Harvest Blessings and Prosperity

harvestblessings

My maternal grandfather was a wheat farmer. He grew other things and had some animals too, but I mostly remember the wheat crops.

After grandad passed, my mother and her sisters discovered some letters in his belongings where he was discussing why his wheat had such exceptional quality even though it failed to produce as much yield as other farmers in the area.

Turns out my grandfather was an organic farmer. He refused to spray chemicals on his land crops while also practicing crop rotation to improve the soil quality.

I have also been told that my grandfather received many offers for his land over the years, but he refused to sell it even after he could no longer farm the land himself after having a heart attack. Instead, he rented out his land to an approved farmer that would maintain the same practices he had. This was his way of continuing his farming career and providing for his family.

Why am I sharing about my grandad’s farming?

How is it related to Genesis 26:12-13?

Continue reading “Harvest Blessings and Prosperity”

Responding to Someone’s Lie

Calico

How do you respond when you discover someone lied to you?

Years ago, my sister and I received two female kittens from our grandparent’s farm to take to our home. My sister named the all-white kitten Cinderella. I named the calico kitten Charlie. But after enjoying them at our home for a short amount of time, we returned them to the farm. I do not remember why.

We would regularly visit the farm and call out for Cinderella and Charlie, seeing them scamper toward us.

I do not recall how much time had passed until one day she and I were sitting on the fence calling for the two cats when my sister suddenly blurted out a tractor had run Charlie over months ago.

My sister further revealed that everyone had been lying to me about this for some time.

How do you think I responded?

What does this have to do with Gen 26:9-11?

Continue reading “Responding to Someone’s Lie”

Caught for Truth Spinning

truthspinning

Have you ever spun the truth for any reason?

Children to adults are bound to have practiced truth spinning.

Over thirty-three years ago, I did some truth spinning when I missed an agreed-upon time for a date.

I told the truth about why I was not present at the agreed-upon time while leaving out the details I was late because of a date I had planned with a different person.

Oh, the webs we can weave with partial truth and lies! 

  • What compels us to spin the truth?
  • Is truth spinning something we learn from others or a prime instinct for self-preservation? 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:8?

Continue reading “Caught for Truth Spinning”

Whose Advice Do You Heed?

When facing a crisis or hard decision, whose advice do you heed?

Friends? 

Relatives?

Coworkers?

Professionals?

All the above?

Does your answer change depending on the type of decision you are facing?

Last week, I shared some about how my husband and I settled in South Carolina.

The motivating factor behind our relocation was my husband’s initial job loss. We needed advice regarding a variety of needs. So, our process involved talking with all the above relationships to meet these needs.

As I shared last week, we moved to South Carolina, even though we had zero friends, relatives, or previous coworkers in the area. 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:6?

Continue reading “Whose Advice Do You Heed?”

Moving to Provide for Your Family

Provisions

Have you moved away from where you grew up? If so, why did you move?

Sometimes we move because we simply want to experience something new.

At other times, we move because of a loss of a job.

My husband and I have experienced both.

Our first move away from Kansas, our home state, took us to Oklahoma. The reason for this move was two-pronged. Doug sensed the company he was working for at the time was preparing to close the branch he was in, and I was preparing to go back to school in pursuit of a doctoral degree in piano performance. Oklahoma was the location of the parent branch of Doug’s employer, so he inquired about transitioning there, sharing that I wanted to attend Oklahoma University. The parent company offered him a job and even checked with OU to confirm that I would qualify for in-state tuition since they had employed Doug even while in Kansas.

Two and a half years after moving to Oklahoma, while I was recovering from shoulder injuries, they let Doug go compliments of a “last hired, first fired” scenario. After two months of job searching, Doug received two job offers on the same day. One job was in Nebraska and the other was in South Carolina.

To the surprise of our family back in Kansas, we moved to South Carolina. 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:1?

Continue reading “Moving to Provide for Your Family”

Do Opposites Really Attract?

Meghan and Tink

Consider cats and dogs, two very different species. Can they be friends or are they destined to always be at odds with one another?

Our cat, Tink, despised our dog, Meghan, when they were first introduced many years ago. Today, however, Tink loves to snuggle with Meghan as often as Meghan allows.

But Tink and our other cat, Gunny, still despise each other after living in the same household for roughly ten years. 

Gunny

There’s a larger age difference between the two cats than there is between Tink and Meghan. Plus, Gunny’s personality differs from Tink’s.

Gunny is a cat that needs lots of mental and physical stimulation, a true huntress. Tink, however, stays in the same spot most of the day. Until she deems it is time for food, that is. Then she finds whatever human is nearest to her proximity to pester until fed.

Meghan’s personality is best described as accommodating to whatever the activity may be. If resting, she’ll gladly rest. If heading outside, she’ll gladly go along. Oh, and food time is a significantly joyous event. Essentially, Meghan gets along well with every member of our household.

What does this illustration of animals and opposites attracting have to do with Genesis 25:28?

Continue reading “Do Opposites Really Attract?”

When Your Story Isn’t About You

your story and God

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”

What Causes You Anxiety?

Resiliency

Our answer to this question is more nuanced in 2022 than five years ago.

In the past five years, humanity has experienced a global pandemic, ongoing political turmoil, supply chain failures, rising inflation, and the list continues.

What other stressors do we struggle against?

There are also more intimate stressors to consider, such as a loss of a loved one, loss of a means of income, infertility, divorce, to spilling water on your computer keyboard (yes, this just happened to me.) 

Any of the above items and others can raise our cortisol, the stress hormone, to various degrees. How we cope with the daily intimate anxieties and the global ones reveals our differences in resilience.

Can we “bloom” like the flower in the picture above, even when we are anxious?

What can we learn about dealing with our anxieties in Genesis 25:21?  

Continue reading “What Causes You Anxiety?”

Where Are You From?

origins

Shortly after moving to South Carolina in 2003, I received an invitation to join a local women’s group where I received advice to say I was from Oklahoma instead of Kansas when introducing myself to the members.

The reasoning for this advice came from Oklahoma’s history as an unorganized Indian territory, while Kansas was a loyal free state between 1861-1865. These dates refer to the American Civil War, sometimes referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. 

The encouragement to lie about my birthplace was accurate advice for being better received by this group of women. When I stopped following that advice, the facial expressions of members who were meeting me for the first time revealed they immediately disliked me over something that happened before I was even born!

How does this connect with Genesis 25:20?

Continue reading “Where Are You From?”

The Value of Redundancy

redundancy

First, what is redundancy?

Merriam-webster.com defines redundancy as the quality or state of being redundant.

Okay, Merriam-webster.com, what is the definition of redundant?

Merriam-webster.com defines redundant as exceeding what is necessary or normal or characterized by or containing an excess, specifically: using more words than necessary.

Second, how do we define value?

Some options from Merriam-webster.com include:

  • Relative worth, utility, or importance
  • Something such as a principle or quality intrinsically valuable or desirable

So, when do we value redundancy?

As one continues down the list of viable options, we find redundant can also mean serving as a duplicate for preventing the failure of an entire system (such as a spacecraft) upon failure of a single component.

How does any of this relate to Bible study and specifically, Genesis 25:19?

Continue reading “The Value of Redundancy”