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In this delightful collection of 52 meditations, Evelyn Bence reflects on gatherings at her table that have brought together friends, family, and neighbors. The anecdotal devotions ease the door ajar, gently inviting you to welcome others to your table. You see her planning a gathering, choosing recipes, thinking about how to make guests feel at ease.
For seasoned hosts, Bence provides encouragement and camaraderie. For novices, she offers kindly instruction laced with humor, realistic expectations, and recipes to try. Come along, she gracefully urges--make room at your table for others to share a meal or even a cup of coffee and dessert. Whether your table is humble or grand, you can reach out and enjoy offering hospitality to those around you.
Number of Pages: 128
Vendor: Upper Room
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
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joan5 Stars Out Of 5room at mt tableMay 12, 2016joanQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0excellent. shows how every station in life can be a talent from God. everything i jad hoped it would be.
kk davisAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Room at My Table: Preparing Heart & Home for Christian HospitalityJanuary 31, 2015kk davisAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Excellent read! I had this book recommended and it did not disappoint. I ordered one for my friend who co-leads a Bible study and Home Group with me. She was absolutely overjoyed with the gift. We will use this to bring more hospitality into our meetings with both groups.
SuzartOttawa, CanadaGender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Room at My TableNovember 25, 2014SuzartOttawa, CanadaGender: FemaleFor people hungry for relationships grounded in real timean invitation to reach out and enjoy face-to-face communications: table talk is how Evelyn Bence prefaces her book Room at My Table: Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality (Upper Room Books, 2014). Bence bookends each of her 52 musings on hospitality with quotes (ranging from Michael Pollan to Emily Dickinson to Mary Karr to St. Paul), brief prayers, and questions for reflection or discussion. But if I were trying to locate Room at My Table on a bookstore shelf, I would be hard-pressed to know whether to search for it in Religion & Spirituality, Home & Garden, or Fiction & Literature. Room at My Table offers all of these qualities in its exploration of what it means to be hospitable in the 21st century, and it does so with a genuine, conversational voice, with polished prose, and with the challenge of Why not? rather than omniscient advice about How to.
Room at My Table is not about centerpieces, menus (although Bence provides several favorite recipes), table settings, or spotless rooms. Rather, Bence offers rich fare in her reflections on hospitality, and serves up anecdotes from her own experiences, the successes as well as the failures. We learn about picnics, potlucks, dinners, and distributing bagged lunches to street people. She reflects on stressful events that occur when hosting: table gossip about an absent guest, controversial comments that offend, her own struggles with managing her expectations of herself as the host and of her guests. The emphasis is always on connection and community. In several pieces, Bence focuses on the relationship between memory and food. She shows how cookbooks and recipes passed along in a family enflesh memory when meals prepared from them are recreated and re-enacted. (My favorite is the story of Uncle Henry and Ham and Mustard.) She recollects learning how to cook and how to entertain from observing family members, and she talks about welcoming a young neighbor girl into her home and teaching her the same. Especially moving is Bences description of cooking dinner in the kitchen of an elderly neighbor on the woman's last night before moving into a seniors residence.
Henri Nouwen says that when we break bread together weenter into a place of mutual vulnerability and trust. We can trust the narrator of Room at My Table precisely because she does not offer herself as an authority armed with a glue gun to prevent or to fix everything that might go wrong in a situation of hosting folks at table or elsewhere. The narrator is as vulnerable as I am when I invite others into my home, an intimate place that reflects the very essence of my self and my life, my poverty and my wealth, my strengths and my weaknesses, the heart of my existence. As a reader, I trust this author because she invites me into her intimate experiences, choosing to explore the difficulties as well as the rewards of hosting others, and understanding the decision to be hospitable as a ministry rather than a social triumph. Room at My Table says Welcome, honored guest!
ABD5 Stars Out Of 5Room at My TableNovember 12, 2014ABDQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A wonderful gift book. Before you share the book with others, open your own heart to the warm, inspiring devotionals the author has shared from her wealth of experience and her love for the Lord and for others. I found myself wanting to read more. It stirred my heart to reach out in simple ways to others--to make more room at my table.
Mickey76Ashland5 Stars Out Of 5Room at My TableNovember 5, 2014Mickey76AshlandEvelyn has written a very warm and encouraging devotional. We do not often realize how sharing a meal with others can open doors to Christian fellowship and building the Kingdom of God. I enjoyed reading how her childhood experiences along with her different living environments over the years, have built relationships centered around her love of the Savior. An absolutely MUST read. Great gift for everyone.
Author: evelyn bence
Submitted: October 29, 2014
What was your motivation behind this project? My parsonage parents entertained a great deal. I was watching and learning at their table. I recently realized that I had many anecdotes to share, my successes as well as failures, and the material could be an encouragement to others.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? There are people who make "having people over" look easy, but even for them it takes effort. I want to encourage readers to reach out, even offering a cup of coffee to strengthen our sense of community. "Practice hospitality," says the scriptures. We've gotten out of practice. Maybe it's time to reach out.