Each month, I meet with a small group of friends to discuss a chapter or more of a Christian-authored book.
We have read and discussed a variety of non-fiction and fiction Christian-authored books since meeting as a group.
Currently, we are working our way through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book, A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life.
A scripture passage that is referenced more than once in DeMoss’ book is Mark 1:35.
But before we consider Mark 1:35 in its context, we need to define devotion.
Continue reading “Mark 1:35-39 | Why We Need Devotion”
What is doubt?
Merriam-webster.com defines doubt as calling into question, lacking confidence in, or considering unlikely the truth of something or someone.
Doubt is also a synonym for fear or suspicion.
What prompts doubt in us?
Today we are looking at a passage in Luke where John the Baptist sends messengers to Jesus Christ, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
How is it possible that John, who was filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth (Luke 1:15), experienced doubts about Christ as described in Luke 7:18-28?
Continue reading “Luke 7:18-28 | Christ’s Response to Doubts”
When was the last time you received news so good you struggled to explain or believe it?
Consider the following example:
When a cancerous tumor disappears before treatment starts or other medical recoveries, that has no logical explanation.
This type of experience often elicits expressions of “I can’t believe it” from our mouths, minds, and hearts, even though we are full of joy.
Jesus’ disciples experienced this in Luke 24.
Continue reading “Too Good to Be True?“
What leaps to mind when you hear someone begin a sentence with, “If anyone asks you”?
Obviously, when someone starts a sentence with that series of words, more instructions are about to follow.
Back in 2009, I had just started my first day of a two-week temporary assignment as a receptionist at a church.
Within the first hour of my temporary assignment, the senior pastor called the staff into a meeting. Meanwhile, being a temp, I remained at my post. As the staff came out of this unexpected meeting, I realized they had received upsetting news. Many were crying as they walked past the reception area to return to their offices.
My manager came and shared with me the news that the person whose role I was covering had stage four cancer and would most likely not return to work. She then proceeded with a version of “if anyone asks you” instruction on how to respond to questions that might come from church members as word of this spread.
This was a tremendous help to me in that unexpected situation. She coached me to be truthful while still protecting the privacy of the person.
Jesus once coached two of his disciples to respond to an “if anyone asks you” question for a specific situation.
Continue reading “If Anyone Asks You“
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”
Spring has sprung where I live.
Aside from dealing with the allergens that tackle my respiratory system, I love getting my container gardening started each spring.
I used to only want to plant vegetables so that there would be a harvest to enjoy. But when my husband and I moved into our current abode, there was simply too much shade for vegetables.
This challenged me to research shade gardening and develop a greater appreciation of ornamental plants.
A couple of years ago, a tree was removed from the backyard, which has enabled more sun on our postage stamp of a yard.
This year a neighbor gifted us with her extra lettuce seedlings, and I already have some sugar snap peas poking up through the dirt. In addition, there is rosemary, sage, parsley, and some lavender that has held on since last year.
I also potted up some pansies and petunias for their joyful colors this growing season.
For the spot that still does not get enough sun for vegetables, I planted some ferns, astilbe, and dicentra.
What does all my gardening talk have to do with God?
Continue reading “Are You Gardening with God?”
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”
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?
Continue reading “From Crippled Feet to the Love of God“
Have you ever asked someone to teach you?
What was the skill you wanted this person to teach you?
Why did you want to learn this skill?
How were you taught the skill?
Did you know Jesus’ disciples specifically asked him to teach them something?
Continue reading “TEACH US TO…”