I taught Bible stories for years to my kids and to other boys and girls in our neighborhood. Many of them gave their hearts to the Lord, and some, including my son and daughter, have gone on to serve Him diligently as adults. But what about the art of hospitality? Both Danae and Ryan had a tendency to be messy when they were young, and I wondered if they were absorbing the principles on which home and family are built. During adolescence their rooms were often wrecked, and their clothes were scattered around. (Perhaps watching their father mess up the kitchen while frying chicken had a powerful influence on them.) After Danae was grown and had a place of her own, I was delighted to see how she kept her apartment. I visited her one afternoon and found everything clean and in good order. I walked over to a curio cabinet that held porcelain animals and other artistic items. I leaned over to take a closer look, and Danae said firmly, “Mom, you are leaving finger prints on the glass!” She gets it, I thought with a secret smile.

I learned years later just how well the lessons of hospitality had taken root. When Jim and I reached our fiftieth wedding anniversary a year ago, our daughter planned and hosted an event to help us celebrate. Our son, Ryan, lives in another state, so he was not available to participate though he helped financially. It was an incredible affair. Danae selected lavender and yellow for the decor, which were the same colors I had chosen for our wedding. The flowers were purchased by Jim’s publisher, Tyndale House, and were gorgeous. They were chosen by an artistic friend, arranged by a local florist, placed into pedestal vases, and set onto round tables. A string ensemble was engaged to play classical music throughout the evening, and every detail of the program was exquisitely planned. Danae asked a comedian to entertain the guests, and a scrumptious meal was provided. More than one hundred and seventy-five guests attended the event, which was held in the California church where we had been members for more than thirty years. The banquet room where we gathered looked like a wedding  ceremony was about to begin. It was a wonderful evening, and I couldn’t have been more proud of my son and precious daughter.

And now, as further evidence of Danae’s early home life, she has asked me to coauthor this book on Christian hospitality. It was her idea because, to my delight, she too loves family, faith, and friends.

We hope you enjoy the stories, photos, and recipes provided in the pages that follow. If you put them into practice, perhaps your grown daughter will someday implement them in her home. But be careful not to get your fingerprints on her glass cabinet.

Taken from: Welcome to Our Table. Text Copyright © 2012 by Shirley Dobson and Danae Dobson. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. www.harvesthousepublishers.com. Used by Permission.

Publication date: April 26, 2013