Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Remember P2R!

When I have a new project before me, all shiny and full of good intentions, I dive right in with all the wonder and excitement of a Kindergartner opening a new box of crayons.  Soon, however, I find that any discipline required is slippery, and after an enthusiastic start the wonder fades and I am left with the discipline of plugging away at the project each day until I finish it, or I abandon it altogether.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

If God is For Us, Who Can be Against Us?

Last week (I'm a week behind) we read Joshua 10, which covers the battle in which Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still, the five Amorite kings who were captured and executed, and the conquest of Southern Canaan.  That’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Treaty with the Gibeonites

This week we are reading chapter 9 of Joshua, wherein the Israelites, fresh off their victory against Ai, are duped into making a covenant with the Gibeonites.  We began our study by looking at how the Canaanites’ attitude toward the Israelites has changed.  In chapter 5 the Canaanites were paralyzed with fear at the invading Israelites, to the point that they do not attack them, even when the Israelites are staying in camp to perform religious ceremonies which leave them rather vulnerable.  This fear has now worn off and the Canaanites are banding together to fight the invaders of their land.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Learning Obedience

In chapter 8 of Joshua the Israelites return to the field of battle against the town of Ai, but this time they are following the command and lead of the LORD.  Right off the bat, verse 1 opens with the LORD saying to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed.  Take all the fighting men with you and arise, go up to Ai.  See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land.”  (Joshua 8:1) God then proceeds to give Joshua a rather detailed battle plan. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sin In The Camp

Last week we learned about the fall of Jericho, God's gracious gift of a mighty victory to his people, who watched in faith and obedience as the Lord carried out his covenant promise before them and the unbelieving world.  Chapter six ends with, "So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land."  How glorious.

And then we read the very next verse:

"But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel."  (Joshua 7:1)

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Fall of Jericho

This week's study covers Joshua 5:13-6:27.  We began by looking at Joshua's encounter with the commander of the army of the LORD.  Our first question was, who is this?   As James Montgomery Boice points out without equivocation, this is:

"...none the less than Jehovah speaking here in a preincarnate manifestation of the second Person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Consecration and Covenant

In Bible study this week we looked at Joshua 5: 1-12.  After briefly reiterating the point that the Canaanites were quaking in fear at the miraculous crossing of the Jordan by the Israelites, we considered God's command to circumcise the sons of Israel.  We looked first at his wording of the command in verse 2, to "circumcise the people again."  

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

There's a Running Metaphor For That....

Now and then someone will ask me if I pray while I run, and I answer, "Sometimes."  Really though, when I pray I prefer to really focus on what I'm praying.  When I run, I have found that trying to focus on anything other than the running doesn't work.  Not that I am "focused" on every step I take, but, I get myself going, and while my body is focused on the running I allow my mind to wander here and there, free-association-style, bringing it back to the activity at hand when needed.  Sort of rambling through my "thinking" so my main energy can go to what I am "doing."

Even so, it is not time wasted.  For instance, as I ran this morning, here is where my mind rambled...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Crossing the Jordan

This week, in our third lesson studying the book of Joshua, we covered chapters 3 and 4, in which Joshua and the Israelites cross the Jordan River into the Promised land.

We dipped our toes into this subject by considering the conditions in which this crossing was made.  According to Joshua 3:15 the river was overflowing its banks, which, for an army, might not be a reason to cancel the expedition, but for approximately two million people wishing to cross with women, children, baggage, flocks and herds, it was an overwhelming proposition.  Furthermore, they were within sight of the enemy's walled city.  Their enemy was, as we found out in our last lesson, quaking in fear, but still, an army preparing to attack its enemy gives away no battle plans or movements.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rahab, a God-Fearing Woman

Lesson 2 of our Bible study, which covers Joshua chapter 2, opens with a question concerning the relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.  Why, if God had already told Joshua that he would be victorious in his conquest of Canaan, would Joshua send spies into the land?  The commentaries I am drawing from all agree that this presents no problem at all.  In fact, as C. F. Keil points out, Joshua was required to do his part in securing the work committed to him as, “the help of God does not preclude human action, but rather presupposes it.”  Indeed, the life of faith is a call to action for all believers, and we will see this theme play out through the rest of Joshua chapter two.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Be Strong and Courageous

This week marks a new chapter in my life.  I am, once again, leading a Bible study at church.  This is the first study I will lead since we moved from Pennsylvania and I am excited to dive into the Word with this group of ladies, some of whom I have already come to know, some of whom I have not.  Nothing fuels a relationship like spending time together in Scripture.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Partnering 2 Remember: Ephesians, week 1

This is it!  We have finally arrived at the week when the ladies' Bible studies begin at church along with our journey into memorizing the book of Ephesians!  I am so excited I can barely sit still.  (Catch me after lunch, during the early afternoon sitting still is no problem, trust me.)

Before diving into the memory work there is a bit of "Arts and Crafts" to accomplish.  Putting together our Memory Journals is rather straightforward, if a tad time-consuming.  The following photos will give you an idea how to format your journals.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Longing in Exile

After almost three years in Texas I have found a Saturday morning running group that meets relatively close to where we live and runs through a nice area, with small-town charm, finishing at a sweet little coffee shop.  Among these folks I can talk easily about various things that runners talk about without getting blank stares or being mistaken for a show-off.  I am, after all, the slowest person out there each Saturday to run the four-mile loop, but I can converse knowledgeably about running gear, various races, and the pros and cons of pre-run breakfast choices.  Runners don't care if you are fast or slow; they are a friendly and welcoming bunch.  When we are standing around afterwards, sweating profusely, having covered the same pavement and been cheered in to the finish by those who arrived first, we have that much in common, and it's enough.  I belong. 

And yet, this past Saturday, after I finished, purchased my post-run iced-Chai latte, and pulled up a chair to join the group, I sat in a tiny island of isolation.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

I have a hymn winging through my heart as I go about my several quiet tasks at home.  Of course, I can't remember all the words, but the refrain and the first line are running on repeat.

"Have thine own way, Lord!  have thine own way!
Thou art the potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still."