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America is a land of plenty, yet our nation turns away those who knock on our door seeking asylum from violence, extreme poverty and severe droughts. And many Christians shockingly ignore Jesus’ call to be hospitable to strangers. […] Read More

The grounds at Augusta National Golf Club, home to the Masters Tournament, are a rare combination of botanical gardens, nature preserve and golf course. Churches can learn valuable insights from this innovative organization. […] Read More

As our nation debates the need for a wall on our southern border, those who favor it typically cite three reasons: terrorists, “illegals” and drugs. Their reasons don’t hold up to scrutiny. […] Read More

How do we respond to the company of strangers? Do we find ourselves enriched or threatened? In his book, “Practical Theology,” Terry A. Velling writes, “Our English word xenophobia means ‘fear of the stranger.’ If we turn the word around, we get the New Testament word for hospitality, philoxenia, ‘love of the stranger.’ Pure hospitality, […] Read More

A young boy, probably 3 or 4, was walking behind an adult man, presumably his father, down the street the other day. They were dressed the same, in khaki shorts and a white shirt, and the little guy was imitating the adult’s every move. My first thought was, “Oh, how cute!” Then I noticed the […] Read More

The week that the controversial U.S. travel and immigration ban was first issued, I sat in my living room in Lebanon with a Syrian woman whose water had broken in her seventh month of pregnancy. Both she and the baby were now at risk. Yet, she came, not for medical assistance, but because she and […] Read More

A passion for food and hospitality combined at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, to make a global impact. In 2010, a group of women combined a love for food, the gift of hospitality and the desire to support the church’s mission endeavors to begin Cooks on a Mission (COAM). “We’re not really sure […] Read More

Hospitality to strangers is an integral part of the Christian faith tradition. Marjorie Thompson, in her 2005 book, “Soul Feast,” states it was “a hallmark of virtue for ancient Jews and Christians.” The writer of Hebrews holds up Abraham’s welcome of strangers for emulation: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing […] Read More

New England captured my imagination from the first time I visited as a child. It was geographically far away from South Carolina and may as well have been a different country given the architecture, weather, behavior and the tendency to neglect the “R” in most words. The region came to represent everything my home was […] Read More

The story of Jesus in the house of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42) is a short, but rich, narrative about two sides of Christian discipleship. You know the one – Martha banging pots, rattling dishes and cutlery, checking oven, swearing at the beeping microwave, piling everything in the dishwasher, trying to set a table while […] Read More