There was a period in my life when I was reading through a variety of self-help books.
Something was out of whack in my life, and I was trying to figure out what it was.
Then, two different people within the same week asked me to explain my faith to them.
I struggled to respond to their probing questions, which bothered me greatly.
I picked up a one-year bible and immersed myself in scripture. If I was going to claim to be a follower of Christ, I felt this was the right next step.
Making this one decision began a transformation in my faith life. Although not always easy, this decision has proven more powerful and encouraging than any other pursuit in my life.
What does this have to do with Genesis 18, Hebrews 11, and seeking God’s city?
Continue reading “Are You Seeking God’s City?”
You may have learned in previous posts of mine that I read through a chronologically arranged Bible every year.
I have several reasons for doing this, but the primary reason is to know the Lord and learn how to live a life that honors and glorifies my creator.
The characters referred to in Hebrews 11:1-12 lived in a time that did not have the benefit of the written word of God. Yet, they are all held up as heroes of the faith.
Join me as we take a brief look at each of their lives to discern how their examples inform us of not just how we can be encouraged to respond to God in faith, but God’s faithfulness to us.
Continue reading “God’s Faithfulness and Our Response”
One day near the end of my kindergarten days, my teacher had us write our answers on our own paper to questions that were on a chalkboard.
After reviewing my written answers, she called me to her desk and asked me all the questions verbally.
My written answers were incorrect, but my verbal responses were accurate.
My teacher then called my mother, saying, “I think your daughter has a vision problem.”
Thankfully, having spent several months with me in a classroom, my teacher was right to speculate that my performance with the written answers meant something was amiss.
Her decision to test me with a different sensory mode enabled her to encourage my parents to get my eyes checked.
Yep, except for a brief period in my teens, I have worn glasses ever since.
A few weeks ago, we studied Genesis 27:1-5, where Isaac could no longer see because of his old age.
Today, we will consider what other senses he relied on because of his physical blindness.
Continue reading “Too Dim to See Part Two”
If I am remembering correctly, my sister was in high school on a morning we quarreled over a magazine.
I am four years younger than her, so I would have been somewhere between the 5th-8th grade at the time of this argument.
Our fight eventually engaged our mother as a referee between us.
Interestingly, when my mother handed me the magazine I had been fighting so hard for, I recall feeling strangely disappointed.
Why did reading James 4:1-6 prompt this memory?
Continue reading “Why You Want But Don’t Receive”
In the fourth grade, I learned my schoolteacher had bicycled across the United States.
Ever since then, I have dreamed about doing the same thing someday.
In high school, I took a biking trip with a small group from St. Francis, Kansas, to Estes Park, Colorado, and back.
I trained for this trip by riding ten miles every day for months, leading up to our departure.
My best day on the trip was the day we did a century ride.
Naturally, the day after, I was exhausted.
When I heard a companion from behind me say she wished our leader would let us stop and rest for a bit, that’s what I did. I stopped and got off my bike with tears of exhaustion streaming down my face.
Thankfully, there was a park ranger with a pickup that our leader talked into taking our four-person group up the mountain to our campsite for that night.
How did James 1:19–27 remind me of this experience?
Continue reading “Are you a doer?”
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“
My husband arranged for us to stay in a bed-and-breakfast called Max Paul for our first anniversary.
Each room had a distinct theme. Ours was based on an English Garden.
In the morning, upon hearing a gentle knock on the door of our room, we found a bountiful tray of breakfast delights and a pot of tea ready for us to enjoy. The host who had delivered it had disappeared before we opened the door.
On another occasion, we enjoyed a “bed and beach” stay in Oregon. The place had a tiny one-bedroom cottage with a deck, access to a large game room, a hot tub, and private beach access. There were pastries, tea, and other food items available as well for us to enjoy. The owner, like Max Paul’s bed-and-breakfast, greeted us on the night we arrived but otherwise left us alone.
Both locations were great for our introverted natures to enjoy solitude and rest together.
Sadly, neither of these places exists for public rental today. They tore Max Paul down to make room for an expanded highway. The “bed and beach” is no longer found in web searches for reasons unknown.
But there are many more options for vacation rentals from Airbnb and Vrbo to boutique hotels and large chains we can take advantage of for this purpose today.
These experiences are one type of hospitality. But are they the type of hospitality in 1 Peter 4:9?
Continue reading “How Do You Practice Hospitality?”
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.
Continue reading “SNOW DAY!”
I was distracted.
Shortly before I sat down at the computer to write we received news that a family member has entered the active dying phase.
Instead of writing a post for this blog what I really wanted to do was mindlessly play a card game on my computer or watch a movie where I did not have to think much about the plot line but just enjoy the scenery, clothing, or humor.
But instead, I texted friends who I knew I could ask to pray for the situation.
Each of them responded to me with a short prayer and encouragement.
I then opened my planning schedule to see what verse of scripture I had planned to work on today and read these words:
Continue reading “Being Grateful During Difficulties”