SNOW DAY!

snowday

I enjoyed a snow day on Sunday, January 16th.

Living in South Carolina snow is a rare treat for this Midwesterner.

Because snow days are so rare in this area our city shuts down except for emergency workers and those dealing with any power outages that occur.

Thankfully, my household never lost power. We were able to enjoy watching the snow fall from the safety of our warm home.

I chose to not work on a post yesterday because I wanted to cherish the snow day.

Today, as the winter storm has finished dusting the earth with this fascinating white frozen water and the sun is starting to melt it away, I decided to share with you some favorite references to snow from scripture.

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MAKING LISTS

mylist

Have you been making lists recently?

What kinds of lists?

Do you write your lists down or just think about them in your head?

Or do you use a computer program or other fancy technology for making lists?

Are some lists more important than others that you make? Why or why not?

Or are you someone who eschews making lists of any kind?

What does making lists have to do with Bible study?

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O Christmas Tree: Part Three

OChirstmasTreeBell

A Sublime Lesson

Spending time pondering the meaning of a familiar Christmas carol, O Christmas Tree, has revealed a depth of meaning to this tree song previously overlooked.

In everyday conversations I seldom hear the word sublime used.

The first definition of sublime is: lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner.

Lesson, though, is frequently used in a variety of ways.

But did you know that the first definition of the word lesson is: a passage from sacred writings read in a service worship?

Why does verse three of O Christmas Tree use these two words?

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Christmas Tree: Part Two

Christmasjoy

Last week we learned the first verse of the carol O Christmas Tree is celebrating the birth of the Christ child we as Christians are named after.

The tree we use to celebrate this birth by decorating it and singing about reminds us of the loyalty our Heavenly Father has demonstrated by sending Christ.

The color of this tree reinforces our hope in our Heavenly Father who has brought to fulfillment promises made concerning the arrival of the Christ child.

What can we learn from verse two of O Christmas Tree?

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O Christmas Tree: Part One

OChristmasTree

I have pointed out before the intention of God’s landscaping the earth to bring us and himself pleasure. Writing now in the month of December our American culture is busy setting up trees and decorating them in our homes, work, and public places. We also decorate doors, windows, mantles, etc. with fresh greenery (or imitation!)  Have you ever wondered why we do this? What is all the fuss about dragging trees and greenery out to decorate in honor of Christmas and singing O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree for English speaking people)?

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SPEECHLESS

prayer guidance
  • When have you been speechless?
  • Was it a positive or negative reason that left you speechless?

Commonly, we think of speechless moments resulting from something that has suddenly happened to us, whether good or bad.

  • But what about those times when we have experienced something for an extended period and find ourselves speechless and uncertain how to proceed?
  • And what about those times someone we know is struggling or something has happened across the city, state, nation, or globe, and we find ourselves speechless?

Those times can feel much like the vantage point of the person outside the maze in the picture above.

Not knowing which words to speak, we hesitate and linger just outside of the maze, hoping for someone, something, anything, to illuminate our mind with the correct words and choice of direction

  • Does the Bible yield any encouragement or insight for these times of speechless uncertainty?
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Labor Shortages

laborshortage

Are you reading about labor shortages in the news feeds you follow?

Where in your neighborhood are you seeing examples of labor shortages?

Restaurants come to my mind…

Where has your experience been the opposite of the reported labor shortages?

Grocery stores and food delivery services come to my mind…

What causes labor shortages?

War? Aging out? Unwillingness? Poor work conditions? Fear?

What does a sunflower bloom with a single bee on it have to do with this line of questions about labor shortages?

What does any of this have to do with Bible study?

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Thoughts on Prayers

thoughtsonprayer

A guest post by Beth Beutler

“Send your thoughts, prayers, and good vibes.”

“I’m so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

In a world that is often decidedly not interested in serious prayer, we do see a lot of “thoughts and prayers” being offered when things get tough.  And things have been extra tough of late.  But how meaningful are these “thoughts and prayers,” really?

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PRIVATE PRAYER

downywoodpecker

A downy woodpecker like the one above visited the tree beside our balcony this morning as I was enjoying my private prayer time.

As I watched this cute little bird flutter around from branch to branch pecking at the bark, I found myself singing internally a praise song to the Lord.

My heart filled with joy to have a sighting of this cute bird.

At other times, my private prayer time is inside my home but where I can look out onto my balcony area.

Gazing on wildlife frequently brings me to praise and worship of my Lord as I also meditate upon His word to receive instructions for my day.

It is my habit to spend time in private prayer and reflection with my Lord.

  • Why do I practice this habit of private prayer and reflection?
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