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Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force 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.”

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.

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.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

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Flag Etiquette and Protocol



Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 and commemorates the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes by the Second Continental Congress. Anytime the flag is flown, it represents our identity as a sovereign nation. It is for this reason there are certain etiquette rules that guide our use. Listed below are 15 points that will help you fly your colors with pride.


1. Display the flag from sunrise to sundown.

2. The flag may be displayed at night, but it must be illuminated.

3. The flag can be flown any day of the year, but it is specifically encouraged on national holidays.

4. The flag is hung in every public location including schools and election polling sites.

5. When the flag is hung horizontally or vertically on a wall, the canton (blue square on the flag, also called the union) should be to the viewer’s top left.

6. If the U.S. flag is carried in a parade with other flags, it will always be the flag on the right (from the flag’s position). Or, it can be in front of all the other flags.

7. When displaying the flag on a stage with a speaker, it should always be to the flag’s right (audience’s left).

8. In the U.S., no other flag is flown above the U.S. flag.

9. If the U.S. flag is flown with another state flag on the same pole, the U.S. flag is flown on top.

10. If the U.S. flag is flown with another state flag, but on separate poles, then the U.S. flag is flown to the flag’s right (the observer’s left).

11. If several state flags are flown with the U.S. flag, and all poles are the same height, then the U.S. flag is flown to the flag’s right (observer’s left). If the center pole is higher, then the U.S. flag is flown in the center and always on the highest pole.

12. Only a state or MIA/POW flag may be flown on the same pole as the U.S. flag. Any other flag, like a company flag, may not fly on the same pole.

13. The canton (union) should be flown from the top of the staff.

14. Although not specifically stated in the flag code, it is recommended that all flags fly at least 3-5 feet from the ground, at minimum. This tidbit becomes more important when asking yourself how high off the ground to mount your home flag. Home flags may be flown in any prominent place on a house or tree.

15. Dispose of flags that are frayed or damaged. Protocol is to fold the flag in a triangle (as you would see during a funeral) and burn the flag in its entirety. While the flag is burning recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or salute, followed by a moment of silence. End by burying the ashes.


If you are a civilian, here is a quick trivia point you might not know. When my son was in the military, I noticed the American flag on his right shoulder appeared backwards. The blue union was at the top right, yet all the protocol I just wrote about states the canton is always at the top left. I asked him about this. He said, “The flag on my left shoulder has the stars at the top left. The flag on my right shoulder has the stars at the top right. This gives the impression, no matter which shoulder you are viewing the flag is moving forward and into the wind.” I researched this further, and I will always remember the answer I found. According to military tradition the flag is displayed on the uniform to appear as though a soldier is carrying the stars and stripes while constantly moving forward, presumably into battle. Thus the wind would cause the flag to wave backwards with the stars in the top right corner as the carrier of the flag advanced. Why is this visual important? Because a U.S. soldier never retreats.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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