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?”
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.
Continue reading “How Far Would You Go?”
- What does this have to do with Bible Study?
- 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?
Continue reading “When Not to Ask Questions”
- Does the Bible have an example of not asking questions?
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.
Continue reading “Firepits”
- What does this talk of firepits have to do with Bible study?
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.
Continue reading “Looking for the Kingdom of God”
- What does this have to do with Bible Study?
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.
Continue reading “CHANGE OF PLAN”