How Far Would You Go?

practicing

At the start of my undergraduate studies in music, I was told I was required to practice my instruments two hours daily. Since I was pursuing a degree in two instruments — piano and flute — that meant four hours of daily practice.

This was besides private lessons, band and orchestra rehearsals, accompanying other flutists as a part of my scholarship responsibilities, and performing in masterclasses.

I also had a full course load of other required courses since I was attending a liberal arts university.

My heart was determined to excel musically, so I practiced more than the required two hours daily per instrument.

I would be at the music building as the janitors were unlocking so that I could either get into a practice room or my professor’s studio.

Between classes and other rehearsals, I would be in the practice rooms until security kicked me out so they could lock up the building.

If I’d been lucky enough to get into my professor’s office after she left, security couldn’t kick me out since they could not know if it was a student or a teacher. So yes, there were nights I spent the night in my professor’s office practicing and occasionally resting on her couch.

Sundays are when I would catch up on all my other courses and rest from practicing unless I had a performance scheduled.

My professors recognized my dedication but did not know I had set up a practice routine of ten hours a day, Monday-Saturday. 

  • What does this have to do with Bible Study?
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When Not to Ask Questions

noquestionsasked
  • When did you not ask questions?

Back when my husband and I were living in Oklahoma, he was standing in our kitchen with his back to me ranting about the garbage bucket needing to be emptied. His level of frustration regarding an overfilled garbage bucket was excessive. It was also not his usual demeanor.

Although I wanted to ask questions or say something snarky about his behavior, I sensed the issue was not about the garbage bucket.

Turns out tired frustrations over something at his work triggered his behavior, not the garbage, nor me.

To this day, I am glad I let him express his frustration rather than interrogate him right then.

  • How do you decide not to ask questions?
  • Does the Bible have an example of not asking questions?
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Firepits

burnt offering

Why are we drawn to gather around firepits?

Firepits may be used to cook a meal, keep one warm, and to generate light at night.

Fellowship with others often occurs around firepits.

My husband and I find time spent around a firepit to be enjoyable whether it is just the two of us, a few friends, or even a larger group at a camping event.

But sometimes a firepit is used to burn up something.

  • What does this talk of firepits have to do with Bible study?
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Looking for the Kingdom of God

snowdaffodil

The daffodil in the picture above reminds me of something I noticed years ago.

I grew up in Kansas and my father had big daffodils referred to as jonquils planted around the house.

What age I was escapes me when I first noticed that it always snowed, at least one more time, after the daffodils had bloomed in the spring.

Ever since mentioning this observation to my mother, without fail, she has continued to report to me that it has remained a constant occurrence – at least in my hometown.

  • What does this have to do with Bible Study?
Continue reading “Looking for the Kingdom of God”

CHANGE OF PLAN

change of plan

I was going to share part 2 of the previous post today.

But I have a change of plan.

This change of plan is inspired from last Thursday evening.

A group of my fellow staff, church members, and myself were returning from attending the Exponential Conference in Orlando.

Our flight had been late to leave the gate so we already knew we would probably miss our connecting flight in Atlanta. We were also spread out throughout the plane so the person who was closest to the front planned to ask the flight crew or first flight attendant after deplaning to call the other gate to request if they could hold the flight for our group of 15 people. Our thinking was that they might not hold the plane for one person but hopefully would for a group of our size.

We began to taxi away from the gate to get in line for flight.

The picture above is what forced another change of plan.

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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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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?

Continue reading “O Christmas Tree: Part Three”

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?

Continue reading “Christmas Tree: Part Two”

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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