Lavish Hospitality 9

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When people come to our house to spend the night, whether visiting for several days, or just overnight, I like to know what they like and have it for them.

I like to make foods they will eat or a special coffee they will enjoy.  I like to have little gifts ready for them in the room they are staying in.  I want them to feel welcome and loved.  And often times, for most people, gifts make them feel welcome.

This part of hospitality doesn’t have to be extravagant, believe me, hello Dollar Spot at Target!!  The best thing is to be thoughtful.  Preparing your home to be hospitable is an easy task, just be mindful of it.

I know a couple that has a gift room.  They buy things on sale, Black Friday sales, TJMaxx, for just this reason.  To be able to give gifts, or to be able to be hospitable throughout the year through gift-giving.

With Christmas right around the corner, you may have more opportunities to practice this.  Don’t be overwhelmed and don’t stress the budget.  It can be as simple as having your kids draw a picture welcoming them.  Or picking flowers from the yard.  Just something that says welcome.

Quote from Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Charles Spurgeon) in a collaboration book by Nancy Guthrie.

Lavish Hospitality 8


As a book reviewer, I’m already receiving books on Christmas, the holidays, and Advent.  This is super helpful because it helps to turn my mind and heart to the real reason for the Christmas season before the hecticness of the holidays work to turn my heart toward other things.

My favorite Christmas album: Sojourn’s Advent Songs. 

My favorite thing to do at Christmas: be at home with just my boys and my man on Christmas day.

My first Christmas stocking: a pale pink ballerina slipper.

My favorite Christmas book: Song of the Stars

Christmas is all about the incarnation.  The incarnation was one of the first acts of Lavish Hospitality.  It is when the Creator of the world came to live in the world he made.  He gave up his wealth to become poor for us.  And in doing so, he welcomed us.

We, as believers, can be such a visible work of the gospel in people’s lives if we welcome them.  Welcome them in their brokenness, in their hurting, in their reality.  And you know what, people don’t enter our perfectness.  They enter our brokenness, our hurting, and our reality.

Quote: Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

Kids r Readers 2: Animal Babies

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Animal Babies

One of most popular questions you hear moms ask their children: “What does a doggie say? What does the duck say?” You get the picture. We all grew up singing E-I-E-I-O about a farmer named Old McDonald.
Just because a book shows cute and cuddly animals doesn’t mean you can’t teach your children anything deep while reading the book to them.
Here are two ways to teach your children more about God and His world while reading Animal Babies to them – or even letting them sound out the animal noises when they can!
1. God created everything. Though I have always believed that God created the world, and me, and everything I see – I have only begun to realize that this is one of the most important biblical doctrines to hold on to. Your children and mine will be bombarded with worldviews that minimize or completely demolish the truth that God is Creator.
2. Jesus came to earth as a baby. The doctrine of the Incarnation. Jesus, the very Son of God, came in the form of a baby, born to a woman. Jesus is the Reason for the Season of Christmas, but He came to earth as a baby because of sinners like you and me.
Your children are never too young to learn these truths!

W&BT: Found in Him (Week 1)

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Loneliness and the Incarnation

Here we go again, ladies! I’m excited for those of you joining me in on a journey to read and discuss/study through Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new book, Found in Him, with me.
What I have found wonderful about this book is it takes the last season: Christmas, the Incarnation, and makes that doctrine come alive in our lives and our relationship with God the rest of the year.
So, let’s embark on this together. Each Monday I’ll post my thoughts on the chapter (this week is the introduction and chapter 1), and then comment, whether here, on fb, or anywhere else.
1. “Everyone struggles with feelings of alienation and isolation.” (pg 17) You always think that when you grow up and get out of high school, you’ll leave feelings of the “first day of school” behind. But…it doesn’t happen that way. You think that when you get married or have a family, that you’ll leave those feelings of isolation behind. But…you don’t.
Elyse has definitely written to people and counseled with ladies who need help handling feelings of loneliness. Lonely can happen at any stage of life and in whatever season of life you are in. Psalm 25.16 is an amazing verse. The Psalmist asks the Lord to turn to him and be gracious for he is lonely. The Lord is gracious in answering: friends, family, love. But most of all – He gives himself.
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”
2. The mystery of the incarnation: we are not alone. We have the God of the Universe. Literally. God sent His Son – the One who was the agent of creation – to earth to become a man. He came so we would NOT be lonely. Do you recognize this? Do you recognize this as an important part of the incarnation. God with us. The Word Became Flesh. Did you take time over the Christmas holidays to experience this wonderful aspect of the Christmas season?
3. Would you say you are stubborn? My husband would probably say there are things that I am stubborn about. But, do we allow the softness and the penitration of the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts? Do you desire to be like the Israelites who wandered in the desert all those years because of their stubborness? Or do you want to be a woman of God who God uses because of your soft heart toward Him and His correction? I hope I know the answer for myself – and for you!
4. Do you often read the OT in light of the NT? Do you read the Creation account and the flood and the psalms and the laments and the history found in the Bible all in light of Jesus and the incarnation and the fact that He died on the cross? The whole Bible reveals Him. I am going through the OT this year learning more about God – and keeping my eyes and heart open to seeing salvation on every page. I challenge you to read through the Scriptures that Elyse has in this book – and read the OT in light of the knowledge of the Resurrection. Oh, how that will radically change your view of the OT.

What did you get out of the Introduction and the first chapter? I look forward to interacting with you and hearing your thoughts on this book.

Hello December 12: Freedom

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Glory Be

I make it no secret that I have two favorite Christian Christmas CDs: Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God and Sojourn’s Advent Songs. I went to Sojourn when I lived in Louisville and loved singing the Advent songs. I could listen to both of these albums year round all the time!
I also have a favorite guitar lick ever – it is found in Glory Be, the second song on the advent cd.
This year, in thinking of the sins that beset each of us, and the reason that Jesus came to earth in the first place, I love this line in that song:
Sing for joy, all the earth, Messiah’s come to set you free.

It is amazing that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, who was the spoken Word of God at creation – came to earth to set me free from the bondage of sin. As Elyse Fitzpatrick says in her new book Found In Him, “He is not shocked or surprised by your weakness or sin.” (pg 30). Isn’t it amazing that this statement is true – and yet God still loves us. And sent Jesus?

What sin do you need Jesus to set you free from this Christmas? Let us rejoice!  And all for His glory.  GLORY BE!

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25a