What first leaps to mind when you think of worship?
Merriam-Webster.com defines worship first as offering reverence to a divine being or supernatural power.
We can express this reverence through a worship service where praises, hymns, thanksgiving, teachings, and prayers are offered to a divine being or supernatural power in a group setting.
We can also worship in smaller group settings or individually.
A secondary definition reminds us we can worship any person or object we choose to offer extravagant respect, admiration, or devotion toward.
Consider the following examples Merriam-Webster.com used to illustrate this secondary definition.
A celebrity is worshipped by his or her fans.
There are those who worship the dollar.
What does this have to do with respecting God through worship and Genesis 22:5? Continue reading “Respecting God Through Worship | Genesis 22:5”
Jacob lied to his father and stole from his brother.
Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah.
Jacob cheated Laban, his father-in-law.
Yet, when God called (
Genesis 31:3), Jacob responded.
Our passage for study today: Genesis 31:17-18
17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac.  Continue reading “Responding to the God Who Calls–Genesis 31:17-18”
Some of us know our biological fathers or grandfathers. Others do not.
Regardless of which camp you are in, would you describe your biological or other father figures as intentional?
An intention can simply be a determination to act in a certain way.
Intentions can be good or harmful.
Which end of the spectrum would you place your father or father figure on regarding their intentionality? Mostly good? Mostly harmful? Other?
Did your father figure receive their intentional traits from their own father figure?
Continue reading “Do You Have an Intentional Father?”
Have you ever found yourself in a deceitful situation?
Sadly, most of us will probably say yes to that question.
Were you or someone else the one practicing the deceit?
Again, most of us, if we are truly honest, have experienced both being deceived and being the deceiver.
What motivated the deceit to occur?
Deceit occurs because we believe we have no other option to get or do something we want.
How can choosing God’s ways help us overcome deceitful situations?
Continue reading “Overcoming Deceit by Choosing God”
Have you ever experienced deception?
I have. More than once.
Ranging from practical jokes to outright cruelty, deception is something we all have or will encounter during our life journey.
How we react when a deception towards us is revealed often depends on the motives driving the deceiver.
If the deception was to keep us in the dark so that we can experience a surprise blessing from our family and friends, we might react with delight and joy.
When deception is dishonorable, though, our reaction might range from sadness to outright rage toward the deceiver.
Isaac, in Genesis 27, experienced deception by both his wife Rebekah and son Jacob.
Have you ever thought about Isaac’s reaction to this betrayal?
Continue reading “Too Dim to See Part Three”
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”
Recently, my husband and I spent some time with extended family members taking a tour of the cave at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. During the cave tour, there was a point when the guide turned out all the lights so we could experience what the first explorers had.
When the guide turned the lights back on, one of the younger tour members asked in a frantic voice, “Are you going to do that again?”
The guide assured the young tour member that she would not be turning the lights out again.
We all understood the concern experienced by this youngster about not being able to see.
Unlike being in a cave with no light, many of us experience a gradual loss of physical sight as we age.
This forces us to rely on others and use our other senses to process our interactions with others in this world.
Genesis 27:1 starts by telling us Isaac was old and his eyes had grown too dim to see.
Continue reading “Too Dim to See Part One”
Physically, I know how to recover from a joint injury. The acronym RICE is the standard protocol for sprains to more serious injuries: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Some injuries take a longer time to heal than expected, though.
Case in point, I tore my right ankle ligament back in 2018. Thankfully, the tear did not require surgery.
Yet, even now, in 2023, I still struggle with pain and mild swelling if I attempt to do over fifteen minutes of walking consecutively.
My goal for 2023 is to shore up this weakness in my ankle so that I can walk for thirty minutes consecutively by the time 2024 has dawned.
But how do we recover from other weaknesses, like selfishness? Continue reading “After Our Weaknesses Are Revealed”
A couple of years ago, my primary doctor was looking over my medical history and made the comment, “your primary issues are clearly orthopedic.”
We both laughed because, in the short time that she has known me, I have sprained an ankle or both frequently, torn an ankle ligament, sprained a thumb, pulled muscles in my low back, neck, and hip, and was currently being referred to a specialist for a shoulder injury. She even has in my history that I struggle with plantar fasciitis.
I wish I could say these are my only weaknesses. But, along with all other humans on this planet, I share the same weakness.
What is this shared weakness we are all prone towards? Continue reading “When Our Weaknesses Are Revealed”
Have you ever been caught lying?
Maybe it was when you were still a child, or perhaps it was just last week!
What prompted you to lie?
How did the lie get discovered?
How does God use our moments of failure to bring not only correction but healing?
Consider with me the story of Isaac in Genesis 26.
Continue reading “ When a Nonbeliever Forgives You“