Psalm 119 centers on God's word---it's beauty, power, value, quality---and it will be our focus in this month's scripture writing. Because we love God, we treasure the words He has inspired and preserved for our benefit. The creation declares His glory, wisdom, and majesty, but His word gives us insight into His plan for mankind, His righteous nature, and His steadfast love for us.
When our valleys last longer than expected, the people we expect to be with us grow fewer and farther between. Take, for instance, the long road of grief. When we lose someone, there is an instant outpouring of support. The refrigerator fills with meals. Phones vibrate with texts. The ads in the mailbox get outnumbered by sympathy cards. The scent of lilies and roses permeates every nook and cranny of our home. Our front door becomes a revolving door as people come and go in order to sit with us, and possibly cry with us. Within a few weeks (or even days), the flow of support slows to a trickle. Life moves on, but the grief does not. And that, my friends, is one of many such valleys. Take heart, God will get you through your valley.
When I entered college in 1999, many were under the impression that evolutionary theory and, of course, the obvious problem of peer pressure, had the greatest faith-wrecking potential.
We were wrong.
What is the greatest challenge facing Christians?
People used to say things like, "the devil made me do it," or "I can't help it, I was born this way!" Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. The facts remain clear: our own desire lures us into sin.
The book of James is like one of those magnification mirrors women use to put on makeup. In those mirrors, all the lines and contours are easier to see. Cringe-worthy pores, wrinkles, blemishes, and unwanted hairs also become more manifest, and we make any modifications within our power to conceal or alter such things. Every single time I read this book, it exposes the oversized pores and blemishes in my life, challenging me to change both my attitude and my actions.
"Hello, my name is Elihu and I am a control-aholic. It's been 24 hours since my last surge of anxiety and 3 days since I felt the need to control a situation."
For control-aholics, the urge to regulate every piece of our world damages our relationships---particularly our relationship with the Father. Anxiety and anger become our constant companions as we fight to regulate every aspect of our life.
It's time for a change.
As I was visiting with a friend yesterday afternoon, we started talking vacations. Since having kids, I have felt as though vacations are more work than they are relaxing. More than once, I would have preferred to stay home so I could actually rest. Have you ever felt the same? While we live on this earth, work… Continue reading Rest, Refuge, and Peace: Scripture Writing Plan April 2019
During my college years, I was blessed to worship and work with an amazing group of Christians. Our preacher loved to learn and teach. Because of that congregation, I didn't just get a college education, I also received a very thorough Bible education! I asked our preacher for information about the origins of the Bible… Continue reading Learning About Pre-Modern Bibles
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1.5 Our lives are peppered with daily choices, and the impact of our choices may have far-reaching consequences. To navigate through our words and our choices, we need wisdom. Living in… Continue reading Wisdom from Proverbs – Scripture Writing Plan for March
The kids and I are currently reading through Numbers. We've already tackled the first three books of the Pentateuch and they are well-acquainted with the Israelites' litany of complaints since their departure from Egypt. Shaking our heads in disgust at their obvious lack of faith is a knee-jerk reaction. However, if we are looking into God's word like a mirror, we may see some glaring (and disturbing) similarities in ourselves!