Had It Not Been – Psalm 124

Speaking of addictions, but not Anglophilia, haven’t we all been addicted to something?

photo by jens rost

Chocolate? Gum? Alcohol? Drugs? An addiction just starts out as a pleasant diversion, but when the search for continued diversion continues to an unhealthy level, the addiction can become a snare from which there is no escape. Our human will-power is most often not enough to free us. Now, more than ever before, Satan uses addictions to divert our attention from the things that truly matter. He has so many tools at his disposal!

Continue reading

Posted in Devotionals, Psalms | Leave a comment

Psalm 123: A Good Master

I have an addiction. It is very advanced and probably needs addressing. I’m a little ashamed at it, at times- the looks that come my way when others discover the severity of my dependance. Those who come to my house might or might not notice , depending on their lifestyle and if they or someone they know has been similarly addicted. If they are acquainted at all with it will see the evidence in every nook and cranny, affecting nearly every surface.

It might surprise those who do not know me well but after being acquainted with me just a few weeks- you’d know. There’s not really a good way to hide it because I’ve got it bad.

Anglophilia.

No it’s not a love of angles – I am terrible at math… pictures and more after the break.

Continue reading

Posted in Devotionals, Psalms | Leave a comment

Peace be with you – Psalm 122

A little something to focus your mind for Wednesday night church tonight.

Peaceful sunset in Roatan, Honduras (Credit to Lynn McKee)

Read:

Psalms 122:

1  I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

Continue reading

Posted in Devotionals, Psalms | 1 Comment

Songs of Ascent: Lift up your eyes…

I’d like to kick off a Monday & Wednesday Devotional thoughts starting with the Songs of Ascent to focus our thoughts on what many of us consider  the worst day of the week (Monday) and on Wednesday mornings as a mid-week reminder.

I think the Songs of Ascent are a great place to start. They would be sung as traveling Jews climbed up to Jerusalem for the Holy Days (like Passover or Pentecost.) They are usually brief (I know yay!) and often very encouraging!

Below the cut: Our first Psalm and a Song by Casting Crowns

Continue reading

Posted in Devotionals, Psalms | 1 Comment

Big News part 1 (Luke 1:8-23)

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.  And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 

This was no ordinary worship service. This was a huge deal- the only time a priest could enter the Holy of Holies was on the Day of Atonement,  possibly the holiest day of the Jewish Calendar. On this day one priest would get to enter into the presence of God and he would offer the blood of a sacrifice for the sins of all the people, delaying the payment for that sin another year. You see in the Old Testament sin was not removed it was postponed until a later date. (check out Leviticus 16 for more info.)

So Zechariah should’ve been on the lookout for something amazing to happen, right?

Below the Cut: His reaction and a chart!

Continue reading

Posted in Study of Luke | 1 Comment

Historical Markers and More- Luke 1:5-7

“In the days of Herod, king of Judea…” 

These words, though they do not seem to be very important, are actually very key. They give us a time & date stamp, like you have on a text message. Not everyone believes in the bible- and many of those who don’t (and even some who claim to believe!) will say that the bible is just a bunch of stories with no basis in historical fact. Others will say “There is no historical Jesus…. Jesus is just kind of a really nice figure, but he never lived…”  It is little words like this, however, that prove them wrong.

Continue reading

Posted in Study of Luke | 3 Comments

Why Luke: An Introduction

Day 1: Luke 1:1-4 (ESV)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us. It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus , that you may have certainty concerning the things which you have been taught.

Just as you (Sharon) have been baptized and want to learn more about what you have been taught, Luke thought it would be a good idea to take all of what he could compile from those around him and create an ‘orderly account’ of it- instead of lots of individual accounts or retellings. The result was one of the easiest gospels to study: it seems to be the most complete, the most ‘orderly’ and in some ways the easiest one for us to understand!

Continue reading

Posted in Devotionals, Study of Luke | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dedication: Happy Birthdays

As I have written on our About page this is the start of a special new blog, written for a very special young woman, my not-so-baby sister, Sharon on the double occasion of her 12th birthday and her decision to be baptized. I’d like to take the opportunity to talk to her a little bit.

Hey Baby Girl.

So, you’re twelve years old now. Twelve years ago your sister Kelly and I hung out with Nana and Papa Joe at the birth center where mom planned to have you. (It was a really awesome place, I must say, though I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I was pretty bored waiting for you to make up your mind already(!) and playing video games until you decided to make your entrance.) We transferred to the hospital, as I know you’ve heard by now, and you were the first baby delivered there by a nurse-midwife! Kelly and I got to watch- which we thought was pretty cool and not gross (’cause we’re weird- but you know that already!) I was so in awe of the whole thing I followed the nurse over to the station where they cleaned you off and weighed you… and then she turned and put you into my arms straightaway. I was about your age when that happened and I was mostly just shocked- I think that was the first time I’d held such a newborn. It was so awesome- holding you in my arms and looking down at your little adorable newborn face. I never wanted to give you to mom and dad…. but I figured they deserved a little time with you, too. I was so proud to be your big sister then…and I still am now. I love you so much and while I hate living so far away from you- I love seeing the wonderful ways you change each time we’re back together again.

I can’t believe how old you’ve gotten- you’re TWELVE. Is that even possible? You’ll like twelve- I know I did. Everything is getting ready to start and you are becoming who you are going to be for the rest of your life. It doesn’t seem possible you’re already here! I remember being there! I remember the awesome times my Youth Group- who I loved so much- the same Youth Group that you are a part of now, though there are different kids in it now. Going to the same camps and activities you’re at…. (no pressure to meet your future husband just yet- it’s a long long time to wait between now and marriage stuff. You’ll enjoy it a lot better if you’re not worried about it the whole time like I was!)

You’ve been to the UK already- something most people don’t ever get to do, much less kids your age. I went there too, at your age. I think it really changes your perspective a lot. I remember sitting in class and daydreaming about the beautiful countries I’d been to and wondering how they could possibly exist in the same world as the boring classroom I was in (at your same school, too. But I don’t have to tell you that…. sorry for teacher’s flashbacks- I had no idea I’d be quite so memorable! But I’m confident you can make your own impression so that they will know you as YOU.)

So much going on- so much crazy-fun good-times ahead. Summer was my absolute favorite- so much possibility just tingling in the air, ready to go. Now that’s yours, too. Make the most of it, sweetie, because it is all yours.

I love you so incredibly much. I’m so proud of you and who you are and I hope to stay a part of getting you to who you will be. You can always (always always!) talk to me: you’d be surprised by the things I know and the things I thought and experienced when I was your age…. don’t rule me out because we are probably a lot more alike than even we know.You are never ever alone, Baby Girl. (I’ll stop calling you that…one day. Promise!)

Tons of love from your sister,

Sarah

Posted in Letter | Leave a comment