Spring has sprung where I live.
Aside from dealing with the allergens that tackle my respiratory system, I love getting my container gardening started each spring.
I used to only want to plant vegetables so that there would be a harvest to enjoy. But when my husband and I moved into our current abode, there was simply too much shade for vegetables.
This challenged me to research shade gardening and develop a greater appreciation of ornamental plants.
A couple of years ago, a tree was removed from the backyard, which has enabled more sun on our postage stamp of a yard.
This year a neighbor gifted us with her extra lettuce seedlings, and I already have some sugar snap peas poking up through the dirt. In addition, there is rosemary, sage, parsley, and some lavender that has held on since last year.
I also potted up some pansies and petunias for their joyful colors this growing season.
For the spot that still does not get enough sun for vegetables, I planted some ferns, astilbe, and dicentra.
What does all my gardening talk have to do with God?
Continue reading “Are You Gardening with God?”
Recently, my husband and I were leaving a parking lot when another driver caught our attention significantly.
The driver appeared to wave their left hand in a motion that seemed to show they wanted us to hurry past them.
But after we took that action and were waiting to make a left turn from the lane we had chosen, we noticed the same driver appeared in the adjacent lane, still waving their left hand in what we now realized was a display of panic.
As we waited for the traffic light to change to green, we could hear the other driver yelling in an agitated manner. In addition, they kept attempting to go into the intersection to turn left, in front of us, even though the light was red and cars were traveling through.
The driver never looked at us to ask for a courtesy for them to take their obviously intended action. Instead, they were anxiously self-focused.
Aside from the practical tactics of waiting after the light turned green to allow this frantic drive to go ahead of us and maintaining a safe distance from them, how can scripture guide us in responding to this scenario?
Continue reading “Responding to Another’s Weakness”
Several years ago, I developed plantar fasciitis.
I had been pushing myself with lots of walking prior to going on a cruise trip with my husband’s family.
On the last full day of the cruise, my husband and I walked over ten miles in one day.
When I stood up after the evening meal, I could not put any weight on my left foot.
I was still limping the next day when we had to navigate getting off the ship and through the airports to return home.
Once we were finally home and I elevated my feet, I realized both feet were in pain.
For the next three years, I lived in tennis shoes because of this injury. Going barefoot was excruciating.
Thankfully, over time and with a commitment to wearing good shoes and plenty of stretching exercises, I have only occasional flare-ups.
Are you wondering why I’m talking about my crippled feet on a Bible study blog?
Continue reading “From Crippled Feet to the Love of God“
Yesterday, Christmas eve, my husband returned home after attending our church’s 2:00 pm worship service to tend to our pets before heading over to a friend’s house to share an evening meal and play a game of Scrabble.
While my husband was outside walking our dog, he noticed running water coming from the back of a neighbor’s house. Given the temperatures had been at record lows for our area overnight and had barely risen above freezing by this point, my husband immediately intervened.
Thankfully, the neighbor was home, enabling my husband to instruct them on how to turn their water off and encourage them to contact an emergency plumber.
Then, as we were loading our car up to head to our friend’s house, a fire truck arrived. Another one of our neighbor’s homes had sprung a leak as well. Unfortunately, they were not at home. Thus, the firefighters had to turn their water off from the street with some guidance from my husband where the access existed.
Even though we were running late, my husband took time to reach out to our neighborhood group to report that water was off in these two homes, with the specifics of one being turned off from inside the house and the other from the street.
What does any of this have to do with joyful celebration and verse four of the carol Joy to the World?
Continue reading “What Are You Joyfully Celebrating Part Four”
Recently my husband and I have hosted some driveway firepit nights.
The most recent time was on Thanksgiving evening. We prepared a traditional thanksgiving meal but shared it around a driveway firepit instead of a formal table setting. It was a relaxing and simple time of joyful celebration with our friends who joined us.
One of our neighbors even came over to join in the fun for a bit.
Our conversations flowed easily as we enjoyed the warmth of the flames, the succor of the savory foods, and the fellowship in a laid-back setting.
How does this relate to this series of considering what we are joyfully celebrating this holiday season?
Continue reading “What Are you Joyfully Celebrating? Part Three”
This past week has not gone as I had originally planned.
I got sick with a head cold while traveling back from visiting family.
And I am still in recovery.
Thus, I have not prepared my intended post for this date.
Instead, I have been taking care of my body by sleeping and drinking plenty of hot tea or brothy soups.
My pets have enjoyed getting to snuggle more with me than usual.
Each day I am making progress and anticipate resuming a more normal routine soon.
Meanwhile, as you prepare for the festivities of this Christmas season, please take some time to ponder the following prayer of Christ to God, found in the gospel of John.
Continue reading “Taking Some Recovery Time”
Time spent observing nature is one of my favorite things to do.
I find it brings me great joy.
A soft sunrise or a bold sunset always garner an expression of awe in me.
Tending to a vegetable and herb garden spring through fall also brings me joy, especially when the plants yield a harvest we get to eat!
Being from the Midwest, I appreciate the beauty of a golden wheat field, but I also love spending time in the mountains, whether it be the Rockies or the Blue Ridge.
The Bible sometimes personifies the forces of nature, not to cause us to worship them, but to encourage our own joyful celebration of our Lord.
In this vein, Isaac Watts penned a verse that starts with “Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!”
How does a reigning Savior bring joy to the earth?
Continue reading “What Are You Joyfully Celebrating? Part Two“
Twice a day we prepare food for our pets pictured above, sharing some sunbeams.
The tortoiseshell and white cat named Tink demands her food, starting an hour or more before we usually feed her.
The gray cat named Gunny will occasionally issue a weak and pitiful-sounding meow if she thinks we’re taking too long to prep the food. Mostly, though, she just paces the room while we prep the food. Well, and sometimes tackles Tink for some unknown reason. Hmmm. Maybe Gunny thinks Tink should be quieter? Giggling…
Meghan, the canine, has a very different reaction. Her response to the sounds and smells of food being prepared for her is pure, unabashed joy. She dances and jumps while wagging her tail at the prospect of receiving her meal every time we prepare it. Her tongue hangs out with a touch of drool and a distinct sparkle is in her eyes regarding the anticipation of the tasty meal being prepared.
Seeing Meghan’s joy at mealtime always brings a smile to my face, no matter what I may have dealt with prior to that moment.
And it causes me to wonder about what stirs pure, unabashed joy in my heart.
Continue reading “What Are You Joyfully Celebrating? Part One.“
Something that fascinates me is how often a turn of phrase, concept, or even a direct biblical quote appears in movies that do not intend to promote a biblical worldview.
Movies frequently misquote or twist what originated from the Bible. But even with this tendency, we can learn something.
Case in point, the movie Dr. Strange is a sci-fi movie based on a Marvel comic book that portrays a man seeking his own healing through any means, including sorcery. Clearly, this is not a film intending to promote a Christian or even Jewish biblical worldview. However, it is a film promoting a general story of good over evil, which is found in a biblical worldview.
Consider with me a scene from Dr. Strange where we can learn something.
In one scene of Dr. Strange, a character challenges another who operates from a motivation of arrogance and fear that they have missed learning the simplest lesson in life.
When asked what this lesson is, they reply that the simplest lesson in life to learn is that our time here is not about us.
Is this really the simplest lesson in life and is it a biblical concept?
Continue reading “When Your Story Isn’t About You”
On my wedding day, I wore a veil.
This is the most common use of veils in my country.
Other cultures require women to be veiled whenever in public.
More rarely, I discovered some cultures require men to be veiled.
The purpose of a veil can be ornamental, traditional, practical, or symbolic.
Possibly all at the same time.
What does this mean for Genesis 24:64-65?
Continue reading “When Do You Use Veils?”