Obstacles

“When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens.”  Jeremiah 10:13 (NASV) Each morning when I walk through our neighborhood, I cross a bridge over a small stream. I often pause there to listen as the water burbles and tumbles over the stones in its way. The sound is pure, a reminder of something Adam might have heard in the Garden of Eden. God seems to speak to me, calling me to slow down and listen. One day I realized that, though I cross the stream again at the other end of my circuit, at …

Read More Obstacles

The other side of writing…

Ask any writer about their passion and they will talk about the pleasure of crafting words, developing characters, and creating plots. The past few weeks, this writer has set aside work on her own novels. Instead, I’ve been busy with the other side of writing: reading. Part of my work as an author is encouraging the work of fellow writers. This month that meant leading a workshop for new writers, helping them polish their work so that it is ready to submit to an editor. In addition, I’ve been a judge for the Golden Scroll book awards, reviewing almost a …

Read More The other side of writing…

Advent 2015: Day 24

Are you excited? It is Christmas Eve at last! Time to laugh around the table and open gifts by the tree. Are you in your own home or away visiting family? Here’s the last in this series on “Parenting Jesus.” Over the past weeks, we have looked at many aspects of how Mary and Joseph parented Jesus. Mary sought God’s guidance in scripture as she prepared for Jesus’ birth. Joseph took God’s warnings about Herod seriously, acting on them at enormous personal sacrifice. Together he and Mary dedicated their son at the Temple and followed through by taking him regularly …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 24

Advent 2015: Day 23

  Welcome back for the next in this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus.” I hope you’ll return tomorrow for the last of the series!   Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth. What great joy we experience as we celebrate Emanuel, “God with us.” With Christmas only two days away, with families gathering and gifts wrapped under the tree, this may seem like the wrong season of the year to remember the events of Jesus’ death. But in both cases, we celebrate “God with us.”   During the final week of Jesus’ life, everyone around him felt stunned. Despite all …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 23

Advent 2015: Day 22

Thank you for returning so faithfully day after day! We are almost through this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus.”   Yesterday we saw that even while hanging on a cross, Jesus fulfilled a command he learned in his childhood – to honor his father and mother. He honored his mother when he made arrangements for her care after his death. As he did so, did Mary pause to remember the words of her own song, a song she sang before Jesus was ever born? As recorded in Luke 1:46-48, she said, “Oh, how I praise the Lord. How I rejoice …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 22

Advent 2015: Day 21

  As we are near the end of Advent and also the end of this series on “Parenting Jesus,” here is the latest thought to share with you.   John 19:25-27 presents a tender scene in the midst of Calvary horror. Mary is standing near the foot of the cross. Her son would die soon, but she would have to go on living. The city of Jerusalem was in a turmoil. Angry mobs screamed for the blood of her son. This city was not a safe place for the mother of Jesus. She could not look to her other sons …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 21

Advent 2015: Day 20

  Can it be only 5 days until Christmas?  Here is the next installment on this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus.”   Would you be embarrassed if your daughter were arrested for drunk driving? Would your face flame red if your son were arrested in a sex scandal? What if these events were plastered across the front page of the local newspaper or announced on the nightly news? Would you want to crawl in a hole and cover your head and die?   Everywhere Jesus went, everything he said, every miracle he performed reflected back on his parents. But have …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 20

Advent 2015: Day 19

  Here we are together once again! Thanks for coming back for another in this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus.”   From the very beginning, Mary and Joseph taught Jesus to respect God’s commands. Like the author of Proverbs passing on wisdom to his son, Joseph recognized that his job was not merely to protect his children from harm but also to teach them the wisdom of God’s laws. Joseph was the spiritual leader of his family. As the writer of Hebrews later put it, “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 19

Advent 2015: Day 18

  Welcome back to day 18 in this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus”!   One of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar is the Day of Atonement. Once – only once – each year, the High Priest entered the Holiest Place and made atonement for the sins of the nation. This day was marked by solemn penitence and fasting. In contrast, five days later, the next celebration on the Jewish calendar was the most popular feast of the year, the Festival of Booths. This was a joyous celebration of the harvest, marked by bounteous amounts of food much like …

Read More Advent 2015: Day 18

Advent 2015: Day17

Ready for another installment on this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus”?   Jesus told lots of parables about family life. There is the obvious story about the rebellious prodigal son, a gracious father and an angry elder brother, but you may remember also the story of the father who asked his two sons to work in the vineyard, where one son obeyed and the other did not. Even the story of poor old Lazarus speaks of family as the rich man begs Abraham to send someone from the grave to warn his living brothers.     Families that Jesus saw …

Read More Advent 2015: Day17