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?
Continue reading “Labor Shortages”
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?
Continue reading “Thoughts on Prayers”
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.
Continue reading “PRIVATE PRAYER”
- Why do I practice this habit of private prayer and reflection?
Several years ago, my husband hung a large birdfeed er from a tree limb in our yard.
We were eager to see what birds would find their way to this bountiful buffet of seeds.
Yes, we got birds, but we also got squirrels.
These squirrels, and possibly one specific rodent, were quite effective at getting seed from the feeder even though it had a rounded dome on top that was meant to deter them.
They were quick to figure out that if they simply chewed through the wire that the feeder was hanging on it would drop to the ground causing the domed lid to come off and spill all the seed on the ground.
My husband even hung the feeder with a stainless-steel cable that they chewed through before trying an 6- gauge copper wire.
This last wire was looking good for a while. But then we noticed that a squirrel was trying to chew through it too.
What does the effective tenacity of these squirrels have to do with effectiveness in prayer as discussed in James 5:16?
Continue reading “EFFECTIVENESS IN PRAYER”
Have you ever watched a chickadee learn to land on a feeder?
One morning when I looked out our window to check the status of our bird feeder, I had the opportunity to see baby chickadees attempting to master this exact skill.
They would sit on the tree branch nearby and ruffle their feathers several times before making each attempt to land on the feeder.
Mostly that day they kept missing the mark, skidding, and fluttering down to the ground.
But then, after a moment to compose themselves, they would swoop back up to the tree branch and try again.
Yes, at times they would miss the tree branch too!
I marveled at their tenacity and resilience to keep trying.
Even more amazing, by the next morning these tiny creatures had mastered this new skill.
It was astonishing to see them zipping from branch to feeder to branch to ground and back again looking like total experts at what just the day before was filled with so much failure.
What can we learn from the example of the chickadees above and Matthew 21:22 to succeed in prayer?
Continue reading “What Does it Take to Succeed in Prayer?”
Last week we looked at the importance of reciprocity as found in Matthew 6:14 where Jesus elaborates on one of the petitions within the sample prayer we refer to as the Lord’s prayer. (See Matthew 6:12.)
After concluding the sample prayer, Jesus confirms with Matthew 6:14 that the Lord to whom one should pray will forgive us as we forgive others.
Then comes the “but” or what I’m referring to as the challenge of reciprocity found in Matthew 6:15.
Continue reading “THE CHALLENGE OF RECIPROCITY”
At the end of June 2021, we began a series about prayer starting with the followers of Jesus asking to be taught how to pray. (See Teach us to….)
We then turned our attention to Matthew 6:5-13, taking a verse per week of Jesus’ instruction, first on how not to pray, that is then followed with an example of how to pray.
Today we turn our attention to Matthew 6:14 where Jesus elaborates on one of the petitions within the sample prayer we refer to as the Lord’s prayer. (See Matthew 6:12.)
We will learn a surprising principle of the importance of reciprocity applied to forgiveness.
Continue reading “THE IMPORTANCE OF RECIPROCITY”
When was the last time you used a compass for navigating?
Are you someone who is naturally gifted at navigating without the use of an external compass?
I have never been in a situation where a compass was critical for navigating.
Compass use for me has been more recreational than a necessity.
Navigating streets and trails is one thing.
Continue reading “NAVIGATING LIFE”
- What about navigating life in general?
- How do you know you are on the correct path for your life?
- Who is leading you in navigating life?
- What does Matthew 6:13 share about navigating life?