cover image Reach Out, Gather In: 40 Days to Opening Your Heart and Home

Reach Out, Gather In: 40 Days to Opening Your Heart and Home

Karen Ehman. Bethany, $18.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3795-9

In this welcoming if unfortunately timed biblical hospitality guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries writer and speaker Ehman (Keep Showing Up) urges readers to open their hearts and homes to others. She shares stories of neighborly hospitality from her childhood, and examples from the Bible of those who didn’t hesitate to welcome others. Ehman stresses the importance of discovering, embracing, and using God-given gifts and acts of service to communicate love to family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Also recommended are making weekly “visible and tangible” demonstrations of love toward one’s family, keeping a stocked fridge for unplanned arrivals, making lists of neighbors one interacts with and setting deadlines for showing hospitality to those “God prompts you to reach out to.” She also provides readers with tips for cleaning, decluttering, and keeping a guest-ready home, as well as creative recipes for large parties. Though the introduction has been updated for the pandemic era and Ehman acknowledges the current need for social distancing, readers may wonder how to apply her hospitality suggestions in light of Covid-19. There’s plenty of simple and worthwhile advice to be found here, but it may be a long time before readers are able to put it into practice. (Oct.)