Friday, November 28, 2014

A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

The Holiday of Thanksgiving might be over, but as Christians we know that we should have an "attitude of gratitude" all year round.  In an attempt to foster gratefulness in my children, we already say something we are thankful for every morning on the way to school.  Lately, though, I've been thinking we can do more than that.  In the Old Testament, the Israelite people made peace offerings, including offerings of thanksgiving (Leviticus 7), and out of that the term "sacrifice of thanksgiving" came into being.  While it sometimes referred to the actual offering of an animal and leavened or unleavened bread, the phrase also came to signify the many ways we can express our thankfulness to God. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Whatsoever Christmas

I've scrolled through online shops, Black Friday sale pages, Cyber Monday pages, and don't tell, but I'm getting kind of desperate. My husband is easy to buy for, but finding just the right gifts for my two girls is a real challenge.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Making a Difference with Child Care

Sometimes I learn the most about how to make a difference when someone makes a difference in my life.  As a mother who lives hours away from family, this is especially true when it comes to child care.  Without the kindness of my church family, it would be so much harder to take a child to the doctor, go to the doctor myself, go on field trips, or even have a date with my hubby.  After seeing how helpful free and trustworthy child care has been in my life, I've been more open to keeping other people's kids, even though babysitting is not my favorite activity.  Here are some ways we can make a difference to moms and dads who need a little extra help.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Most Misunderstood Virture

One of our young mothers has had a rough autumn so far.  Her husband is in another state doing military training, and she has twin baby boys.  Preemies, the twins are prone to sickness, so because of the germs of fall, she isn't able to leave the house as often as she would like.  A few days ago, I saw on Facebook that a sister had taken this young mother a simple meal and some cookies.  It was a kind gesture, one that hadn't even occurred to me because I lack the virtue of humility.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No Sunday School Curriculum? No Problem!

Our kids at church participate in the local Bible Bowl.  For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, area church kids  meet at a central location once per month and have a competition over  predetermined Bible texts.  This year we are doing the life of Jesus, and we cover three chapters per month.  On Wednesday nights, we help our kids prepare, one chapter at a time.  For the past year and a half, I've been working with the first and second graders.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Self image - His image

"Mom, can a person really hate themselves?"

I looked up in great surprise.  "What?  Why?"  (See how articulate I was in this crucial teaching moment?!)

"Oh this guy in a book," (Whew!) My older daughter proceeded to tell me the plot of a novel she had been reading where the main character had been abused, believed that everyone he cared about died (therefore people shouldn't love him), and had come over time to truly hate himself.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Honor in Exile

I Voted Sticker
I voted. 

It was the first time in more than a decade.  I'm not lazy, honest.  For most of those years I was abroad, and for all of them I was deeply conflicted about the candidates, finding them all so distasteful that I couldn't bring myself to endorse any of them.

I'm trying again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Devotional Method: Not a Soft Option

I was really excited to take a class about 12 methods of Bible study.  My nerdly heart was imagining stacks of references, scads of highlighters, and a whole new world of knowledge.  So when we started the class with the Devotional Method of Bible study, I felt a little deflated.  What, no Greek lexicon?  Not even a sniff of highlighter?  I blew it off as a soft option.  What I didn't understand is that this most introspective method is what you make it, and if done properly, can be life-changing.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hungry, Please Help!

The Hand (3950973346)<
"For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat" (Matthew 25:35). That's what Jesus said.  Here's what he did not say:
For I was hungry, and you ignored me.
For I was hungry, and you decided I was not really hungry.
For I was hungry, and you tried to decide if I was worthy of something to eat.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Terrible Guest

I've had wonderful guests.  People who come to my house, love everyone and everything there, have nothing but good to say and are as hilarious as they are kind (You know who you are!!!). I've had less enjoyable as well.  You know the kind I mean.  But I always thought Jesus would be a fun guy to have for dinner.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Finest People in the World

"But I love her, and I want to not just spend my life with her but my death too!" My freshman in high school wailed.

She went on, "It would be easier if they were bad.  But they're not, Mom.  They're good people.  How do you tell good people how wrong they are?"

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Reimagined

Take a moment and imagine what your Thanksgiving table might look like 3 weeks from now, if you took Jesus's words literally.