Debbie F, Reviewer
this was a great book on just opening your door and letting others in. so many of us have excuses for why we don't do this even when we want to....our house isn't pinterest worthy, worrying about what people will think, stressing too much over what to serve. when all people want and need is being with each other, time to spend together, enjoying each other's company. i love what was said on the book "Find freedom in knowing that the hospitality of the Bible is uncomplicated and effortless..." we as people are the ones that complicate everything and it can really be so simple and pure. i highly recommend this book and then put the words into action.
Katherine N, Reviewer
I presume that I am not the target audience because this was one rare book that I did not finish and stopped a quarter of the way through. I do my best to power on and keep reading even if I'm not the target reader, because I enjoy reading and writing reviews. But I couldn't get through this book because it was really repetitive and consists of hosting and gathering information that was really novel 10 years ago, of which I read much of it. That's the short version. If you do a lot of entertaining and need reminders of why you invite others in while getting inspiration on hospitality, then this is for you. It is a good reminder not to worry about what your house looks and the importance of hospitality, inviting others in, cultivating friendships, and all. There is a bit of humor mixed in with the overall notion of people over presentation and to show love by hosting others. Yes, I do agree with all the things, it simply isn't what I need or want to hear right now, perhaps if I read this 10 years ago or maybe 5 years from now as I walk through some stuff (which is probably the mental block for the book content), but not today, unfortunately. The recipes are delightful though! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book to review.
Michele M, Reviewer
Amy Hannon is an advocate for “simple biblical hospitality.” Operating her own kitchen store, writing a cookbook, and serving as a pastor’s wife for twenty-eight years have given her plenty of insight into the nuts and bolts of feeding people, but, for me, the most compelling wisdom from Gather and Give was gained through her boots-on-the-ground experience of feeding teenagers and opening her home to saints and ain’ts alike. Without gloss or glitter, she paints a realistic picture of the God-sized selflessness required alongside the abundant blessing that comes to those who obey God’s command to practice hospitality. Hannon learned the sacred practice of “intentional kitchening” from her grandmother, who knew the secret that food is merely a means to an end because “people who are cooked for feel cared for.” Since each chapter closes with a tried and true recipe, readers are mentored right away into the lifestyle of everyday hospitality. Throwing wide the door of welcome, we embody God’s welcome and put the Gospel’s warm, life-giving hospitality on display for a world of people whose lives may be changed by one simple invitation from an open and responsive heart. When we open the door, we mirror God’s acceptance. Hannon’s home was always open, but simple refreshments and a warm welcome transform any space into hospitality ground zero: A blanket on the beach; The bleachers at a ball game; A picnic table at a state park; Your church’s fellowship hall. Our children received great benefits from being included in multi-generational gatherings, and we also loved hosting their friends. Everything from spontaneous gatherings around the fire pit for s’mores and firefly sightings to huge gatherings with lace tablecloths and the best dishes have been part of our family’s culture. Whether or not hospitality is our gifting, it is clearly the calling of all believers, and from the faithful practice, we learn valuable lessons about life on a fallen planet: Things will not always go well. Events will not necessarily unfold according to plan. There will be seasons in which hospitality is just not possible, and you may need to be the object of someone else’s care and love. I’m coming away from a book that felt like a good visit with a solid challenge from Amy’s three-word mantra from 1 Peter 4:8-11: Love, Welcome, Serve. God has a way of showing up in unexpected ways, showering grace into a situation that looks hopeless, as a loving reminder that biblical hospitality is not about me. Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is of course, offered freely and with honesty.
Nyla Kay W, Reviewer
Gather & Give, Sharing God’s Heart Through Everyday Hospitality, by author Amy Hanson is an exquisitely written hospitality handbook. What makes this unique is that it is a biblically based one. It explains why hospitality is important and gives scripture to back it up. Easy to understand and beautifully written this book touched my heart. It is encouraging and inspiring. The author provides ideas on how to connect, care for, and love others. She teaches how to show Jesus to others through hospitality, biblical hospitality. This would make a wonderful Bible Study or Small Group lesson. Book Clubs would benefit from choosing this, too. Everyone will want to read this, whether you are single, married, young or senior. There is so much uplifting information between the covers of this book that I am definitely keeping it to read again. I highly recommend this gem of a book. It gets a five star rating from me. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my honest words.
Phyllis R, Reviewer
This book is the very thing that God has been laying on my heart but could not put into words. A sense of community has been lost and replaced with neighbors that are strangers, leading to a lack of care, empathy, and support of the people around us. Is this what Jesus intended? I agree with Amy Hannon as she shows us, through scripture, the many times Jesus ministered to people in homes, giving His followers a sense of belonging and care that can not be achieved any other way. I, too, enjoy opening my home to others but, for me, it has been stifled by thoughts that my efforts have to be something stellar and my home a showcase. This book offers simpler ways to serve out of your home and obey the command of hospitality. I am buying this book for members of my women’s group and look forward to developing ways to reach our community. I received this book from the author/publisher free of charge, with no expectation of a positive review.
Meagan D, Reviewer
This is my first Amy Hannon book, and it definitely won't be my last! I so appreciated Hannon's casual tone (which can so easily be "too casual," "too buddy-buddy," etc., etc.--thankfully not here!); she comes across as genuine, approachable, and honest...and honestly funny. :) Her approach in _Gather and Give_ is not to share the how-tos, but the why-tos, and I love this distinction. This fresh take on biblical hospitality hit just where I needed it to, bringing many fond memories of my formative years and the amazing bakers at the Presbyterian church I grew up in--as well as those I've been blessed to know through other venues over the years. And the call-out of social media, for all the positive things it offers, reminded me how easy it is to play the comparison game, and how important it is to run back to the true version of hospitality--as Hannon puts it, "What God has given me, I share with you" (chapter 2). This book is a thoughtful combination of prose, recipes, "food for thought" (reflection questions), and tips and tricks to practice just what Hannon writes about. Practical, easy--no reinventing the wheel needed!--and with Jesus at the center. It doesn't get much better. (Yes, for those of you curious, covid gets the occasional mention. But it's primarily in passing.) I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Marcia F, Reviewer
Amy Hannon’s Gather & Give is a wonderfully written Biblical hospitality handbook. This book would be a perfect guide for a Bible study, or it could serve as a resource for those who have decided to follow Paul’s words in Romans 12:13 (NLT): “Always be eager to practice hospitality.” The author was thorough in offering other scriptures as examples of hope and comfort being shared around the table. The recipes alone are worth the price of the book. Amy shares from her personal collection—apple pie, sour cream blueberry streusel muffins, and an easy chicken pot pie. I must have been ready for this message because I was overwhelmed by the idea of changing lives through simple gifts of food and fellowship. Whether it is a pot of homemade chili, tapas from the taco truck, or a sack lunch, we need only set it before Jesus who multiplies our offering and adds the blessing of His spirit. And suddenly a humble home becomes Holy ground. This is not a “how to” for holiday events but a guide toward simpler, casual meetings. The author suggests that with a little effort and preparation, we can give others that much-needed human contact by gathering face-to-face and heart-to-heart, celebrating everyday moments of impromptu fellowship, occasions filled with meaning, a message, and maybe a muffin. Thank you to Amy Nelson, Thomas Nelson W Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Kaitlyn B, Reviewer
As it's written in a girl next door, super casual way, this is definitely more enjoyable if you follow/know Amy and can 'hear' her voice while reading. That said -- although I truly enjoy following Amy, it's far too casual for me personally and skims the surface. The main point: gather with people and serve them. Show hospitality and love everyone. That summary is stretched out for 130 pages, ending with lists of what to have on hand (the most helpful part) and a lot of hospitality quotes from Amy's online followers.
Morrigan G, Media/Journalist
This year I have gotten really interested in growing in the areas of hospitality and homemaking, so this was a really good book for me to pick up. Amy Nelson Hannon shares her story and insight into her Christian family and their hospitality. She also shares "Food for Thought," which in my opinion is just the BEST play on sayings when you are largely talking about bringing people into your home to feed their body and their soul. She even shares recipes, some of which I may even be trying out.
Liz W, Educator
DNF, not what I was expecting (not a reflection of Netgalley but author), thank you for allowing me a chance to read it.
Vickie B, Librarian
DON'T read this book if..... If you're comfortable believing that people with big houses should be the ones to open their homes for biblical hospitality, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! If you don't want to be moved out of your comfort zone, afterall hosting people isn't my gift, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! If cooking isn't your best skill and you feel justified refraining from feeding and serving people, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! Amy Hannon breaks down all the excuses I've used to stay in my comfort zone for so many years. Her book is filled with so much information, tips, testimonals, scripture, recipes, and encouragement you'll walk away feeling like you can be a rock star of biblical hospitality! Love Welcome Serve.
Heather M, Reviewer
I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook. A very beautiful book. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend!