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Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Lisa Lou

Common Sense



Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.”


Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture?

If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture. Yet, God says we have no excuse not to believe He exists, because even His invisible qualities He has made known to us.


I have never seen nor heard the artist that created the painting, but I KNOW he exists. We do not have to see God face-to-face, or even hear His voice, to KNOW there is a Creator.

“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature? Isn’t this all just common sense…” (Job 12:7-10 MSG/emphasis mine).

Friends, do not let the world tell you there is no God. Do not let the “elites” ridicule you. If God were not real, then why do so many fight against Him? Why do so many try to muffle His voice? If I spent my waking hours trying to convince others that Santa Claus was real, would anyone care? Would people rise to ban my voice? Of course not. Why? Because everyone would know that what I was promoting was not real. My belief in Santa Claus would not be considered a threat. Only something that is real can be a threat. If something does not exist, it is not a danger, for the simple reason that it does not exist.

I have always viewed the battle we face for our religious liberties as one proof there is a God. If He were not real, then why would those that do not believe in Him waste so much time trying to silence His voice? How can you defeat something that does not exist? You cannot. You can only defeat what does exist!

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV).

I had the opportunity to listen to a well-known atheist, turned Christian, speak about religious freedom and the state of our nation. Before he became a Christian, his mission in life was to prove Christianity was nonsense. He might have described himself as an intellectual. He might have even considered himself as part of the “elite” that believed God was a myth. But God had other plans, and Dr. Harber now spends his life defending others when their religious freedoms are attacked. Below is a paraphrased summary of Dr. Frank Harber’s speech on religious freedom. Direct quotes are in quotations.

Freedom originated from God. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free…” (Galatians 5:13). To be called means someone must do the calling. There must be a caller. Who placed the desire to be free in the heart of every man? God.

We know the first gift God gave man was the gift of life, but the second gift was freedom. God intended from the very beginning for us to be free. Free from disease, disaster, death. It is hard for us to imagine, but in the Garden of Eden, there were no cemeteries, because there was no death.

When we are free, this means we are free to pursue happiness. Happiness is derived from freedom, which comes from God. There is a clear connection between faith and freedom, and when you take God out of the equation, we begin to lose freedom. Why? Because freedom comes from God. No God? No freedom.

The key to maintaining freedom in a society is trust in God. Once God is eliminated, not only does our freedom begin to disappear, but so does morality. Why would morality disappear? For the same reason freedom begins to disappear. God placed the desire for freedom in our hearts, but He also wrote His law of morality on our hearts. (Romans 2:13-15). Where do you think our concept of right and wrong comes from? Morality comes from God. No God, no morality. No morality? Any means to an end will suffice.

The elites, the intellectuals, see God as a myth. There is a great movement to ban God from our public square. When an atheist is faced with the reality of God, a common answer is, “’Well, that’s just your opinion.’ My answer? ‘My opinion rose again from the dead. He conquered death. What has your opinion done?’”

God will not be mocked. (Galatians 6:7). When we remove Him from the public arena, we, as individuals and as a nation, will suffer the consequences.

The “elite” in our society mock Christians. They say God is a myth. Prominent figures call us “nuts.” As God Himself says, it is common sense that He exists. God also reminds us that those that do not believe in Him have been blinded by evil “so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Ladies, it is time to make your voice heard. It is time to stand against those that ridicule us. Fight for what you believe, and fight with conviction knowing that you stand on the side of Truth!

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV/emphasis mine).

Together with you,

Lisa Lou