Friday, October 31, 2014

Drop that Rock and Run

Taking walks with my three year old could be considered interval training.  Sometimes she'll run delightedly from one mailbox to another, looking for spiderwebs, while I power walk or even jog to keep up.  Then she'll stop for several minutes to examine a leaf she's found.  Run, walk, stop, walk, stop, run; it may not be cardio, but it's certainly fun!
Galena 360

Monday, October 27, 2014

Teaching Preschool When You Can't Teach Preschool

Preschoolers are not my gift.  There's no false modesty here.  I suffer from too much pride and not too little.  I know I am a more than passable teacher to adult women and not too bad for teenage girls. But preschoolers need songs (I can't carry a tune in a bucket), crafts (never my strong suit) and constant reminders to sit down and listen (something I promise I never have to say to my Ladies Bible class!). 

Friday, October 24, 2014

America: A Broken Vessel?

Have you ever imagined God sitting in heaven laughing at you?  I have of course but it was always a gentle chuckle: like when my kids do something cute and ridiculous and I can't help but snicker.  I'd prefer He laugh when I'm boneheaded than cry!

But when the Psalmist says that God laughed, he didn't have a delighted guffaw in mind, but a snort of derision.  As the 2nd Psalm opens, the nations and their leaders are plotting open revolt. Tired of the ties that bind them to God their Emperor, they are ready for freedom. But they had no idea who they were messing with.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How My Evangelism Has Been Incomplete

The Plan of Salvation. The steps to salvation.  The Roman Road. Personal testimony. Are these familiar to you?  As people who are already Christians, we memorize these in an attempt to learn to share the gospel with our friends.  All churches seem to have one version or another they stick to.  When I was a kid, I even had a bracelet with different colored beads to help me remember.  While none of these things are wrong, I recently read a book that challenged me to believe that many of these methods of evangelism don't go far enough in letting people know what being a Christian is all about. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

3 Easy Give-Away Casseroles

A few weeks ago, we shared our tips for taking in food to people who may need it - the sick, new moms, families who have lost loved ones.  This week, we'd like to share three easy casserole recipes that we've used in just these situations. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

And His Name Will Be Called

Sometimes when I think about Biblical prophecy about Jesus, I think in terms of a completed checklist.   Born of a Virgin? Check.  Born in Bethlehem? Check. Died a cruel death? Check.  I can see clearly that God shaped events so that Jesus fulfilled every prediction made about Him. Rarely, though, have I thought of the prophecies of Jesus to be directly applicable in my own life, other than as an evangelical tool.  However, Isaiah 9:6 is a good reminder that Jesus is still fulfilling prophecy today in a deeply personal way.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Developing Virtue: Rules or the Heart?

Are you a follow your heart kind of girl or a follow the rules kind of girl? 

It seems to me that there is a huge dichotomy between the two; a dichotomy that people in the church especially struggle to work out.  One one side of the aisle people encourage a strict adherence to certain rules.  Sometimes we fight vociferously about which rules are necessary, but all the folks on that side vote "Rules!" every time.  On the other side of the aisle we have people who insist that we follow our hearts.  Christ came to set us free from the strictures of the law, they claim.  And neither side has difficulty backing up their points with scripture.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Texts of Encouragement

What comes to mind when you think of being a encourager in your congregation?  Are you thinking along the lines of committees, cards, programs, postage stamps, bookmarks, flowers, crafts and dinners? More power to you.  Not me.  I am woefully short on creativity, natural thoughtfulness, and social inclination.  So I lean in a different direction.  I'm thinking, "TEXT them!"  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

When Matthew tells the story of how Jesus died, it's a multi-layered narrative.  He is working in two different languages (Greek and Aramaic); he's telling not only the immediate story of what had to be the worst day of his life, he's retelling an ancient tale first recorded in prophetic poetry by the Psalmist.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More Than Reading: The Importance of Bible Study

I read my Bible every day.  I've read the Bible through at least five times in my life.  I have a general idea of the timeline of the Bible, and if you asked me to find a particular story, I could do it in less than five minutes.  Do I sound like I'm bragging?  Probably, but what I'm really doing is setting the table for my slice of humble pie.  You would think after so many times reading the Bible, that I would KNOW the Bible like I know my favorite novel, right?  Not even close. I can find particular stories, but if you asked me the theme of Nahum or to explain the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward, I would fumble to a stop. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Taking in food

Taking food in to a family in a tough situation is  one of those things some women are masters of.  Within half an hour of the posting of the newborn's pictures on Facebook, they are on somebody's door step with a covered dish, a pan of rolls, a homemade pineapple upside down cake and a smile.  I am not her.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Through Jesus's Eyes

Half rim glasses
I read an article on Huffington Post recently (not my normal reading fare, but it was recommended a few times) where the author talked about looking at her possessions with new eyes.  She talked of putting on her "perspectacles," and seeing her home as a blessing bordering on miraculous instead of a place that needs constant cleaning and updating.  Lately, I've been wanting to put on some perspectacles of my own, but instead of seeing my stuff differently, I'd like to see people differently.  I want to see the people around me as Jesus sees them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Envy on Social Media

"Look at what we had for supper!  Don't you wish you were me? YUM," my husband sent with this photo of rutabaga, grilled fish and homemade hush puppies. If that doesn't seem enviable to you, it's cause you haven't eaten my rutabaga wink

"I expect some when we get there you big old chump face!" my father-in-law happily replied.