Lavish Hospitality 5

posted in: 31days, lavish hospitality | 0

Hospitality didn’t begin with us.  It didn’t begin with Southern Living, or really anything Southern.  It didn’t begin with a table.  It didn’t begin with Sweet Tea.

It began with God.  Everything good originated with God.  He created all we know.

He didn’t choose us, choose us to lavish his gracious hospitality on us because we were so good.  He delighted in us, welcomed us to his table, into his presence, restoring a broken relationship, simply because He is God and He chose to love us.

One of my favorite Bible stories is King David and how he welcomes Mephibosheth into his dining room.  He welcomes a lame man, family to the former king, into his presence to eat at the King’s table.  David could have had him killed.  This story has been my favorite Bible story for 20 years.  I spoke at a women’s retreat – my first time I spoke at a church event as the keynote – on this topic.  We love hospitality – and this one story from the Bible tells of God’s gracious hospitality to us.

Book quote from The Ology by Marty Machowski – a theology book for kids.  Picture: kcreatives

Bible story found in 2 Samuel 9.

To Walk in Newness: A Response to Charleston

posted in: ethics, World Events | 1

Newness for Charleston

One of my favorite cities is under attack this week.  Not only the city – but more importantly a church filled with brothers and sisters in Christ – those who profess to know the Truth of the Gospel.  We’ve seen prayer vigils and heard stories and listened to news accounts.

While this event in no way surprises me, it does sadden me greatly.  It doesn’t surprise me because we live in a fallen world and sinners are just going to do what sinners do: sin.  At times that sin is so hideous that it makes the front page of every news station in America.  It shouldn’t surprise us because our country has never been free from racial tension and will never be free of racial tension.

It saddens me because all of us are broken people.  Every single person in this world is broken and is need of restoration.  Brokenness lies in the church and outside the church.  The best thing about this brokenness is that we can be pieced back together.

Scripture is so clear of our brokenness.  I’ve been studying the book of Nehemiah and the walls that he was called to rebuild were broken and in shambles.  So clearly evidenced in the lives of the people who lived there and the wall itself.  He was called to restore it.  Nehemiah showed the people how to restore.  Jesus is our physical and spiritual restorer.  He came to fix the broken.

Just as we’ve seen in Baltimore, in DC, in OK, in Charleston, and in schools and neighborhoods and stores and families all across this country every single day: race builds a wall – a shattered broken destroyed wall that shatters relationships and community and thriving.

As partakers of the Gospel we can share healing, restoration, and grace (aka CHRIST) with the broken who live near us.  I see this in so many ways as families I know personally adopt or foster children of different races.  This is such a picture of healing to me.  Of loving someone other than yourself.  Of being Jesus with skin on.

“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate

people by what they have or how they look.  We looked at the Messiah

that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.  We certainly don’t

look at him that way anymore.  Now we look inside, and what we see if that anyone

united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!

All this comes from the God who settled the relationship

between us and him, and then called us to settle

our relationships with each other.  God put the world square with himself

through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.

God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  We are Christ’s representatives.”

2 Corinthians 5

heart.hope.justice adoption: Aaron and Lisa Tant

posted in: hearthopejustice | 1

Tant Family

Here is another way that heart.hope.justice gets to support families who are loving orphans!

I’ve known Aaron Tant for about ten years (and his wonderful family).  I met Lisa when they moved to Louisville and I got to know them when we were all attending Sojourn Church there.

Here is a brief synopsis of their story:

Aaron and I have been married for 9 years this July and we have two children, Elias, who is almost 7, and Sophia, who is 4.  We have always had a heart for children with special needs and we desired to one day adopt a child with special needs. A few weeks ago a friend who is a social worker made us aware of a child who will soon be available for adoption. In order to be consider to be this child’s adoptive parents, we must become licensed foster parents in our state and we must get our home ready for the required home study. The biggest priority is remodeling the basement. Currently we have a guest room on our main floor which will need to become this child’s room. That means that our basement, that is partially finished but not a very pleasant place, needs to be remodeled into a functioning guest space. We would also like to open up our kitchen to accommodate more people. Another large purchase we will need to make is a mini-van. We are currently working to raise money to cover the costs. Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase an appropriate vehicle and do the necessary renovations in our home. Then if there is any money left over we will use that money to pay down our debt. We want to be the best stewards of our resources so that we can best care for our children, and we feel that getting rid of our debt is one way to do that.


You can support them by heading over to the heart.hope.justice page and taking a look at the print and then sending me an email ( and tell me what color cardstock you want your print in.  The ink will be black, but I can vary the cardstock color.  The prints are 5.7 and 16$  10$ of every sale will go directly to the Tant family and the rest will go to printing, shipping, and supply cost.  I make nothing.


Living the Gospel: Marriage, Adoption, and the Rest of Life

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

This is me thinking aloud…
There are some focuses right now in Christianity/churches that focus on being living, breathing examples of the gospel. These focuses are biblical and needed, and true. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these emphasises. One is marriage and the other is adoption. Marriage, for some (and I don’t believe this view is right) allows you to better display the gospel than being single. I think it may give a you different way of displaying the gospel, but not better. I am, in my singleness, just as much a portrait of the gospel of Christ as if I were me, only married. Adoption, many times I here (and rightly so), is “living the gospel”. You are, yes, praise the Lord. But, again, like marriage – adoption isn’t the only way to “live the gospel.”
With so much emphasis on both marriage and adoption – which single people can’t do either of (obviously we aren’t married and not many adoption agencies will let a single person adopt a baby) – are we not living out the gospel. This post isn’t just for singles, it is for everyone.

Marriage is a great way to live out the gospel. I love the Ephesians 5 passage where clearly it says that marriage proclaims the mystery of Christ and His church. We are the Bride of Christ. I love the picture of Abraham and God in Genesis 15 about God walking through the sacrificial blood. His promise kept. I pray that your marriage is an amazing mirror of God, Christ, the Spirit – and the Church. I pray that husbands will sanctify their wives, and wives would respect, honor, and submit to their husbands. This is unique and special and privileged way to portray the gospel.

Adoption. This is probably the newest “fad” to hit the church. I don’t use fad in a bad way, but why has this emphasis not been in the church before the last 5 years? Have we been ignoring the commands of “true religion” in the Bible for over 2000 years. I hope it isn’t a fad. I hope the trend of seeing adoption come to life in American families, and families all over continues long after I’m gone. I wonder if you see Italian Christians adopting American children. I wonder if the trend of adoption is an American Western Christianity thing right now. To some people, if you haven’t adopted, then you just aren’t living in obedience. At least that is what it seems like. But, there are other ways to live out the command of true religion – to take care of the orphans – without actually adopting. You can give to mission trips that support orphanages, you can donate to families who are trying to raise support to adopt their own babies. It seems the trend now in my emails, blogs, facebook updates from across the world – hey, give to me, we’re adopting. Family of believers? Hopefully, mostly, being the body of Christ. There are girls out there who don’t want to have their own children because adoption is better. Motherhood is great, and if God allows you to have children, please do. If God calls you to adopt, please do. But, one is not better than the other. I hope this isn’t a passing trend in American Christianity, much like the WWJD bracelets and FAITH Evangelism strategy.

Now, what about for the rest of us. I hope I do get to live out the gospel in a marriage one day – but I’m not going to settle for an average marriage. I want the most God-glorifying marriage I can possibly have. one that will be hard, but joyful. I know marriage is hard – not perfect – just God-glorifying.
If God impresses on our hearts to adopt, then I will (hopefully, walking in obedience), but until then I can give to missions to orphanages and support those adopting. I can love on those adopted children.
But, I can live out the gospel every day too. I can give grace where grace is needed. I can live in the love that Christ offered me at the Cross. I can do my work diligently. I can submit to authority. I can…. the list goes on. I am Christ’s friend – obey my commands (John 15.14).
Marriage and adoption is not a better picture of the gospel. We can live out the gospel without doing these specific things (being married, adopting an international child). But, these two ways and living daily life in the grace of God are wonderful ways to live out the gospel.
“What about the practical stuff? Surely there comes a time when we move on from the gospel just a little, so we can focus on the everyday issues of our relationships with other people. This is tempting to believe, but it’s just not true. Regardless of your relationship to others, whether you’re single or married, a husband or a wife, a father, a mother, or a grandparent, your faithfulness and effectiveness in your relationship are directly tied to your understanding of the cross.” – CJ Mahaney