What Key Ingredient Is Missing?

key ingredients

A couple of years ago, my husband and I were preparing a meal for our extended family at his mother’s home.

The menu included a vegetable tray with hummus, butternut squash lasagna, steamed broccoli, and a dessert munchies platter.

This was the first time we attempted the butternut squash lasagna.

We used the vegetable tray with hummus as an appetizer as we started steaming the broccoli.

Everything was going as planned.

Delightful conversation and enjoyable food for all.

When we opened the oven, we realized we had neglected a key ingredient.

What key ingredient was missing?

Heat.

And you thought I was going to say butternut squash!

No, it was not the oven’s fault.

It was our error. 

We had misunderstood the controls on the oven.

After we recovered from laughing, we served the steamed broccoli, followed by a dessert tray and then butternut lasagna as the last course.

  • What does this missing key ingredient story have to do with Bible Study?
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How Far Would You Go?

practicing

At the start of my undergraduate studies in music, I was told I was required to practice my instruments two hours daily. Since I was pursuing a degree in two instruments — piano and flute — that meant four hours of daily practice.

This was besides private lessons, band and orchestra rehearsals, accompanying other flutists as a part of my scholarship responsibilities, and performing in masterclasses.

I also had a full course load of other required courses since I was attending a liberal arts university.

My heart was determined to excel musically, so I practiced more than the required two hours daily per instrument.

I would be at the music building as the janitors were unlocking so that I could either get into a practice room or my professor’s studio.

Between classes and other rehearsals, I would be in the practice rooms until security kicked me out so they could lock up the building.

If I’d been lucky enough to get into my professor’s office after she left, security couldn’t kick me out since they could not know if it was a student or a teacher. So yes, there were nights I spent the night in my professor’s office practicing and occasionally resting on her couch.

Sundays are when I would catch up on all my other courses and rest from practicing unless I had a performance scheduled.

My professors recognized my dedication but did not know I had set up a practice routine of ten hours a day, Monday-Saturday. 

  • What does this have to do with Bible Study?
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When Not to Ask Questions

noquestionsasked
  • When did you not ask questions?

Back when my husband and I were living in Oklahoma, he was standing in our kitchen with his back to me ranting about the garbage bucket needing to be emptied. His level of frustration regarding an overfilled garbage bucket was excessive. It was also not his usual demeanor.

Although I wanted to ask questions or say something snarky about his behavior, I sensed the issue was not about the garbage bucket.

Turns out tired frustrations over something at his work triggered his behavior, not the garbage, nor me.

To this day, I am glad I let him express his frustration rather than interrogate him right then.

  • How do you decide not to ask questions?
  • Does the Bible have an example of not asking questions?
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Firepits

burnt offering

Why are we drawn to gather around firepits?

Firepits may be used to cook a meal, keep one warm, and to generate light at night.

Fellowship with others often occurs around firepits.

My husband and I find time spent around a firepit to be enjoyable whether it is just the two of us, a few friends, or even a larger group at a camping event.

But sometimes a firepit is used to burn up something.

  • What does this talk of firepits have to do with Bible study?
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Looking for the Kingdom of God

snowdaffodil

The daffodil in the picture above reminds me of something I noticed years ago.

I grew up in Kansas and my father had big daffodils referred to as jonquils planted around the house.

What age I was escapes me when I first noticed that it always snowed, at least one more time, after the daffodils had bloomed in the spring.

Ever since mentioning this observation to my mother, without fail, she has continued to report to me that it has remained a constant occurrence – at least in my hometown.

  • What does this have to do with Bible Study?
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LETTING GO

lettinggo

When have you struggled with letting go?

What triggered your struggle with letting go?

Was it a person, place, or thing that you were letting go?

Recently I assisted my parents in their second process of downsizing.

The first downsizing occurred only four years prior from a ranch house that had been my childhood home. They had lived there at least fifty years.

This time they were downsizing from a duplex to a handicapped apartment.

Letting go of space, paper, furniture, timing, control, and so on, were the operative words for everyone involved.

Stress and tension were present due to fond memories of things that were forced into the category of letting go.

How does this relate to Bible Study?

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MATERNAL INSTINCTS

maternalinstincts

What do you think is happening in the picture above?

Is the dog simply curious about the kitten?

Or is the dog a threat to the kitten?

How do you know?

What if instead of a dog and cat, the picture was of two half-brothers?

One is your child. The other is the child of your husband with another woman who was your maidservant.

How do you interpret the photo now?

What does this have to do with Bible study?

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CELEBRATION TIME

celebration

What life transitions have you hosted a feast in celebration?

Perhaps a significant birthday?

A wedding or an anniversary?

Graduation from high school or college perhaps?

Did you ever host a celebration for weaning your child?

ESV Genesis 21:8  And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

I personally have never been invited to or heard of someone hosting a celebration at the life transition of their child being weaned except in the verse above.

Why does scripture tell us Abraham celebrated this life transition?

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Babies and Old Age Part Two Bible Study

babies and old age

Our Bible study, Babies and Old Age Part One, focused on the age of Abraham as mentioned in the following verse:

ESV  Genesis 21:5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Although Sarah’s age is absent in the verse above, reading cross references and commentaries for this verse takes one to verses that mention Sarah’s age.

It is one thing for a man to father a child in his old age.

But for a woman to give birth in her old age? This is most unusual!

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CHANGE OF PLAN

change of plan

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.

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