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“
Imagine what types of contexts you might ask, “Why have you come to me?”
Does a positive or negative context come to mind first? Why do you think that is?
Have you ever asked this question of someone? Or maybe someone asked you this question?
Why did the question need to be asked in either situation?
Join me in looking at a time Isaac asked this question in Genesis 26:27.
Continue reading “Why Have You Come To Me?”
What are some examples of honor?
Do you envision government or military officials that hold a high rank?
Maybe you think of students who showed superior academic abilities.
How about the privilege of going first in a sport or other activity?
One definition of honor I found is the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon. Yes, I had to look up both armorial and escutcheon.
These definitions of honor aside, what does it mean to respond to envy with honor?
Join me as we consider an example from Isaac in Genesis 26:17-18.
Continue reading “Responding to Envy with Honor”
Prosperity is the condition of being successful or thriving.
We derive success from a favorable or desired outcome, often involving the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.
Success or prosperity characterizes thriving.
As a result, we typically consider prosperity a positive situation.
Yet, prosperity for one person or people group can stir envy from those who are nearby.
Envy is a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage or to cause pain, injury, or distress to the one envied.
Join me in looking at Genesis 26:14-16, when Isaac’s prosperity brought envy to the Philistines.
Continue reading “When Prosperity Brings Envy”
My maternal grandfather was a wheat farmer. He grew other things and had some animals too, but I mostly remember the wheat crops.
After grandad passed, my mother and her sisters discovered some letters in his belongings where he was discussing why his wheat had such exceptional quality even though it failed to produce as much yield as other farmers in the area.
Turns out my grandfather was an organic farmer. He refused to spray chemicals on his land crops while also practicing crop rotation to improve the soil quality.
I have also been told that my grandfather received many offers for his land over the years, but he refused to sell it even after he could no longer farm the land himself after having a heart attack. Instead, he rented out his land to an approved farmer that would maintain the same practices he had. This was his way of continuing his farming career and providing for his family.
Why am I sharing about my grandad’s farming?
How is it related to Genesis 26:12-13?
Continue reading “Harvest Blessings and Prosperity”