knew, as he was confessing his sin to a holy and just God – that the Creator would be justified in whatever he said, even if he chose not to respond.  Truth that would be fitting to the situation.

Today, we have the voice of God in written form.  It may not be quite the same as hearing God audibly, but the Word is living, active and purely true.  We can stake our life on it.  We can accept it.  We need to cherish it.  And I know I need to know it and love it more.  And I will eagerly look forward to the day when I hear the voice of God – live in his presence.

Psalm 51:4

Others: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 19

31 Days : The God Who is Just

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The God Who is Just

In our world, I don’t know if there are many things that are out there that really help us capture what true justice is.  There are ministries out there who are helping recapture what justice is – fighting for the lowly, the outcast, the hurting.

Our great God has great justice for those.  He is also JUST.  He is right.  He is perfect.  Everything He does is perfectly set in that truth.  There is no injustice in Him.

That is why King David knows that no matter what the Lord says in response to David’s sin, confession, and praise – God is completely right in any response He would give – even if that was no response at all.

This is absolutely helpful to know in our world brimming with injustice.  Every time we watch the news, get on social media, discipline our children (that’s not fair), we are faced with injustice.  Isn’t it time we look to God and know his complete perfectness and rest in that?  We can come to him with all the injustice that we see and know that He is working.  He is working in the world.  He is working in our lives to root out injustice and entitlement in us.  He is working to see His justice in the world.

Psalm 51.4

31 Days: The God Who Welcomes Sinners

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God Welcomes Sinners

I love practicing hospitality.  I love welcoming people in my home, and into my life.  I love deep friendships.  Hospitality isn’t about cooking the best food or having the most comfortable guest suite or the classic Pottery Barn magazine look everywhere.

God doesn’t need any of that to welcome sinners.  We just learned that God is holy and right in all that He does.

And at the same time, God knows our sin much better than we o and He still welcomes us.  He bids us come.  He desires that we be near Him.

How totally cool is that?  God knows the ugliness of our sin – is holy – and welcomes us through Jesus to sit with him, learn from him, be loved by him, be healed through him.

Psalm 51.3-4

Further reading: Matthew 11:28 and listen to this song

31 Days: The God Who is Holy

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God is Holy

Sometimes, life is more important than getting a blog together.  I wrote yesterday’s post yesterday in my quiet time early in the morning – but the day got in the way.  I had errands to run, we went for a hike as a family, then the gym and church.  I was going to do it when I got home and the boys got to bed.  However, I cooked dinner for my mister and did the dishes only to find out that the garbage disposal was causing a leak. So…it was a longish night, and I didn’t wan to type it up at midnight.

So you will get two posts today on the attributes of God found in Psalm 51.

I’ve learned more about sin, confession, and repentance in the four years I’ve been married and three years of being a mommy than all 34 years of life before that.

Sin affects you and the world around you much more than you think it does.  It breaks relationships and hinders community and the shalom of your life.  Sin damages and sin is at war within you.

I’ve learned my first (and natural, sinful) tendency is to blame shift.  Traffic.  Kids’ temper tantrums. Others’ incompetence. My husband’s sin. But, sin doesn’t wait on other’s sin to be active in my heart.  Sin is deadly.  The Spirit is the best warrior in my life fighting against sin.

Also, I’ve learned to confess to God.  Usually, I’m just a confess to the person I’ve offended type person – and that is something that needs to happen. But, I need to confess to God first.  Because first and foremost my sin is against God.

But, why is that such an important thing to remember?  Because God isn’t like us.  He created us in his image – but He is Holy.  That means he is not dwelling in sin – there is no sin anywhere in him. He can’t sin.  He is perfect.  He doesn’t know sin intimately like we do.

And because He is holy – He can offer the solution for our sin – which He did.  Jesus was completely perfect and He became our sacrificial – holy – perfect sacrifice.

Psalm 51:4

Other: 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Peter 1.13-21

31 Days: The Who Takes Care of My Rebellion and Helplessness

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The Lamb of God

The mister and I were talking last night about this series I’m studying and writing.  I told him about yesterday’s post on generosity and how that’s one of the traits I desire to see in both of our boys and also how I want it to define our lives as well.

Then, almost as a discouragement, I said “this side of heaven we’ll never be generous with completely pure motives.”  I’m often aware of the yucky motives that fill my head and heart.  There are times when these motives surprise me and discourage me – apart from Christ.  I know that Christ has redeemed me and the Spirit is working to sanctify all of me.  It is such a long journey.

I doubt David – when he was in the fields with the sheep – thought to himself “I’m going to be a murderer and an adulterer when I grow up.”  But, that is the deceitfulness of sin.  Sin settles in on every part of our lives.  No part is left unaffected.  David had sin in his heart and blatantly stepped over the boundaries that God had set for sexual purity and protecting life.

David also would have been familiar with the sacrificial system of the Jewish religion.  HE knew of the blood that was given during the sacrifices.  He knew the stained alters and the stained hands.  He also know that only one person could cleanse those stains.

And he believed in One who would later come from his family who would fulfill the forever requirements of the sacrificial system and take away every rebellious act and every way our lives are scarred by the affects of the Fall.

Psalm 51:1-2

Further reading: John 1:29, Exodus 29:38-46


31 Days: The God Who is Abundant With His Children

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The God Who Is Abundant With His Children

I think every mom could tell you that one of the most difficult traits to “cure” your toddler of is selfishness.  They always want their toys, their food, their way, “mine mine mine”, etc.

One of the constant reminders I give to one of my sons (no need for name calling) is “share your toys” and when I see the act of generosity take root in his little heart – even for a second – I comment him for that.  When that generosity spills forth from his life – from our lives – we are shorting something of our heavenly Father to the world.  We bear his image of abundance.

When David calls on God to act according to his character – he doesn’t just ask for mercy – which of course would be plenty  – but David begs God that he would act according to his abundant mercy.  To his overflowing, spilling out all over the place, no room left for any more, bursting at the seams mercy.

And you know what – God answers David’s prayer.  He gives him this abundant mercy – extravagant mercy – generous mercy that he was asking for.  And that’s what He did for us.  God chose to radically and abundantly show us truly amazing mercy in the gift of Jesus.  The one who birthed the stars was born of a virgin – in a stinky stall.  All for sinners who would reject Him.

Oh, Father help me to be mindful of this outpouring the next time I’m tempted to be less than generous.

Psalm 51:!

For further reading: James 1:17, Matthew 7:9-11

“You can never love without giving.” – Amy Carmichael

31 Days: The God Who Dwells in Steadfast Love

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God who Dwells in Steadfast Love

The longer you know a person – the more you know their character.  You can normally predict how they are going to act in or respond to a situation before it even happens.

I’ve only known my husband less than five years.  I suspect that when twenty years pass I will know him even better than I do now. Same with my children – how their little personalities are taking shape – how they will be even when they wake in the mornings.

David had walked with God for quite a while at this point in his life. David had known the Lord while David was a boy, a shepherd, a warrior, an animal-wrestler, a king, a husband, and all the while a sinner. In my thought, the greatest attribute or character trait of God that covers everything is his steadfast love.  This is especially true for how He relates to sinners.

David calls on this early in this heart-penetrating psalm.  He pleads for the Lord to act according to his steadfast, constant, unchanging, never fading love. The reason I think he does this is because he has truly experienced the steadfast love of the God. He has known that never-changing love of His Shepherd King.

Amazing how this works. And so telling to think of how much I’ve experienced this love and then how I often I fail to love others in the same way. Whether it is to friends who have hurt me or my sons who have disobeyed – how I’ve not shown an unconditional love in response.

The gospel has given me this love.  This gospel will allow me to persevere when I fail in demonstrating this love. This gospel will keep me at the feet of Jesus – having my wear head covered in this unfailing love.

Psalm 51:1

More reading: Genesis 15; Songs 2.4


31 Days: The Who God Shows Tender Mercies

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The God Who Shows Mercy

Parenting has taught me a lot about this idea of mercy.  I think children need both discipline and mercy.  Of course they need to learn obedience, but they also need to be shown mercy sometimes when they fail.  They need to be shown mercy if for no other reason that to get a fuller picture of the God that created them.  Mine need mercy so they won’t spend 4 hours in time out each day.

I am a daughter.  I have a merciful heavenly Father.  I am so thankful that he shows me great mercy every day.  How often do I speed without getting a ticket?  How often do I say something out of anger or spite to a family member only to be shown radical mercy and not what I deserve?  How often do I sin and am not struck down dead like some in the Bible?

I think if we realized the holiness of God and the sinfulness of our hearts than we would always start every prayer with mercy pleas.

David knew a trusted communion with God and he know he had sinned greatly.  That communion was broken.  The only was David was going to be in a right relationship with God again was if that just God showered mercy down on him. So, he opens his heart wrenching psalm with this plea.

This mercy that God showed to David didn’t stop there.  All of God’s mercy toward us was brought to completion on the cross.  Christ took all of the wrath of God for us – in other words – he got no mercy from his just Father.  He got penalty, he got death, he got the absence of His Father’s presence.

In Christ, let us also rejoice and plead for great mercy.

Psalm 51:1 ” Have mercy on me, O God.”

Other readings: Psalm 86:5; Psalm 145.9; Ephesians 2:4-5, Hebrews 4:16