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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • 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