Welcome to our weekly Five Minute Friday writing prompt link-up! 

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the middle of August, but here we are! 

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This summer has been FULL of amazing new book releases, and this week is no exception. It’s been so much fun to feature various author friends here at FMF to help spread the word about their books and highlight some new recommendations for your reading list. 🙂 

In this week’s post, I’ve invited Leslie Verner to share a guest post in celebration of her new book, Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness.

Affiliate links have been used in this post.



I love this description from Amazon

In Invited, writer Leslie Verner says real hospitality is not having a Pinterest-perfect table or well-appointed living room. True hospitality is not clean, comfortable, or controlled. It is an invitation to enter a sacred space together with friends and strangers. Through vivid accounts from her life and travels in Uganda, China, and Tajikistan, and stories of visiting congregations in the United States, Verner shares stories of life around the table and how hospitality is at the heart of Christian community. What if we in the West learned about hospitality from people around the globe? What if our homes became laboratories of belonging?

Invited will empower you to open your home, get to know your neighbors, and prioritize people over tasks. Holy hospitality requires more of Jesus and less of us. It leads not only to loving the stranger but to becoming the stranger. Welcome to a new kind of hospitality.


This reminds me so much of what I learned about hospitality after spending ten years living in South Africa — but perhaps that’s a conversation for another blog post. 🙂 

For now, go ahead and grab a copy of Invited here

In celebration of Leslie’s book . . . 

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: HOSPITALITY




(And yes, I am aware that the picture above is not the type of picture Leslie wants us to have in our minds as we think about hospitality . . . But maybe that’s the challenge . . .) 😉  

Here’s Leslie: 

Last week, hospitality looked like paper plates piled high with hotdogs, a simple green salad with feta and kalamata olives, and corn-on-the-cob. Our guests—a family of four—brought homemade guacamole and purple corn chips that we crunched in the backyard as we sat on camping chairs pulled up to a folding table draped with a floral table cloth. After eating vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries, the children rushed back to the wobbly play structure to sort pine cones, red rocks, and mulch chips into piles. Flies darted around the hotdogs and leftover salad. I swatted them mindlessly as the afternoon eased from dusk to dark.

At some point, my children snuck into the garage and swiped flashlights and lanterns to use under the canopy of the seven spruce trees that line the chain-link fence in our backyard. The kids disappeared beneath the arc of the branches, a soft glow bouncing around beneath the trees. We adults talked, ignoring our children’s usual early bedtime, instead embracing the rare opportunity to swap stories with other adults on a summer night.

Hospitality doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. Creating space for connection and conversation is usually easier (and more rewarding) than I expect. Although hospitality can often mean spills, late nights, and chaos (especially when small children are involved), the pre-arrival anxiety rarely matches the post-departure joy. Inviting is always the hardest part. 



Leslie Verner

Leslie Verner is the author of Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness (Herald Press). She traveled widely and spent five years in China before returning to the U.S. to marry an actor in Chicago.

A former middle school teacher with a masters in intercultural studies, she now writes before dawn and reads too many books at once. She, her husband, and their three small children live in northern Colorado. Leslie writes about faith, justice, and cross-cultural issues at www.scrapingraisins.com, in her monthly newsletter, and elsewhere on the web.





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