Growing up, I recall the backyard of my parent’s home had several large oak trees and a maple tree. Also lining the edge of their property line and the start of the neighbor’s yard behind was a row of cottonwood trees.
I remember climbing both the maple tree and one of the cottonwood trees frequently.
Sometimes I climbed the trees to see how high I could get or as a hiding spot when playing hide and seek with neighboring kids.
I also recall times when I would go to the trees when I was hurting emotionally. Being hidden amongst the leaves and supported by the sturdy tree branches helped me feel safe in those moments.
Why all this talk about trees?
Today, we will study Psalm 1:3-4, which uses fruit tree imagery when describing a blessed or happy follower of God.
Continue reading “Do You Enjoy God? (Part Two)”
We define the word enjoy as:
- To have a good time
- To have for one’s use or benefit
- To take pleasure or satisfaction in
Based on the above definitions, I enjoy many things in daily life.
- A tasty meal or snack.
- A walk in nature.
- The afterglow of a beautiful sunset.
- Reading a good book.
- Time with friends around a firepit.
- Completing an important project.
- And so on.
But how do these definitions apply to God?
- What does it look like to have a good time with God?
- How is God useful and beneficial to us?
- Is there a uniqueness to the pleasure or satisfaction found with God?
We will answer these questions by studying Psalm 1.
Continue reading “Do You Enjoy God? (Part One)”
Recently, my husband and I were leaving a parking lot when another driver caught our attention significantly.
The driver appeared to wave their left hand in a motion that seemed to show they wanted us to hurry past them.
But after we took that action and were waiting to make a left turn from the lane we had chosen, we noticed the same driver appeared in the adjacent lane, still waving their left hand in what we now realized was a display of panic.
As we waited for the traffic light to change to green, we could hear the other driver yelling in an agitated manner. In addition, they kept attempting to go into the intersection to turn left, in front of us, even though the light was red and cars were traveling through.
The driver never looked at us to ask for a courtesy for them to take their obviously intended action. Instead, they were anxiously self-focused.
Aside from the practical tactics of waiting after the light turned green to allow this frantic drive to go ahead of us and maintaining a safe distance from them, how can scripture guide us in responding to this scenario?
Continue reading “Responding to Another’s Weakness”
Welcome to 2023!
My prep for this post took some interesting delays.
First, there was a cat sitting on my computer completely blocking my screen view.
Has anyone ever heard of writer’s block? This was Tink’s block. Giggling.
Second, when I opened my bible study software, it crashed with no hope of resurrection. I have been expecting this to happen eventually since the company that created it went out of business at least five years ago.
After encouragement from my husband, I pulled the trigger to purchase a new study software.
Third, while awaiting the software to download, I took a break to dish up a bowl of soup my husband had prepared. In the process, a small piece of celery landed on the side of my thumb, scalding it badly.
So now I had my hand wrapped in ice, also making it difficult to work on this post.
What is the point of this list of irritations making writing this post a challenge?
Continue reading “To-Do vs Not-To-Do”
Yesterday, Christmas eve, my husband returned home after attending our church’s 2:00 pm worship service to tend to our pets before heading over to a friend’s house to share an evening meal and play a game of Scrabble.
While my husband was outside walking our dog, he noticed running water coming from the back of a neighbor’s house. Given the temperatures had been at record lows for our area overnight and had barely risen above freezing by this point, my husband immediately intervened.
Thankfully, the neighbor was home, enabling my husband to instruct them on how to turn their water off and encourage them to contact an emergency plumber.
Then, as we were loading our car up to head to our friend’s house, a fire truck arrived. Another one of our neighbor’s homes had sprung a leak as well. Unfortunately, they were not at home. Thus, the firefighters had to turn their water off from the street with some guidance from my husband where the access existed.
Even though we were running late, my husband took time to reach out to our neighborhood group to report that water was off in these two homes, with the specifics of one being turned off from inside the house and the other from the street.
What does any of this have to do with joyful celebration and verse four of the carol Joy to the World?
Continue reading “What Are You Joyfully Celebrating Part Four”
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.“
I live near the blue ridge mountains.
Frequently, I enjoy a glimpse of the mountain range as I commute to work.
This glimpse always brings a smile to my face.
Yet there are days when rain, fog, or darkness hide their presence from view.
Our emotional states mirror this experience with highs and lows.
Everyone has good and tough days.
Some days are harder than others.
- Where do you turn for help when you are struggling?
Join me in looking at Psalm 121 for some encouragement.
Continue reading “Are You Struggling Today?”
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”
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!”
This past week has had five straight days of rain in my area.
Flash flooding alerts were prevalent.
Power outages occurred from the flash flooding in some cases.
In addition to the literal flash flooding of the past week there has been emotional flash flooding in my extended family.
Continue reading “FLASH FLOODING”
- What flash flooding have you been dealing with recently?
- Emotional, spiritual, physical, or mental flash flooding?
- Maybe several flash floods are occurring in your life or someone you know simultaneously?
- How can Psalm 69 help us with the flash flooding that occurs in our lives?