Are You Letting the Spirit Lead?

Fruit of the Spirit

Look closely at the picture above.

Do you know the name of each apple variety pictured?

I recognize Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Green Delicious.

The pale green with the flecks I am uncertain about.

The lighter red one could be a Gala, or possibly an Ambrosia, my favorite.

The opening sentence in Food & Wine’s The Ultimate Apple Guide to 85 Varieties, From Heirlooms to Hybrids published on October 9, 2023 states, “There are over 7,500 apple varieties around the world (and counting)…”

Wow!

The multiple apple varieties look and taste different from each other.

They also have different uses, such as snacking, saucing, baking, or cider.

Yet they are all apples.

What does this discussion of the vast world of apple varieties have to do with this post’s title, “Are You Letting the Spirit Lead?”

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Seeking Prayers From You

Yes, I said I would have part two of Why Did They Turn to Idolatry this week.

When I last posted, I knew with a brief trip coupled with a busier-than-usual workload at my day job, I would not have time to post something last Sunday.

Then, last Monday my husband and I said goodbye to our sweet dog of 14 years after having said goodbye to our sweet cat of nineteen years just back in September.

And the next two weeks will be unusually busy at my day job as we host a huge conference.

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1 Corinthians 11:17-34 | Whose Instructions Do You Follow?

One member of my book club recently brought some dessert to share with the group.

She wrapped each piece of cake individually and brought her own metal forks to share with us.

After she had passed them out but had not picked up her own fork, one of us teasingly asked, “Do we need to wait to eat our piece until you have picked up your fork?”

With a glint in her eye, she quickly picked up her fork so we could enjoy the yummy treat.

What does this cultural practice of waiting for the hostess to pick up her fork before the guests can begin eating have to do with 1 Corinthians 11:17-34?

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Are You Seeking God’s City?

holy

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.

My solution?

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?

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God’s Faithfulness and Our Response

readthenmeditate

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.

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Too Dim to See Part Two

too dim to see

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.

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Why You Want But Don’t Receive

sister argument

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?

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Are you a doer?

fitness

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?

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From Crippled Feet to the Love of God

love

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?

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