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Open Heart, Open Home: The Hospitable Way to Make Others Feel Welcome and Wanted

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  156 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
This edition of "Open Heart, Open Home" will give you a peek into Karen's past and present life, including explorations of hospitality in the business world and soul-searching discoveries of God's hospitality to us all. You'll also find new "Opening the Door" activities to help you implement each chapter in your everyday situations.
Published June 1st 1998 by Mainstay Church Resources (first published December 1st 1980)
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Karen L.
Jan 28, 2008 Karen L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
This book changed my view of hospitality and changed my life. Since reading it we have welcomed more people into our humble home than many with large homes! We have shown others our real lives and not shown a perfectly neat home continuously. We show them we LIVE in our home! It has been quite humbling, but hopefully fruitful.
May 20, 2009 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a long time ago, but it has stayed with me.
There was a period in my life when I was given the opportunity to practice what was radical hospitality for me. One night my boss called me up a bit frantically. That evening she had treated a mutual friend and coworker to an opera. But it was very late, too late for our friend to make the two hour drive back to her home. However my boss, fraught with strange insecurities, did not feel her own home was a suitable place to entertain her
Jul 22, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This modern Christian classic (written originally in 1973) was a treasure trove of wisdom for today. (Anecdotal evidence of its staying power: several friends with whom I talked about it said, "Oh, I think my mom has that book somewhere.")

My biggest takeaway was that pride stands in the way of true hospitality--we fail to invite, to welcome because our home may not be perfectly decorated or tidy, we fear what others may think of us, we must work hard to impress before we can open our doors. Main
Lesley Webster
Jul 26, 2011 Lesley Webster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love, love, love this book. it is such a beautifully written call to genuine hospitality. none of this "make sure your house is clean" crap. instead it talks about what you do when someone stops by and the house is a wreck. (throw open the door, invite them in, do not make them self-concious by apologizing, and take that opportunity for genuine loving ministry.) it talks about the difference between entertaining guests (which is focused on you and your posessions and how good you look) and servi ...more
Rebecca Lewitt
May 11, 2013 Rebecca Lewitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
This was surprisingly very good. I had expected sort of a nice little christian "table-setting" book. Instead it was basically a really good exposition of what it means to live the Christian life! In talking about hospitality she gives the best description I've ever read of what it means to walk in the Spirit; she makes a very good case for the home being the real place that evangelism and local church body building should take place. She adresses how to live out the Christian life of love with ...more
Sep 24, 2008 Leslie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm convicted to allow others to see Christ thought me, even if it means seeing my untidy home. It reminds us that pride hinders the Spirit, even when it comes to homemaking. I'll rate it when I'm done.
Educational Anarchist
The author and I have some pretty big theological differences, but there is still so much wisdom to be gleaned here. She really changed my view of what "hospitality" even means. She does encourage throwing dinners and teas and all that, but she also reminds us that just showing kindness and being welcoming to your neighbors' children, or allowing a friend's child to leave muddy footprints in your new van while you gift them with transportation, is being hospitable. There are so many ways we can ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Poiema rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the gold standard on the subject of Christian hospitality. I first read it in 1982 when I was just learning to exercise the gift of hospitality, and Karen Mains stimulated me to go beyond the basic dinner invitation. I learned to take risks, to welcome strangers to the table, to provide bed and breakfast for all kinds of interesting people. This thoroughly Biblical and beautifully written book will stimulate the desire to throw open the door of your heart and home to others, to get ...more
Dec 19, 2014 Larisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful book filled with stories, tips, and hope that we too can learn to think adventurously, discover that hospitality is not what we have, but what we are!

Jesus set a beautiful example in hospitality. Bread for thousands from a few loaves, wine from water, disabilities turned into opportunities. To All who came, Jesus gave Himself, rest for the weary, food for the hungry, water for the thirsty.
Martha Stewart meets entertaining at home with Christian flair. Much more focus on the religious attitude than on the entertaining side though. Takes away some of the concerns about hosting poorly too.
Gerald Thomson
A wonderful reminder that all we are given is to be used to advance God’s kingdom. Though mostly about hospitality, the book goes deeper into utilizing your spiritual gifts and resources. The hospitality sections are useful for everyone, encouraging all to show God’s love through acts of kindness and sensitivity.
Oct 08, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in 1976 - and still is fresh, speaking to the heart of Christian hospitality. "nothing is lovelier to me than filling our lives with people we love: with our children and families, with neighbors, with Christian friends. Upon making new acquaintances my first instinct is to bring them home; to flood our home and lives with humanity--its voices, its forms, its ideas, its beauty, its brokenness." Her best advice: invite freely, ask people to bring whatever they want, and don' ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Heila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, excellent book. Am getting ready to re-read. So simple and yet not. It says in a nutshell, "have people over, enjoy them, enjoy each other. Let God's love flow." Talks well about balance doing this. Recommended by a friend, and read through with another friend (both of us greatly positively impacted)!
Aug 17, 2013 Kara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I really enjoyed this book on hospitality. Karen does a great job showcasing how hospitality can look in different settings, it's not just about having fancy dinner parties. It has really helped me change my perspective from day to day, and find more opportunities to have a hospitable spirit.
Mystie Winckler

From principles such as beginning and continuing in the Spirit, to being hospitable to your own immediate family first, to opening your door to strangers and the needy, to practical ideas and encouragement, this book covers a lot of ground in a short space.
May 26, 2009 K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a staple for me when I was a young wife and craved knowledge about entertaining and welcoming people into our home. It inspires the reader to love and cherish others, not impress them.
Sep 03, 2011 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-growth
As a young pastor's wife, this book had a huge impact on me. It gave me permission to be myself and not pretend to be the stereotypical pastor's wife that so many seemed to expect me to be.
Apr 01, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book on hospitality, and what it means to use one's home and resources to reach out to fellow christians and nonbelievers alike. I've read this book 3 times in the last 4 years.
Tracee Easterlin
Mar 15, 2009 Tracee Easterlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very encouraging if you desire true hospitality! There is a marked difference between that and entertainment. I desire hospitality!
Liked some parts but on the whole the book seemed unorganized. I didn't like everything she said but some was helpful.
Sep 13, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the original book printed in 1976. My Grandmother gave it to me and it changed my life and home, still today.
Kami  McGladrey
Dec 23, 2009 Kami McGladrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a good book for me.
Dec 27, 2010 Michelle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Rec. by Ann Voskamp
Candice Barnes
Candice Barnes marked it as to-read
May 13, 2016
Michael Curtis
Michael Curtis marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Trisha Moser
Trisha Moser is currently reading it
Apr 26, 2016
Ashten rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2016
Toni marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Sharon Honeycutt
Sharon Honeycutt marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2016
Lindsey marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2016
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“Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, "This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant and I use it as He desires." Hospitality does not try to impress, but to serve.” 10 likes
“Secular entertaining is a terrible bondage. Its source is human pride. Demanding perfection, fostering the urge to impress, it is a rigorous taskmaster which enslaves. In contrast, Scriptural hospitality is a freedom which liberates.” 5 likes
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